Asked to do a wedding, but don't want to

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Steve S, Jun 21, 2005.

  1. Steve S

    Steve S

    Feb 1, 2005
    SE Florida
    My sister's husband's neice is getting married next month, and I've already agreed to do the pre-wedding shoot, but now they want me to do the whole shooting match. They have very little money for a pro. How do I tell them no, without sounding like I'm being a pr*ck by saying I just don't want to? I have 0 experience doing weddings, and don't want to learn on them. I don't handle pressure very well, and don't want them coming back and b*tching later.
     
  2. Leigh

    Leigh

    Feb 19, 2005
    Alabama
    Steve,

    You say they are getting married next month...and that they have very little money for a pro...Just a thought, but here's a suggestion...are there any other relatives that shoot digital? How about you team up and each get as many shots as you can....that way someone is bound to get a decent shot of each important moment (cake cutting, first kiss, toast, bouquet toss, etc...).

    When my youngest brother got married, they had absolutely zilch for a photograhper...their wedding was very small and I helped put it together for them...in fact, his bride borrowed my gown. So my other brother and I looked through my wedding album to get ideas of how to frame up shots. Then on the day of the wedding we played wedding photographers. And at the time, we didn't even have anything other than a couple of Sony Mavicas. But the pictures are priceless to my brother and his wife. They still display them proudly in their home and it makes me happy that I was able to do something special for them that otherwise would be simply a memory. No, they weren't the same quality that Patrick and I got from hiring a pro photog, but they still have photos of their wedding and that's the important thing.

    Just something to think about....Good Luck...
     
  3. strobel

    strobel

    428
    Apr 30, 2005
    Algonquin, IL
    I am just not comfortable with my skills to do a wedding. I know you might be saying any pictures are better then none, but I just can not do it. I am sorry but I will have to decline.

    You should not have to give any other explanation. I think it's kind of rude for them to put you into this spot. If you were going to be a guest then why would they expect you to do there photos. Iif you were not going to be a guest then they are using you and you should not feel guilty.

    Ron Strobel
     
  4. Just find a reasonably priced (semi-pro),wedding photographer, hire him and make it your wedding present.
     
  5. Sister's husbands niece is getting pretty far down the food chain to be looking for a free photographer. I like Frank's suggestion but would carry it one step further by seeing if other uncles, cousins, etc., might want to pool resources and hire a pro. Personally I think with your skills you would do very well in shooting a wedding but agree that it is a lot of work and pressure. I am still struggling through getting prints etc., from my granddaughters wedding that I shot in April. Good luck with the wedding pre-shoot, you will do well.
     
  6. Ken-L

    Ken-L Guest

    Steve, I've looked at your pictures at Pbase. If I needed someone to take pictures at my wedding and couldn't afford one I would take my chances with you.

    I understand you not wanting to do the wedding. But, I'm sure that if you do it, there will be many fine pictures!

    Probably the most important consideration would be the lens and flash you will use, and finding out what shots they want besides the "usual" ones, and candids. I have a hunch you will end up doing it....so post some shots afterwards! :lol:
     
  7. eng45ine

    eng45ine

    May 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    This is an absolutely practical suggestion...contact a few of the relatives and each family can "ante up" to hire a photographer. The wedding gifts that they would have received from these families probably would not be as special as a gift of beautiful wedding photos. Take the money and find someone that is reasonably priced and let him/her shoot everything.

    Nice job, Frank!
     
  8. gho

    gho

    Feb 7, 2005
    California
    Just tell them the truth... I'd say "I'd love to photograph your wedding, but I don't handle pressure well, and can't take the stress."

    If they care about you at all, they'll find another photographer.
     
  9. Cory Cooper

    Cory Cooper

    300
    May 24, 2005
    Salem, NH
    Good info folks...

    I do know that many small town newspaper photogs moonlight doing weddings. Usually they are in a much better price range than "wedding pros".

    Just a thought...

    C
     
  10. JAM

    JAM

    119
    Apr 30, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Steve, I did about 300 weddings before being commited to the aslyum :? :twisted:

    I understand your hesitation perfectly. Toward the end, as I slipped into the twilight zone, :roll: I insisted that the B&G place one of those disposable cameras at each table and they got a few candids that were keepers. Not many - but some.

    You've had plenty of good suggestions here. One more might be to see if they can get someone to just do the ceremony (the group shots are the hardest - everybody's always blinking) then you go have a few beers and do some candids at the reception.

    I agreed to do this for really strapped kids back in the day.
     
