(Closed) Have to work with a photographer who’s not my style – advice on giving him input

posted 11 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
6593 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2010

Is he actually a pro-photog?

I think if he is and you just don’t like his style I think it might be insulting! If he is just a hobby photog than I think you could talk to him a bit more about his equipment and ask if he will play around with the shots for you!

It is tough and all I can say is tread carefully! If pictures are really important to you I would even consider talking to him and letting him know his pictures aren’t really your style and going with someone you love!

Post # 5
2324 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2020

Can you go with “Instead of working the wedding, I rather have you there as a guest” That way you could pick somebody who you like. 🙂

Post # 6
1 posts
  • Wedding: May 2009

As a photographer I always welcome someone showing me images that are in the style they love or even exact poses that they want to try. There should be nothing offensive in that at all. It helps convey YOUR idea of the look you want in your photos and if you are the client then you need to be happy.SO I say yes, come prepared with images you love and are looking to have in your wedding album.

It’s much trickier however, getting a straight forward type of photographer to be more artistic. Some people just don’t have the eye for those angles and whatnot. I think if he is at all professional he should be open to discussing “Styles” but if he is THAT far away from the style you are looking for it might not even be worth discussing, you just need a different photographer.

As for the graininess in photos it sounds like you’re talking about digital noise. This can happen with poor equipment but also if they have the ISO setting too high. i don’t want to get too technical with you on it, but the bottom line is that renting equipment will only get someone so far if they don’t know how to use it. Plus you really don’t want him fiddling with new equipment he’s not familiar with on your wedding day. There are no do overs at the wedding!

I think the issue here is less about insulting him and more about if you want to risk your wedding memories! I am sure you’re getting a great deal since it’s a fmaiy friend, but how much would it be worth to you to have photos that are clear and that you actually LOVE of your wedding? No money will let you go back and re-live the day for a better suited photogpraher to shoot later! Just choose carefully. Good Luck!




Post # 7
79 posts
Worker bee

i know it can be difficult to go against family, but they’ll get over it…or else they really don’t love you.


its your wedding, not theirs…if this photog isnt your cup of tea, get another one.  your family should respect your decision.  just cause someone likes something, doesnt mean you have to, family or not. if you’re old enough to get married, you’re old enough to pick your own photographer

as a photographer, i wouldnt be insulted if a client wants me to shoot a different style, i will just decline to do the wedding….i shoot how i shoot, i can’t change it even if i wanted to.

Post # 8
200 posts
Helper bee

Maybe you could put him to work in a photobooth or something and hire a pro you really like for the real photography.

I think that you would be well within your rights to find a photographer whose style you really like and who will take pictures you will love. Find a way to smooth over hurt feelings and ruffled feathers and find a photog you’ll like.

Post # 9
2029 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

This guy sounds terrible, no offesne. I really would advise you to NOT book him. It is one thing top produce technically correct but boring shots. It is quite another for him to not even have the right equipment or the skills to use the equipment properly! I think KateMW’s suggestion is perfect. Or, if you REALLY want to include him, ask him to do your engagement or bridal photos, or even shoot the rehearsal dinner. That way if the photos are bad you will not have lost too much. If you have to, blame it on someone else. Tell him your venue requires you to use their preferred photographer. Tell him you wanted some special effect shots and you know he doesn’t have the right equipment and you don’t want to impose on him by asking him to buy more equipment. Tell him anything, just don’t book him!

Post # 10
19 posts
  • Wedding: January 2015

My first suggestion really is book what you want – not what you feel pressured to. If he’s not your style at all, then the photos you do get are only going to serve as reminders of what you didn’t get as much as they will of the day itself. Any family issues will go away a lot quicker than photos you’re not too crazy about. I really wouldn’t include “family friend” as a must use kind of situation….and reasonable Pros will understand perfectly if they are not your style…he might even understand it more than the family. Also…if he is a part timer – absolutely nothing wrong with that (I did it for years while building things), you still need to be assured that he’s prepared.


