Don’t Hire Me,use a photo student,Save Money!

Recently Good Morning America an ABC morning show ran a story about how couples can save money on wedding expenses. One of the items talked about was to use a photo student for your photography. The idea or notion was to instead of spending thousands on a good established professional get a kid with a good camera and a degree and you have the same thing? Let me tell you a story………….

Many moons ago I was a photography student, ready to conquer the world! At the time I was working part time for a local photographer who saw one of my images on the cover of Rangefinder magazine.When he hired me he told me how much he liked it but I never knew if he was jealous that he hadn’t had a photo on the cover, whatever? But you can understand at the time I thought I was the next big thing. Here I am graduating college with a magazine cover already under my belt! Pretty dam cool! By all accounts I was very talented.

So my boss at the time asked me if I would go shoot a wedding I was like” no way man”! He convinced me that I would be good at it and hell if I’m good enough to be published then I must be good enough to do a simple wedding? So I thought about it and I said”Ok”.

Well, I go to the wedding no experience,totally green, if ya know what I mean? I was lost had no idea of the expectations, what to shoot, nothing. I had been to weddings before, but wow was I over my head! This was back in film days at least now I could have looked at my shots and realized my flash was a piece of sh-t. I had no way of knowing what I was getting until the film came back.

Needless to say when the film came back IT WAS A DISASTER! My boss he was loving it “well you see, your not so good after all”. I have to admit I was devastated but never understood why I was sent to do something I was not ready or qualified to do? The bottom line was the couple didn’t want to spend any money on photography so this guy was teaching me and everyone else a lesson.

The moral to my story is this, if you have the money hire a professional. If photos are a priority don’t cheap out on that. Photography is the one thing you truly will value for years to come. Educate yourself on the market,what is a fair price for my expectations? My advice is to use the 10-15% rule. Your photography budget should be 10-15% of your total wedding budget. If you’re spending more or less than that what are you getting? Price is not the only factor when choosing a photographer but if you’re not a “one percenter” then it is an important one?

The biggest mistake you can make on you’re wedding day as far as photography is to hire friends ,family and “the know it all” inexperienced artist. I can tell you from experience this is the truth,because I was “the know it all” inexperienced artist.

Please let me know if this story was something that can help you find the right photographer for your wedding day:)

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John Hayden - April 23, 2014 - 12:44 am

Nice to see that you have gone on to be another successful alum like John Welsh, Brian Mengini and so many other. Proud to have you as an Alum.

John Hayden - April 23, 2014 - 1:43 am

Wow! Kevin has almost thirty years in the profession. That is awesome. Proud to see another successful Antonelli Institute alum like John Welsh, Iris Richardson, Brian Mengini, and so many others. It is great to have so many of you to draw on for things like our Program Advisory Committee, Alumni Network, and today’s Career Day. You truly help our students and graduates to transition from school to the profession. We all succeed together.

Dan Marino - May 6, 2014 - 12:18 pm

Good stuff Kevin and a great story and overall lesson.