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.
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