(Closed) Friend as Photographer – what to do??

posted 12 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
2419 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

How much had you actually discussed?  Rates?  Contracts? Is he a pro.. or just a friend with a camera?  Even if he’s your friend you should still pay him… for instance.  Let’s say as a wedding photographer he would usually charge $2500 for an 8 hr wedding.  Well, you ARE friends, but do you expect a $2500 wedding present from any of your other friends? Or, do you expect any non-family/wedding party to spend 40+ hrs of work on your wedding (in his case shooting and editing photos).  I hate to say it… but it’s usually money that gets in the way…. this may not be the case but your friend, may be feeling taken advantaged of.  

Whenever you have a “friend/vendor” sign contracts.  Even if it’s to be free.. you need a contract.  You put your friendship and wedding on the line with a friend/vendor… so contracts should be a given.  I pretty much refuse to do friends weddings because it turns to drama so quickly it’s not worth it to me.

I would begin a search in your area.  IF he gets back to you and you wound up booking someone else.. so be it.  You won’t be loosing out.  If you keep waiting and he falls through… you might.  Just send him another message and say you would really like to sign a contract with him, but until you hear from him your going to begin interviewing others.

Regardless of who you use, just make sure your excited about the photographer and their work… make sure they excite your heart.

Sorry… hope this helps.

Post # 5
41 posts

How your photographer interacts with you professionally – just because he is a friend doesn’t mean that he should be relaxed when it comes to your money. A good photog is both artistic and is also a customer-oriented business person. Do you want to be nagging him for previews? Do you want to be nagging him for delivery of the product? For getting in touch with you? As a bride, you deserve the best customer service that meets your needs. I suggest that you start shopping around for other photographers as well in case your friend isn’t going to work out. I agree with KLP2010

Post # 6
131 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2009

I kind of believe it’s not always great to mix business with friendship. While on the one hand it seems like a great idea to have someone you know do your wedding photography and get a good rate, on the other hand, it could turn sour very quickly. Also, I guess I would ask how long he’s been doing it professionally? If he’s just out of school, then there’s a possibility he doesn’t understand the professional side yet – i.e. contracts, etc. It’s very common for any creative degree to get the creative side and not get the business side in school.

It could still work out, as you said – his phone isn’t working. But I’m with everyone else – start looking for another photographer. Then maybe your friend can be a 2nd photographer to catch other moments your photographer will be too busy to get. This could work out on both sides – not so much pressure on your friend, but still getting a chance to use him as a photographer.

Post # 8
70 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

This is something near and dear to my heart.  Our friend is a pro editorial photog that used to do weddings as a way to pay bills, now he’s onto editorial work exclusively.  He offered to shoot our wedding for us as his gift to us…..HUGE gift!  At first we didn’t want to accept, it’s just such a huge gift and I didn’t want him to feel like he was “working” at our wedding.  BUT…he would hear nothing of it.  Plus my, now husband, is a photographer and the deal was that he was going to shoot and hand off the files to us for the editing (which is the really big part of the project)

In retrospect, I would have declined the gift for a couple of reasons:

1)  I felt because this was a gift I had little asking rights…meaning, I just let him do his thing feeling like if I didn’t I would seem bossy.

2)  It’s four months later, and we have yet to see a shot from our wedding.  Will I get them…yes.  But I’m left to wait unitl he’s ready.

I’m sure the photos will be amazing because he’s so incredibly talented!  But if I had to do it again, I would just hire a photog.


Post # 9
905 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I have to agree with the others, that you should just hire a different photographer. You may be really comfortable with him, but if he is such a close friend that he would normally be just a guest, it might not work out. At my first wedding, I hired a photog for the ceremony that came with our Destination Wedding package, but my parents are also semi-prof. photogs and I wanted them to take the rest of the pics. Bad idea. My parents have ither duties as my parents and they got so involved in taking photos that they forgot about their dutied as my parents. Than, at the reception back home, my Mom was so nervous about the big party, that she went around taking pics all night and then realized there was no film in the camera (10 yrs ago). So, I ended up with NO pics of my recpeption! I know this is an extreme example of what can happen, but I thought I should share it. This time, I am not having any friendors unless they are someone that is just an aquaintance and wouldn’t normally be invited (the only position I’m considering this for is DOC).

Post # 10
65 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I’d agree something’s sounding very fishy.  The lack of communication etc.  I think it will add more stress to your wedding planning than not.  — now is he going to stay the hours you’d like an actual photographer would at your wedding?  Is he going to work as hard as a an actual paid photographer would? The lack of communication is sending me a message that he’s not taking this as seriously as a pro would.  So if you trust your ability to find a good photographer, you probably should “fire” him nicely.

Post # 11
749 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

I don’t think you’re ever going to be happy in this situation. He can’t be relied upon the way you need to rely on your wedding photographer. It’s time to find someone who answers their emails.

Post # 12
5 posts

I agree. I never shoot weddings for freinds. There are too many things that could go wrong. If I were you I would hire a professional.

One of the main reasons I don’t shoot friends’ weddings is because I want to be there to enjoy the day and not work.

But there is just a certain dynamic that happens when friends get into business transactions. It’s not healthy.

Now, all of that is in general.

Specifically, it sounds like he’s unreliable anyway. Good photography talent is very different from good people and business skills. Both of those things are very important to shooting weddings.

Hire a professional.

Post # 13
28 posts
  • Wedding: January 2010

My photographer is a good friend of mine and so far everything is running smoothly. He had done so much for me and doesn’t charge me extra.

I think any photographer should value your time and be professional may this be your friend or not.  From what you said he’s not a professional, so I advise that you pick a different photographer.


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