A Non-Pro's Experience

[My sister and brother-in-law acting silly at their 8-14-09 wedding in New York City]

It's good to be back. Did you miss me?

As some of you know from following this blog, my sister asked me to be the photographer at her wedding. Am I a professional photographer? No. Can I use Photoshop very well? Not really. Did I have a good camera? Does my point and shoot count?

After I told her that I wasn't confident I'd be a sufficient replacement to a professional, she agreed to buy me a new camera. When I still asked "are you suuuure?" she told me that she'd much rather have me take pictures, with a camera she knows I'd use many more days than the wedding, than a stranger she has no relationship with. So I agreed.

For anyone considering having a friend/sister take the pictures, I just want to let you know that I made it out of there alive. I took 850 pictures. Nothing broke. I have no horror stories to tell you about my camera shutting down on me in the middle of the ceremony. And I say this because in the blog world, I rarely read successful stories about friends or relatives taking pictures. Even in the real world, I had someone tell me that they had a friend take the pictures, and that she somehow lost all of them.

It made it even worse when I read this, posted by Jenna Cole/Mrs. Avocado on Weddingbee. I understand why the post was written--pros are talented people with a lot of expertise that can't be instanteously replicated by the average jane. And believe me, I totally understand that, seeing as how I am using a pro for my own wedding. But, I just wanted to emphasize to anyone taking a chance on a student or a relative or a friend that my experience turned out a-okay. The pictures might not be taken by a pro or be pro-quality, but my sister just wanted a documentation of the day (blurb book on its way!) and a few good ones she could frame, and that's what she's getting.

I think the big advantage that I had being a non-pro but sister to the bride is that I knew almost everyone there. If I didn't know them, they knew I was the little sister, and I think that made people feel more at ease with me taking their picture. It also made it easy during group photos to tell people what to do. I got a lot of good smiles out of yelling "look alive people!" when you could tell everyone was nodding off from too many group shots.

I promise tons of pictures soon, but I have soooo much to edit. I've been editing all day and I'm still only halfway through!

It was so much fun, and despite going nuts almost all day from getting centerpieces/decor ready and the right lighting in the venue, I had a fantastic time.

Would you take a chance on a student/friend/relative like my sister did?


honey my heart said...

hooray you're back :) that photo is so cute, i'm definitely excited to see more and all the details.

koralee said...

ahhh..I am sure the photos will be amazing...can't wait to see them...looks and sounds like a fun day! Happy week to you!

Mollie D said...

I'm taking a chance on a photographer that is trying to start her business. There wasn't much of a portfolio of actual weddings to see, but for what she is charging, I'm willing to risk it. The downside, I'll be her first wedding, so my face will be plastered over every piece of advertising material she has for a while. Tell me if you could pass this up: Engagement session (copyright release, all editing) 12 hours day of the wedding plus a second photographer (copyright release and editing) $500.00 I almost feel bad.(do you know how long the editing is going to take??) We got our engagement pics back and they are great, so I'm pretty stoked!

Kelley at My Island Wedding said...

My husband has actually taken video at a bunch of people's weddings instead of them hiring one...

Glad you had a good time!

Katie said...

I don't think I'd take the chance...but I'm so glad it worked out for you guys!

The Professional Bridesmaid said...

i love that shot! great dress!

BEL said...

you did a beautiful job! you're really talented!

Mo said...

Thanks everyone!

@Mollie D: That's an amazing deal! I was there for 12 hours and the editing took me about 25-30 hours over 3-4 days. $500 is a bargain!

blushingjoy said...

I don't know. I would like to say I'll take the chance but maybe deep down I'll be too afraid that something might go wrong, which really shouldn't but you never know. :)

cupcake wedding said...

We are having friends photograph ours.

1. our wedding does not have be professionally recorded. All the best images will be in my brain. The feel of the day is what I want to keep with me forever.

2. You don't need 800 pictures of your wedding. You just need 10 to 30 good ones. Of course you will get that from your friends and relatives taking pictures of you all day.

I say this because I don't really care about pictures and I don't think it is worth the expense. I'd rather spend that $3000 on a vacation.

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