Wedding Bliss and Blues > My Biggest Regret Was....

Family member as photographer

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spookycatlady:
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:
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:
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.

Carotte:
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:
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.

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