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Old 07-11-2014, 12:32 PM   #1
Epcotgal8
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Disney Photography

I apologize in advance because I know this has been discussed before but we are having problems deciding whether to use Disney photography or get an outside photographer. We've read some really poor reviews of Disney photographers but then I've read they are better than they used to be. Is this true or is it hit or miss? We're trying to keep costs somewhat contained and since it's included in the Escape package it would be the practical thing to do. But not if we don't get quality photos. In my Disney heart I think they always try to do better and with the complaints I've read that they've gotten better photographers? Or has the pixie dust gotten to my brain? Any fairly recent experiences, opinions, and any advice would be so appreciated!
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Old 07-11-2014, 01:13 PM   #2
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It's pretty hit and miss - if you can get one of the photographers you want, like Cricket, Ty, or Amy, you're in good hands. And some people really like Stephanie too. But otherwise, it's sort of a grab bag. =/ I know a few people who, instead of using the photography the package came with for the wedding ceremony, ended up using it for their dessert parties (if they had one), and then hired a outside photographer for the actual ceremony and related pics.

We ended up going with an outside photographer, but that's because I feel most comfortable knowing exactly who I will have day of, and their style/quality of work. And, since I'm Wishes, for the amount of money I'd be paying, I get a lot more using an outside vendor.

At the end of the day, you need to do what you're most comfortable with.
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Old 07-14-2014, 03:22 PM   #3
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Also I suggested to really look what you get with the Escape package - you have to pay extra for an CD with digital images, prints, additional hours, etc - maybe it would even be cheaper if you look into packages from outside photographers? Randy Chapman had an amazing offer a few weeks ago which even included make-up - you can find it here on the boards.
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Old 07-21-2014, 06:20 PM   #4
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It's amazing how many times this topic has come up on the boards! (Not your fault--I'm sure it comes up a zillion times!)

I haven't been on here in a while...I started school again, and things have been CRAZY. I'm trying to finish up some last projects and try to get my life in line again to be able to finally update my planning journal. But--I happened to see this comment and wanted to weigh in.

I freaked out about photography in deciding whether or not to use Disney. I've seen some decent pictures...and some not even halfway decent pictures from Disney. The only pictures that have made me drool are the ultra-photoshopped Cinderella's Castle pictures (and I'm okay with ultra-photoshopped ). The fact that Disney is so hit and miss with their photography ultimately is what made us pass. They aren't consistent...and when you consider that your photography is one of the biggest elements of the day, and your only real tangible stuff that you can take away...it's super important.

My biggest thing for being scared about not using Disney were the castle pictures. They let you book those suckers a year in advance if you use Disney--but only like 90 days if you're not using Disney. The problem is--we won't be in Disney 90 days prior to our wedding until like a few days before the actual ceremony. And when we are there, their schedule typically isn't available or is REALLY hard to get. Ultimately, I felt like I couldn't let the castle pictures control my choice...so we went with an outside photographer. I half regret the decision because Disney lets you do castle pictures a year after your ceremony too....but they'll be doing all sorts of construction around the area of the castle after December 2014 and all through 2015...so Disney has already pretty much told us we lost our chance. It was SO sad to hear.

That said...I am going. I'm getting married. Mickey and Minnie will be at my wedding. And the Roots will be shooting it. All in all...I know the pictures I will have WILL be phenomenal...rather than possibly having all bad shots from the Disney photogs. If I had to suggest anything...it'd be to use an outside photog (because the examples I've seen from them haven't been wonderful...or even consistent). And not only that--but don't get the cheapest one you can find. Shop around and find who's going to give you a great deal for the quality. Regina Hyman was my second choice, and her packages are extremely reasonable. She actually used to shoot for Disney!

Tiffiny
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Old 07-21-2014, 09:00 PM   #5
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Tiffiny didn't other brides report "Once a Disney bride, always a Disney bride"? It's not YOUR fault they blocked off most of the dates for park shoots, and they should accommodate you when they open back up. I'd make a fuss about that if I were you.
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Old 07-21-2014, 09:10 PM   #6
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Randy Chapman is running a deal right now. $450 for escape brides plus bride's hair and makeup from BS. That's less than you'd pay for the rights to your pictures from Disney.
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Old 07-22-2014, 06:08 AM   #7
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Indie Cricket

I will ask at my September planning session about castle pictures. Ultimately though...we already signed the contract to go forward with the Disney wedding, and we couldn't get out of it without having to pay that huge half-of-the-minimum expenditure crap--no matter how mad we are. I have gotten the impression that Disney isn't SUPER willing to work with you if they don't want to (which makes me sad).

That said--the photographer that I wanted to take my photos with the castle (not that she's necessarily guaranteed)...Cricket. Did she leave Disney? I am on theknot.com's email list...and I got an email this morning for Cricket Photography! Visit the site...and it's totally her. Did she leave? I would imagine she must have, because I wouldn't think Disney would be okay with you competing with them and working for them.

Anyone know? She's still on Disney's Event Photography website I would think it must have just happened.

