(Closed) Anyone use a friend/amatuer photographer?

posted 8 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
2767 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

I used a friend as a second shooter.  She took some great shots as we were getting ready and at the reception venue before anyone arrived.  They were really professional looking.  I also felt very comfortable around her.  The only thing was that I guess I thought she would take a few more photos – like photos of the ceremony and at the reception.  But she was a guest too and I wanted her to enjoy her time.  She also didn’t charge me a thing, and I tried to give her some payment to thank her but she sent it back to me!  I didn’t have any regrets with how we did it!

Anyways, I was really happy with what she gave me for photos.  I guess one thing to watch out for is that friend photographers might not be as outgoing.  They might not be able to round up a group of people for photos or might shy away from taking certain photos and getting up in people’s faces while still being discreet.  It takes a pro to really be aggressive I think.

Post # 4
131 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

As we’re on a very tight budget, a friend is going to be the sole “wedding photographer” (I’m sure friends and family will take pics) and I am confident that he’ll do a great job, but he is a photography major. =] We’ve also planned to do a post-wedding in our wedding clothes couples session with my absolute dream photographer for about $350…a fraction of the cost of the same photog’s wedding package. So, that’s always an option!

Post # 5
3 posts
  • Wedding: January 2011

Cardigan and I used a friend for our engagemets. they were great and since we knew her the vibe between us was perfect. she was so easy to work with. the only hesitation i would have with using her as our wedding photographer is that she is inexperienced. most professionals seem to have  this 6th sense as if they know what is about to happen. they can get to the perfect position for the perfect shot before you even know its coming

Post # 6
487 posts
Helper bee

Hi! We just had an amateur photographer shoot our engagement pictures.  We were incredibly pleased as he was more willing to take more photos and spend more time editing certain ones (to try to improve his work, make us happy, and build his portfolio).  The only suggestion I have would be to make certain of the pictures and poses you want for an amateur might not be as experienced with the must-have pictures.  I would say go for it, if you are comfortable with the photographer and comfortable taking charge of things a little more than you would have to with professional. Good luck!

Post # 7
382 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

Oooo, interesting! I am considering contacting a friend who went to photography school and worked part-time at a bridal photography company. I want to give her work and I trust her, plus I think a friend doing the photography would be so special and the love would really be there.

Post # 8
877 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

As a friend who has helped out other couples before, I was more than happy to photograph their big day, but it tends to feel more like I’m at the wedding to work, instead of being there as a guest.  I felt like I was emotionally separated from the events of the day because I was so focused on getting the photos.  Just something to keep in mind.

Post # 9
114 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

We are using a friend of a friend. I knew I wanted to use her since before I even got engaged!! She was super flexible with price (pretty much name your own), but I had to buy her ticket to fly from Denver to Milwaukee. We gave her a ‘trial run’ with our engagements.

I look at her website often to check out her recent works– I am SOOOOO excited to see what she comes up with!


Love her recent ‘trash the dress’ session!

Post # 10
988 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

We would have LOVED to use our friend as our photographer, unfortunately he is going to be FI’s best man lol. He is seriously amazing he does it as a hobby but he LOVES it, I know he will be taking pictures in his “downtime” lol so I know we will still have amazing shots!

Post # 11
18 posts
  • Wedding: November 2010

We were thinking about using a friend who is an amature photographer. We did some sample engagement photos to test it out and they really weren’t the greatest caliber. There are probably tons of great newbies out there, but make sure you test them first!!! they should be willing to give you a ‘trial’ for free since they are looking for experience.

Post # 12
3098 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2009

Yes. I used a friend of a friend, who was also amateur. Big mistake for me. HUGE. Giant amounts of regret. 🙁

Post # 13
7771 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

I am using an amateur, but she has a good camera and I am comfortable with her.  It can go either way no matter who you hire, to some extent.  My sis hired a professional and was very disappointed.

Post # 14
1129 posts
Bumble bee

I am using a friend of mine who went though a year certification in Photography.  We went to high school together and although we knew each other back then, we weren’t good friends.  Randomly we ended up working together 5 years later in another city (small world, much?) At the time she was in school, she asked to shoot me for a couple of her projects.  The photos were semi-nudes and turned out AMAZING.  I even used a less riske one as a gift to my folks for Christmas.

To build her portfolio, she shot my former coworker’s wedding and the photos were gorgeous.  She loves to take pictures of details, candids, scenery.  I don’t think we will end up with many posed shots – but I don’t really care for them anyway.

We joked then that she would shoot my wedding… and that was 6 years ago now.  When I got engaged I called her even though we hadn’t talked in a long time and said “Still wanna shoot my wedding?!” 

I’m paying her $500, I’m getting digital ‘negatives’ and no prints.  I’ll have them printed on my own. Plus, she is a ‘guest’ at the wedding, along with her husband who will act as her assistant (he also takes great pics).  I’m excited that someone who is a friend will be with us all day instead of someone I really don’t know well.

Post # 15
962 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

We have hired an amateur group from southern New Husband.  They have experience with portraits, ie-senior portraits and family portraits, but have never shot a wedding.  They’re more than reasonably priced based on this fact, too.  I’ve spent a lot of time emailing with them (and being an ex-pro studio photog myself, I feel I’ve asked some good questions) and am very confident that they will pull off photographing the event without a hitch.  I’m thinking… where your date is quite a bit after my wedding date, I’d be happy to share the photos with you after so you can get an idea of what a budget session in New Husband would look like.  So far, their personalities have been amazing, they’re very kind, and really seem to know their stuff – they’re just looking for some experience to get there.  Feel free to PM me if your’e interested in knowing more.  =D

Post # 16
90 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2000

Think of the worst case scenario (shots don’t turn out, missing shots, causes a disturbance during the ceremony, gear failure, backs out at the last minute) and decide if you can live with it.  Also, many venues require a $1M liability insurance rider, so you’ll need to check with yours to see if that’s a requirement. The expense of that will rule out most hobbyists.

Re the friend with a “good camera”, I just spent a $140 on a pair of running shoes for a 10K but that doesn’t mean I’ll come even close to the pro runners who are competing to win.

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