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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

  • Didi
    Super May 2013
    Didi ·
    • Flag

    I honestly don't want a huge album, at least not right away, and I want to be able to choose which ones I print. So, I found someone online, whose pics I love and are better than "stand here and smile" and "move your hand here" that are candid and beautiful. She charges $900 for 6 hours of her service and you get a CD with ALL the pics and the copyrights to them.

    Wedding pictures do NOT have to cost thousands and thousands of dollars. And I am making up the difference in my budget by DIY'ing certain things.

    • Reply
  • Lianne
    Super November 2011
    Lianne ·
    • Flag

    @Kristen: Perhaps people aren't trying to make others feel bad but that is the ufortunate consequence of conversations like this one. Maybe I shouldn't be so sensitive about the subject but, it really does make me angry that I hear over and over again in the forums how I will regret for the rest of my life and my wedding memories will be forever ruined because I couldn't manage to come up with several thousand dollars for a wedding photographer/videographer etc.

    • Reply
  • 2d Bride
    Champion October 2009
    2d Bride ·
    • Flag

    Would you have a friend make your dress? might as well if you don't get any good pics of it.

    And what's the point in that super expensive cake if there aren't any photos to remember it by?

    Ok, these are the kind of statements that drive me nuts! In my mind, the photographs are merely one aid to memory, not the point of the day. The point of the beautiful dress is not so that you will have pictures of a beautiful dress, but so that your spouse will light up when s/he sees you on the day. The point in that "super expensive cake" is to have a delicious cake that your guests will enjoy, not to have a beautiful picture of a cake that actually didn't taste that good because you were so focused on getting those beautiful fondant designs that you forgot that fondant doesn't taste good.

    (cont.)

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

    Wink, happy to know I am not a few "rhinestones short of a tiara"!

    • Reply
  • 2d Bride
    Champion October 2009
    2d Bride ·
    • Flag

    I am perfectly prepared to believe that other brides have other priorities. But it simply is not true that every bride feels like, "If I don't have a photograph of it, it might as well not have happened."

    I have had the wedding and your priorities will definitely change after it's over.

    Not necessarily. I'm one who had the wedding (my first) that didn't get professionally photographed. Ok, technically it got photographed, but the photographer disappeared after sending us proofs, so only the amateur photos remain. But I've never had any feelings at all that it might as well not have happened if there are not photos of it. Some of the most memorable things at my first wedding were ones of which no photos could have been taken. Things like the aunt and uncle who came uninvited to the rehearsal dinner, leaving the restaurant running out of food and having to get hamburgers for two of the invited guests.

    (cont.)

    • Reply
  • 2d Bride
    Champion October 2009
    2d Bride ·
    • Flag

    Or the rabbi telling us after we had signed the ketubah that we were already married, and our both having had the reaction, "Gee, we can cancel the rest of the service, then?" Or the cousin whose small child asked, "What kind of church is this?" The mother was mortified, since it was a synagogue, not a church. My husband and I were just amused--I mean seriously, you expect a small child to grasp concepts like that? Or the prime rib being so big that no one at the head table except my brother could finish it--and my brother (still growing, and fresh off the fishing boat on which he had been working) finishing up everyone else's.

    (cont.)

    • Reply
  • 2d Bride
    Champion October 2009
    2d Bride ·
    • Flag

    I think what you need to ask yourself is, "How often do I look at pictures of past memorable events?" If your parents have been avidly photographing their own wedding, you as a newborn, you starting kindergarten, and all of your graduations, and you have never been particularly interested in those photos, you probably won't be all that interested in your wedding photos, either.

    Your friend will not produce photos that are as good as a professional would. And as with any part of your wedding, do not have a friend handle it if you would be devastated if the friend screwed it up. But suggesting that photos are the most important part of the day for every bride is flat-out wrong. And brides should focus on the things that are most important to themselves and their grooms, rather than arbitrarily taking someone else's advice on what "should" be the most important.

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

    I think 2d Bride made a great point. Different people have different priorities.

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

    If I were to spend three hundred dollars on a photographer I would be wearing jeans and a t-shirt and no one would have ANY food. Really, we'll be lucky if we can even pull the wedding off anyway since the economy is so slow and my husband is barely working. But we've already waited nearly 13 years and after an extremely bad rough spot in our marriage where we weren't even sure we were going to STAY married...we don't WANT to keep putting it off. A professional photographer will never be in the budget...unless we win the lottery. Smiley sad

    • Reply
  • kmc900159
    Devoted May 2011
    kmc900159 ·
    • Flag

    A professional photographer isn't necessarily outrageous. Our photographer had packages as low as 800.00. I really think that the photog in this letter is coming from a good place, he/she has probably seen a lot of people very upset with the quality of their photos and wishing they could do things over.

    I understand some people are on a very tight budget. We had a 2 year engagement so we could afford the things that we wanted, because I really didn't want to regret any choices we made, I wanted to have a wedding I was happy to look back at. I think that's all this photographer is saying; make sure you make a decision you're sure you'll be happy with because you don't get a do over.

    • Reply
  • Lianne
    Super November 2011
    Lianne ·
    • Flag

    @2nd bride: thank you for being the voice of reason. I feel my ranting coming to an end now.

