Wedding photographer

Should you entrust your wedding photos to your brother-in-law?

This entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime.

You’ve just announced your engagement, and your brother-in-law (the photography enthusiast in your family) offers you a great deal: he’ll photograph your wedding for free as his gift to you!

Should You Take Him Up On His Offer?

This is definitely not a decision to be taken lightly. Your wedding photos are one of the few things you continue to enjoy long after the day itself is over. They capture moments you never knew were happening and let you relive the amazing day years into the future.

At the same time, they can take up a significant portion of your budget and it’s enticing when someone close to you offers such a great gift!

Here are some of the things to consider if a friend or family member offers to photograph your wedding.

Do you want your wedding photographer to be in your photos?

Do You Want This Person To Be In Your Wedding Photos?

Candid Photos

If your brother is spending his time behind the camera, it means he will never be in front of it. Any moment he may shed a tear, laugh uproariously, or party on the dance floor won’t be captured.

Family Photos

Is this someone you want in family photos? It’s still possible for him to be included thanks to tripods and self-timers, but this will take extra time to set up. Make sure your photography schedule has some padding for this.
Can you be intimate in front of your brother-in-law?

Can You And Your Partner Be Intimate In Front Of Someone You Know Well?

I’ve photographed over 200 weddings and at nearly every one, the most intimate photos happen once I send all friends and family away so it’s just me and the couple. There’s something that makes people a little more guarded when familiar eyes are watching. In these moments I make myself invisible. This has come with years of experience.

However, some couples would still rather show these emotions to someone who has known them for a long time! Your comfort with who is watching is very personal to you and your partner.

Is your brother a professional photographer?

Is Your Brother A Professional Photographer?

I hate to add gloom and doom, but weddings are big events where things can (and do) go wrong. Professional photographers provide an extra level of reassurance to your wedding day.

Insurance

Their professional insurance covers if guests get injured by photography equipment or if the photos are somehow destroyed.

Proof of professional insurance is a requirement at many wedding venues and can give you access to backup indoor locations in the event of bad weather.

Backups

Professionals come equipped with backup gear in case any equipment fails the day of the wedding.

They have connections in the industry and can send someone in their place if they get sick.

Any good professional will have a system to backup your wedding photos to multiple locations so you never have to worry about images getting lost.

Contracts

A professional contract outlines exactly what you are getting and when you are getting it so you don’t have to worry about surprises after your wedding day.

(If your friend or family member is a professional photographer, it’s still a great idea to exchange some form of payment and complete a contract to make the arrangement more formal.)

If your brother is only a hobbyist, it may be your responsibility to arrange a backup plan if any worst case scenarios were to happen.

Does your photographer have experience shooting people?

What Kind Of Photographer Is Your Brother?

Professional or not, what does your brother-in-law photograph? Does he have experience with people or does he only shoot landscapes?

The Challenge of Weddings

Weddings require shooting in tough lighting and space conditions, changing camera settings at the drop of a hat, and knowing how to watch for emotional candid moments in people but also take full control and pose in flattering ways.

I know some amazing family photographers who won’t come near weddings because of the pace and pressure involved!

Setting Expectations

If he’s lacking in wedding experience, be prepared that the photo of your first kiss in the dark church probably won’t look as amazing as that small bird your brother-in-law photographed in his yard last week.

Will photo mishaps ruin your relationships?

If Anything Goes Wrong, Will It Hurt Your Relationship?

Does your brother-in-law have a day job that interferes with how quickly he can get your photos back to you?

What if you aren’t happy with the quality of the photos?

What if something worse happens like the wedding photos get deleted and can’t be recovered?

(Plus if your brother-in-law is only a hobbyist, there are the additional risks mentioned above: his only lens breaking, a rainy day with no indoor options, etc.)

This is the most important consideration when hiring a friend or family member to photograph your wedding. Can you put disagreements aside, no matter how severe, and maintain your relationship with this person?

Hiring someone outside of your friends and family gives you access to a more neutral third party. In the unfortunate event, you have any disappointments, you never have to work with that person again. Your brother-in-law is someone you still need to interact with at family events.

Can you afford anyone else?

Can You Afford Anyone Else?

Are you struggling to come up with the funds to hire a professional photographer? As important as wedding photography is, it’s not worth going into debt over. Asking someone who you personally trust is a great way to relieve that burden, plus you get to spend more of your day with someone special to you.

