Terrified of potential first wedding shoot

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by NateS, Nov 24, 2008.

  1. NateS

    NateS TPF Noob!

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    Alright. This weekend I'm doing my first "pro/real" portrait session for the sister of my wife's good friend. Free session, so nothing to lose.

    Well, my wife's friend is getting married in June and wants me to be her photographer for the wedding. I've had my wife tell her that I wouldn't feel comfortable two times but she still wants me to do it. Her fiance also wants me to do the wedding. I told her that I'd be glad to be a second/backup photographer which she thought was nice. Seems they still would like me to do it since they are on a really tight budget and can't afford a big expensive photographer.

    So, what should I do? I know there's no yes or no answer to that, but I'm just not sure here. I would do the shoot for free since it would be my first one. I'd rather do for free so they aren't quite AS dissapointed if the photo's suck.

    Wedding will be at our local park at 6:30pm in June, so the light shouldn't be harsh, but still be light out....might become a problem with getting dark toward the end, but probably not (being in June).

    My equipment list is:

    D70s
    50mm f1.8
    Sigma 70-300 APO Macro
    SB-600
    Stofen Diffuser
    Stand and 33" white umbrella
    Cactus Triggers (be here this week)

    I could pick up a Tamron 17-50 f2.8 or Sigma 18-50 f2.8 by June or at least rent a 17-55 for the wedding. I could also pick up a second stand, umbrella, and Vivitar flash to fire with the cactus triggers if needed.

    I would have a good 6 months to practice, but I'm sure she'd like to know soon in case she needs to book a photographer. Any advice would be appreciated.

    I could possibly come accross a backup body from somebody if needed as well. I know a guy with a D40 that I could probably borrow as a "just in case".


    Edit: Oh, and I would love to get into wedding photography, but don't want to "ruin" somebody's wedding day to get my practice....that's my main concern. Oh and no, I don't really know any photographers in the area that I could shadow between now and then.
     
  2. Alleh Lindquist

    Alleh Lindquist TPF Noob!

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    You get started in the business by calling them up and asking for work as a second shooter or apprentice.
     
  3. NateS

    NateS TPF Noob!

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    Okay. I guess I can try that. Would that not be threatening to them as potentially training future competition? That was my initial thoughts regarding randomly calling photogs.
     
  4. abraxas

    abraxas No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Don't be afraid- Just do it. Have fun.
     
  5. Big Bully

    Big Bully TPF Noob!

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    I have done a few (free) weddings in my day. It is really intimidating at first but you really can start to have fun with it. Also practice taking shots of your wife, kids and anyone else you know.
    I did all of my weddings without fancy equipment. I just used a Fuji S2000 and the shots turned out pretty good.
    Good luck.
     
  6. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    out of curiosity, why cactus triggers when your D70 and 600 talk to eachother anyway?

    Nikon's CLS has been more reliable in my experience.
     
  7. Kegger

    Kegger TPF Noob!

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    Hey Nate, if I still have my D70s at that point I'll let you borrow it as a secondary.

    And the Tamron is a great little lens, here's a shot I got with mine.
     
  8. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    See how the portrait shoot goes. I guess as long as the exposure is correct and no one's head is cut off then you are good to go for the wedding. Right?

    I have seen your work and the exposures are correct and all that fun stuff. Other then that it does not look like you put a lot of thought into what you are doing. You will not be terrified as long as you know your work is the best it can be. Shoot long and hard between now and June and figure out your signature style. It is not an impossible task, but it will take a lot of work. We are here to help you every step of the way.

    Love & Bass
     
  9. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You could try something simple... like googling wedding photography? There are a good 700-800 websites that talk about it. That alone would have you busy for 6 months with info focused on what to practice and what to do.

    While you are reading these sites, take notes of all pictures/poses/ideas that you like and practice to attain them.

    There are a ton of good wedding photography books. Pick up a couple and practice/read.

