(Closed) To Friend or not to Friend (for photography that is)

posted 8 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
7587 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2010

Don’t do it! Trust me this never works out. If your engagement pics didn’t go well she could have reshot them. If your wedding photos are bad, you are not going to be able to re-do the day. Hold on to your friendship!

Post # 4
1940 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

MY Future Brother-In-Law is going to be our DJ and I have the same feelings of doubt because he doesn’t seem to give me the same attention he would if I was a regular customer.  I think I would just avoid asking again for a few weeks.  If she doesn’t talk to you about it then tell her that you need to know if you are going with her or if you should start looking for someone else. 

Post # 5
7300 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

She may be nervous about the event. Weddings are stressful and if she misses a shot, she wouldn’t be able to stop the ceremony and ask you two to kiss again because she was fumbling around with settings. Maybe you should ask her to come with her camera and get some shots BUT you should also hire a photographer to keep the pressure off of her.

Post # 6
3671 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

I was going to have a friend do our photography but she did the same thing.  I asked two or three times to see examples of full wedding albums.  Each time she said she’d do it the next day.  So I gave up and found a professional who was willing to work within my budget.  It was just too stressful for me plus I’m a little more at ease knowing we have someone a little more established on our wedding day taking our pictures.

Post # 7
1000 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

Right now your friend is probably wondering if she’s really ready to shoot a wedding. The fact that she’s even questioning this should tell you are headed in the wrong direction. Even experienced professionals sometimes make mistakes at weddings. You are putting way too much confidence in someone who clearly doesn’t even have that confidence in themselves. And trust me, if you hire someone who never shot a wedding before, there WILL be mistakes. My advice is always the same; unless you have absolutely no other choice, hire a professional.

Post # 8
1184 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

i have a non-wedding professional photographer friend who will be at our wedding but i’m not having him shoot the wedding. i certainly thought about it and how much money we’d save, but a) he’s never shot a wedding and b) i’d like him to be at the wedding as a guest. he’s the Boyfriend or Best Friend of one of my BMs and i don’t want to steal away her date all night. it sounds like maybe your friend wants to back out? i’d honestly rethink your decision.

Post # 9
3041 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

You said she’s just starting to get into photography so my guess is she’s not ready to be a main wedding photog. It takes a TON of work & its definately not for everybody. She’s probly researching to see if its something she can do. I’d drop asking her for now & start looking around to other photogs, just reviewing portfolios & meeting with the ones you like. Before you sign a contract with someone else, I’d talk to her about it just to be sure. She may be trying to think of a nice way to say “no”, or she may be considering doing it & just needs a bit of time to figure that out. I’d give her an out if you do decide to go with someone else thou & I know you’re frustrated, but please don’t be mad with her if she doesn’t feel she can do it & let her know that its fine if she comes as a guest instead. 

Post # 10
968 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

I have a friend who has been messing around with photography for a little while now. She takes beautiful photographs and I asked her to take our engagement pics. They were lovely, but I had trouble feeling like she captured “us”. I had already asked her to be our wedding photographer, though, and she really stepped up to the plate.

Even though I was a little disappointed in how the engagement shots turned out, I definitely feel like we can work together to come up with a shared vision for the wedding photography. She is bringing a photographer friend with her as her assisstant.

If she was flaky at all, I would have looked elsewhere for a professional. I’m a little anxious to see how the photography turns out, but I feel pretty confident she will do a great job. A lot of that feeling has to do with her confidence and desire to take the best wedding day shots she can.

Since your friend isn’t jumping at the opportunity to take your wedding photos, I would find someone else who is more on board with the idea. If she is being flaky now, you might find yourself in a tight spot for a photographer later…

Post # 11
2779 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

We had friends and family do our engagement shots and wedding photos and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. But I wouldn’t have asked if I hadn’t known that I would love their work on the day – yes it’s lovely to have friends do it but, at least for me, it was equally important to view my photos from a customer perspective and love them. 

If you’re having doubts then don’t do it. I also suggest getting more than one friend to photograph it as they may not have the wedding experience to know that you’ll want a photo of your shoes (for example). 

Post # 12
20 posts

I have photographed a lot of wedding were it was originally a friend that was going to photograph.  It seems it never really works out that well.  Also shooting your first wedding could be really scarry, your friend might be feeling that and not sure how to tell you.

Post # 13
49 posts

Trust your wedding day to a professional and enjoy your wedding with your friend to celebrate with you! I agree with others that she isnt ready to shoot a wedding and may be wondering how to tell you this without hurting your feelings.

