Post # 1
So photography for my wedding is really important to me. I know what I want and I have my eye on a great photographer within our budget. However, my brother and sister in law offered us the photog for their wedding as a gift. My brother does business with this photographer and has credit with him for photo services, so they want to use it to give to us. While I really appreciate the offer (especially since its a big money saver) I don’t really like the photographer. His photos are fine but not very creative, and quite frankly they are boring!
I don’t want to be ungrateful but I also want to LOVE my wedding photos. Any advice?
Post # 3
work with him…. give him specific shots that you want and make sure they aren’t all posed. Sometimes it’s not so much the photographer but the people in the photo as well….. I guess that’s my only advice if you want to stick with him. Just give him something to work with.
Can you take him out to get some engagement photos done and see how those turn out??
Post # 4
I would probably take the offer if I were you. Like the PP suggested, you could give him lots of guidance, including showing him photos you love.
Post # 5
IDK Bees… photography is important and the last way I’d want my wedding photos described is ‘boring.’ This would be a really tough decision for me.
Post # 6
I would take the photographer. I agree with PP that said its about the people in the photo not the photographer – though a fun photographer would help. If nothing else, I’d at least do a consult with him to get a feel for one another and his excitement level etc. Then direct, direct, direct!!! Make a must have list, print ideas and give them to him. Take control and make sure that at least one other person (for my MOH) knows what type of pics you want so that they can act like the drill sergeant.
Post # 7
A photographers style is their style. You can’t just up and ask someone to change the style of their work just for you and expect great results. Its like asking a cat to be a bird and being surprised when it can’t fly….
It is your wedding, free or not, why would you risk any detail of the day with a vendor you very clearly have stated that you do not like. I would express your concerns with your brother that you are not a fan of the style/have a different vision for your wedding photography. Go with your gut…. I don’t think its being ungrateful, you are just being honest. Your brother should understand.
Post # 8
I disagree with other bees that the people in the picture can compensate for a bad photographer. You can provide photographers of your “must have shots,” e.g. getting ready, first look, bridal party, bridesmaids, etc. and can try to direct or suggest poses during the pre-ceremony or family shots. However, during the rest of the ceremony, you will not have time nor will you want to be thinking about whether the photographer is capturing the right pictures. Anyone, including your guests, can take snapshots and posed pictures. A good photographer knows the best lighting, angle, and composition to create a great photo.
While it is nice of your brother to offer the photographer, I think it is more important for you to find someone who’s work/style you love because pictures are forever. The day will go by so fast that all you have to look back on are pictures. You can tell your brother that you’re really grateful for his offer, but you have researched other photographers who’s style better complements you and your fiance.
Post # 9
Must have lists? Argh! Bees seriously! The only list a photographer should need at your wedding is a list of family formals. The rest of the wedding should be an intuitive and creative process. If you don’t love their work, then this is not the right person for the job. You have one chance for wedding photos, if they are important to you then you need someone who you like whose work inspires you.
Post # 10
Politely decline nd find someone you like! I agree with others who say a style can’t be changed. Just not how it works.
Post # 11
Find one YOU like. Period. 🙂 The “deal” is not worth not liking your photos..
You shouldnt have to “direct” your photographer, we know what to do. Its our job. If you have to tell them what to do they really shouldnt be shooting weddings..
I do recommend a list of formals though specially for larger families so you dont forget anyone.. people wander off..
Post # 12
If you don’t like the photographer, then don’t work with them. It’s a kind gesture, but just tell your brother that you already had one in mind that you loved; he’ll understand!
Post # 13
@continuumphotography: What’s the problem with must have lists? My photographer asked me for one; she didn’t want me to be disappointed that certain shots were missed.
Post # 14
I was gifted a photographer for my English/legal wedding. I had an Indian-style wedding (not a legal ceremony) earlier in the year for my husbands family and to honour both our cultures. For the Indian-style wedding, we were on a tighter budget and had to plan it in a space of a few weeks. We asked a friend of ours who had just started out as a photographer to come and do ours as we had seen him do Another Indian wedding before. He was brilliant, not just the pictures he took, but his whole personality was great – made us feel looked after and by the end of the day all 200 guests knew his name and said how great he was.
I would have loved him to do the English one, but I had already had a different photographer gifted to me. I didn’t think he could be that bad. But started getting worried nearer the date as he forgot to meet us at our venue to go through what the best shots would be (and this was part of the package that was paid for). We did ring him near the date and he sounded half asleep/stoned. His assistant called us back the next day and didn’t seem too bad.
On the day itself, the guy seemed…well like he did on the phone. Half asleep and stoned. He had no personality nor seemed terribly interested and we were worried this might affect our pictures.
But luckily it didn’t. We ended up with lots of beautiful pictures. I think the long and short of it is, he’d been in the business a long time and knew how to take great shots and just didn’t need to put much effort in. It is a shame about the lack of personality compared to our friend, but I guess you don’t pay for that, you either get it or you don’t.
If there’s anything you specifically want, let him know. Maybe even approach him with examples of shots you like from other people’s pictures done by another photographer. The pictures in his gallery might just be all he was asked to do. If you approach him with new idea’s he might embrace it happily 😉
Post # 15
@RockStar33: The wedding is in MO and we live in Chicago so aren’t able to do engagment shots with him. That would be a good idea though!
Post # 16
Thanks for all the advice! I know I can’t try to change the photographer’s style, even with a “must-have” list. And the last thing I want to be doing is directing the photographer when he should be directing us!
If it helps, here is a link to his website:
And here is a link to a photographer that I really like:
Maybe there’s a way I could hire a second photographer for a few hours? For the getting ready shots (I’d prefer to have a woman there) and up to the reception. Would that offend or annoy either photographer?