Sometimes people recommend someone for a job and they do so with the very best intentions. Sometimes, those thoughtful intentions could cause big problems. In this case, I want to talk about wedding photographers being ‘recommended’ in Facebook groups.
Do you have Facebook groups where you are, with a place where people can post that they are looking for a certain skill? Then local people tag in that post the company or person that they have used and highly recommend?
Very common right? This is sometimes a great way of finding someone trustworthy. But sometimes, people’s kindness could really harm the very people looking for those recommendations.
You MUST do your due diligence and research the person being repeatedly recommended. Look at their photos and be absolutely sure that their style is what you are after.
If the person being repeatedly recommended has no examples of weddings, because they haven’t photographed a wedding before, be very cautious about the dozens of people recommending them as the only wedding photographer you should choose to shoot your wedding day.
Recently I saw a post go up asking for a wedding photographer and one particular person’s name was constantly being recommended. I found it strange because this person has never once photographed a wedding before, nor had they done many of the different types of shots needed for a wedding.
What this person does have is a mental health condition that they are very open about, which quite rightly, attracts a lot of supporters. I totally understand and get that.
Admitting problems is something I commend and respect. It takes a LOT of guts to be open about such things. Let me be very clear; I have NO problem at all with someone having mental health problems doing this job.
Although this person has never shot a wedding before, their supporters, wanting to help this person, believe recommending them as the perfect wedding photographer to a bride and groom is a lovely, kind and wonderful thing to do for them.
But here’s the thing; with a wedding, you only have one chance to get it right. It is also high pressure and high stress all day long. Those ‘only one chance’ moments repeatedly happen all throughout the day. This makes the day extremely challenging because you have to nail every major part of the day flawlessly, zero mistakes. You have to be able to perfectly take every shot in every type of environment thrown at you.
If you messed up the settings for the first kiss because it was too dark, or you were in the wrong position, you can’t do it again. If you didn’t get the ring shot because you didn’t know to tell the bride and groom beforehand where to place their hands, you can’t do it again. If the first dance is all blurry because you didn’t know how to light or expose for a dark dance floor, you can’t do it again. Cake cutting over or underexposed? You can’t uncut the cake to do it again.
Before I started wedding photography, I made sure I could nail every part of the day. I went to lots of events to build up my portrait, story-telling, lighting and candid skills. Then I moved on and shot a few weddings as a second and even third photographer to build up my knowledge and skills shooting weddings.
Photographing a wedding is one of the hardest jobs to get right because you have to be highly skilled in so many different types of photography (portrait, posing, group shots, low light shots, external lighting, detail shots, story-telling shots, macro shots, candids and so on).
This is not a sour grapes post. Each of us can only shoot one wedding in a day so it isn’t like this single person can scoop up every bride and groom looking for a wedding photographer on a particular day.
I care that couples may book someone being highly recommended by multiple people as a wedding photographer when they’ve never even shot a wedding before. I feel that is being very unfair to the poor bride and groom.
I am always nervous before each wedding. I feel the pressure to get every single photo absolutely perfect. When people recommend me for things I know I haven’t done or can’t do, I’m always honest and say so.
Your wedding day is the most special day of your life. Don’t put too much faith into recommendations on Facebook. Be absolutely sure you know the skill level of the person you book as your wedding photographer.