Post # 1
Alright so I have been looking for a photographer and have been mulling around. I was on facebook the other day and noticed that an old friend long time friend of mine does photography as a side because she loves it. I looked over her pictures and they are absolutely BEAUTIFUL! There was no pricing so I sent her an email. She emailed me back today and told me that because we have been friends for so long and that she loves me that she will do the entire wedding, reception AND e-pics for $400.00! SHUT UP!!!!! That includes her time as well as editing, but no printed pictues but for that price how could we say no! We had budgeted WAY more than $400.00, and I am SOO thankful for her willingness to do our pictures!
WOOHOO! One more thing checked off the list!! If there is anyone in Idaho let me know, I would be more than happy to share her info!
Post # 4
Wow! What a blessing! How great for you!
Post # 5
$400!?!!! AMAZING! lucky you!
Post # 6
I’d be careful, this is how a lot of the horror stories on here start. Your friend is not a professional, so don’t have expectations as such.
Post # 7
I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer either… but In My Humble Opinion this is an area where you should splurge for the best. Has she photographed a wedding before?
Post # 8
Not to burst your bubble, but like USER876 said, I’d be cautious. Please be sure to find out the following things before you officially hire her (also, please tell me there will be a contract):
1. Has she ever photographed a wedding before? Photography for fun and wedding photography are two very different things, regardless of how gorgeous her images are.
2. How much will it cost for printed photos? $400 is only a great deal if you’re sure you’re not going to pay the same amount over again later just to get prints of all the shots you like.
3. Will you have the rights to reproduce, alter, and distribute the images as you wish? There have been horror stories on the Bee about small-time photographers being control freaks about their images and how they’re used, and while your friend probably won’t be like this, better safe than sorry.
4. Will you receive digital copies of all the edited high-resolution images?
Get all the answers from questions 2-4 in writing. I know I sound like a hard-ass, but you only get one chance at these photos and you really need to cover your butt, especially when the person you’re hiring isn’t a professional.
Post # 9
Yep, a cautionary congrats, but this sounds fishy. If you budgeted over $400 you should spend it – you get what you pay for. No professional photographer can shoot a wedding for $400 and stay in business. My guess is she sees this as a portfolio building opportunity, and I wouldn’t risk my wedding photos (and in this case, a friendship) for her to build a wedding portfolio unless I had no budget at all. Like USER said, this is exactly how the horror stories we hear on this board all the time start. Please please please find out her experience, equipment, etc before you sign a contract. This isn’t something you want to risk.
Post # 10
I am agreeing with PP’s here….please do a query on “friender photographers” on here and you will find many a cautionary tale. We aren’t saying that you shouldn’t go with this friend, just have realistic expectations and learn from other’s mistakes (get a contract, etc.)
We’re just looking out for you!
Post # 11
Thats wonderful, but be CAUTIOUS, I have read so many stories about “friend-ors” turning out to be horrible and then not doing what they promised since they are doing it for so “inexpensively”. I hope this makes sense, dont mean to damper your parade, just keep in contact and make a thorough list of what you want photographed.
Post # 12
I do photography on the side because I love it, so it may not be “too good to be true”, however it might be, so just be CAREFUL!
No matter what, get a contract! You want pricing in there as well. However BEFORE you sign a contract, I highly suggest you meet with her & go over some things:
1. Has she done weddings before? If not, its really a 50/50 shot. If she hasn’t, than this is something you want to hire someone with experience, unless you don’t mind going with her & having very few useable wedding photos & a ton of missed shots. That’s the case a lot of the time when a photographer hasn’t done a wedding before. The other side is its possible that she could do a great job & you’ll love all or at least most of her photos. However, generally her lack of experience will show in your photos!
2. If she has done weddings before, ask to see one entire wedding. You want to see an entire wedding to get a feel of how your day will kinda be captured. You may want to ask how many weddings she’s done or how long she’s done wedding photography.
3. Get printing pricing in writing! No printing release means every single photo you want from her, you’ll have to pay for. Most professionals do this, so its not bad when photographers do this. I’ve just seen non-professional (meaning its not their full time job) photographers sell their sitting sessions for very cheap & then charge a rediculous high amount for the printed photos.
4. Ask if you can purchase the dvd of high resolution images with printing release & if so, for how much.
That’s just what comes to mind to go over with the photographer. Also, read over LB Photo’s thread (its the very top one, in dark green under the Photography threads). That should also help you know what to ask/look out for.
I hope she does have experience & that it works out for you! 🙂
Post # 13
@Corona00: That is an amazing deal… and just because you budgeted to spend more, that doesn’t mean you HAVE to spend it. There is nothing wrong with being under budget!
As you mentioned, you reviewed her photos and you like her work.. so my advice is to go with her.
I don’t know why people think that just because their photographer cost $1K, 2K or 3K, that their work is better. There was just a bride on here stating that she wished she wouldn’t have spent so much on photography because she ended up hating all of her photos.
Post # 14
@suburban: There are professional photographers here as well as seasoned bees who are just asking her to be very cautious about this. Just liking the few photos someone has from shoots they do on the side doesn’t mean you should just throw all trust for a once-in-a-lifetime event like a wedding into their hands because they’re giving you a desperately low price. That price sends red flags to professionals, because we all know it’s not possible to be running a legitimate business (have a license, insurance, be paying taxes, have professional equipment, backup equipment, etc) and charge $400, and anyone with wedding experience putting the right amount of time into not only shooting but processing the images after wouldn’t charge $400 (weddings are 30-40+ hrs of work). Wedding photos shouldn’t be a gamble unless it has to be due to budget, and that’s not the case here so we’re just hoping not to hear from this bride a few months after her wedding that things went horribly.
Post # 15
@BeeM: I don’t see why you are aiming your comment at me! My post was intended for the creator of this thread.. and I gave HER my advice. Everything you wrote means nothing to me because I’m not the one hiring the photographer.
Also, her friend does NOT have a business (it is a side job, as she stated), so she doesn’t have to pay for a license, taxes, insurance etc.
And with that said…., I still think its a great deal and she should go with her.
Post # 16
@suburban: Licenses and Insurance are in place to protect the consumer.