Post # 1
Looking for some opinions on this guy. He’s a college friend of Fiance (I know ‘friendors’ have a bad rap in the photography world). He’s basically free besides travel expenses because he’s trying to build his portfolio. Money is super tight for us at the moment. I should also mention we’re having a super small wedding, so we wouldn’t need the same attention as a traditional wedding would. We have one other affordable option & it’s not too late to back out. Kinda freaking out, so I need input. I just really would love some honest feedback on his work. The wedding is CLOSE!!
Post # 4
I think he has good pics. I feel he focuses a little more than he should on close up shots so you might want to direct him to get more wide angle pics, but otherwise very nice.
Post # 5
Hopefully some of the pros on here will chime in but here’s my two cents.
His stuff looks nice but a couple things would make me hesitate (look at me, encouraging indecisiveness, bah)
See if you can get him to send you some unphotoshopped examples of his photos. I think sometimes the high levels of saturation and soft-focus can be distracting. (If his colors are that bright before being run through the computer, awesome!) I also find how often he is using darkened out corners… odd. If it were me I would just want to see some work that was just the photo, I think you’d get a better idea of how he handles lightening conditions etc. with some of his digital negatives.
His lack of wedding experience would make me nervous, but I don’t think that’s a reason to not go with him. I would say though you should make it clear what you definitely want photos of because I wouldn’t expect a young photographer to intellectually know.
On the pro side: He’s trying to build his portfolio so he should be very motivated to take the very best photos that he possibly can. As an artist you only want gorgeous work in your portfolio. Also he’s much cheaper than anyone else you’ll probably find.
My mom went with a few vendors who were trying to build her portfolio when she got married and she was thrilled with everything (granted this was 25+ years ago) and her florists even became sort of a big deal (as she is constantly reminding me)
Bottom line I would say go with your gut. Better yet have someone randomly pick a hand (left being go with him right being don’t) and decide based on your emotional reaction to the random decision. (A Psych professor taught me that trick and it usually works wonders) Whatever you choose I’m sure everything would be beautiful.
Post # 6
As a pro photog I say AVOID! Look at his wedding pics I knew instantly he was inexperienced. He uses special effects to try and hide his mistakes. HEAPS of the photos are very dark, others are poorly lit. You can’t hide that kinda stuff behind cheap little effects.
To me, his angles of choice scream ‘beginner’. Many are very unflattering and again, very poorly lit.
Sorry but if you can afford a better photog, I strongly urge you to do so. This guy isn’t very good.
Post # 7
I agree ^^^ ask him to not touch up the pictures or show examples of none edited pictures. Soft focus and sepia and the black fade borders are kiling me! But then again, its a better option then your guest just taking pictures.
Post # 8
Honestly, I don’t think the photographer is that talented or that professional. I don’t see anything unique about the photographs. I don’t like the constant use of black and white, the close up pictures constantly being used, or their style. They seem to be more like someone trying to be a photographer and not someone who is actually skilled and a professional. I’d look elsewhere. I think if you chose this photographer you would be HIGHLY disapointed in the outcome of it in the long run. I know you are trying to save money by using a friend, but honestly, I think you should spend a little extra to get a more talented photographer.
When I search for photographers I look through ones in the location of the wedding and ones a little further away. I also totally ignore their websites. This sounds crazy, but MOST photographers will post their BEST work and their best pictures to sell you…and lets face it wouldnt you rather see the best rather than the worse. The first thing I look for is a blog, because they generally show 50-80 pics. I look through pages and pages and pages (usually by the first couple pictures I KNOW if they are good or next, if not, I move on). I have a lot of pet peeves when it comes to photographers, such as jumping pictures (I understand some people like them and photographers may think its cute, but I HATE them. If a photographer posts a jumping picture I STOP dead in my tracks and look elsewhere), black and white being used a lot (to hide any flaws), taking pictures on an angle. By that I mean you are at the corner of the picture and in order to look at it you have to practically turn your head and hold the corner of the picture. Everything just looks off balanaced and I will NEVER end up printing those pictures because I feel there is no way to frame them nicely. I also look for how they edit images and poses. I have seen some cheesey posing. I have more to my list, but ultimately I’d spend some more time looking for a more talented photographer
Post # 9
You’re gambling with your memories with this photographer. Awesome that he’s essentially free, but don’t let that woo you into the idea that this means you’re getting a great deal. He’s free because he’s not a professional, doesn’t know how to consistently edit, and doesn’t use professional equipment. He also doesn’t have much wedding experience, and like a PP said, he’s using bad effects to cover up exposure mistakes and doesn’t know how to take anything but snapshot-ish portraits. Not to say he won’t get better, but I wouldnt gamble with wedding photos. Engagement maybe, but not wedding, and I’m disappointed this photographer is even going to shoot someone’s wedding considering the quality he’s putting out. He should be second shooting with a pro to learn the ropes before jumping out there to do “free” weddings so couples can’t hold anything against him when he messes things up or misses something important.
Post # 10
I would go to your local film processing lab/prefessional camera shop and ask them who they would recommend. They know cameras and since pros use them for processing they see tons of different photogs work.
Post # 11
i find making a poll on weddingbee does the same trick when i couldn’t make wedding decisions! i did it with my dress and everyone voted for it and i was happy. but for some other small details lile flowers, pictures to frame, i found when the majority went one way, i disagreed and still made a decision i was happy with!
i think you just have to decide if you are okay with what you are seeing. You said your budget is tight and you can’t afford much more than paying his travel expenses. you know he is not a pro and so you should not be expecting pro photos that look like they cost $3-5K. And i am not surprised that the pro photogs on here are saying he is not good. He is not as good as them or their standards. But if you want nice pictures of you and your hubby and your wedding that you will look back at and remember what a great, beautiful wedding you had, i think this guy will give you just that. If you do go with him, i would definitely give him lots of direction like a list of must haves, a list of who to do in your formals. And maybe even ask someone at your wedding (like a BM) to help be in charge of checking that list and then you should be fine.
I had a friend who got married recently and could not afford a pro, so she had a friendor who used to be a photographer offer to do her wedding pics as a gift. She got some nice pics. I am sure pro photogs would look at them and comment on the lighting and the effects her photog used to cover up her “mistakes”, but my friend was happy that she had any pics at all. For her, it was this or rely solely on guest photos! So i know you are afraid because of the “horror stories”, i think that is because when there is no horror story, no one posts about it because they simply got what they expected.
So i think whether you will be happy or not comes down to your expectations. As a non-photog myself, I think they are pretty pictures.
Post # 12
oh, i also think, if you haven’t already, that you should ask to see a full wedding from this guy. i think that will help you know if he is going to deliver what you want or help you know what to emphasize on your list.
Post # 13
Thank you everyone for your replies. I truely appreciate every last bit of all the feedback 🙂
I feel pretty indecisive at the moment, so I’m still not sure what I’ll do. The truth is, I have to be realistic within my budget. I like this guy’s photos, & he’s affordable. I really can’t be particularly picky in my situation- I’ll be happy to get the actual photos that I do. My only other option is an equally inexperienced family friend (wannabe) photog.
Post # 14
I think it depends on what you can afford. You said you don’t have a big budget and this guy would pretty much be free…so for free the photos are very good. A lot better than guests using point and shoot cameras for example.
He’s not the best of the best, but he’s just starting out. There are some good shots and some that aren’t the greatest, but I voted yes.
Post # 15
Personally I do think that her over edits and over uses some of the vignettes and BW to cover mistakes or over/underexposed images. His style is a subjective thing. I don’t think it’s horrible or bad but it very traditional to me. If you like traditional then go for it.