well, i shouldn't have done it, but i did it, and now i don't wanna do it
/forum/topic/1163408/0

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goosemang
Registered: Oct 21, 2011
Total Posts: 1578
Country: United States

i am not a wedding photographer. i've turned down two weddings in the past three months. recently a very good friend of mine called me - he's getting married, really small event, no music, no dancing, nothing but a quick ceremony - no bridesmaids, no groomsmen, no best man, just get hitched and have lunch.

could i bring my camera and take a few quick pictures? just the bride, groom and their parents/siblings? yeah, i'll do that. i specifically set the expectation low - i am not a wedding photographer. they don't care. cool, fine.

today the bride emails me a spreadsheet with six dozen shots she wants. gonna go kill myself now.



fotojennik
Registered: Jun 24, 2011
Total Posts: 175
Country: United States

Just be honest with her. Tell her you aren't comfortable with the requirements. That you recommend they hire a professional, and if you absolutely no expectations are to be set. Even then, I don't recommend it. Not worth risking friendship over something trivial.



DigMeTX
Registered: Nov 26, 2010
Total Posts: 1501
Country: United States

Yikes.

brad



RichardLavigne
Registered: Jan 13, 2007
Total Posts: 5340
Country: United States

When is the wedding? We've worked up in Providence before and had a great time... we'd love to head back that way.



ricardovaste
Registered: Jan 25, 2010
Total Posts: 3571
Country: United Kingdom

fotojennik wrote:
Just be honest with her. Tell her you aren't comfortable with the requirements. That you recommend they hire a professional, and if you absolutely no expectations are to be set. Even then, I don't recommend it. Not worth risking friendship over something trivial.


+1

If they're a good friend, perhaps offer a % towards a professional as a wedding gift. It shouldn't be too expensive if it's 1-to-2 hours max.



rmric0
Registered: Dec 02, 2009
Total Posts: 603
Country: United States

goosemang wrote:
i am not a wedding photographer. i've turned down two weddings in the past three months. recently a very good friend of mine called me - he's getting married, really small event, no music, no dancing, nothing but a quick ceremony - no bridesmaids, no groomsmen, no best man, just get hitched and have lunch.

could i bring my camera and take a few quick pictures? just the bride, groom and their parents/siblings? yeah, i'll do that. i specifically set the expectation low - i am not a wedding photographer. they don't care. cool, fine.

today the bride emails me a spreadsheet with six dozen shots she wants. gonna go kill myself now.


What is she looking for pictures of? Is it possible she just got the shot list from some website? All the iterations of family can add up pretty quickly but really don't take that long to pull together. I understand that there's a lot of anxiety hanging around these kinds of things, especially if it's your first time at the rodeo but talk to your friend and his bride before you let it scare you off.



tobicus
Registered: Jan 20, 2012
Total Posts: 1595
Country: United States

Talk to her, and make it clear what you will and won't do. Better to have this conversation before, and not after, the wedding.



Prettym1k3
Registered: Sep 01, 2009
Total Posts: 1917
Country: United States

I'd bow out of this one. Or, talk to you friend to talk some sense into his wife-to-be.

We've all been there. We all know that the free/cheap brides tend to be the most demanding.



D. Diggler
Registered: Dec 27, 2011
Total Posts: 5532
Country: United States

BOW OUT.

I've been in your shoes with freebies for friends. What YOU have in mind with a freebie and what THE BRIDE has in mind will be very different. You're thinking to take a few pictures here and there. The bride is thinking she got a wedding photographer for free.



That Photog
Registered: Mar 07, 2012
Total Posts: 140
Country: United States

I shot one free wedding for a relative. Won't find me doing that again. Money drives the expectations. If they think they paid a lot they will think they got a lot. If they didn't pay anything they will expect everything.



TTLKurtis
Registered: Jan 31, 2006
Total Posts: 9797
Country: United States

If you don't want to do x/y/z just be honest and talk to the couple. You're not doing anyone any favors by sucking it up and doing it even though you hate the idea of it.



goosemang
Registered: Oct 21, 2011
Total Posts: 1578
Country: United States

well i talked to both of them and they said they wouldn't really care about the shots on the list specifically, they were just thoughts of things that would be good. the only shots they *really* want are the ones with the parents/siblings, and they're gonna have someone in the family assigned to round up everybody for me for those shots. i specifically stated that if they truly wanted to have a bunch of specific shots that's what you'd want a professional for, and they said that isn't their expectation.

so.... we proceed. cautiously.



mccallmedia
Registered: Sep 11, 2011
Total Posts: 382
Country: United States

I did an all-day wedding for a couple friends for about 1/4 of what I normally charge. Everything went fine and they really appreciated what I did for them, so it can be OK. Would I ever do it again though? Probably not. I'd rather not made the little amount of money and enjoyed the wedding as a guest without bringing a camera.

