(Closed) Hired A Student Photographer & We Are Her First Wedding, What Do You Think?

posted 12 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
1431 posts
Bumble bee

I would totally use a student vendor… but I’d still ask for a contract.  That way, you know she takes it as seriously as you do!

Post # 4
618 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

I think that’s definitely a way to save some money- we’re having my Future Sister-In-Law do our photography. But just as Mr. Bee said it’s important to have a contract so you both know what you’re getting into.

Post # 5
821 posts
Busy bee

I don’t think you should worry about it. Here’s the deal: she may not get the best shots you’ve ever seen in your entire life, but she is going to capture beautiful memories. Just make sure she has backup equipment and memory cards, and tell your guests you want their pictures too (set up a flickr account so they can add pictures) and you’ll get enough that you should be set!

Good luck and I really think you can do it!

Post # 7
80 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

It looks like she does a lot of experimental portraits… so take advantage of her strengths and get some great semi-posed shots! And for $10/hour, I would be ALL OVER her if I were in your area! I’d say go for it, and good luck!

Post # 9
2419 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

She’s got some good stuff, you might have found yourself a gem. That being said, realize most of her stuff is VERY staged, planned, thought out. Weddings are very quick, spontaneous, and one of the advantages of hiring a pro – is that they know how to anticipate moments and be there before they happen. They’ve been to enough to know the flow, where and what works best regardless of if someone turns the lights off in the middle.

I would make sure she has back up gear – if not, make sure you’ll get a full refund in case of failure and know you risk not having the iamges. Also, IF she delivers and you are more than happy… please tip her. If she’s editing your pictures, every hour of photos will take a pro 3+ hrs of work. So, in reality, she won’t be making $10 / hr. Her work doesn’t end after your wedding ends. It’s basically just starting. SO, if you like it, show your appreciation by giving her closer to what she’s worth, I’d say a min. tip of $500 when she gives you your images if you are happy.

Post # 10
44 posts
  • Wedding: January 2011

Here’s something to think about…a lot of what is in her portfolio are set-up shoots where she can control the lighting i.e. knows the lighting…

LIGHTING is uber important and most “newbie” photographers have the hardset time adapting. Does she know her camera inside out? Can she figure it out on the fly if say you as the couple are on the alter and you are backlit (meaning the background is brighter than your subject)? Does she know how to get you properly lit

What if at your reception venue it’s dark as heck and there is no available light? Can she figure out how to capture that?

– Does she have backup equipment (meaning more than one camera body and more than one lens?) What happens if something happens during the wedding or her lens breaks? (and yes, it HAS happened to me at a wedding, someone knocked into me and my 5k camera + 2k lens was violently ejected out of my hands..(it cost about 3k to repair…)

– Does she have a flash? More importanly, does she know HOW to use her flash? (and I’m not talking about the little pop up flash that comes with the camera)

Are you comfortable with the what-if’s on your wedding day if she can’t perform? What if you get back horribly, dark out of focus pictures? What if her harddrive fails?(I’m assuming she’s digital?) Do you know her back up procdeures???

I’m a photographer myself and always cringe when I see these types of post. While I realize that people are on a budget, please be prepared for the worst. I understand that we all got our start somewhere, but I apprentinced with at least 5 different photogs and 2nd shot over 50 wedding before I undertook one on my own…Not saying that she will do horrible, but just things to keep in mind! I hope things work out wonderfully for you!! πŸ™‚

Post # 12
461 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2010 - Anela Garden Chapel & Japanese Cultural Center, Honolulu

i think it can work out well, her post-op is very artistic! but if you’re having a lot of people in your pictures, make sure she’s comfortable “working the crowd” and commanding uncle so-and-so where to stand, etc. if you’re doing portraits!

Post # 13
1431 posts
Bumble bee

If you’re on an extremely tight budget, I wouldn’t pay for her to photoshop the images – that can really add up!  You can just get some Photoshop filters and apply them on your own…

When you use a cheap/free photographer, you’re not really getting an experienced photographer – as several people pointed out.  But they’re better than nothing!  I like to think of them more like a friend who is very good with a camera.

To minimize any dependence on your cheap/free photog, it’s really important to have your friends take lots and lots of pictures!  And to setup a way they can upload and share them with you… that way, you’ll have a ton of pics to play with.  And most of all, if your cheap/free photog is a no-show or has a glitch, you can still get lots of photos! πŸ™‚

Btw, I wouldn’t give a large tip to someone who is starting out and agreed to shoot a wedding for $10/hour.  If you had the budget for a big tip, then you could probably hire a much more experienced photog!  So it’s kinda a catch 22… but if you’re happy with the pics, you’re kinda obligated to go all out in spreading the good word.

I’m sure things will turn out great – good luck!!!

Post # 15
845 posts
Busy bee

I think if you are very realistic with your expectations, which it sounds like you are, this could turn out great. You might want to ask her to do a walk through of your venue and talk about a few types of photos she might do. Any kind of prep you can give her would probably be very helpful for a first wedding – a detailed schedule of the day, what key events will be happening where, a guide to all the important participants that you want her to take photos of. I think the benefit of a pro is that they can do all this on the fly – figure out who’s who and where to go and what the best shots are. So with a beginner, you should be prepared to give some heavy guidance.

Post # 16
1404 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

you def need a contract, and I would do an engagement session with her first to make sure you like how she handles things.  She needs to be able to round up people and tell them where to stand and such.  That is always hard for a newbie, especially if they are a young student and older people might not listen to them.  See if she can direct you during an engagement session.  

Also, just because you have a contract doesn’t mean she will follow it.  It’s not like shes has a business or anything, so what does she have to lose right now if she cancels on you at the last minute.  I would just be very careful and make sure you have some sort of backup in case things do fall through with her right at the end.

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