I'm in over my head.

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by John99, Aug 25, 2007.

  1. John99

    John99 TPF Noob!

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    My nephew has asked me to be the photographer at his wedding. I told him that I wasn't a photographer and gave him a number of a guy who works with my wife who does it on the side.
    He called the guy and found out the prices were a bit steep, and could I do it. I told him I don't have a camera, and he said he has a freind who could loan me his camera. It's a really nice one, he said, and it's a 35MM and not a digital. I told him I would feel more comfortable using a digital, and he said if I had one, that would be fine, but he still wants the pictures on the 35MM also.
    I told him I would do the best I can, if I can find out what kind of camera it is, maybe I could download a manual off the internet. He hasn't called back. Now, I'm thinking, this is too much pressure and if the pictures get screwed up, I would feel bad about it.
    I need some good reasons why I should back out now, since it is still a month before the wedding. If anyone thinks this is something I could do, that's fine, but if not, I need to know from you guys so I have some information to tell him when I back out.
    Thanks for any and all help.
     
  2. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It sounds as though you've already made the right decision and just don't know how to say no. If you don't have a camera and are not a photographer, why would he even ask you to do it? My assumption would be this is someone who thinks nice cameras make/take nice portraits which is certainly not the case. They can be a nice tool for a good photographer to take a nice portrait, but it doesn't do it by itself. The loaner thing is not a good idea either, if you're not familiar with the camera, you could have a $20 Holga or a $20K Hasselblad and it wouldn't make a difference. Give him some analogy that would convince him that you aren't up for the job. I have a hammer and some nails in my garage, but that doesn't qualify me to build his house. In the end, if you're not comfortable say so and be done w/ it.
     
  3. three_eyed_otter

    three_eyed_otter TPF Noob!

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    You could get a group of friends together and as a wedding present get him a photographer and pay for a few basic portraits. You could seek out an amateur digital photographer just to record some memories for your friend. Shoot, just tell him you've got it covered and find somebody for him. He'll be really grateful in the end.

    have a good one
    3Eo
     
  4. my*

    my* TPF Noob!

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    I would really ask him what he is looking for. Is he looking for professional quality pictures at a low price? Or is he looking for someone that has some skill to take some pictures. There are people that don't care so much about the professional look in order to save money. If he just wants some pictures I would consider doing it. Just make sure you know what he wants and he knows what you are capable of.
     
  5. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    yes my* but you're a member of The Photo Forum and have 57 posts so the difference is I assume you a) own a camera, and b) know how to use it.

    I've been around cameras for many years, but if someone hands me a Canon 1D it would still take me the first 10 min to figure out how to turn it on. You can forget about me getting a good picture out of it.

    Taking photos when you don't feel comfortable, not a good idea.
    Taking important photos with a camera you haven't used for at least 3 months or so and know the ins and out of, a VERY bad idea.

    I was in a similar situation at my Aunts wedding. I've had and used my camera every day for about 4 months. I got to the wedding and made all sorts of little mistakes. Nothing that couldn't be fixed with weeks of photoshopping, but definitely nothing I've repeated at a recent wedding.
     
  6. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    a wedding is so special , and the only chance to take the images is on thatday, no second chance ... I would not risk to ruin this one chance by letting an amateur/beginner shoot.

    I do play with cameras for quite a while now in my life, but I would never do a wedding for a friend since I have simply not much experience in it. I leave that to the people who know they get it right.
     
  7. stranger77

    stranger77 TPF Noob!

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    Thats a good way to loose a friend, for the next 50 years they will blame the photographer:(

    www.prophoto1.com
     
  8. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Tell him to buy 15 disposable cameras and give them out to the guests. After the wedding he can collect them and develop the shots and will have 15 different viewpoints of his wedding. He might even get a few really good shots. And you won't be the fall-guy.
     
  9. neea

    neea TPF Noob!

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    I agree with everyone else.
    I wouldnt do it.

    I didn't do it. My best friend (for over 20 years) asked me to take her wedding pictures in Mexico. When I refused (again... she had asked me a year before and i said no then) we stopped talking for 3 months... and we had never had a fight in all the years of being friends.
    However, I'm glad that I didn't do it.
    She's disappointed that they are all too dark. That would've been me she was disappointed in.
     
  10. John99

    John99 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for all the great responses. Pretty much what I need to go back and weasel out of something I didn't think I would have to deal with in the first place.
    I guess my nephew got the idea that I might know something about it, is because I like to do my own music videos with my songs which started out as slideshows. But these were pictures that someone else had taken. I also explained that putting together footage of video and pictures is not the same as taking pictures at a wedding.
    I'm ready to wash my hands of the whole thing, and let the chips fall where they may. Neea mentioned that the photographer her best freind got ended up with dark pictures, but that was another thing I was worried about. If he gets another photographer that messes them up, will he be thinking, "If John had done them, then I wouldn't have gotten this guy who screwed them up." ?
    Maybe it's a lose/lose situation. But, I did learn to never assume that if I give someone another option, that they will take it and not come back to me. And if they do, I will just have to say no. I always think that somehow I can be of help if someone needs that help, but this is one of those cases where I could make things worse.
    I love the anaolgy of having the hammer and nails, but that doesn't mean I can build a house. It's like those commercials where the doctor is explaining over the phone to the guy who has to do surgery on himself.
    Thanks again everybody! I appreciate your responses a lot, and welcome any more if anyone is so inclined.
     
  11. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    just reply "Yeah, and then you would have gotten even worse images from John!"

    ;)

    modesty helps a lot here, even if you have to exaggerate and put yourself lower than you are ;)
     
  12. Dagwood56

    Dagwood56 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I agree with everyone else that you should not do it. I'm curious, what does your friends future wife want in wedding photos? Did she just delegate the job of finding a photographer to him and she's expecting him to find a pro weddnig photographer and meanwhile he's out looking to cut corners and save $$ ? It would be a shame for everyone involved if that is the case - not a good way to start\end a special day.

    Carol
     

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