Couple asks photographer to shoot a 10-hour wedding in return for “exposure” to their 300 guests

Jan 31, 2020

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Couple asks photographer to shoot a 10-hour wedding in return for “exposure” to their 300 guests

Jan 31, 2020

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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I’m sure that many of us have been asked to work for free in all sorts of annoying ways. One cheeky couple recently sent an email to a photographer asking for a coverage of their 10-hour wedding. In return, they offered exposure to the incredible number of 300 guests, 117 of them unmarried. What a tempting offer, right?

The screenshot of the email was posted on Reddit and we don’t know the name of the photographer who received this incredible offer. I’m quite fascinated with how the email was worded, almost as if the couple is doing him or her a favor. The couple asks the photographer top “sponsor” their wedding with “10 hours of continuous photography coverage.” In return, this is what they offer:

“In exchange, we will be showcasing your company to:

3000+ combined Facebook followers

300 total wedding guests

196 wedding guests based in the Chicagoland area

117 unmarried guests between the ages of 24 to 35 years old

73 parents with unmarried children between the ages of 24 to 35 years old

“Our wedding brochure will include your logo and contact information, which will be distributed to all 300 wedding guets. In addition, we will also have your company information posted in our Facebook wedding album as well as our wedding website.”

I just love how they divided the 300 guests into categories based on age, area, and marital and family status. I honestly wonder what the photographer replied to this quite incredible offer.

The comments, as you probably expect, are not at all in favor of the couple. Some Redditors point out that shooting this wedding for free exposure will mean that other guests would expect the same “price” if they hire the photographer. Others point out that 3,000 people on Facebook isn’t actually a big number.

I tend to agree with the comments. As one Redditor put it: “If you did that, one of the guests will see the wedding brochure and contact you. The first thing out of their mouth would be, ‘I heard you did the photos for my friend’s wedding for free. Can you do mine? No? But you did theirs for free!’” That’s pretty much the scenario I see in my mind, too.

On the other hand, there are some situations when you should work for free. I agreed with my teammate Dave that one of them includes helping out a friend whose budget is tight. But I believe that helping your friends is a whole different thing than this.

When it comes to shooting a client’s wedding for “exposure,” let’s see what the “exposure calculator” says. According to this precious tool, my work is worth 293 “exposures,” which equals 25,000+ social media followers. So, shooting your 10-hour wedding for exposure to 3,000 people… Bitch, please!

Joke aside, if unknown people asked me to shoot a 10-hour wedding for “exposure,” I’d go beyond my usual well-mannered behavior and reject them in a reply as sarcastic as possible. What would you do if  you received an offer like this?

[via FStoppers; image credits: ANURAG1112 on Pixabay]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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62 responses to “Couple asks photographer to shoot a 10-hour wedding in return for “exposure” to their 300 guests”

  1. Alexey Lysenko Avatar
    Alexey Lysenko

    I would have given it a thought had they been Brad and Angelina getting married.

    1. Freelance cameraman China/HK Avatar
      Freelance cameraman China/HK

      I guess they have a bit more than 3000 followers.

  2. Paul Richards Avatar
    Paul Richards

    One word answer. No

    1. Nobody cares about that Avatar
      Nobody cares about that

      No, a two words answer: Fuck you!

      1. Todd Wallarab Avatar
        Todd Wallarab


  3. Michael Estwik Avatar
    Michael Estwik

    Yes, if they pay for my hotell room for a week, not just for me but for my whole family as well. It has to be all inclusive. And of course, the entrance to nearby parks and cinemas, we have to do something during our spare time, especially my family when I’m taking photos for ten fucking hours.

    No, why not? You will get photos for free, why can’t I get something for free for exchange? I mean, real value for free? Exposure are not real value.

  4. Jonathon Walters Avatar
    Jonathon Walters

    Let me check with my mortgage company real quick and see if they accept “exposure” for my house payment.

