5 years ago, I wrote a post Why Use A Professional Photographer, in which I tried to explain the reason why anyone getting married should consider using a professional. I thought it’s about time for an update.

I was recently invited to a family wedding, in which I was given the day off, no running around shooting, organising people for the whole duration! Of course it didn’t stop me taking my camera along and shooting casual shots and taking loads of pictures of everyone, especially the little ones.

It was two thirds the way through the day before I began to appreciate how relaxing it was to be just another guest at the wedding, rather than having the full responsibility of taking the photos, I was just chilling out and enjoying the company. Which brings me to the point of this post – I really appreciated being given the day off, because if I was working, I would have been up at 6 in the morning, drive 50 miles before lunch, run around the ceremony venue, and be on full alert all day.

Whilst it’s something I do really enjoy doing, the question is if you asked a friend who isn’t trained, can you blame them if they can’t live up to the expectations and decides two thirds the way through the day that they too want to have some fun and put the camera down?  Do you want to stop your friend letting their hair down?  Even if you are giving them a big thank you gift, would you prefer your friend shared your big day as a guest, or would you prefer them to be working through it?

So, whilst you may have a friend who is good with the camera, even if they are professionally trained, do you really want to make them work through it?

Don’t do it, pay someone else to work, and let your friends snap with his camera by all means, but don’t stop them work all the way through the day.