(Closed) HELP I’m unhappy with our photographer – but he’s family!

posted 10 years ago in Photos/Videos
  • poll: What would YOU do?
    Tough it out - at least they're pictures : (0 votes)
    Be brutally honest and explain what you want from him : (8 votes)
    29 %
    Look for another photographer : (20 votes)
    71 %
  • Post # 16
    169 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: September 2010

    Look for a new photographer!  A friend of mine recently got married and got photos taken by a family friend (supposedly a pro “photographer).  However… she cried when she got her wedding pictures in. They aren’t at ALL what she wanted. You don’t want to put yourself through that – get a new photographer!

    Post # 17
    739 posts
    Busy bee

    We are one of the pros that DO NOT allow other pro photogs to shoot at the wedding and here is why:

    There are already two of us and we work every wedding together. It’s sort of a dance we do and we have a good way of communicating with out talking and know when we are in a certain position where we need to be so we are not in the shot.

    In the industry amateur and other semi pros are called “uncle bobs” and it makes our job 100 times more difficult because we are competing for the same shots. If it’s important for him to “get the shot” for his portfolio, you bet he’s going to be shooting over my shoulder and stepping in front of me or is standing right behind the couple.

    Not knowing this person at all or how they shoot or them not knowing how I shoot can mean either they are in your photos or I am missing shots because they are distracting me or they are just in the shot and it losses it’s wow factor the B&G hired me for.

    We don’t ever allow anyone else to shoot the formals since we like images where everyone is looking at the same camera.

    Although, it’s in my contract we still get one ever few weddings. This summer I have two really bad examples of this. The first he decided to step in the middle of the isle as the bride walked down with her dad. Yep, we missed those shots because uncle bob decided his shot was more important. The second was when he decided the best shots were from behind the officiate the entire wedding. So he is in EVERY photo 4 feet from the couple during their ceremony. Same wedding he PUSHED me out of the way to get his cake shot, I almost dropped my camera.  AND this was after we already gave him the “bride and groom paid a big sum of money for us to provide them with these images do you mind staying out of our way.” speech.

    For them it’s a competition to show up the pro and devalues the images they can give you.

    Photography has come a very long way in the last ten years, it’s not like riding a bike that once you stop you can just hop back on. Style isn’t something can can just be imitated by looking at someone else’s photos. It has taken me YEARS to develop my artistic style and I didn’t do it looking at other photographers websites I did it from going out and shooting.

    Now for handling your uncle. I would sit him down and explain to him that although you think he is talented his skills just are not what you envisioned for your wedding day. Offer to get dressed back up and have a rock the dress session and he can practice and use those images for his portfolio. Offer to go through the images and as hard as it may be tell him what you like and don’t like about the images this will help him become a better photographer. Let him know he’s more then welcome to bring his camera to the wedding but to please let the pros to the job you paid them to do.

    Good luck, and don’t forget to keep us updated on your decision. It’s good to hear how people resolve their issues on these boards.


    Post # 18
    7975 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper

    I would talk to him about your concerns, and ask him to re-do your e-shoot, if you honestly want to help him get back into the business. Sounds like his old style isn’t going to hack it in today’s market!

    Post # 19
    10363 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: September 2010

    @Mamasita2004: a second shooter that a photographer has chosen to work with is entirely different than a second separate photographer, and if she is trying to make her uncle think that he is a second photographer of equal footing to avoid hurting his feelings, I see that going badly. I really think that is she goes that route, she needs to be upfront with the photographer about her plans (this is coming from someone who actually has done wedding photography btw)

    Post # 21
    294 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: February 2011
    Post # 22
    15001 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: June 2011

    I don’t think I’d have him shadow your main photographer for reason @PizzutiStudios stated.  When I asked a friend about how her photographer was to work for, she said they were great and very nice, but one got a little annoyed by the amount of people who kept trying to take pictures over them.  There should be one (or a set that work well together) photographers to capture ‘the’ moments, and I would not want a distraction or anything to get in their way. Unless you speak to them and they are ok with it.  Personally, I would not compromise on the pics and let him take them if you’re really not happy.

    I’d volunteer more time and e-sessions perhaps anytime he needed subjects to get him more practice.  And even the day of the wedding, I’d try to set aside some extra time for him to do maybe the couples formal/fun shots (can never have too much of those) and then have him do more party and guest shots to really work on capturing the moment and lighting, etc.


    Post # 24
    347 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: April 2020

    I agree with EVERYTHING that Pizzuti Studios said.  We too, do not allow other “professional” photographers at weddings we shoot.  It is explicitly stated in our contract and we go over that part specifically when we sit down with couples to sign the contract.

    I understand you feeling obligated to him because he’s family and because he’s offering this as a gift.  You mentioned he was also planning on using pictures from your wedding as marketing materials for the re-launch of his business.

    I would explain to him kindly that you’d like him to be able to enjoy the wedding and not have to worry about taking pictures on the actual day of.  Instead say that you’d love to have a portait session with just him and your new husband on a day AFTER the wedding.  You can get all dressed up in your wedding outfits again, and if you’re up for it, even get hair and makeup done again.

    You’ll have more time to take pictures and you’ll be more relaxed because you’re not worrying about these being the “real” wedding pictures and all you’ll get.

    Definitely try to discourage him from bringing his big camera/lenses/flashes to the wedding, because he will get in the main photographer’s way.  

    Even if the pro you choose doesn’t have it explicitly in their contract that other photographers are supposed to keep their cameras to themselves, you can tell a little white lie and tell your Uncle they do ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Good luck!

    P.S. He’s a picture of a bride’s “Uncle Bob” from a wedding I did last year.  This could be you!!  Don’t let it happen!

    Post # 25
    209 posts
    Helper bee

    Good choice with deciding with going with a pro.  Family and friends should be enjoying and celebrating your wedding day, not worrying about the shots to be taken, what kind of settings that need to be changed, etc. 

    @Pizzuti, third times a charm.  Did you mention that to the b+g, the uncle bob’s activity?  Cause that was insanely rude and if it were me, I would depart. 

    Post # 26
    1154 posts
    Bumble bee

    It also depends a little bit on what you want from the photography.

    Re what all the photographers are saying about “uncle bobs” “getting in the way” of “must have shots” ( I think these are all good points and make sense).

    But for me there is no such thing as “must have shots” – I couldn’t care less if our photographer gets any particular shots.  I want at least one good picture with my Fiance and I want nice pictures of several family members somewhere.  That’s it for must haves.  For me photos are just about remembering the day.  Any decent photographer should be able to get some great/nice shots even if other people are taking pictures.

    And frankly it depends on who uncle bob is – having my grandfather be happy on my wedding day is way more important to me than making it easier on my photographer or getting any particular shots.

    Post # 27
    1000 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: September 2009

    Plus 1 to what pizzuto said. The only place I might disagree is about actually going over uncle bob’s photos with him and tell him what you do and don’t like about them. Lets not add insult to injury here. Besides, it seems like what you don’t like about his images are completely style based, so critisizing his style doesn’t really make him a better photog. I only MIGHT make him consider a fresher style if he chooses to go in that direction. Some people still like the old classics I’m sure.

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