Experienced expensive photographer or …. ?

posted 3 years ago in Photos/Videos
  • poll: Professional or Amateur?
    Professional and expensive, less risk! : (33 votes)
    41 %
    Amateur (but amazing!) and much cheaper... Give the kid a go! : (48 votes)
    59 %
  • Post # 3
    493 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: March 2014


    Most people are going to tell you not to do it, because a wedding is “just too hard to shoot” for someone inexperienced, but honestly… 4 guests? I think that’s probably doable even for a relative novice. There won’t exactly be too much going on for him to be aware of it, you know?

    The only reason I wouldn’t go for it is if you would be devastated if you didn’t get the pictures exactly as you envisioned. Obviously the less experienced someone is, the more risk involved, and if the worst case scenario is unacceptable to you, don’t do it.

    I booked someone whose work I really loved, who has only shot a few weddings, for significantly less than the established wedding photographers around here, because similarly, we’re only having a handful of guests and no real reception, and I could not fathom paying more for the photographer than the entirety of the rest of the actual wedding. She’s trying to establish a wedding portfolio and i know she’ll really bust herself to get good shots for that, too- in some ways she has more riding on this than a photographer who has done tons of weddings would.  

    If the pics don’t come out perfectly or if she misses a moment… our lives will go on. And they will go on with a lot more money in our bank account. I was okay with risking that for the savings involved.

    Post # 4
    3989 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: October 2011

    Not an option in the poll, but I would keep looking for a professional photographer that is cheaper. 

    I would never hire someone that hasn’t shot a wedding before.  But I too wouldn’t pay $1600 for 2 hours and 100 images.

    Post # 5
    3846 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: June 2014

    @Rainstorm77:   When you look at the photos he has taken, how does he handle exposure?  Is there detail in the whites?  Is he able to bring out detail in shadows as necessary?  Are the images in focus, is there a variety of angles?  Does he take some overall shots and some close ups?  I realize he hasn’t shot a wedding, but has he shot people?  Do they look comfortable, or stiff and posed?

    If all the answers to the above questions are satisfactory, I’d suggest going with the amateur.  I cannot believe I am saying that, but in this case I think it may be a good bet, depending on the above.  

    Post # 6
    2878 posts
    Sugar bee

    @Rainstorm77:  I’m going for the amazing, talented amateur. Her style is exactly what I am looking for and I have not found professionals in my area whose portfolios I liked half as much as I liked hers. However, she’s shooting her first weddings (4) in 2014 and i’m getting married in 2015, so I will have enough time to see what happens. On the other hand, I don’t care that much for wedding pictures … I want artistic pictures after the wedding, when FI and I are relaxed and all, and this is more important to me. These are the pictures of us I will look at. Of course I want pictures of ”the day” and with my family, but there’s no way FI and I would be satisfied of couple pictures taken the day of, with all those people around … we’ll look still and posed and awkward, no matter how experienced or expensive the photographer. I’m giving the girl a chance because we’ll be comfortable around her, the price allows us to have 2 shoots instead of 1, and I know I won’t be disappointed. I also plan on offering her a huge tip, which I couldn’t afford with a pro. On her side, she gets more experience, she gets recognition because she gets to meet potential clients at my wedding and word-to-mouth, feedbacks on local forums will help her, etc.

    Post # 7
    2878 posts
    Sugar bee

    @Bubblesmcgee: If the pics don’t come out perfectly or if she misses a moment… our lives will go on. And they will go on with a lot more money in our bank account. I was okay with risking that for the savings involved.

    I completely agree. 

    It comes down to this : are your okay with the risk. It is a personal choice and nobody can judge you for following your gut instinct. 

    Post # 11
    550 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: March 2014

    @Rainstorm77:  photographer here. those are great photos, but they’re not photos of PEOPLE. I would hire him for an engagement session at a similar time of day and see how he does. if you like those photos, you’re all good.  directing people and helping them feel and look natural in front of a camera is a whole different ball of wax than finagling settings and a tripod to get a brilliant night cityscape. 

    i I always tell people who are considering going with someone who is inexperienced/less experienced that the setting makes all the difference. if you’re not involving any tricky lighting situations, then lesser equipment/experience has a better shot of getting great results. 

    Post # 12
    550 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: March 2014

    @Rainstorm77:  also, if you find someone you like, try writing to them. Ask for a quote for 2 hrs of coverage/file. the fact that it’s a ceremony + portraits will make a difference in pricing vs just a portrait session, but it should still be less. especially if it’s a weekday, an established photographer may be willing to accommodate you. 

    Post # 13
    1492 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    @Rainstorm77:  These are photos of things and landscapes. i photograph people – and I’m TERRIBLE at things and landscapes, so you need to see how he photographs people.

    Also, you take a risk by flying someone in – what happens if there’s a flight delay? Where is this guy based? I’d leave at least 1 full day from when he lands to when he has to photograph you to allow for travel shenanigans. 

    Post # 14
    2358 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: November 1999

    I personally don’t care for the quality of those photos. I’d go for the professional. Every time.

    Post # 16
    7940 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: September 2015

    @Rainstorm77:  ummm yes. That photog can cetrainly handle a 6 person wedding. I bet the shots will be beautiful. My one caveat would be: give him a very detailed “shot list” in advance because he doesn’t know better. Assume nothing! 

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