(Closed) photojournalism student to shoot weding?

posted 8 years ago in Photos/Videos
  • poll: Should we use a photojournalism student for the wedding?
    Yes! Sounds like a great idea! : (11 votes)
    41 %
    Yes! I have done it (please provide feedback) : (3 votes)
    11 %
    No! Are you insane??!!? : (13 votes)
    48 %
  • Post # 3
    1871 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: February 2011

    It depends on what your expectations are.

    I teach a lot of art students and they are quite talented and understand their craft really well. But I’d still advise you that if you are expecting a lot out of your photographs, go with someone more pro. If you are prepared for the possibility that your photographs will look like nice snapshots edited by a really computer-savvy person (which may not be the reality, but that’s where I think you should set your expectations), then use her.

    The reason I say this is simply because a lot of the students I teach are wonderful photographers, but still more accustomed to controlling the conditions of when and where they shoot. Many are not seasoned with the variables and social aspects of wedding photography–ie, how to “get the shot,” get people to feel comfortable in photographs, and so forth. They also might not have a whole lot of training when it comes to capturing a moment and adjusting quickly to changes the environment–like changes in lighting. This is less so if the student is studying to do say, news photojournalism, but it’s something to think about. You might be able to get a sense of this when looking through her portfolio–do you see a lot of staged shots and/or portraits? Has she shot “events” and can she get action shots? Are her pictures all at a certain time, or is there a good array of indoor/outdoor, bright light/night/sunset/cloudy/rainy etc. You want to be sure that she can get a good shot of you in a dim church, a dark reception hall, a bright patio, or a rainy day.

    I’ve known a lot of couples who have gone with students and have LOVED the results (and the pricing!). And every successful in-demand wedding photographer had to start somewhere. But if you are someone for whom photography is important, I wouldn’t advise you to risk disappointment in that area.

    Post # 4
    171 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: September 2010

    We had 2 photogs for our wedding, one is a prof. and had done several weddings before ours, the other was a lovely girl who is a junior in college and majoring in photography! She took amazing photos of our big day! It was the first wedding she had ever taken pictures at, and she actually asked us (she’s friends with my youngest sister) if we would let her take pics at the wedding so she could use them to build up her portfolio and to use as an assignment!

    She took some of my favorite pictures! There are tons of beautiful candids! She did an amazing job, and I have recommended her to everyone I know getting married! It’s by far one of the decisions Darling Husband and I are happiest we made for the wedding!

    **She also did a ton of cool editing things to the pics, making them look like actual art, which I think came out amazing! She said she tried a lot of new things she was learning this semester! Thank goodness for what she is learning because she is becoming an amazing photog imo!

    Post # 5
    4137 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: May 2011

    your photog’s personality is very important since you’ll be spending your entire wedding day with her! see how your engagement photos turn out, and if you’re confindent in the student’s abilities, go ahead and book. make sure she shoots some unposed shots too though — there are so many unposed shots at weddings you’ll want to get and you need to know she’s quick enough to get them.

    Post # 8
    51 posts
    Worker bee

    I’m a photographer and as much as i love to go on about  “you get what you pay for”, “quality”, “experience”, and other thing…. I wont. Why? Because it wont help you at all, nor will you listen to me.

    The bottom line is, it is your wedding, your pictures, your memories, how much are they worth to you?

    I’m sure you will get a lot of different opinions, but you’re the only one to make that decission.




    Post # 9
    3148 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: July 2010

    I used a photographer who had only done about 5 weddings by the time i hired her, since she has done my wedding she is so popular now!!

    Was it worth the risk? yes..bc i totally lucked out!! But liek other posters said…this all depends on you!!

    Here are my wedding pictures

    and here is our wedding video that was done for free by someone looking for experience.

    Post # 10
    605 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: March 2010 - Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay

    as to your first photographer, it doesn’t sound like you’re quite happy with her, so i support you looking for someone else.

    as to the second possible photographer–i agree with jennyw1. the student sounds like she’s lovely and skilled, but i think wedding photography is a whole different ball game. if photography is very important to you, i would be safer and go with someone with a bit more experience, as hard as it is to say no to someone you’ve found who you really like.

    Post # 11
    1995 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: June 2010

    From experience: Darling Husband has shot weddings, engagement shoots, YB, newspaper, sports etc.  I recently was a back up shooter w/him for a wedding for our friends. 

