Post # 1
We have a family friend from many years ago who is a talented (non-wedding) photographer, but has shot some weddings for friends/family friends. We haven’t made any decisions yet, but we’ve discussed the pros and cons of this sort of arrangement, and we’re comfortable with the knowledge that we will not be getting a professional wedding photog if we choose to hire him.
We want this to be a job, and not a favor, and we want to pay him accordingly. So my question for the pros out there: what do you think that the time and labor of a talented amateur is worth? How many hours would you expect to spend in post-production for a wedding? What other pricing considerations would you have in this situation? Obviously cost savings are a factor in this decision for us, but we wouldn’t be considering him if we didn’t think his work was professional and worth paying for. I just have no idea what to offer him/how to get the ball rolling.
Post # 3
I would let him name the price to avoid lowballing or overshooting, and in that arrangement he can’t feel pressured to agree to a price that he feels is secretly too low.
There are a lot of cons to this sort of arrangement so please please be careful. Hiring inexperienced friends to shoot an unpredictable once in a lifetime event can be setting you all up for a lot of awkwardness and even ended friendship if things don’t go well. Above all else get a contract so you have all expectations outlined. But honestly … my advice would be to not do it. I’ve been on the bee for many years and there is a new friendor horror story every week.
Post # 4
Well I’m a similar photographer, I’ve done some family/friend weddings.
If someone actually wanted me to be their real photographer for hire, I’d be so nervous if they paid a lot, in case I did terribly!
If I had to pick a price I’d feel comfortable with being the ameture I am, $500.
BUT if he’ll do a lot of editing afterwards and can make them look really great and pretty professional I’d do a “tip” of maybe 100 or 200 more later on.
Maybe make a base price so they know they’ll get money. But tell them that after you see the product you’ll tip based off how happy you are with the outcome. If they do well, awesome they get more money, if they did okay, they still got the base pay and maybe you could just throw in a gift card or something small so you still “tipped” as you said you would and it’s not as harsh of a slap in the face.
ETA: when you say they’re a talented non wedding photographer, does that mean he’s a professional photographer in another area? What’s some photos of their photography work that they do non-wedding.
Post # 5
I think you’ll probably get a lot of conflicting advice. Most of us photographers will say DON’T DO IT, while some bees will say to take a chance and save the money. How much you pay really just depends on so many factors. Like @mariematt said, I would ask them to give you a price and go from there. They can determine what they are comfortable with making shooting your event. If they have the expereince and knowledge, but lack of gear, you might find they’ll quote higher than expected to factor in rental costs. If they plan to actually edit the photos, there’s time involved for that too.
That being said, I just wouldn’t feel like I’d given my best advice if I didn’t just add the disclaimer that I think it’s a really really bad idea. MOST of the time, these situations end badly, and it’s not intentional on anyone’s part – it’s just lack of experience and understanding.
Post # 6
Thanks for the advice! I definitely understand that this is a risky situation that is absolutely not just “getting a pro for half the price.” I think we’re aware of the trade-offs, and now we just need to figure out if we’re really laid back enough to be okay with the outcome, or if we just want to think that we are (God grant us the strength to know the difference…).
At worst, I understand that this is basically a decision to not have a professional photographer at my wedding.
Post # 7
I’m a photographer (non-wedding) and I shot the wedding of a family member and did it as my gift. I brought a second shooter and did the post processing with an assistant. I gave them a disc of high res images – about 800 shots. They were delighted and very happy with the memories of their day.
That said, my work was nowhere near that of an experienced wedding photographer. No matter how good the photographer may be in their field of expertise, wedding photography has a unique set of challenges. So my advice would be to ask your photographer friend to feel free to take event shots at your wedding but please hire a pro!! They really know their field.
Post # 8
@jdhall89: I hired a younger photographer with just a few years of experience in all different fields (including weddings). We had a very tight budget for photography and I am perfectly good with not having the highest professional photographs (like from a $5000 vendor). She is a professional, just has less experience, but she edits professionally.
On a side note, my best friend is in the same situation as your friend. She is an amateur starting out and has a couple years of weddings under her belt. She charges $500 for full coverage of the wedding day, edited photos, and copyrights to all photos.
I’m not a photographer, but I won’t tell you to not hire your friend, because I would. Just prioritize if the budget is more important or if you’d rather have the photos of your dreams.
Post # 9
@GeorgiaBride5: Yeah, this is basically what it comes down to. We have the upmost respect for professional wedding photographers and we have gone through enough portfolios to understand that you generally get what you pay for. But we really need is photos of us on our wedding day. If I walk away with one image that is good enough to frame and others that show me happy and in love, I’m not sure I’d be terribly disappointed. We definitely know what our “dream photos” and “dream photographer” look like, but we already prioritized other things over them.
Post # 10
i would pay at least $1,000 since all professional photographers i have looked for quoted me $2,600 and up for a full day 8 hr coverage.
Post # 11
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
@jdhall89: Ask them what they are comfortable with. It may be out of your price range or it may be perfect. They may have a standard hourly fee that they are willing to discount for friends and family. Make sure you both agree to the price and what you are getting and put it all down in a contract (always have a contract even with friendors!) Make sure to agree on a price, number of hours, rights to images, retouching, etc… That way nobody is surprised or disappointed by a miscommunication.