(Closed) Any married bees underwhelmed with their photographer’s work??

posted 8 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
1701 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I don’t know if it’s normal, but I had a similar experience.  There are definitely some beautiful pictures, but maybe 30 out of 800+ taken.  Enough for a small album–not a good percentage, IMO.  Regardless of the type of wedding she is used to, she is supposed to be a professional and adaptable to any situation.  If you are that disappointed, I wouldn’t hire this person.

In some photography post on here, someone suggested asking to see one or two entire weddings, instead of just the albums.  I wish I had read that before I hired her.

Post # 4
2143 posts
Buzzing bee

It’s definitely harder to get indoor photos than outdoors or in well lit rooms. Unless you are really prepared with the right lenses and flashes and stuff, the pics can turn out very badly even if you can do nice photos otherwise. That said, an experienced photographer KNOWS that and should be prepared. If they don’t have the right equipment, they should have been up front about it and decline shooting the wedding.

Also, if your friend wanted candid photos which is popular right now, there is not much directing the photographer can/will do. What happens, happens. With the use of digital cameras, a photographer will take hundreds, sometimes thousands of pictures, and only a fraction of them are going to be amazing. Of course it will only be the amazing ones that they edit and showcase for prospective clients. Is it possible that your friend does not like the photos because there was not enough editing and retouching done to them? A photographer can’t retouch every single picture or else the clients would never get them back.

That said, I was underwhelmed with my pictures too. I went with a newbie photographer because it was much cheaper. They weren’t terrible, but not the amazing artwork photos I had hoped for. I was really disappointed about it at first, but now that the wedding is long over with, it doesn’t bother me as much. They’re decent enough pictures, even if Darling Husband and I don’t look like perfect glowing models or pieces of art or anything.

Post # 5
7300 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

I think sometimes brides have unrealistic expectations. If the photos aren’t celebrity/magazine worthy then they are just not good. I’ve seen so many brides on this site complain about photos when they look great to me. All of the problems you listed seem like easy edit fixes. People can be photoshopped out of photos. Exposure can be fixed if it’s not too bad. Even noise can be reduced. 

Post # 6
42 posts

Do you have a link to any pics? That would give us a good springboard to evaluation.

Indoor lighting can be difficult, and the best results can generate mixed feelings about quality.


-Christopher Schall


Post # 7
374 posts
Helper bee

Unfortunately, I agree with being underwhelmed.  In hindsight, unless you take photos before hand and they are posed, even though you want them informal, they just don’t click.  Our photographer did everything we asked her not to do.  I just don’t get it.

Post # 8
30 posts
  • Wedding: November 2010

Ugh. I was soooooo disappointed with our photographer. We had an indoor ceremony with amber uplights, and we all look fuzzy and orange. Not a single close up of the two of us!  I asked the photog for some, and he assured me he could zoom in. Well, the pictures are so fuzzy that blowing them up to a 4×6 size makes the people look pixelated. This happened after my dad asked him ‘hey, do we have enough lights? we can add more if we need to’. We are putting together an album, but its mostly dinner/dancing pics that guests took on their cameras. They turned out waaaay better than our photog. Kinda sucks that we don’t have any decent pictures of the ceremony though. Keeping my fingers crossed for the video. 


Post # 9
739 posts
Busy bee

This is why it is so important to find a photographer that has experience in shooting weddings like you envision. Having an indoor ceremony in the evening? Don’t choose a photographer who used mostly natural light and majority of their portfolio is out side. Not only should you ask to see a whole wedding, but a wedding similar to yours.

I hear a lot of complaints on here about underwhelms or flat out I didn’t like my photos, but no one talks about their experience in choosing the photog or how experienced the photog is.


Post # 10
14183 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

Are any of their photos representative of their portfolios? I found that one or two of ours were great, but the majority of the rest were shots that anybody could have taken.

Post # 11
3526 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

Did she have post processing included in her package?
Most good photographers spend tons of time after the wedding day post processing/editing the images to fix those exact problems you are listing.

Not all photographers include that standard.

I can not stress how important it is to see a FULL wedding from a photographer. From start to finish. Weddings beyond what is on their website and blogs.
You have to remember it’s a business of course they are going to put up their absolute best pictures from their absolute best weddings.
For some photogs they could suck and had a great day and those are the pictures you see on their site! who knows?!

Post # 12
11325 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2011

I had the same question as Gerbera— are they edited? A lot of photogs only edit the photos they put in books for you, and editing can make a HUGE difference. 

Post # 13
1405 posts
Bumble bee

@Gerbera: “A good graphic artist can fix any photo, a good photographer takes good pictures.”.  One of my favorite wedding photographers Neil Van Neikerk spends minimal time post proessing photos, he stresses to get it right “in the camera” and has devoted an entire blog, wrote books, etc, gives workshops, on that topic.  The less time you have to spend editing photos, the more time you have for other things, like taking on more gigs, or browsing posts on weddingbee! 🙂

I think on average, photographers from the film days are better photographers.  I will probably get flamed for saying this, but it has been my observation.  I also didn’t say ALL I said on average, so if you have an issue with this comment, I am not saying it applies to everyone.

 Film was too expensive to waste, and they didn’t have the same level of post processing as digital files do today to fix mistakes.  They don’t press click unless they feel everything is right and take great care in making sure of that.  They pay more attention to the lcd preview and histograms and make adjustments as needed to fix the problem for the next shot. 

I know with fast paced wedding photography this is an ideality, but there is no excuse for it for posed formals.  The influx of newbies to digital photography is overwhelming, and yes a lot of them produce amazing results, but depend highly on post processing to do it.  There is nothing wrong with that if they are willing to put the time in to create the finished image but IMO post processing should be used to transition your photo into a polished final product, not used to fix shortcomings on poor light setups and compositions. 

No doubt post processing has become a very important and integral part of digital photography and workflow today.  After all, for some photographers it’s required to define their style, however it shouldn’t be at the expense of poor photography.

It appears that many of these “newbies” (I will call them) to the digital industry use the “shotgun” method and take 2-3x the average number of pictures hoping that 10-20% of them come out nice.  They present the bride with quantity over quality (many of the best wedding photographers only give a few hundred images). 

What happens is eventually they burn out, because they can’t spend that level of processing time on every image to fix the shortcomings.  The photographer probably knows damn well that the images they are presenting have issues in them.  They are probably hoping that the average joe (or jane) won’t notice or care…… and then it results in posts like this on forums…………

I think this is what separates the true professionals from the rest.  A professional photographer

Post # 14
3526 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2010


Oh, I totally agree!

But the problem is a lot of so called “great” photographers rely heavily on their post processing skills. And their orignal taken image is just not that hot.

And I’m just saying that could be the case here for this “great” photographer.

Post # 15
1405 posts
Bumble bee

@Gerbera:  Good points, however post processing can’t fix everything.  The original image needs to be composed decent, and be sharp.  Also, most of these “great” photographers that have a post processing trademark, I have to think, wouldn’t dare let any work be released unless it was finished.

I have a friend that does child portraits.  Her finished work is really nice, and she has built a great business for herself.  Her shortcoming?  She doesn’t know the first thing to do with flash.  She uses all natural light, sunlight, window light, and has that down pat.  She charges about 500-800 per shoot for a newborn shoot and people are paying it.  However, if the day isn’t right, she cancels the shoot rather than perform poorly.  She knows her limitations.   What are your thoughts on a photographer like this that is charging those types of rates, but may cancel a shoot on you if it’s a dark, dreary day?

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