Hire a professional!


As deputy art director at Elegant Bride, I've pored over hundreds of real wedding photos and have seen even the most modest wedding rendered so precious and special by great photography. Imagine sharing lovely photos with your children that capture the atmosphere and joy of your big day. Good photography lasts forever!

I am reminded of a wedding I was invited to a few years ago. I knew it would be a fabulous affair, held at a trendy address in NYC's West Village. Besides inviting family from opposite ends of the earth, the bride and groom hob-knobbed with some interesting downtown scenesters including a famous British rockstar and his glamorous family, a hot downtown artist and a renowned fashion photographer. The gorgeous bride's Indian heritage was sure to be an influence on the food and decor, so I was excited. Sure enough, the party lived up to my expectations. Between lively poetry readings, a chic costume change by the bride, live African and New Orleans blues music, and all the warmth and love shared, it was hands down, the most fun and interesting wedding I'd ever attended. I couldn't wait to tell my colleagues at the magazine about it.

A few weeks later, the bride, excited at the prospect of seeing her wedding published, hand-delivered her pictures to my office herself. I thanked her profusely for letting me be part of the most fabulous wedding I'd ever witnessed. The photo editor and I eagerly opened up the box. My heart sank. She hadn't hired a professional photographer and had let a friend do it, thinking the photos would look more "natural" and less staged. Her shots were either badly composed, blurry or both. What she didn't understand was that getting beautiful "candid" photos required an extremely talented and skilled photographer. Photos shot in natural light, which capture real moments and emotion, and look effortless and easy, are actually the hardest shots to do.

Now, whenever someone tells me they are planning a wedding the first thing I ask is, "are you hiring a professional photographer?" I can't think of a more important keepsake than the photos! —Jessica Thomas, deputy art director, Elegant Bride



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