(Closed) Pro photog vs amateur vs videographer

posted 4 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 2
7673 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

B13090:  We used a semi-pro photographer (friend of a friend who did it fairly cheaply as a side job) and a free videographer (hobbyist friend). I prefered that to pro photos, because (a) a video is great to have – it captures a lot of the things the photos missed, (b) we weren’t interested in super quality photos, in fact we only have one on display in the house, and (c) we have complete rights to the photos with no charge for reprints. I have no regrets about doing it that way.

My advice is to get a video one way or another (even if it means pro photos and free/cheap videographer), and go with a cheap photographer depending on what your expectations are. My only concern is how experienced is your friend – our friend had done quite a few weddings already.

Post # 3
309 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2015

B13090:  Depends on how important photos are to you. My FSil had a friend do their photos. They were nice. Same story with my bro, the photos were nice. I’ve seen pros charge for such photoes.They were all happy with their pics and never said I should have gotten a pro, instead they said we have lovely pictures and saved a ton!

BUT they were not awesome. Mind you , not every ‘pro’ will give you awesome , many will give you ‘nice’ photoes.


Videographer is even trickier – the photoes can be etited on the computer, shadows corrected, imperfections removed. Video is much more tricky.


We have an option of having a friend videographer ( he is not super pro, but he does earn some money with his vids, Im sure he has done some weddings.) I dont want to use him. Well I dont like him too much personally so would not agree to him pushing services on us each time he sees us. The truth is I dont like myself in videos and I know that photos I will frame, the vids I maybe watch once, if ever.

I have decided for Pro photographer, because she is not just nice, she is awesome. She is costing us the same as the whole wedding ( its a small wedding!). But I want to have awesome pictures – she is soo good with portaits – everyone’ faces always glow in her pics, not just the bride and the groom but parents, etc. So I want to have pro pics of all our families together, etc. So for me it is not a matter of debate as pitures are supr important. If you are not super picky then go with a friend!

Post # 4
1251 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

I would go pro photog and then get a friend who has a good video camera to film the wedding. That’s what we did – it’s great to have a video record of the ceremony and speeches etc but I put more stock in tho photos as this is what I will look at more. 

Post # 5
9780 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2015

If you want pro looking pics you need a pro, and not the cheapest. Sooooo many brides on here upset about their blurry/unflattering/limited/ and just plain bad photos And Lo and behold their uncle or the cheapest photog available took them.  When it comes to photography, you get what you pay for. So really assess your hearts expectations- an amauteur will not come close.

if you don’t care about pics get pro video. If you do, have a friend or a tripod take video and hire a midrange but experienced pro photog with a gorgeous portfolio.

Post # 6
910 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013


B13090:  Please do your self a favor and go professional…..

In my opinion, the photographer is one of the most important people at your wedding.  The photographer’s job is to capture all the major points of the day and in the best and most flattering manner.  There is so much that goes into photography and leaving in the hands of a novice is really not the best decision…..

Your wedding is one of the most important days of your life….. you will want to look back at photos and see beauty…. not a blurry/unfocused/uncentered mess………

Oh and please do research and look at websites before signing a contract……

Post # 7
376 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2015


B13090:  I actually was talking to my friend about this last night. HERE IS THE CRAZINESS!!!!! so I know they are different fields but her and her bf actually ran a DJ business.. That whole saying you get what you pay for is the reason they raised their prices. He was just starting out and was charging $300 or $400. Very little business. He raised his prices to match other people and started charging $600.. business flooded in because even though that was higher for the area they lived in people assumed he must be worth it. Professionals can take crappy photos and amateurs can take amazing photo. Every professional was once an amateur also. I’m trying to make this decision now too. My only real advice would be to do your research and look through portfolios. Also, what are the odds that you can get the friend to do it for free and then just have the professional shoot the ceremony, bridal party or some moment that is important to have captured? 

Post # 8
4892 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

We are doing a semi-pro photographer, as she does photography on the side of her FT job. However, she is amazing and for the price – very well worth it compared to others we researched in our area. She did a friends wedding of mine in May (awesome photos, and I got to work with her that day), and my mom used to work with her at the school she works at – so I was happy with the referrals.

Videographer – We are asking my FI’s cousins to do this for us (and MC), as he does video stuff for the radio station he works for (uploading clips to the website for sports). I know some people regerst not doing a video, so we figured this would be easy enough.

Post # 9
190 posts
Blushing bee

It really depends on what you mean by amateur.  Every pro started somewhere, right?  If their work looks like this:http://bit.ly/1kXLK35 I’d say invest in a pro and please dear god don’t do that to yourself.   

A real pro doesn’t take crappy photos.  Do your research.  There are, of course, amateurs masquarading as pros, but we all know real talent when we see it…. good luck!


(We went the pro option on photography and paid $750 for 3 hours of video, and are totally happy with that – I can’t imagine a time when we’ll want to watch a 2 hour video of our wedding, so we had them film the ceremony and a little bit of our reception and we’re pleased as punch with that).

Post # 10
309 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2015

Sara1923:  Toatlly agree with that! So many pros charge you a fortune for an ‘amateur’ level photos!!

Post # 12
190 posts
Blushing bee

B13090:  I love the reduced video hours option myself…. it’s your wedding day, and its not a photo/video shoot, IMO.  I wanted time alone as well, and not have 2 video cameras, 2 photo cameras in my face the entire time… plus family/friends/MIL/MOB/ETC …. I found it less stressful 😉

Post # 13
1935 posts
Buzzing bee

I did a prof Photog and family member video. I would do it that way – how often do you watch your wedding video? Once a year? Vs. how often do you look at wedding photos? Everyday b/c they are hanging in your home, your parents homes etc…

For me what I found impt about the video was just something to watch to remember what was said, who was there, the speaches, the vows… Ours was just done by 2 family members with a video camera and really that’s all I needed.

Post # 14
4047 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

I find wedding videos far too expensive. I’d bring it out at most once a year for the first couple years, and then maybe every few years after that? And that’s a rather liberal estimate. But photos I will have on display and in an album I can quickly run through. I would get more use out of it, and I place a lot of value on nice photos.

If it were me, I’d go for a pro photographer and have a family member or friend videotape the ceremony. I think that’s the only part of the wedding that would be especially nice to have on video.

Post # 15
235 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

Pro pics are definitely not the cheapest but you know what sometimes the amateur photographers can still do just as good of a job.  Just because they’re newcomers it doesn’t not mean that their photos will turn out any less an a “pro”.

For example my SIL who got married a few years ago hired a newcomer photographer and charged them a cheap price just because he was still new and wanted to expand his wedding portfolio.  he had only done a coulple of weddings but the photos were very promising.  The weddings photos he did for my SIL’s wedding were freaking AMAZING!!  He did such a good job!!!  Not only that, the videographer they hired were also newcomers with a good price.  The photographer and videographer worked so well together that day that now they are partners and are charging double what they charged my SIL because they have become so well known and have won awards and things. 

So I wouldn’t underestimate amateurs. 

Videos in general are just very expensive though.  I say go with the amateur and videographer.  That way you still get great photos of your day and a video to see everything else that you have missed because the day is going to go by so fast that you will barely remember anything!!  I honestly wouldn’t pass on a videographre.  Pictures for sure a one thing but videos will document movement, precious words and actions that you will never relive again.  To be able to hear the way you guuys said “I do” or hear people laugh and cry is something I would love to be able to hear again every time I watch my wedding video.

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