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Analy aka T-waffle
Master October 2009

Dear Bride....A letter from a Photographer

Analy aka T-waffle, on March 31, 2011 at 7:55 PM

Posted in Planning 216

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...

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

216 Comments

  • Tara
    Super July 2011
    Tara ·
    • Flag

    I think the letter was very professional, the photog said very many times that he may be wrong and just asked the bride to rethink her decision about hiring a professional, not just hiring him. There have been many brides who went with a professional and didn't research them, spent hundreds/thousands of dollars and ended up with nothing, ended up using photos friends and family had taken.

    I think this just shows that you should research whoever does your photography whether they are a professional or a friend/family member.

    • Reply
  • amee
    Super October 2012
    amee ·
    • Flag

    I'm not saying that I would ever trust a friend with my own wedding pictures. our photographer has been rated #1 in San Diego the past two years, did my senior pictures, and my sister's wedding, as well as some of my friends' who have already gotten married. I wouldn't trust anyone else with our memories. in fact, we didn't even set our date until we knew if he was available or not.

    but, if someone wants to let their friend take their pictures, all you can do is let them. people are free to make their own choices, and everyone's wedding is different. I can see where someone might want to offer their professional advice when they see a potential client making what they consider a mistake. but if that potential client wants to make that mistake, and feels their decision is correct, there's nothing you can do.

    that's all. I

    'm not trying to personally attack you or your letter, just saying that you have to let people do what they want - even if you don't agree with it.

    • Reply
  • Didi
    Super May 2013
    Didi ·
    • Flag

    I was actually kind of trying to make this point to FH today. I sent him 2 websites for 2 different photographers online for us to then discuss later (after I had pored through tons of other websites/portfolios online). He immediately went for the cheaper one.

    Now, I was trying to include him in the decision (hmm..) I asked him to please look at the websites again and look at the quality of the editing of the photos and the candidness of them. The more expensive photographers pictures were artistic and beautiful and not just "stand there and smile" type of pics.

    I convinced him (I think) to go with the more expensive one and that it would be money well spent as we will have beautiful photos that we would want to frame and hang up in our home.

    • Reply
  • Mrs. Jacques
    Master July 2010
    Mrs. Jacques ·
    • Flag

    I think the photographer may have just been trying to spare this couple some heartache--- as Brian noted his experiences with the brides and these scenarios goes to show its not a decision to take lightly. Live and learn, maybe some people need to experience it to get it!

    • Reply
  • Teapot Bride
    VIP October 2014
    Teapot Bride ·
    • Flag

    Dude, preaching to the choir here. I'm a scrapbooker and want to make wedding books for myself and FH, his parents, my parents, and mini-books for some of the bridal party. If I don't have quality photos, all the intricate papercrafting in the world isn't going to compensate.

    • Reply
  • Miya
    Master December 2011
    Miya ·
    • Flag

    Man, the brides who think this letter to the bride is an actual letter that the photog wrote and sent to the bride, you guys are a few rhinestones short of a tiara. Smiley xd (Shamelessly stolen from another WW lady.)

    • Reply
  • Thumbelina
    Expert May 2010
    Thumbelina ·
    • Flag

    This is a tough one. I want to venture to say that the less exposure you have had to professional photography, and what beautiful images are possible, the more likely you are to be okay with the non-pro avenue. A non pro is very unlikely to capture what an experienced (....not I picked up a digital camera a couple years ago and decided to be a photographer) "wedding" photographer is going to be able to. It takes years of skill, practice and tons of wedding experience to know how to successfully capture those beautiful moments that happen so fleetingly.

    Just because a friend has a good camera, does not mean that they understand how to use it in ways that will capture amazing photos. In the end, it comes down to what you can afford, how important photography is to you, how picky you are, and what your expectations of the photography is. Many of you might end up thrilled with what your friend does, some may wish they had put money towards a pro. Go with your gut,

    Cont...

    • Reply
  • Thumbelina
    Expert May 2010
    Thumbelina ·
    • Flag

    But be realistic in your expectations with what an friend might end up getting. No judgment at all if you go with a friend, as you need to do what you need to do to make sure you can pay for your wedding, but if you have a budget for a photographer, or can cut other things out to get one, I would do it.

    • Reply
  • Sharon
    Master June 2010
    Sharon ·
    • Flag

    There have been several brides onhere with horror stories, and it is soooo very sad to hear their stories. Honestly, the letter isn't coming from a place of HIRE ME! It's coming from a place of 'I have seen this happen many, many times and I'm trying to help you avoid being devasted when you have waited a month for your CD and it being full of badly lit, out of focus, where was the kiss? where was the one of my mum with tears in her eyes? what about the details...not one photo of the DIY favors I made???" It's all in the details and experienced guys can tell a story and have the photos actually evoke emotions. My 2 cents. Scrap the favors (no one cares), DIY stuff, keep the food good and reasonable (rather than haute cuisine to be able to bump up your photography budget. My fave photos are the candids, he just captured moments that were priceless and I had no idea he was taking them.

