(Closed) Regrets about your Photographer???

posted 10 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
8351 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2011

I would have him do some engagement photos for you to get a feel of what he is like on his own. After you see those “solo” shots, you should be able to make a more informed decision.

Post # 4
1000 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

“As far as pro-pics go, I have really demanding expectations, and wouldn’t be satisfied or feel like I spent my money wisely on a photographer unless it was someone who falls into the award-winning category (ie. magazine quality photos).”

I hate to be, err, harsh, but it sounds like you aren’t going to be happy no matter what. You said yourself you wont be happy with anything but magazine-quality photos yet you are planning to hire a guy who has never even shot a wedding solo because you can’t afford what you really want. Honestly, I don’t even think it’s fair to the photographer you hire if you hire him or her expecting something better than the work you are shown. Your husband is going to lose a friend over this too. Be realistic and keep shopping.

Post # 5
1080 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2010

Yes I have photog regrets becasue he ended up being a huge duche! The second shooter was super nice and with it, we will be dealing with her for our photo album

Post # 6
3871 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

Yup, sadly I did.

If you want, read my thread about it. 

Need some cheering up

Post # 7
255 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2004

I definitely have regrets about my photos. The folks I really wanted were beyond our budget, so I settled with someone that was decent and had a solid business/reputation. I’m OK, because we have a good record of our day… but there’s definitely not much artistry there.

If budget’s an issue, I would consider having your amateur there for the day and seeing if you can set up just a bride/groom photo session with the photographer you love–say, on a Tuesday morning for a couple of hours–so you get great pics with your hubby, but for waaayyyyy less.

That said, there are lots of newbies out there who *are* pretty good; so if you’re willing to take a risk on someone newer, you should be able to get someone whose photos you like at a deep discount.

I’d keep looking around and considering various options–you definitely don’t sound like you’ll be happy with the result.

Post # 8
1001 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

I have some regrets.  I hired a friend, because I’ve seen her work and I really like it.  She’s great at capturing candids and she pays attention to the little details no one notices, and I really like that.  I didn’t want a lot of posed photos, I mostly wanted candids of us having fun.

She asked if I wanted any formal posed pictures, and I said yes, I would like all the standard ones (wedding party, us with our families, etc.) in the church.  My parents got married in the same church and I would like to recreate a few of their photos.  She was like “are you sure you wouldn’t rather do them outside on the church steps?  I’m all about the outdoors and natural light.”  I’m willing to do SOME outdoor, but I have a tendency to close my eyes outside.  We had to have our Save the Date photos retaken because I had my eyes closed in all but two.  I’m realizing that she’s probably pushing for this because she doesn’t have proper lighting and worries they won’t turn out.

Am I screwed if she doesn’t have extra lighting for the church?  The church is fairly bright inside. 

Post # 10
4122 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

Knowing how many people have come to me after with regrets, I would be hesitant to go with anything less than what your heart desires. It can be painful $$ wise, but it’s so worth it in the end. In your case, I would forgo a videographer and photo booth for your dream photographer. There are other things you can do too. Switch out a certain flower for a cheaper one, use one less rose in each centerpiece, etc…. A great photographer will make a low budget wedding look like the party of the century. A Bad photographer will make the most expensive wedding look like just another party….

There is still a risk of lost friendship, if you are unhappy with the photos you will be regretful of HIM. Working with friends is a very slippery slope… if you do, make sure you have a contract in place, even if for $0.  

Post # 11
739 posts
Busy bee

I think you do have options for good photography.  Good pros may be out of your budget, but I’m sure you could find someone to work with you.  Here are some options to consider.

  • Limit the hours you have them there and plan your time line when you want pro photos.  Ceremony, formals, first hour or so of the reception.  Have your special dances, cake cutting and toasts all be towards the beginning of the night.


  • Cut out the videographer and have a friend or relative set up a video camera on a tripod at the ceremony and then again at the reception. Tangible photos will last much longer then video format.  Everyone remembers VHS right?  DVDs will be obsolete in a few years anyhow.   


  • Cut renting a photobooth and set up a DIY photobooth (we call it a portrait station) set a point and shoot on a tripod and either have friends take turns pressing the button or have one friend dedicated to it.


  • Don’t underestimate the power of bartering.  If you {or FH} have any skills someone else might use then don’t be afraid to ask.  The worst they can say is no.  As a photographer and graphic designer I was able to barter almost half of my wedding so far. When someone wasn’t open to it, I moved on.  {It doesn’t hurt that I work in the industry, but I have also excepted barters from a few of my clients as well}

When all is said and done, the one thing you will have for the rest of your life is your husband, your memory and your photos.  You spend and incredible amount of time and money planning your wedding.  Wouldn’t it be nice to have some one you LOVE capture it.  I recommend doing some major research and make a long list of every photog in your area that you love and contacting them.  The worst thing that can happen is put you in the same position you are now, but I think you will be surprised by those photogs who are willing to work with you.

Good luck and happy planning.

Post # 12
739 posts
Busy bee

@Chillmer would your friend be willing to go do a test shoot in the church. It may help you both understand what you are getting yourselves in to.  Maybe help her invest in some better lighting equipment or a book on using her flash. 

Post # 13
10363 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

I would absolutely cut out the videographer and photobooth to make more of a budget for photography. If you want “magazine worthy” photos, you WILL get what you pay for. If you haven’t seen that quality from this person, keep on looking. Seriously.

Post # 14
2249 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2020

find out payment timelines. our photographers let us pay after the wedding, like a lot after. we wound up spending waay more than w ecould have with someone else because they were so flexable. Also consider this: if your favorite photos are candids it sounds like you like genuine photos. I would do an e-session, that is something fun, like a day at an amusement park or something with your friend and see how well he captures the feeling of your session. the photos might not look like a magasine, but they might be the perfect thing to let you say “yes that is how it felt” in 20 years.

Post # 15
235 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

I seriously doubt anyone who is having trouble hiring a photographer has a videographer and a photobooth to cut.  (We moved money from our video budget to cover photography, but we had also underestimated how much we were willing to pay.)

Have you checked out the Weddingbee classifieds?  Some of the photographers there have a really great sense of artistry but are just starting out and are really reasonable.  I recommend hiring somebody and paying them and having a signed contract – they are less likely to disappoint you, and if they do, at least you don’t have to be reminded of it for the rest of your life when you see this guy for dinner.  You can always ask him to second-shoot, or take pictures of the guys getting ready or something.

Otherwise, definitely do an engagement shoot – you’ll get a better sense of whether it will work out well or if you will have regrets.  

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