I did some wedding shots, this is the kit I took and what I learnt

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by Hair Bear, Mar 12, 2007.

  1. Hair Bear

    Hair Bear TPF Noob!

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    I didn't post one of those 'My first wedding' threads.

    But I did read a few, along with a zillion web sites, so i took all the gear I had just in case

    [​IMG]

    They didn't want a photographer, didn't like them or having photos taken.

    My wife suggested I do some pics and I agreed they needed something even if I am a complete novice.

    The wedding party was Dutch, Spanish and English

    So what did I learn?

    I can't speak Spanish or Dutch so getting people orgainsed was a problem

    I shot raw and can't believe how many cards I used and then went onto film. 3x1gig 1x2gi and 2x528mb

    The old Nikons are easier to use but I could check the screen on teh D200. This was handy when my flash wasn't bright enough and I could boost it.

    Also had the D200 on auto iso and wouldn't do that again

    I thought missed the register signing! The register told me no photos but they would do a reset after. Others took pics and they didn't reset but I did get a couple of them at the signing book

    Note for wife, who was also taking some shots of bride getting ready. When i say film is the camera use that body not the old one that has no film!!!!

    I was a guest so needed to be involved in the day, shotting pics as well was fun

    I told them I didn't do formals, I tried a few anyway and you need a good list and/or help from somebody to cover the list and organise.

    I need to get some help with formals and how to pose them

    I need an extra camera battery, i just did the day but offing the images is an issue. I need to do some party pics so it needs charging before I can copy the files from cards.

    490 images are a lot to process and I have the party images to go

    If it was a full gig the pressure would be huge

    The bride wore red but I bet a white or cream dress is a bugger to shoot

    I had to run the bride and the groom around a bit before the wedding as well as pic up some flowers.

    I got caught out with flash batteries just as they came into the register!!

    420 images is a lot of sorting! 12 hours and I'm down to 282
     
  2. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Sounds as though you had a Blast!! So, if asked to shoot another wedding, How much would You charge? :) mike
     
  3. Hair Bear

    Hair Bear TPF Noob!

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    Good question Mike.

    I wanted to do this to see if I could, freebe = portfolio job etc.

    I'm in the UK so £250-400 for the day + the processing + any prints or books

    Books are where the wow factor are for me so far. I have done a few for friends from thier images and they just get blown away. But its a couple of days work to do a good one.

    We have been hearing all sorts of costs locally, I have a guy who shot mine for £500 on film then £5/print. He got a 90% hit rate with good shots so we bought a lot of prints and he has just done the same deal for a friend of mine.

    Somebody at the wedding said their photog is charging them for 72 shots max with 30 delivered!!! Confident?

    You can see why people charge £1000 approx

    I think if I could do it then I would keep my day rate low but make on the book or prints. The pressure is then on me to get the shots
     
  4. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    So, you're talking 11 to 12 days labor to process all the photos and put together the book. If only one of the cameras you show is a D200 then what you have on the table at a guess is around $6000 US all of which you should depreciate over 3 years time through wear and tear and loss. To replace with new you're looking at around $16000 US with out much upgrade which is about $5,300 per year divide that by the number of weddings you do equals ?? And any other expenses to add to this, looks to me as though you need to get the 1000 pounds plus the other. I'm not trying to bum you out but $425 to $680 is all you are guaranteed if that's what you charge up front and you would have to do about 8 weddings at the upper number just to break even for your equipment. If you can do the work, you should expect to be paid for it. Don't price yourself out of business! Best of luck to you, mike
     
  5. BAB

    BAB TPF Noob!

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    Hi Hair Bear,

    I would reconsider this approach, there is any number of reasons other than the quality of your photos that you may not get orders on books etc. If that happens and it can and will, you short change yourself.
     
  6. Hair Bear

    Hair Bear TPF Noob!

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    Not sure where you get 11-12 days from

    I would see it like this:-
    1 day shoot (even its a half day your unlikely to get anything for the other half)
    1-2 days processing (would hope this gets easier as I get more skill)
    1-2 days for the book

    Thats 3-5 days tops

    As for cost, well thats all relative. Skill set/local competition/if I want to do it/average local costs etc.

    I'm shooting because I like it.

    Interesting point on depreciation Mike
     
  7. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hi Hair, I was extrapolating from 138 images in 12 hours from your last sentence. No matter though as I'm sure you will get a lot faster as you do it more. The gist of my post though is that you should not undercharge because there will come a time when you will need money to be able to finish a job that you won't be able to get anywhere else other than from your photography. If you are not charging enough then you won't have it and will be unable to complete the job and then be just another one of those guys that took money to shoot a wedding and then took a hike when you NEVER wanted to do that. Even if you are just doing this part time to be successful you need to succeed. To succeed you need to make enough per job to be able to continue. (and feed your NAS!) I'm not talking about doing a couple of jobs for free to make a portfolio, but in the future as per your second post. Again, Best of luck mike
     
  8. Big Mike

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

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    Getting back to the original post, thanks for sharing what you learned. Too often, I think, new wedding photographers seem to be concerned with their main pieces of equipment...camera, lens, flash etc. The little things can often make or break a great day of shooting. Extra batteries, memory, good shoes, change of clothes, umbrellas etc.

    Also, we worry too much about the technical side and find out that it's the people side that causes the most stress. I can imagine that a language barrier can be quite the problem.
    Getting the right people for the right shot, can be like herding cats.
     
  9. Hair Bear

    Hair Bear TPF Noob!

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    Thanks to both Mike's

    This day was about learning for myself as much as capturing the day ie I had no pressure because they didn't really want a photographer so it was no loose.

    I agree with the people thing and this is where I would like an extra pair of hands, somebody who could be trusted to get the right people in the right place. And then its up to you/me to get the technical shot spot on etc.

    The rest is down to your skill and confidence with the camera/s you have.

    I got buy with the D200, shot a lot so I could delete a few

    I swapped to film later and found the old F801's easier to handle and get the shot. However, processing damaged one of the films and they have come out very green. I have rescued a couple by making them B/W

    I did read a tip somewhere that said don't use the corner shop etc.
     
  10. mortallis288

    mortallis288 TPF Noob!

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    i know this has nothin to do with the business part of it but what were the lenses/cameras you used? you might have said this but i didnt see
     
  11. Hair Bear

    Hair Bear TPF Noob!

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    I had two 35-70mm Nikon F3.3 and a bought a 50mm f1.8 for the day.

    I had problems with the 50 in side as on the D200 its 75mm ish and I couldn't get away from the subject so I swapped out and used the zoom all day.
     
  12. Flash Harry

    Flash Harry TPF Noob!

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    did you use a shop to process? if so all the films went through the same process and will all be ok, if its the prints that have a green cast go back to the shop/lab and ask them to print them again, your paying for a decent service, demand one.
     

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