  5. Freelance cameraman China/HK Avatar
    Freelance cameraman China/HK

    3000+ combined Facebook followers
    300 total wedding guests
    So each guest have only 10 friends that are not already on the 300 one?

  6. Wilson W Wilson Avatar
    Wilson W Wilson

    Yet probably spent 20k on her dress.

  7. Sara Amelia Avatar
    Sara Amelia

    Unless this was Brad and Jen I’d sweve this couple even being paid.. They will be a nightmare on the day doing a million insta poses…. Lol

  8. HA Toms Avatar
    HA Toms

    I would say yes. Delivering none. Printing photos and exposing those in my own studio.

    That will do as exposure.

  9. Tomas Gillberg Avatar
    Tomas Gillberg


  10. J Kenrick Bernard Avatar
    J Kenrick Bernard

    All 300 clients wow amazing

  11. Jonny Costa Avatar
    Jonny Costa


  12. Michael Nguyen Avatar
    Michael Nguyen

    Got one last week. Wonder if they asked other vendors for their service for free as well? Food? Reception, DJ/Band?

    1. Sergi Yavorski Avatar
      Sergi Yavorski

      Yes, thr venue would be exposed big time. ?

  13. Olivier Accart Avatar
    Olivier Accart


  14. Bhavin Shah Avatar
    Bhavin Shah

    Could be worth it if the terms of “exposure” are clear… nope making Instagram or Facebook post thanking the photographer doesn’t cut it. Potential questions to consider…
    Are they A rated local influencers? Do they have social clout where the photographer does business? Do they agree to do a free “promotion” does it equal or exceed the photographer’s usual fees for such a wedding. Do they have significant number of local singles in their immediate circle whom they can influence… If they don’t provide real value, it isn’t worth it.

    1. Brian Drourr Avatar
      Brian Drourr

      Bhavin Shah no just no.

    2. Bhavin Shah Avatar
      Bhavin Shah

      Brian Drourr Agreed ???

    3. Sergi Yavorski Avatar
      Sergi Yavorski

      That’s on condition that nobody will ever know you’ve done their wedding for free.

  15. Brian Drourr Avatar
    Brian Drourr

    I would not even grace the “offer” with a reply.

    1. Richard Joseph Avatar
      Richard Joseph


  16. Emma Jenkins Avatar
    Emma Jenkins

    Lol nope.

  17. Alexandre Ayoubi Avatar
    Alexandre Ayoubi

    Ask them, if you are so confident why don’t you pay full price now and get a kick back each time one of the 300guests hire me?

    1. Sergi Yavorski Avatar
      Sergi Yavorski

      And they would offer that photographer the same “deal” im sure ?

    2. Alexandre Ayoubi Avatar
      Alexandre Ayoubi

      Sergi Yavorski bump your price in consequence :)

  18. Blake Barnhill Avatar
    Blake Barnhill


  19. Don Barnard Avatar
    Don Barnard

    “Since she’s not already married can I have ten hours in bed with your fiancé. So I can tell everyone what a lucky guy you are? I’ll be sure to tell everyone how good she is in bed. It’ll be good exposure for you.”

  20. Glenn Giese Avatar
    Glenn Giese


  21. Vickie Blackburn Avatar
    Vickie Blackburn

    I wouldnt even care to answer anything else than « no » to their email.

  22. Sergi Yavorski Avatar
    Sergi Yavorski

    All such requests mean the couples who makes them do not value you, so why would any professionals give any number of hours of their time, effort, talent, skills, nerve cells to people who do not value them. It’s just self-defeating.

  23. Tom Robson Avatar
    Tom Robson

    I’d shoot the wedding and then act all surprised when they ask me for the pics “Pictures? – I didn’t bring a memory card, you only wanted me to shoot – you didn’t pay me to save the pictures” ?

    1. Mitch Highman Avatar
      Mitch Highman

      Tom Robson yep! Hahah

    2. Sergi Yavorski Avatar
      Sergi Yavorski

      If they asked my to shot for 10 hours, I’d ask who will pay for the ammo.?

