Getting married :-)

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Dangermouse1968, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. Dangermouse1968

    Dangermouse1968 Mu-43 Regular

    May 26, 2011
    So, I'm getting married in april and we are full steam ahead with getting on with the organisation now we have finished moving my gf in with me.

    We did think that getting a good local professional photographer would be a very worhtwhile thing to do but we've seen prices now and my bride-to-be is thinking (and I think I agree) that it is a hell of a lot of money to spend (and hopefully she is thinking it would be much better spent on an OMD for me!!!!)

    So, as an alternative idea she suggested that we ask the guests (there are only 30 of them; it's a small quiet do) to bring their digital cameras and we provide them with SD cards. At the end of the day we ask them to leave the cards with us so we can download the pictures before returning them to the photographer.

    Does this sound like a good idea?

    Our Panny GF1's use standard SDHC cards (IIRC) so if we buy a batch of them would that do the trick??? What size would you recommend?

    Thanks in advance for advice / criticism!!
  2. Uncle Frank

    Uncle Frank Photo Enthusiast

    Jul 26, 2012
    San Jose, CA
    Real Name:
    A typical wedding runs $1,000 for the dress, $1500 for food & booze, and $500 each for the flowers, cake, and DJ. All these items are ephemeral. The dress will never be worn again, the flowers will wither in a week, and the cake, meal and music will be forgotten in a matter of days. The lasting treasure will be the photo album... a family heirloom that your bride can show to her grandkids 30 years from now so they can delight in what a beautiful bride granny was. Think twice before you skimp on the only lasting part of her big day by settling for a collection of amateur snapshots. Jmho.
    • Like Like x 7
  3. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011

    Invite members of this forum to your wedding! :biggrin:
    • Like Like x 4
  4. LeeOsenton

    LeeOsenton Mu-43 Button Clicker

    Jun 25, 2010
    Hayes, Virginia, U.S.A.
    Real Name:
    Lee Osenton
    Great Idea! Chase it with RAWs made available for post processing events to let everyone get in on the festivities. We may even learn something in the process.

    • Like Like x 1
  5. rklepper

    rklepper Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 19, 2012
    Iowa, USA
    Real Name:
    I would highly recommend against this. Your photos will be one of the lasting treasures of you lives together. Do not leave anything to chance. You will someday regret it if you don't do it right. BBQ for the reception if you have to.
  6. dav1dz

    dav1dz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 6, 2012
    Congratulations on getting married!

    Unless your guests are trained properly in lighting and composition I would advice against it.

    When my friends ask me to do their wedding, I would decline and ask them to hire a professional. I'm not say I'm a good or bad photographer, but there is a big difference between a guest who knows a bit of photography and a paid photographer.

    The most intimate moments, such as dressing, back room drama, etc, are not going to be seen by your guests.

    They can't walk around the couple getting different angles either.

    I just don't think it's a good idea unless you set some ground rules. If there is a guest who knows more about photography than others, then perhaps have him be the one roaming about. Perhaps light the venue bright enough that you don't need anymore artificial light. Make sure everyone shoots in RAW so you can correct white balance, exposure, etc.
  7. Talanis

    Talanis Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 15, 2012
    Sherbrooke, Canada
    Real Name:
    Eric Cote
    I have to agree with Frank and David. The photos of your wedding is what you will have left and what you will cherish over and over in the years to come. I got married last fall and I love watching the slideshow of my wedding. My kids wants to watch it every week.
    Weddings are tough to shoot well too. White dress, black tux, low light, hard light, lots of emotion... everything changes so quickly. I decided to skimp on the DJ instead (we made playlists on the iPad).
  8. woof

    woof Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 18, 2011
    The present.

    Uncle Frank is 100% right. I have 20 years. The photos are priceless. The only feedback loop is that the dress is part of why the bride looks beautiful... in the professional photos.

    True story. We thought this would be fun too. It's not a new idea. In my day, we simply put disposable 35mm p&s camera on the tables. It was clear from the photos that generally speaking one of three (or all three happened)

    1. As the reception proceeded, people got drunker and drunker and eventually the quality of the photos went from OK to really, really bad.
    2. As the reception proceeded, the guest became increasingly involved in heir own little stories and the number of photos dropped off. In other words, no-one took the job seriously. This was not their job, their job was to have fun. To heck with the photos, someone else is doing that; and
    3. Some guests thought it was fun to document things like the men's room, people going to the bathrooom, unintelligble things, etc. See #1 above.

    All in all we got very few keepers from that little trick, and what we did get were fun from a novelty sense. The really nice photos were taken by the pro. Now you can discount what I am saying, and say that if there is no pro, people will be more incented to do a good job, but think about the overall photographic capability of the average crowd. Not so good. This is what you'll get. Not so good.

    Besides, the P&S market has been largely disintermediated by the phone market. Your SD cards will be more or less useless and now you will be chasing people for their (terrible) phone photos. Again, don't think about the quality of phone photos from the standpoint of what someone CAN do, but rather what the average person WILL do.

    Your family AND her family will want these photos. They are more than just YOURS, they are your family's and rightly so. It took me a long time to see this, but they are a part of the story of your family. Eventually the story came to me. I have photographs going back to my great-great-grandfather's wedding. I have every couple in my direct line as well as my uncle and his line. They are all on the wall, and ours is there too.

