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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

  • Nikki
    Devoted May 2011
    Nikki ·
    • Flag

    Ok normally I would just ignore this post and go on. However; after reading several comments on here I have to say something. To all of you wonderful ladies on here who are finding a way to afford a photographer I am so very happy for you. To me that is the best way to do it. My FH is a phtographer. I have learned so much from him about the difference knowing what you are doing can make. Being able to take good photos in the worst conditions can make or break wedding photos. That being said there are some of us on here that simply do not have thousands and thousands of dollars to spend on our wedding. As for the comment of "would you let your friend make your wedding dress?". Yes as a matter of fact I would. It would be so much more special to me. In fact a very good friend of mine had me make her entire wedding party outfits 11 years ago. Today I find myself making everything for my wedding. Not only for want, but because I simply have no money to do it any other way. cont.

    • Reply
  • Nikki
    Devoted May 2011
    Nikki ·
    • Flag

    I too am having a friend take my photographs. My FH is going to get together with him several times to help him with working the camera. Is this my ideal choice no, but it's what I have to work with. So if you can do it hire a pro. If you can't. Then don't be ashamed and don't let anyone else judge you or make you feel bad for it.

    Off my soapbox now. Sorry ladies.

    • Reply
  • S
    Master February 2011
    Snif ·
    • Flag

    To be honest I was one of those brides that was thinking low budget photography in the beginning to save money, mostly because I do photo editing for a few photographers in the area as a side business if they get too swamped to do it themselves so I figured if I got 'decent' pictures I could do my photo magic on them and have great pictures. BUT what I soon realized is that it's not just the photos, it's the experience that professional wedding photographers capture, the moments, the looks, etc. and you can't edit that in. Can it be expensive, sure. But this letter is trying to explain what I wouldn't have known or even thought about unless I hadn't been on these boards. And let's face it, not every bride is getting all the advice and education we receive here every day! There are a lot of lost little brides out there... awww... Smiley winking

    I'd rather have someone try and educate me before than risk being disappointed or regretful later on a day you can't repeat.

    • Reply
  • The Mrs. B
    VIP October 2011
    The Mrs. B ·
    • Flag

    I have an issue with a comment that was made. I'm not trying to be a bit of a b*tch, but you honestly have to step back and think about what you are saying and consider what goes into wedding photography. When you think of wedding photographs, do you think of senior and family pictures? I, for one, have a few senior and family photographs scattered around the house. All are pretty much the same: formal and posed. Yes, the pictures are nice. Yes, these types of pictures are cheaper. But think about this. The pictures are likely done in studio, without anyone moving around, without anything really going on. You're there for certain types of poses, and you're done. With a WEDDING, there is so much detail, emotion, and a bazillion other things happening at once. If you do not want your photographer to capture the groom's expression when he first sees you walking down the aisle, or the look on the faces you and your new spouse the moment you are pronounced husband and wife, or even the...

    • Reply
  • Kristen
    Devoted October 2011
    Kristen ·
    • Flag

    I'm not saying that they have an easy job, or that other people can do it better. what I am saying is that no one should be expected to pay what they ask. Yes a wedding my be more difficult, but its not 10times more difficult. If I was a millionare I may concider it. I would like to have profesional pics. But I am not going to pay 3000 for them. And that is the average for what I have found. 3000 bucks is rediculous, and that is screwing people. They are taking advantage of the fact that there are many people who will spend thousands on a wedding. Well guess what, times are hard for a lot more people now than what it ued to be. The fact of the madder is that many people simply can not afford what most profesional phogoraphers ask. Its not that they don't want good pictures or that they don't respect or think highly of the photographer, but they are just to damd expencive.

    • Reply
  • Lianne
    Super November 2011
    Lianne ·
    • Flag

    Wow...once again the "professionals" on this site come out to make those of us who don't have thousands upon thousands of dollars to spend on a photographer, videographer, dj etc feel terrible about our wedding day. Classy.

    • Reply
  • The Mrs. B
    VIP October 2011
    The Mrs. B ·
    • Flag

    ...tender moments that you didn't even realize were taking place, then fine. But please do not compare wedding photography to senior and family portraits. It is so much more than that, and a great deal goes into it. They are expensive because they know what they are doing and want to give you the best possible memories of your wedding day. If you want a point-and-shoot formal posed photographer, fine. But most brides would rather fork over the dough and pay a professional to capture these once in a lifetime moments. I'm sure every photographer would agree with me that they are in no way trying to "rape" you with their prices, but would like to be compensated for the time, effort, and care they put into their works of art.

    • Reply
  • Melissa
    VIP December 2010
    Melissa ·
    • Flag

    Agreeing with Sharon and the other ladies. When your big day is over what do you have left? Sure you have a ring on your finger and a new last name but what else? Memories of the food, the decor, the music....sure. Pictures are memories that last a lifetime. You get one chance to do this and imagine if, God forbid, you are disappointed about the quality of your pictures? Then what? No take backs. All this photog is trying to do is to get the bride to stop and think a little harder about the more important details of her day. I wish everyone could see, as Sharon said, that half of the stuff that you freak out about for the wedding, don't even matter. I wish I would have spent so much less time worrying about the freaking candy on the candy buffet and silly things like that. Pictures are forever. Just think about it......

    • Reply
  • Kristen
    Devoted October 2011
    Kristen ·
    • Flag

    And yes I do think of Sr and Family photos when I think of wedding photos becuase with the exception of the candid ones they are all posed and many inside. And sr and family pics are taken outside as well. I'm sure that it is a bit more difficult, but once agian not so much that it should be 10 times more expencive.

