Scary possibility.

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by monkeykoder, Oct 23, 2008.

  1. monkeykoder

    monkeykoder TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2007
    Messages:
    4,143
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Sacramento CA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    A friend of mine is considering getting married and as he is still in college the plan is doing it super cheap. I have this odd feeling they might ask me to do the photography. This idea scares the living crap out of me as I don't think I'm anywhere near capable of doing it. As the cost of a real photographer is quite exorbitant if they end up not capable of affording anyone else I might take it upon myself to help them out. The question is what could I do to give myself the chance of succeeding if the situation comes up? I should note that wedding plans are kind of underway but as I've been there already I have some doubt as to them going through and the plan is approx 6mo away.
     
  2. Photonic Harmony

    Photonic Harmony TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2008
    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    There have been a few threads on this subject. I have shot two weddings in the past and I was very nervous about the whole thing, fortunately the shots turned out well.

    I put the camera on auto (weddings are not the time to play with settings and get experimentally technical)
    I avoided problematic lighting situations (the camera did well on its standard metering)
    I decided the what, who and order of what I was going to shoot before the wedding took place.
    I visited the location and decided where I would be taking the majority of the pictures, should it be sunny and a location should it be raining.

    That was about it for me, I didn't make it anymore complicated than it needed to be. Hope this helps.
     
  3. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    23,099
    Likes Received:
    3,765
    Location:
    UK - England
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit

    this will be your biggest problem - if you don't feel confidant in your skills and your camera to perform well then your going to worry as you shoot. That means your going to be very tempted to chimp a lot (look at each shot as you take it) and are probably going to end up fiddling and worrying about settings the whole time.
    Shooting in auto mode might take away part of that fear, but its going to really hurt you if auto mode is failing to deliver the requireed results - I would say shooting in aperture priority so that you can at least have control over your depth of field via your aperture.

    Another thing you might try is asking round your area and seeing if you can second shoot a wedding with another photographer - just to get some in the field experiences without the pressure of having to actually perform well (ergo you have experimentation time/chances) - of coures you willl have to have a good portfolio to prove that you are not wasting the other photographers time - and if you do get the chance make sure your not getting in their way on the day --
     
  4. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2003
    Messages:
    9,523
    Likes Received:
    344
    Location:
    North New Jersey, United States of America
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Personally, I would turn down such an offer and work extra hard to find a photographer on the cheap. (Maybe a student college photographer looking for some extra cash)

    My decision would have nothing to do with my capabilities or the capabilities of a "low budget" photographer to deliver. The decision would be based solely on the fact that I wouldn't want to mix business with friendships. Funny things happen during weddings (both good and bad) and I wouldn't want to get mixed up in it.

    If it were a friend of a friend or an acquaintance with which you really have little close personal ties, I would consider the offer. In that case, it would be a pure business transaction no matter how inexpensive you price yourself.
     
  5. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2008
    Messages:
    7,274
    Likes Received:
    406
    Location:
    Shepherdsturd, WV / Almost, MD
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    If you know how to use manual mode, then this isn't a good suggestion. I don't "play" with settings and experiment. I know which ones I need to get an acceptable photo

    Avoiding problematic lighting situations could mean not shooting at all during a ceremony. The wedding I shot a few weeks ago was in a horrible lit church. I made a good lighting situation. I was using my flash.

    You must of been working with some forgiving brides. Some of the brides from the stories I hear about would either laugh at you or yell at you for trying to tell them how their wedding is going to go.
     
  6. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2007
    Messages:
    6,111
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Montreal, QC, Canada
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    If you are scared, accept the reality that you cannot do them justice and let them know this truth (forcefully if needed. This is for THEIR own good, not yours). It is doing them a favor if you adamantly refuse and suggest that they find someone that will give them what they DESERVE. A wedding is a ONCE in a lifetime event. They deserve the best they can get.

    If you have 2-6 months time, and if your efforts are VERY concentrated and focused, you might be able to learn the basics. Mind you... the BASICS... of wedding photography, at which point you may be able to do them some level of quality that they might be able to live with, though it still won't even be in the same ballpark as someone that is an experienced wedding photographer.

    Basically, what you need are:
    - An incredibly strong desire to excel

    - a goal of about 10,000 practice pictures focusing on very specific aspects of wedding photography, divided up in proper groupings of the various challenges you will encounter

    - Read... a LOT.

    - Practice... a LOT

    Wedding photography is THE MOST CHALLENGING area in photography, bar none. In no other area are you DEMANDED to know any many skills as you need to be successful.

