Wedding photographer?

Discussion in 'Photography' started by John Caldwell, Sep 16, 2003.

  1. In northwest Chicago area we will be having a small wedding for our
    daughter. It will be December 27 - early afternoon. Of course, my daughter
    wants some wedding photos. The problem is that the professionals listed in
    the yellow pages want $700 - $1,200 for 'basic packages' and some won't even
    relinquish the negatives. I think the professionals are trying to pay off
    all their equipment and studio rent in one fell swoop. . I don't begrudge
    professionals and their desire to make a living but I think a good amateur
    could fulfill our bill for half the price. How would I find a good amateur?
    Are there any photo clubs in the NW suburbs of Chicago? Thanks.
    John Caldwell, Sep 16, 2003
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  2. John Caldwell

    Bluesea Guest


    "Some" won't even relinquish the negatives? I'm surprised that you found any
    who would!

    Good luck on your search. Please don't be too dismayed if you get what you
    pay for.
    Bluesea, Sep 16, 2003
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  3. John Caldwell

    Generic Eric Guest

    Try advertising at . Post an ad in the
    arts/media jobs section. I see many ads for exactly this kind of work on
    the New York Craigslist, usually a couple looking for a photo student or
    beginning pro.

    Best of luck.

    I now yield the floor to a half dozen mavens who will lecture you and the
    world about "getting what you pay for."

    Generic Eric, Sep 16, 2003
  4. John Caldwell

    Dan Uneken Guest

    Right! No serious professional photographer will ever give you the
    Why don't you talk to the photographers and explain that 700 dollars
    is too much, perhaps they can reduce the package to suit your budget.
    An amateur may lose his cool, make serious mistakes and get you no
    pretty pictures at all in the end.
    Dan Uneken, Sep 16, 2003
  5. In northwest Chicago area we will be having a small wedding for our
    When it's all over, you've got an expensive dress that will never be
    worn again, the flowers are wilted, and the food has all been eaten.
    What's the only thing you've got left to remember the event?
    Randall Ainsworth, Sep 16, 2003
  6. John Caldwell

    Steve Guest

    We had two photographers working together, (both semi-pro), practically
    everyone who came seemed to carry a camera, there was a disposable,
    processing-pre-paid camera on each table, and of course the videos...
    hours of them !!

    We ended up with something like 1000 prints to sort through...! No matter
    what happened that day, we had a record of it.

    Yes the food has gone, the flowers that were real have all died, and the
    dress no longer fits.. ;-)

    Steve, Sep 16, 2003
  7. John Caldwell

    J C Guest


    There's one other thing that serves as a reminder...

    And sometimes she can be very ill tempered.

    -- JC
    J C, Sep 16, 2003
  8. John Caldwell

    Jeremy Guest

    x-no-archive: yes

    You are paying for the end product--the prints--not the negatives. Under
    U.S. copyright law, the photographer is presumed to retain copyright--not
    you, even if you did pay for the prints.

    You might be able to find a photographer desperate enough to part with his
    negs, but this sort of photographer is probably not the kind that produces
    professional results.

    The prices that you were quoted were fair. You are paying for the expertise
    and training of the photographer, along with the use of his professional
    equipment, his travel to and from the event, his lab fees, the intangible
    maintenance costs on his equipment (ok, so his shutter may not fail at YOUR
    event, but each use of the equipment brings it closer to the day when
    repairs or replacements must be made.)

    If you want "do-it-yourself" prices, then you should stop whining and do it
    Jeremy, Sep 16, 2003
  9. John Caldwell

    Bluesea Guest

    I meant no offense by my remark. I've been around photographers and have had
    friends get married from Hawaii to Germany with points in-between for years
    and the amateurs who can reliably produce pro-quality wedding photos don't
    give up their negatives either.

    In fact, the only photographers who I've known to be willing to give up
    their negs were either relatives or friends of the bride or groom (and it
    was their wedding gift to them) or were so new to photography that they were
    unaware of the copyright issue. They were also the ones who photographed
    weddings w/o a spare body, spare flash, or even spare batteries and their
    photos didn't look significantly better than anybody else's snapshots taken
    with a decent camera.

