Need some Pointers

Discussion in 'The Professional Gallery' started by EscapeTurn, May 30, 2006.

  1. EscapeTurn

    EscapeTurn TPF Noob!

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    Been a while since I've posted here, but I knew you guys would have some great advice.

    I just got an invitation to photograph my friend's wedding this coming April. I'm flattered, and extremely excited! Problem is, I've never photographed a wedding before. I havn't even been to a wedding since I was about 6 years old. I've done a good bit of looking at wedding photos and tips (the tip thread here was very helpful). I'm nowhere near a professional photographer, and while I know I can get some good shots, I don't have a whole lot of confidence in myself at this point!

    I don't have a huge collection of gear because I'm just getting started with serious photography. My camera is a Nikon D50. I have an SB-600 external flash, the D50 kit lens, a Quantaray 70-300 telephoto lens, and of course, a tripod. I hope to get a Nikon 18-200 between now and April, and my birthday and Christmas are between now and then, so maybe I'll get some more fun stuff. ;)

    So I'm really just looking for suggestions on what to do. Are there any good books/sites on wedding photography that I can look at? What kinds of lenses (preferably at relatively low price ranges) have you guys found to work best? Is there anyway to practice?

    Thanks so much in advance! :blushing:
     
  2. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    I can't help you with any of that but I can wish you all the luck in the world and applaud your courage to try new things. Go for it and good luck.

    It would seem to be a good idea to go to a couple of wedding between now and then and just watch what the photographers do. It isn't the same as reading about it. Most of the time you don't even have to know the people to go watch the ceremony. If you are well behaved you can probably watch what the photographer does after the wedding. If you know the people it would be even better.

    Friends and family always stood behind me and made pictures. I never minded at all. That will give you some good idea what is going on.
     
  3. AprilRamone

    AprilRamone TPF Noob!

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    If you can, see if there is a local photographer who would be willing to take you under their wing and show you some things while at a wedding. That's what I'm working on trying to do right now.
    Good luck!
     
  4. danalec99

    danalec99 TPF Noob!

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    Books: Go to amazon and run a search for Bambi Cantrell, Paul Gero and/or Bill Hurter. [ame="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0817433252/qid=1149039174/sr=2-2/ref=pd_bbs_b_2_2/103-3239315-1832609?s=books&v=glance&n=283155"]The Art of Wedding Photography: Professional Techniques with Style[/ame]* is a very successful book which is co-authored by Bambi. You don't necessarily have to buy all these books. Make good use of the local library or the nearest Barnes & Noble/Borders etc.

    Also, observe the work of several photographers to get the idea of the images they shoot during a wedding. Depending on your approach, WPJA and PPA are two good sources.

    However, like mysteryscribe said, just reading or looking at some pics won't help you enough. Weddings are pressured environments, where a reshoot is out of question. Cover a wedding, only and when you are confident. Being an assistant is a good idea to get a first hand feel.

    Wishing you the best! :thumbsup:

    *Since you are using a digital system, you may also want to check these titles:
    [ame="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0817433244/qid=1149040763/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/103-3239315-1832609?s=books&v=glance&n=283155"]The Art Of Digital Wedding Photography: Professional Techniques With Style[/ame] - Bambi Cantrell, Skip Cohen
    [ame="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1592004717/ref=pd_sim_b_1/103-3239315-1832609?%5Fencoding=UTF8&v=glance&n=283155"]Digital Wedding Photography[/ame] - Paul Gero
     
  5. Holly

    Holly TPF Noob!

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    I have not done a wedding before myself.. BUT Some day I hope to.. My brother is getting married soon *November* and they already have a photographer, but he and his fiance asked me if I would like to shoot as well to get in some practice... OF course I said YES! But Im not sure I will actually make this wedding or not.. Hopefully I will! SO yes hit a few weddings in between and try it out... Its a wonderful opportunity!
     
  6. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    Back in the old days when I was working and shot weddings at least once a year someone asked to be an assistant for money of course. I always declined. This brings up and interesting question.

    Would a working pro, in todays climate, be willing to teach someone new the ropes. I mean you would most certainly be adding to an already crowded market.

    I personally carried the bags for an eighty year old pro when I started. Unpaid of course. In exchange I got to watch him work and even stand behind him with my tlr and shoot samples. At eighty the man's voice could be heard all over the church.

    "Come on people let's move it. You do want to get to the reception before the first anniversary party don't you?"

    So, would you let someone tag along? By the way I have had a few just starting out photographers tag along unpaid... But I might not be the norm I was already winding down.

    And of course I trained my son in law who doesn't count. He is family more or less lol...
     
  7. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    While I think it's really cool that you were asked, you might want to talk to them a bit more about it. Shooting a wedding isn't something that you can go back and redo. A lot of people don't understand what experience can bring to the table, so they ask a friend with a camera to shoot their wedding, hoping to save a few dollars. I guess a lot depends on how experienced you are at people photography in general. I haven't seen much of your work, so they may be really impressed by it.

    I don't want to discourage you, but a wedding can be a big thing to take on. Not only do you have to be able to take good candids, but you have to pose the family for formals, which involves a skill at people wrangling.

    It's something that could turn out to be a wonderful experience, but it could also become a disaster and strain a friendship, depending on what the bride and groom expect. You have almost a year, so if you can get some experience by then, I'd say go for it. But talk to them first so that you know exactly what they are expecting. Good luck!
     
  8. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    So mark could he tag along with you?
     
  9. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    Heh. I think "she", but if I were doing weddings, yeah. I've had good experiences with photographers I know helping me out, so I like to do the same.

    I'm kind of a broken record about this, but networking is your friend. Get to know the photographers in your area: join a photo club; go to show openings at gelleries; take classes. It all really pays off in a lot of ways.
     
  10. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    I couldnt agree more...

    Of the people who have got their start with me, none came from a call on the phone. It was people I met at the photo lab standing around talking while I picked up prints. Those are the ones who got the "privilege" of working with me. Well who did once, I don't do anything now.

    It is much harder to say no to a person whose kid's names you know, than to a voice on the phone.
     
  11. EscapeTurn

    EscapeTurn TPF Noob!

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    Thanks SO much for the responses! I've got a much better understanding now! :)
     

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