Another route around all of this if you will still use him anyway is see if he would be ok with you hiring someone who shoots in the style you want, and he can still be the “primary” photographer for formals and more traditional shots. If you’re expected to buy prints and albums through him then that may not be an option, but if not, and he’s providing you with the files anyway, then it may be worth asking.

Personally option 1 is still the best though…good luck!

Post # 11
209 posts
Helper bee

As what the other said, this is your wedding.  It should be how you want to remember it by.  🙂 If he does not shoot the style you want, just ask if he would like to 2nd shoot for the photographer of your choice.  That way he will still be there “shooting” your wedding, but you will get the style you want with some additions from his work.

Let us know how it goes. 

Post # 12
7081 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2009

Rose- if I can gently add my two cents (and the hive will hear more from me on photography at some point), photography is crucial.  It represents the way that you will remember your wedding.  It is very difficult for someone to change their style or learn new techniques if they’ve been practicing one way for a long time… and photography doesn’t sound like this person’s priority if it is only a side business.

I can safely say that many people in my life thought I was absolutely ridiculous for booking an expensive photographer for our budget wedding.  Each one of those individuals actually made it a point to come find me or email me and tell me how wrong they were in their original assessment.  One is going so far as to probably book our photographer for an upcoming wedding.

A lifetime of pictures you don’t want to look at isn’t worth sparing some feelings… It’s just not.

Get the best photographer you can possibly afford and find another role for this family friend.  Engagement photos?  Second shooter?  Trust me, you won’t regret it!

Post # 13
1205 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

I agree that you should hire who you want – but if you absolutely feel as if you need to have this photographer, get a double-team and tell him to focus on the details and portraits that he’s good at. Then get a second photographer who is your style. Maybe not top-of-the-line, and maybe not for all day.

I don’t think it would hurt to show some pictures of what you expect, and remember — the poses are up to ther person who’s in the picture! You can set up cool poses.

Post # 14
303 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2010

Just to throw my two cents in regarding using him as a second shooter…if you decide to go that route, that is. Many photographers have in their contract that if you have a second shooter, their contract is null and void. My photog has this byline…if they see someone else taking pictures with a camera that has a detachable lens or flash, they can walk out. So definitely double check that.

I understand about not hurting your family’s feelings, and not hurting the photog’s feelings by not having him work your wedding…but having him as a second shooter may end up hurting his feelings even more by having to have someone get the “good shots” while he sits on the sidelines. I agree with those who have said to ask him to be your guest, not one of your vendors.

Post # 15
183 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

Maybe it’s because photography was one of my top priorities and I just assume it is for everyone else also, but I would discourage you from going with someone whos style does not match yours. Also, from the sound of things he isn’t the top photographer in terms of knowledge and talent either and I doubt a whole lot of that will change just by your showing him a few photos you like. I really don’t want you to regret this decision and be unhappy with your photos just because you want to keep the peace. 

My mom wanted me to have a friend of hers photograph my wedding and he did nice work, for a hobby, but he was very shy and did traditional, posed shots and I wanted a take charge type of person who would do more photojournalistic/artistic shots. She quickly came around when she saw the photographer I wanted to book and photos from their online portfolio. I’m so happy I got what I wanted because I have gorgeous photos that I will cherish forever!

I think others here have given some great suggestions as to how you can get out of having him shoot your wedding or giving him something else to do while not insulting him. If he really is a friend he’ll understand that this is a really important day and respect your decision. 

Post # 16
209 posts
Helper bee

@Ms. Annalytical, yeah that is true about the contract clause.  But if she discusses that with the other photographer, that would (or might) mitigate that situation. As a photographer, if a client wants to bring in their own 2nd shooter, I have no problem as long as the 2nd shooter talks to me before the wedding.  Kinda lame to shoot together without saying anything to each other. 

@doctorgirl, I know you meant no harm, but I don’t think just because someone does wedding photography on the side does not mean he/she treats photography any less of a priority.  While I can only speak for myself, I think there could be reasons why he is choosing to do it on the side for now.  I do it on the side for my own personal reasons, with the thoughts of eventually going full time in the future. 

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