    If you have to, ask for help from your respective families for the cost of the photographer. By all means hand out SD cards, but don't expect them all to be used, to get them all back, or to get very much that is useable from them.

    • Like Like x 1
  9. alans

    alans Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 28, 2010
    I agree with everyone above. Plus it's putting too much responsibility on your guests and how are you going to control 30 people with cameras taking pictures that you are not likely to be happy with?
  10. juangrande

    juangrande Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 2, 2012
    It's your choice. And when I say "your", I mean your brides of course. But, personally, I think big weddings are a relic of wishful serf thinking wanting to be like royalty, propagated into today by the likes of " Barbie gets married", Cinderella, and whatever else fantasies are shoved down little girls throats. It wold be refreshing to have a bride who doesn't feel that spending $1000's on a wedding is the only way to make it special. In fact, I wouldn't marry one who insisted upon a big wedding. Marriage is no fantasy, why should the wedding be? Someone grounded in reality would be a more viable longterm partner. I like your idea, personally. Take the extra money and spend it on your reception and honeymoon. I'll guarantee it will be more fun, intimate, and memorable than a blown up wedding affair. But I'm not a wedding photographer, nor have I ever been accused of being a romantic. But I have been happily married for 12 yrs when in fact I never wanted or thought I would get married. PS When I get together with my parents and siblings, or good friends, we never look at wedding pictures unless one or two are in a collection of candid family photos.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Uncle Frank

    Uncle Frank Photo Enthusiast

    Jul 26, 2012
    San Jose, CA
    Real Name:
    We're coming at it from different perspectives. I'm a semi-pro wedding photographer, and understand how difficult it is to get good pictures at a back-lit ceremony or in a dark reception hall... not to mention how difficult it is to be in position for every important event in the Big Day or to manage the participants. And I've been married for 41 years, have 4 granddaughters, and realize now how important images from their grandma's wedding would have been to them. But, unfortunately, we opted to be married by a judge, and then have a small dinner with friends.

    So speaking from experience, I'll again recommend a professional wedding photographer. The business is very competitive, and if you're willing to make your own prints and albums, you should be able to hire a very competent team shooting advanced dslrs for around $1000.
  12. riverr02

    riverr02 Mu-43 Veteran

    May 2, 2011
    New York
    Real Name:
    I suggest a hybrid approach. By all means hire a professional photographer- you won't regret it, and they'll certainly be able to capture the memories for you far better than your guests, for all the reasons previously mentioned. But it might also be a good idea to get your guests involved, too. You may not have many keepers, but the ones you do keep could be gems.
  13. Hyubie

    Hyubie Unique like everyone else

    Oct 15, 2010
    Real Name:
    Count my voice among those voting for the pro. When I got married we hired a pro, and still I was not happy with a few of the shots. I can't imagine being any happier if the shots were taken by guests.

    The hybrid sounds good, too - if you can afford it. And big +1 (!!!) to the pictures being the most important memento, in the end.

    P.S. - I forgot - CONGRATS!!!!!!
  14. wrjacobs

    wrjacobs Mu-43 Rookie

    Oct 13, 2011
    Silver Spring, MD
    Congratulations, Dangermouse!

    My sister (who makes part of her living off her own photography) actually did almost exactly what you are suggesting at her wedding, mostly because she felt compelled to fire the photographer she had arranged on the day before the ceremony. Her wedding was a small affair, however, and there was no alcohol at the reception, so intoxication could not be blamed for any bad photos.

    In the end, she got enough good memories out of the event to be satisfied. The important thing is to manage your expectations. You may get some great moments, but polished setups, professional-looking poses, and anything more than spontaneous captures will be asking too much of your guests.
  15. Zariell

    Zariell Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 28, 2012
    Bountiful, UT
    Congrats to you!!!
  16. Lisandra

    Lisandra Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 16, 2010
    I say this to every hesitant customer I meet!

    As for the idea, no. I encourage brides to tell family members to bring their cameras, you cant be everywhere, but theres no replacing a photographer who knows what he's doing and has done it before.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. pod

    pod Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 4, 2012
    Real Name:
    I agree .. get an pro on it .. A friend got married on a trip to the Solomons & he asked me to do the photos ... I had just bought the OMD was a bit too green and although the shots were good they were not 'Great', chance gone. Most people are at the limit taking snaps on their phone/pocket snapper on auto ... don't risk it.
  18. stingx

    stingx Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 10, 2012
    Weird, NJ
    Real Name:
    Hugh Douche
    There's a reason why even the most expensive cameras have an auto mode. Most people take God-awful pictures and videos. You only need to look at FB, Picasa, and other repos on the web. You will regret it big time. Also, the best wedding I've ever attended was on a beach in Maine. Tents were set up and there was an amazing assortment of seafood. Their best friend married them and somehow he and wedding couple ended up in the Atlantic. We drank and ate til dawn. Perfect.
  19. Bokeaji

    Bokeaji Gonzo's Dad O.*

    Aug 6, 2011
    Austin, TX
    I love quirky and fun

    So I think that's a great idea! Is even encourage the Instagramers to have at it. The more variety and interesting wackiness the better in my book!

    But I'm never one for fake feeling memories, which I think posed weddings photos always make me feel like. "This wasn't really what happened at ALL!"
    Know what I mean?
    • Like Like x 1
  20. woody112704

    woody112704 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 13, 2012
    Real Name:
    Congratulations! I think its a neat idea, but the people pointing out the pro tips also make a good point.