  24. Richard Joseph Avatar
    Richard Joseph

    “Art of the ‘exposure’ deal”!!

  25. Dajanaye Rollins Avatar
    Dajanaye Rollins

    Most rent cost atleast 50hours of exposure.

  26. Christy LaSalle Avatar
    Christy LaSalle

    no. absolute no. i repeat, no.

  27. W Douglas LeBlanc Avatar
    W Douglas LeBlanc

    Not. Happening.

  28. Anas Akkawi Avatar
    Anas Akkawi

    I’ll accept the offer and make sure no other photographer is going to cover at the same time then make them beg for their photos after the wedding. In fact I’ll post low res branded photos of their wedding all over my website and social media and creat tutorials on them just for the fun of it!

  29. Frank Villafane Avatar
    Frank Villafane

    My response…a very simple “You get what you pay for” – IOW…you pay nothing, you get nothing.
    ‘Nuff said.

  30. Cambria McCue Avatar
    Cambria McCue

    I am so sick of articles like this. All this does is stir up the community and unleash negative energy. If you are in this situation use your best judgement and learn from the experience.

  31. Stephen Cottle Avatar
    Stephen Cottle

    OR get a contract stating yoru fee and if you dont make that money back from all the exposure they promised over x-time then they have to pay you

    1. Anthony Woodruffe Avatar
      Anthony Woodruffe

      Stephen Cottle ooh I like that ?

  32. Marciano Kluivert Avatar
    Marciano Kluivert

    I would ask them to elaborate the exposure. How it will benefit me financially?

  33. Kryn Sporry Avatar
    Kryn Sporry

    Second one this week. This is nothing special. Happens all the time. Just say no and hang up. End story

  34. John Nevill Avatar
    John Nevill

    Amazing how many of these types of stories Reddit manages to churn out.

  35. Jonathan Lewis-Jones Avatar
    Jonathan Lewis-Jones

    10 hours is a very long day. I would draw up a contract where the happy couple personally guarantee no less that £10,000 worth of new business generated within 12 months of their wedding. If the work doesn’t start rolling in, they won’t receive the photographs of their happy day.

    Otherwise it’s £3,000 for 10 hours thank you – payable in advance.

  36. Filip Lomstar Łomnicki Avatar
    Filip Lomstar Łomnicki

    Fototanio jednak nie tylko w Polsce takie rzeczy :D

  37. Nobody cares about that Avatar
    Nobody cares about that

    That’s a great offer. And if the photographer is very lucky, some of the wedding guests will also give him orders for their own wedding:

    “In exchange, we will be showcasing your company to:
    2000+ combined Facebook followers
    250 total wedding guests
    175 wedding guests based in the Chicagoland area
    150 unmarried guests between the ages of 24 to 35 years old,

    And you will even get a warm meal for free.”

    and so on …

  38. Billie Teta Avatar
    Billie Teta


  39. Todd Wallarab Avatar
    Todd Wallarab

    First, I hope this story really isn’t true but if it is….can you image what they would be like while you were shooting and what the reaction would be when they see them? “well can you do this” “can you edit that” That’s a hard pass

  40. Steve Slate Avatar
    Steve Slate

    I’d agree to shoot it for free. Then afterwards, send them a bill for getting the images. Think about it, if you were the only one documenting their wedding, they’d be obligated to purchase them, or have nothing. Of course you’d state in the contract, the shooting of the wedding is free, and not mention the end products of the wedding have a price. I’d shoot for free, then have them have to pay for the actual images. It would be whatever I’d normally charge if i shot weddings plus a hefty, handling fee. This would grant them what they want, yet leave you in command afterwards. Of course, this is all hypothetical. For people to ask you to do something like this for free is pretty bold, but hey, give them credit for asking. All the photog could say is no. Plus, whoever did it for free is either at the beginning of a great career, or desperate. So asking this of a photographer is taking a chance at getting awful images or getting a great deal. Would you chance that if you went all out for your own wedding? I wouldn’t. I’m done with my two cents. It’s all just for thought, don’t take this seriously.

