(Closed) Did anyone NOT use a pro-photographer? Show me your non-pro pics!

posted 10 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 32
Member
496 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

I used a “friendor” and was THRILLED with the results! I definitely don’t think my experience is the norm, but I got some incredible photos out of this, and would absolutely make this same decision if I had to go back and do it all again (which, thank god I don’t :)). My best friend from college is an amazing photographer, and our wedding was her first time shooting a wedding (though she has taken pictures at smaller events before, and I loved her style before asking her to photograph our wedding). I think she did an awesome job, but I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves:

http://blog.staciafuchsiaphoto.com/2011/10/wedding-ben-elana-ceremony/

http://blog.staciafuchsiaphoto.com/2011/10/wedding-ben-elana-reception/

A couple of other highlights of my husband and I (please note that these are not the original, high-res images. The originals are much clearer/crisper, as you can see in the blog post. I just used a “snipping tool” to paste them in here quickly):

Post # 33
Member
696 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

@BeeM:  yes those are bad but the whole point of the site is to put the worst pictures up. No they aren’t good photographers. No they aren’t professional. I do believe it’s possible that they got a decent shot out of the whole shoot even though they had a few terrible ones. I’m trying to make OP feel better about not being able to have an expensive photographer and that even though she may have a friend shooting it, it’s possible for her to get a few decent pictures. I’m not arguing that these fake “professionals” are better than real legitimate photographers. I don’t think anyone would doubt that professional photos would be better than non pro photos but if friendor photos are what she can afford then what’s the point of making her feel bad about it

Post # 34
Member
4211 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

@KatNYC2011: great example! Here is an example of ours from first dance…

Guest pic…

 

Pro pic

 

Post # 35
Member
496 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

@Pinksapphire: I would also add a few things: Will your wedding be indoors or outdoors? Daytime or evening? Certain conditions, such as evening shots in low-lighting, will be difficult for even pros to shoot well without the right (expensive) equipment. As someone with an extremely low-budget wedding, I totally get not wanting/being able to splurge on photos. I would take a realistic look at what your expectations are of a wedding photographer (since it can be sort of a crap shoot with friendors, unless you get very lucky or have an absurdly talented friend and nab her at the very start of her career, as I believe I did :)). Would you, in all honesty, be happy/satisfied with mediocre pictures? Do you consider great photos to be a plus or a requirement for your wedding day? If you find yourself getting stressed out or disappointed at just the thought of ending up with bad photos, I would consider doing a pot-luck wedding or something like that, and using the money to hire a pro. If you really do think of the photos as something that won’t cause you heartbreak after the wedding if you don’t get what you hoped for/wanted, then start looking around for friendors. Good luck, lady! I can certainly sympathize with your low-budget woes. We did our (120 guest) wedding for under $5,000. It can be done!

Post # 36
Member
3631 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

If you have a university anywhere close by, go to their art department, talk to a photo prof and find out about a photography student that is trying to build a portfolio. They have access to good equiptment, and they are often quite skilled, but since they are still students,won’t be charging atstronomical prices.

I disagree that one MUST spend thousands and thousands of dollars for pro pictures. My photographer has been a pro for 15 years, has won multiple awards for her photography, and we are paying $1100 for all day of the wedding, our e pics and disks of both. So it can be found!

Post # 37
Member
179 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

@PitBulLover: perfect example. 🙂

Post # 38
Member
1626 posts
Bumble bee

@mckernae: I think your pictures are GORGEOUS. But you have to understand, for those of us who have been on the bee for a while, there are SO MANY horror stories about friendors. Honestly, it boggles the mind how many times a week you see how much people are disappointed in their pictures. Sometimes, just sometimes, it’s a higher end photographer but more often than not, the photographers are just starting out, are friends, guests etc. I honestly would get a second job and work nights and weekends to get a little bit of money to get a pro. I really really think that with the OP’s wedding not till next summer, she will be able to find someone for cheap! 

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@lefeymw:
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@KatNYC2011: and 
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@PitBulLover: All your pictures are gorgeous. I love love love them!

Post # 39
Member
4107 posts
Honey bee

i do feel bad for the OP i must say – she asked for people to post pics they liked that were non-pro and everyone is posting pics to show how pro is so much better!

