Everyone has a camera these days, so that automatically makes everyone a photographer. Think about how funny and silly that really is. If I go and buy a really nice paint brush, paints, canvas, and easel, would you automatically assume I’m a good painter and hire me to paint your portrait? Probably not, but this happens all the time in the photography world. I hear it a lot. “I’ve got a friend that does photography, so we’re just going to use them.” One of my favorites is, “Well, we know someone that has a nice camera, so we’re just going to have them take photos.” I just couldn’t imagine this working in any other industry like carpentry or the medical field. Today I’m going to give you 5 Reasons Not to Hire Your Photography Friend.
5 Reasons Not to Hire Your Photography Friend
- Don’t Ruin Your Friendship
Stuff happens in photography, especially if you’re not dealing with a professional. Things break, moments are missed, things are out of focus. With high expectation situations like weddings, I wouldn’t risk a friendship. If something goes wrong, you’ll always remember when that friend messed up even if you did forgive them.
2. Don’t Risk It
Besides worrying about your friendship, you should also worry about losing your memories and photos. Often these friends or family members you have shoot for you aren’t really prepared. When I go to a wedding, I will have about $10,000 in equipment with me. I’m not saying it’s about how expensive your gear is. That includes backup equipment, lenses for different situations, memory cards, and batteries. What’s your friend going to do when his or her two batteries run out of juice midway through the day?
3. Have Higher Expectations For your Photos
I really believe that in today’s digital world we have become desensitized to bad photos by the massive amount of mediocre to horrible photos we see on a daily basis. Want more from your photographer. Want amazing photos. I’m not saying that your friends and family aren’t great photographers, but the majority are amateurs and will create amateur photos. If the event is important, aim higher.
4. Let Them Enjoy Themselves
Photography is work no matter what people might say, and if your friend is in charge of photographing your wedding, then they aren’t really experiencing it or enjoying it. When I’m in shooting mode, I am thinking about shooting, not all the other things going on. If you asked me about a wedding ceremony and what was said, I couldn’t really tell you. The same thing will happen to your friends. They will miss out on the day and not get to fully experience it.
5. Help Change the Culture
As I said earlier, I really think people have lower expectations for photos now. The more we continue this pattern, the more it becomes ingrained into our minds and culture and becomes the norm. The only way to change that is to stop being part of it and allowing it to happen. Make it unheard of to hire a friend for a wedding or someone that’s “good enough.”
Now I am somewhat of a hypocrite in all of this. I have definitely shot for lots of friends and family members. With all of the list, I’m mainly referring to non professional photographers. My best suggestion for you if you are thinking about hiring a friend or relative is to take the 5 things I mentioned and do the research. Do they have the equipment and experience? Do they even want to shoot it or would it be a burden? Is your friendship with them worth less than $1000 because I bet you could find some kind of photographer for that amount. If you have hired a friend before, please don’t take my 5 Reasons Not to Hire Your Photography Friend as an insult. In the end, I really just want people to get the best results and have the best experience they can. I’ve just seen too many people hurt by this, and I don’t want anyone else to have to experience that.