  11. Tell them about the latest craze being that they buy a whole bunch of those disposables and have everyone taking pics around the wedding. Hopefully some will turn out enough to print off a few 8x10's and 5x7's and you won't have the pressure. Weddings are extremely high pressure and not enjoyable at all. They are completely exhausting and I'll stick to selling real estate to pay for the toys but I'd NEVER go into wedding biz as a pro. Steve, I read about the perfect line for people who are getting roped into too many things and you just say "That just doesn't work for me" and then leave it at that. As mentioned, this is too far down the chain for you to feel obligated or guilty in saying no. Leaving it until the last month and then asking you is verging on the point of cheeky. Stick to your guns, just say "no thanks, the pre-wedding session is enough for me. Doing the wedding too just doesn't work for me".
     
  12. Chris101

    Chris101

    Feb 2, 2005
    Arizona
    Hmmm, what is that, 'second neice-in-law'? Depending on if you like these folks, shoot a dozen or so shots from the back of the crowd, deliver wal-mart prints, no digital files, and send 'em a bill for $1800. You won't have to worry about them bugging you for anything else for a very long time!

    No, huh.
     
  13. Steve S

    Steve S

    Feb 1, 2005
    SE Florida
    ok, thnx everyone, I'm going to decline, in fact,

    I'm not even going the wedding. Actually never was planning on attending the wedding OR reception. Got better things to do, like take my sons to the lake a few more times before it sells this Fall. I'm not at all close to these ppl, since they're only related by law to my sis. I only see them twice a yr, on Thanksgiving, and Xmas. I'm going to suggest they get a pro for the really important in-church wedding party shots, and give everyone a disposable at the reception. Honestly. if they even offered to pay me $500, I'd still turn em down. Who needs this kind of pressure!? :twisted:
     
  14. Re: ok, thnx everyone, I'm going to decline, in fact,

    I don't blame you. That's about 25% of the price the lowest end wedding photographers charge, which would be an insult.
     
  15. Larry Gleason

    Larry Gleason

    373
    Jan 26, 2005
    Re: ok, thnx everyone, I'm going to decline, in fact,

    You got a lot of good advice for sure. My own take is that I tell them sorry I don't do weddings. I have no interest and really don't care if they are family or family friends. There are too many pro photographers out there that depend on weddings to make a living (or support their income). Weddings are their bread and butter and I'd rather keep it that way. Many have very reasonable prices. I keep a short referral list handy just for such occasions and rotate through the list.
     
  16. Jarrell

    Jarrell

    Feb 13, 2005
    Macon, Ga.
    Steven, all the advice above is excellent. I've known many wedding photographers and did quite a few of them myself, and ~most~, not all.. of them said (and I agree) that wedding photography is stressful, maybe even highly stressful.
    I stopped shooting them about 5 years ago and the way I handle requests now is to simply say NO. It takes some people aback, but it works! Of course I then tell them that I appreciate the thought but NO, I don't shoot weddings anymore. Anyone that shoots weddings, and there are a lot that really enjoy it, they like the adrenaline rush that comes from it, should be very well paid for it
    Of course, if you really really want to shoot it... :)
    Jarrell
     
  17. Personally, I enjoy them...

    but I'm a lot younger than you :wink:.
     
  18. Some comments that are a bit self contradictory.

    1. I've learned in my job (a far cry from photography) anytime I get talked into doing something that doesn't feel right I regret it. Go with your gut. Do nothing in life unless you heart is in it.

    2. If they really really cannot afford a photographer...do it. I've found myself shooting,as a know-nothing amateur, weddings for a couple of our employees. They will be grateful for life.

    3. In a few weeks I'll have my 25th wedding anniversary. We have a pretty album of fancy and expensive pro shots that I'd burn in a heartbeat if i could trade for 1000 amateur shots of our wedding, reception and guests. Of the guests many have passed this life, the kids have kids and we have no shots.

    4. My temperament...my camera is an icebreaker...I have a great time shooting my amateur shots. They get more that they pay for.

    5. If they are being cheap tell them so. Honesty accompanied by a smile is hard to debate.

    6. I recently shot at a wedding. No pressure since her ex-husband's sister is semi-pro and shot as a quasi pro. I set up a free pbase account with their names (below) that links to mt site where I pay maybe 50 cents a month to let them see their photos...their gratitude is priceless. I've done this several times. It's fun
    See:

    click their pic.
    http://www.pbase.com/fredandpatte
     
  19. Steve S

    Steve S

    Feb 1, 2005
    SE Florida
    All good thoughts, but I'm not shooting it, & not attend

    either. I'll go out in a couple weeks and do my best with the pre wedding shots, but that's it for me. The parents of the bride, the one that are supposed to pay for everything aren't strapped for cash, so they can just hire someone. Now, I gotta fire off that email declining the offer :shock:
     
Loading...
Similar Threads Forum Date
Want a bear to leave your garden? Just ask, politely. General Discussion Sep 26, 2017
Wedding coordinator asked for samples General Discussion Jul 15, 2009
I was asked to shoot a wedding! Need some advice. General Discussion Aug 22, 2008
So I just got asked to shoot a wedding. General Discussion Aug 5, 2008
Asked to bid a wedding shoot General Discussion Jan 4, 2008