Friend as Wedding Photographer?
Should you accept an offer by a friend to offered to do the wedding photography as a gift? Should you accept the offer of a friend to be your Wedding Photographer ?
User submitted question:
We are planning an informal wedding. A good friend of ours, an amateur photographer planning to open a studio within the next year, has offered to do the photography as a gift. However, my future father-in-law doesn’t think this is acceptable and wants us to hire a professional photographer. We can’t afford the extra expense, and would rather use our friend, but don’t want to hurt his father’s feelings in the process. What do we do?
Wedding Photographer Answer:
As with any aspect of wedding planning, budgeting can cause stress that you’d rather ignore, but it’s easier in the long run if you take care of the problems promptly. Stay firm in the belief that this *is* your wedding, and it will give you the courage to face these problems. Now, onto your future father-in-law.
It sounds like he’s simply worried that the photographs won’t turn out well, and thinks that a professional wedding photographer will safeguard against that happening. Quite simply, he cares about your wedding memories. Your friend is offering to do the photography free of charge (as your wedding gift), and sounds as if he has some experience in photography. When he opens his studio, he’ll be considered a “professional” photographer. Now, it’s up to you to convince your future father-in-law of that, with your fiance and friend’s help.
Here’s my suggestion; Sit down with your future father-in-law, fiance and friend. Have your friend show your future father-in-law his portfolio as well as explain to him his plans to open a studio. The basic idea is to show your future father-in-law that’s he’s serious about his work and will treat your photographs as carefully as he would were he getting paid.
You and your fiance need to explain that you realize why he’s worried and that you appreciate his concern. You need to let him know that you are taking his advice seriously. You also need to be honest about your finances…and show him (on paper) what you’ll be giving up – whether it’s a honeymoon, flowers, additional attendants, etc.
Finally, you have to make him understand that you’re not willing to give up these things for professional photography, when you have a perfectly competent wedding photographer willing to do it as a gift. If, after you’ve taken these steps your future father-in-law is still adamant about hiring a professional wedding photographer, you should remind him that this is *your* wedding, that you can’t afford a professional wedding photographer, and that you aren’t willing to give up other things in your wedding in order to hire a professional wedding photographer. This puts the ball in your future father-in-laws court and gives him the option of paying for the wedding photographer that he wants you to hire (you can still have your friend do the photography as well) or graciously letting it go.