a quick eqiupment question for my first wedding

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by JimPowellPhotography, Dec 29, 2009.

  1. JimPowellPhotography

    JimPowellPhotography TPF Noob!

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    I'm shooting my first wedding in a couple of weeks and I was wondering if I could get a little feedback on an issue I have.

    I only have 1 camera for the wedding. Well, one respectable camera anyhow. I don't feel comfortable showing up to a wedding with just one camera because if something goes wrong with it, i'll be in a tough spot. But when I looked into renting one for a day, I discovered it's outrageously expensive.

    I'm only charging $400 for the wedding (i know it's low, but again, it's my first wedding, and i'm giving no extras... just 4 hours of my time). Renting a 5D mk ii would cost $200. That's half my fee! Granted, I could pick something up that might be cheaper, but this wedding is at night, and the venue will be dark, so I wanted the low light capabilities of the 5D mkii. And even a cheaper camera would still eat a large portion of my profit.

    So... my thought was to buy one from best buy and return it after the wedding. I've already contacted them to feel it out and see if I could do this. They said I can return the camera for any reason within 2 weeks.

    So... i was thinking why not? When you rent a camera, they pretty much make you put a deposit equal to the camera's value anyhow. So either way, if something happens to the camera while I have it, i'm S.O.L. I'm having a hard time finding a down side to this. Yet, that's making me think, why wouldn't everyone do this instead of wasting so much money renting camera equipment?

    Any thoughts? Potential issues I could be missing?

    Thanks!



    www.jimpowellphoto.com
     
  2. PatrickHMS

    PatrickHMS TPF Noob!

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    Now that you are a Professional Photographer, what camera body and lenses do you already have?
     
  3. JimPowellPhotography

    JimPowellPhotography TPF Noob!

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    My main camera is a Canon 40D. It's certainly not bad for low light photography, but it does get grainy at 1600 iso

    And for lenses... I've got several. my main is a 24-105 L , and i also have a 100mm macro, and a 75-300mm zoom lens


    www.jimpowellphoto.com
     
  4. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    so your biography and website are nice and pretty and yet here you are
    EXTREMELY underpricing the market...

    Having 5dM2 doesn't mean your image will be any better. Therefore, something like 20d, 30d, 40d, 50d as a back up along with 580ex or 580ex2 AT LEAST is something you should consider. To the list ad a least one zoom lens 28-135 and one wide angle lens 17-40 (not necessarily these but these are good lenses). THEN, you need to keep in mind your back up batteries for cameras and flash units. Also at least one strobe would be nice but unfortunately many people are terrified of using them (can't figure out why though). CF cards, my self, I bang out about 700 frames for 6hr wedding, thus one 8gig card on jpg or 12gig in raw is MORE then enough for me.
    As for best buy, yes you can return but they are smarter then you are - there is 15% restocking fee IF YOU READ the fine print.
     
  5. PatrickHMS

    PatrickHMS TPF Noob!

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    Intentionally buying something, to use, to make money with, having prior intention of returning that something for a full refund so that the store might cannot sell it for brand new any longer and will have to discount it and they lose money so you can make money (and at worst you pay that restocking fee).

    Maybe it isn't totally dishonest, but I also wonder if it is really honest?

    I know that I am an old fart, but the way I was brought up (almost seems like another world and another culture), something like that would have never crossed my mind...

    What does the fact that you even raised the question to ask it tell you? You will have to do what your own conscience, and sense of values and ethics tell you to do.
     
  6. timfrommass

    timfrommass TPF Noob!

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    You can return it within 2 weeks, but if you open it you will be charged a 15% restocking fee. They do this BECAUSE people rent cameras from them... this note is on a sticker manually applied by best buy on every box exactly where the box has to be opened so that the sticker will be ripped and right in front of you in order to open the box. Sorry, that won't work

    -tim
     
  7. Bitter Jeweler

    Bitter Jeweler Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Buy the 5dMKII. You will need it for your second, third, fourth, fifith, sixth, and seventh wedding shoots, and then it will be paid for.
     
  8. JimPowellPhotography

    JimPowellPhotography TPF Noob!

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    aah... a restocking fee! I knew there had to be a catch! I've never been charged a restocking fee from best buy before, but I've also never returned an expensive camera either. Thanks for pointing that out!

    I have certainly considered lower end bodies, but from what I have read about the low light capabilities of the mkii, i thought it might be helpful in the venue. Additionally, I hope to buy one when I sell my motorcycle this spring and though this could be a good test period.

    I think i'm pretty set on the rest of the equipment. I have lots of spare batteries, memory cards, a strobe and small light kit for the formals, extra lenses... everything i can think of really.

    And as for the pricing, I know i'm underpricing the market, and agree that it sucks, but i'm having no luck finding work as an assistant, and i'm not getting any bookings with my normal (much higher) prices, so I offered this as a winter special. Besides, I feel I need to start somewhere. I feel like a fraud charging someone $2,000 - $3,000 to shoot a wedding when I've never shot solo before, and only have a handful of assistant weddings under my belt.



    www.jimpowellphoto.com
     
  9. CoRNDoG R6

    CoRNDoG R6 TPF Noob!

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    I say be honest and buy what you want now, it'll eventually pay for itself! Have fun! Dont forget to post up some of your favorite shots from the wedding.
     
  10. PatrickHMS

    PatrickHMS TPF Noob!

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    At least you got some wedding work in as an assistant first, that says something about you.

    Do it the right way, you will eventually be successful, and feel all the better about yourself.

    Sometimes the "dues" are not any fun to pay while yuo are paying them, but on the other side, you will feel better about having paid them.

    Best of luck!!!!!!!!
     
  11. JimPowellPhotography

    JimPowellPhotography TPF Noob!

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    Yeah, i certainly considered this... but I guess i feel a bit like it's not so bad when it's a huge corporation like best buy. I'd never consider it if it were a smaller store, but I've felt used and abused by big corporations over and over (especially by best buy). They make it clear their only concern is money... so I don't feel so bad trying to save a few of my dollars.

    But with these restocking fees... it's not worth it anyhow. I need to figure something else out.

    I know some smaller companies actually ENCOURAGE you buy things just to try them out. The first time I bought a Canon L lens, it was because I bought a cheaper lens that I wasn't really nuts about. I tried it, they gave me 10 days to return it for a full refund, then I decided to spend the extra few bucks and get the more expensive L lens. I could have purchased it cheaper online, but I appreciated their flexibility and gave them my business.



    www.jimpowellphoto.com
     
  12. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 TPF Noob!

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    Buying a camera with the intention of returning it just so that you can use it for a day is dishonest, period.
     

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