Photos and Video

Advice on getting over 'eh' photos

Our wedding was a little over a week ago, and we are just getting to see our online photo gallery. Despite so much drama etc. the day itself went off mostly without a hitch, the weather was beautiful, everything was perfect. I'm just not 100% thrilled with our photos. We were never going to get the photojournalistic photos that you see everywhere now because we couldn't afford any of those photographers in our area, and I knew that. We met with the photographer we chose and while not my favorite we liked his pictures, the quality was good and the price was in budget. We cut out engagement pics to save money which I guess might have been a mistake....

The pics are very hit or miss. In particular, even though we looked at indoor photos when we booked him and they were fine, the indoor pics are not fantastic (and our wedding was indoors in a church). 
The quality just doesn't look terribly professional (and I know indoors is difficult, but I've seen photos of both indoor venues that handled that lighting just fine).  He either wasn't allowed or chose not to get very close and doesn't seem to have tried to zoom very much, and at one point in the ceremony evidently got bored and just started photographing details of the chapel rather than people. At the reception, he spent a lot of time photographing FI's cousins who were getting a little wild on the dance floor (DJ didn't exactly follow our wishes either but that's another story...), but didn't get pictures of the tables with our guests (I'm also bummed that he didn't really get pictures of the decor or anything at the reception because we worked really hard on it and didn't get to see how any of it looked set-up because we were being pulled in so many directions). 

I guess the TL;DR is, the pictures are OK, but not what I'd really wanted. There's nothing I can do about it now and I think probably in the pre-wedding chaos I failed to direct the photographer enough, and I know we couldn't have afforded the kind of photography I see on Facebook all the time, so it's not really anyone's 'fault' but mine....I'm just hoping for some suggestions from other ladies who found themselves in this situation? How did you move past it? Or is it something you just find yourself not caring about as much once a few months pass? 
chloe97

Re: Advice on getting over 'eh' photos

  • CharmedPamCharmedPam Chicagoburbs
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    I think this is every bride's fear. I know it's mine (I could not spend $3,000+ on photo's myself).  Your'e right.  What's done is done.  Now you have to find things that you do appreciate about them. Anything outdoors that catch your eyes if you're not keen on the indoor ones?  Hope you can find some gems in there.  I can't wait to see them!

  • lembasloverlembaslover
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Third Anniversary First Answer
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    edited August 2015
    I'm sorry your photos didn't come out how you wanted. That really is a big fear I have and I'm sure a lot of brides have. I guess one way to look at it is you didn't pay a ton of money and still get bad pictures. That happens too and it would be even worse to have spent $3k+ and not get the shots you want. 

    You said they are hit or miss so focus on the hits. I'm sure there has to be a couple of good frame worthy shots. Also did you let your guests take pictures? If so check with them and see if they got any great shots. You said he missed the table shots and decorations well that's totally something a guest would take a picture of. 

    EDIT: Spelling & grammar aren't my strong point...
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  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!)
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
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    You said the photos were hit or miss.  Pick a bunch of the hits and put them in an album.  Pick a couple of your favorite hits and frame them.  Done.  Nobody is going to look at most of the photos again.  I got almost a thousand photos from our wedding - only 60 or so are in an album and my 2 favorites framed.  I don't think I've ever gone back and looked at the others since getting married a couple of years ago.  And be thankful you had hits - it could've been alot worse!

    And for future brides - take note.  If you want photos of specific things, make sure you talk to your photographer.  You don't want to micromanage the day, but if a certain shot is important to you and you're going to be sad not to get, you need to communicate that early.
  • I'm sorry your photos didn't come out how you wanted. That really is a big fear I have and I'm sure a lot of brides have. I guess one way to look at it is you didn't pay a ton of money and still get bad pictures. That happens too and it would be even worse to have spent $3k+ and not get the shots you want. 

    You said they are hit or miss so focus on the hits. I'm sure there has to be a couple of good frame worthy shots. Also did you let your guests take pictures? If so check with them and see if they got any great shots. You said he missed the table shots and decorations well that's totally something a guest would take a picture of. 

    That is such a good point -- thank you for that! I've been kicking myself for not ponying up the $3K (not remotely in our budget), so it helps to have a reason to, yknow, not do that. We definitely allowed our guests to take pictures. One guest did get some amazing ceremony shots -- I guess I was just hoping for more in that vein from the official photographer! So far our guests don't seem to have gotten table shots either. It's possible FI's relatives did. Most people did not take many pictures except selfies once they got to the reception. 

    JoanE2012 said:
    You said the photos were hit or miss.  Pick a bunch of the hits and put them in an album.  Pick a couple of your favorite hits and frame them.  Done.  Nobody is going to look at most of the photos again.  I got almost a thousand photos from our wedding - only 60 or so are in an album and my 2 favorites framed.  I don't think I've ever gone back and looked at the others since getting married a couple of years ago.  And be thankful you had hits - it could've been alot worse!

    And for future brides - take note.  If you want photos of specific things, make sure you talk to your photographer.  You don't want to micromanage the day, but if a certain shot is important to you and you're going to be sad not to get, you need to communicate that early.
    This is also a good point. I think looking through the thousands of photos it was easy to forget that I won't have occasion to look at most of them.

