Dear Bride....A letter from a Photographer
Hi Bride,

Thanks for the opportunity to talk with you and Groom about your wedding.

I realize that you've decided to go another direction. That's ok. I'm not offended. But I do want to make sure you know what you're doing. If it were another professional photographer, I wouldn't say anything, but I have to say something this time. It's all well and good that your friend is a photographer and is offering to do work for free. But you need to ask how important your photography is to you. The reason I ask this is because weddings take a certain amount of skill to do. They're not just show up with a camera. They're also, about knowing how to anticipate the height of expression, and the pivotal moments. It's knowing how to take romantic portraits of the bride and groom in less than 20 minutes without making them feel rushed, and worst of all, looking like they're rushed. Then there's the family pictures, the lighting problems when there isn't enough light, and knowing how to use speedlight

Married: 10/03/2009
Reviews: 6
Posted On: Mar 31, 2011 at 7:55 PM • Vendors are allowed • Add to My WatchlistFlag As Inappropriate1 like

217 Comments | Login or Signup to post a comment!

Married: 08/12/2011
Reviews: 8
Apr 01, 2011 at 8:25 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
Weddings are luxuries marriages are not. It's ridiculous that there are so many complaints about the cost of things. I say if you have a problem with it, don't purchase it. We all choose to spend our money differently. What is important to one bride is not important to the next. I personally believe that if you are spending all of this miney on a dress, food, entertainment, then it should be properly documented. It doesn't make sense to have a super formal wedding and not spend the money to have it documented. I was in my cousin's wedding and she went with an amatuer photographer. Needless to say, the only pictures that she has are the pictures from the disposable cameras that she put on the tables. Pictures are very important to me therefore, I deemed it a necessary expense. I look through my album from my engagement party quite often.
Edited On: Apr 01, 2011 at 8:34 PM

Married: 05/15/2011
Reviews: 6
Apr 01, 2011 at 9:43 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
Funnily enough, the author of this letter is an astonishing photographer AND an amazing person.
Edwina, I love your post! It's complete truth. I hate when people bitch about something unnecessary.
Shit or get off the pot ;]

Sharon, I love you!

Married: 10/15/2011
Apr 01, 2011 at 11:44 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
Weddings are suposed to be a celebration with family and friends comemorating your decision on spending the rest of your life with one person. This should not in general be concidered a luxery. If you want a huge, super formal wedding. Then I can see where it could be concidered as such. However not all people want to do such an event, and those of us who chose not to do so should not be ridiculed for that decision.
And as for the prices, I am not saying that everyone should be able to buy what ever they want because they are getting married. However someone in MO should not expect to get paid the same as someone in LA doing the same thing and should not charge as if they were

Ab
Married: 10/29/2011
Apr 01, 2011 at 11:59 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
@Sharon, I like your style, as per usual :-)
ooo 10 pages, sweet! hot topic!
hmm conclusion: to each their own :sips wine and continues cleaning her apartment at 12 am cuz i'm a winner like that: actually my sink is leaking so I must booo.

2d Bride ®
Married: 10/06/2009
Reviews: 10
Apr 02, 2011 at 12:07 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
I just want to clarify that I am not in the group of people who believe wedding photographers charge "too much." It is actually quite tough to make a living as a wedding photographer. The big money in photography is in commercial photography--magazines, etc.--not retail photography (taking photos for individuals). Wedding photography is stressful on the day (having to have split-second timing to get every shot) and demanding afterward, as a photographer will typically spend much more time editing than s/he did on taking the photos initially.

(cont.)

2d Bride ®
Married: 10/06/2009
Reviews: 10
Apr 02, 2011 at 12:11 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
My real concern is with statements that suggest that photography should be everyone's first priority. Aside from the basic legal requirements, I believe that every wedding should reflect the priorities and budget of the couple. In our case, for example, we skipped some things that many couples would consider a necessity-- e.g., engagement rings and a honeymoon. Conversely, we splurged on some things that other couples don't bother with-- e.g., renting a big house for all our guests for the night before the wedding and the wedding night.