    I would NOT recommend it!  Weddings are super stressful for the photographer.  As a first time shooter it is crazy!  There are a million things to worry about – timing, lighting, the right camera settings, location of people, background yada yadda.  I’m not trying to push you to blow your budget but think long and hard and speak with them about this.  We personally did all day service w/2 shooters including rehearsal dinner, full rights and edits for $950 for our friends.  I doubt we’ll do another wedding!  It is just so much work there is no chance to get it wrong! 

    I would say if your wedding is small (less than 100), your wedding party is small (less than 8) and your venues are easy to work with then it’ll be easier.  We just shot a large wedding (150) with a total wedding party of 17 and poor lighting/access at both venues it was challenging.  With one experienced person it would be overwhelming.  Granted I’m lucky my husband is so good b/c we got amazing shots and it turned out perfect but it wasn’t easy.  But It Can be done!

    The thing is when it’s your wedding day you don’t care about the shots – you’re too excited about everything that happening.  You’ll never think to “hold” the first kiss or walk down the aisle or enter the reception slowly or in a good formation to get a good photo – that’s their responsibility.  But when you’re new, you’ll pause for 1 second and it’s gone.  It’s your wedding.  Not trying to scare you but realistic.

    Speak to them and see how they feel.  Ask if they’d be comfortable in that environment with (drunk) people, family, constantly changing lighting and settings.  What about a 2nd shooter (a friend)?  If they’re trying to break into the business it’d be great for them but if not I doubt they’ll push hard enough to make it work.

    Post # 12
    26 posts
    • Wedding: April 2011

    We are (almost certainly) going with a newbie wedding photographer, meaning we’ll be her first wedding. It causes me a little stress, but the price is right and I love her work. We did an engagement shoot with her last week and the pictures turned out great. I think we’ll do another shoot with her in a month or so, just to get more comfortable with her and build some rapport — and also for us to get comfortable in front of the camera. 

    My hope is that if I provide her with a list of shots and lots of great communication she’ll be able to get the good stuff. Fingers crossed! And fingers crossed for you, too!

    Post # 13
    6394 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: September 2011

    I just graduated from a journalism school, and I would definitely trust a few of our photographers to do my wedding (alas, we didn’t keep in touch).

    I would give one of her professors a call and see if she works well under pressure or if she usually only gets a few good shots. It’s not really that invasive, since you should ideally call and get references even from professionals :).

    I would also ask that she bring along a second shooter. She’s probably going to miss something, and it will be easier if she has backup. One can focus on the ‘artsy’ photos, another on getting the important shots.

    Post # 14
    3041 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: May 2010

    Talk to the photojournalism photog 1st & see if its something she’d even be interested in. Don’t talk about how you don’t like the other photog (since they might work together or know each other), I understand maybe wanting to vent about why you’re looking for someone else, but don’t. Talk to her about why you llike her work & if she’d be willing to do it & for pricing. THEN talk to your original photographer & either try to get out of your contract OR let them know you’ll be having a 2nd photographer.

    You signed a contract with the 1st photog. You need to read the contract & see if you can get out of the contract & just lose the deposit, sometimes you can have an additional fee or pay the entire amount even if she doesn’t photograph your wedding. If you want to get out of the contract, you need to let the photog know ASAP. Also, the contract may say they can be the only pro photogs there. So double check this!

    I wouldn’t recommend having someone who’s never done a wedding before. I mean, it can work out nicely, but it is risky. She may do a great job or you will regret all the missed shots & wish you stayed with the “bossy” photog.

    A photographer shouldn’t be bossy (unless its to control guests, but even then idk if I would use the term “bossy”). However the “bossy” photog may just have come across wrong. She may have been trying to “sell herself” so that you’d pick her & came across as bossy instead. You should click with your photog, that’s important, especially for your wedding! Other than the bossy-ness, did you click at all with her?

    EDIT: Also, if you do call the photojournalism photog’s professors, please ask your photog if she minds 1st & ask her if there’s anyone you can call for references. If she’s never done a wedding before, she probably doesn’t know about references, etc. It may throw her off if you’re calling her professors questioning about her. She may totally understand it, or it may concern her, so just give her a head’s up 🙂

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