Wedding pics questions

Discussion in 'The Professional Gallery' started by Johnboy2978, Jul 6, 2006.

  1. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well, I've been approached by a friend/coworker about perhaps doing the photography at her 2nd wedding in December. Now, I have a lot of reservations about doing this, primarily b/c of the importance of the event and if you screw it up, well, too bad...no re-takes. On the other hand, it would be good experience, and one day I'd like to say goodbye to the mental health field and do photography exclusively, yet I know that I would have to do it on a part time basis to begin with along with my FT job. I also realize that eventually, if I pursue photography, I'll have to do a wedding to exist financially.

    So, it's going to be a rather low budget affair and a small wedding (i.e., best man and a maid of honor, not 3-5 of each). Another reservation I have is that I can't ask a lot of money for doing this given that I'm not a pro, however, I know that I will probably spend as much time as a pro would post processing to make it looks as nice as I can. I did this once before for my cousin for free and the pics were decent, not great, but they weren't going to have a photog at all. That was 3 years ago, and I think I developed some ability since then.

    So, what would be a fair price for this service? I live in a decent area where the pros ask a decent price (e.g when my wife and I got married 12 years ago, our photos cost ~$1500 for a small album). I know that's a bit unreasonable, but it gives you an idea.

    Next question, IF I did this would you offer (1) a dvd of all pics taken (2) a cd of maybe 25-50 which were digitally enhanced and touched up, (3) X amount of prints, or (4) some combination?

    Finally, is there a good resource for poses that someone could direct me to? I think I saw something rather recent from Pete that had a checklist that I'll look for.

    Sorry for all the questions, but any info/advice, etc are appreciated.
     
  2. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    While I think it's good to get out there and stretch yourself, and everyone has to have a first wedding, I think it's a dangerous place to experiment. Personally, I think a person should be skilled at either portraits or PJ work before putting someone's wedding photos at risk. There are no do-overs. The best way to get into weddings is to assist an already established wedding photographer, as there are more skills involved than just taking the picture.

    Do you have links to some of your work?
     
  3. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Mark, I know what you are saying, and this is one of my reservations as I said. I don't have a website, but here is a small sample of some portraits over the past year. As you can see, my daughter is my most willing subject. I just recently purchased an Alienbee strobe, so all of these indoor shots except the 4th of July one w/ the flag were taken using those clamp work lights.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    It's hard for me to tell from baby pics, but from what you posted here, I'd guess that you wouldn't make a botch of it. There are still wedding specific things you have to worry about, but if you are fast on your feet and it's a simple ceremony, you might not have a problem.

    If you do decide to go ahead with it, I'd go ahead and charge an appropriate amount expecting that you do a great job. If you totally screw up, you can always give a refund. It's hard to go the other way around. Since it's a low budget affair, I'm sure you could work out something simple. Rather than offer them a set package for a set $, find out what they want and figure out a good price. Packages are good once you get established so that you don't have to spend time on it each shoot, but you will have to here no matter what.
     
  5. Big Mike

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

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    It sounds like a good opportunity for a first wedding...(2nd wedding, low budget affair etc.)...at least the pressure should not be as high as a big expensive wedding. After all, you have to start somewhere. Just make sure that they are comfortable with your level of expertise...and that you are confident about being the hired pro.

    The shooting can be the easiest part of a wedding...the hard parts can be things like getting all the people together and paying attention. Trying to work around a crowd of "uncle Toms" shooting over your shoulder (or in front of you). There are any number of troubles that can pop up when you least expect it...but again, this sounds like a fairly casual affair so that works in your favor.

    You have lots of time...so make sure you have the right gear (& backup) and that you are comfortable using it. Read, ask questions and practice as much as you can...you will do a great job.
     
  6. Katz

    Katz TPF Noob!

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    Hello,
    I have done two weddings, my first one was for a photographer(talk about stress!) but it was simple and I told them the type of pictures I shoot(PJ - Non Formal) and they liked that idea, they wanted to remember the day as it happened not just who was there. Anyway, I was a nervous wreck up until I started shooting. I was afraid of getting in front of people, etc. After a short time, I felt more comfortable and realized that as the photographer, it is okay to get in front of people(just don't stay there through the whole ceremony!) Before the wedding, I asked the couple if there was any "must have" shots (flower girls, cutting the cake, etc.)
    I had never done a wedding before and they knew that. They were willing to take that chance with me. I got a price from my printer as to what it would cost to develop, and I ended up telling them I could do it for $100 with just a CD with their pictures on it or I could give them 200
    prints and an Album for $200. I asked for all rights of the pictures. They opted for the $100 CD plus, I make a signature video for them(I have done it for both weddings) where they can watch through the pictures in a slide show put together with Music of my choice(I always try to do "their" song though)
    It cost me more then I got paid but it gave me experience and also I got pictures to add to my portfolio. So just give it a go and make sure they know you haven't done it before.
     
  7. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thanks for the comments so far. I was wondering what lens you guys usually use as well. Mine are fairly limited, but I've become pretty attached to my 50mm 1.4. Seems to be pretty sharp, but of course, zoom is not an option with it. Do you guys use a standard lens or zoom primarily.

    Also I was wondering about prints. Do you guys develop your own or send it out to a local or online lab. Most of my own work that gets printed, I send to Mpix which does a good job in my opinion. Just wondering what you all use.
     
  8. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    When I did weddings, it was on film and I used my 50mm/f1.4 and 85mmf1/8 most of the time. On smaller digital sensors I'd want a 35mm lens. I did shoot some wedding shots with my 10D, but it wasn't one I was hired for, I was just a guest. I used a local lab that I had a relationship with. Knowing the person that prints your work really helps. I do hear good things about Mpix though.
     
  9. Katz

    Katz TPF Noob!

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    I used my Nikon AF-S Nikkor 18-70 1:3.5-4.5

    I also have a 70-300 but didn't use it at the wedding as it was a small wedding and everything was close.

    I use a printer called Super Color Photo, I took some "test" pictures up to check their quality and they were wonderful. I am building a working relationship with them and will continue to use them in the future. Try to call around to people and go with your gut on printers.
     
  10. AprilRamone

    AprilRamone TPF Noob!

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    I've been using Millerslab.com and I think they are great. Excellent prices and awesome quality. They offer a lot of different options too. The only thing is that you have to have a tax ID #.
    -April
     

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