I often hear, "You should only pick your wedding photographer if they use a particular brand of camera/lens." (Usually Nikon or Canon.)
In March 2014, I was introduced to the Micro four thirds mirrorless system, in the form of an Olympus OM-D-EM1 which at the time, according to Olympus was designed to outperform the DSLR camera (Digtal Single Lens Reflex camera.)
The Micro four thirds system was developed jointly with Olympus and Panasonic and are the only two companies that make the system. The advantage is all their lenses are compatible across the two brands.
This system is smaller and lighter than the Canon kit I was using at the time but with equally good image quality especially when using Olympus' Pro Series lenses and the likes of lenses from Panasonic and Sigma's Contemporary or Art Series lenses.
I dipped my toe into the micro four thirds system but kept my Canon kit at the same time. However, in November 2016, I finally took the plunge and now exclusively use that system.
For my professional work, I use the following kit:
Two Olympus OM-D-EM1 MKII's and an Olympus OM-D- EM1 MKI with any of the following prime lenses attached:
Sigma 16mm, 30mm and 56mm Contemporary series lenses- 35mm equivalent of 32mm, 60mm and 112mm respectively, all with their own unique use. The 16mm for those wide shots, the 30mm for candid shots and the 56mm for tight head and shoulder shots and the speeches. All three are capable of throwing the background out of focus and making the main subject stand out.
Prime lenses are known to be sharper than their zoom counterparts but I can still zoom, just with my feet! All three have a wide aperture, perfect when using them in low light:
As a backup to the above, I have a Panasonic GH3 camera and a Panasonic Leica 100-400mm lens with a 35mm equivalent of 200-800mm. I could literally stand across the road in the car park with this lens attached to my GH3 and still get a shot of you signing the register!
I also have a Panasonic G70 camera and a Panasonic 14-140mm lens with a 35mm equivalent of 28-280mm so fairly wide to close zoom. I normally use this for my personal stuff but if I absolutely had to, I could shoot an entire wedding with just this one camera and lens as it also produces high quality images.
The three Olympus camera bodies are dust, splash and freeze proof down to -10. The Panasonic GH3, Panasonic Leica 100-400mm lens, Sigma 16mm and 56mm are all weather sealed. Leica lenses are synonymous with superb quality and very sharp images. Having said that, all the lenses I use are capable of producing high quality images, which at the end of the day is what you're paying for.
So if you're having a winter wedding, you can be safe in the knowledge that my cameras/lenses will keep going when your friend or friend of a friend with the entry level/cheap camera/lens will be running for cover.
The two EM1 MKII cameras have two memory card slots and I always save to both cards and I also have numerous high capacity memory cards, batteries and two flashguns, although I tend to prefer natural light as flash can spoil the ambient light and the ambience. However, I will use the flashguns during the evening reception and usually off camera using a remote trigger to give more pleasing light than on camera flash.
As you can see, every eventuality is covered with my extensive camera kit and this is something to consider when hiring an amateur photographer to shoot the most important day of your life. Will they have this amount of backup? You only get one chance to photograph a wedding so why leave it to chance by hiring an amateur?
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur." Quote by Red Adair who was a very famous Oil Well Firefighter.
If my images have a "blurry background" this is done entirely for artistic reasons such as the image of the bride and flower shot and the groom in the mirror. This is one of the benefits of having a lens with a fast aperture.
The same goes if I cut heads off, this is done on purpose to emphasise a particular detail such as the bouquet shot below.
I offer the services of a second photographer as an extra backup and to cover your wedding from different perspectives, something your friend or friend of a friend wouldn't even consider.