Post # 1
Here’s the deets. My moms friend takes photos… she went to school for it, has the equiptment and takes pictures on a regular basis, but it’s not her full time job and while her still life shots are really good she’s never shot a wedding before.
My mom asked her to take the photos and she agreed, plus she agreed to do it as a gift to us (which my FI is estatic about, yay saving money!) but as time goes on I’m getting kind of nervous. Photos are a big deal to me, and having been in the wedding photography world before I know it can be stressful and there are small windows to get certain shots. I arranged for us to get our wedding photos done at an awesome place indoors, plus our ceremony is at night… so whoever takes the photos will know how to play around with f-stops and bounce light so we don’t look washed out and underexposed.
I keep telling myself as long as we have a couple useable photos I’ll be happy, but I’m not sure.
Anyone else been in this situation before? Words of wisedom? Am I panicking over nothing?
ps. hiring someone else, or asking her not to do it is NOT an option… I briefly brought it up with my mom and she freaked out a bit. Plus my mom has been aggressive throughout the wedding planning process because of other family drama (Whole other post! Not having traditional wedding… ect.)… things are calming down now so I would rather not add any unnecessary drama.
Post # 2
I’d ask if she could do an engagement shoot for you, or maybe come photograph your shower or something, just so you get a sense of how she is at taking pictures of people, not objects. Also set up a meeting with her to go over the whole schedule of the day and the shots you want taken. Good luck!
Post # 3
winterwoodlandbride15: Remember it’s your wedding. Are you and FI paying for it yourselves? If so and you can budget it maybe get an additional photographer and see if they would work with the friend? I sort of had this issue too with my uncle. Photography is his hobby and he does a great job. I have him take the yearly family photos,pics of the kids, etc, but he had never done a wedding before. So I asked if he would take pictures of the rehearsal and take the day off to enjoy himself at the wedding. Needless to say, he still broght his camera and he capture a ton of great images in addition to all the great images my professional photographer got. But remember the ultimate decision is up to you and how you want to remember the wedding through photography 5, 10, 50 years later. Good Luck!
Post # 4
YIKES. I feel for ya. Wedding photos and photography are not just getting some equipment and clicking a button – SO much more to it than that…. If I were you, I’d hire someone else. IF that’s really not an option, I’d hire a pro to do a day after session so at least you get some good portraits of the two of you….
Post # 5
Thanks for the advice ladies!
Asking her to take bridal shower photos would be great!
I thought about hiring another person, but I didn’t want to offend her. I also considered hiring someone to take the bridal party photos and then she can take the ceremony/reception photos. Our wedding day is also her birthday… so I’m kind of using that as an excuse because we’re having a late ceremony. Saying, ‘This way she can have the morning and afternoon to herself for her birthday.’
Another issue is FI doesn’t care about photos, so doesn’t want to spend money on a photographer when we have one, for free! I think I can work on him though.
Post # 6
winterwoodlandbride15: Depends on how important wedding pics are to you.
I have chosen my photographer a few years ago! I am into photography myself, so i thought i would really love something BETTER than i can take/edit . We’ve done an egagement shoot with her and I have booked her for our wedding BEFORE the venue or anything else. To me – this is the way to preserve memories, something we are going to treasure. Plus it will be all family and friends together so would be nice to have super professional pics of everyone.
Now to that lady, how are her portraits overall? If she can take good portraits ( like flattering, not overly edited, with light falling right, etc) – then give her a chance to shoot engagement or something.
If you are not wowed, you will have to put your foot down and get one more photographer. Still let her do it, and just explain you want 2!
BTW my photographer comes with an assistant, so there are 2 people taking pictures, to make sure that no important moments are missed!! So UNLESS he has an equally talented assistant you can always harp on that.
Post # 7
winterwoodlandbride15: I would be freaking out. I’ve seen so many bad wedding shoots website full of them. You could ask her to write a list of shots she plans on getting. At least that will make her think.
You could also hire a photograph and ask them to look like a guest and get the shots.
In the end it’s your wedding. i think you could do a practise run at the same time of night and see if her shots work.
Post # 8
I would not be comfortable with this. Photos were/are really important to me and that was our biggest splurge. These are what will last long after your wedding is over. If you must, then I’d test her out with other shoots like PPs mentioned, and see how it goes from there.
Post # 9
Okay so I am totally feeling you. I have a great friend doing wedding photos, she is good, but not my dreamy swoon worthy photographer. I myself do wedding photography, so this is difficult for me as I want the best of the best. Bottom line, and I am just being honest, she is saving you upwards of 2-3K for the types of pictures I would imagine you may want. Now this is my second wedding, and my first wedding was very expensive and I had that very pricey photographer, and I didn’t print but a few photos. Something you can do to help out with this to make you more comfortable is pick a location at your venue that you know will be shaded, that will create a good exposure for your group shots. That way the ones that will matter (in my opinion) your parents and you and your fiance together and all the ones most people normally get printed will be perfect. As far as the others you want, just send you ideas and make sure she had a good understanding of what you are looking for and give her visuals to hopefully recreate. At the end of the day, you will have pictures and although they might not be the quality you want the event will be captured. You will have saved a ton of money in your budget and you can use it towards something you will use every day vice photos you will look at every few months or so. Just my two cents. 🙂
Post # 10
If photos are really important to you then this is a cause for serious concern. Weddings are very fast paced and they are not easy things to do for even photographers who are seasoned at portraiture. They are not places to learn on the job.
Also engagement shoots and bridal sessions are not ANYTHING like how your wedding will be. So while they are good opportunities to bond with the photographer, even if the results are great for those sort of sessions the pace is so different from the wedding that it’s not going to do anything to prepare them for it.
Post # 11
carrolltobee: Yup! Exactly, and it’s so true. Plus, my FI argument is just because they cost more doesn’t mean they’re better, which is also very true. The photographer could be having an off day. My girlfriend got married and spent over 2K on 2 photographers and she HATES her pictures. I’ve only seen them once in over 2 years and she never printed any off.
I would like to be able to print off at least 2 to display in the house, which I’m sure I’ll get.
AnnaVictoria: I don’t know, I haven’t seen her portrait work! I think I’ll be more comfortable after I do.
Thanks ladies! I do feel better having your comments, knowing my concerns are justified, and also knowing I do have the option of hiring a second shooter. 🙂
Post # 12
I second the idea of getting engagement photos/shower photos. That way you can see how she works and maybe notice particular things that might concern you. She might surprise you. And if she doesn’t wow you, hire a second shooter and explain it away by saying you want shots from different angles.
Post # 13
Why don’t you meet and her and have a talk about what you would like for your photos. Show her examples and styles of the kinds of wedding photos you want so she has a good idea of what to do on your wedding day? I know a lot of brides do that, it’s a good way for photographers to get better at their craft and have great samples for their portfolio and for you, you get what you want!
I did that with my videographer because I thought his style would be very old fashioned since I haven’t seen his work before and he was a friend of my dad’s. We talked things over, I showed him samples of videos I haave seen before and he said, YUP! That’s my style! It turns out that he knew the instructor at a school that introduced various new styles of videography and the style I wanted was one of them! So it helps a lot to talk to them and give them spefically what you like.
I’m doing that soon with my photographer too. She actually told me to bring her pictures that I would like so she can try to get those shots as much as possible and also at the same time, incorporate her stylings as well.
Post # 14
Thanks! I will def do that. 🙂