    • Reply
  • Michelle ~ aka Lovestruck
    VIP September 2011
    Michelle ~ aka Lovestruck ·
    • Flag

    Ok sooo, sometimes when a bride says they don't have it in the budget...they really mean they don't have it in the budget. If I were to pay for a photographer, there would be NO wedding. So there would be nothing to photograph and I've already had THAT wedding. Literally, if I hired a photographer I could not afford to rent any seating at all, any food or drinks at all and no dress. At least by having a family member take pictures I can actually HAVE a wedding.

    Edited to say: We've already "downgraded" from a full meal to finger foods, never planned to have a DJ, are having the wedding at home, GROWING OUR OWN FLOWERS, making my wedding dress, no bridal party at all, been purchasing the few decorations we will have over the past year...what else would you suggest we take out???

    • Reply
  • S
    Master February 2011
    Snif ·
    • Flag

    @Lianne - I don't think anyone's trying to make anyone feel terrible about their decisions. Like I said in my post it's just education on what the difference is. I didn't have a videographer even after tons of people raved about them and told me I would be disappointed if I didn't do it but it didn't make me feel terrible, it was just my decision and I'm still fine with it. But after hearing about the benefits I now see why brides would want one whereas before I would go to weddings and roll my eyes at the videographer thinking it was a waste of money.

    • Reply
  • Lianne
    Super November 2011
    Lianne ·
    • Flag

    @Michelle: I know exactly how you feel. It really makes me mad that every time someone starts talking about wedding photography they start justifying the $3000 price tags for their services by making those of us who can't afford them feel bad about our limited choices. I think it's beyond thoughtless and makes me think even less of the bridal industrial complex than I did before.

    • Reply
  • Kathy
    Master July 2010
    Kathy ·
    • Flag

    @Melissa, well said.

    • Reply
  • Lianne
    Super November 2011
    Lianne ·
    • Flag

    @Finis: I'd love to have a videographer but, unfortunately, I can't manage to come up with an extra few thousand dollars to do it. I'm really happy for you that you could but, it's just not in the cards for us and I find it very hurtful that these posts come up all the time with dire consequences predicted for those of us who absolutely CAN NOT find the budget for expensive professional services.

    • Reply
  • Michelle ~ aka Lovestruck
    VIP September 2011
    Michelle ~ aka Lovestruck ·
    • Flag

    Lianne, my WHOLE BUDGET is less than three thousand!! I totally agree with you. My husband and I will take pictures of the area once it's decorated and the beauty of digital photography is that if the picture sucks, you know right away and can try again Smiley winking

    Oh yeah, I'm also making my own wedding cake so that's not an option of reducing costs on.

    • Reply
  • Michelle ~ aka Lovestruck
    VIP September 2011
    Michelle ~ aka Lovestruck ·
    • Flag

    Maybe these people who are so "passionate" about their craft would be willing to photograph my wedding just for the fun of it Smiley smile Smiley smile Smiley smile Smiley smile

    • Reply
  • Fun bride
    Master November 2010
    Fun bride ·
    • Flag

    I wonder why the photographer chose not to reveal him or herself?

    • Reply
  • Kristen
    Devoted October 2011
    Kristen ·
    • Flag

    @Lianne I am with Fins I don't think people are trying to make any feel small. Its just a dffirence in oppinion.

    @Michelle Completely understand, a photographer would cost 2 times what I am expecting to pay on my entire wedding.

    I understand that they have to make a living ect.. but $3000 for what will end up being (even with the editing ect, initial meeting ect.. 5-7hrs maybe) is crazy. Think of it this way, the average wage in my area is about $8-$10 per hr. They are expecting me to pay them $300 per hr. Thats if they work a total of 10 hrs on my pics which is highly doubtful. Even if they worked 20hrs thats still $150 bucks an hr. That is screwing people over no madder how you look at it.

    I'm not saying that it wouldn't be nice to have them, but who can afford to pay that realisticly. Pictures may be forever, but so can credit card debt.

    • Reply
  • Analy aka T-waffle
    Master October 2009
    Analy aka T-waffle ·
    • Flag

    A few point's I'd like to clarify for you all:

    1. Yes, this is a real letter and it was sent from a photog to a bride. Now, this was after a full consultation with said photog, and the bride and groom not only knew his pricing, but were TOTALLY FINE with it. Money was not the issue.

    2. The photographer in question is not trying to "bash" or "screw" anyone, but rather make the bride aware of the possible repercussions of her decisions. Nothing more. As they said, they were not offended by their decision.

    3. Yes, photographers are passionate about their craft, and that is where this letter is coming from. NOT a sense of righteousness.

    4. PHOTOGRAPHERS NEGOTIATE PRICES!!!! IF you find someone you love, they will almost ALWAYS create a custom package for you that you can afford. Now, if you have $300 and you just want some nice posed shots, TELL THEM! There is no harm in asking! They really just want you to look back happily on your entire wedding experience, not with regret.

    • Reply
  • Kathy
    Master July 2010
    Kathy ·
    • Flag

    A pro does not, necessarily, cost $3000. The cost for my daughters photographer was $1600 (I only paid him $1200 as he missed 25% of the contracted shots...and he is a wedding photographer).

    I can truly understand those who cannot spend money on a pro. I think the core, of this letter, is being missed. The author was not saying that everyone should hire a pro to take their photos. He/she is giving their sage advice for those who choose to go a different direction.

    Can lovely photos be taken with a digital camera? Of course they can. Can a friend taking photos do a nice job? Sure. Can a friend taking photos FUBAR? Yep! Can a friendship survive that? Maybe, maybe not.

    In my opinion, this letter was giving the bride "food for thought".

    • Reply

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