Wedding photos

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by GARRETTgalbreath, Feb 22, 2005.

  1. GARRETTgalbreath

    GARRETTgalbreath TPF Noob!

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    I've been photographing things for 2 weeks now and I was asked to show my work to my art class today, and afterwards I was approached by a lady asking if I'd be interested in taking photos of her wedding. I told her I don't have much experience and the wedding is about 25 days away. What should I do? What should I do to prepare? I mostly shoot nature shots and a few architectural inbetween. Your input is appreciated.
     
  2. Kodan_Txips

    Kodan_Txips TPF Noob!

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    Don't do wedding shots until you are ABSOLUTELY 100% confident in your ability, your understanding of your camera, the whole damn shebang. 2 weeks experience is not enough.

    It may seem like money for jam, but wedding photography is extremely demanding, and you only have to miss out 1 particular traditional shot that the bride's mum was expecting and she will curse you unto the 7th generation.

    If you do agree to do it, you crazy fiend, make sure you have AT LEAST two of everything you need, tripods, REALLY POWERFUL flash guns, cameras or camera backs (maybe even 2 B&W, 2 colour) etc etc

    Then google for a list of traditional shot, check up on the venues - church, reception hall, gardens in which to take outdoor shots - but don't forget the (artificial and posed) candids of the bride getting ready, the groom at home looking nervous, and so on.

    Make sure your transport is sorted. Get a tick list of the shots you want. Ask bride, groom, bride's mum for special requests. IMPORTANT, check that there will be no professionals in the area - my first set of wedding shots features a bloke with a big tripod, or his burly helper, in nearly every frame. (b@st@rds...)

    Good point that - get 1 or 2 helpers. They can grab wanderers from the flock, they can do zone marking, checking that no one has their eyes shut during important and vital large group shots, etc etc.

    Have I scared you off yet?

    Final point. Check local wedding photographers for their prices. Undercut them - BUT, only by the tiniest margin. You are putting yourself on the line here, and deserve to be rewarded accordingly.
     
  3. fadingaway1986

    fadingaway1986 I Burn Easily :(

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    If you were to do it, I would make sure you clearly explain to them that you are not experienced in this sort of thing. And I would also say to have something written saying so, and get them to sign it... This will save you from being taken to court later on if the shots aren't what they expected, as you have notified them that this is your first wedding, and that you are in no way a professional in this area.

    (and if they aren't happy with the shots at the end, I would offer to give them the photos at the cost of film & developing & don't charge them for your time... This will also look good if they do happen to try any of that court stuff...)

    Now, I have never photographed a wedding before, so I can't talk from experience... This is just the sort of stuff I gather from watching judge judy :) -- document EVERYTHING... otherwise it's your word against their's.

    Good Luck :)
     
  4. Sharkbait

    Sharkbait TPF Noob!

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    If you'd like to take a look at the wedding contract I use, as well as a suggested photo list, take a look at www.whitesharkphoto.com/forms.htm . If there's ANY money involved, I would definitely get something in writing beforehand. Weddings are BIG deals to people, and even if this lady is nice now and says she doesn't mind your inexperience, as kodan said, if you miss a key shot here and there, you're in for a heap of scorn at the least, and possibly a lawsuit if there was money involved.
     
  5. SWFLA1

    SWFLA1 TPF Noob!

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    Garrett -

    Listen to what these people are saying... I shot weddings for 30 years and was fortunate enough to come out "unscathed", but it's a work intensive, nerve racking assignment..... If you decide to go ahead, keep us posted...
     
  6. danalec99

    danalec99 TPF Noob!

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    Wedding is an important event in one's life. I wouldn't do it if I am not ready yet. There is no time to fiddle with the "settings". Do it only if you are confident.

    All the very best! :):thumbup:
     
  7. GARRETTgalbreath

    GARRETTgalbreath TPF Noob!

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    WOW Thanks everyone, amazing and very profound replies. I'm still deciding, I've been reading a lot about wedding shots and looking at hundreds of photos, and well, ignoring my inexperience, my age, my fear of everything that could go wrong, I don't think my camera is going to be even close to anything anyone is going to expect. This is my camera:
    [​IMG]

    More info on it. http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sonydscv1/ . Should I even consider attempting this? I'm well aware the possibility of getting in way over my head, but I'm a teen so "personal fable" is still setting in (nothing bad can happen to me and I'm invincible). I THINK I can do decently, but logically I know a lot of people do this as a profession, and it's not something one can just wing.

    She got my number after class, and I told her to keep in contact and that I really don't have any experience in this area at all, and that I'd like to take some practice shots of the places the wedding/reception/etc would be held, and granted it has only been a day, I would like to hear from her soon so I can see exactly what's going to need to be done.

    On another note, I usually shoot photos with lowest ISO that I can, adjusting aperture and exposure time accordingly to keep it from being too dark or blown out. But on some of the pages I've read about wedding photography, a lot of the photographers use ISO1600 (which is double what my camera will allow). I was under the assumption lower ISO's make the image darker, but clearer. Can someone clarify this for me? And again, I can't express how insightful and helpful every single reply has been. Thank you everyone.
     
