Post # 1
My sister’s best friend is an amateur photographer. Not taking into account if she’s ever done a wedding (I don’t know, but if she’s good, it wouldn’t matter because everyone has to start somewhere), my brain says maybe don’t use her because I think she would be too in “best friend” mode with my sister to really get all the shots a professional/not affiliated photographer would get. What would you do? Save money and just go with her, or use someone that was referred to you/you saw at a bridal show?
Post # 2
I think if you hired her she probably wouldn’t be too busy being in “best friend” mode to do her job, but personally wouldn’t use an amateur photographer for my wedding no matter who it was. I would use a professional whose style you love, and if they’re expensive, maybe ask for a package with fewer hours to save money. That’s what I’m doing with mine!
Post # 3
I would meet with her and seem how professional she seems and get a look at her work, talk about her style, all the stuff you would do with a professional.
My SIL does wedding photography as a side job (she’s also a full-time teacher) and she does a lot of friends’ and friends of friends’ weddings. But I know that when she is at a wedding she is in full professional mode. So it’s not automatically a bad idea, it just depends on the person.
Post # 4
It depends on the person. I took wedding photos for the aunt of my best friend, but I had no problem turning off “best friend mode” to be professional and give the bride my full attention during the wedding. Before and afterwards were the times I hung out with my best friend, not during.
So it completely depends on how professional she is! Also make sure to look at her work to see if it fits your style and her experience. Just because she may be the cheaper choice, doesn’t mean she’s the better choice. Good luck!
Post # 5
I think it would depend on the importance you place on your photos. If you really want amazing memorable photos that you can have to cherish and they are really important to you, I think the better route would be to direct your budget towards a professional.
If you really don’t care about the photos, or don’t have a specific standard or volume or amount you want, you might feel more comfortable with an a amateur. If you use an amateur I would perhaps do an engagement or family session first, be very clear, very concise and very professional in your relationship and what your expectations are going forward.
Post # 6
I’m leaning towards not using her. Pictures are very important to me, I mean, we got pix done for my sons 3 month, 6 month, 9 month, and 1 year milestones lol. So professional it is!! Thanks for your input.
Post # 7
I realize you already made a decision but I’ll add an anecdote quickly for other curious Bees.
For my brother’s wedding we used an amateur who also happened to be the friend of one of the guests. His online portfolio was nice but he never shot a wedding. He spent time with his friend and it felt like we had to pry him away and specifically request certain shots. Eventually I made him a list and he got the hang of it. The pictures turned out fine but it was doubtful that if we left the photographer to his own devices we would have gotten the necessary photos.
I support that people needs to start somewhere but if this isn’t something you want to worry about go with a trusted professional.
Post # 8
statuesque1 : this is exactly what im thinking will happen. I’d rather not have to do that, because my sister gets very defensive when she *thinks* someone is being hard on her friends. And that would make an awkward situation even worse.
Post # 9
dionsmom : If you can affod it and you value photography I’d go with a seasoned pro. I think that it’s an area where you really get what you pay for.
Personally, I prefered not to have any friends as vendors (or “friendors”) as it felt too uncomfortable to me to mix the two relationships together. I have a hard enough time being honest and direct with a professional, much less with my friend.
Being a great wedding photographer is a skill that comes with a lot of experience (catching that perfect first kiss moment or that dip during the dance is difficult!) so I was happy to pay full price and hire out the job.
Post # 10
If photos are important to you then get a professional. If she hasn’t done professional/wedding shoots before she may not know all the tricks of e.g. wrangling families for group shots, where to stand for the best angles, what makes a good getting ready shot, being unobtrusive to get candid shots, good poses for couple shots that also look natural etc. Unless you really know her work and she has portfolios you can look at I wouldn’t risk it.
Post # 11
I’d base it on her portfolio. If she’s trying to become a professional and build a career I don’t think you need to worry about her being in best friend mode.