BPP 112: Photographer Friend Ruins Wedding, How Not to Make The Same Mistakes

This Week I share the Story of how Indianapolis Wedding Photographer Raymond Hatfield helped a couple get closure after their wedding photographer never delivered their wedding photos from more than 5 years ago. The bride, Tracy had became good friends with a girl who wanted to get into photography and begged to shoot their wedding. She knew her friend took great photos but she also wanted to make sure her wedding day was captured professionally. Tracy reluctantly agreed. She shares her story of what happened and what she would do differently if she could do it all over again. Watch the video below

How to avoid being the friend that won't deliver. 

1: Put yourself in check

You know how to shoot in manual, you have shot some pretty awesome photos of your dog or your kids that your friends on facebook and instagram love. These are important steps in your photography journey but know that you have so much more to learn about photography. Take a moment to think about how important of a day this is for your couple. Watch the video above and see how it has affected them and their lives. I'm not trying to add pressure but I just want you to remember that you are working with the couples best interests in mind today. Even if you REALLY want that awesome creative shot you see in your head, get everything else they need first.  

2: Be Prepared

Wedding days can be hectic so do your best to prepare before hand. Ask the couple for a timeline. Even if it very basic it will help you look for any potential problems. If the couple are taking a limo from the ceremony to the reception, do they want you in the limo? What will you do with your car? 

3: Have a shot list

As you progress shooting wedding you may not need a shot list but for your first 5-10 weddings its smart to have a shot list as a reference guide. This is primarily helpful for portraits. You know you need a shot of the cake and decorations, no need for that to take up space on the list. Things like. Bride on grooms shoulder looking back at camera, wide shot of couple walking towards camera laughing, groom facing bride smiling, bride and groom close together looking at camera. Come up with half a dozen shots you know you have to get and then get them. If there is any time left to shoot, you can streach your creative muscles. 

4: Get help with family photos

Family photos are always a mess. There is 100 people walking around talking not paying attention and you don't know who anyone is. Ask the couple for a list of must have family photos and ask them to designate one person to help you help call out the family members you don't know. 

5: Shoot on small cards

I think want happened to the photographer in Tracy and Durans story is either camera or card failure. While its hard to prepare for these things, there is something you can do. Some cameras have dual card slots, space for 2 memory cards. If one memory card fails, you still have the other to save the day. If your camera does not have dual card slots I highly recommend using small memory cards like 4-8gb. The reason being if you shoot a whole wedding on one memory card and it fails... the whole wedding is gone. If you shoot with multiple cards and one card fails, well then you just lost a small portion of the day and can still deliver the majority of their wedding day.  

6: Have a contract

They may be your best friends and would never screw you over but a contract will not only protect you but also them. Write in the contract exactly what they will receive so there is no confusion later and also state exactly when you will deliver the wedding by. This will keep you on track and keep them from asking when the photos will be ready. 

7: Be Honest every step of the way

Lastly, if something goes wrong, be honest. Tracy had said that if her friend was just honest then she would be more understanding but by covering it up, saying that she had send it and it must have got lost in the mail made the whole situation worse. 

Enjoy this episode? Check out more recent interviews with other great guests!