A&P Someone asked me to shoot their wedding

Discussion in 'Lifestyle' started by SkyAce2004, Jul 10, 2007.

  1. SkyAce2004

    SkyAce2004 New Member

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    Ahh! The girl Olivia is starting to plan her wedding. She was talking it over with her future husband and they want me to be the wedding photographer. At first I was like :cool: but now im :noes:. I kinda did my cousins wedding, but it was pretty difficult doing photos and being a groomsman at the same time. I told her that I am not a pro, and I dont have any practice shooting indoors and such with low lighting. She didnt seem to care and was gunna get back to me when she has a set date.

    Now, my uncle is a pro photog, and has been doing weddings for many many years. I kinda shadowed with him during my cousins wedding and he gave me some pointers. Im gunna give him a call and see if i can shadow him for his next weddings.

    Should I do this? and if so, how much should I charge? I dont know anything about doing prints and all that wedding BS, but im sure I could send away for them...
     
  2. wisie

    wisie New Member

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    Sweet sounds a good opportunity if you can try do some experience work with your uncle beforehand. What are you shooting with? Got any fast lenses?
     
  3. Matt-AWD

    Matt-AWD Active Member

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    Ideally, you'd have gone with a pro enough as an assistant/backup shooter to feel comfortable doing it by yourself, but if you must...


    Don't do your first wedding without an assistant, preferrably one who knows his or her way around a camera to be a backup shooter. You don't want to worry about fiddling around with extra gear until you're completely comfortable getting all the required shots.

    Contracts. Generally you want to at least say that you retain the copyright to the photos taken. All it really does is keeps the client from using them for commercial purposes. You will usually still allow the client to make their own prints if they want and give them to family and friends, but not allow them to sell the photographs. You can't sell them either, because you probably won't have a model release.

    The other big thing you'll want in the contract is to make it clear that you are not a professional and that they will not hold you liable for any shots you miss due to lack of experience or equipment problems. A verbal agreement with the bride and groom is not enough. Get it in writing. The bride and groom may not care much about it, but it's not uncommon that the parents are the ones paying, and they'll often be the ones to come after you if you screw up.

    Go to the church a couple days in advance at the time the wedding will be held to get an idea of what lighting conditions will be like. Take some test shots to figure out what settings you'll need to use.

    Talk to the officiant in advance as well. Find out where you are and are not allowed to go, and ask whether or not flash will be allowed. The couple's family and friends will be flashing away regardless, but you'll be expected to follow the rules.

    Be quiet, but don't be shy. You get special priveleges as the photographer in terms of moving around. Take advantage of that, but try not to get in the way too much. People should be focused on the wedding, not on you. Don't be pushy - if people see you're considerate at the start, they'll be much more helpful to you later.

    If the couple wants posed shots, that is where you have to be assertive. Get the bride and groom, parents, siblings, grandparents, etc gathered up for group shots. Go from big to small - the bride and groom alone should be your last shots prior to the reception. Start with the largest group you can and dismiss people as their shots are finished. People want to get to the reception and have some fun, not stand around waiting on a slow photographer.

    Backups. Don't shoot on a single 8 gig card and call it a day. Bring a bunch of 1-2 gig cards and a device with a card slot to back your shots up to. You should have enough cards to cover the entire wedding without formatting any. If you don't back up a card and it fails, there go your shots. If you back a card up and your backup unit fails and you've formatted the card, there go your shots. You get the idea. Don't wait until a card is full to switch it out. If you can still fit 20 shots on it but you have a bit of time where there are no necessary shots, use that time to switch to a new card. You don't want to risk running out of space at a crucial moment.


    There are a few of the big ones, I'm sure others will give their 2 cents.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2007
  4. 1200mk

    1200mk Still same OG

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    she looks young
     
  5. joy division

    joy division New Member

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    If you have to make a post on a forum asking about it, you aren't ready.
     
  6. SkyAce2004

    SkyAce2004 New Member

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    thanks for that info matt. ill probably ask my uncle is he will do the even with me and back me up. he has far better gear than i do, but i would be more comfortable having someone else there by my side.

    also, is there a pre-written contract anywhere i can download? ive seen a couple, but ive never bothered to save them.

    as far as my gear:

    Nikon D40
    50mm 1.8
    10-20mm sigma
    18-55mm nikon
    SB-600
    The usual filters

    Will have in the next month:
    70-200 2.8 VR
    18-200 VR
    SB-800
    SB-600
     
  7. SkyAce2004

    SkyAce2004 New Member

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    obviously. the wedding is still a ways off right now, but being a good friend of hers, and she knows im trying to get into the business, she wants me to be the photographer.

    so, im coming here asking what i need to do to prepare to be ready. ass
     
  8. SkyAce2004

    SkyAce2004 New Member

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    who, olivia, or the bride at my cousins wedding?? they are both about the same age :mamoru:. silly kids getting married so young.
     
