The first thing you have to ask yourself is how high are your expectations of your wedding photographs?
If you want gorgeous glossy pics of yourself looking glamorous, in perfect lighting conditions and a coffee table book set of pictures from the day, then go for a professional wedding photographer. It’s too much to ask of even the best amateur to come up with a perfect set of pictures. Wedding photography is an art that the professionals have spent years perfecting.
If however you are on a tight budget and are happy to get a nice set of pictures with perhaps a few lucky stunning shots among them, then do go the DIY route. There are several approaches you can take:
1. Ask several guests who you know have good cameras and know how to use them to act as the official wedding photographers. Appoint one person the photographer in chief and ask him or her to assign different positions to each of the other photographers. That way you’ll get lots of different angles of the ceremony and reception, and no one person is under too much pressure. You should have a good selection of photos to choose from. One person could have a long lens and concentrate on getting close ups, another wide-angle to get overall impressions of the whole scene and so on.
2. Do the above in a less formal manner – just ask everyone who attended your wedding to send you their best photos and put together a selection for your album.
3. If a member of the family is keen to take on the role of photographer and you like their photography, then make them the official photographer. If wedding photography is a new field for them, consider offering to send them on a specialist photography course to learn some of the tricks of the trade. A few hours of a one-on-one workshop with a professional photographer, should give them more confidence in the difficult parts of wedding photography, such as managing the group photos and shooting in low light conditions in the church or wedding venue. You can still request photos from the other guests to fill in the reportage shots of the day.
If you do decide to look into photography courses, choose one run by a professional photographer who has experience of wedding photography. It is quite a specific form of photography and it’s always best to learn from someone who has been there and doe that already!