Photography advice

Hi all, 

Was hoping that you might be able to help me out.  ( I also posted this on the photography board - but wouldn't mind some local opinions as well...) We are getting married next year and  FI is big into photography as a hobby. Because of this, he has a couple of friends that are into photography as well. Both shoot well and have had some amazing shots (of objects, friends and family etc...). And they have all the professional equipment and lenses as well. FI wants to hire his friends as a way to save and lower costs, but his friends, as talented as they are, have ZERO wedding experience. I'm concerned because we are having a traditional church ceremony and because they lack the wedding experience, I'm not sure how they will handle church protocol and not being distracting during the ceremony as well as just not having the experience for getting the most important shots. 

We met with professionals this past weekend, we both liked the photographers and they were aligned with what I was expecting professionals to cost for the time and type of pictures we want.

I guess what I'm asking is are any of you/have any of you trusted (trusting) friends to take your wedding photos and am I being unreasonable by pushing using professionals?

Follow Me on Pinterest

Re: Photography advice

  • edited March 2012
    I was in a similar situation with videography. My FI went to film school so all of his friends are talented, artsy aspiring film makers. At first it seemed like a no brainer to go with someone we knew, but it actually backfired a bit. We hired a friend at first - and it turned out to be a bad idea for 2 reasons.

    1. it became awkward when the rest of our friends were going to be guests at the wedding but we expected him to work. It put us in this weird position where we didnt know how to treat him - like a professional or like a guest. I dont know if that makes sense at all...but its kind of in line with your whole concern about them being distracted during the ceremony or reception. we felt like our friend was going to want to have fun with the rest of our guests, and that would take away from our final product. and we felt weird asking anything other than that from him, since hes a friend and he should be able to have fun and party, you know?

    2. the real issue was that he wasnt treating it like a REAL job. it was handled very casually and anytime we wanted to meet to discuss it he flaked out or just wouldnt really have a full blown discussion like a professional would. he prioritized outside jobs over ours, even though we would be paying him.

    so we ended up very nicely firing him. it didnt hurt the friendship or anything, but its made me feel MUCH more confident in the final product we'll get. 
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • If you didn't hire these friends, would you invite them as guests? If the answer is yes, I would say don't hire them. You want them to come and enjoy the night, not be working. Nevermind the fact that you'd have no pictures to prove they even came! 

    Photography was the most important vendor for me, so I personally would *not* risk hiring someone with no wedding experience. However, many other brides across the country have, and they have had good results. If you really want to, perhaps you could ask your friends to do some research on wedding photography, or visit the church and take pictures so they can find good shots ahead of time?

    The really hard part, I think, is looking into a huge crowd of people and finding the best shots. If you don't have experience with that, I'd think it would be overwhelming. Or when you're taking the group shots, will they be able to handle Grandma Sue, Aunt Sally and Uncle Joe all talking to them at the same time?

    If you do end up asking them to be vendors, write up a contract, even if they are friends.  
  • They were originally not going to be invited, as they are not super close friends, however when FI talked to them, they asked if they would get a meal and he told them if they were our photographers, we'd invite them and guests because they will all know some others at the wedding.  I'm def also concerned about them partying over taking pictures, even though FI swears up and down that it wouldn't happen. 

    My mom might have just solved the problem. I called her to vent and she just offered to pitch in for the photography if he gives up the idea of using his friends. I'm hopeful that will help change his mind...

    Follow Me on Pinterest

  • I hired a pretty well known local "professional" photographer and still didn't get what I was expecting/promised.  I would be very leary about using anyone who is not a professional.  Check references and pay attention to your gut.
    We welcomed our girls on 11.7.12 @ 40w0d!
    Emerson Lily 6 lbs 13 oz & Ellis Willow 6 lbs 9 oz
  • If they have no wedding experience I'm not sure I would hire them, especially if you are concerned with their level of professionalism.  If you are not having a videographer I would really think long and hard about this because it could possibly be the only way of remembering the most important day of your life (since I heard it flies by so fast). 

    One suggestion, I know many photographers write this into their contract, is to have them come and let them take pictures to help them build their wedding portfolio, but make it known that they are in no way to interfere with the paid professional.  My cousin got married almost 4 years ago and our aunt's sister was trying to build her photography business and didn't have wedding pictures so she asked to come and take pictures.  Since my cousin was paying for her rights from the photographer anyway, I don't think he minded that there was an extra photographer and "part of the family" taking what looked to be professional photographs.  If rights weren't included in the professional's price then he might have had a problem thinking you would get pictures from the friend instead.
  • I am with Jodi.  I am sure you can find good photographers out there without spending a lot of money.
  • I say hire a professional. You mentioned you met with one that seems to be within your budget--go with it!
    Hiring a friend seems like a tricky situation, especially because they don't have any actual wedding experience... seems safer all around to go with a pro :)
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • I agree with the PP's, I would go with a professional.  To many risks with hiring a friend who isn't a professional and these are pictures you will have for the rest of your life.
  • I agree with PP.  One of my Mom's work friends wanted to do our wedding photography, but had only done one wedding prior (though he had great shots of animals/inanimate objects). It would have saved us A LOT of money, but we decided it wasn't worth the risk.  I didn't know this photographer personally, but with a friend I think it's even riskier-  I wouldn't want to be upset at a friend if the photos didn't come out the way I'd expected.
    Follow me on pinterest (I do not know how to make that nice red button thing): Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • Thanks for the advice ladies.. It helps to know I'm not being unreasonable by insisting on a professional. Utimately, using his friends isn't even going to save us all that much money in the long run and peace of mind is worth far more to me than the extra money we'd be spending. 

    Follow Me on Pinterest

  • Marisa and redjellybean can you message me your photographer too? I'm looking to spend under 1k.
  • acrowley, happy to message you the photographers we are thinking about using, but their packages start at 2k for 5 hours of coverage. Let me know if you are still interested.

    Follow Me on Pinterest

This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards