Wedding Photography and Videography Forum

Family Member as Photographer?

Hello Ladies. I am having quite an issue. My fiance and I are trying to plan a wedding on a small budget. His uncle is a professional photographer, but I am not sure if I am willing to risk the photos of our special day being taken by a family member. I have no idea what to do. Advice please? :)

Re: Family Member as Photographer?

  • drphotodrphoto member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011

    First, do you LOVE his work so much so that if he weren't a relative that you would select him as your photographer?  Does he do weddings regularly? At his normal rates is he within your budget?  If the answer to all of these questions is yes, then, HIRE him as your photographer.  Otherwise, invite him as a guest.  My inclination is that mixing family and business on such a high pressure day is not wise.  What if the photos are not to your liking? What if he just takes too long getting proofs/designs/albums/prints?  Are you going to hesitate to sue a hired tog vs. a family member? 

    All the best,
    Corey Schwartz

  • ceeceed80ceeceed80 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Do you like his photography? Does it fit your style? Do you like the Uncle? Is the Uncle willing to sign a contract?

    If you answer yes to these 4 questions, then I don't see a problem using him, if he is indeed a "professional" photographer. If he is just a hobbyist, then I would look elsewhere and find someone else. Don't settle just because it's free. You only get married once! :)
  • edited December 2011
    If you would like to keep it into a budget , get a photographer only for the ceremony and the first hour of the reception , and let your uncle take the rest of the event. 
    There are a lot of photographers that will work with you for just a few hours. We had a few couples asking us for just 2,5 - 3 hours , and I guess that is one of the reasons why. 

    In our case the price is around 700 $ with an album , and the rights to all the images captured in that time frame. Our website is at , if you are interested.

    In this way you know you`ll have some great images just in case , your uncles are not so great.

    Hope it helps. 

  • Tikki 77Tikki 77 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Funny you should mention an "uncle" as a possible photographer, because us wedding photographers have a term we call "uncle Bob".    Now, I'm not knocking the uncle in your particular case, as you said he is a pro.  However, an "uncle Bob" is an uncle, or a brother, or family member who shoots a wedding for their relatives, usually free, or dirt cheap.  Usually, they are horrible, but not always.  Uncle Bobs often think they can shoot a wedding, and that it's just a matter of walking around with a camera snapping photos, like he does with his kid at home.  Not at all.   At least the uncle in this case is a professional. But what does he shoot? 

       If you were to give some more information on this uncle's photographic ability and experience, then we could much better give some real advice on this matter.

      Does the uncle have "fast" lenses, 2.8 or better? (these are for shooting in low light conditions, and for shooting with selective focus for a shallow depth of field, which blurs out background clutter)  Does he have a camera with high ISO ability, at least 3200.    Does he have a speedlight, such as the Canon 580ex ?  The aforementioned equipment is some basic things that I would never ever show up without to  a wedding.  
       If he doesn't have a high quality ETTL speedlight, and a fast lens, they can be rented at places like   (order online, then they send it to him, then he sends back in same box)

       If you are getting married outdoors during the day, and the reception will be the same, then a fast lens likely won't be needed. A consumer grade 3.5 lens will work. 

       The bottom line to all this, is just how important photos are to you.  Also, consider how important they may be to you in 20 years. You may care a LOT more about photo quality then, if you aren't too worried now. Of course, I understand that you are on a budget. There's only so much money available these days!  One has to do the best they can with what they have.  

      You may also want to try looking in Craigslist for a new, inexpensive photographer.  Sometimes, you will find a gem. 

     I hope this all helps some.  ; )
    Nashville Photographer.
  • amandalea2amandalea2 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011

    here's the thing i myself am working on becoming a professional photographer.. I would do any of my family members weddings for them. but iwould'nt have a family member do my photography (of course it does depend on the type of person)  especially not if it was ahobby  and not truly professional ( if reallly professional and really good with the right personality maybe) but here is what you have to consider if you hires someoene you don't know there sole purpose is to take pictures of your day-nothing else- so they will spend the entire time trying to capture that perfect moment and get that great portfolio shot, a family member may be tempted to socialize and such therefor maybe missing a potentiallly great shot.  just my opinion though.  good luck

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