Congratulations—you are getting married!

Your wedding is the beginning of your marriage story. It’s the two of you together, promising your lifelong faithfulness for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health. You will celebrate this day with family, close friends, a ceremony, special words, a party, and, of course, pictures. When you look back, you’ll see your photographs and remember the smiles and laughter, the loved ones who spent the day with you. Later you’ll share the photographs with your children and their children, and they’ll ask questions about you and the people in your pictures. They will see their story as part of your story. Your wedding photographs will give them a window into your lives—who you were and how you came together. So your wedding photographs are important not only for remembering your day— you already know this—but also as a way to establish and preserve your family history.


DC wedding photographer

You hired April, a friend of a friend, as your wedding photographer. She’s young and has little experience (this is her first wedding) but you know she has “a passion for photography.” She made your engagement pictures, which you liked.

When you asked if she could make you an album she said, “Books are so old-fashioned. I’ll give you the pictures on a flash drive.” Her fee was only a few hundred dollars. Since other photographers in the area were charging over $2,500, you feel like you got a deal.

On your wedding day, April arrives at the church wearing a bright floral sundress, her camera in one hand, a Starbucks iced latte in the other. She has a small camera bag slung over one shoulder. Inside is one lens.

Without holding the camera to her eye, she raises it a little so she can see the screen on the back and snaps several pictures of you and your bridesmaids getting ready. You chit chat for a moment. She sips her drink. She snaps a few more pictures. April continues wandering on like this, grabbing seemingly random moments interspersed with latte sips.

During the ceremony, the wandering continues but you don’t notice as much since you’re lost in the moment, standing at the front of the church with your almost-  husband, the minister, and the wedding party. You do notice April out of the corner of your eye on a few occasions as she makes her way onto the altar (snap), circles you (snap snap snap), and exits on the opposite side (snap). It strikes you that this doesn’t seem very professional—and something you hadn’t imagined as you were playing through your wedding day in your mind’s eye.

The ceremony wraps up, most of the guests depart for the reception, and your family gathers for some formal photographs at the front of the church. April kind of gives people direction—but kinda not really. At one point, you step into the aisle as your now-husband is being photographed with his family. You notice that the lights from the ceiling are casting deep shadows on their faces, and April hasn’t brought any lights. You feel an uneasiness in your stomach and your confidence in your photographer begins to wane.

Before you leave the reception hall, you take some time to take pictures with your new husband. You drive downtown and April suggests a park. It’s sunny and there’s no shade. She takes a few quick pictures without directing you much (snap snap snap). She suggests another location and you drive there. She makes a few pictures then looks at the images on the back of the camera. You and your husband stand and wait while she fiddles with the camera for a few moments. A perplexed look crosses her face. April laughs and says, “Well I guess I’ll just shop these later.”


You arrive at the banquet hall—a gorgeous downtown venue with floor-to-ceiling windows and a flood of beautiful light—where your guests are anxiously waiting.  You make your grand entrance to the cheers of your family and friends but realize

April wasn’t by the door. Where is she?

You’re seated at the front table with the wedding party and April sheepishly reports (with a new iced coffee in hand), “The battery in my camera died before we got here. I thought it would last all day but I guess not. It’s charging over in the corner and I think it will be ready in an hour. Or so.” You smile and say OK but your heart sinks.

This is not what you wanted. And now you’re afraid of what you’ll see when April delivers your pictures.

A few days after the wedding, April sends you an email to say that your wedding pictures are ready. She stops by with a flash drive. As she hands it over, you notice she looks a little… hesitant. You ask if something’s wrong.

“Well,” she starts, “some of my camera settings were ‘off.’ A little bit. So the pictures came out a little dark. Sorry.”

April leaves and you cautiously insert the flash drive into your computer as the words a little dark float through your mind.

The images begin to find their way to your screen.

A little dark.

That’s an understatement.

This is a very common story of many couples who have suffered because they wanted to save few dollars to ruin their memories for a lifetime.

If you hire a professional wedding photographer the result is delivered and Smiles also!

That is why it is always recommended to hire a pro because they have the equipment, skill, knowledge, and experience to consistently create good work for their clients. For you, consistency is a key factor you want to consider when hiring your photographer.

Unlike the aspiring photographers, pros know how to find good light and they know how to make good light when the available light isn’t good. They know how to pose and compose in flattering ways.

To avoid ruining your best day call AVS360 now!

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