  8. Kodan_Txips

    Kodan_Txips TPF Noob!

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    Ok, can I make a suggestion?

    Tell her to get a professional to do the standard shots, that whole scarey Wedding thing.

    Offer your services as a roving candids photographer, shooting from the hip, catching the best man kissing one of the bridesmaids, seeing auntie Clara slightly drunk and trying to dance - stuff like that.

    All you want is transport there, and a few crumbs from the buffet, whatever, tell her. And you may find that your shots, especially of the reception, are the ones they will treasure.

    Price the prints at a decent profit to you, and invest in extra memory cards for your camera beforehand. Take spare batteries, and maybe a soft focus filter,

    That camera is a nice point and shoot, but not really up to the job of being the main picture taking device.

    But if she is willing to let you do candids, she may be able to lower the demands on the pro photographer, and thus the cost to her.

    You will have the benefit of a learnng experience, and a chance to really study how a wedding pro works - it will be quite an eye-opener for you, I expect.

    Good luck.
     
  9. Big Mike

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

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    Wow...that's a big picture. :D

    That's not what I would choose to shoot a wedding with...but that's not to say you can't take good photos with it. My main concern with a camera like that is the flash...it's too small, not very powerful and way, way too close to the lens.

    I haven't heard that many wedding photographers shoot with 1600 film...or ISO setting. The film grain or digital noise would be pretty high. Maybe only if they were shooting inside and no flash was allowed.

    If I were in your shoes...I would politely decline to be the primary wedding photographer for this lady. There are just too many things that could go wrong...and this is supposed to be a once in a lifetime type of thing....no 2nd chances. What if your camera stops working?...what if you don't have enough memory space? What if your photo just don't turn out as good as you/they thought they would?

    She seems to be trying to save some money by asking a student rather than hiring a pro...that's understandable but I'll say it again...this is a one time event.

    That being said...you might still be able to do some shooting for her. I have been asked to shoot some weddings but I don't feel that I have the equipment or experience just yet. What I do instead is shoot supplemental stuff. The bride and/or groom getting ready, candids of the guests, candids while the pro shoots the formals...and lots of stuff at the reception. I leave the important stuff like the ceremony and the formals to the hired pro.
     
  10. mad_malteaser

    mad_malteaser TPF Noob!

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    That's a great suggestion, and exactly the one I made when my friend asked me to photograph at her wedding later this year. There's no way someone of my inexperience would want to take on the responsibility of someone's wedding photo's, so I'm going to be there as a guest with a camera. Any shots she likes, she'll purchase from me. Might be something you would find worth considering.
     
  11. GARRETTgalbreath

    GARRETTgalbreath TPF Noob!

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    Good idea Kodan, that's what some of my friends suggested doing, having a professional come and me just help out and do what I can. I know this camera isn't high quality, but it's all I have to work with. I'm new and just working on the fundamentals of photography. I already knew she was trying to save money by hiring someone from her classes, and if anything I'll just tell her I'll photograph for free and burn a cd of what I captured. If anything I'd be glad to do it for the experience, the cash is just a plus. I'll let her know this is one of those things you don't cut corners on (like safety devices) you want to make sure it's right. I really can't even begin to thank everyone for these wise suggestions.

    On another note, what about a camera? I want to get into more high quality photos and maybe considering photography as a good hobby to earn funds, what does everyone suggest? I don't want to spend thousands and thousands on a camera, but I do want something that's not necessairly super user friendly, but I want something with a lot of control that allows me to capture exactly what I envision. I've heard a lot of people mentioning the digital camera. As far as brand or anyother specifics I'm indifferent, but it's a must that it be digital. I don't even want to mess with film, at least not for a few more years (yea I'm lazy, sue me).

    Also consider me being 18, college student, and working part time to pay off credit cards/vehicle payments.. I'm not rolling in the dough :mrgreen:
     
  12. Big Mike

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

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    Sounds like you have a good plan....good luck and have fun.

    As far as a better camera to help you explore photography. My suggestion would be either a 35mm SLR film camera or a Digital SLR camera if you can afford it. It's understandable that you don't want to mess with film but you can get a pretty good film camera for a fraction of the cost of a DSLR. I shoot film but have most/all my shots scanned at the lab. I get a CD of my photos and from there on...I'm all digital.

    Typically, when buying an SLR (film or digital) you are buying into a system. You buy the camera and lenses...that way you can upgrade or expand your gear within your system. For example, if you bought a Canon EOS film SLR, you could use the same lenses on a Canon digital SLR...when & if you buy one. It's the same if you buy a Nikon system etc.

    Compact digital cameras, like the one you have, can be handy...but they can be very limiting. An SLR will allow you to learn more about photography with the option to try additional lenses & accessories as you go.
     

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