    • Reply
  • Sharon
    Master June 2010
    Sharon ·
    • Flag

    Here's a kinda comparison. I'm a Residential real estate closer, I am excellent at my job and I love it. However, you bring me Commercial deal and I kinda know what I'm doing, I know my way around a commercial contract. BUT I don't do them everyday, there are certain nuances and details that I'm just not 100% familiar with. that client would be better served with someone who does the commercial deals on a regular basis.

    • Reply
  • LaDonna
    Devoted April 2011
    LaDonna ·
    • Flag

    In my opinion as a bride on a strict budget.... Yes, we respect photographers and the work they do, but when you charge us out the ass and make it really unafordable we are left with no choice but to go with what we can afford!!!

    • Reply
  • Mrs. Jacques
    Master July 2010
    Mrs. Jacques ·
    • Flag

    A Photographers pricing comes with years of experience.

    • Reply
  • Sarah
    Expert July 2011
    Sarah ·
    • Flag

    I think it depends on the bride. I honestly don't really like the "artistic" and "romantic" photos that I see on a lot of photographer's websites. I feel like those look more like models in magazines than a real life couple. I would rather have photos that look more like me than some super romantic, retouched like crazy, artsy-fartsy photo. I guess I may be a bit defensive because my photographer is super cheap, supplied by my venue. I've seen a portfolio of her work, though, and it's just what I want.

    Just my two cents :-)

    • Reply
  • Kristen
    Devoted October 2011
    Kristen ·
    • Flag

    My little rant on this issue:

    Ya know, I get what he is saying. But at the same time if they are that damd concerned about it then maybe they should concider lowering their prices, or at least not jacking them up 5x when you mention the word wedding. My FH cousin is an amature photograoher and he did both of my FH brothers weddings for free. Now the pictures weren't profesional qualit by any means, and my FH wants to try and find someone else because of this. However, we may have no other choise because the second you say wedding the price has gone up tenfold. So grantied this guy may be better, but if he's that pissed about loosing buisness to ppl willing to do it for free, then quit screwing people over and assuming that just because they are getting married they have 3000 buck to hand over to you, when you only ask 300 for any other pictures, including the ones that you travel to. Such as Sr and Family pics.

    Ok I'm done ranting now.

    • Reply
  • Kristen
    Devoted October 2011
    Kristen ·
    • Flag

    @MrsJaques

    yes they may say the price is becuase of experience, but if this is true then why do you pay 10 times less for the same experience for any other photo's that don't have to do with a wedding.

    • Reply
  • Kathy
    Master July 2010
    Kathy ·
    • Flag

    Sharon, well said! There are things that are more important than others. Photos should be one of them. They last forever. A pro is going to do a far better job than a friend with zero wedding experience.

    This letter was written by someone who knows, and has seen, what can happen when a poor choice is made, when it comes to photos.

    There is also another important thing to think about. Is the photographer experienced at wedding photography? Weddings are different than studio photos, convention photos as such. As others have said, experience is important.

    • Reply
  • Mrs. Jacques
    Master July 2010
    Mrs. Jacques ·
    • Flag

    Kristen- It requires much more skill to shoot a wedding than it does "family photos and senior pics"

    • Reply
  • Sharon
    Master June 2010
    Sharon ·
    • Flag

    Once in a lifetime ladies. If you can and i realize that's a big IF, cut the budget elsewhere. Seriously, I have dead flowers, eaten food, a dirty dress in a closet (oh and a husband) and amazing photographs. Also my photog didn't do hardly any retouching or any special effects, it was all talent. I think anyone who retouches the photos so they look unrecognizable, think the flowers are pink in a black and white photo, not much creativity there ya know? I speak from experience since I have had the wedding and your priorities will definitely change after it's over. Honestly, I'm not blowing smoke up your arse. The only thing left is the photographs, try to work your budget if you can.

    • Reply
  • Thumbelina
    Expert May 2010
    Thumbelina ·
    • Flag

    I don't thing professional photographers are out to screw anybody. Just like any other professional who has taken the time to learn their their skill set (plumbers, electricians, dentists, lawyers...lots of folks who charge by the hour, or job) they are trying to earn a living....and once you break down the time they spend emailing you, meeting with you, the several hours at the wedding, the hours and hours editing, possibly color balancing, meeting with you again to give you your photos, working on your album, meeting with you to give you your album, plus the cost of running a business, insurance for their company, their very expensive camera gear, etc, they aren't really making a ton of money per hour. And a senior session or a family session is much, much different than a wedding. Okay....that is just my two cents, and what I can say for anyone who is a professional in any field...folks don't realize the behind the scene time it may take to do a job right. Again, it has

    cont.

    • Reply
  • Thumbelina
    Expert May 2010
    Thumbelina ·
    • Flag

    To be a decision that you make and are comfortable with, just like most folks who are trying to make a living, they aren't trying to screw you. Okay..done....Smiley smile

    • Reply

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