A friend says he will shoot the wedding for free – is this a good idea?

That really depends on what kind of photographs you expect.  Your friend has made you a very kind and generous offer.

There are at least 3 main questions to consider, before agreeing with your friend that they can shoot your wedding;

  1. Do they take wonderful photographs or is it just that they ‘like doing a bit of photography’?
  2. Do you want them to be a guest on your wedding day, or just another employee?
  3. Do you know how you will react if their photographs are less than you hoped for?

 

Spend a moment thinking about your answers before you scroll down.

 

Question 1:  Do they take wonderful photographs or is it just that they ‘like doing a bit of photography’?

Friends often show you a snap or two from another wedding where, it turns out, they were stood alongside the pro photographer and shot virtually the same image as the pro.

But could they do this again without the pro’s know-how? And could they do it for shot after shot after shot?

As professional photographers we want to take gorgeous photography for you.  And we have spent many £1,000’s on the right equipment.

But just cameras do not maketh the man (or woman): –  ‘all the gear – no idea’ can still be true  …  Unless.

Unless the pro has years of wedding photography experience.  And we need very good people skills too. 

And many pro photographers will not rest on their laurels.  Periodically they get extra training which freshens up their photography skills or style.  Training which easily costs £500 per day.

Question 2:  Do you want them to be a guest on your wedding day, or just another employee?

Taking all the photographs on a wedding day is no mean feat.  Even when a couple have told us they only want us ‘for an hour or two’, it turns out they ususally want between 6 and 10 hours of shoot time.  The photographer rarely gets the chance to eat, and can’t spend time chatting to other guests when he should be shooting.

After the day, we download the complete set of images to two separate drives – one is a backup set. 

Then we spend at least another working week, selecting the best 300 -400 photographs and then post processing these to ensure the very best quality and image look.

Question 3:  Do you know how you will react if their photographs are less than you hoped for?

Remember that your wedding day is going to be amongst the most memorable of your life.  You may well have spent a lot more money than you imagined on your dress, venue and cake. And the temptation is to spend as little as possible on your photography.

But you know deep down that this day cannot ever be repeated.

In conclusion:  Please think of both the benefits and consequences of asking a friend to shoot your wedding day.  Then make the decision that you will be happy with for the rest of your life.

Do you take group shots and formals?

Yes we do.

Even when our couples initially say about how they love candid and informal photographs, they usually appreciate that even if today the formal shots might seem a bit startchy, both older relatives, and in the future the couple too, love to see a few photos of everyone in the family together.

Don’t worry though, as we try to make sure these sort of photos don’t take too long.  So we recommend that you try to stick to around 6 or 7 group shots, but this will depend on how big your families are.