Post # 1
We are getting day-of wedding photography for free from my fiance’s uncle and my aunt, both out-of-town photographers who’ll just be there for the day. I’m TOTALLY NERVOUS about the quality of their photos, not because they’re bad but because they’re not professional wedding shooters.
I want to guarantee we have some good wedding-era photos of fiance and I. (All of our photos together save one are either from photobooths or cell phones.) But I don’t want to spend a ton, so we can only do one of these things!
My two options are:
- Get engagement photos here in Austin. This is probably going to be the more expensive option, and I’m not sure it’ll have that special, wedding-y photo feel, but I do like the idea of having photos ready by the time we’re married so I’m more relaxed on the day. I also like the idea of some Austin backdrops because we’re probably leaving town in the next year or so and I’ve lived here for a decade; I’m not sure whether I’d want it in nature or an urban setting, or what we’d wear.
- Get post-wedding trash-the-dress-but-not-quite beach photos on our mini-moon to Galveston. I’d wear my short, casual reception dress (perfect for the beach — I plan to rewear it no matter what) and my new husband would wear something casual, too. I think it’d be nice to have that post-wedding romantic feel, and the beach is such a wonderful setting, but it doesn’t exactly thrill me to be spending time on our too brief (Sunday-Tuesday) retreat getting our pictures taken.
Any suggestions or advice? Anyone done a post-wedding shoot away from their wedding site?
Post # 3
I voted for engagement photos. You’ll be too blissed out right after the wedding to want to pose for more pictures! We were supposed to have a “day after” shoot but cancelled it because we just didn’t want to spend more time taking pictures. Our photographer kindly agreed to an anniversary shoot instead.
If, after you see your wedding photos, you find you want more photos in formal wedding clothes, you can always schedule an anniversary shoot.
Post # 4
@jmarvellous: Personally, I would go for dressing up in your formal clothes again and doing a post wedding bridal shoot. Mainly because I think you are correct to be nervous about the quality of the photos you will receive from your wedding day. It sounds like your situation is pretty much a done deal, so I don’t want to be mean and scare you too much, but I do think you should be aware of what you may be in for, hiring anyone to photograph your wedding that has no experience.
This thread was just a few days ago… there’s been many others like it, including brides filled with regret from hiring inexperienced family members or friends to do their wedding photos. It’s not directly on point, but there are posts that give some insight as to why it’s a bad idea to hire someone with no experience to shoot your wedding. You don’t mention what type of photography your aunt and uncle do… really, NOTHING else is like wedding photography though.
Photographer! Am I crazy to book this person?
Obviously, if you understand the risks, and are comfortable with the possibilities of bad quality photos or missed shots, then that is totally fine. But I would feel terrible if I didn’t at least give you a chance to consider this… since your wedding hasn’t happened yet.
As I said, if you do go ahead with your current plan, I would recommend planning to do bridal portraits with your husband afterwards. There’s just no way an inexperienced photog is going to be able to do a professional job with this. If I were in your position, I would definitely want to get some pro pics in my wedding dress, even if I wasn’t going to have them done the day of my wedding.
Post # 5
We were originally going to do both! We had already done engagement photos and our wedding was tentatively planned for Hawaii. If we still were getting married in Hawaii then I would definitely still be doing post-wedding pics on the beach. I planned to wear my dress and him in his tux, but we would be more relaxed (my hair wouldn’t be so perfectly fixed like on your wedding day, his tie would be loosened, etc). I love both ideas, but if I had to choose one over the other I think I’d go for the post-wedding pics! Its different, its right after you get married as opposed to months before so I think the pics would have a different feeling and be very romantic.
That being said, I do love Austin backdrops! I went to UT and Fiance went to Texas State so we’re familiar with the area and would have loved to have been able to do our engagement pics there! I still vote for the post-wed pics, but if you decide to go with the epics you still can’t go wrong!
Post # 6
Please hire someone to take your ceremony photos. Maybe have your Aunt and Uncle do the pre-wedding and Recpetion photos, but you really want someone with expereiece doing the ceremony.
Post # 7
@seAprilbride: Thanks for the doom and gloom. J/K … This uncle shot my future in-laws’ wedding 35 years ago, my future sister-in-law’s wedding 4 years ago, and other family weddings along the way. He is a pro who mainly shoots photos for a weird sector I don’t want to mention because it’s so unusual, but I’m not terribly worried, just somewhat concerned; it involves lots of movement, so I bet he can capture people in action. My aunt does beautiful portraiture and posed photos, as well as still-life type photos and some commercial work, so I trust her for family shots.
Anyway, thanks again for being such a downer, but my question really was about these two options. I cannot, in any way, afford a photographer for the wedding day.
@adoc86: Thanks! I think you might be right about the value of immediacy, and you totally understand the allure of Austin. Gives me something to think about.
Post # 8
@KoiKove: Seriously, this is not an option, and I’m OK with it.
