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Wedding photographer choice..wwyd?

(21 Posts)
PingpongDingDong Sun 09-Aug-15 11:32:44

I'm in a sort of strange wedding planning vortex and can't see the wood for the trees! We're getting married next year in a city that we don't live in but visit perhaps twice a year. We chose the venue because it is special to us and (we think) spectacular. Anyway, we weren't going to have a photographer. When we had our Civil partnership 10 years ago this worked very well for us. However, having toured the venue we see that it might be quite a big task for a friend to photograph us there (lighting issues etc).

We've contacted several photographers local to that area (and close by) whose websites we like to enquire about hiring them. We only want them for a few hours not all day so this is obviously not going to work for some photographers during wedding season.

So, of those that have responded with offers we don't know which to choose..

1. This one has given by far the cheapest quote and his website pics are ok.

2. This one has photographed many times at the venue and her quote is twice that of no. 1 and a little above our maximum price idea. Her photos are very nice.

3. This one has fabulous photos on his site, is priced between the two but has never been to the venue (he is not local but not far away). He may not be able to visit the venue before the wedding.

Dp thinks we should go with no 3. I think we should go with no 2. Not really AIBU but can you help? Thanks!

TenForward82 Sun 09-Aug-15 11:36:01

Definitely 2 IMHO. You want someone who knows where (and where not) to shoot, or you end up with a bunch of useless pics. Especially if the venue isn't super straightforward to photograph.

Good luck!

EmeraldKitten Sun 09-Aug-15 11:37:12

Definitely 3.

A good photographer will have 'an eye' for nice shots, good back drops shouldn't make any difference that they haven't been there before. And they will probably do reasearch before anyway.

PingpongDingDong Sun 09-Aug-15 11:37:27

Thanks Ten, that's my thinking too. We could stretch to no 2 and I just think I will be worrying if we choose no 3 and stressing on the day.

PingpongDingDong Sun 09-Aug-15 11:38:28

I know what you mean Emerald, his shots are brilliant but what if he doesn't do the research?

stayathomegardener Sun 09-Aug-15 11:40:41

Can you go back to number two and ask them to match threes price?
Or ask three to do a paid recce to sus the lighting before the day?

LunchpackOfNotreDame Sun 09-Aug-15 11:41:19

I'd go with one if they are prepared to scout out the venue

PingpongDingDong Sun 09-Aug-15 11:42:10

I'd never have thought of that stayathome! Good idea.

raviolidreams Sun 09-Aug-15 11:47:12

I would meet them all, and then go with whoever you have the better rapport with.

TittyBiskwits Sun 09-Aug-15 11:48:04

I'd go with 3 tbh.

As has been said, a good photographer will have 'the eye' for these things. When a relative got married, they hired the photographer that was recommended by the venue and the photos were absolutely shite.

DeeWe Sun 09-Aug-15 11:49:39

Number 3 definitely.

A good photographer will be able to make it look great.
Someone who has done it lots before may just use their standard shots rather than those that suit your personality and the wedding party.

PingpongDingDong Sun 09-Aug-15 11:52:34

Thanks all, such good thoughts. It's a bit tricky to meet them all as we're several hours away. Just by the few emails we've exchanged so far I guess I feel most at ease with no 2. But the photos of no. 3 are fantastic.

MixedBerrys Sun 09-Aug-15 12:21:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MrsHathaway Sun 09-Aug-15 12:43:17

Have you seen 2's shots of the venue? A friend so liked some particular venue shots that they hired that photographer and the venue off the back of them!

For me, if the venue is significant then it would be worth the extra for 2 (although Pp's suggestion of negotiating is a good one) because things will be quicker for someone who has done it several times before than someone who has only visited. Someone close to me got married at Manchester Town Hall and the photos of the tiling and arches are among the bride's favourites of the day, as they're really evocative of the feel. The photographer knew where the eye sores were (eg Fire Exit signs or cables) and had a comfortable set of beautiful poses against backdrops in her repertoire.

If on the other hand photos of the people are more important and you don't care how well the venue is captured, 3 sounds better. No point spending extra money if it doesn't actually add value. If 3's images appear to capture the soul of the people pictured, who cares if they aren't posing in front of a hidden gem fresco round the back?

I have to laugh at the idea of photos being original to each couple - I think that's pretty rare. If an artist has designed a spectacular shot, why wouldn't he use it again and again? No need to reinvent the wheel. You've chosen them because you liked the images in their portfolio so why wouldn't you want to reproduce those shots with yourselves and your friends and family in?

TenForward82 Sun 09-Aug-15 12:45:41

Just to put another 2 cents in, the photos are the main things you've have to remember the day, so they're definitely worth spending the money on! (More so than flowers, for example)

paxtecum Sun 09-Aug-15 12:46:24

Make sure it is the photographer doing the photos rather than his random mate who is far less skilled- happened to friend of mine.

TenForward82 Sun 09-Aug-15 12:50:16

paxtecum that's awful! That idea never even crossed my mind. In that case make sure you meet the photog in person before the wedding!

PingpongDingDong Sun 09-Aug-15 15:26:38

Thanks all once again. Very helpful points raised. Will think some more!

soloula Sun 09-Aug-15 15:59:33

I know a couple of people who used non-professional photographers and their photos were stunning (and very reasonably priced). One couple went to a local college and got a student that was wanting to build their portfolio. Another got a member of a local camera club. Just to make you aware there are other options. smile

Also - have a wee think about what type of photos you want taken as this may well determine the person you want to take your pics - lots of traditional posed photos or a few posed photos of you and DH and close friends/family then some reportage style with lots of pics of your guests and yourselves being a bit more natural? We had a mix of the two and I think for us we got the balance just right. I love the reportage style photos of everyone having a drink and enjoying themselves, completely unaware the photographer was even there.

Have you spoken the venue - they may be able to suggest other photographers that have worked at the venue to maybe widen your options.

McColonel Sun 09-Aug-15 18:01:06

I'd go with 2. I'm a photographer and it will be a bonus if they've shot weddings in the venue before. They will have worked out which shots do and don't work. You could ask to see some of their photos from that venue and tell them what you do and don't like.

LeafyLafae Sun 09-Aug-15 18:18:03

Website pics probably are tv nought to go by IME, ask to see a copy of thier albums to get a true feel of what they include in their repertoire. Some photogs "don't 'do' group shots", some do this and nothing else.
I made this mistake: photog had to be told what shots to get & in the end they were shit - the lame photo of my dress looked like a nightie hung up on the other side of the room, he was clueless (but OH insisted on him)

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