(Closed) Would you photograph someone else’s wedding?

posted 10 years ago in Photos/Videos
  • poll: Would you photograph a friend/family member's wedding?
    Yes absolutely. I'd make them pay me for my time, too. : (7 votes)
    15 %
    Yes, but I'd make sure they knew the risks of using my amateur skills. : (21 votes)
    45 %
    Depends on the personality of the couple. (Bridezilla? NO WAY!) : (8 votes)
    17 %
    No, I don't think I'd be confident enough it my skills. : (4 votes)
    9 %
    No, I definitely would not want that responsibility. : (6 votes)
    13 %
    Other. : (1 votes)
    2 %
  • Post # 3
    7081 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: July 2009

    @Marquise- what a wonderful delimma to have.  Maybe the world is trying to tell you something?  A good resource for this question might be Flickr.  There are several wedding photographer groups, and I frequently see questions similar to yours.  They can evaluate your past work and give you recommendations on how to pull off these events, write contracts, price your work. 

    I would ask the same questions you’ve asked here over there.

    Your friends should definitely know what they are getting into if they are having you do the wedding, and you should definitely feel that you can handle the work…  If either of those is not the case, I’d be more hesitant.

    BTW-I think the top pic of the ones you’ve displayed is just great!

    Post # 6
    5822 posts
    Bee Keeper

    I think you should just do some weddings for free for experience, then consider doing it professionally.  You obviously have a good eye, and an aesthetic. Give it a shot!  (Pun intended!)

    Post # 7
    626 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2009

    I think that as long as these people are aware that you aren’t a professional and that you haven’t done a wedding before this that you should go for it.  You were upset by your photos because you are a photo person.  Not everyone is.  And if you think you can do a better job then your photog did then you’re that much farther ahead.

    Fiance is an ameteur photog too.  He did his first wedding last year for a relative of his daughter.  The pics are ok.  Not amazing.  But before this he had only done studio and still.  Live events are harder.  You can’t control the lighting outside, or in a reception hall. The particular wedding he did was in a fairly unattractive dark reception hall.  it was hard to get really astheatic shots.  But none the less the couple was thrilled with the pics.  They got what they wanted and what they expected.

    He has a second wedding scheduled for this summer.  This couple is doing a Destination Wedding and they asked us to do the the photos at thier reception / party when they return from Jamaica.  We said sure. They don’t have money, that’s why they did the Destination Wedding.  They just want someone to take lots of pics of their return and hopefully we’ll be good enough. (we are kind of the same as you and your SO, only switch the roles. Fiance bought me a camera for our anniversary so we could share the hobby.)

    Down the road when I’m finished with school and have a job Fiance wants to go back and get a photog degree and become a professional.  But in the meantime this is the next best thing.  He’s learning and slowly building a portfolio.

    Post # 8
    349 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: August 2008

    I definitely understand what you are going through here!

    Covering family and friend’s weddings was actually how my husband and I got started! At the very beginning, we had the same thoughts you have (excited about the opportunity but worried you’ll ruined their wedding images). We would offer to also take pictures of the wedding but still suggest them to find a professional. However, as time went by and more and more people told us our pictures were better than their pro and they wished they had just hired us in the first place, we felt it was a sign we’re ready. Now we have our own photography studio and we’re confident we can deliver great images. There’s always room for improvement, so we’re still studying up on photographers we admire and learn new techniques, but as you gain more experience you’ll definitely feel more comfortable and confident.

    Maybe you can find opportunities to second shot someone’s wedding as practice. I think you can take the couple out for a portrait session too. That’ll help them feel more comfortable in front of the camera and also help you practice for the big day.

    Post # 9
    31 posts
    • Wedding: October 2009

    I’d been considering getting into wedding photography secretly when some friends of mine asked me if I could do theirs. They knew I’d worked for my dad at a newspaper and wanted a photojournalistic style and were on a budget. I loved shooting it, it was very personal and them and they have such great personalities. I think you should definitely have the equipment and practice but it is a lot of fun to photograph your friends in their happiest moment. I second shot a few weddings and bridals before I shot their wedding and I also got an awesome camera and had a friend tag along to shoot with me. Be prepared, and if you don’t feel comfortable just be honest about it.

