When it is finally time to get down and plan one’s upcoming wedding details, one of the usual points of contention is whether to get a professional wedding photographer or not. Many couples would find that to be not an issue and expect that such a grand once in a lifetime event merits no less than a first-rate photo and video coverage.
That sentiment toward weddings, how it places the event to a paramount distinction, pretty much fuels today’s rates for wedding photographers. Depending on the location, a couple’s wedding photography package can set them back 10-15% of their total budget. And that is primarily why wedding photography requires serious consideration for other couples.
Many of them argue that they would be better off allocating that 15% to other more critical aspects of their wedding. To a certain extent, their point is justifiable. Couples can still get to enjoy their wedding without hiring a pro wedding photographer. A friend with an iPhone 11 Pro can get the same job done, and for free!
But, really now, can it?
All in the gear
What makes the idea of an iPhone enough to cover a wedding? Here are a couple of testimonials from the internet. One tells of a wedding photographer who shot an entire wedding using his iPhone 6s Plus. Another pro wedding photo shooter had a side-by-side shootout of his iPhone 11 Pro and his Canon 5D Mark IV and remarked that the results were hardly different from each other.
The problem is there is indeed no apparent difference if you are looking at pictures splattered over a webpage. And before you conclude that iPhone shots can get dreamy enough for your wedding album, remember that it was still a professional wedding photographer who took those shots.
One of the photographers admitted that he had difficulty making his shots due to the event’s low-light conditions. A well-equipped pro with correctly set professional DSLR and lighting equipment can easily breeze through the same challenges. Lesser obstacles mean more opportunities for beautiful shots, whatever the situation.
Try achieving that with just an iPhone.
RAW vs. HEIF
Does that mean that you need a pro wedding photographer who is willing to shoot with an iPhone just to cut on costs? If you are ready to have your photos in digital format only or printed in comparatively smaller frames, then the option is for you.
Also, take note that those breathtaking portfolios you see online are carefully edited images from RAW format photographs. The same quality of editing in higher resolutions is not achievable with HEIF format, which is the default image output of the latest iPhone. File compatibility is another issue with HEIF, especially when attempting to migrate it to a non-iOS platform for editing and printing.
Eye of the beholder
Another take on the fact mentioned earlier that pro photographers took those photos through a smartphone is their ability to select and make their shots. In other words, anybody can push the shutter button away, either of a DSLR or a high-end mobile phone, and be called a photographer. But it takes skills and know-how honed by experience for one to be professional.
A pro wedding photographer comes armed with a collection of the right equipment and the eye that sees how and when to use them. Their knowledge of identifying which shots to make to build and curate your wedding memories are what they bring to the table. It is what you are paying for, more than the expensive equipment they have to lug around.
It will all come down to how high you set the bar for your wedding. So, if it suffices for you to have a good enough photo of your wedding that fits your budget, then by all means, cut on costs.
On the other hand, if you want a treasure trove of your wedding highlights and memories worth going back to every time, no less than a reputable professional wedding photographer can give justice to your investment.