 

OP, i hope you don’t get too discouraged after all this and know that there ARE ways to get nice wedding pics.  That’s why i like the idea of a pro for an hour or two if possible.  But if you want one person for the whole day, then there are options out there as well for sure, you just have to be really thorough about your research so you don’t become a horror story.   I had a pro and was disappointed with regards to some detail and bridesmaid shots i didn’t get.  I never even blamed my photog for it.  I just realized MY mistake was not telling her directly some things that were super important to me!  I think because she was a pro, my expectations were too high.  Of course i would still recommend her to anyone and everyone.  BUT, what i learned from the experience and i like to pass on is that to get what you want, you have to ASK for it.  So if you go with a friendor, give them a specific list, send them inspiration photos, designate someone else on the day to make sure the list is complete. Ask them to take multiple of the same shot.  Basically i think if you give them lots of direction, there won’t too much room for them to go wrong!   And if you want a few spectacular images to hang up in your home after – maybe ask around someone (even on the bee) to do some post-editing/photoshopping for you on a select few.

Post # 40
Member
496 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

@bRooklynRocks: Thanks! And I *totally* get that I am an exception, not the rule. That’s why I felt the need to make an addendum about expectations, priorities, etc. I got very, very lucky in that I had a super-talented friend who did a lot of homework beforehand (she even rented a fancy schmancy lens for the weekend), and shot my bachelorette party and our rehearsal dinner for practice, etc. You make a good point about the OP’s wedding being far enough away that she might be able to pinch pennies to save money for a pro if she starts now (and if she’s not pinching pennies to save money for the other aspects of the wedding). I just wanted to chime in because I’ve seen nothing BUT horror stories about friendor photographers, and had quite a different experience. However, I didn’t just pluck a friend with a mild interest in photography off the street and say, “Hey! Take pictures!” I was very familiar with my friend’s abilities and style, and we sat down and put together an (admittedly pretty vague) shot-list, I sent her examples of the type of photography I was into, etc.

ps. OP, I don’t know where you’re from, but if you are getting married in the Bay Area, you should check out my photographer, who is building her portfolio and is willing to work with VERY minimal budgets.

Post # 42
Member
2975 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2019 - Paris, France

…How did.. show me your non-pro pictures turn into.. ‘hire a pro’ ? very strange…..

Post # 43
Member
4107 posts
Honey bee

@MrsNeutrino:  i know!

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@Pinksapphire:  yikes, $2000 for 4 hours! so much for the idea of a pro for a limited time!  I just remembered that I do have a friend who took some pics at my wedding. he is a graphic design artist and very much into taking pictures ALL the time, and he is really good at it.  Here are a couple of pics he took at my AHR.  I actually liked some his pics better than the photog i hired off craigslist for this!  

 

 

and AT my wedding in Jamaica, he took some details shots that my photog did not get at all – i was sooo happy!

 

and he followed us out when we went to take sunset pics with my photog – here is a nice one he got:

Post # 44
Member
306 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

We had a Family friend do ours, she does photography as a hobby, and wants to eventually start a business, and is making a portfolio. For me she was FREE 🙂 She has only given me a couple teasers , but I have seen all 850 before editing and am very happy. Are all of them magazine worthy? no. but they are pretty awesome IMO lol. The few teasers she gave us are alot of black and white, but I have seen them in color and it’s not to cover up mistakes. She is giving us a cd , in it all the black n whites ones also have a copy of the pic in color.

You can get good pictures from a non photog. Don’t get discouraged!

if you like, I can PM you once I get all of them back.

Post # 45
Member
711 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

PurpleUnicorn   Your pictures are gorgeous. I love the lilac dresses.

@MrsNeutrino:  i know!

@Pinksapphire:  I told one of my best friends about your post–she’s letting me PM you her guest wedding pictures since they’re on her Facebook. 🙂

Post # 46
Member
401 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I think the key is to vet your non-pro just as you would vet your pro. Ask for whole wedding photos (not just 10 shots).

Also, I forget who said it, but one poster brought up the idea thinking about the logistics of your wedding. Make sure you can do your portraits outside in day light, this will optomize the chance of getting great shots. Make sure you have a well lit reception…dim lighting is very hard to shoot. As long as you know going in that it is a risk, you should be fine.

I would just avoid those certain bridal blogs where its all “Look at how well my 15K photog captured my Louboutain shoes and my size 2 Oscar De La Renta gown!” Those blogs can make all brides feel like their weddings are just not living up. 

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