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Insights & Thoughts

Should I Get A Videographer For My Wedding? Says Just DIY It

By Hanssie on April 22nd 2016

It’s one of the biggest days in a girl’s life, one that most dream about from the first time they see Prince Charming lead Cinderella in her wedding dress from the castle while the words, “and they lived happily ever after…” scroll up the screen.

It is estimated that in the U.S. the average couple spends $26,000 on the wedding day, and the day comes so fast, and then it’s gone. All that is left are some extra party favors; the top of the cake that will be pretty stale in a year no matter how tightly you wrap it; your wedding photos, and if you hired a videographer, a wedding video.

In a recent article on, “5 Unique Alternatives to the Traditional Wedding Videographer,” the author gives some recommendations if a bride doesn’t want or cannot afford to hire a wedding videographer. Among the suggestions are to give GoPros to some trusted people (or the dog); to invite people to record and post on Instagram, or use an app to stitch together the photos and snippets from the day to make a DIY wedding video/slideshow.



Though these are good ideas, there really is nothing like hiring a professional to record what is arguably one of the most important days of your life. While it’s understandable that wants to give budget-friendly options in lieu of hiring a videographer, the wish would be for these types of publications to spend more time educating their brides on why hiring professionals to document a wedding day is important.

Earlier this year, Vogue Magazine suggested that modern brides should say, “I Don’t” to a professional wedding photographer, and put disposable cameras on the tables instead. (Sure, if you want brides to have out-of-focus drunken selfies of all of their friends).

Now, don’t get me wrong, we all love a DIY project, but there are some things that just shouldn’t be do-it-yourself. Root canals, for example. Those should be done by a professional endodontist. Open heart surgery should be the work of a certified heart surgeon with a medical license. Though I’m clearly pointing out some extreme examples that are by no means equivalent, leaving a wedding day to be documented by people who are barely capable of using their iPhones to take a photo or video borders on terrible advice.

Of course, there may be brides and grooms who couldn’t care less about remembering their wedding day with any physical documentation, but an overwhelming majority prefer to have beautiful, professional images and footage of a day where they are surrounded by loved ones; a day they have spent a considerable amount of time planning and dreaming about.

I know that I am preaching to the choir here, but as long as there are articles out there encouraging brides to eschew hiring photographers and videographers, we photographers and videographers are forced to be the ones to educate the brides and grooms that will heed their advice and take the DIY route, only to regret it later.

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Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Barry Chapman

    I know it’s late and also nitpicking but since DIY stands for do it yourself your heading reads to me as “… says do it yourself it.”

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  2. Mike Upton

    These magazines are always trying to step on our businesses. I had a bride contact me and when we couldn’t negotiate a price (she wanted a 5 hour wedding for $200) she opted to do the disposable camera thing. After buying the cameras and having the film developed, she told me they had spent over the $200 they wanted to (big wedding, lots of cameras, lots of prints) and ended up getting maybe 10 keeper photos that were “ok”. She told me her biggest regret was not hiring me or at least any professional photographer to shoot the day and now all she has are 10 blurry pictures and memories that will inevitably fade with old age. It’s sad, really.

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  3. sam tziotzios

    Having started in moviemaking prior to taking static photos, I can say that if there isnt enough appreciation for photographers there is even less for videographers. I gave up on it a while back even though it was my true passion. The Brides article puts another nail in that for me.
    The down side of the movie is that it needs a larger budget for a team of people ususally when most clients will only watch a movie once or twice (it demands time like a book) and after that it goes in the closet for years maybe. Unlike photos which take seconds to absorb and you can rewatch at ease flipping thru your book. With only those selected crescendos of emotions.

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  4. Lee Hawkins

    *FACEPALM* Maybe we should get some DIY journalists to take over…I’m sure they’ll get just as many clicks…

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  5. Steve VanSickle

    This is also the same magazine who, back in February, ran an article *by* a wedding planner that claimed that photographers shouldn’t be fed because they should be shooting during the dinner (Seriously? Who wants to be photographed while they’re eating?). Oh, but planners should totally be fed. Gee, how convenient for the author/planner.

    I think they ran a different article a couple of weeks later to combat the negative press, but I’m taking anything they run with a mine of salt.

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    • William Irwin

      More likely they are posting click-bait material to drive up their click through rates.

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    • Kishore Sawh

      I think there’s certainly that aspect of it Will, no question. The problem is insidious, though, because other than click-bait being annoying, click-bait often gets viewed by a lot of people – people who might be swayed by this nonsense. It’s unfortunate too, because it could hurt photographers sure, but damn, the couples really would suffer in the end (likely).

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    • Steve VanSickle

      I’ve yet to shoot my first wedding (three more weeks, hooray!), but I actually don’t think it was pure clickbait because the headline wasn’t actually all that incendiary, it was just some really bad ‘advice’ from people that don’t understand what we do.

      Without even revealing that I’m going to start shooting weddings, I’ve talked to a number of people over the past several months who have no clue how tough a job it can be, despite the gratification it may bring. Most non-photographers think we just show up, shoot a few pictures here and there, and then burn to disc. They really don’t know how much time is spent during the entire day, shooting the details, portraits, etc, and how many hours go into post-production, printing, etc.

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    • Kishore Sawh

      There’s no disagreeing with some of that. That non photographers haven’t the foggiest about what goes into creating quality images with consistency is no secret. I think, at this point, photographers need to spend more time educating the clients, and figuring out a good way to do that so they feel involved versus being schooled. Open their eyes, and even suggest they check out what other photographers and industry pros are saying. There are lots of posts on SLRL worth using to help educating clients. And, Steve, if you need specific advice…..just shoot and we’ll try to help. – Cheers

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    • Mike Upton

      I shot for a bride that demanded I shoot during dinner, ensuring I stop by every table and get everyone sitting down to eat. Because she was paying up front, and I needed the money, I agreed to shoot without getting fed. Long story short, she HATED the photos of “everyone stuffing their faces”. I reminded her that unless you’re a model for a restaurant or toothpaste, the act of eating is seldom graceful or beautiful.

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  6. Damir Pišćetek

    So. Is anyone proofreading this?

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