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Has anyone NOT used a professional photographer?


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#1 flute girl

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 08:22 PM

Hi girls,

This is probably going to sound like insanity but here goes (deep breath)....I am thinking about not having a professional wedding photographer.

We have booked 2 wedding photographers already, one told us she is moving interstate so can't do it (fair enough) and another got a full-week gig of photography (I think for an overseas wedding) on the week of our wedding so she couldn't do it either.

Our wedding is next January. I have gone through recommendations made by cassarilda and others and they are either not free on our date or they are going away for a holiday of their own in early Jan. Our reception recommended photographers but they are too expensive for us and do not give you the photos of a DVD which we have to have because we are in Melbourne but getting married in Perth, and would rather plan the album ourselves at home when we get back from the honeymoon.

I feel slightly unsure where to go now and was wondering if any girls have just used a friend, or relied on family members with digital cameras, to capture your wedding memories? This sounds a little risky but if others can reassure me then maybe I'll start to feel okay about this.

Thank you in advance for your advice!!

#2 paprika

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 08:30 PM


Do you mind me asking what your budget is? I personally wouldn't rely on friends and family for shots. I'm sure there are some Perth photographers Perth brides will be able to recommend if you give an idea of your budget.

Even down to trying uni students/student photographers

#3 flute girl

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 08:45 PM

Our budget is $1600. I know that sounds so small compared with some of the other brides on here (I read of one bride the other day said she was willing to pay $6000...eek, that's like a third of our entire budget!!!) but we have a mortgage in a beautiful area in Melbourne and that's all we can afford.

In my heart I would like a professional, but I am sick of talking to photographers who are not only charging $3000+, but don't even listen to what I want and say things like "Well if you don't want photos before the wedding that's fine but it will still cost you the same price" ???

In my profession, if I said "Ok don't come to your counselling session but I'm still going to charge you" I would lose clients very quickly!!

I know I sounds like I'm asking a lot, but I can't spend money I don't have.

#4 scary_girl

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 10:04 PM

We just had friends and relatives take photos at our wedding and we have some really good photos. In fact I wouldn't of had it any other way. I think one thing to consider is if anyone you know actually has some photography skills. At my wedding my sister has some photography experience and one of our best friends also has experience - so we were able to get some very good shots for no money at all.

Hope you can work it out.


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#5 Monica

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 02:31 PM

We had my father-in-law who is NOT a professional wedding photographer, rather a professional wildlife photographer.
It is the biggest (and probably only) regret of the day.

I made a thread about it.

http://community.i-d...howtopic=115049

Whilst he did get some ok shots, I am always sad when I look at other peoples momentos from the day and realise we won't have that to look at in 50 years.

My advice to you is to think about this long and hard and if you do go with a non-professional, make sure you do the following.

Sit down with them and write a list of exactly what shots you want and ensure they have a checklist for the day.

Make sure they have a voice and that the wedding guests know they are the designated photographer and have first dibs/best vantage point on shots and what not. My FIL was too worried about getting in other peoples way that he didn't even get a shot of our first kiss.
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#6 Lissie

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 02:39 PM

I know they can definately get expensive, but this was one thing I thought was of high importance. You may have seen my post the other day worrying if my photographer was going to give me the photo's I wanted & 12wks out I've switched.
Yes we aren't getting as much for what we were going to pay, but I don't care cause I have confidence they'll be able to capture the day as we seen it.
After it's all said & done, photo's & video is all we'll have to remind us of the day. (obviusly other then our memories)

IMO, I'd skimp on other things in order to get a professional, at the end of the day, it's a day you can't relive.
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#7 Daisy Belle

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 03:01 PM

We didn't have a pro photographer take our pic's. We had a friend of mine who is a great amaetur photographer take our pic's and they turned out great. Plus we also got all the other shots from family and friends too so we literally have hundreds of photo's.

The big factor in going with our friend to take the pic's over a pro was that she 'knows' us and would take pic's of us that were 'us' IYKWIM as we both hate having our photo taken and felt far more relaxed with her than a pro.
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#8 BeenTooLong

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 03:20 PM

QUOTE(Monica @ May 30 2008, 12:31 PM) View Post

My advice to you is to think about this long and hard and if you do go with a non-professional, make sure you do the following.

Sit down with them and write a list of exactly what shots you want and ensure they have a checklist for the day.

Make sure they have a voice and that the wedding guests know they are the designated photographer and have first dibs/best vantage point on shots and what not. My FIL was too worried about getting in other peoples way that he didn't even get a shot of our first kiss.


I think its up to you wether you want a professional photographer who can then edit and print the photos for you, or go with a friend who may take fantastic photos, but then you need to go thru the trouble of printing and making an album.

