Post # 1
Ok bees — i’m fighting back the tears!
After about a month of sifting through local wedding photographers and meeting the ones that caught my eye, I managed to narrow it down to a great artsy, photo-journalistic type photographer with great style… Then my uncle annouced that he was getting back into the photography business and wanted to shoot our pictures “as his gift to us”. My Uncle was a successful photographer about 10 years ago, but gave up the business when his wife got sick… now that things have settled down he is ready to open up the studio again… but alot has changed in 10 years so I was leary about if he’d be able to provide us with the type of photos we were hoping to get. ….Well I showed him the websites of pictures I liked and he was very confident that he could do the same type of photography and assured us that was the sort of stuff he wanted to get into, so we decided to give him a shot.
We had some engagement pictures taken yesterday and they just sent them to me… I’m not impressed. I’m not even close to satisfied. I’m disapointed and even sad. Don’t get me wrong the pictures aren’t HORRIBLE, but they are not at all the style that I wanted. They are very posed-looking and just don’t look natural. The lighting isn’t that great either… shadows on our faces and stuff like that which we wouldn’t have with a “higher quality” photographer.
So what do we do now…??? Our wedding isn’t until June 2011 so in theory we could look for another photographer and re-think our budget to pay for it. But since he’s family… and he’s kind of counting on our photos to use for his marketing for the new studio you can see how it’s complicated. I am stressed and totally torn by this!! I don’t want to offend any family members or act like I’m “better than his work” but I just feel like I’m not getting what I want…and we only get to do this ONCE.
Please offer some advice!!!! Thanks ladies.
Post # 3
Hire a pro that you LOVE and let them know that Uncle Joe will be tagging along as well. Tell Uncle Joe that as much as you love him you’ve decided to go a different route with your photos. Tell him he is more than welcome to shadow your actual photog if he wants to.
Post # 4
I would do something in between being honest and looking for another photographer. If he’s looking to get into the business, you’re not doing him any favors by not telling him what you don’t like. The only reason why I say that is because he’s family, otherwise it would be “thanks, but we’re heading in another direction artistically”. I’d look at it in a constructive light (i.e: “we have a few concerns that we’d like to address regarding the artistry. A lot of couples these days prefer…”) and then do another photo shoot. After that if he’s still not what you’re looking for, go with another photographer.
Post # 5
I would recommend looking for another photog and take the angle that you wanted more than one for a variety of styles and also so nothing is missed! Be positive and act like it is the greatest idea ever… but tell him shortly before – no need to let him know yet.
Post # 6
I would just explain to yoru uncle that you want to make sure every moment gets captured. Also, let him know that you think its great that he get some shots for his portfolio, but you decided to hire someone to ensure that your uncle gets some quality time with the family and can also participate with the dancing, ect instead of just working all night.
Post # 7
I would suggest you have two photographers. You can hire the photographer you wanted originally and also your uncle. Your uncle isn’t charging you, so you will not be out any extra money to include him. Besides, you can never have too many photographers. Just tell him that you are super exicted to be fortunate enough to have two really great photographers.
Post # 8
I vote for having your uncle and another photographer. And just let your uncle know how happy you are that due to his generous gift your dream of having two photographers can be realized! And he’ll get the chance to enjoy his niece’s wedding a little bit.
Post # 9
You only get one shot at this. THere’s no room for subpar family photography on your wedding day. Seriously – find another photographer. He can take a job off of craigslist to get the shots he needs to build his portfolio.
Post # 10
@Arachna:That’s actually not a good idea unless the *real* pro you are hiring is ok with it. THey could really end up being in each other’s way, and it is unreasonable to expect the pro to work with someone in that manner unless it has been contractually agreed upon prior to the job (it actually says in my photography contract that I can’t do that, and that was standard with photographers I looked at)
Post # 11
@crayfish: I have never seen that in the contracts I have looked at. Her uncle does not have to work with the photographer. They can both take their own professional pictures at the same time. I have seen more than one photographer serveral times, and it has never caused a problem.
Post # 12
What we said to some friends who wanted to be our photographers was that we really didn’t want to have friends as photographers–we wanted someone we could write negative reviews about or even sue if things went wrong, without it breaking up a friendship.
And of course, you can tell him that you’d love to have him taking pictures in addition to the professional.
Post # 13
My friend’s got married 4 years, and the bride’s uncle used to be a photographer (very similar story to your uncle). She went with him for their wedding photos because they were trying to save a little money, and she totally regrets it. My friend Luke (the groom) always jokes that they should have hired a real photographer because 4 years later she still complains about their wedding pictures. The point is that you only have one wedding day and one chance at wedding pictures. If photography is important to you, which it sounds like it is, then you need to go with a professional whose style you really like.
Post # 14
I think the only way to be diplomatic (especially with families since they can be sensitive) would to be to get a professional photographer in addition to your uncle, and contact the photographer you’re interested in and see if he would be willing to do that, as a PP mentioned that it might be an issue.
Post # 15
Please hire a pro. As a bride who is disappointed in her (pro) wedding pictures, I can tell you that it’s really important and worth the investment.
Just tell your uncle that you want him there are your uncle and a guest and then offer to get dressed up and do a formal bridal portrait shoot with him for his portfolio. Then you get to wear your dress twice too!