(Closed) Unsure about using a “regular” photographer vs. a “wedding” photographer” HELP!

posted 9 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
445 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

Wedding photographers know how to keep things moving so the formals aren’t hours long.  They know how to shoot in a dark church at dusk w/o using a flash.  They know to photograph the details AND the greater picture.  They know how to back up their photos so you can have access to them if your house burns down.  They know how to deal with family drama before it turns into a fight.  They know to arrive early and stay late if need be.  They know that they might need to ask someone to be their second shooter. 

I can’t think of any more.  🙂  

I would say that the trickiest part of shooting a wedding for an editorial shooter would be the formals.  But that’s where you can pick up where he’s lacking.  Figure out what formal pics you want, and figure out the order to put them in so people who are in the formals can get their photo taken and get back to the party.  Be VERY organized about this part.  

Also, if you want any of those arty bride-and-groom photos that are all over the blogs these days, I’d compile a few and share them with him, so he can get an idea of the types of bride-and-groom shots you want.  Not necessarily to reproduce them, but so he gets an idea of the look/feel you’re going for.  

Also important is how he’s going to deliver the images to you.  If he doesn’t want to maintain responsibility for them, it will be on you to make copies, and to upgrade the storage method if something gets obsoleted.  Like if he gives them to you on a DVD, make several copies of the DVD and also put the pics on an external hard drive or something.  They say to back up your photos in 3 different ways.  If anything ever happened to them, he can’t be held responsible for them since it’s not really his job to do so.  

Other than that………..I think editorial photographers make the best wedding photographers since they’re used to the spur-of-the-moment stuff and are used to working under pressure.  And if he’s going to shoot for FREE….  I would do it.  I might take the money I’d budgeted for a photographer and put it towards a videographer, so JUST IN CASE the pics turn out bad, at least you have some momento of the day.  But honestly I think you’d be fine!  Just do the formals part!!  

Post # 4
1205 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

I think you’ll be fine as long as you are clear about the flow of the wedding so he knows when you expect important moments that you want captured will occur. I also agree with the previous poster that the wedding photographer can move through those group portraits quickly and provide a little more interaction than your photographer would. Of course, your photog will understand he’s not photographing models, but he might need to be reminded if it seems like things are dragging on.

In the end, if you feel like he can successfully capture your day, it’ll be awesome. I think you’ll find some photos you love no matter who you use — and more if you like this guy’s work — so just be sure to try to specify what you’re looking for as much as you can. 

Post # 5
302 posts
Helper bee

i think you will be okay if you know types of poses you want him to get… because an experience wedding photographer would know what poses and moments need to be captured… might want to study on that, because one of my friends hired an inexperience photographer and missed out on pictures she later saw in her friends weddings pictures –  like poses where both people are under the veil kissing or a picture of her and her grandmother at the wedding or something like that.

Post # 6
601 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

i personally prefer the editorial look of photos.  I work in a fashion agency and one of my coworkers used a fashion photographer and the pics looked great.  BUT she did not sit down with him ahead of time and say "these are the shots I really want to get".  ex.she has no photos of her and her dad.  browse through the weddingbee gallery and mark some shots as your favorite and share them with photographer to see if he can capture those moments.

ALSO since this is a friend and not a professional wedding photographer, make sure there is some sort of back up photographer in case the friend falls ill or flakes out.  Professional wedding photographers will usually have a back up just in case, but your friend may not.

Maybe see if he’ll do a bridal portrait session before the wedding so you get some more shots pre wedding and he can spend more time experimenting with "bridal" shots…better than experimenting at the wedding. 

With that being said-major score knowing a photographer to shoot your wedding for free! woot woot! 

Post # 7
1044 posts
Bumble bee

If you are going to get married, I would suggest getting a professional to take pictures that specializes in wedding because many of the girls I’ve talked to that have gone cheap and have had friends do their weddings have only regretted it.  They’ve had overexposed pictures and pictures with glares in them.  Imagine looking back at your pictures and realizing that you have nothing to show for it.  It would be terrible.  My friend trusted her friend who was a "professional" to take pictures, and most didn’t even come out because her light setting was set wrong at night.  Can you imagine that? 

Just remember, you can’t bring back your wedding day again (with all your same guests) if pictures go wrong.  That’s why I’m spending a bit more to have someone who has the experience do my pictures.

Post # 8
52 posts
Worker bee

Wedding photography is fast-paced. There are a lot of photojournalists who make the transition over though, because shooting news events or sports is the 2nd closest thing to shooting at a wedding.

That being said, flashes firing in a church is a lot different than at a sporting event, so that’s where the photographer will shine. 

Don’t be fooled, there isn’t some magic equipment that lets a "wedding photographer" not have to use a flash or will make them way better than another photographer, but they do understand where to position themselves to get the shots you will love, and need, and the best ones have an aspect of journalism too-displaying the story of the day.

Formals can be done by anyone who understands portraiture posing, but a wedding photographer ties all of these abilities together and knows where to be to capture the important moments.

Post # 9
79 posts
Worker bee

theres a lot more to photographing a wedding than just knowing how to use a camera and exposing properly….


its fast moving, high pressure, once in a lifetime event….often restricted in terms of lighing use and approach…you have to relate well to people and be authoritative, yet discreet….


black suit + white dress = exposure nightmare!  mixed reception lighting….no flash in churches….formals and candids….its pretty tough.


there’s reason why top wedding photogs charge a lot of money…its a long day, its hard work, and the work doesnt stop after the wedding is done, theres a lot of post work and client relations before and after.


thats my 2-cents hehe




Post # 10
21 posts
  • Wedding: January 2003

I think more than anything you need to decide how important the pictures of your wedding are.  If it is more important to save money and you don’t care how the pictures turn out, then go with this guy.  If you have a vision of how you want your pictures, then look for a wedding photographer that already has images like you are wanting in their portfolio and of course at a price you can afford to pay.

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