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.

Posted on February 23, 2010 at 3:30 am
amandah24
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(12) Comments

GoingtobeGoff
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05/14/2009
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I'd say... keep looking and find someone else..... for the reasons you stated above :)


I'd just tell her that you and FI decided to go with someone else, for various reasons, and you wish her the best i guess.  She can't take it personally.

Posted on February 23, 2010 at 3:35 am
Kaytana17
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Honestly - I'd go with a professional photographer that has no relation to you (whether by blood or by relationship). That way if you're not satisifed with your pictures you won't feel akward telling your photographer that. Also - I find it VERY weird for a photographer to include that term and condition in their contract regarding NOT allowing your GUESTS to photograph you.


And here's a great "out" for you if you decide not to use your current photographer: "since you're pretty much family, we really want you to sit back and enjoy yourself...we don't want to have to impose and have you work when you should be enjoying yourself as a guest" and if she tries to counter and say she doesn't mind, then just be more adamant and INSIST that you don't want to inconvenience her and that's the end of it!

Posted on February 23, 2010 at 3:37 am
apples02
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i'll say this-your photographer to me is one of the most important decisions you can make in regards to your wedding!! the pictures are all you'll have when its all over!! so chose wisely! =) and i also think its really important to get along well with your photog. if she's cranky or in a weird mood, its going to affect everyone around her! 


i also dont agree with the no guest photography while she's working! that sounds like bs to me. everyone was taking photos at our wedding and she even had a second shooter working with her and there weren't any problems. it didn't make the pics come out bad. 


i know you feel obligated to hire her but your shouldn't! you have to go with who you feel the most comfortable with and from this post, it sounds like maybe you should keep looking!

Posted on February 23, 2010 at 3:37 am
thereluctantdomestic
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thereluctantdomestic

I would also go with someone else. 


Also, I think that when it comes to creative jobs, like hairstyling or photography, we all have different ideas of what is "good".  She may very well be a good photographer or even a great one, but if you were to be disappointed, it could cause friction since she's close to the family.  Not to mention, since you are getting such a discount, would you feel comfortable being assertive with what type of shots you want?  I mean, if you're shelling out $2K, I'm sure you'd be very clear about what you want.  But could you be that clear when you feel like they're doing you a favor? 


If you think it may hurt her feelings, what about doing engagement pictures or a "trash the dress" or bridal shoot after the fact with her?  Or even b-pics? I don't know if you were considering any of those options, but that may be an alternative.


Personally, though, I agree with GoingtobeGoff.  Tell her you'd like to go another route and don't feel bad about it.

Posted on February 23, 2010 at 3:41 am
kdh126
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go with your gut! It doesn't sound like the right thing for you.

Posted on February 23, 2010 at 3:41 am
SavannahBride
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First of all, I understand her not wanting other guests taking pictures while she is. I work for a photographer and I know first hand that this can affect pictures. My photog uses a slave light that goes off when his flash goes off. If other people are taking pictures at the same time, the slave light may go off with the guest's flash and not his....making the lighting in his pictures not as good. It also slows down the picture taking because the photographer is having to stop after each shot and let a guest or two take their shot. With that being said, the photographer that I work for simply states in his contract that guest picture taking with affect the outcome of his pictures. He asks that it not be done but he isn't demanding about it and he does understand that the bride can't control what her guests do.


If a CD with a print release is what you REALLY want, I would talk to her about offering you that. If she won't give you that as an option, that gives you an easy out to find another photographer. You have to be happy with your pictures. This is one of the most important days in your life and you want to have beautiful pictures that you can't stop looking at. :)

Posted on February 23, 2010 at 3:43 am
amandah24
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07/24/2010
amandah24

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amandah24

Thanks ladies. I guess I answered my own question. haha. Now the issue will be talking FI into spending the extra money. Sigh.

Posted on February 23, 2010 at 3:46 am
SavannahBride
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Tell him making his future wife happy is worth the extra money! ;)

Posted on February 23, 2010 at 3:47 am
mis1110
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mis1110

I agree with everyone else, go with your gut.   If I were in your position even though she's giving you a "deal" not getting what I want out of it really wouldn't make it worth it... 


 


(on a side note I can see where she wants to have uninterrupted access to you and your husband to somewhat insure she can get the good quality shots you are looking for, but I have never come across a situation like this where she demands you notify your guests that they can't photograph while she is...  if my opion she could've have atleast requested that they hold off the few minutes it will take her to get the shot and then let them have at it before you move on to a new pose or location...)


 


Good luck!

Posted on February 23, 2010 at 3:52 am
amandah24
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07/24/2010
amandah24

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amandah24

haha Savannah - I'll have to try that. ;)

Posted on February 23, 2010 at 3:53 am
katemassey
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katemassey

Comment has been removed by Project Wedding due to a violation of our Terms of Use
Posted on May 6, 2014 at 6:14 am
katemassey
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katemassey

Comment has been removed by Project Wedding due to a violation of our Terms of Use
Posted on May 6, 2014 at 6:14 am

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