Or, When Your Wedding Photos Suck

One of the top regrets brides say they have after their wedding day is wishing they had hired a better photographer. Terrible wedding photos will be an enormous disappointment for the rest of your life. And the two greatest causes of lousy wedding photos?

 1. choosing the cheapest photographer
 2. having a friend photograph your wedding.

The internet is FULL of stories of brides who are disappointed by their wedding photos and nearly every one of them falls into one of these two categories. Do a quick search online to see for yourself (I've posted a few links at the bottom of this post to get you started). 

"The greatest regret I have about my wedding was hiring a friend to do my wedding photography. All I got for $500 was horrible wedding photos and the loss of a friendship." - Grace C.

But if the damage is already done, and you've ended up with lousy photos of your wedding day, that is no reason you still can't have beautiful wedding photos... you just need a post wedding day shoot with a highly skilled professional!

Here are two couples who never quite got the wedding photos they wanted during their actual wedding for one reason or another...but who now have stunningly romantic "wedding photos."

Kort & Rick

I first met the lovely Kort when she was working as a barista at the local Kailua Starbucks where I hang out to edit photos after photo sessions. One day, she mentioned that she and her husband, Rick, had never gotten engagement photos, and that she also hadn't been able to afford a wedding photographer at the time so she didn't have wedding photos either.

I immediately told her that was unacceptable and we'd make sure she had some wonderful wedding photos. My offer was easy to make - like all the barista's at my favorite Starbucks, she was always super friendly and went out of her way to keep me fueled with ice tea and snacks during the uncounted hours I spent editing photos there.

We started off with a sunrise engagement session on the white sands of gorgeous Lanikai Beach, on Oahu's northeastern shore, just outside of the town of Kailua. Despite their initial jitters, I quickly found Rick and Kort to be naturals, relaxing easily into our session and my directions. By the end they were laughing easily and with the incredible early morning light, it was super easy to get hundreds of lovely images of their close connection.

honolulu sunrise romantic couples beach portrait
kort-rick-2475.jpg

We then followed their "engagement" photo session with a sunset post wedding session on the opposite side of Oahu, at the luxurious 5 Star Four Season's Resort in Ko Olina. Kort looked gorgeous (naturally!) in her wedding dress, while Rick wore his military dress uniform. As you can see, they cut quite a figure and were repeatedly complimented by hotel guests passing by.

We started off in the back gardens, with it's meandering paths and koi streams crossed by little arched bridges, all surrounded by palm trees and lush gardens.

From there we moved down to the beach in the hidden Secret Cove behind the Four Seasons Resort for some stunning environmental wedding portraits.

Grace & Chris

Grace is another Starbucks barista at my favorite Kailua watering hole but her story was a bit different. One day she approached me, near to tears, to ask for my opinion. She had finally received her wedding photos eight weeks after her wedding (long past the contracted date) and she was horrified at the quality. 

One of Grace's "bad" wedding ceremony photos

Unfortunately, it was immediately clear that her friend the "professional" photographer was anything but a professional wedding photographer. The photos were nearly ALL shot in portrait mode, they were poorly edited, poorly composed and poorly exposed. In addition, her "professional wedding photographer" delivered only 130 images for a FIVE hour wedding and reception. And then it took eight weeks for her to deliver them. (For comparison: I deliver over 200 high quality images for a 90 minute beach wedding/elopement ceremony - within two days)

In trying to save money, Grace had scrimped on the one area she wishes now she hadn't. She not only made the mistake of hiring "a friend," she also went with a "cheap photographer" trying to save money only to discover after the wedding that quality wedding photos were more important to her than she had realized. 

So like with Kort & Rick, I made Grace and her husband, Chris, a special offer because I believe every bride should have beautiful and romantic wedding photos. And just like with Kort and Rick, we decided to do a two session, two location approach to give her both "engagement photos" and post wedding photos. 

For their post wedding photos, we went back to my favorite sunset location... Secret Cove behind the Four Season's Resort. While it started off a bit cloudy, we ended up having a remarkably beautiful sunset evening.

Grace's mom gifted her with a wedding photo blanket!

So if you're one of those brides who was disappointed with your wedding photos or simply never got them in the first place, I hope this article has convinced you that is never too late to have gorgeous wedding photography. Yeah, they may not be of your actual wedding ceremony, but that's no reason you still can't have the wonderful romantic wedding photos you always wanted. And just think... a post wedding photo session usually costs far less than your actual wedding photography!

Additional articles on this topic of bad wedding photos that you may enjoy reading:
"I hired a cheap wedding photographer"
5 Reasons To NOT Hire Your Friend as Your Wedding Photographer
Bride Disappointed by Her Wedding Photos
12 Things Wedding Photographers Want You To Know