Outsourcing Like A Boss – Why DIY?

by | Photography Wisdom, Wedding Planning Wisdom, Wisdom, Wise Words


Ellen of studiosomething
Find me on Ms Polka Dot's Directory | www.studiosomething.com

It occurred to me recently that one of the best things about being an adult is learning that sometimes it’s way better to pay someone to do something for you than try to do it yourself. Like haircuts, dentistry, and late night transport from the bar to my bed, some things are better handled by someone else. (This also applies to your wedding, but let’s talk about me for a while first).

When I was young(er) and foolish(er) I thought that hiring a cleaner was some horrible bourgeois crime against Australian egalitarianism. And then I realised: there’s nothing horrible about paying a professional a decent amount of cash to do something that they’re much more efficient and skilled at than me. I hate vacuuming under the bed. Our cleaner runs a profitable business vacuuming under beds. Win/win!

Me: young and idealistic; fond of baby goats

Once I came to this life-changing realisation I started wondering about all the other jobs in the world I could pay people to do for me. I wasted what felt like decades of my life building our last website. BOOM! OUTSOURCED! Talented web designer builds site way fancier than I could ever have managed. Home renovations? BOOM! OUTSOURCED! No more three year old tape still stuck on the wall from when I did my own painting! Moving house? BOOM! OUTSOURCED! My long suffering Dad and brother are now at leisure to sip tea/do crosswords/teach my cats new circus tricks while muscular professionals happily schlepp my goods between residences.

This is my brother’s cat. She has her own instagram account. These two are seriously hilarious – she sits on his shoulder and he lets her sip his tea from a tea spoon – the other day he posted a photo of a pasta lunch he’d made her on instagram. Need I say more?

Now, why have I spent so long talking about tradies on a wedding blog? Well, because your wedding is much like any other project. It can ruin your life (and close relationships with key players) if you let it, or it can be a beautiful exercise in self expression and joy (just like the joy you experience knowing there’s no dust under your bed – see how perfect this metaphor is?).

While the above may make me sound like a talentless hack/giant slob, like you I’m actually a really picky person with really high standards. I was always wary of letting anyone else do anything for me, thinking that no one could possibly both understand my complex and unique needs AND deliver outcomes in line with my high expectations. Turns out, communicating my needs to someone who knows what they’re doing delivers far better results than labouring solo (does that sound rude? It wasn’t meant to. Ahem).

Not only did these people (shockingly!) do a better job than I could ever do, but – perhaps counter-intuitively – they actually saved me money. Without even costing in my time, professionals already own all the best versions of the necessary equipment (why spend every weekend eating kilos of jam/pickles so you’ll have retro chic mason jars in which to put your posies when your stylist or florist can do the pickle eating for you?); can get access to materials at wholesale rates, and only ever buy the amounts of things actually required.

Stop thinking about pickles. This is a FAMILY website

So what’s my case for hiring a photographer (or any wedding professional for that matter) instead of taking the DIY approach? Easy.

1. We know what we’re doing, so you know you can rely on the quality standard (even if your uncle is an awesome photographer, I doubt he’s shot as many weddings as a pro – and if he IS a pro, it seems mean to make him work when all the other uncles are drinking champagne and busting out awesome dance moves). We also spend at least as long working on your images as we do shooting them (surely you don’t hate your uncle THAT much?).

2. Even if you can’t properly articulate your ideas (“We like.. you know, sunny and airy feeling photos, but… not too boho?”) we actually know what you’re talking about and can make sure we get what you’re after.

45% sunny, 45% airy, 10% boho

3. We have super fancy equipment. Stupidly expensively large amounts of fancy equipment. And props if you need them – that you won’t have to buy/find a place for in the cupboard when you get home (plus, will your uncle have a Marilyn wig and a toy monkey in his bag? Actually, don’t answer that).

You can tell your guests they don’t need to bring their own Australian native stuffed animals

4. We’re working while your guests are partying, which means we won’t get distracted or just take photos of whatever is currently close to the desert buffet or the guests whose names we already know.

Here’s a dessert table we prepared earlier. Actually, it’s a dessert table Kashaya & Co prepared earlier, and that we photographed and ate earlier

So in conclusion, my message is thus: save your time, money, sanity, and dignity, and let us (metaphorically) vacuum under your wedding for you.

Time not spent vacuuming frees up time for activities such as balloon carrying and bird watching

Images from Studio Something

Ms Gingham says: Two things…. I am now following a cat on instagram AND I am wiping away tears of laughter from reading this post. Point very well (and entertainingly) made Ellen! Find out more about Ellen’s photography here.

Ellen from Studio Something says: I love weddings. I love Dad speeches, cakes with too much icing, puffy dresses, nervous grooms, tipsy bridesmaids, teary grandpas, and the giddy anticipation of couples in love. I also love my camera, and think I have the best job in the world.

Check out Ellen’s other posts here.

  • Ms Stripey says:
    July 26, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    Love this post – ironic, funny, sensible all rolled into one – can’t get any better than this for a late afternoon read!

  • Soda Films says:
    July 27, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    Fantasic Ellen! Can’t agree more:) We have filmed a wedding alongside a friend-of-bride-quasi-wildlife photographer…was not good!!

    • Ellen says:
      July 27, 2012 at 2:24 pm

      Haha! I have a lot of sympathy for guests with big cameras (having been a guest with a big camera myself…) and I know how easy it is to get carried away with excitement! BUT – the pros have been chosen by the couple because they like their style, and because they trust them to get the right shots.

      I need to remember this when I’m a guest: it’s a chance to relax and enjoy the event and let someone else do all the hard work!

  • Friday Roundup | Polka Dot Bride says:
    February 13, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    […]  Outsourcing Like A Boss – Why DIY? Photo by Studio Something […]



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