Post # 1
So I am in a pickle with my photographer choice.
My fiancé’s aunt does photography for fun and offered to do our whole wedding for free. She did some pictures for our engagement and they were cute but they didn’t look professionally edited.
A friend of mine recommended to me to photographer friend of hers so my fiancé and I met up with her and loved her work! After the financial argument of free or paying for quality, I won and booked the professional.
Ever since we had booked this photographer, we have become good friends. I am learning that she is still new to her actual business part of her photography career. She doesn’t give recipts and sometimes she is really hard to get a hold of. This all being said, she is becoming unrealiable.
I am now in a bunch trying to make a decision of keeping her as our wedding photographer, or firing her from the job and just using the advantage of the free family member. I regret getting close to the photographer as a friend, but it has helped me learn more about how she runs things.
What should I do?
Post # 2
- Wedding: May 2017 - Ocean front
omm17 : yikes, have you confronted your friend/pro photog directly about your disappointment and reasonable expectations? How has she been unreliable…goes days/weeks with no reply? After your initial meeting there isn’t much to do with my photographer until much closer to the wedding but mine offers a free venue visit to get to know the layout and discuss good photo opp areas. She’ll also meet my day of wedding coordinator which is also good as they all sort of work together. More details about what she’s doing (or not doing) that has you thinking you want out?
Did you give her a down payment and sign a contract I hope?
Post # 3
- Wedding: September 2017 - Poppy Ridge Golf Course
Honestly, I’m not loving either of your options. I couldn’t tolerate someone unreliable, especially with something as important as photography, but I also would never have a family member or friend do this even if it was free. I’d suggest locating a different professional photographer with an adequate amount of positive reviews and communicating with them to see how that works out. Your chosen photographer seems unprofessional and should not get a pass simply bc you’ve become friends.
Post # 4
I have given her a down payment and we did sign a contract, she is just completely disorganized. And I reccomened another person to her soely on the fact that her work is great, but she is having the same issues with this photographer. I do need to talk to her, I’m just not sure on how to approach it.
Post # 5
- Wedding: September 2017 - Poppy Ridge Golf Course
omm17 : Having a contract changes things. What does it state specifically regarding cancellations and deposit? Can you cancel for any reason and is your deposit refundable?
Post # 6
Hi! I’m a bride-to-be who just joined this site today. I’m also a professional photographer who shoots mostly weddings so this post caught my eye.
Before I get into anything else, I want to ask you to please avoid relying on a family member or friend who isn’t a pro to photograph your special day. I’ve seen it turn disastrous way too many times. Until I began shooting weddings as a second shooter with a very experienced colleague, there were SO many things and issues I didn’t know even existed about photographing weddings. A pro will know how to work with the DJ and coordinator to be sure they know exactly what will happen and when so they can capture every important moment. A pro knows how to become immersed into the action without being intrusive or distracting people during a special moment. A pro knows how to quickly and quietly handle the little things that are sure to come up in any wedding (like a random family member jumping into the aisle in front of the photographer to snap a picture as the first kiss is about to happen – yes, people do this…yay cell phones, lol). Always go with a pro if you want to be 100% certain that you capture these memories properly. It would suck to spend so much money on one day if you aren’t going to have captivating memories of all that happened (much of which you’ll miss because of all the action, and there are so many moments you’ll only see if you have photographs of them). I myself am hiring my awesome colleague who trained me to shoot weddings. I wouldn’t have it any other way! 🙂
There are a lot of people in my industry who have great talent, but who are not seasoned business owners yet. There are countless others who claim to be a professional but their work is terrible (out of focus, shot with the wrong white balance, over-edited, don’t have the proper equipment or backup equipment, don’t know the first thing about how to deal with an 8-hour job as important as a wedding, the list goes on.) Sounds like you found someone whose work is great but she jumped into the wedding business and doesn’t yet have an understanding of how to operate it the way clients expect. Steer clear of anyone who doesn’t offer a contract. That is so important. If she did create a contract with you, you may lose the deposit if you fire her. There’s no way to get around that if the contract states there’s a non-refundable deposit. But if your gut says she isn’t trustworthy, trust that and accept the loss. It isn’t worth having a late or no-show photographer on your day.
It sucks that now you’re in an uncomfortable position because she’s become a friend. If you truly care about the friendship, maybe first you could just bring it up in a totally casual way (you could play the paranoid bride role – something like, “man I can’t wait to discuss some stuff about my wedding photos! I’m really freaking out about my big day!”) Maybe she’s overwhelmed because she hasn’t been in the business very long, and she thinks that because you guys are friends you understand. That being said, being friends should have absolutely NOTHING to do with one’s professionalism. I’ve photographed weddings for people I was friends with, and they got the same respect and professional treatment as total strangers.
When is your wedding? Is it too late to hire another pro?
Sorry this got so long! I really hope this situation works out for you!