    I will second for future brides that being more specific is a good idea (even about things like table shots which I didn't think to mention because I assumed they were standard...evidently not). Make sure you highlight VIPs in advance. FI dragged his feet on a photo list, so our pre-wedding list was somewhat sparse, and I assumed I'd just make sure to get those pictures in the moment, but things were so crazy that I really didn't have the presence of mind to do that. FMIL did a great job of nudging the photographer to get some of the really important pictures, but if you don't have someone like that you could miss even more than we did. 

    On the plus side, having received our proof CD, I will say that some of the pics look significantly better full screen on my computer than in preview on the website. Still not masterpieces, but not a disaster either (and on closer inspection some of what I thought was bad picture quality had more to do with me stupidly letting my makeup artist make my eyes too dark "for the pictures" and my makeup then smearing...don't do this!)

    Thanks for the advice, ladies! Some perspective here was helpful. 
    CharmedPam
  • CharmedPamCharmedPam Chicagoburbs
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
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    This advice is good.  I have already started a list of what I want/don't want and it's a work in progress.  I'll hand it over to my photographer closer to the wedding.

    One of the most frustrating things at my brother's wedding was the photographer had no idea who was in each family!  My sister walked off (she had no idea pictures were being taken - another thing NO ORGANIZATION. No flower girl pictures either since no one told my sister to have her there for them!) and the photographer started to take snapshots of us without her.  My brother then said "um...I have another sister".  It was to late to get nice outdoor ones, and the one we have of all of us is near the DJ, in the worst lighting ever.  I'm going to make SURE they have a list of immediate family members.  

  • We recently got our photos back as well and while I love many of them there were also some definite misses.  Our photographer didn't do any table shots either which was a bummer.  I think the lesson to learn is to enjoy the hits you did have and for future brides and grooms to be specific with particular shots that you want captured.
  • I came here to ask the same thing - I'm so glad you already did and I was able to read some advice right away!

    We were married May 30th and got our pictures about 2 months later. The quality and quantity were definitely lacking and it was incredibly upsetting. I know I can't completely fault the photographer, because we were rained out and had to cram everything inside.

    When we went over the 'shot list' I didn't have a lot of requests. I wanted family shots, table shots, and the ONE photo I requested was my groom at the alter when I came down the aisle. The table shots were the only ones that turned out how I imagined. The family shots had a giant reflection of a ceiling fan/lights in the window for every picture, and several were out of focus. The groom shot I requested had the focus on the officiant and not the groom. gah!

    The rest were very hit or miss, and had the same feel of not being professional that you described. She's very new at wedding photography and I regret not spending more, because the pictures were the one thing I really wanted to turn out.

    Sorry, I didn't mean to hijack your post with my rant!

    For my TL;DR - I would say it does get better with time. I've only had mine for a few weeks and was really disappointed. After I ordered the few that I was happy with, I haven't really gone back to look at the rest so it's sort of 'out of sight, out of mind.' The one thing that DOES bother me is when I go on Pinterest or Facebook and see someone else post their gorgeous wedding photos. But I'm sure that will pass, too. :) Just know you aren't alone by any means!

  • For my TL;DR - I would say it does get better with time. I've only had mine for a few weeks and was really disappointed. After I ordered the few that I was happy with, I haven't really gone back to look at the rest so it's sort of 'out of sight, out of mind.' The one thing that DOES bother me is when I go on Pinterest or Facebook and see someone else post their gorgeous wedding photos. But I'm sure that will pass, too. :) Just know you aren't alone by any means!

    Thank you so much for sharing this, really. It helps to know that I'm not the only one that had this issue and it makes me feel less awful about whatever mistakes I might have made in doing the cheaper photography. 

    Also, the bolded is the worst, so also glad I'm not alone there!! I actually posted this in a fit of tears immediately after seeing a friend's recent wedding photos on Facebook which WERE gorgeous and everything I wanted! Somehow it's harder from someone I know because I know more about their circumstances and it's harder to write it off as "that person probably had a $50K budget" or "those pictures are from ads and definitely touched-up." 

    But I'm glad to hear it gets better with time :-) 
  • Do you have a link to your online photo gallery?

  • UGH! I came to this post because I am going through the same thing. I just got our photos back (I had complained about our engagement pics not being great) and I am equally not impressed. 

    My biggest issue is that she took 5 pictures of my family (siblings, sister-n-laws, parents, niece and nephews) and NONE of them are remotely frameable. There is one where everyone's eyes are actually open, but my brother has this RIDICULOUS look on his face. I can't get this day back. My friend who is a professional graphic designer has offered to photoshop what she can, so if have any talented friends, you may want to see if someone can help you out. 

    I am kicking myself for choosing a photographer who was cheapest. Like many couples, our wedding budget doubled from what we originally thought it would be. We chose a cheap photographer bc that is what our budget planner told us we could afford. H originally refused to take any $$$ from his parents, but eventually gave in. I wish wish wish I would have gotten him nailed down on taking money from his parents who had originally offered us an unlimited budget ahead of time and paid for a higher tier photographer. Lurkers take note! 
  • kimmiinthemittenkimmiinthemitten Detroit, MI
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    member
    We're researching photographers right now and the ones we're happiest with are over $2,750 but there are some good ones around $2,225.  Thanks for sharing your stories, I read them to FI tonight and that convinced him the extra money was worth it!

    I'm sorry your experience was poor but am glad you lived to tell about it and warn future brides!  Have you asked your photographer if they offer editing services and if not, perhaps find someone else you can send your digitals to!  

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