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Author Topic: Family member as photographer  (Read 9404 times)

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spookycatlady

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Family member as photographer
« on: April 02, 2014, 09:37:44 AM »
The Dude insisted that we use his uncle as our photographer.  Our pictures were so boring.  They would have been lovely, if taken in 1984 instead of 2010.

The Dude didn't get involved with much of the process, but kept on talking about how awesome his uncle was.  The uncle then insisted on getting ready shots, which I didn't want, and tried to rush, or manufacture pictures to get out of the hall faster.  The uncle kept at the Dude, who kept trying to push me to hurry through things.  It didn't come up again when I said, "I paid the man $1000 and gave him dinner.  He can let me finish my [mild expletive] dessert."

Uncle also talked about what a bargain we were getting... which is true.  A thousand dollars for a wedding photog is very cheap.  And you get what you pay for.  BLAH.

The marriage may no longer be salvageable, but this was my regret. 

BarensMom

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Re: Family member as photographer
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2014, 09:57:16 AM »
I agree it's a mistake to hire or ask a friend or relative to act as a photographer for a special event. Doing business with friends or relatives almost never (well, in my experience, anyway) ends well.

This was brought home to me at my niece's wedding reception.  Niece worked at a camera store at the time, and her manager (who sidelined as a photographer) offered to photograph her wedding and reception "as my gift."  The man never showed, and all niece has of her wedding is a few snapshots taken by family.


Jones

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Re: Family member as photographer
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2014, 10:01:21 AM »
I'm sorry you had a poor experience. My aunt did my wedding photos (as a gift) and they were lovely, which is great as my DH hates photography sessions.

ETA: my aunt was also a professional.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2014, 11:53:37 AM by Jones »
A real desire to believe all the good you can of others and to make others as comfortable as you can will solve most of the problems. CS Lewis

Carotte

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Re: Family member as photographer
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2014, 10:43:57 AM »
I'm seeing it from here (no wedding or marriage even planned  ::)) the moment I'll have to tell my dad that he's a guest and I 'd rather have him enjoying the wedding than snapping away while the professional we hired is working.
At least if it was in a church he would have a "job" already, but in a city hall I don't think the father of the bride has much to do..

A good professional photographer being the only thing current SO ever expressed being important for his wedding (if one day he has one), and a good professional photographer would rather be able to do his job without every guest that fancy themselves a photographer flashing away.

At least with a guest gifting you the cake or hours of work, they can enjoy the party while the party is happening. A true photographer should be too busy to do so.
(That does depend on how many pictures you are expecting of course, lenght of party and so on)
But even then, it doesn't mean things won't go sideways and you'll have a ruined or disappointed cake, so this is something that needs to be threaded on carefully it seems.

QueenfaninCA

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Re: Family member as photographer
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2014, 11:32:07 AM »
My MIL didn't understand why we were spending so much money on a photographer. Friends recently had a family member take the photos. Why couldn't we do that?

Until a few days before the wedding when we all visited said friends and saw the pictures. Couple in a park in front of a lovely background. Unfortunately their faces are shaded and because the photographer didn't use a flash, you can't see their face. Suddenly she understood why we were paying a professional.

Free Range Hippy Chick

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Re: Family member as photographer
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2014, 12:15:00 PM »
Photographs are not an important thing in my family - there were few photos around the house when I was growing up, and I don't miss them even now. My mother was also bewildered by why we booked a photographer - wouldn't our friends take pictures? She didn't really get the point of posed pictures. She didn't object when DH said that it was something he wanted, and we had a local professional who took excellent pictures (although his admin later was a bit hit and miss, but it all came out right in the end). I wonder if one could tie up not thinking that photos matter to, say, people who do or don't have visual learning style? I absolutely don't - my learning style is all words, not pictures, and most photographs for me end up as junk paper.

With that as a given, though, I think having a family member doing almost any of the external jobs at a wedding is taking a big risk!

mime

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Re: Family member as photographer
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2014, 01:18:59 PM »
We only used a professional photographer for a handful of formal pics of the wedding party at the church, after the ceremony. At the reception, many guests took candid snapshots and they shared generously with us. Some photographs were quite good (there were a couple of professionals in the mix), and other were not, but we were happy with the not-staged look of our pictures. They all understood that the last thing I wanted to do was stand still for 2 hours posing for pictures of the big day. My pictures do show that, but I'm happy with what I have.

I think if the pictures are really important to you, then getting a professional to do it right is the way to go. That's true of the cake, the music, the decorations, whatever you feel is really important. There are rare exceptions of course, but in general you do get what you pay for.

I've also read posts on the ehell blog of friends or cousins who agree to do photography (or other task) for a friend's wedding, and are disappointed to then be treated as 'the help' instead of one of the guests. The situation can backfire against either party!

