(Closed) Photographer, professional or friend?

posted 8 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
2190 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

You can either create of a list of all the photos you want taken, details, poses you like, with examples…

or you can go with a professional. Just shop around (really search hard, check out craigslist) and you can find something within your price range.

Post # 4
2190 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

Oh and I meant to tell you, communicate to your friends that you want their absolute best quality work.

Buying some textures, and light room effects can give the a higher quality look to your photos also.



(see the difference)


(there are a ton on that site)

but if they already know of some presets they can purchase that would help them too…just a suggestion 🙂

Post # 5
53 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: January 2011

I say professional – don’t want to ruin friendships over something like this

Post # 6
1041 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

Yea a professional might be the best way to go in this case. If you dont like their work now, i wouldnt take the chance of not liking your wedding photos and losing a friendship.

Post # 7
3049 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 1991

Yea, a lot of people’s friendships are ruined by doing things for the wedding. I can count at least 5 friends who had a terrible cake/photography/you name it at their wedding because it was a friend who did it. Their friends were starting out, and some of them were even professional, but when something goes wrong… the friendship is in line. You can save it now by just saying you’re looking for something else, and you want them to enjoy the wedding instead of work at it.

Post # 8
903 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

We used a friend because we had a really low budget. I had seen a few weddings but was only happy with one of them, so I was a little nervous, but ours turned out well (I’ve seen better, because I stalk photographer’s blogs, but they were pretty good and an amazing deal for what we got).

That said, some friends of ours just got married and hired another friend (who had never photographed a wedding before and just bought her first DSLR about a month before the wedding). I thought their photos sucked (bad composition, blurry, no creative shots, not editing….). So it really depends on the friend and what you’re looking for.

Have any of the friends you’re considering photographed a wedding before? I would say that’s a big factor, because photographing a wedding is a lot different than just taking portraits because there’s often tricky lighting, lots of details to capture, and you can’t do it over. If they haven’t done a wedding before, I would definitely go with a professional.

Post # 10
1405 posts
Bumble bee

Def Pro, too many horror stories and it’s not worth the risk.  Are these freinds professional photographers or what I like to call “guys with cameras.”   Have they shot weddings before so you can see a sample of their work from START TO FINISH to get an idea of the coverage and quality you will get in teh finished product?  Don’t just go by 5 nice pictures they took at weddings….

Also, lightroom effects don’t make a good photo.  A good photo is made in the camera.

Post # 11
7300 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

@SandAndSea: Well you really only have a few options. If you can’t budget for a pro then you just can’t. You can take a look at your budget to see what you can cut out to get a pro, but that’s up to you.

You can hire your friends and hope that they continue to improve. Your wedding isn’t until 2012 so they have plenty of time to get out there and start learning and shooting. Tell them what you like, show them photos, keep up with their blog, ect. If by the end of the summer or fall you still don’t think they are good enough then maybe talk to a pro about a payment arrangement? The worst they can say is no. You just have to be realistic with your budget.

Post # 12
3041 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

If you don’t like their work, yet hire them anyways, you will most likely not like your wedding pics, lose a friendship plus regret your wedding photos. Its not always that extreme, but that does happen.

My opinion is to just wait to book a photographer. You have over a year to plan. Try to save up $ for a photographer or cut out other things. Mid-range, students, & newbies most likely will all still be available about 5 to 7 months before your wedding. GET A CONTRACT with whoever you go with! Feel free to PM me a link to their work, or someone else you’re considering & I can review them if you’d like.

Editing can NOT fix a blurry photo or a badly underexposed/overexposed photo & can’t bring back photos that were missed. Don’t rely on editing to fix “bad” photos, it won’t work. Thou, editing can help transform “ok” photos into ones that look good & even great.

Post # 13
3316 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

What we did was to think about what pictures were most important to us.  We then hired a professional photographer on an hourly basis for just a) the end of the getting ready period, b) the ceremony, and c) formals after the ceremony.  We kept the cost down by finding someone on Craigslist, and getting only a disk of the images with reproduction rights, not prints or albums.  Total cost was $400, and we can always order prints or albums later when we have more money.

I would never use family or friends for something that was really critical to us.  The likelihood of being disappointed in the result, and then losing a friendship over it, is just too high.

Post # 14
1690 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

go with a Pro,  then you can invite your friends to the wedding. 

Post # 15
389 posts
Helper bee

I would use your friend as a second photographer and a professional as the main photographer. See if you could cut a deal that your main photographer just do the church and outdoor shots and gives a disc.  Your friend can shoot the rest and you won’t lose.  The ceremony shots are the hardest – the reception is more fun and the area with the cake should be lit and your first dance should be lit.  Other than that, I think you’ll be okay.

Post # 16
91 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

I think it depends on how well your friend is. I have a friend who is a photographer and is fantastic. He really knows his way around photoshop and that is what makes all the difference in the world. If your friends know how to get the best out of the pictures I’d say go for it, but just like all the others have said make sure YOU give the list of the pictures YOU want no matter what.  

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