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To want a professional wedding photographer?

(47 Posts)
Paintinmyhair Thu 23-Jun-11 15:10:04

We have a family friend (hi dp if you are reading this!). The family friend has insisted that her dp does the wedding photography. He is an amateur photographer, and likes to play with his camera. He does some good shots. However, there are a lot of things he isn't comfortable with doing, eg. wedding prep photo's, photo's of dp before the ceremony and photo's of us alone. Dp agrees with him and doesn't want these, but I do. Dp will never look at the photo's again, I will, so think my feelings should rule on this (especially as I look shocking in all photo's, so need to feel "safe" in my photographers' hands).

Said friend is v clingy, and dp, her dp and I are the only guests she knows, so she will be there. All the time. She is very clingy day to day anyway, so will monopolise everything if the three of us are together.

I feel stupid, as the "real" photographer is £600 more, and dp thinks it is a waste. Why am I being so pathetic about this?

DorisIsAPinkDragon Thu 23-Jun-11 15:19:16

You need to feel comfortable on your wedding day.

Whilst you need to accept that your dp may feel it is a waste he also needs to accept, that his mate won't do the job you actually want doing.

DorisIsAPinkDragon Thu 23-Jun-11 15:20:26

Oh and FF doesn't get to insist anything about YOUR wedding day, she can get married and make her own choices....

WriterofDreams Thu 23-Jun-11 15:25:10

A good photographer is worth his or her weight in gold IMO. It is the one thing that I don't think you should skimp on. It is a bad bad bad idea to have a non-professional to do it unless you are very sure of their skills. The disappointment you will feel if the photos are rubbish will be huge and there is no way to remedy it. Plus it could lead to terrible bad feeling. Search around, find a professional, scrutinise their work and choose the best you can afford. It will be worth it, I can guarantee you.

BTW why on god's green earth is the friend insisting on anything to do with your wedding? Tell her to get stuffed.

iwantavuvezela Thu 23-Jun-11 15:28:14

We had a friend do our wedding photos ... my dh and i still laugh about it now (basically how we regret it; how bad the shots are; and how we should just have got a professional photographer!) Dont do it!

pirateparty Thu 23-Jun-11 15:33:02

Exactly the same as iwant - friend did ours and I really regret it. Although tbh I haven't looked at the photos for years apart from the one on our piano which us fab (and wouldn't gave been any better even if a prof had taken it!)and knowing me I wouldn't have looked at them anyway so actually I suppose 'really regret' isn't quite right. But if you want that whole polished photo thing definitely go with a professional.

redwineformethanks Thu 23-Jun-11 15:33:18

We got a professional and the photos weren't that great. In fact we still have the disc and never had them printed.Whoever does the photos I strongly recommend you agree what the photos should be like. Our wedding was very relaxed and informal so we didn't really brief the photographer and I really regret not specifying some family groups that I would like in photos. As it is we have dozens and dozens of just the two of us and only one of me with my family (and we're not all looking at the camera!)

Firawla Thu 23-Jun-11 15:36:28

i would get the proffesional one, and tell ur family friend they are also welcome to come and take some extra pics with their camera maybe? unless you dont want that person to even attend?? many people take extra pics at weddings and can be nice to have the extras, and if his are good then that will be a bonus but this way you would not have to risk everything on him if it doesnt turn out as you want?

niceguy2 Thu 23-Jun-11 15:36:51

I'm a keen amateur photographer and have a decent dSLR with a couple of lenses.

I'd still be very reluctant to do a friends wedding as despite having good kit, I don't have anywhere near the correct kit for a modern wedding.

Personally I wouldn't want the pressure, nor the feeling of letting said friend down if they didn't like the photos. The warning signs are that he's said he's not comfortable taking photos at several important times of the day. In that context, it's not giving you confidence he can handle the pressure of being the main photographer.

It's a one off event. I'd insist upon a professional.

Katiepoes Thu 23-Jun-11 15:38:25

Get a proper photographer. My uncle is one of those 'amateur photographers' and was a bit miffed when we hired a professional - he takes nice photos but when we saw the photographer's work next to his afterwards you could tell every single time which was which.

In any case I'm a big believer in keeping family & friends away from certain tasks - you can tell a paid pro exacatly what you want and have proper discussions if unhappy, that's really hard with people you know well.

If you can't tell your pushy pal thanks but no thanks, maybe take the sneaky route and say Great Aunt Edna paid for a pro as a gift?

EvenLessNarkyPuffin Thu 23-Jun-11 15:38:59

If it's really important to you and you can afford to do it then you need to sit down with your DP and explain to him how you feel. Especially the part about you looking 'shocking' on photos and how you will want to look at them over the years to relive your special day. I'm sure that there are things that matter to him that you don't really get, but part of being with a partner is respecting their feelings. It would help if there were something you could 'give' back. Is there something that he wanted that you haven't included in the plans eg a particular hired car for him to get to the church in or a guest he wanted to add? Or maybe you could find some way to trim a little cost from another part of the wedding, so that it's only eg £300 extra overall to have a professional photographer.