    • Reply
  • Kathy
    Master July 2010
    Kathy ·
    • Flag

    I don't think that anyone is saying that the photos are the most important part of all weddings.

    The letter was written to a bride who seemed to be concerned with having a photographer, yet chose to go another way.

    @2d, as for the fondant comment, I sooo agree. Nasty stuff!

    • Reply
  • Christina
    Dedicated September 2014
    Christina ·
    • Flag

    I'm sorry this post or the comments in response are causing some hurt feelings, but I don't think that was the intention of sharing the letter. I think it was more meant to start a discussion on the benefits of professional photography for brides who were perhaps considering going with a friend to save costs.

    I've heard some horror stories of using a friend to take pictures. In fact, my uncle had his close friend take the photographs for his wedding. Turned out they had an argument soon after and my uncle never received his photographs, because his friend decided not to hand them over due to their argument. So my uncle's special day was only captured by a very few shots the family captured on their own cameras. Now that is not to say that having a friend or family member take your photos will surely end in disaster, I am just sharing an experience. I think it's important to weigh your options, if you have that choice.

    • Reply
  • Sharon
    Master June 2010
    Sharon ·
    • Flag

    What i was trying to get across about the dress, was really would you trust a friend to make the dress? If it came out terrible would you lose that friendship? Would you trust something to a friend? I agree, some people are photo people, totally get it. we look at them a lot, and love the feelings they evoke. I'm not saying run out & spend your whole budget on the photographers, just saying if you want a good photographer, research, negotiate, and work with your budget on items that are not as important to you. We have seen lots of brides on here who were disappointed and that makes me really sad. I'm a cancer, we're sappy and live in the past..lol. So photographs & the video that help me relive the memories are VERY important to me. I would have been extremely sad if my photos didn't come out good. If they are important to the bride, then think very carefully. If not, then you are still married and have great memories. It's all about your priorities.

    • Reply
  • G
    Dedicated July 2011
    Gina ·
    • Flag

    This is interesting. I had a similar run-in with a photographer in the early stages of my planning. I was contacting with a couple of different photographers and one was recommended by a girlfriend who had gotten married last summer. I contacted the photographer 3 months after they shot her wedding and all of a sudden their prices were double what my girlfriend paid for the same services. I let the photographer know that I would like to work with them but would like a similar "package" but instead I go a VERY long email response back that basically said I was cheap and they were so much more experienced now than they were when they shot my friend's wedding (3 months earlier) and as such there was a price increase.

    • Reply
  • Kristen
    Devoted October 2011
    Kristen ·
    • Flag

    @2bbride well said,

    @Sharon I saw ur pics in your other thread and would just like to say they are amazing

    @Lianne I get sick of hearing it to, but just take it with a grain of salt, no one is trying to hurt feelings we all just have different thoughts and oppinions. You will not regret it for the rest of your life, this is a special day but not the most important one really.

    @Rachel it is unfortunate about your uncle, it is sad that people get that angry over such a small thing

    And I apologize to anyone I may have offended in my previous comments, but those are my true oppinions on the madder. In all honesty the actual wedding is not that important to me. But it is to my FH and to my family, which is the only reason we are not eloping. I think that this is where a lot of my hostility toward venders comes from and that is not fair to those who are honest.

    cont.

    • Reply
  • Kristen
    Devoted October 2011
    Kristen ·
    • Flag

    However when I recieve a quote from someone and late in conversation mention the word wedding and hear "oh wait, I forgot to add....blablabla" it enrages me to the point of concidering attempting a violent act through the phone.

    • Reply
  • FMW ~ BatLlama
    Master May 2011
    FMW ~ BatLlama ·
    • Flag

    I agree with the photog. Very well written.

    Photography is the LAST thing you should skimp on. Everything else is gone and forgotten.

    Some photogs are really pricey but they are worth every penny!

    Wedding photography is a completely different art than Sr pics, close up pictures of flowers, etc.

    And your only options are rarely "4k for pro, or cheap amateur" there are cheaper professionals.

    You just get what you pay for!

    • Reply
  • P
    Super June 2010
    PP ·
    • Flag

    Too funny, Sharon, I'm a cancer too, can totally relate to the comments about being sentimental, etc., and we got married the same date! I wished I had my pro pics uploaded on my site... only my pics I received from friends. And forget the disposables i put on the tables. Every person there took the same three or four shots off the balconies while we were getting our pro pics taken... then the rest were of same people. They're okay for memories but don't compare to the pro ones. We negotiated with our photographer when our circumstances changed -- I learned I was going on total disability and not returning to my once prosperous career -- and he was very willing to help us reach a package deal which made us both happy. and it wasn't in the thousands of dollars.

    My husband photographed our entire courtship (well all nine months of it lol), and we have albums of it all and didn't want to chance it. No do overs!

    • Reply
  • Sarah
    VIP April 2011
    Sarah ·
    • Flag

    I definitely want to second Analy - you can always negotiate! Hell, I just negotiated with my make up artist to just do my airbrush foundation and I'll do the rest (LOL). We're going with a pro whose been in the business for years and for all day with two photogs, its $700 - there are options out there for everyone, you just got to find them! To all, good luck. Smiley smile

    • Reply

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