Not what I expected

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by voodoocat, Nov 9, 2003.

  1. voodoocat

    voodoocat ))<>(( Supporting Member

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    Last thursday I got to thinking of ways to make some extra money for the holidays. So I decided to post an ad on our companies intranet classified for family portraits. Well the next day this gal emailed me asking if I do weddings. Well I haven't but I would like to. So now comes the research. I want to be as prepared as possible. I'll shoot 35mm and probably some on the Yashica. I already know what type of film I will use, so I don't need advise on that.

    What should a first time wedding photographer expect? Is there somewhere that has a list of what I should shoot? or wedding photo sites for inspiration.
     
  2. oriecat

    oriecat work in progress

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    Well I can't help ya, voodoo, but I just wanted to say good luck with it all! That's great!
     
  3. Dew

    Dew TPF Noob!

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    you'll probably need an external flash componet and an assistant (your wife :D ) ... you may want to ask them the type of style their looking for, like portrait (still) .. photo journalism, snapshots and the like.. they probably will want a mixture ...

    be preparred for the kind of light the location has to offer, u may want to ask them where it is so u can get an idea of the type of film to bring and what time of day... u may even want to visit the location at the exact time of day to do some test shots.

    thats about all the advice i can offer right now, most of the photographs i do are under "controlled lighting" circumstances. even though u're gonna be nervous, act confident :D

    ask her what color the bridesmaids are gonna be wearing as well ... im assuming she's wearing white :roll:
     
  4. mrsid99

    mrsid99 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Hi Voodoocat!
    Congratulations on the job and I hope there's more to come.
    Dew's advice sounds great.
    I can't offer you much advice apart from make sure you're all in agreement as to what your deliverables will be.
    Weddings are very emotional affairs and if something is not as agreed or, as they assumed it would be, there could be issues.
    Having said that I'm sure a man of your caliber and expertise will have no problems!
    Have fun!
     
  5. photobug

    photobug TPF Noob!

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    While I can't seem to get this site to load Fred Miranda has a pretty good forum on Portraits/Wedding photography. You might also try the Pro Digital Corner on that forum as well.

    Or, you could try the Pro Digital Talk forum at DPReview.

    Either place contains lots of the info you're looking for. Have fun! (both researching & shooting!!)
     
  6. voodoocat

    voodoocat ))<>(( Supporting Member

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    Well I was thinking of borrowing a friends nikon f4 for the wedding and renting a decent flash for it. I'll rent a flash bracket at the same time. I'll have a 28-80 and probably also rent a 105mm lens. I'll bring my manual camera loaded with black and white. Personally, I like the photojournalism type wedding photography. I'm sure the bride would want a mixture.

    Oh, and the wife is definately my assistant. She's a better communicator than I am. ;)

    Good idea. I don't know many details as she emailed me on friday when I was off of work. I've got my fingers crossed for an outdoor wedding.

    Good advice.

    Thanks. I was thinking of other questions to ask.
     
  7. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    If you are going to use rented equipment, I would make sure that you try it out well before the wedding. Unfamiliar equipment may lead to unexpected surprises. I would recommend using your own equipment unless you know for some reason that it's not going to work. Bring back up equip like a second flash and flash cords in case yours crap out.

    Take plenty of film and batteries; you will want to change your batteries for fresh ones as they start to wear-out and recycle times go up. Make sure you know the limits of your flash; many have warnings in small print about overloading the flash with close together shots over a period of time. If you are shooting BW it's hard to beat the flexability of C41 BW.

    Practice loading your camera. You will probably have to reload it while standing and holding it, and you need to be fast. Auto load cameras are best. You will invariably hit the last frame of a roll right before a key moment. In fact, during the ceremony I carry two loaded cameras. There's a lot that you absolutely cannot miss.

    Posed shots are easy, because you can communicate with your subjects, but make sure that you go over the bride's wish list of important shots. You won't be able to consult her during the ceremony or when she's dancing.

    Recruit a cousin or aunt of the bride or groom to help you find VIPs. You'll want to know the difference between rich, old Auntie Sally and the old lady who lives down the block and comes to all the weddings.

    Try to get them to do the posed shots before the ceremony. Everyone will look fresh, and after the ceremony everyone wants to get going to the reception. Start with shots of large groups and whittle down to smaller groups of people. Have your assisstant concentrate on the way folks look; pay attention to the way the dresses fall, hair, etc....

    The best advice I can give is to keep it as simple as possible. It's going to be more stressful and physically demanding than you'd imagine. I've done dozens of weddings, and it's a total workout. I'm beat when I'm finished.
     
  8. voodoocat

    voodoocat ))<>(( Supporting Member

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    Well I have a completely manual camera. I really didn't want to deal with using the chart to take flash photos. I've actually never really taken flash photography. Also my portrait lens is a vivitar macro lens (f3.5). The optics are fine but focusing is a ***** because it's so loose. If I shoot with my camera I'll have to buy 135mm f2.8 lens.
     
  9. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    This is all good advice....but the best I read was to try your best to keep it simple, and the tone light. Weddings can be fun and a big party atmosphere...they can also be strange, with lots of drama that has nothing to do with you, but can get in your way while you're trying to get the job done.

    By all means, meet with your bride at least a couple of times to get an idea of the style she wants, and a list of VIPs. And ALWAYS scout out the location!!! You'll just feel more comfortable. Test ALL your equipment and carry back-ups for everything.

    To keep it simple....if she has only vague notions of the wedding style or seems willing to leave it in your hands, if you take several portraits of her, of the groom, the parents, and get the expected group shots of wedding party and various family members....tossing in as many "candids" as you can....you will do well. Your soft focus filter will be your best friend for the portraits. If your wife can operate even a point and shoot, she could snag some candids in B&W....just a little extra to make your effort stand out. Don't forget to get a photo of the cake itself. They paid good money for it, so give it some soft light and shoot it. That's an image that also can help to "divide" the book between the ceremony and reception.

    Visualize some kind of "final" shot to close your book with while you have bride and groom together. Strolling away from you down a sidewalk if it's nice outside, or seated on the altar steps informally is cute. My husband and I haven't done weddings for a few years now, cause of the total work/stress thing involved....but we always loved putting together the preview book. That's YOUR fun part!

    Finally....get at least half the money up front, enough to cover your costs. Should they all get drunk and merry, they seem to *forget* they still owe us working stiffs. It's a drag to talk business with drunk people. :wink:

    Congrats on the gig! Have fun with it!
     
  10. drlynn

    drlynn TPF Noob!

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    Good luck, Voodoo!! You're a brave man, braver than I am! :wink:
     
  11. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Voodoo, make sure to use flash from 35mm and up, unless you use a diffuser over the flash head. Otherwise you get flash-vignetting.

    The 105 seems great!

    :)
     
  12. TwistMyArm

    TwistMyArm TPF Noob!

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    I've got nothing to offer as far as technical help goes. I'm just here to wish ya luck. Good luck voodoo!
     

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