COCKadoodledooo Thu 23-Jun-11 15:42:45

Could you get the professional and let friend's dp loose too? Different perspectives and a mix of formal and non-formal shots could be really nice.

whyohwine Thu 23-Jun-11 15:45:29

we had professional photographer and a friend, and gave them slightly different breifs. Worked well.

bubblecoral Thu 23-Jun-11 15:47:04

If you are having an all day wedding, could you have a pro for the daytime and ceremony/traditional shots, and let the friend loose in the evening?

Ime, including at my own wedding where we paid a fortune for a proffessional photographer, they do a few evening shots but not as many as you might like of the dancing and celebrating - read piss up part.

I wish I had designated a friend to do that instead.

If you want a pro, insist on it. You make the descisions not your friend. You only get one chance at this, and it's too special to take a risk.

redwineformethanks Thu 23-Jun-11 16:11:27

Just remembered my cousin stood at the entrance of the evening reception and took pictures of everyone as they arrived. Perhaps your friend could do that? it was really nice to have pics of everyone

Paintinmyhair Thu 23-Jun-11 16:21:27

Thank you all for having the same view as me. Dp is really cross that I am even suggesting it when he "has got us a bargain/doesn't feel comfortable around strangers/why do we even need photo's anyway?" etc. I feel horribly selfish saying I don't care, but tbh I don't. He has left me to organise everything,yet isn't budging on this one thing. The ONLY think that I feel v strongly about!

I think the pro/friend split is defo a good idea. Only a professional is allowed to do snaps in the church (some insurance thing I think), so I may have to use that line.

Bartimaeus Thu 23-Jun-11 16:31:22

We had a professional photographer for before the ceremony, during the ceremony and during the drinks. He left just before the dinner.

4 of our guests (out of 30!) are very keen on photography so took loads of photos. This meant we ended up with hundreds of photos, a nice mix between the professional and amateur.

However, I do not for a moment regret getting the professional. He was great and was there just for us, not for anyone else, and he did what we wanted and had some good ideas for some photos. Also, during the ceremony he wasn't bothered about listening to us - just getting the photos! Thats important from my point of view.

bearhug Thu 23-Jun-11 16:41:25

We had a family friend do photographs. He ended up taking loads of pictures of the people he knew, (the bride's family) and very few of the people he didn't (the groom's family). Definitely not good for family harmony!

zipzap Thu 23-Jun-11 17:09:36

Have done photos for a friend's wedding and the pressure was horrible, especially as it was back in the day of film so I had no idea when I sent the photos off how they would come back.

Can you task the friend with taking the photos of other guests during the day, so maybe going to each table or group at dinner, maybe everyone in the receiving line if you have one and then 'bits that bride and groom are missing as they are busy' - so things like guests arriving at the church and in the church before you get there, guests enjoying their drinks while you are doing the official photos, guests on the dancefloor or at the evening bit after the pro photographer has gone home etc

This would also have the benefit of encouraging him to spread his wings away from you and your dp. Or dh as he will be them grin.

it's also much easier to start talking to people if you have a reason to which will help both him and his wife, assuming she helps him.

With my cynical hat on, is the reason they are pushing so hard to do this because they have got some sort of ulterior motive? Wedding present on the cheap, excuse to stick by you during the day at all times, fancies himself as a bit of a photographer and wants to say that he has done weddings to impress mates at the camera club, get photos for hos portfolio to get other wedding work... And so on.

You can always flatter his ego by saying that you want him to be the reportage photographer - lots of pros act in teams of 2, one to do the formal stuff, the other to do the reportagey stuff, so from that point of view he is still saving you money!

Congratulations on the wedding, hope you have a lovely day with a proper photographer. Oh and your dh grin

TheRhubarb Thu 23-Jun-11 17:12:24

I'm about to say the same as everyone else. We had a friend do our wedding photos and it was awful. Half the photos didn't turn out, there weren't as many black and white photos as I'd wanted and I was very disappointed that he turned out to be much more amateur than I'd thought he was.

Also, if you choose a friend then should anything go wrong you've nothing to fall back on. You cannot sue them and will only end up creating bad feeling.

Just say that you want all your friends to enjoy themselves at your wedding and not have to work. If you don't get professional photos I can guarantee you'll regret it. Perhaps your friend can take the more informal photos?

JasHands Thu 23-Jun-11 17:16:10

Get the professional photographer. One of my relatives offered to take photographs for our wedding and the only clear ones were of his DG. And the disposable cameras (you can tell we've been married a while, can't you?) we left for the guests contained more random shots as the day and drinking wore on.

mumeeee Thu 23-Jun-11 17:18:43

If your DP's friend won't do the shots you want don't let him do it,

Insomnia11 Thu 23-Jun-11 17:24:24

Perhaps the professional could do any photography before and including the ceremony and ask the friend to do the more informal ones at the reception?

Insomnia11 Thu 23-Jun-11 17:26:02

We had disposable cameras for guests and were married only 7 years ago.

I don't think you would go and buy individual digital cameras for tables now would you?

mumeeee Thu 23-Jun-11 17:28:41

DD3 had disposable cameras on the table for guests and she only got maried two years ago, She did have a professional Photographer as well,

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