    Definitely.... DEFINITELY go contact a local wedding photographer and ask for assistance or even see if they will let you 2nd shoot. You *MUST* have the basics of photography down. If you do not know the difference between ISO, aperture, shutter speed and basic flash lighting, get those down BEFORE you approach a pro. It took me 2 days to find someone to 2nd for. You have 6 months. That's MORE than enough time to find someone... if you have the ability.

    Your equipment list is lacking. You are going to need a long fast lens that will be good for the portrait shots, distant church shots and the formals. my first 2 weddings were done 70% using the 70-200 F/2.8 lens. The next 2 were a 50-50 split between the 70-200 and the 30mm F/1.4 and 50mm F/1.8 lens. I wish I had my 85mm F/1.4 at the time, I needed it!

    Believe it or not, there WILL be times that on camera iTTL flash will be more important than off camera flash. Learn and be comfortable with some front fill flash and how to use it for those fast moving situations. Formals... more than likely you will not be using umbrellas unless it is indoors, which is not likely the case. Also, 1 or 2 flashes are woefully inadequate for anything more than 2-3 people at MOST, even if those 1-2 flashes were SB-900s. Formal pics have a lot more than that in them. Go out into a shaded area, and use fill flash... but you will likely need at least 2 umbrellas and 2 flashes as a bare minimum.

    Cactus triggers are NO better than your built-in camera CLS, and indeed are inferior... until you mod them. They will be totally unreliable at anything over 25-30 feet before... and if you do it right... good for 350+ feet afterward. MOD THOSE TRIGGERS! :)
    Here is how... do BOTH mods!:
    http://jerryphpics.blogspot.com/2008/07/004-cactus-v2s-modifications.html
    http://flickr.com/photos/jerryph/sets/72157605997210124/
    [​IMG][​IMG]


    Finally... PRACTICE, PRACTICE PRACTICE!!! In the next 6 months, give yourself the goal of taking A MINIMUM OF 10,000 shots focused on the specifics of wedding and associated techniques.

    Do a ton of low light shooting with and without flash. Learn your equipment like never before... know how many batteries it takes in the camera to do 1500 shots, how many AA batteries your flash needs to take 1500 shots, learn how many batteries in the trigger AND receivers you need to take 1500 shots. On the day of, have 2 times that many batteries freshly charged. Have a backup camera, either yours or someone else's and KNOW how to use it as well as your own. Come to think of it, have a backup for EVERYTHING. Chances are something can and most likely will happen. If you are ready, all will go well. If you are not ready... too bad, so sad.

    Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2008
  10. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Oh... I forgot the most important point to make... if you are scared and "terrified" to do it... just say no. Better to be honest with your skills and give them a chance to get someone better, than have them live with crappy pics to look at for the rest of their lives.
     
  11. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Regardless, make a contract. Free or not. When you have some one asking you to edit an additional 800 photos because they think everything in the world should be included, you'll be happy that you have a piece of paper saying the initial photos and edits are all they're entitled to.

    And irregarless (ha ha f'ers. I'm using a word that doesn't exsist! Goblediegook!)...Ahem, I mean, regardless of if they're friends, family, or friends of the family, things can happen. You don't want anything to come between pre-exsisting relationships because people think you're a door mat or that they're underestimating your ability as a photographer.
     
  12. NateS

    NateS TPF Noob!

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    Cactus Triggers, because 1, the delay with CLS, 2. I've always had an issue with subjects blinking in the photos using CLS.

    Thanks Keegan. I might take you up on that when and if the time comes.

    Awesome info and I hugely appreciate it. I will definitely do all the above, from research, books, modding triggers, practice...etc.....



    I look at this as a huge opportunity. In the past 6 months my skills (generally) in other areas of phtography have grown leaps and bounds and that's without a ton of practice. I think with plenty of practice, I can improve a lot by then.


    THanks to everybody else for the helpful posts as well.
     

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