(Closed) Not using a pro photographer…Worried.

posted 7 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
1227 posts
Bumble bee

If you can’t afford a pro, having your SIL do it is better than nothing. But you need to be honest with yourself on what your expectations are. If you’re unhappy, it’s not fair to blame her or be upset because a) she’s not a pro and b) you didn’t budget or pay for a pro.  Look at any great pictures you get as a “bonus”.

For us, pictures were too important to not get a pro for, even though it was going to cost us more than I wanted to spend. I do have a friend who photographs weddings, and I considered asking her, but I wasn’t willing to risk a friendship if I wasn’t happy (because like I said, the pictures are important to us).


Post # 4
7646 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2012

We had someone with a high end camera take our photos that is not deemed a professional photographer. I would advise against it in some ways, like the fact that getting involved with friends and or family it is harder to let them know how you are feeling if something goes wrong.Also she may not be able to adjust the color, size, all that stuff

The pros though really outweighed the cons in our situation. One, I felt less stressed to “pose” for pictures. She was willing to do anything I wanted and she had relaxed, candid poses for us to do. She was more inexpensive, and WE were the owners of our photos. Plus we got them back right away, within a week after the wedding.

If you trust your SIL I say go for it. Just make sure she takes a ton pictures. Or can you maybe hire someone for a few hours to take your portrait pics?

Post # 5
966 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

@peachbaby4008:  Why don’t you do an “engagement shoot” with her and see how it works out? Or has she done any other events? Does she know Photoshop?

Post # 6
553 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

I’d just outline the rrrreeeealllly important moments for her that you must have in your wedding album and just make sure she gets what’s most important for the wedding album. You know, the first kiss, you walking down the aisle (obviously), ring exchange, you and your new husband walking from the alter with your wedding party behind you. The posed pictures probably won’t be a problem for her, it’s the candid ones during the wedding “events” that will require the true skill. Just make sure someone else at least has a decent point and shoot camera taking pictures during these moments so you will have back up in case something got missed.

I’m pretty sure I’d feel the way you do, but it sounds like you don’t have a choice. Plus, if she’s talented and her pictures are truly well executed then it will probably be just fine.

Post # 7
2334 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

When are you asking her to take pictures?  The entire day?  The ceremony and a little afterwards for formals?  Getting ready pics?  During dinner and dancing?  In addition to her time, how many photos are you expecting from her?  Do you want her to do any editing?  Is she expecting any money (even if she offered it as a gift, perhaps she expects something)?  These are all really important things to discuss.  You are essentially asking a guest to behave like a vendor.

ETA: Please don’t take all my questions to be negative.  I think it could be fine as long as you have both communicated your expectations.

Post # 9
2103 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

I think you will be fine. You do need to manage your expectations…you aren’t going to get the same artistry that you would from a pro, but I’m SURE you will good some very lovely photos…and the memory will be preserved, and those are the important issues.

I look back on my parent’s wedding photos and there were just a few posed photos of the wedding party/family/couple…and that’s all you need! Honestly, I rarely look at the pics from our wedding.

Post # 10
10363 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

Having a fancy camera and having the right gear to shoot a wedding (not to mention the knowledge) are two very different animals. I’d definitely do an engagement shoot beforehand, and have a very frank discussion with her about the types of lighting she can expect at the wedding. Low light without much flash photography experience or the right lenses/camera back that can go to high ISO with low noise is really important there!

Post # 12
3768 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Brookfield Zoo

@peachbaby4008:  I don’t think anyone is saying that you need to hire a pro.. I think what all these comments are getting that are that you should have your expectations outlined (ie share with her your answers to @BooRadley‘s list of questions, make a list of all the photos you don’t want her to forget about taking etc.), and I think having an initial “engagement session” just to see how her photography style is and how you like it is a great idea (also if there’s anything you could mention to her specifically.. like “I prefer candid shots over posed” or “if I’m not smiling with my teeth, let me know!”).

This could be a fantastic option for you, as long as you are prepared!

Post # 13
621 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

@peachbaby4008:  I understand you may not have the budget for a pro, but I’ll be perfectly honest with you – looking into a student photographer might be a better option than relying on your SIL. Things can go very very wrong when you are relying on a non-professional so having that non-pro be your SIL makes me really nervous. If the photos don’t come out or something goes wrong it could literally be a lifelong issue between you and you reallllly don’t want that. Maybe look into the local colleges around you and see if you can find a student who is at least studying photography and might have an idea how to handle some difficult lighting situations.

Post # 15
701 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2013

I had a non pro take our engagement and wedding photos and they turned out beautifully! It was definitely a risk, but the outcome was sooo worth it. I’m on an ipad so I can’t post any photos. I agree with PP about doing an engagement shoot to see how the pics will turn out. 

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