    1. angrybanana Avatar

      Sensible idea. The photog could offer a few images for free just as goodwill. The client will pay for the rest if they want.

  41. James Mauro Avatar
    James Mauro

    “Thanks, but no thanks. My fee for 10 hours hours of wedding photography is $17,500 plus your book for another $2,500.” or something like that. Disclaimer – I have photographed about a dozen weddings, but I am not a wedding photographer.

  42. John Baker Avatar
    John Baker

    Musicians get that crap all the time too, from people trying to finagle free entertainment for their parties. I just tell them, I’ve been part of the music scene in this town for 50 years. I don’t need exposure.

  43. Timothyf7 Avatar

    This is like buying a lottery ticket. The opportunity to greatly increase your financial status is there… but very unlikely.

  44. stratman Avatar

    Dear Couple. I’m not interested. But……. perhaps you would like to trade 40 hours of your time in your professional capacity (10 hours shoot itme along with 20-30 hours of prep and post time, paying an assistant, etc) in exchange for me promoting your wedding with a follow up comment here?

  45. Ignacio Alvarez Avatar
    Ignacio Alvarez

    I have been a photographer in Chicago for almost 40 years. For the first ten years of my career, yes, I did photograph weddings, and yes, there are always stupid people that want something for free or a discount. I just hate how they think that what a photographer does for a living is not as important as what they do. I wonder if the idiots that asked the photographer to work for free, do they work for the exposure from time to time? I also teach photography at Truman College here in Chicago and that is the one thing that I tell my students. If your family asks you to photograph something, do what you want. If it is an acquaintance or some unknown person that asks you to work for a dinner for the exposure, don’t be stupid and do not do it. Don’t ever do anything for free or for a promise of exposure. Unfortunately, there is always a new eager dumb photographer that thinks that this offer is good. Most of these “photographers” never make it in the business. They don’t get the exposure that they think they are going to get.

  46. John Beatty Avatar
    John Beatty

    Of course shoot the wedding for free…absolutely! The free advertisement and exposure are awesome. I’d go nuts shooting everything they would want, bride/groom getting ready, venue, first look, bridal party, family groups, ceremony, reception, guests, party, the whole nine yards.
    Then afterwards I’d let them know full costs of proof layout and site access to view photos. Then of course all package costs.

  47. 0702marty Avatar

    I’d shoot this wedding … and all the pix would be similar to the one at the top of the article. No heads or faces, only 2-3 members of the party in any one group shot, arms and legs cut off, out of focus, over or under exposed. Hey, you get what you pay for.
    It would be worth it to see the looks on their faces when we meet at my office at the local Starbuck’s to select the bridal package from thumbnails printed in B&W on Staples copier paper. Heck, I’d even give them all the JPGs I shot on a CD … no extra charge.
    Full disclosure: I don’t do weddings … and frankly would never consider doing a wedding. Dealing with Bride-zilla … having married off my only daughter, I can just imagine how delightful that would be every weekend.
    I would also draw up the contract so that they have no recourse but to sue me for a refund of what they actually paid for the photography service. Standard boiler plate contract wording … don’t worry about it.
    Net: if approached with such a generous offer, my dark side could not resist. It would be an absolute blast. Caveat Emptor.

  48. Nick Avatar

    If it’s so much exposure gained from shooting this wedding perhaps the couple could just shoot it themselves since being influencers seems to be their main job because only influencers can pay bills with exposure. Exposure, even on an infinite level, does not pay the bills for a wedding photographer. Someone will eventually have to pay the photographer if they want to hire them. This exposure model that influencers toss around doesn’t equate to hard money when it comes to wedding photography unless as a photographer you sell the image license after shooting the free wedding. This is not the practice for most though as it is the time that costs the most when it comes to being a wedding photographer.