first wedding photo-shoot

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by sadida31, Jul 7, 2004.

  1. sadida31

    sadida31 TPF Noob!

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    i was just recently asked to shoot a friends wedding. i have never shot a wedding before and was curious about a few things. i searched for film types and things of that nature already. my main question is - what equipment should i have with me for outdoor/indoor situations. my experience so far is b&w, i'm not sure if they want color or not, but they probably will. aside from working in a studio at school, the only equipment i use is just my camera, no flash, no filters, no extra stuff. so, what would you say is essential equipment to have?
    thanx in advance
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    The usual advice is to politely decline to shoot your friend's wedding. Weddings are (or should be) a once-in-a-life-time event and that's why most people hire a professional photographer. Nobody wants to ruin a friendship because pictures didn't turn out. I have been asked to shoot a couple of weddings this summer but said that I didn't have the equipment or the experience to be the "hired pro". Instead I agreed to shoot lots of candid and extra stuff for them. Since you know b&w, you could offer to shoot b&w while they hire someone to shoot the color formals etc.

    That being said...everybody has to start somewhere. If you think you can meet their expectations, go for it. You will need back ups of everything. Body, flash, lens, batteries etc. Take twice as much film as you think you will need. You may need to scout out the locations to check the lighting and even to see if the church (or where ever) allows flash photography etc.

    The important part is that you sit down with the couple (especially the bride) and make sure they know how much (or how little) experience you have and what they can expect.
     
  3. Synergy

    Synergy TPF Noob!

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    My Sister asked me to be her wedding photographer for the day and I accepted. I had recently got married myself so I looked at my own wedding photos for some inspiration which were taken by a pro and cost £1200 (btw worth every penny he was brilliant) and this is what I came up with..

    First I drew up a list of times/opportunities during the day that the Bride or I expected or wanted to take photos and what sort of pictures they were going to be. I printed this list out and used it as a guide to the day.

    I ordered 6 rolls of Fuji NPH and NPS and also took some Superia 200 as well. I have the one SLR camera and this is what I took…

    Olympus OM-1
    50mm
    100mm
    100-200 zoom
    Hot Shoe flash
    Tripod
    I did take every filter and accessory I own as well, but the above were the most important

    Fortunately my Sister was very pleased with the results, although to me they do look amateurish. I have to say it was the most nerve-racking day of my life! Worse than my own actual wedding but it was the realisation that I was responsible for such an important aspect of such an important day that makes me tend to agree with Big Mike if you can decline or at least make them completely aware of your capabilities you should.

    Hope this helps

    George
     
  4. sadida31

    sadida31 TPF Noob!

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    thanx for the advice, i plan to sit down and talk with them to see what they want to do.
     
  5. steve817

    steve817 TPF Noob!

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    Funny you should say that. I shot my friends wedding last year and had a blast. I just prepared her for the worst and then delivered something better. I didn't charge for it though, it was my present to them.
     
  6. Synergy

    Synergy TPF Noob!

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    I certainly made them aware that It might be a wash out and they said whatever I produce would be fine, but I think it was my own determination in the face of lack of ability and experience that made it a stressful job for me.

    I recall once the ceremony was over I did start enjoying myself as I felt more in control after that. The reception I certainly did because I shot virtually all candid shots which I enjoy doing

    My contribution was also a gift and for Sadida31’s benefit it cost me about £150 ($270) after dev, prints and digital transfer.
     
  7. japmula

    japmula TPF Noob!

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    Wow! this is all such great advice, since I'm doing a couple of weddings for the first time this Summer as well. I'd have to say I was very very hesitant to accept anything at first for fear that I would ruin someone's wedding photos! I mean, yea, one of the most important days of anyone's life! But the fact is, these couples weren't planning on hiring a professional photographer anyway because of money reasons, and I couldn't let anyone go without having wedding photos! So....I'm going to do them and they're well aware that I am only an amatuer.

    So with that said, Sadida, if you have some time before the actual wedding, then I would suggest maybe doing a "practice shoot" with the couple, like ja few rolls of them being together so you can get used to working together and more importantly, so they can get a sample of your work.

    Also, I asked for some advice on which types of film to use and these were the ones that were mpst commonly suggested: Kodak Portra 160NC, 160VC, or 400NC. If you also have time, maybe you can test out these films, so you can be comfortable working with them.

    Good luck! I know I'll need it!
    :wink:
     

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