Spend On What Matters
This is the best advice I received when I started learning about photography.
There are so many equipment choices to make. Everyone has advice – which brand to choose, which camera to start with, all the lenses you just have to have (and which lenses are the best), which flashes and modifiers you need, which straps, which bags . . . it doesn’t end, and just when you think you’ve decided, NEW THINGS are introduced (of course they’re better than the things you have been studying for weeks) and you start all over again! It’s overwhelming.
The thing is – that equipment really doesn’t matter, and great cameras and lenses don’t make you a great photographer (or even a particularly good one.). What DOES make you a better photographer is learning from people who are already doing what you want to do. Watching and listening to them explain the ins and outs, whether on YouTube or on a podcast or at an in-person workshop, gets you to your goal so much faster. Practice is important, too – just going out and shooting, understanding your camera and understanding light and trying – lets you put that learning into action.
Those are the things to spend your time and money on – getting around the right people and taking time to go and do.
It’s the same with your wedding – there are so many beautiful options and so many opinions about how to make yours the Best Wedding Ever . . . in the end, it really comes down to the people you place around yourself and the time you spend with them. It’s not the grandeur of the location, or the spectacle of the occasion – just like it’s not the large and expensive camera. The things that really matter, the things that all my brides tell me they remember most, are those cherished moments with the people they love. You don’t need dry ice and fireworks during your first dance; you need a simple table of good food and an unhurried evening.
Spend your time and money on those.