Photography advice... HELP! =(
I've planned on having my dad's stepbrother's girlfriend (pro-photographer) do our photography for the wedding. I figured - they're going to be there anyway and they told me that they'll "hook me up", and that it won't be expensive for me at all. I was quoted $500 for her to come (then I assume + the price of the prints). Alright, I'm a huge fan of that price, but she just gave me her "contract", and on there it says $100 per hour. Well, considering I want her the whole day, $500 won't cover that. Also, in her contract, she has this:
EXCLUSIVITY/GUEST PHOTOGRAPHY: It is understood that Fisher Photography will act as the sole and exclusive wedding photographer. Because of the fact that flashes from the guest's cameras may ruin shots taken by Fisher Photography, the client acknowledges that they are responsible for notifying all of their guests that guest photography is not permitted at the time while the professional photographs are in session. Fisher Photography suggests that a separate notice be placed in the invitations. The formal photography time is for the exclusive use of Fisher Photography to capture the formal wedding portraits. Because of time constraints and the need for subjects to pay full attention to the professional photographer, guest photography cannot be permitted. Fisher Photography will allow guests to take snapshots during the processional and recessional, during candid events at the church and the altar during the time Fisher Photography equipment is being packed up. In return for this consideration Fisher Photography insists no other guest photography take place when or where Fisher Photography is working. No other guest/photographer using professional equipment will be allowed by Fisher Photography at any time during the wedding. Fisher Photography reserves the right to stop any photographic services paid for and leave the function should any other person take photographs with any professional equipment-with all payments being forfeited.
I don't know if I'm wrong, but I don't agree with this. What it means is that - after the ceremony, she's going to take all of her formal pictures - no guest is allowed to at this time - so after she's done, if guests want formal pictures, we need to pose AGAIN for all of those pictures. WTH!! I've never been to a wedding where the photographers left because others were taking pictures. There are a few other things on her contract that I'm not happy with either.
She also gave me a copy of her price list. I guess the prices aren't all that bad - pretty much right on with what others would probably charge. The only thing is, she doesn't offer a CD with all rights to our pictures. That is something that is VERY important to me. If I want prints of our wedding pictures, I don't want to have to go through her to get them.
I've seen her work before at reunions and such and she's not the happiest person while she's working. My dad's stepbrother helps her out and I've seen them get frustrated. I don't want that at my wedding, kwim?
On top of all of this, I feel conflicted in the first place. I have seen a lot better photography than her's, but I feel like I need to hire her because of the relation. They've been together for a very long time, so it's pretty much like they're married. I know I don't have to hire her, but I feel that way. I don't like confrontation and creating hard feelings. Also, the money thing is a big issue. I know photography isn't cheap. In the back of my mind, I'm thinking that she's going to give me my pictures as our wedding gift, which would be awesome.
I just don't want to regret my decision when I see our pictures and aren't in love with them or when, on our wedding day, I'm frustrated because of how things are going. Like many of you, our pictures are going to be very important to us because they'll be the only thing we have to relive our day with - other than our memories.
Please help me decide. If you think I should look for someone else, how should I tell her? I feel so bad because from the day we got engaged, it was understood that they were going to do my photography.