How many shooters?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by elsaspet, Nov 1, 2007.

  1. elsaspet

    elsaspet TPF Noob!

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    Hi David,
    I've shot them single, and it's hard as all get out, but can be done. There are still people out there shooting one camera, but more and more you are seeing husband and wife teams, and lots and lots of pro shooters teaming up.
    The main reason, is that it makes it easier on everyone. You can simply cover twice as much. Another great reason, is it is a great sales tool.
    Why pay for one photographer when you can get two for around the same price?


    Here is how a normal day would go:

    Have the girls and guys both meet us at the function around the same time.
    I do girl get readies, and hubby does guys. Assistant would do coverage and details. If no assistant, we each take a chunk when we have time.

    We team up for formals. We both set up the lights and equipment. I stack 'em and hubby shoots them. Our assistant would be coverage for whoever is not currently having formals taken.

    During the ceremony, I always take the front of the church if I can sweet talk my way in. I always try to get an angle for the bride, as she's most apt to cry. Hubby handles general coverage from the back, as well as procession recession. (I'm a terrible pro/rec shooter). If we have an assistant, he/she will work side coverage.

    Post formals go the same as pre formals. The assistant would be shooting people mulling around waiting for formals or in some cases is sent ahead to the reception.

    Reception duties are always: Hubby does the macro, details, and reception hobnobbing stuff, including following the couple around as they meet guests. During this time, I get the table shots out of the way.
    Then we start taking turns getting our food, and getting some rest in.

    For dancing, I am the only one allowed on the floor. I handle the main dance shots, and everyone else is coverage for different angles, or seating coverage.

    On tosses, we split it up. One takes bride/groom, one takes the catchers.

    On toasts, I am the close up (again, on the dance floor) and hubby is coverage, and long lens.

    On Cake, we both come in, taking two different angles. If we have an assistant, this person will also be on cake.

    For the leave, One will get midway into the exit line, and the other will be posted at the car. If there is an assistant, they will be placed close to one of the main shooters, but the main shooter would take precedence.

    Hope that helps!
     
  2. JimmyJaceyMom

    JimmyJaceyMom TPF Noob!

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    well that is very detailed and helpful. It would be nice to have a second shooter! I remember the last wedding I did I was trying to get them coming down the aisle and get the groom's expression at the same time. With two camera's around my neck I am lucky I didnt choke myself to death with the straps. ;)
     
  3. elsaspet

    elsaspet TPF Noob!

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    Kathi,
    Maybe just find someone in your area that will work as apprentice. You never know, you might end up with a new team member.
     
  4. jols

    jols TPF Noob!

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    i shoot weddings on my own.

    i find it hard work but i always get what the couple want.

    but i suppose it is obvious that two shooters would get double the pics but then they would be more expensive.

    so i think its up to the couple to decide what they want.
     
  5. elsaspet

    elsaspet TPF Noob!

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    Totally agree with the above. However, keep in mind, they really aren't getting more pics in most cases, just more angles and coverage.

    The pricing is a negotiable thing. I know a lot of one camera operations that bring in an apprentice trading out only learning and experience. No cash changes hands. That way, you have a helper, and they can start a portfolio and get some education that they can expand with too. Naturally, your assistant will learn to fly on his her own someday.

    I have a friend who works it just like that. He has an assistant, and when that assistant learns to fly, he gets another. He never pays any of them, but they are well compensated with port fodder and education. It works well for everyone.

    The big thing though, is are you losing business to 2/more camera teams?

    If you aren't, it's more work, but not a major issue.

    If you are, then sometimes you gotta join the mobs. (And make your life easier at the same time).
     
  6. Big Mike

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

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    I've been doing weddings on my own (the ones I book myself) but I've got someone who will 2nd shoot for me, if I want.

    Also, I 2nd shoot with a more established photography company who likes to always have 2 or three photographers.

    We are all pretty competent...so it's not an apprentice/assistant situation...more of a professional partnership...but we can always learn from each other.
     
  7. dpolston

    dpolston TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Cindy... but one big question "for the class".

    How would you approach a tag team photographer wedding. Meaning: If my fellow photographer (who is also a solo shooter) and I are contracted through my contact, how would you divi up the spoils? I just don't think 50/50 would work out because someone would have to be the business end (contract, proofs, prints, reorders and all that stuff that goes with the product - the photograph). Presenting 2 sets of proofs, with 2 sets of orders and the potential of 2 album packages is "2" much for the new couple.

    I could see giving a percentage to the second shooter, but at what %? Is 30% acceptable or insult? Hourly or something like $'s for the day? Also there are creativity issues like if he edits his prints and I edit mine, the % goes up, understandably. But where do you draw the line?

    My gut tells me to pay a 2nd a predetermined dollar amount for his work. Share limited copyright with him/her so that we both can use the photos; him to use in portfolio (because he shot them) and me; to sell to the client as it's my contact.

    I in turn would do the same for them if it's their contact. Sound right? (I'm asking because I love the idea but I have never approached anyone about it.
     

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