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Offering to pay for my photographer's (longtime friend) wedding travel expenses in exchange?

My longtime neighbor and friend since we were toddlers is a photographer and has been begging to do my wedding photography for years. She has never mentioned whether or not she would charge me for services or not or discount them..never really discussed that but because I am having a destination wedding in the Dominican Republic I was planning on asking her to do my photos with the exchange of me covering her travel and room costs. Is this reasonable? Or do I ask her to be my photographer and wait to see what she says about pricing? Obviously she is a friend so she is a guest regardless. I just don't want to look cheap and I also want to respect her as a professional! 

Re: Offering to pay for my photographer's (longtime friend) wedding travel expenses in exchange?

  • I think the OP meant to post this on another board.  @MairePoppy
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  • photokittyphotokitty where I want to be mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its

    My longtime neighbor and friend since we were toddlers is a photographer and has been begging to do my wedding photography for years. She has never mentioned whether or not she would charge me for services or not or discount them..never really discussed that but because I am having a destination wedding in the Dominican Republic I was planning on asking her to do my photos with the exchange of me covering her travel and room costs. Is this reasonable? Or do I ask her to be my photographer and wait to see what she says about pricing? Obviously she is a friend so she is a guest regardless. I just don't want to look cheap and I also want to respect her as a professional! 

    I strongly recommend against hiring a friend to be your wedding photographer. If anything goes wrong it can ruin your friendship - we have several brides who can attest to that fact.

    If you hire her, you need to offer to pay her full price and expect to pay for travel and accommodations. She might decline the payment or offer a reduced rate, but any photog who travels to shot a DW is compensated for their travel and accommodations - that's just the business standard. SO no, what you re suggesting is not reasonable.

    She might not want to work at your wedding. I would invite her to be a guest and not a vendor. You pictures could suffer as she would natural want to eat, drink and socialize with other guests.

    Asking a friend to be a vendor almost always makes you look cheap - bc you are expecting a discount. If you were any other bride, you would be paying for fee, travel and accommodations - you are asking her to work for free instead of enjoying your wedding.
    :kiss: ~xoxo~ :kiss:

  • I agree with PPs, when I hear of another bride that asked a friend to work for their wedding all I can think about is how they did it to save a few bucks and that poor friend doesn't get to actually enjoy their friends wedding because they are working the whole time. 

    Either treat the friend as a vendor, meaning pay them their fee and cover transportation (since this is what typically happens) and not as a friend or let this person be you friend during your wedding. I highlly suggest the second option.  
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  • I definitely vote no to asking your friend.  I had a friend ask me to shoot her wedding once, and she was extremely offended when I handed her a copy of my "Family and Friends" pricelist.  So on that note, using a friend for your photographer doesn't always create warm fuzzy feelings between the two of you.
  • edited July 2015
    Right, so I think the main point is that she is BEGGING to shoot my wedding, I am not asking her to and I have not. I would pay whatever her asking price is plus travel. But I do see your points that it could be damaging to the friendship if I don't like her photography or she takes too long to send out prints (whatever the issue may be). Thanks for the suggestions...its looks like I will have to create a new thread now asking about opinions on destination wedding resort photographers! ahh it never ends!! :)
  • If you have looked through her work, and you trust her skills, and she would otherwise not be invited to the wedding, then I say go for it.  I'm having a friend/previous co-worker do my photos but he's a photo editor and photographer on the side for a large photo agency- so I trust his work. Plus he has done two of my friend's weddings. I'm paying for his travel/hotel and paying him (a little less than what he normally charges) on top of that.  

    If she is a close enough friend that she would be invited to the wedding, then invite her as a guest.  If she wants to take photos for fun, she can- but she shouldn't be interfering with the photographer you go with or setting up formal shots.  But I wouldn't ask her to take photos, and I wouldn't bug her to post images or provide hi-res images unless she offers.
  • First, have you seen any of her work? Is this someone you would consider hiring to take your wedding photos if your wedding was local and you didn't know her. Bascially don't have her do your weddings just because she is a friend who is a photographer and wants to do it for you.

     

    That being said, offering to pay for her travel & hotel is a must. If she is there as your photographer, she is a vendor, and typically if a vendor has to travel a far distance to work, the couple will assume their travel & overnight expenses. Now when you talk rate, if she says no, I'll take & edit the photos as my gift to you, then that part is on her.  

  • Thanks for your input! I played it safe and hired a local Dominican Republic Photographer. My friend is invited to my wedding as a guest and only a guest!
    photokitty
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