Great, older article from the Wedding Photojournalist Association about hiring a creative professional for your wedding. Let's make a clear distinction: Hiring someone who IS creative and BEHAVES professionally is not the same thing as hiring a "professional creator." Many couples have never had the need to hire a designer, or an architect, or a commercial photographer, etc. and the first creative professional they encounter is their wedding photographer.
What's the difference? A creative professional in wedding photography has a point of view, a perspective, a narrative that develops based on the events that unfold during your wedding day. I've seen a lot of shot list shots, handed to me by well-meaning folks, and the collection of images that would result is quite hefty, but is it a narrative? A story? Does it engage the viewer from an intellectual or emotional point of view? Are your grand-kids going to look back and "feel the love," so to speak, in the expressions and interactions?
One of my favorite images of all time is below, of a traditional Filipino wedding with rich symbolism of family and extended family where the sponsors place their hands on the bride and groom... Not posed, not asked for, but I saw the moment as it happened and here it is. It tells a story.
Every wedding is an opportunity to develop a narrative, to create imagery that reflects the bonds of family and friends and each other. Hire the creative professional to tell the story. You won't be disappointed.
Nate Kinnison is a documentary wedding photographer based in Norfolk, VA.