Thursday, March 4, 2010
Dear ESB: Should I hire an inexperienced wedding photographer?
I have a friend who happens to be a very talented photographer. He and another very talented photographer friend of his are starting a wedding photography business and are willing to shoot my wedding on the cheap because my friend would only charge me travel expenses. This means we'd get great photographers shooting all day for less than one so-so photographer shooting for fewer hours. Awesome, right? Right.
However, before I figuratively sign on the dotted line, I can't help but wonder if it makes any difference that they don't have experience shooting weddings. I worry that they won't know how to approach the event and ultimately fail to deliver the breathtaking photos I dream of. Do you think it will make a difference? Is there anything I can do to make sure they're totally ready?
Will your "very talented" photographer friend and his "very talented" photographer friend take good wedding photos? Maybe. But the fact that you make a point of mentioning that they are both very talented makes me think you're working hard to convince yourself that they are. This concerns me too: "I worry that they won't know how to approach the event and will ultimately fail to deliver [FAIL TO DELIVER?!] the breathtaking photos I dream of." You sound like a neurotic production manager. If I were your friend, no way would I want to shoot your wedding.
You need to decide what your priorities are. If you want "breathtaking photos" and you will have a hissy fit if you don't get them, find someone with a breathtaking portfolio. Not a so-so portfolio, a breathtaking portfolio. (Whatever that means to you.) Short of sending these guys off to shoot a bunch of other weddings before they shoot your wedding, there's not much you can do to prep them. There's a reason you're getting them on the cheap.
The other option is to take a deep breath, remind yourself that your wedding is not a photo shoot, and sign on the dotted line.*
Let me let you in on a little secret: All you need is one really good photo.**
(Another one by Lukas Wierzbowski)
*Do ask for a contract, even if all you're paying for is the travel. Everyone will be better off if there's an agreement in writing.
**As Alexis is fond of saying.