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Funny, I was the best man in a wedding a few months ago, and it was such a relief to just stand there and smile! It was so nice to just kick back and actually enjoy the wedding.

 

No way in the world I'd go with just the Groomsman/Photographer (but then again I am a Photographer). If he's in the wedding party, and is the only one taking pro photos, it would be awfully difficult for him to get very creative shooting the ceremony. He could always put a camera on a tripod and have a wireless remote in his pocket to fire it, but all of the photos would be from the same vantage point.

 

Maybe you can reach a happy medium - hire another Photographer to shoot the photos and just buy the CD with all of the RAW files, and then have your Groomsman do the editing....? Just a thought.

 

If he shoots a lot of weddings, he might also have a "second shooter". Most Wedding Photographers don't do weddings alone, they almost always have an assistant. In this case, maybe you could hire his assistant to shoot, and him to edit?

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Can you hire a photographer for JUST the ceremony? It should be much cheaper and then your friend can do all the rest of the shots. I'm sure he can even do the "getting ready" for the most part as well.

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Are you planning on having the bridal party stand with you? For many destination weddings (not the majority, but some) the wedding party doesn't stand, they just sit in the front row. This is what we did since we had a small amount of guests, and because the bridal party didn't really have a role during the ceremony so I didn't see the point of having them stand, I prefered having them sit so they could have a perfect view.

 

All this to say, if your bridal party doesn't stand with you, then it wouldn't be difficult at all for this guy to be groomsman and photographer. The only thing missing would be pictures of the guy portion of the wedding party, and pictures of the whole wedding party, but maybe you could just get a family member to do those (but obviously they wouldn't be as good).

 

Even if the bridal party is standing in front, I think it would be possible to have him be both photographer and groomsmen, as long as he is okay with not standing in the front during the ceremony (i.e. he would be acting like a photog during the ceremony, but would be recognized, for symbolic purposes, as being one of the groomsmen). If he is a good friend of the groom, he would likely appreciate being officially recognized as being a groomsmen, even if only in title and attire. Keep in mind that for DWs the role of the bridal party is usually smaller I think than regular weddings, it's more about standing there and looking pretty (and obvioulsy the symbolic support and stuff, but I'm talking from a physical point of view).

 

Finally, if the guy really wants to stand in the front with the other groomsmen, than like the pp suggested I would ask him to do your getting ready shots, groups shots, shots of you and groom, and reception and get the resort photographer to do the ceremony and bridal party pictures.

 

In terms of a gift if he doesn't charge you, I would say the value is completely up to you but just make a nice gift (i.e. either inexpensive but thoughful, or something more expensive he'll appreciate). If it were me, and I couldn't think of a more cheap/thoughtful gift, I would probably get him something with 100-500$ value. I know it's not much compared to what he probably normally charges, but he did offer to do it for free. I'd also INSIST that it count as his wedding gift to you.

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Well, I just got off the phone with him and he put it to me like this, "I'm going to have my camera with me regardless." So I guess that answers my question. Now, regarding Dreams Cancun, does anyone know what part of the wedding their photographer covers? Do they just cover the ceremony, or everything from start to finish (including getting dressed, cocktail hour, reception, etc.)

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Quote:
Originally Posted by zorlack76 View Post
Thats true about the editing. He is very particular about everything. What would you suggest for a dollar amount to give him as a gift...assuming he chooses to be the photographer and not part of the wedding party?
our wedding photog covered our wedding for free... we spent 2500 on tickets and all inclusive hotel for them..


That said, shooting a wedding and being a guest at a wedding are 2 different things. It can be done, but it can also be a tough business relationship and there are some possibilities about doing business with friends that may turn good relationships into bad ones...

if you do decide to hire this guy, dont just say "ok, cool...i'll see you there for the photos"...

make him write a contract and discuss the terms and expenses and such... you will not regret this!

good luck!

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Originally Posted by zorlack76 View Post
Well, I just got off the phone with him and he put it to me like this, "I'm going to have my camera with me regardless." So I guess that answers my question.
Yikes, if it was me I'd want clarification. Is he just going to take the odd picture and give you those, or will he actually do all your getting ready, group and reception shots? You say you love his photography, you don't want to be disappointed if you don't end up with what you want.

As for a contract, I don't think you should ask him to sign one if he's offering his services completely free (no travel fees or anything). I would think that is a bit rude.

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As far as the contract, I wouldnt ask my friend (since grade school) to enter into a legally binding contract. We do for eachother because that is what we want to do. I fear that if I ask him for a contract, that would put a bad taste in our mouths and turn us more into business acquaintances than friends. Ill just leave the decision up to him. I put everything out on the table and whatever he wants to do Ill be fine with. I just dont know if I can trust some random photographer that Dreams Cancun picks for me.

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Originally Posted by Matt Adcock View Post
That said, shooting a wedding and being a guest at a wedding are 2 different things. It can be done, but it can also be a tough business relationship and there are some possibilities about doing business with friends that may turn good relationships into bad ones...
I concur. I have just been *at* a wedding with my camera, and am in a completely different mindset than if I had the real responsibility of shooting it. To be *in*the wedding is a completely different thing entirely. If I was the groomsman, I would love to have my camera and shoot whatever fancied me - but I would not want to be the main guy at the same time.

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I would definitely make sure you clear up the vague answer he gave you. I used to do wedding photography here and there and as a result became known as the photographer to family and friends. I always had to make it clear that I am either a guest at the wedding or a photographer. It was up to them to choose which role they wanted me to play. I did not mind either way, but I wanted to be certain of what I was supposed to do.

 

If I go to a wedding as a guest I might take a few photos out of habit and whatnot. But, it's near impossible to enjoy the ceremony and know what is going on if you are snapping photos every few seconds.

 

Honestly, if I were you, I would hire a photographer or use the resort one. If you invited this person as a friend it is kind of crappy to then make them 'work' while there. Not saying that is what you are doing, just something to keep in mind. I know I would be pretty offended if I was invited as a guest and then had the expectation of providing wedding photos added on after the invite. If everything is made clear ahead of time feeling will not be hurt and you will get proper wedding photos one way or another.

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