Post # 1
Ok, Im going to lay it out like this. My fiance and I have the worlds smallest budget. We are lucky to be able to afford to get married in our church and have a reception in our parents backyard. With that said, I cannot afford a photographer or any of the frills that come with a girls “dream wedding” I do want picture and I have a previous co-worker who has professional equipment and a passion for photography. I have seen his stuff and it is absolutely beautiful! I have read dozens of articles saying not to let a friend who is a “photography hobbist” do your wedding pictures. But, at this point, I dont really have many options. He hasnt ever done any wedding photos but does do a lot of portraits for our college grads in town. Can you ladies take a look at his photos and let me know what you think. Am I doomed?
Thanks for your help!!
Post # 3
So, this photog clearly is really good at landscapes in both light and dark settings.
His street photography of people is pretty poor…which means that candid photojournalism style photos of you guys on your wedding day might also not be the greatest. He’s really good at taking slow staged shots, but not as good on the fly. He’s way better than most of the super budget photogs I see on the site, though. From looking at even more of his pics, it also looks like he doesn’t have pro-level macro lenses, which can be important for some detail shots. Find out what he shoots with. See if you are comfortable with that, or ask him to rent additional lenses. If your wedding is inside and your reception is at night, ask him what type of lighting he uses. If it’s just his on-camera flash, keep looking for a different photographer.
Post # 4
Gorgeous landscapes. But the few with people are meh. Landscapes and weddings are totally different to photograph and require different skill sets. I’d ask if he could do an engagement shoot so you can see what his portraits look like first.
Post # 5
@crayfish: Thank you for taking time to look at these for me. He has said that he plans on renting some extra equipment. He mentioned a lense that is for shooting from far away and is able to get really focused shots. One thing that is helping me feel more comfortable is that he has the type of personality where when he wants to do something he gets super into researching the subject. He has been emialing with me back and forth about research he has been doing on how to do wedding photography and asking me likes and dislikes of different wedding photographers styles. That is very good advice about the lighting question! Our wedding will be indoors in the afternoon and our reception will be outside at night. I will ask him about that! Thanks again! 🙂
Post # 6
@iheartsquishy: Thank you for taking time to look at these for me 🙂 I have seen some photos he has done of he various lady friends. He did a whole shoot for a friend of ours who is an aspiring actress and she wanted pics for a portfolio. Those came out beautiful. Unfortunately, I am in another state so we cannot meet up to do an engagement session. I know, my luck gets better and better haha! Oh well. Thanks again for the advice! 🙂
Post # 7
One of the primary factors why I take the time to comment in these boards is that I too had a low budget wedding, and I let an aspiring wedding photographer friend of mine take our photos. He had shot a couple of weddings previously, had what I thought was a reasonable amount of equipment, and most importantly he did it for free! Well it’s one of my life’s biggest regrets. Photography was always something that I thought I prioritized, but only when you don’t have something can you truly understand what you’re missing. If I could go back and change it I would have found a way to come up with the money for a decent photographer. In my opinion there is ALWAYS a way to make something you truly desire to happen. It’s a matter of what your priorities are. I don’t expect everyone to have the same passion about wedding photography as I do of course.
I went and looked over his Flickr site. I won’t lie to you and tell you that I think it’s great. When it comes to photography I find landscapes to be fairly easy to photograph, and his stuff to me seems over processed. The landscapes aren’t terrible, they are average amateur hobbyist level, and probably impressive to those who’ve never attempted to take photos like that before. His photos of people aren’t as good as his landscapes. Are you doomed? Doomed seems kind of harsh, but it really depends on what you are expecting out of it. If you keep your expectations very low you will probably be okay. That’s kind of hard with photos of your wedding day though. Weddings are tough work, they are not ideal learning environments. They move very quickly and the lighting conditions change rapidly. Even if you’re an accomplished portrait photographer I wouldn’t suggest walking into shooting a wedding for the first time without first second shooting with another established wedding photographer at least a few times.
