Opinions Please! I want to change my photographer.

posted 1 month ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 2
Member
579 posts
Busy bee

Option 1 — while honoring whatever contract (deposit) you have in place with the family friend. 

Post # 3
Member
639 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2020

Option 1. I honestly don’t know why you’d do Option 3. You don’t get anything out of it. I think he wants to bring along a buddy for backup in case he messes up your photos. 

Post # 5
Member
59 posts
Worker bee

Photography is sooo important. I’d hire a local photographer and gently let him know you prefer him be a guest and enjoy your wedding 

Post # 6
Member
1260 posts
Bumble bee

Option 1. And do it fast before anything formal and any details are being discussed. Your reasoning is good and maybe even throw in that you guys were all drinking so probably got a bit over excited, you really just want him to be there relax and enjoy the event as a guest.

Post # 8
Member
2691 posts
Sugar bee

I wouldn’t immediately jump to option 1. I’d test him out first. Get some engagement photos with him. If you don’t like them, you have a much better excuse than he’s never done a wedding before. Just because he hasn’t done one doesn’t mean his photos will stink.

Post # 10
Member
639 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2020

A lot of photographers include engagement photos in their packages. I think your friend photographer should just attend as a guest, especially since you don’t have anything formal in place and he originally offered to do it for free. I am sure he will be secretly relieved to know he won’t have to bring all his expensive camera equipment on a plane. 

As a general rule, I think it’s best to use local vendors because they’re more familiar with the area, weather, lighting, and are more likely to have back up vendors if they have to call in sick or something.

Post # 11
Member
537 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

I asked a friend who’s an excellent photographer (semi-pro) but never shot a wedding before. He did it for free in exchange for a charitable donation. We had another gifted friend as a sidekick. She did the pre-wedding getting ready shots.

It worked REALLY well for us. So I would go for it. But what I would say is:

– it’s essential to trust him. We had zero concerns about our friends’ photography skills and already knew we loved their style.

– having two photographs were fab as it made both them and us more relaxed – it was unlikely that both would be disasters! But it was good to be clear about who was ultimately the chief photographer in charge, and what their roles were. We had our chief photographer taking pre-wedding shots of the groom, ceremony from the front, formal family shots, some private shots of us, and he also asked to setup a booth so he could take portraits of guests during the reception. The sidekick took pre-wedding shots of the bride and bridal party, journey to church, ceremony from the side and random candid shots of guests. 

– we hadn’t seen any pro photographers who we liked more. Also, I’ve experienced a pro losing all their photos before (not a wedding shoot) so I don’t trust them more than a good amateur.

-we’d have been sad but not devastated if none of his photos came out. Partly because we had back up, and partly because we didn’t have very specific lists of MustHave shots.

I have no regrets at all and would do the same again. But you seem to have more concerns so can’t advise on what’s right for you. 

Post # 12
Member
7000 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

I would highly suggest hiring a photographer who is experienced with weddings. Weddings are a totally different beast than ANY other kind of photography. It’s a fast paced day with a lot of hurdles thrown your way, varying lighting conditions, and lots of emotions/drama. An experienced wedding photographer is well-versed to handle all of those things. Seriously I can’t tell you the number of fires I regularly put out on a wedding day – all while still doing my actual job of photographing. 😉

Now I completely understand that some couples are on a very limited budget and hiring an inexperienced friend might be all they truly can afford. However, if you desire quality photographs and you have the budget you need to hire a professional.

I would just say “Hey friend, the more we thought about it we really would like you to be able to come and enjoy the wedding as a guest. We think your landscape photography is amazing but think we’d feel more comfortable having someone who regularly shoots weddings to capture the day.”

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