Post # 14
51 posts
Worker bee

If you really can’t afford a professional wedding photographer, and this is your ONLY choice, then you need to do what you need to do. You just have to remember that your friend now will have an “obligation” to do the job, and do it right. I don’t know her skill level, and according to you she’s never done a wedding. Have her draw a contract, i don’t care if it’s a friend or anyone else, you need to have a contract. Make sure both of you know what your expectations are, don’t be disappointed with the end result, if some important photos are missing, etc. Know what you’re getting. Make sure you wont shake your friendship with her because you’re upset about the photos.

Also, i would rather have my friend enjoy my wedding vs. working, and friends tend to get distracted, because frankly, they’re not “pros” and they really don’t know what they’re doing.

I’m sure you can find less expensive professional photographer in your area, who will do a better job then your friend ever will.

Post # 15
7 posts
  • Wedding: January 2003

Hey first of all congratulations on your upcoming weddings!!!!

With all things; go with what your gut says. I agree if in doubt bail out.

Of all the things you will do for yourself for your wedding…I know you have heard this before but it is the one thing…you want to splurge with if photographic memories are important to you.

You can’t take it back and you you can’t fix it if it isn’t right…

I have people ask me all the time can I fix images a friend or uncle bob did…and may answer is always no. Bad photography is bad photography… and no filter can fix a out of focus badly exposed or missed shot.(I say this in love. I really truly care as I know how much these images can mean over the years they become more and more important) I hear the stories and hate for people to feel dissapointed.

That said:

1. The first question you should ask yourself is do you feel they are 100% the person to do you wedding?

 If they are not you should wait until you find that person. The right photographers is so important for some many reasons on so many levels and it is not just about the art or the images, though it is the first thing you should be 100% convinced about. (There is a long list that goes into be a good wedding photographer)

Here are some questions and ideas that might help you.

1b. Do you love all thier stuff, all thier images…can you see your day in thier images? 

2. With your wedding you have to think about what your expectations are. Would it affect your friendship if they messed up, missed shots ect? (erases you images if they are digital or thier hard drive crashed or thier digital cards were corupt and they did not notice?

3. Are you a really relaxed person and your wedding is low key and images are not that crucial to you? *****It could also work if in your heart you feel beyond a shadow of a doubt that this person is the person who should should your wedding and you know you are the kind of person who won’t get mad if they miss shots, over expose them etc…

Believe it or not some people it is not a high priority for them…and for those folks it could work…

If you can have low expectations and honestly say it feels right and you would not get mad if they mess up. THAT IS THE KEY. 

Consider your motivations and reasons for considering having a friend or uncle bob do your photography make a list…for and against and weigh it.

4. If they are not professional photographers and have been shooting and learning are you willing to have them learn how to shoot at your wedding? Is less than 5 or 10 years shooting experience doing weddings acceptable to you?

5. (Do they have backup equipment…what happens if they get sick…have they ever created a professional album..or will your prints come from chain store…or worse yet will they give you the files…and let you try to figure it out. (a bad move for you and for your friend as a budding artist to have non professionals print thier work) 

 An engagement shoot and composing nice well lit images is a completely different shooting situation than a wedding. It takes years to be really good at shooting weddings.

I would never want to discourage budding artists…(creativity is what makes our world a wonderful place) but if you do go with a friend go in with your eyes wide open…and know what you are getting yourself into!

Try to consider everything about your decision. Something you may also want to think about is it is a lot to ask a friend to do.

*****There is a lot that goes into covering a wedding properly. Besides the pressure of knowing you have one chance to get it right, they are also a lot of work. Before, during and after the wedding…(your friend will have to do that work)

I always advise people that if they have doubts or questions in anything to really consider if those doubts are founded and write it out on paper. Usually doubt is for a reason.

If you are going to do it with a friend and they are not a professional photographer you really need to be able to go into it with low expectations, understand they are learning and know the risks.

Honestly it is a risk…unless they have been shooting for years…but if you feel ok with it….

6. Your heart says you really would not want any one to do it but them….and can say to yourself this is what I am getting and this is what can happen then…cool.(your gut has spoken)

Usually, I hear people ask this because of budgeting concerns in most cases. If in your heart you truly believe your friend is talented and are willing to take the risk  and can live with that go for it…if you feel in your heart 100% they are the person to do your wedding…   

If you don’t…keep looking…until the right solution presents itself. It will come.

I hope this helps guys…I know how hard it can be to try to pull all the pieces together for your big day!

I am new to the Wedding Bee…and hope to help out a little here and there where I can.

Oh also please guys if you do decide to hire a professsional let the professionals…uncle bob should not shoot over your professsional shoulder all day…it is distracting to your professional photographer, they may be nice and not say anything to you or him but it is distracting…tell him to relax and have a good time at your reception…

Hope this helps and congratulations again!

Love and hugs



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