(cont.)

2d Bride ®
Married: 10/06/2009
Reviews: 10
Apr 02, 2011 at 12:12 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
Photography, for us, fell in between those two extremes. We hired a professional photographer for 3 hours (the last part of getting ready, the ceremony, and formals afterward). We found one that charged only $400, which included a disk of the images and rights to reproduce. And we were very happy with the results. But that doesn't mean that I believe that either those who pay thousands for photography or those who rely completely on amateurs are "wrong." So long as you think about what your priorities are, and are realistic about what you can expect, your decision is right for you, even if it would be wrong for someone else.

Married: 10/15/2011
Apr 02, 2011 at 12:18 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
@2bbride: you make a very good point. It is priority based. You are lucky to have found a photographer that was so enexpencive.

Married: 10/01/2011
Apr 02, 2011 at 12:34 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
I have to agree with FMW. The photographer that wrote this letter is an amazing person and takes some of the most breath taking pictures I have ever seen! I'd also like to say that I wish he didn't live in LA, because with out a doubt I'd have him photographing my wedding.

The photographers in this thread are not trying to make you ladies feel bad. They are only trying to open your eyes to some of the things you don't think about when looking for a photographer.

Married: 09/24/2011
Reviews: 2
Apr 02, 2011 at 1:00 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
I posted some pictures (most of them my husband and I took) on my profile, starting with the picture from my moms wedding. I know that a professional would say - oh, the lighting is not perfect here, or this is a bit grainy, or the color is slightly off...; but what I would like to point out is that even if a picture is a little grainy (such as the one from my moms wedding) it doesn't make it any less precious or valuable. My mother has never once said that she doesn't love her pictures because the lighting wasn't perfect. There are other pictures that show how beautiful photos can be with just a simple digital camera. 2nd bride has said it the best: it depends on the brides priority. Personally, I don't want to give up everything and have a crappy wedding...just to have pro pics of said crappy wedding. If you have room in your budget, I am truly happy for you. But some people just don't have it and shouldn't be made to feel stupid or inferior because they don't.

mynameskatie
Married: 2+ years ago
Reviews: 6
Apr 02, 2011 at 2:31 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
The photographer in the letter isn't ridiculing anyone or attempting to make anyone feel inferior! I think that's the point a lot of people are missing. He's simply saying that if photography is an important part of your day (the letter states "But you need to ask how important your photography is to you") that you should consider the consequences of choosing to go with someone who does not have professional experience.

Many of you are saying that photography is NOT a priority for your day, so how is this letter offensive to you? Because the photographer in this letter is clearly speaking to someone for whom photography is an important factor. If you are positive that you're going to be satisfied no matter how your pictures turn out then the letter isn't directed towards you at all.

Married: 09/24/2011
Reviews: 2
Apr 02, 2011 at 2:46 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
@mynameskatie I'm not talking about the photographer, and I'm pretty sure the other girls here who got a little - defensive (for lack of a better word)- weren't either. We're talking about some of the things that others commenting have said. Now if I personally had received this letter after finding out the cost and knowing I couldn't afford it...then I would have been "offended" by it.

I just re-read your comment and just want to point out that A) the majority of the photographers supporters are saying the bride must NOT care about the pictures or she would have chosen him (or another pro). And B) if the post isn't directed towards those not using a pro, then whats the point of it at all? People who are already using a pro don't need to hear it. Right?
Edited On: Apr 02, 2011 at 2:50 AM

Married: 05/15/2011
Reviews: 6
Apr 02, 2011 at 3:07 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
Education > wedding. Invest!