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Old 07-22-2014, 07:19 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TiffinyKaye View Post
Cricket. Did she leave Disney? I am on theknot.com's email list...and I got an email this morning for Cricket Photography! Visit the site...and it's totally her. Did she leave? I would imagine she must have, because I wouldn't think Disney would be okay with you competing with them and working for them. Anyone know? She's still on Disney's Event Photography website I would think it must have just happened. Tiffiny
Cricket still works for disney. Photographers can have their own business and work for Disney, but they wouldn't be able to shoot Disney weddings outside of going through Disney.
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Old 07-22-2014, 07:30 AM   #9
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That makes sense. I wonder why Regina left permanently then? That's weird.
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Old 07-22-2014, 04:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TiffinyKaye View Post
It's amazing how many times this topic has come up on the boards! (Not your fault--I'm sure it comes up a zillion times!) I haven't been on here in a while...I started school again, and things have been CRAZY. I'm trying to finish up some last projects and try to get my life in line again to be able to finally update my planning journal. But--I happened to see this comment and wanted to weigh in. I freaked out about photography in deciding whether or not to use Disney. I've seen some decent pictures...and some not even halfway decent pictures from Disney. The only pictures that have made me drool are the ultra-photoshopped Cinderella's Castle pictures (and I'm okay with ultra-photoshopped ). The fact that Disney is so hit and miss with their photography ultimately is what made us pass. They aren't consistent...and when you consider that your photography is one of the biggest elements of the day, and your only real tangible stuff that you can take away...it's super important. My biggest thing for being scared about not using Disney were the castle pictures. They let you book those suckers a year in advance if you use Disney--but only like 90 days if you're not using Disney. The problem is--we won't be in Disney 90 days prior to our wedding until like a few days before the actual ceremony. And when we are there, their schedule typically isn't available or is REALLY hard to get. Ultimately, I felt like I couldn't let the castle pictures control my choice...so we went with an outside photographer. I half regret the decision because Disney lets you do castle pictures a year after your ceremony too....but they'll be doing all sorts of construction around the area of the castle after December 2014 and all through 2015...so Disney has already pretty much told us we lost our chance. It was SO sad to hear. That said...I am going. I'm getting married. Mickey and Minnie will be at my wedding. And the Roots will be shooting it. All in all...I know the pictures I will have WILL be phenomenal...rather than possibly having all bad shots from the Disney photogs. If I had to suggest anything...it'd be to use an outside photog (because the examples I've seen from them haven't been wonderful...or even consistent). And not only that--but don't get the cheapest one you can find. Shop around and find who's going to give you a great deal for the quality. Regina Hyman was my second choice, and her packages are extremely reasonable. She actually used to shoot for Disney! Tiffiny
If you use an outside photographer, it's 45 days out to book a shoot, not 90. You can email the coordinator to check availability around your wedding before that point, but you can't book the MK shoot until that 45 day mark unless you use disney photography.

They also don't limit you to having to come back within the year anymore, which is good because the last time I called there was a blackout on all 2015 MK shoots due to the construction. They may have opened dates now, I haven't checked back since I was told that a month ago.

As to why Regina left, I believe she started her own business and was doing well enough on her own that she wanted to/was ready to leave Disney. It's not really relevant why she left, as she left almost 2 years ago already. Disney's photography is inconsistent, and brides who weren't happy with their photos haven't gotten very far with Disney after the fact. If photography is a big deal to future brides, I would 100% recommend outside photographers, even with the reduced booking window for MK shoots.

Tiffinykaye, The Roots are amazing, so even if in the end you don't go back for a castle shoot, your wedding pictures will be amazing.
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Old 07-22-2014, 08:06 PM   #11
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Oh, my, gawd! Do you know how happy that would make me if they got rid of the year thing? I wonder if *I* will be held to that though--my contract says a year. So, I'll find out and just try to do it. That would make me SO happy (and incentivize me NOT to get fat! ).

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Old 07-23-2014, 06:23 AM   #12
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Tiffany, I don't think they've updated their contracts with that - it's just something most are telling their brides, since 2015 is blocked (and they aren't sure when it'll next be available). It's likely something you'd need to talk to your planner about.
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Old 07-23-2014, 06:56 AM   #13
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Tiffany, I don't think they've updated their contracts with that - it's just something most are telling their brides, since 2015 is blocked (and they aren't sure when it'll next be available). It's likely something you'd need to talk to your planner about.
I just emailed her assistant now. THANK YOU!

I don't know it's just my experience, or most people's...but I seriously have talked to my planner once in this entire experience. Mostly, I just use the assistant. I think the planner will become more integral to the process at the planning session and the day of.
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Old 07-23-2014, 08:13 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by TiffinyKaye View Post
I just emailed her assistant now. THANK YOU! I don't know it's just my experience, or most people's...but I seriously have talked to my planner once in this entire experience. Mostly, I just use the assistant. I think the planner will become more integral to the process at the planning session and the day of.
That is literally almost everyone's experience. The assistant is there for questions early on, but your planner probably won't fully dial in to your event until the planning session. The planners have events going on that are closer than yours that need their attention. It may be irritating now, but when you're a month/a week/ two days out, you'd be angry if you couldn't get a hold of your planner because she was working on an event that was a year away.

It's not perfect, but you should see a shift to your planner handling the questions mostly after the planning session. To be clear there were still times I got responses from my planners assistant after the planning session - especially if my planner was doing back to back events or a ton in a short amount of time. But especially within the last few months if I had questions, my planner answered them, and she reached out to set up BEO reviews at the 45 day point and 20 days out, and was on hand pretty much whenever I needed her to be during the last two weeks before my weeding (which was important since we were impacted by hurricane sandy).

Also I never had a provision in my contract about only having a year to come back and do an MK shoot - the last page of our letter of agreement has a provision for portrait sessions that says: "portrait sessions are for the bride and groom only. Theme park portrait sessions are subject to availability. Dates times and locations are inject to change due to, among other things, special events, inclement weather, refurbishments, or other unforeseen circumstances."

My wedding was back in 2012, so this agreement was made in 2011, the template could have changed. But in any case I know many brides were able to go back for a portrait session more than a year after their wedding.
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