@iadornyou: No. Do not book this person to shoot your once-in-a-lifetime wedding. You will absolutely regret it.
I’m not trying to be rude, but you really shouldn’t be asking anyone for advice on this that does not have a background in doing wedding photography. Someone who doesn’t understand all the skill, experience and equipment that goes into it may think it sounds just fine, but that’s not correct. I can give you reason after reason, from a technical standpoint and from the experience of someone who has been there, why this is a bad idea. I don’t even know where to start.
1) Ok, no other type of photography, including other events, is like wedding photography. I’m going to guess that no corporate event has a once-in-a-lifetime moment like a first kiss that if you don’t catch, is going to be devastating. Wedding photography is fast paced, intense, and high stakes work. It takes a lot of time and experience to become adjusted to that kind of pressure.
2) I was a talented portrait photographer before I ever shot a wedding. On the whole, I was significantly better prepared than most people who shoot their first wedding…. and I still made mistakes. The first few times you do it are a learning experience, where you have to evaluate your results and figure out what to do differently in the future. Do you want to be someone’s guinea pig? Wedding photography requires not only specialized equipment, but specialized EXPERIENCE. Is this guy going to know how to adjust your veil so it looks flattering? Is he going to be able to instantly look at the reception room and know the best angles to stand for the first dance? Is he even going to have a clue what settings to put his camera on, and will he figure it out before or after your special moment is already over?
I promise, the people whose weddings I shot at first literally had no other way to afford any photographer, or I wouldn’t have been there. If you do, you’re crazy not to spend it on what is one of the most important aspects of your day.
3) What he’s charging you, $800 for everything INCLUDING an engagement session, is NOTHING to someone that is actually a professional. As someone said earlier, if he is a legitimate professional he is going to lose money on this deal. If he really thought he had the talent, experience, and equipment to do this, he would charge more. If he doesn’t have those things… why would you trust him?
4) And also, 25 edited photos?? So the rest of the 8 HOUR DAY’S worth of photos is just going to be straight from the camera? You’re really going to pay someone $800 to do nothing other than snap some photos, burn them on a CD, and hand them to you? Seriously, just get a guest with any old DSLR camera to shoot your wedding for you for free and then burn the photos on a CD. You will get exactly the same thing, and save even the $800!
I realize the prospect of saving so much money is very tempting, but consider what you’re actually talking about buying. You’re talking about buying the tangible memories that will be cherished for the rest of your life, and cherished by your children, and their children after you’re dead and gone. NOTHING else in the entire rest of your wedding planning means as much as that… not the food you served, not the flowers you carried, not the dress you wore… but the candid, beautiful, happy moments that your photographer captured on the most important day of your life. Put in that perspective, is saving money really worth hiring someone who is guaranteed to produce lower quality results? If you like the look of the $3000+ photogs who you received quotes from, there is NO WAY you will be satisfied with what this guy is going to do for you.
Please, don’t do this. I have no personal stake in this of course, but I’d really feel bad if I didn’t make my best efforts to save you from being devastated by terrible wedding photos and all kinds of regret.