Did your mom always tell you “Don’t touch that! The stove is hot, you’ll burn your hand!”? My mom told that to both my brother and I one day. Well, he decided not to listen and touched the hot stove anyway and burned his hand. Though I did not touch the stove, I did learn the lesson she was trying to impart into me. Makes sense doesn’t it? Two kids in the room, one does something to hurt themselves and both learn the lesson? That’s how we feel when it comes to wedding photography.
You see, we were the couple that knew nothing about weddings when we planned our own over 10 years ago. We didn’t realize the value of hiring professionals the way we do today.
The only way I can really relay to you what we know now is through a story. Hopefully this will help so you don’t “burn your hand” like we did.
This is the story of a car. Just a plain old car. I’m not much of a “car guy” like many of my friends, but when something isn’t working properly with my car, I do know enough that it should be fixed. So the question I ask is, “where do I take my car?”. Knowing what we know now, there are many answers for everyone to consider.
THE FRIEND’S GARAGE
The first place we took our car was to a “backyard garage” where a “friend of a friend” who had a full time job, but worked on cars at night, took a look at our car and said “yep, I can fix that…”
Our friend of a friend then proceeded to pull some parts off, put new parts on and called it finished. When we drove off, it seemed like there were more problems than when we first took the car in!
What to do!?! Because we didn’t want to hurt our friend of a friend’s feelings, we decided not to tell him and just put up with it, vowing “we will never do that again!”
THE LOCAL GARAGE
The next place we went was the “local garage” around the corner from our home.The mechanics there proceeded to tell us what the first person had done wrong, that they had to do some extra work, but it could be fixed. We told them go ahead, as long as it can be fixed. We trusted this garage because they had a location, a manager and a way to settle up if something didn’t go right. We did pay a little extra, but had we taken it here first, we would have saved ourselves quite a bit of stress.
As we drove away this time, happy that the entire ordeal was finished, a few more things started going wrong with our car. A few days later we took the car back to the “local garage” where they said everything should be working fine.
We didn’t agree and they referred us to a “specialty garage” that dealt with our brand of car exclusively. So off we went to the third garage in just under a week to fix what started off as a simple problem.
THE SPECIALTY GARAGE
At the “specialty garage” we found out they had the reputation for being the go-to people when it came to our brand of car. In no time at all they had diagnosed the problem and told us that almost all garages didn’t have the right tools to diagnose the problem with our vehicle. We ended up paying a more premium price to work with this garage, but our car problems were over. Whew!
Guess where we are going to go in the future when something has gone wrong with our car? Yep, the “specialty garage” because those guys get it right the first time.
WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH PHOTOGRAPHY?
Weddings don’t have any “do-overs” like we had with our car. If you’re planning a wedding and something doesn’t go right because you hired a “friend of a friend” to take care of your needs, tough luck. If it’s not done correctly on the first run through, chalk that one up to a “lesson learned”.
My wife and I have don’t have a single wedding photo we are happy with because we hired the “friend of a friend” to take care of us. At the time it wasn’t a big deal. Our wedding budget wouldn’t have even afforded any of the package we offer to couples every day!
But how much has it cost us over the past 10 years in terms of not having photos we love from our wedding day.
After reflecting back on all this, what we needed was someone to sell us on the idea that photos on our wedding day WERE MORE IMPORTANT than other things we were spending money on. Unfortunately no one in our lives stood up and told us that. So, we went ahead and burned our hand.
So, let us be the ones to stand up and say, PHOTOGRAPHY IS IMPORTANT ON YOUR WEDDING DAY!
Because the food will be eaten, the flowers will die, tuxes returned, dress will be put into a box and preserved and your friends and family head on home. But your wedding photos, those remain. They stay with you and your family. They become your story.
Are you going to tell the story like my wife and I have to of “we don’t have any photos from our wedding day because we hired a friend of a friend” or will you be able to tell a great story and proudly show off your wedding photos because you hired a specialist?
We specialize in people. Our business is not photography, it’s people. It just happens that we take photographs of the people we work with.
Tiberius Images is a Grand Rapids wedding photographer that photographs people, places and events. Based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, they serve clients throughout the world and are available for travel.