    Post # 10
    24 posts
    • Wedding: July 2010

    Your pictures are very nice! If you are worried about catching "the kiss" or other moments, why not ask your Bf or another photog friend to be there as your backup?

    Post # 11
    445 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: October 2009

    Sure!  Go for it!  But get it in writing that if you mess up, they can’t do anything about it!  Haha.  You definitely can’t charge anyone until you get a tax ID so you can report your earnings (unless you’ve already done that, in which case you may charge, but I wouldn’t still).  Also, see if someone can go with you in case you miss something.  And, make sure they don’t want an album!  

    I am a concert photographer, and shooting under pressure is hard but fun.  I mean, they can’t redo a concert, so it’s sort of the same….but they CAN have another concert somewhere else.  I would say that if you’re comfortable shooting in RAW and in manual and can manipulate your flash then do it.  You never know if you’re going to like it unless you try.  

    Post # 12
    21 posts
    • Wedding: January 2003

    Get liability insurance!  And have a contract with every detail spelled out even for someone you know. 

    Post # 13
    1276 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 2009

    I’m also an avid amateur.  My sister asked me to be a second photographer at her wedding.  But since she had a much nicer camera, she also suggested I use her camera.  I never, ever should have agreed to the second part.  Apparently the way the focus aligns on her camera was totally different than mine (now that I’m much more experienced it seems odd to me that this could have happened, but at the time I’d only used my own completely manual SLR).  Almost all the shots I took were out of focus!!  My sister felt really bad for both of us, esp. b/c she honestly felt that the composition of most of them were great and unique so it was so much worse not to have them.  (Now in the digital era I could have figured this out immediately.)

    My point is that I think it can be a fun experience to shoot a wedding of someone you know and care about, but if you haven’t done one before unexpected things can go wrong (the above being amongst the extreme).  B/c of this I wouldn’t charge for the first few times as mightysapphire suggests, though definitely ask for any compensation for actual costs (e.g. buying extra memory cards as back up, printing whatever).  I think if stuff turns out well it wouldn’t be out of line to charge for PhotoShopping etc even for the first time.  And who knows, if it goes well, it might turn into a nice little business for you.

    Post # 14
    3 posts

    When I was 15 I did the video for an aunts wedding. She loved it. Since I knew her, I knew what shots would mean a lot to her. The quality wasn’t great, although she loves it, but I think she loves that the right moments were captured. I was also 15 and didnt realize how big of a responsibility it was at the time, if I was asked now to photograph or videotape soemones wedding, I may do it based on the person. If it is someone who is laid back and easy going, I’d do it and let them know I’m not good, but if it were soemone who wants something specific and has a vision, I’d be too nervous to dissapoint.

    Post # 15
    1 posts

    This is quite a difficult situation to be in.  I studied photography in college, and am often asked to shoot weddings.  It is tricky, especially when shooting for people you are close to.  The easiest solution, I found, was to shoot with a friend.  The odds that both of you would "eff" up the important shots, are awfully slim.  It also ensure shots from several different angles, which is really nice, and otherwise impossible.  And it is always nice to have someone who can help you "direct" while assembling and shooting the formals.  You said your Boyfriend or Best Friend also enjoyed photography, perhaps he can shoot with you.  If anything,it is nice to have someone there to discuss light and shot set-ups with, plus it is nice to know that there is a back up plan. 


    Post # 16
    2000 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: July 2009

    Every now and again, someone will ask me to shoot something for them — most recently, it’s been senior photos for my brother and my cousin. I feel the same way. I’m happy to do it. I love being behind the camera. But I’m just not confident enough in my own skill that I’d agree to shoot a wedding without warning the bride and groom that I’m an amateur, in all senses of the word. If photos matter to you, you want to hire a pro!

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