The equipment side of it is only a small factor in the equation if you don’t have the experience or skill to use it. You can rent top of the line camera bodies, lenses, and flashes and still not come up with good results. Weddings are such a heavy responsibility that I’m always surprised when novices so readily volunteer to photograph them.
Anyways I’m not trying to be overly negative or discouraging to you. I truly hope it works out for you. The only suggestion I can think of to tell you is to keep your expectations low, or search for an alternative to relying on this photographers images for your wedding.
Post # 8
I have to agree with Continuum, completely. (As I usually do…BTW, we had bad wedding photography too.) He (your friend) is clearly located in Tempe AZ, where are you?
All you can do is what you can… If that is the photography you can afford, then go with it. Maybe you can ask on the bad “C” word (Craigslist) and see if you can find people trying to expand their portfolio. That way you can have 2 or 3 people, and get shots from all of them.
Post # 9
Pretty much everything already said.
Post # 10
- Wedding: July 2014 - Barn
He obviously “specializes” in landscape photography. Being a portrait/wedding photographer, I know how different equipment and process is between the two types. My camera body is specifically made for portraits, all my lenses are specifically for portraits – great…Now I’m also constantly having ideas in my head so I can continue to shoot and pose my subjects, I do a lot more work of setting the camera up to get the shoots I want exactly. Landscape you will need wider lenses, and a tripod. It’s honestly pretty easy to do. Get there first thing in the morning, set up tripod, put camera on, put it on the slowest setting (dont ask lolz), and snap snap snap. Of course his are extremely editted on the computer for that amount of vivid colours.
At first, I would of said “go for it” until I saw he did landscape. I can guarantee he will be missing ALOT of pictures because of the speed the wedding is going to go at. If you’re okay with that (really think about this one), then by all means do it. Yes, he knows how to do light, but anyone can do that with a tripod. Without one can be more difficult as you have more than one setting to worry about to get the light right.
I would suggest looking around on kijiji and etc if youre worried. OR if you really feel confident with him, ask if you can do an “engagement” shoot and you can judge by how he shoots and the pictures after if you want him for your wedding.
Post # 11
Thanks everyone, you all pointed out things that I hadnt really thought of. I know very little about photog and what goes into it so all the comments were very helpful. I think I will try to rebudget and see if there is anyone out there who has some experience that will be willing to work with me on price. Any suggestions for me on how to look for a photographer while in another state? I am in TX and Im getting married in AZ. Since I cannot meet with them in person, what should I ask or look for?
Thank you all again!
Post # 12
- Wedding: July 2014 - Barn
I came across this website:
just by googling “cheap arizona photography”. I’m not sure exactly how much you plan to put aside but those are some of the cheapest prices I’ve seen ever! (Those would be professionals so you wouldn’t have anything to worry about)
Another option would be to email professional photographers, explain your budget and ask if they know of any second shooters that could help out.
I just checked craiglist for you and they have lots! Even some free ones. So I highly suggest going through the list and emailing a bunch of them to see their portfolio.
Once you have narrowed it down to some that you like, start asking questions – I asked whether mines had done nontraditional wedding, outdoor wedding, candlelit wedding, etc (what I had planned on doing). See how they make you feel, and how quick they get back to you. Once you narrow that down to say 2, set up a time to “interview” them on the phone. You’ll just get a feeling for who you like. It’ll be the person who you feel geninuely cares about doing a good job for you and is interested in your wedding.
Post # 13
- Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry
You may be able to find a student at an art college, craigslist, etc. who can work with a limited budget. I found my wedding photographer via another Bee who was married at my venue- so check the local section of WB, and weddingwire.
If there’s a wedding expo in the area where you’ll be married, ask someone (I assume family is in AZ?) to attend- there are always a boat load of photographers at those shows.
Post # 14
Sent you a PM. Think God is talking to me… From TX, live in AZ.
Post # 15
Google searches for “Arizona Wedding Photographer,” Yelp, Wedding Wire, Google Reviews, or search by your venue. I would leave the term “cheap” out of the search.