    His experience may be different. I hope it is. Since I have no knowledge of
    what he may encounter, I can only forewarn of other people's reactions when
    they saw the results of the rite of passage that they entrusted to a
    shutterbug who also gave them negatives in their attempt to cut expenses yet
    still get pro-quality results.
    Bluesea, Sep 17, 2003
  10. John Caldwell

    Generic Eric Guest

    Oh... there was no offense taken. I don't think I'd even seen your comments
    when I posted this. I just assumed most forum readers would take that "get
    what you pay for" position....

    I actually agree that a pro is best, but if $700-$1200 is out of one's
    range, then you've got to find an alternative. There are some very gifted
    students waiting for their chances, too. Of course, one should always ask to
    see portfolios, meet in person, and have a plan for event coverage. The
    great thing about a "craigslist" listing (and other similar sites) is the
    ability to have the photographer find you, instead of just finding the best
    looking advertisement or slickest web site.
    Generic Eric, Sep 17, 2003
  11. John Caldwell

    Jeremy Guest

    x-no-archive: yes
    So, what do you think a fair price would be? $350???

    How much scrutiny will you give to someone willing to work for that price??
    You expect to be able to review a portfolio????

    Sounds like you are trying to get an awful lot without having to pay for it.
    Jeremy, Sep 17, 2003
  12. John Caldwell

    Generic Eric Guest

    I think a fair price is whatever the two parties agree to.

    Clearly scrutiny rises and falls with price, no? Value is what's important.
    I pay a local dry cleaner significantly more than any other shop in Queens
    to wash and press my shirts, but I know that I'm getting clean shirts,
    pressed exactly the way I like them, and always ready when I pick them up.
    If I go to another cleaner and pay less, I know not to expect the same level
    of service. (But I could always be pleasantly surprised, no?)
    I don't really understand your point about a portfolio. Would you hire
    anyone -- at any price--without seeing a sample of their work?

    Not my wedding, chief. I'm just offering an opinion and a place to seek an
    alternative. Not everyone has big bucks to spend on wedding photography.
    It doesn't mean they don't deserve to get the best they can afford.
    Generic Eric, Sep 18, 2003
  13. John Caldwell

    roddytoo Guest

    the motto.
    roddytoo, Sep 18, 2003
  14. Good grief guys! I didn't mean to infuriate all you nice folks. I just
    wanted to have a little leftover funds from the wedding to buy a six pack or
    two. Apparently my message has been interpreted as a way to deprive
    photographers from paying their studio rent. Yes, professionals are better
    than armatures and yes, pros deserve to be appropriately paid for their
    experience, training and equipment. But taking your arguments to the food
    industry, you might suggest that to get a good meal, you should go out to a
    three-star restaurant every evening to get the best food. Maybe so, but as a
    consumer, please don't take offense if I want to spend a little less than a
    month's groceries. Good grief guys, I am a nice person. My mommy says so. I
    am not trying to undermine your profession. Keep the faith and be sure to
    take off the lens cap. John Caldwell
    John Caldwell, Sep 19, 2003
  15. John Caldwell

    Bluesea Guest

    Armatures? Hmm...

    It appears that this is your first experience as the father of the bride. My
    sincere condolences. Somehow, fathers are prepared to face college expenses
    but tend to go into shock at wedding costs.

    I actually don't have a problem with your paying less as long as you're
    willing to accept what is usually less quality.

    Re: your example, though - If your daughter is planning to get married every
    evening then your correlation to the food industry would fit. Since this is
    a (well, supposed to be) once-in-a-lifetime event, I think you'd be willing
    to sacrifice more than just a couple of six-packs for your daughter's

    Unless beer is more important to you, that is.
    Bluesea, Sep 25, 2003
  16. John Caldwell

    Rick Guest

    Let's say your going in for surgery tomorrow! Do you want a surgeon,
    or someone that is pretty handy with an exacto knife?

    It's not you get what you pay for, it's paying for someone who has
    spent time, money and education to profect a skill. Someone that is
    willing to take on the responsability of capturing the days events,
    and in the end is comfortable enough with his or her skill to know
    that they have given your daughter something she will cherish for the
    rest of her life. And, someday when her granddaughter climbs into her
    lap, Grandma's wedding photographs will look as beautiful then as they
    do today.

    Things can happen to anybody, but I can tell you I know more amatures
    that have lost wedding negs and prints because they take them to
    Walmart, K-Mart or who ever is having a sale this week in the photo
    Rick, Sep 26, 2003
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