Anyone use a student or freelance photographer?

posted 3 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
Member
4893 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Everyone starts somewhere. As a photographer, I too was once a student, so I understand the feeling that you won’t get expereince unless someone finally hires you. I look back at some of my early weddings and *cringe*. That being said, your budget is your budget. Weddings are not worth going into debt for, and if you don’t have the budget to hire a professional the best advice I can give is to do your research and set youself up to have the best outcome as possible.

My advice is to find someone who, while new, has experience at least as a second shooter. That way they’ve at least got some wedding experience and understand the flow of the day. Wedding photography is fast-paced, constantly changing, and incredibly stressful. 

Many photographers will have associate photographers, and often those photographers have a similar style but at a lower rate. I see you’re in sNJ/PA, where are you getting married?

Post # 7
Member
45 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@Bunni0929:   We used a student photographer, who completely effed up our pictures to the point of being unusable.  But this wasn’t  a huge tragedy, because photography wasn’t something that meant a lot to us. We preferred to spend the money on enjoying the experience with our family and friends. And we ended up with some really lovely guest photos!

 

What I’m trying to say is: a non-pro is a risk, and how risk-averse you should be depends on your priorities, your values, and your budget. I’ve heard bees say things like “after the wedding, pictures are all you have left!”  I’ve read of other bees sobbing uncontrollably for days after a photography disaster. 

 

If that’s how you feel, then for the love of divinity, don’t trust that to a student. But if you feel like we did — that pictures are a nice extra but other things are much more important to you — then allott your money accordingly. 

 

Post # 9
Member
772 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

I didn’t want to spend too much on photography because I’m not artistically inclined and can’t tell the difference between a fancy photographer and a good one. I put an ad on craigslist, seeking a photographer for a $500 budget. I asked them to email me a link to a portfolio or wedding they’d shot, as well as a description of how many hours they could provide for that amount.

 

I got close to 40 responses. Some sucked. Some offered to do it for free but they were so awful it wasn’t worth it. Some were pretty good. There were a few really good photographers who offered just a few hours. In the end, I selected a freelance photographer I was really impressed by. For $500, I had an engagement shoot, as well as 10 hours of coverage with a second shooter, 20 hours of image editing, and digital copies of all pictures. I recently got back some of the highlight photos, and I’m really happy with the results. 

Post # 10
Member
1068 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

@Bunni0929:  We’re using a guy we knew back in highschool who is working an office job to pay off his loans before he pursues his photographic career goals.  He’s got a lot of talent, and we’ve seen enough of his images to be comfortable with hiring him. 

Our goal is to have pictures of us on our wedding day and that capture the feeling of what was going on.  I’m not going to be upset if the final product doesn’t include a magazine-quality photo of our bouquet toss, or whatever.

Post # 11
Member
45 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@Bunni0929:  Then you sound like a very good candidate for a non-pro photographer 🙂 I personally happen to agree with you 100%. I had no desire for pictures of our dresses and shoes without people in them, or close-ups of our clasped hands in front of weathered barnwood. Congratulations, and good luck! Come back and let us know how it works out.

Post # 15
Member
856 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

Our photographer was amazing And everyone has loved her work. She’s a rudest and I think it his was her second solo wedding. She did posed and has amazing candid shots as well. I saved a ton and love our wedding photos

Post # 16
Member
772 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

@Bunni0929:  I would definitely arrange to meet them first, and ask them for a contract. We gave $200 in cash during the engagement session and $300 (plus a tip) on the wedding day. I didn’t ask for an engagement session (my photographer offered), but I think it’s a really good idea to do one with a Craigslist person. As with any CL encounter, you can make sure the person isn’t a serial killer. You can also make sure they have real equipment, get an idea of their professionalism and punctuality, how creative they are with shots, and see some of their work before the wedding. I was very happy with the whole process.

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