Recreating the Day

If your budget changes in the future, you can plan a vow renewal celebration and update your wedding photos with a professional photographer then!

Split the Task with a Professional

Some wedding photographers provide partial day coverage, allowing you to keep your brother involved as bookends to the day while guaranteeing you receive professional coverage of the more important moments.

Looking to finance your honeymoon and other costs such as wedding photography? Set up a Honeyfund honeymoon register.

Photo credit: All photos by Tanya Plonka

BIO: Photography by Tanya Plonka. After over 200 weddings, Tanya brings a fresh passion to each new event. She understands that many people feel uncomfortable having their photo taken so she prides herself on working quickly and making the wedding day as fun as possible. Even clients who hate having their photo taken say how much fun they had!

Tanya works with a natural style that is timeless, colorful, and happy. With professional experience going back to 2006, Tanya has photographed everything from wedding magazine spreads to official photos for the City of Lethbridge, and even a few zombies.

Website: http://www.tanyaplonka.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/photography.tanya.plonka

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tanyaplonka/

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Shaker Village Summer Engagement Photos

Photo by Kevin and Anna

This entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime.

An engagement session is absolutely a must with your photographer before your wedding. This can be one of the most important things you do before your special day. It is important to create a friendship with your photographer so that you can be comfortable with them on your wedding day. Your photographer can’t wait to capture the genuine love between you and tell your love story for generations to come. Here are the top 4 reasons why engagement sessions are truly invaluable.

September Engagement-Session at Shaker Village

Photo by Kevin and Anna

Why Plan An Engagement Session With Your Photographer

Helps You To Get To Know Your Photographer

You will spend more time on your wedding day with your photographer than anyone else. That being said getting along with your photographer and trusting them on your wedding day is of the utmost importance. Your photographer wants more than anything for you to trust their ideas and value their vision for their day. They want you to enjoy every minute of their wedding and not feel stressed or overwhelmed. A photographer’s goal is for you to be able to let go and let them take care of you on your wedding day. Engagement sessions always help to solidify that trust and help bring everything together.

Kevin and Anna Photography at Red River Gorge

Photo by Kevin and Anna

Gets Rid Of Your Photo Jitters

Your photographer understands just how nerve-racking it is to get your pictures taken. Being nervous is normal, and that is the main reasons why you should do engagement sessions. Why not get rid of your photo nerves months before your wedding in a laid back and fun environment?  Grooms have shown up to their engagement session not very excited about getting their pictures taken. They leave not only rocking their session but saying that they had a fantastic time. It’s a photographer’s goal to have so much fun that they are laughing uncontrollably with you. Your photographer loves bringing out the love and emotion between you as a couple and having a blast in the process.

Photo by Kevin and Anna

Photo by Kevin and Anna

You Will Know What To Expect On Your Wedding Day

It’s not uncommon for people to be nervous when they show up for their engagement session. It is so awesome to see couple’s transformation later when they show up for their wedding with confidence and excitement about their photos. Not only will you already be comfortable with the photographer’s poses ,but you will know firsthand just how easy and fun they are. This will help your wedding day be more stress-free and allow you to take in every little moment. Your wedding day moves so fast, and the last thing you want to be worrying about is how you look in your photos.

Golden Hour Engagement-Photos at-the Arboretum

Photo by Kevin and Anna

Memories To Cherish For A Lifetime

They say a picture is worth a thousand words and it will be for your children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and on and on. During your engagement photos, you are sealing memories in time to be enjoyed not just by you but by all of your friends and family. I don’t know about you, but when a photograph is seen that was taken years ago, you can still feel all of the emotions and relive that time in your life. Pictures are priceless so make sure you are setup for success on your wedding day by doing an engagement session. Trust us, you will not be disappointed.

Help finance your wedding dreams with a Honeyfund honeymoon register.

Kevin and Anna Photography

Photo by Kevin and Anna

Bio: Kevin and Anna Photography are a husband and wife wedding photography team based in Lexington, Kentucky. They have been in business together for over 5 years and specialize in weddings and engagements. Their passion for photography first started out of a desire to capture the beauty of nature and the outdoors. Together they capture special once-in-a-lifetime moments for couples with adventurous hearts and who are madly in love. Check out their website to see why couple love them!

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