(Closed) photographer woes. advice needed.

posted 6 years ago in Photos/Videos
  • poll: what do you think i should do?
    go with original photographer, since he seems to be the most logical, money wise : (8 votes)
    35 %
    talk to cousin, risk having to invite all of the aunts/uncles/cousins : (7 votes)
    30 %
    find a new photographer all together, $3000 isn't too expensive for photos : (6 votes)
    26 %
    something else (explain below) : (2 votes)
    9 %
  • Post # 3
    1710 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: May 2013 - Walt Disney World

    I think since you’ve known your original photographer for 20 years that he should have honored his old pricing scheme since he already knew you were interested in him (or at least given you a heads up to put in the contract before his new prices were in effect).  As for your cousin, I don’t think you have to invite the entire family, especially since you don’t know them that well.  Your cousin will be providing a service, and not a guest, as the rest of the family would be…

    Post # 4
    3947 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: October 2011

    What is your budget for a photographer and is your previous choice within that budget?

    Post # 5
    1963 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: January 2013

    If you do decide to go with a cousin, make sure you still get a contract etc even though he is family. We went with a family member, and she  has now bailed on us 2 months before the wedding…I think it would be ok to ask the family member though, provided he would be willing to work within your budget. You could also try looking for local photography students, or photogs who are newer to the business. Our e-shots were by a newer photographer and they were amazing and cheap!

    Post # 6
    1710 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: May 2013 - Walt Disney World

    @Utopia4us:  +1 to the contract comment!

    Post # 7
    3697 posts
    Sugar bee

    You could also try negotiating with your old photographer. Say that you had budgeted to hire him based on his previous quotes, and that this is a really major change that you had not anticipated. Ask about compromise: maybe he’d be willing to honor his old pricing as long as you pay the travel surcharge, or waive the travel surcharge if you guys pay the higher rate, etc. If he’s facing a choice between shooting your wedding for less vs. not shooting it at all, he might be willing to work with you.

    Alternatively, if he’s starting to become more in-demand and knows that he can get another wedding that will pay more than you guys can, he does have a right to do what’s best for his business. So, try the negotiation route, but it’d be smart to have a backup plan.

    Post # 10
    10367 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: September 2010

    If you go with your cousin, and you weren’t going to invite them originally, expect to pay them. They are giving up a whole weekend to shoot your wedding when they otherwise could have shot up to 3 weddings.  Honestly, i’d just stick to the original photog. Seems to be the easiest thing, logistically. mixing family and wedding photography can sometimes work out really poorly!!

    Post # 11
    3886 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: September 2011

    I wouldn’t go with a cousin or any friend because they will be too likely to spend time socializing and not taking pictures. This isn’t a reflection on your family or your cousin; it’s the nature of people that when they see someone they know, they’re likely to stop and chat for a few minutes.  Many photographers that I know will not do weddings of friends or family because they find it too disrupting to their work.  

    I’d go with the first guy, but perhaps drop him an email stating that you know, by not signing a contract, you did not protect your price quote, but given the high percentage of increase, would he be willing to negotiate a bit, or offer some additional value to the price (i.e. throw in an extra hour or a discount on the wedding album).

    Post # 12
    739 posts
    Busy bee

    So you are expecting your cousin, who wasn’t originally invited, so give up a weekend and pay to fly out here to shoot your wedding for cheap? There is A LOT of cost and work that goes into wedding photography. Your original photographer raised his price because well it’s not sustainable in this area to charge as little as he was. You have to consider it’s not just working on the day. There is a lot of time that goes into preparing for the day, actually shooting the day and then the editing after. I pretty much nail every shot in camera but I still end up with three hours of post production for every hour of shooting. a 6 hour wedding day equals out to 2 hours of prep + 6 hours of shooting + 18 hours for post production. That’s 26 hours of work, and is MUCH more some someone with less experience. PLUS you have to add in the costs of keeping your business afloat like insurance, taxes, gear, computer, software, etc. If you are set on your budget and you like the work the original photographer does then I would go with him with his new pricing.

    Post # 13
    633 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: April 2014

    I would defnitely call your original guy and explain to him your dilemma..calling or meeting in person is better than e-mail in this situation. Surely there is a compromise that will allow him to get paid what he deserves, while sticking closer to your budget…especially since he is a friend.

    We are getting a good deal on our caterer and venue b/c we are friends with the owners, but I make sure to express how appreciative we are for the discounts and how it doesn’t matter to us if they take anything off b/c we trust them and love what they do. If you approach him in an honest, friendly manner, I don’t see how you could have a problem…the worst he can say is that you have to honor his new pricing and then you can go from there. You won’t know til you ask!

    Post # 15
    1314 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: May 2006

    My recommendation if photography is important to you is to hire a full time professional who specializes in weddings.  That’s pretty much always my advice.

    If your budget was $2000, and the first photographer who you really wanted is just $400 over then I’d find that $400.  If you don’t think he’s worth $2400 then maybe look elsewhere.

    Cousins, family members- we call them friendors.  There is a lot of risk involved with hiring that sort of person.  But seriously, anyone hired to provide a professional service at your wedding should absolutely not be inviting ANYONE to your event.  If he/she isn’t capable of treating it like a job, then no way should you go that route.

    Are either of these two photographers wedding photographers?  There is also a huge difference between being good at photography, and being good at wedding photography.  The best analogy I can think of is not all musicians sound good live.  Controlled environments are much easier to manage for most photographers, and weddings are not controlled.  Good luck!

    Post # 16
    3041 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: May 2010

    Just talk with your original photographer, ask him if he can still honor the old pricing.  It doesn’t hurt to ask. Likely you’ll have to turn in your contract asap if he agrees to that. Also, make sure your contract states the pricing in it.

    May I ask why you were waiting to fill out a contract until the beginning of the year? It could be he thought you found someone else if you’ve had it for awhile & never sent it in.

    You shouldn’t have to invite the rest of the family, you are going to be paying your cousin to be working at your wedding. However, its possible that he takes time off from photography since he’s with his immediate family, or he may charge you including travel. Just make sure you talk to your original photographer before talking with your cousin, it might get awkward (since you’re family friends) if you have 2 photographers thinking they’re photographing your wedding!

    Do you like your cousin’s work more than the original photogrpaher?

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