(Closed) how much to offer our amateur photographer?

posted 5 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
Member
263 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2010

I don’t recommend hiring a family member as a wedding photographer, much less if they are just starting. If you don’t get good wedding photos, your relationship with that person will be strained. 

Post # 4
Member
1314 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2006

This is a potential disaster waiting to happen.  More important than any money changing hands is a contract between the two of you.

Post # 5
Member
747 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I would ask her. My cousin did our e-pics and didn’t want us to pay her so we got her a gift card. My boss is actually doing our pics for our wedding and when I asked her how much she said she would do this as her gift to us!

Post # 6
Member
484 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

@batbrain:  I think you should go for compensating her at a reasonable hourly rate… say $25/hr, so if she will be there 8 hours, offer $200.

I won’t give you a speech on why hiring an amateur that has never shot a wedding is a terrible terrible idea… unless you want one. But I do feel that it is necessary to let you know not to get your expectations too high. She may do ok, and capture everything but not exactly well, or she may be floundering around the whole time, not have a clue what the heck she is doing, and miss moments and provide bad quality/blurry images. 

No other type of photography, even other types of professional photography, prepares you to shoot a wedding.  I understand if you can’t afford anything else, and it is a nice alternative to having absolutely no photographer, but you also need to be prepared for the possibility that these photos are going to be terrible… or that they are not going to be any better than your average guest photos.  I’ve seen the work of many amateur photogs and rarely if ever is it better than your average guest photos.  I’m not saying this to be mean, I just think that you will be much less disappointed if you keep your expectations reasonable, rather than expecting results that she almost certainly cannot deliver.

Please feel welcome to message me if you need any other advice.  I know what it’s like to start out as an amateur and learn my way through by trial and error, so I might be able to suggest some things you or your photog wouldn’t otherwise think of.

 

Post # 8
Member
1314 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2006

contract contract contract contract

Post # 9
Member
484 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

@batbrain:  The only other suggestion I have for you is that sometimes pro photogs will allow you to pay in installments.  I don’t always offer it but for brides in your situation, I sometimes will, because I’d so much rather you get beautiful photos of your day than not. 

What I do is set up a payment plan with the bride and have a firm contract that states that she gets NO photos until after the package is paid in full.  Sometimes that means that she has to wait 6 months or more after the wedding to get the photos… but considering that it’s a once in a lifetime event, I’d much rather have those photos in existence somewhere, even if it takes a long time to get them, than not have them at all with no way to ever recreate them.

Just something to think about… I see your wedding is coming up pretty quickly so I know getting the extra money together is not doable beforehand, but you should talk with the pro photog friend that you have and see if she is willing to work on a payment plan with you.  You can also book the photog for much less time (you can get away with 4 hours of coverage or even less if you work it right) and cut out any extras that she might be including. 

As I said, I just wanted to offer this to you to consider.  If you are willing to spend more money but just don’t have it right now, you can find someone to work with you and get those good photos!  If you just aren’t willing to spend more, that’s a different story, and I’m glad you are ok with the possibility of missed/bad shots. 

 

Post # 10
Member
263 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2010

I pm’d  you.

Post # 11
Member
96 posts
Worker bee

Have you checked facebook to see if there are any local photographers in your area that you may like? I have a buy/sell/trade board in my area and through that I advertise and have seen some good photographers. But people may be able to direct you to someone with a little more experience.

Post # 12
Member
2555 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

I say hire her, shoot her an email saying “just wanted to confirm bla bla bla, also, what’s your rate?” and if she says she’ll doit as a favor, write her a check for 300.

Post # 13
Member
1623 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

I hired an amateur photographer and was very happy about it.  She had shot about 6 other weddings and lots of senior pictures, so I wasn’t too worried about it.

 

I will say, our pictures are just fine.  I wanted beautiful wedding pictures, but I’ll also admit I was not one of those people where I expected/wanted “perfect” pictures or had a vision in mind. I just wanted to make sure we had our day documented and that I liked at least 5 of the poses.

 

We paid our girl $800 for 8 hours, but again she wasn’t a brand new photographer.  Is she giving you the rights to all the photos or do you have to purchase a photo package through her or pay more for the rights?  If it’s all inclusive where she’ll do some edits and give you rights to all the pictures, I think $50/hour would be good.  Remember it also takes time to edit, download, etc. the pictures in addition to the hours spent at the wedding.  Otherwise, I would just ask her what a reasonable rate for her time would be, and then tell her if you can afford it or if it’s out of your budget. 

 

Post # 14
Member
484 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

@MadTownGirl:  

Having shot 6 weddings is definitely better than no weddings at all.  Not everyone is able to learn that fast from the mistakes they make, but at least she had the opportunity to, and I’m sure she made some improvements from first wedding to 6th.  She also had a chance to get used to the fast pace of a wedding and the sheer amount of pressure there is and difficulty staying on your feet aiming a heavy camera for 6 hours straight… Also, you had an opportunity to see her previous wedding work, so your expectations were probably in line with the results she delivered.

You bring up a good point about editing!  OP… before you determine a price you should definitely check to see if your photos will be getting edited or not.  If they will not, I would say no way you should be paying more than a couple hundred.  If she is going to edit them, you might want to increase your number a little, but I still wouldn’t go very high.  $300 tops.

Post # 15
Member
814 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

Listen to continuumphotography. Even if this is family, you NEED a contract. Not negotiable

Post # 16
Member
470 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

I’d talk to her about it, ask her what she feels is reasonable. 

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