Something that will remain nameless has prompted me to share my knowledge with anyone that wants to hear it.
"Photographers" come in so many forms.
There are snapshooters, who have point-and-shoot cameras and do not intentionally compose their captured images. Even if they think they compose their photos, if they do not understand the elements of design, which encompasses composition, they may not even be doing a very good job. A poorly composed photo can be spotted a mile away.
Then there are amateur photographers, or otherwise known as, hobbyists. They own a dSLR camera, but still shoot snapshots. It is very similar, in my humble opinion, to a snapshooter. The only difference is that they had the money or found value in purchasing a higher end camera. Hobbyists typically assume that shooting in automatic with a high end camera will automatically produce high end images. This assumption is false.
Lastly, there are photographers. They can be seasoned pros or skilled craftsmen with room to improve. Really, anyone can improve, regardless of skill level, but I think you can see where I'm going with this. It doesn't matter how much room there is to improve. This group of photographers fit in this category.
Now, think about it. There are a lot of things that separate these three categories. First, there is craftsmanship. A quality photographer must master his craft. The art of photography is a craft and so is the art of post-production. Post-production is editing photos either to enhance them or artistically editing them to create an emotion or a theme. The two are both crafts that need to be mastered. I once had a teacher that would slam into our brains every day, "No horizontal scaling! No horizontal scaling!" That is when you change the aspect ratio of an image, which will result in a short fat person. It distorts the true aspect ratio of an image. In short, it's a sure fire way to set the siren off letting everyone know you are an amateur.
Second, there is equipment. Photographers invest thousands and thousands of dollars on equipment/tools to further the potential of their craft. Most of the time, their equipment is made of metal parts, not plastic. Equipment can be anything ranging from cameras, lights, stands, tripods, printers, computers, software, etc. That makes a significant difference in their investments. Just Photoshop alone costs $700, and that's just a program!
Lastly, there is their rate. Real photographers charge higher rates. There are many reasons for this. First, it is poor etiquette to undercut. Photographers love what they do and they do it with all their heart. They invest everything they have to provide a consistent, quality product. Their rate involves re-contributing back to their investments (equipment), rental space, the going rate that the state photography association states(to make the the photography field something that can feed their children with), and their educations involved in getting them the knowledge they use to hone in on their craft. Picking a photographer based solely on their rate is a poor decision. Not only will you be getting a product you could probably get for free from a friend that has a point-and-shoot camera, but you are condoning undercutting. How would you like it if someone took your job by offering to do it for a rate that would put you out of business...or even out on the streets?
Concluding this short summary on why it matters which photographer you hire, it matters because some things only happen once. You don't want to look back at your important day, which you invested in so much financially, emotionally, and physically and think to yourself,"This day was waaaay better than it looks in these photos." If anything, you'd like to remember the day better than it was! You are paying someone to document important moments in your life. The job can be done wrong/poorly. That is the exact reason why it matters which photographer you hire. You want the job done, and you want it done right.
Thank you for reading. I know it was kinda long, but if you got to this point you must have enjoyed something you read. If not, maybe you're like my cousin Judith. She never "abandons" anything she reads. Either way, I'm grateful for your time.