(Closed) Experienced expensive photographer or …. ?

posted 6 years ago in Photos/Videos
  • poll: Professional or Amateur?
    Professional and expensive, less risk! : (33 votes)
    41 %
    Amateur (but amazing!) and much cheaper... Give the kid a go! : (48 votes)
    59 %
  • Post # 32
    5654 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: April 2011

    We used a novice photographer for our wedding BUT he did have experience in shooting lots of pics of his babies & toddler (talk about moving targets). Had he not had experience in people I wouldn’t have been comfortable using him for our wedding, regardless of him being dirt cheap. You can find links for all of my recap threads here.

    I agree with the ladies that suggested doing a small engagement session and see from there. GL

    Post # 33
    4192 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry

    Option C: I would keep looking.

    Post # 34
    1284 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: September 2014

    I think everyone will tell you to find an experienced photographer but I so would not.  I would do exactly what you have planned.

    My photographer has only done two summers of weddings and we booked her for $1200, $1600 after we added a second shooter.  For 8 hours of shoot time and 500 photos.  I love her photos.  I mean REALLY love them.  I can’t fathom paying 5k or more (but I know it depends on your area) when there are so many other quality options.

    This sounds like a win-win for both you and photographer, and camera experience and nice photos (and editing experience) sounds like all you need for 4 guests and a short ceremony.  It sounds like it’s a stepping stone to get him an “in” with other brides in the future, plus a fun vacation!

    Post # 35
    563 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2014

    @Rainstorm77:  Nope, I meant all of them. It looks like he has little experience with people. His lighting and editing aren’t very good. Most photographers have a niche, his appears to be wildlife. But he’s still extremely amateur. Weddings take a lot of skill, being able to shoot in any lighting situation, knowing your camera inside and out, and most of all experience which this guy has zero of. If you were to say he has shot a few weddings, or he’s been shooting portraits for years it’d be one thing, but he has little people experience at all. I would keep looking. 

    Post # 36
    1081 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: July 2013

    @Rainstorm77:  I voted for the amateur.  You commented multiple times about how great his photos are, so I know you mean it!! πŸ™‚  Also, it is a small wedding, so it cannot be too difficult to shoot, and if you give him a list (or even examples??) of specific photo opps you don’t want him to miss, it could help a lot!

    If I were in your shoes, I’d go with the amateur hands down because I’d just feel better inside about it… even if the photos weren’t as amazing, I’d like them more because I’d know we did such a wonderful thing to a young professional starting out by giving him the opportunity to travel, build a portfolio, and shoot his first wedding.  The photos would have more sentimental value and be more special to me knowing that. πŸ™‚

    Post # 39
    1314 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: May 2006

    Seems like you had your mind made up before you asked us the question.

    Post # 41
    1024 posts
    Bumble bee

    Another photographer weighing in here – It’s great that you’ve found someone whose work you like so far, but I’d definitely suggest scheduling an engagement session with him. You may not necessarily want engagement photos, but it’ll help you guage how comfortable you are in front of his camera, if you like how he works with you during the session, his professionalism after in delivering your photographs (on time? as promised..?), and finally, you can see if he captured the essence of what you were hoping for. (You can also give him feedback on angles you’re not too fond of and he can keep that in mind when photographing your wedding if need be.) 

    He seems to enjoy getting creative photographs, but I agree with the PP who mentioned that capturing genuine emotion is super important and hopefully this photographer knows when to release the shutter for those rather than just ‘artistic-looking’ shots.

    In the end it’s your decision, but it wouldn’t hurt to try him out for an engagement session!

    Post # 42
    563 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2014

    @Rainstorm77:  Obviously it’s more important to me, I’m a professional wedding photographer πŸ˜‰ and I find portraits are more profitable than weddings haha. If you don’t really care about photos, and don’t want to spend the money, than obviously the inexperienced amateur is a better fit than spending more on the professional.

    Post # 44
    406 posts
    Helper bee

    Pick the amateur. You constantly are referring to adding zeros, cha ching etc in a way that lends me to believe that you don’t in any way value the work and expense that goes in to professional photography. Why pay for a service you don’t value. Makes no sense. I wouldn’t want to work with a client that resents my fee. Though I don’t understand why this thread exists anyway. IF you’ve made up your mind and the opinion of others doesn’t matter…why bother? 

    Post # 45
    3371 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: May 2014

    I feel like there should be an option in the middle, to be honest. There are experienced, well-regarded wedding photographers who are willing to be flexible in their pricing. Our Melbourne photographer was amazing, she’s a total pro and was happy to charge us her engagement shoot price for our mini-wedding (which consisted of getting ready, marriage registry, portraits/family shots in the gardens and then a quick visit to my grandpa). Two hours, and she charged us $600 for the shoot, online gallery and about 300 edited images on USB.

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