As you start researching vendors, you might encounter a bit of sticker shock and ask yourself, even just for a moment, “Do I really need a wedding photographer?” The answer is an HELLZ YEAH! We could go on and on for days about why an experienced, professional wedding photographer (not your cousin who just got a cool camera) is a must—and it’s not just about taking photos. In fact, a photographer has an even bigger role to play on your big day, and some of the tasks a wedding photographer is responsible for might surprise you.

Here’s why you need a wedding photographer—aside from the fact that they’ll take pictures of your big day.

They’ll make sure you look amazing in photos.

You and your future spouse will certainly look (and feel!) your best on your wedding day—and your wedding photographer will ensure that all of that amazingness translates into photos. Yes, you need a wedding photographer because they know every trick in the book, from lighting to poses and more, to ensure that you truly slay those photos. Trust a professional photographer’s expertise, and you’ll be rewarded with photos that make you look like a supermodel.

They’ll make sure your wedding looks amazing in photos.

Wedding photographers don’t just photograph people, they photograph all the details of your big day, from the invitations to the flower arrangements, the place cards, favors, centerpieces, to the cake, the venue, the food, and more. Again, using appropriate lighting and angles, an experienced photographer will make sure that every aspect of your wedding looks straight out of a magazine.

They’ll make everyone comfortable.

If you’re feeling nervous or awkward in front of the camera, it will likely show in photos. That’s why you need a wedding photographer with a winning personality—they’re absolute pros at making people feel relaxed and confident in front of the camera. In fact, you might have so much fun with your professional photographer that you’ll forget they’re even taking pictures! This goes for any of your loved ones, too, whether it be your self-conscious mom, your rambunctious flower girl, your over-it groomsman. A great photographer can really bring out those natural smiles.

They can make themselves scarce.   

One of the best compliments a wedding photographer can receive from a couple is “we barely knew you were there!” Yes, experienced photographers are absolute pros at being unobtrusive, meaning there won’t be flashes in your face while you’re trying to say your vows. Wedding photographers have a variety of lenses at their disposal, so they’re able to capture incredible shots from most distances.

They’re the timeline enforcers.

An organized photographer will ensure that your wedding runs on schedule. Your photographer will work with your wedding planner, or whomever is creating your day-of timeline, to determine how long couple portraits, family photos, and the like will take. Then, on your wedding day, your photographer will keep everything (and everyone!) moving so that he or she gets all the photos you’ve requested in a timely manner.

They’ll catch the moments you’ll miss.

Having all of your loved ones in one place on your wedding day means that there will be lots of memorable moments—including some you might miss (you’re going to be pretty busy!). You need a wedding photographer to catch all of these moments and memories—from the major (your first kiss as a married couple) to the minor, but still fun to look back on (your great-aunt grooving on the dance floor).

They can conceal any flaws.

A big part of a photographer’s job actually comes after the wedding itself. During post-production, a photographer will subtly edit your images so that they still look natural, but just, well, better. For example, there’s a gorgeous photo of you—except you have a tiny smudge of lipstick on your cheek from your Aunt Betty’s smooch. An experienced photographer can easily remove the mark so the image is frame-worthy. You might not even notice the changes made during the editing process, but it’s part of the reason why images from a professional wedding photographer are that much more amazing than ones you’d take yourself.

They’ll help you create an album.

With an experienced photographer at the helm, your wedding photos are going to be frame-worthy. But we’ve heard too many stories of couples whose wedding photos live on a computer instead of displayed in their homes—not an ideal way to keep memories of your wedding alive. The prints you order from your photographer will be of the highest quality, and he or she can likely help you create an album that will be among your most precious keepsakes.