I wanted my guests to be my guests and the workers to be working.  ;)

spookycatlady

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Re: Family member as photographer
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2014, 01:54:06 PM »
The uncle in this case was a professional photographer-- just passed his prime, in my opinion.  Very 80s lighting and staging.

While I was getting into the dress (all layered up in spanx), he wanted to come up to photograph and kept calling up to the room to rush me.  I didn't want those shots in the first place, but he had insisted that I would eventually.  Nope.  Didn't use one of them for final prints.  He tried to pushed us to stage the first dance before the actual dancing started, to fake cut the cake before dinner, and while I was eating dessert kept on pestering me to cut the cake (the cake cutting was planned for later, after the first dance).  I saw no point in manufacturing artificial scenarios to replicate what would be occuring for real soon enough.  I had made this clear in the pre-meetings  I wanted photographs to capture the *actual* moments...

My favourite shots from the night were the candids taken by the best man, who is a professional in his own right and brought his camera for fun.

katycoo

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Re: Family member as photographer
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2014, 05:23:18 PM »
Don't regret paying a pro at all.  While we got many photos from friends, the lighting in our church was such that only 1 guest had a high quality enough camera to get decent photos.
We have a great mix of staged and candid photos from our pro.  Love him.

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Family member as photographer
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2014, 05:38:54 PM »
I've been to weddings that had the disposable cameras at every table in addition to a professional. While those cameras are not to the same quality as a professional cameras in that they don't have the same settings, I do wonder if it might help at least to keep the "aspiring professionals" at bay.

I am an amateur photographer myself but as I'm more of a nature photographer than people, at the moment, my feelings would not be hurt if a family member married and picked a professional.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

katycoo

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Re: Family member as photographer
« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2014, 11:23:12 PM »
I've been to weddings that had the disposable cameras at every table in addition to a professional. While those cameras are not to the same quality as a professional cameras in that they don't have the same settings, I do wonder if it might help at least to keep the "aspiring professionals" at bay.

Saldy, IME drunk guests at weddings + disposable cameras = many down-pants photos.

suzieQ

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Re: Family member as photographer
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2014, 08:11:44 AM »
My DD asked me to video her wedding. Thankfully we also had a friend of hers take photos. I saw thankfully because I had never used the camera I was videoing with before. I thought it was taking video and it wasn't! No video of her wedding. We were both so upset! She cried and I felt so awful. We did get around 1000 pictures, though, (I took a lot of those with another camera) so that helped.

daen

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Re: Family member as photographer
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2014, 08:31:30 AM »
My husband was a professional photographer at one time, and is no longer precisely because he hates doing wedding shoots. His priority was that we find a good professional and get one good portrait. We ended up having our wedding portrait taken two days before (so I got makeup and hair done twice, and we had an extra boutonniere for him) in a lovely outdoor location. We're both very happy with that, and a second picture taken during the session that we used as our Christmas card that year.

For the actual wedding, my husband's nephew was our photographer. He's a talented amateur, and took some very nice pictures. I would have liked more pictures from the ceremony, so I now regret not giving him a shot list. Our favorite picture of the ones Nephew took was after the ceremony, where we're kissing in front of a field of canola in bloom - and for that, my husband had to argue with Nephew as to how to set up the shot to get the background right.  In the end, Nephew listened, and it did turn out well.

I would recommend a shot list, even if you're sure your photographer knows what moments are important, just to make sure that everything is understood.

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Family member as photographer
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2014, 09:05:25 AM »
I've been to weddings that had the disposable cameras at every table in addition to a professional. While those cameras are not to the same quality as a professional cameras in that they don't have the same settings, I do wonder if it might help at least to keep the "aspiring professionals" at bay.

Saldy, IME drunk guests at weddings + disposable cameras = many down-pants photos.

I realized this probably shows how long it's been since I've attended a wedding reception.  Nowadays who really needs those disposable cameras when most people have smartphones or tablets and Instagram?  Same bad photos, just more artfully rendered and broadcast on social media?
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

katycoo

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Re: Family member as photographer
« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2014, 05:40:58 PM »
I've been to weddings that had the disposable cameras at every table in addition to a professional. While those cameras are not to the same quality as a professional cameras in that they don't have the same settings, I do wonder if it might help at least to keep the "aspiring professionals" at bay.

Sadly, IME drunk guests at weddings + disposable cameras = many down-pants photos.

I realized this probably shows how long it's been since I've attended a wedding reception.  Nowadays who really needs those disposable cameras when most people have smartphones or tablets and Instagram?  Same bad photos, just more artfully rendered and broadcast on social media?

People only seem to take those photos when the camera is someone elses - so they get a 'surprise' when going through the photos at a later date rather than particularly wishing to broadcast it.  So if a digital camera is provided, yes.  If its their own phone, notsomuch.