I agree with monica above, I went to a wedding 2 weeks ago, they were having a smallish wedding and didn't have/want to spend a lot of money on Photos. My husband volunteered - he has an interest in photography and since he has a nice new fabbo digital camera thought he could give it a go.

Out of the 300 odd photos taken, I would say there is about 10 really great photos, the rest are Ok, and still good for the wedding album, but nothing like a professional photographer would do.

Before the wedding, my Husband went and spoke to the bride and groom and made sure they were on the same wavelength with what would be done on the day. They talked about locations and what was expected.

I think the other girls have got some great suggestions like using photography students.

Good luck with your decisions.

#9 flute girl

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 07:47 PM

Thanks everyone for all of your advice. I will continue to think about this...

Regarding Georgie's suggestions - asking at photo shops and Universities is a bit difficult because I am not living in Perth, but perhaps I could get a trusted friend to ask around and put up posters if necessary.

I really appreciate everyone's advice - esp Monica. I'm sure your father-in-law was just trying to be considerate but it sounds like it came at the expense of the pictures you really wanted.

#10 Cate

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Posted 02 June 2008 - 12:10 PM

I'm a bit undecided about this. Whilst we did have a pro photographer and I'm glad that we did, I could count on one hand the times I've looked at the album. Thats not to say there aren't some really really great photos but once the wedding was over, and the initial high reminiscing about the day was gone, I almost forgot about them. Of course, maybe years down the track I will be glad to have them to reminise over, and I guess they are a nice way to show my children how the day was etc.

I don't like wedding photos hung at home so I don't have that either. So I have an album sitting in the cupboard and tonnes of pics and negatives in a box tongue.gif

Everyone says it's the one expense that shouldn't be spared, but I honestly don't think some of the expensive guys are worth it. Of course if you have ample cash I'd say go for it, but if you're worried about spending too much I'd reconsider.

You could get lucky and get a student who is passionate about photography and excels at their work so I would try go down this route. What i definitely wouldn't do is get family or friends to do it, whether they are professionals or just handy with a point and shoot!
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#11 Monica

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 04:01 PM

I just had to edit my original post, I noticed I had that FIL is a wedding photgrapher, when in fact he is a wildlife photographer.
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#12 starry eyes

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Posted 07 June 2008 - 09:48 AM

To me it sounds like that you DO want a pro photographer but you are worried that in paying $1600 you may not get photos that are 'worth' the money & that your family & friends will be able to capture the moments just as good...
and whilst digital cameras these days are of such high quality, pro photographers who love what they do often spend upwards of $60k on their gear!!
I paid $1500... if you look at the result in the newlyweds section - to say I was over the moon would even be an understatement!!
I had my brothers girlfriend take HEAPS of shots on her camera & also asked her to print them out for me so a few days later when we headed off for our honeymoon we had so many gorgeous photos to look at & a few more of my friends all sent me their digital pics of the wedding too. I've printed them & put them in a seperate album & I treasure them cos it was thru their eyes that they captured those moments...
But there is no way that I would settle for my freinds n family to shoot a wedding...
Our photographer isn't just a 'wedding' photographer & that showed in his work too... he's constantly bouncing between weddings, family, pregnancy, commercial, cars, & then also travelling to places like Nepal & Vietnam where he lets everyday life inspire him!
In Perth there would be a myriad of photographers in your price bracket! Often paying more doesn't give you better... find an inspired photographer with great gear & a creative eye.... but don't settle on a family member or friend.
I only say this because in your post it comes across to me that you don't want to do that, but feel you are left little choice. But trust me, you have heaps of choices & time - keep researching & meet them - interview them - you don't have to book the first time you meet them! I didn't xx
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#13 KittyKatz

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 10:04 AM

Friends of ours were married recently, and didn't want to pay the high $$$. It was a family only wedding with about 12 people. But they still wanted the day captured. So they found a photographer who was willing to do a 2 hour package. They got photos of the ceremony and location shots, and a few of the traditional shots. They got it at a very reducted price.
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#14 * Kylie *

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 11:23 AM

I think you could definitely find a photographer who could do a few hours, and you just don't get an album.

For me, photos is something I wouldn't scrimp on. You don't need to spend thousands, but a ) I wouldn't risk something so important to someone who does it for fun and b ) what if you did choose a friend and the photos were dreadful. Would it ruin the friendship?
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#15 RiverWild

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 12:24 PM

I was a Bm in a wedding not long ago where they got an amateur who wants to become pro. They deeply regret it, out of about 1000 photos there is 3 photos they like and thats like not love.
I do think its possible to have a non-pro that can do great photos but i would do a trial shoot with them first to see how they turn out.




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