Best of luck!



cordellwillis
Registered: Aug 24, 2004
Total Posts: 5080
Country: United States

Sounds like a portrait session to me. Are you qualified for that, especially if lighting and and other conditions are not what you are confident in working under?

This is what an experienced wedding/portrait photographer brings to the table.



jofoto photo
Registered: Jun 05, 2006
Total Posts: 877
Country: United Kingdom

If you charge a penny legally your in a contract. If in the event it goes wrong, his the good friend right. His wife to be is not. Steady as she goes, and get in it writing. He said/she said doesn't wash well in court.

In the norm it shouldn't be a problem, but weddings and expectations go hand in hand.



cbres00
Registered: Aug 14, 2004
Total Posts: 920
Country: United States

If the wedding is brought inside due to inclement weather, do you have the gear and skill to light this indoors?

I think setting their expectations is key here.



tonebag
Registered: Jan 30, 2009
Total Posts: 427
Country: Canada

You've been given lots of great advice already but since it seems like you're going to go through with it, all i can say is good luck and have fun with it. Sounds to me like she just wants some family formals so find some shade and just give'er. See cbres00 if the weather doesn't cooperate. If you're really worried about it, offer to shoot an engagement session so they can get a sense of what to expect. Try shooting outdoors and indoors with your current gear. If they like the results, then you're good, at least you've managed expectations. If they don't, they'll let you off the hook real fast - win-win!

cheers,
Tony



alohadave
Registered: Jul 26, 2005
Total Posts: 843
Country: United States

rmric0 wrote:
goosemang wrote:
i am not a wedding photographer. i've turned down two weddings in the past three months. recently a very good friend of mine called me - he's getting married, really small event, no music, no dancing, nothing but a quick ceremony - no bridesmaids, no groomsmen, no best man, just get hitched and have lunch.

could i bring my camera and take a few quick pictures? just the bride, groom and their parents/siblings? yeah, i'll do that. i specifically set the expectation low - i am not a wedding photographer. they don't care. cool, fine.

today the bride emails me a spreadsheet with six dozen shots she wants. gonna go kill myself now.


What is she looking for pictures of? Is it possible she just got the shot list from some website? All the iterations of family can add up pretty quickly but really don't take that long to pull together. I understand that there's a lot of anxiety hanging around these kinds of things, especially if it's your first time at the rodeo but talk to your friend and his bride before you let it scare you off.


72 combinations? That's a ton of poses to take for any wedding, let alone for a favor for a friend.



Ian Ivey
Registered: Mar 21, 2011
Total Posts: 1324
Country: United States

a spreadsheet with six dozen shots she wants

zoiks. God bless you, sir.

i specifically stated that if they truly wanted to have a bunch of specific shots that's what you'd want a professional for, and they said that isn't their expectation.

Look, I hate to be a downer, but this is what literally each and every single bride getting "free" wedding photography from a (sometimes soon-to-be-former) friend says.

It is absolutely and unequivocally a false statement.

Principally, it is the bride deceiving herself, and as a result, unintentionally deceiving you.

They want good photos. They actually do want the images on this list. You don't for a moment think they took the time to create a list of (SIX DOZEN) things they want you to produce, gave that list to you, and then changed their minds about wanting those things, do you?

They do hope you'll make that list happen. They will do what they believe (incorrectly) is necessary to empower you to do that, such as assigning a member of the family to "round up" people -- an assignment every single so-assigned family member in human history has utterly failed to fulfill, because weddings turn out to be quite busy affairs, much to every bridal party member's surprise, and family members and friends wander off to the cocktail hour in search of cocktails, without notifying said assigned family member of their departure.

I have nothing to gain from urging you to get someone to 1) help you, or 2) do this in your place so you can keep your friends as friends and also enjoy a nice party, so take that for whatever it's worth to you.



goosemang
Registered: Oct 21, 2011
Total Posts: 1578
Country: United States

I'm not worried about the technical aspects of the shooting - that I can manage. I've got a backup body and speedlites on loan from a friend, just in case. I'm not asking for even a penny, so no contract. and Ian, I know you're right.

I've told them I plan on enjoying their wedding and if they want to guarantee anything they need a pro who can be responsible. I made it very clear that they can't expect pro results, and they both are adamant they're ok with whatever I can do. so I'm more comfortable now that I was very clear on all this with them. I didn't dance around it and spelled out all my issues clearly



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