Photo Oops

13 Sep

Letterbalm Speed Graphic CameraDear LetterBalm: My fiancé and I are having our wedding next summer, and we’re in the middle of plans. I have a good friend I’ve known since college. He’s a successful photographer – he’s offered to take our wedding pictures as his gift to us. I haven’t given him an answer because I absolutely don’t want them. His photos are beautiful, but they’re black-and-white, abstract and stark. They aren’t what I want on our wedding day. I want conventional posed and informal shots in color, the traditional wedding album stuff. How can I say no without hurting his feelings or ending our friendship?

–I Don’t

This is a most generous gift because wedding photos can be very expensive. Ms. L.B. thinks a phalanx of brides and grooms will jump at the chance to have artistic photos of their special day taken by a noted photographer. Can you go ahead and hire a wedding photographer for the day? Would your friend be insulted at having to share the spotlight, if you ask him to take whatever candid shots he wants? Talk with your friend thusly:

Peter, thank you so much for offering to take our wedding photos. Vince and I are touched by your generosity – people would die for wedding-day photos from you. But we have to ask for your artistic understanding. Your work is wonderful, but we’re a pretty conventional couple when it comes to our wedding. We’ve hired a photographer for traditional posed color shots before, during and after the ceremony and at the reception. Would you be offended if we asked you to take unique candid photos, whatever and whenever you wish? You’re already invited, you know that. It wouldn’t be my wedding day without you, and I understand if you say no. We’ve been friends for years, and I want you to be absolutely candid with me. “Candid” – no pun intended!

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