    Good luck in whatever you choose to do. :)
     
  7. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2007
    Messages:
    6,111
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Montreal, QC, Canada
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Unfortunately, there is a HUGE difference between what your "well" and the "well" of a professional or experienced photographer are. Also, more precisely, what the B&G expect and deserve are pictures a little better than those that turn out "well". ;)

    For the inexperienced photographer, this is the "safe" thing to do. It is, sadly, FAR from the proper way to get the best results. Leaving the choice of metering to some unknown Japanese engineer over the choices of the experienced photographer is as great a difference as a comparing a student driver to a Formula race car driver. Not quite the same planet. ;)

    See above. An experienced photographer sees no such things as problematic lighting situations. They see situations and opportunities to create unique results.

    I have a list of 200 things I do BEFORE the camera even comes out of the case, near none that have anything to do with photography. I then have a list of 100 items that get done BEFORE the first picture is done. I then have a list of the top 100 pictures that I want to take and the top25-50 MUST HAVE pictures that must be taken no matter what.

    Again, leaving the metering in the hands of ANYONE but you... shows a clear lack of understanding of even basic camera metering. YOU CAN DO BETTER YOURSELF! :D

    In real life, a photographer looks around, gets a few ideas, maybe even writes down a few notes, but VERY RARELY what he decides comes to fruition. A wedding is EXTREMELY dynamic and ever changing and evolving. Most times, the photographer cannot even make the decision of where/how the pics happen, the B&G decide.

    For someone with less than 6 months of camera holding time, I am sure it bolstered their confidence... unfortunately, if you do the research, you will find out that it is a LOT more complex, a LOT more challenging and a LOT less than what you could or should be offering the wedding couple if you are the main photographer. If you are someone just playing and learning, do all that you want, however, if you are the primary, let me be frank and say that your results, based on your displayed level of knowledge, will be far below what they bride and groom deserve on this most important and unrepeatable day.
     
  8. Yemme

    Yemme No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Messages:
    2,654
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    NY
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Why are you setting high expectations. Just take the picture... Would it really be a bad thing if it was not studio quality. Is that the concern or is it not wanting the responsibility?
     
  9. Photonic Harmony

    Photonic Harmony TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2008
    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Oh Jerry,

    I thought we were talking about someone who has little or no experience, I think you missed the point of my post there squire. With that said all your points are valid, unfortunately the chap above cannot cram all that learning into such a short space of time. Next time, try being objective as opposed to trying to be king of the hill.

    If they want these "professional" pictures you so lordly speak of, perhaps they won't ask this chap to do them, instead they'll hire someone with the expertise.


    Good day.
     
  10. SilverGlow

    SilverGlow TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Orange County, Calif
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    To the OP: Don't shoot the wedding! That day is the most important for the B&G, and there are no 2nd chances. DO NOT DO IT!!!

    Unless, you've assisted on at least 3-5 weddings, know camera-flash workflow inside and out, know how to shoot with the body in manual, and have at least two bodies, two flases, and the list goes on and on and on. But that's just the technical side...the harder and more important side of weddings is direction and composition...if you've never done that then you are in big trouble. Don't and in fact NEVER depend on the B&G to tell you all the poses....sure they might suggest this and that but at the end of the day, they're paying you to compose...they are paying for your eye. I have known countless excellent photographers, those that know camera workflow inside and out FOBAR weddings because although they knew how to use a camera like an expert, their wedding compositional skills are craaap.

    Weddings are 100 times harder to shoot then they seem. Having shot 100+ myself, I know a little about weddings.

    Did I already mention, don't do it? They're a millions time too important to leave to someone that doesn't know anything about them. Knowing proper camera workflow is just 1/10 of the skills needed to shoot a wedding successfully.

    Perhaps you can offer to pay for 1/3 or 1/2 of the pro fee as your gift to them?
     
  11. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2008
    Messages:
    7,274
    Likes Received:
    406
    Location:
    Shepherdsturd, WV / Almost, MD
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    There's a huge difference in having little to no experience with a camera and having to shoot on auto vs. having little to no experience with a wedding and being nervous at not being able to capture the shots you want.

    One's a lot easier to fix in a short amount of time.
     
  12. Yemme

    Yemme No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Messages:
    2,654
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    NY
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    OK..... So even if someone knows your capabilities in photography and know they are not up to par. You should turn it down... even if they might have no other means. Would it really be wrong to accept when they have an idea of your talent?

    I'm trying to understand...The old saying "Beggars can't be choosers."
     

Share This Page