Post # 1
My fiance and I took our engagement photos a few weeks ago and the resulting pictures were not quite what I’d hoped for. Some shots we are looking in different directions. Most shots he is looking at me and not the camera, which is fine for a few, but I really would have liked to show both of us as equals. I expressed my disappointment to him and got this response:
"It seems to me that what you are looking for is more of a photo shoot and less of an engagement shoot. The General flow of engagment sessions is to capture the couple’s personalities as well as a display of their affection and love,without overly sappifying it. Usually one of us instructs and the other one will take the candid shots to capture the inbetween times.
For you all, there were a lot of pics not used b/c there appeared to be some sort of tensions between the two of you from the on set. It came across in a lot of the candid photos, so we were pretty much left with the arranged photos.
As much as I like to think that we are able to always given our clients what they want, we have to be met halfway. We need to know what it is that you are looking to come out with , so that we are not shooting in the dark and hoping that the end result is something that you were kinda trying to look for. If you want sheik, then your attitudes have to exude sheik when you show up. No matter what we set up and compose with photos, the camera will ultimately tell the truth of whats there."
To his credit, there WAS tension, because I was feeling frustrated at the fact that we were ryushing to do the session after work. I knew it wasn’t going to go exactly as I wanted but I was trying to be a good sport because my fiance was pushing for it. BUT, all that said, the photgs have digital cameras and could do some quick views of our pics. I feel like if they were capturing something they considerred to be tension, isn’t it there job to alert us or try to do something to help us loosen up?
In the end, I really want to re-shoot, but after reading the above, I’m really offended and am thinking about using a new photographer for this and for the big day in April… Am I being too sensitive? To top things off, the main photographer is one of my fiance’s best friends. Could he be being too informal because he knows us, and maybe I should take his words at face value? If this was a stranger I dont think I would take it…
Post # 3
We are pro videographers, and from what we’ve learned, if there is tension at all, be it between the bride and groom, or the couple and the photographers, it’s most likely going to show unless you snuff it!
Rule number one is to make sure the bride and groom are RELAXED and COMFORTABLE! You are very right to suggest that the photographers should’ve tried to loosen you guys up a bit. I also work as an assistant to a wedding photographer an he will at least tell stupid corny jokes or something, just to break the ice! And you’re also right about the digitals. The photographer I work for is CONSTANTLY checking his images and discarding ones that don’t look amazing or look uncomfortable or forced. He does a lot of staging, but shoots in between the staging to get those candid interactions…I think this is pretty much the protocol for most photographers!
Also, not to get anyone fired or anything, but if you’re not comfortable with your photographer, and if you guys came out in prints looking awkward, you may come out as awkward in your wedding photos, and those are the ones that you REALLY don’t want to look staged or uncomfortable. Personally, as someone on the other side of the lens, I like to have an unbelievable chemistry with the couples we’re shooting, mainly because they can really feel comfortable and be themselves. Nothing is more photogenic than a couple in love. And you may be more in love than anyone can imagine, but any tension or discomfort you may be feeling will mask that love and come out in your images.
It’s a tough situation and I’m so sorry you’re going through this. Hopefully someone who has had a similar experience will chime in with some better advice!
Keep us posted!
Post # 4
Hmmm…first off, this is a close friend? There should be a lot of relaxed pictures I would think. If you are with a stranger, it can sometimes get awkward but a friend should be fun and casual. Second, yes, they should be telling you whats going on. Ours did for our E-pics….I hate being in front of a camera, especially with someone I don’t know. SO whenever I started being weird, he let me know, and worked on getting me to relax and be natural. Finally, I am not sure what he means by a photo shoot vs. an engagement shoot. Both are pics of you two together. E-pics are usually the smiley, cheesy pics, unless you do more of the photo jounalism style, but they are usually meant to be framed or sent out or put in the paper, so I think that yes, they are more traditional photos. I understand what he means about getting your personalities etc., but things like that are usually expressed in the location and your attire, then posing…..Its hard to explain this part. But candid is really more for the wedding photos than the e-pics. In my opinion. All that being said, I am guessing he is offended that you didn’t like them. I would be wary about whether he knows how to pose, and whether he is comfortable saying anything during the shoot rather than blaming you afterwards. Honestly, I never see anything good coming out of hiring family/friends for such a big thing. UNLESS you are both comfortable turning it into a professional relationship during the "work" hours….I just think it gets complicated. Have you seen his other work? You should gather some images of what you like and show him – there have been a lot from the bee’s – and if he is willing to work on it, see how it goes. Otherwise, find a new photographer.
Post # 5
If this is your fiance’s close friend, ask him for a re-shoot. Don’t feel awkward about doing so because if he were someone you didn’t know personally you would either ask for a re-shoot or find a new photographer. Don’t settle, and open the communication, that should be one of the top things with your relationship with your photographer, maybe the photographer is a bit timid because he is your fiances friend but he should give some direction, but let him know that what your looking for, like dreambm said, show him some pics or pics from his own work that you really like. Let him know, what you said, if the pictures are looking tense he should be the one to let you and your fiance know so you all can get the great shots you want. His name is on these shots and he should want them to be fabulous, and want you to be happy with them. If he doesn’t want to re-shoot or the second round of e-pics don’t turn out the way you and your fiance like, give em the boot! Hope it helps,just my opinion.
Post # 6
Thanks for your feedback! I’m glad to hear that my concerns were not completely out of line. My fiance feels like I’m reading too much between the lines because the things that were said are technically and factually true, despite my irritation with the tone/attitude and what I perceived to be blame… We are willing to go through with a re-shoot at a liesurely pace in hopes to capture the right energy. I will let you know what happens!