Wedding Photography

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by mgbradsh, Oct 9, 2006.

  1. mgbradsh

    mgbradsh TPF Noob!

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    Hi. I haven't been here in a while.

    A couple friends and I are thinking of starting a business for wedding photography. I'm currently going through the whole wedding planning thing and thanks to my fiancee ;) have had to look at a fair amount of photography sites. At very least we're hoping to spend the weekends taking pictures (something we do anyways) and make enough money to buy some good photo gear.

    So, I'm wondering if anyone has gotten into this and how it worked for them or any problems they came across.

    Oh, and I live in Calgary, Alberta in case anyone is worried about competition.
     
  2. ladyphotog

    ladyphotog TPF Noob!

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    Have you ever shot a wedding before? You can make some great money at it but it will soon comsume your life. It is very stressful because every shot must be great and you don't have alot of time to set up for it. The best thing I can tell you is to get a game plan down and follow it. Make sure that you have a good contract that covers you if something happens because it will and that you have good reliable equipment. Good luck.
     
  3. mgbradsh

    mgbradsh TPF Noob!

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    One of my friends has done 3. The nice part is there will be 3 or 4 of us doing each wedding, so if one of us misses something the other ones should get it.

    But yeah, it's one of our big concerns. Thanks though.
     
  4. Peanuts

    Peanuts TPF Noob!

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    I have never shot a wedding before, so I should be the last person to comment, but as a hypothetical client, I would have some concerns that the price would be increased to simply accomodate the 3 or 4 individuals shooting.
    I have actually had a flip through quite a few wedding portfolios of photographers in Calgary, and while there are a handful of outright fantastic (some here: http://www.discovercalgary.com/Calgary/BusinessIndex/Photographers-Wedding/) for instance Alan Maudie and Dave and Quin Cheung, photographers, there are some that I am certain with shadowing and such that could easily be 'overtaken'.

    That wasn't very helpful (none of my posts are. :lol: They usually start out with a purpose and dwindle to rambling) but it throws out a few things to look at.
     
  5. mgbradsh

    mgbradsh TPF Noob!

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    My fiancee and I got a wedding photographer who will stay from 8am until 12am, so all day, for about $1500. And we get the "digital negatives" on a CD. He takes great pictures too, and he's pretty nice which is good. When we were looking around for one, he really jumped out because of the price and the quality, and 16 hours of picture taking. As a customer, I was pretty excited about finding him.

    That's really what we'd plan on charging for about the same hours and services. To start at least while we build a name for ourselves. We all have other jobs, so we don't have to rely on weddings for money so we'd be careful not to charge an arm and a leg for pictures.
     
  6. Swiss

    Swiss TPF Noob!

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    3 or 4 photographers are probably too many. You will be in each others way and lots of pastors or the couple get distracted easily and won't like more than one or two photographers around. I would recommend a test shoot with friends of yours, that dress up in their wedding costumes and pose for you. That way you can figure out, what you should do better next time and also have a number of photos, that you can show to your future customers and convince them, you're good :).
     
  7. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I'm currently taking a 'designing wedding photography' class. (I think that Dave and Quin Cheung, took classes from the same teacher).
    One of the most important things that we have learned...is not to undercharge. If you are planning to shoot all day, with 3 or 4 shooters...for $1500...you are not charging enough.

    Think about it...8 hours of shooting (x4 shooters is 32 hours), you are looking at editing many many shots...maybe thousands, so that's maybe 10-40 hours. Now look at all the other time consuming things...meeting with the client (maybe 2 or three times), going to the venue before to check it out, maybe meeting with the church official, maybe travel time. You would only be charging them $10-15 dollars an hour...and that does not include your overhead...things like equipment, income tax & business expenses (you are planning on running a legitimate business aren't you?)...now at the end of this...what is left for you to take home?

    There is a lot of money to be made...(and even more if you don't care about doing a good job)...but you have to be careful. Lets say you give the client everything you can...for $1500. Then what can you possibly do to justify charging $3000?

    I suggest taking a class, if you can. It's a good way to get some direction and make contacts.
     
  8. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Here we go again "I take pictures I think I will shoot weddings for a living how hard can it be" why don't you try shadowing a photographer a few times mabye assist or at least crawl before you get up to run a marathon. Look wedding photography can be lucrative but like any other craft it takes time to learn how to do it right so before you say you want to start a business try to mabye learn if you can do it.
     
  9. guitarkid

    guitarkid TPF Noob!

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    maybe a little less harsh next time.....
     
  10. Jeepnut28

    Jeepnut28 TPF Noob!

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    I just shot my second wedding this past weekend. First one I shot alongside a "pro". This one I did on my own. My take on it, is you definately need a second shooter. I worked off of a shot list the bride put together for me. I told her, that there was NO WAY I could get all the shots she wanted, some of her shots would require me to be TWO places at the same time. I have one more wedding booked in Vegas (should be easy, no shot list, clients just want me to be creative and want me to party with them).......after that I am NOT doing another wedding unless I can find a damn good second shooter.
     
  11. guitarkid

    guitarkid TPF Noob!

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    glad it went well. that's my take on it as well. i don't know what these brides think...or people for that matter. if you know you have from 3-330pm for altar shots at the church but you need to get outdoor shots of you and your groom from 3-330, and also get people leaving the church at 3pm....what? am i 3 people....there is no way. you just explain to them that a 30 min. window is not much and what do they feel is the most important. i always work with a 2nd shooter. it makes it so much better. we watch each others stuff, it doesn't get as monotonous when you are staying until midnight, and you get many more shots to work with. if you don't get the shots...chances are they did. glad it's working out.
    steve
     
  12. Jeepnut28

    Jeepnut28 TPF Noob!

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    I am pleased with what I did. I did miss a couple of shots I really wanted to get though.
     

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