I am not trying to be rude, I understand people make mistakes, but I feel like I am proof reading a 3rd grade paper. If you aren't confident in your spelling, use firefox, it will let you know if you've made a mistake. It's just hard for people to take others seriously when they lack adult vocabulary. Again, I am not poking fun or being rude. I would just hate for you to be criticized in a more important/serious environment.

mynameskatie
Married: 2+ years ago
Reviews: 6
Apr 02, 2011 at 3:09 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
I never said that the letter wasn't directed towards people not using a pro, I said it wasn't directed towards those who don't feel photos are a priority.The post is directed towards those who aren't using a pro but consider photography a priority. For those people some of the things that might happen with using a friend could be upsetting and disappointing. Not having a contract, etc can result in disaster.
If photography is NOT a priority then you could just email the photographer in question back and say "We've decided that photography just isn't a priority for our wedding. We know we may not get the same quality photos that we would have if we went with a professional but we're fine with the possibility that we won't be getting professional service."

However if photography was a priority for your wedding then his letter would give you some things to think about in relation to whether or not you might want to reconsider rearranging your priorities or at least know what cont
Edited On: Apr 02, 2011 at 3:13 AM

mynameskatie
Married: 2+ years ago
Reviews: 6
Apr 02, 2011 at 3:12 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
you're getting into.

Married: 09/24/2011
Reviews: 2
Apr 02, 2011 at 3:31 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
@mynameskatie I totally agree with your last comment. But if you read all of the comments I think you will see where I and the others were coming from. Photography is very important to me, and I'm sure to most brides. However, as I posted before, if the photographer fee eats up the entire budget then there would be no wedding....thereby leaving nothing to photograph. Some say, then just get a cheaper package. I find this interesting because when the story was published about the English couple who found out that their videographer wasn't even AT their wedding and had just set up cameras at various locations a large majority of the posters said "well you get what you pay for" (they 'only' paid $500). It's just flat out not an option to some people.

@batmanbitch who are you talking to?

mynameskatie
Married: 2+ years ago
Reviews: 6
Apr 02, 2011 at 3:41 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
I think some of the comments some of the other brides made are because some of the women (not saying you) made some disparaging comments about people spending large amounts on their wedding and/or photographer. If it isn't in your budget, it isn't in your budget. I get that. We worked hard to save up a lot for our wedding and I did a lot of DIY. But we had to have a long engagement to get there. Photography was important to me so I found a way to make it work with someone who was both reasonable and whose work I was happy with.

I saw the story about the English couple and I wonder, did they look at videos beforehand? I know they paid a professional but did they research who they were going into business with? Just because you pay someone doesn't mean they'll be great, but thats why you research who you go into business with. A lot of times that isn't possible when you go with someone who isn't a photographer. That couple had recourse (at least monetarily) because they had a cont

mynameskatie
Married: 2+ years ago
Reviews: 6
Apr 02, 2011 at 3:42 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
contract with a professional. In the case of using a friend who is free if they don't show up and take your pictures, or the pictures are a total mess you don't have any legal grounds to pursue action against them, you don't have any pictures AND you could ruin a friendship.

Married: 09/24/2011
Reviews: 2
Apr 02, 2011 at 4:01 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
I would never allow a mistake in photography ruin a friendship - my friends are far to important to me...people always matter more than things IMO. I also would never rely on just one person to take all my photos. Not only that, I am somewhat of a control freak about certain things and plan to take as many of the pictures as I can. As for the others, I'm sure one of the MANY family members photographing the ceremony will get a few good shots ;)
My ex and I paid for a pro photographer. The pics sat in an album, gathering dust until we finally divorced and then they were thrown away.
As far as the English couple, I'm aware of researching, but my point was people saying to go with a cheaper package and then when it doesn't turn out, saying 'well you get what you pay for'. I don't want to throw away any money on a cheap package, because I DO KNOW that 'you get what you pay for'. And that's all we would be able to pay for. That's all I'm saying.

Married: 09/24/2011
Reviews: 2
Apr 02, 2011 at 4:02 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
Actually (and sadly), we couldn't even pay for the cheap package at this point lol!!
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