Post # 9
@jmarvellous: I said my idea wasn’t to scare you or be mean… but I think not hiring a pro photographer is one of the main regrets I’ve heard on and off from many people about their wedding day. As I said, since yours hasn’t happened yet, I think it was appropriate to mention my concerns.
In the end, obviously it’s totally up to you, and it doesn’t matter to me one way or the other… just giving the best advice I possibly can.
Between your options, I would still vote for the post wedding photos for sure. We hired a pro photog and I’m going to give her as much time as I can to do portraits… and I still might do a post wedding shoot too (we live in a different state than where we are getting married, and I might do post wedding photos in the area where we live, for different scenery and a different feel). IMO, I’d much rather have beautiful photos on my wall of me in my dress than the dress in a box, never to be seen again.
Post # 10
Of those two… I’d opt for the Engagement Photos… and here is why.
Based on your UPDATE (Reply # 6)…
I’d say that the Aunt & Uncle’s Photos are gonna turn out just great… they may not be Wedding Photographers per se, but they seem to be professionals. So it is a great way to save some bucks. Great for you.
In addition to them, there will be of course friends & family members who will be taking pics at your Wedding. As any photographer can tell you… one shoots a ton of film to get ideal shots (ratio is high to low). As so many others will be taking pics, the ratio will also be high to low… but you may be surprised that there are some great pics in the mix. Pics that you want to print etc.
Consequently… between these two elements you are gonna end up with a good amount of decent Wedding pics.
And altho the Trash The Dress shoot sounds like a lot of fun… lets face it, it has its limitations.
One you’ll be in your Wedding Attire but again.
Two it cuts into your precious Honeymoon time.
Three… see one and two above.
Engagement Pics – Truly a fabulous idea. As you can take em with a far more relaxed state of mind … not the “deer in the headlights” buzz that happens on your Wedding Day… or the “gosh I’m so tired… and would be rather doing something else on my Honeymoon” thing that could happen for a Trash The Dress shoot.
Engagement Pics should capture a unique sense of intimacy and anticipation / excitement for the big day. And lots of love. Well taken shots, and I believe that all comes thru 10-fold. Plus your beloved city will be your backdrop (you never forget the city where you fell in love, got married, lived first as newlyweds). You can feature whatever aspects of it as you like. You can do costume changes. Pics can be formal or relaxed… or both. You can incorporate your Wedding theme. Soooo many options.
Ya, I’d go with the EPics… and that is how I’ve voted.
Hope this helps,
Post # 11
Thanks! I was being sarcastic (gosh, that’s no good for the Internet, is it?) about the family photogs thing. I’ve gone over it a thousand times in my head and I just can’t justify spending money when we’ve got these wonderful, free resources.
Our wedding budget (minus honeymoon and rings) is about $2,500 at the absolute max edge, and most photographers I’ve liked (I admit to being picky — I’m a journalist by training and would not pay hundreds for bad photos!) are more than half of that for a day of coverage — and many are even more than that — and even the ones who understood my budget were either very limited in their coverage or experience and still $600+.
I just can’t do it. Rather than cheap out on the day, we’re looking to spend a couple hundred for a photo-centric opportunity at another time.
Thanks again to everyone who’s contributed.
Post # 12
@jmarvellous: You know, I really respect your position. And I totally agree with you. The rip off in wedding photography is not brides paying $3000+ for a professional photographer. It’s when brides wind up paying $1000 for a photographer that doesn’t know what they’re doing and provides bad service and photos.
I have always said, you might as well have a family member take your photos and save even that $500-1000 because your results will be about the same. And in your case, they will likely be much better. I think you’re making the right choice… since you don’t have the budget for a true pro, having your photography covered for free is better than paying someone $500+ that doesn’t deserve any money and probably won’t do as good a job.
Best of luck!
Post # 13
Depends on if you have nice pictures of your “courting” pre-engagement phase. If you don’t really have any nice photos of this time, then go for the engagement shoot.
If you’re like me, and photogrpahed every little holiday/trip/etc., then skip it and go for that romantic shoot on your honeymoon!
Don’t be afraid to be different!
Post # 14
I’d rather have the post-wedding shoot.
Post # 15
Update: We are so busy leading up to the wedding, and the cost is less than half for the minimoon photos, and my fiance is much more excited about frolicking on the beach than playing in the urban streets, so we booked the honeymoon beach photos instead.
I know it’s not what the survey said, but when my heart was rooting for the losing option I knew it was the way to go.
Post # 16
I would honestly hire a professional photographer to capture your ceremony and/or reception. It’s awesome to have someone you know take photos for free, especially when wedding photography can be so expensive, but that’s one of the only takeaways you have from the day. The wedding will fly by so quickly, and after all of the food is eaten and the last song is played, you’ll only have memories and (hopefully) amazing pictures for years to come. A coworker of mine had a couple people take photos on their wedding day in lieu of a professional photographer nearly 15 years ago and he still deeply regrets not hiring a professional to this day.