dream set up

Discussion in 'The Professional Gallery' started by jocose, Dec 28, 2005.

  1. jocose

    jocose TPF Noob!

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    So, as some of you might recall, my sister got married in September. About 2 weeks ago, the 'rents and I went down to my sister and brother-in-law's house to look at the proofs from the photographer. They were pretty decent pictures (especially given that I had just looked at pics from the Girl's girlfriend's wedding that was a week later--I thought those were really bad).

    Anyway, my new brother thought that the pictures were just OK, and for the money they paid, he thought they should be a lot better. So, now he has been talking to me about starting a wedding photography business. I don't think I'm all that interested, but as a good brother-in-law, I thought I'd do a little research for him.

    So, finally, here's my question. To all you pro wedding photogs: If you could have your ideal set up, what would it be? What types of cameras? Lenses? Lights? Filters? Tripods? The more specific the better. What brands and models?

    The second question is this: the previous question was a dream set up, but what's a good realistic set up? Again, I would appreciate being as specific as possible.

    Thanks.
     
  2. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'm no wedding pro but have dabbled with the idea for a while now.....

    If you are doing research on the wedding photography business, first focus on the "business" aspect then decide on the equipment to fit those needs. Cameras, Lenses, etc.. are tools.. In the end, its the photographer/business man not the equipment.

    That being said... an example "realistic" setup for a single photographer at a small ( to medium ) wedding and rehersal would be:
    Canon 20D
    Canon 24-70 f2.8L
    Canon 580EX speed light with external pack
    Stroboframe flash bracket

    Generally, your going to need more ( backup camera or pre-in-studio shots for example ). Another photographer would be nice for better coverage of the event. This is especially true for larger weddings.

    As for a "dream" setup, I wouldn't be able to comment... I haven't made it that far.
     
  3. jocose

    jocose TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the reply. I know that we should start with the business part, but honestly, if he can convince me to do this (which at this point is very unlikely), he will be the business guy--he has degrees and awards in that area, so I would defer to him.

    In all honesty, I want to have an idea of cost for startup so I can tell him that a poor civil servant like me and a CEO of a non-income producing company like him are in no position to set up a new business.

    But, there is always the thrill of working for yourself that has always appealed to me, so there is always the possibility that he might convince me (but I still doubt it).

    Anyway, thanks again for the suggestions. Please keep them coming.
     
  4. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Would you like this thread moved to the Portrait/Wedding forum, Jocose? You might get more views (and replies) over there. :)
     
  5. jocose

    jocose TPF Noob!

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    Hey Terri. Yea, I couldn't decide where to post, but I thought that that forum was for wedding and portrait pictures, not questions.

    But yes, if you think that that is better, then by all means feel free to move it.
     
  6. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Pictures, questions, discussing the business side of things......it's all good over there. ;) We have lots of talented pros who like that forum, so hopefully someone will have some ideas for you! :D
     
  7. Corry

    Corry Flirtacious and Bodacious Supporting Member

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    I've only done one wedding, and I can't really say exactly what equipment I would want (more than I have, that's for sure). I definately need a flash (not the onboard one, either!) before I ever agree to do another wedding, and an assistant would be fanTASTIC! Other than that, I'm really not sure what all I need.
     
  8. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    It doesn't sound like you are all that excited about the prospect (like your brother-in-law is)...I'd say that a big part of being successful at anything is having the drive to succeed. So if you don't really want to do it...tell him ASAP.

    Start up costs...you definitely need the right equipment and then at least one backup for it all. Weddings can't be rescheduled because you dropped your lens or because your camera isn't' working for some reason. You have to able to cover just about any shooting condition. Like in a dark church with no flash allowed...or formals in a dark location where a hot shoe flash just won't cut it.

    If he's a business guy, he should know all about the licensing, taxes & insurance that are applicable.

    I understand where he's coming from. You spend all that money on a photographer, then look at your photos and say (I could have done that better).
     
  9. jocose

    jocose TPF Noob!

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    Mike, I wouldn't say I'm NOT interested. My biggest issue is that I don't think I'm good enough yet to do anything like that. Honestly, I would love to have a business; like I said, though, I'm not sure I'm ready to be entrusted with others' memories.

    I'm also not really too concerned about him going too much forward as he's one of those ideas that gets a great idea then moves on when he gets the next great idea.

    Nevertheless, I'm still curious about my original questions about what an ideal set up is and what a realistic set up is.
     
  10. danalec99

    danalec99 TPF Noob!

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    If were in your shoes, I'd wait till I gain confidence and the experience.

    There is no 'ideal' set up. One cannot go to B&H and order the 'Wedding Photographer kit'! :). It all depends on your style of photography.
    I shoot with the 20D, 50mm and a 24mm lense. I might add a 85mm to the fold soon (okay a 16-35 as well :p). Flash is a 550EX. Then there is this tripod, a light stand/umbrella, and a ST-E2, which I seldom use.

    Medium Format (Hasselblad, Mamiya etc), 35mm film (Nikon, Canon etc), Digital SLR, Rangefinder (Leica) are some of the formats generally used. I know some of them who adds a Holga/Polaroid/8x10 to the flavour.
    Only you can decide which one you would be comfy with. Nowadays, it is the SLR route that most ppl take.

    Nail the basics, second shoot for free for a couple of weddings, and take it from there! :thumbup:
     
  11. jocose

    jocose TPF Noob!

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    Dan,

    Thanks for the tips. Again, though, I'm not really interested in starting a business...I am way not ready for that. I'm just asking hypothetical questions...it's what I do...ask questions. That's how I learn.

    Thanks.
     
  12. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    I have no experience of professional wedding photography and have so far only done it for friends/family, but I have to say that from my point of view an SLR is preferable. I used a 35mm SLR, which was fine, but if you can get a good DSLR then the obvious advantage of that is that you can view the results then and there, and won't have to be paranoid about something happening to the film. On the other hand if you're feeling confident, medium format can produce some extremely nice photos. As everyone else has said, there is only your dream set up depending on what you find is easiest to use and produces the best results. However based on my personal experience (i.e. where I went wrong) I would offer two bits of general advice for wedding photos...

    1) Prepare! Spend a while walking around the premises; this will not only enable you to effectively compose the most important shots in advance, it should also help you get better exposed photos if you wander about first with a good (preferably incidental) lightmeter.

    2) Don't leave anything to chance. Take as many photos as is humanly possible on as many cameras as you can carry. Take the same shot different ways (e.g. with and without flash/lighting). And bracket as if your life depends on it! Just to be sure.

    Those are both pretty obvious, but hope that helps anyway. Good luck if you change your mind and decide to go for it!
     

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