  9. 1200mk

    1200mk Still same OG

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    i was referring to olivia... how old are they?
     
  10. 1200mk

    1200mk Still same OG

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    dropping all that money next month or renting?
     
  11. Matt-AWD

    Matt-AWD Active Member

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    I'd skip the 18-200 and save up for the 17-55 f/2.8. I like my 18-200, but if I could turn back time, I would have skipped it. It works well as a walkaround lens, but images from it just look silly sometimes compared to good glass like the 70-200 :hs: You could always rent when needed I suppose :o

    I want a pic of the 70-200 mounted on the d40 when you get it :rofl: It's going to look so weird with such a small camera attached to it :eek3:
     
  12. SkyAce2004

    SkyAce2004 New Member

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    thats what im getting the 18-200 for, a walkaround lense. the 18-55 is meh.
     
  13. SkyAce2004

    SkyAce2004 New Member

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    i think she is 19 now.
     
  14. SkyAce2004

    SkyAce2004 New Member

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    purchasing it.
     
  15. GregFarz78

    GregFarz78 New Member

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    We hired a friend to shoot our wedding, he went to school for photography but he doesn't want to make his living as a wedding photographer he's only doing it as a favor for us. Just to give you an idea he's charging us $600 for the day, we get some prints and a copy of the originals on dvd-r
     
  16. twinturboteddy

    twinturboteddy Bling Bling!

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    I just shot my friends wedding the other week, my first wedding and I learned a lot!

    Be assertive and get people to smile. They tend to expect you to direct them in poses and backgrounds. Make jokes.

    I had 3 camera guys walking around and I had a 50mm 1.4 which does better candid shots than poses, where as my buddy was walking around with a 18-55 which was wider and probably does a better job with poses. Right before we took pictures I would say to everyone, "Remember! Smile at the guy with the ugly blue shirt" (not me) this resulted in a nice little smile for the main camera a nice laugh for the candid camera and something for the guy with the 200mm lens 30 feet away.

    Wear something comfortable. Possibly all black. You want to be comfortable and not attract attention. You only want to be seen when you want it. You are at another persons wedding so you want to be stealth but get attention when you want it!

    Depending on the time of day there could be a lot of harsh shadows. So be prepared with a flash to fill in. Also adjust your WB manually until you get the effect you are going for. Personally I tend to have a very warm yellow tone in all my outdoor shots, but that's just personal preference.

    Your hand WILL get sore, especially your thumb from carrying a camera with a big flash. So walk around with a monopod that has a head you can swivel from portraight to landscape easily.

    At the reception watch the battery on the flash. Remember to bounce the flash too! Use that monopod and a 2second time to raise your camera 10 feet into the air and get a nice overhead shot. This is my favorite personal trick. It also gets a lof of attention so everyone's face in a big crowd tends to look right at the camera and smile.

    Bring a small ladder if possible. I am a sucker for elevated shots.

    Be careful using the 50mm 1.8. That is an awesome lens but the DOF will be so extremely shallow that a lot will appear very soft and almost out of focus. I believe at 1.8 the focus depth is only a mear inch or two so someone's nose might be in focus but their eas will be blurry. My general rule is if you insist on using it at 1.8 you proably should be standing no more than 2 feet from them. Any further than that, I'd really say 2.8 for that 50mm. Also use the 50mm for shots of objects like the cake, rings, dresses, shoes, flowers, etc.

    I'm actually barely learning about flashes so I don't know what I can say except play around with the differenct effects you can do. Just watch that WB and the ISO when you do.

    From professional albums I have seen, it appears the pros tend to worry NOT too much about too much noise if the composition of the image is good.

    When everything is said and done, there's a lot you do in post processing too. I think I edited 90% of the 500 pictures we decided to keep. Change leveling until you get the exposure level you want. Also don't be afraid to change an image to b/w or sepia (I prefer Sepia).

    Bring an assistance if you can, but bring an assistant with another camera. Be prepared, study the scene. Come before hand. When you arrive day of wedding, they will expect you to be prepared and perhaps almost take charge when it comes to posing. Direct them, make small jokes, and what that other guy said about don't be afraid because as photographer you get special privileges he's right! But make sure they are okay with it first, as 99% will be. Walk around, do what you need to do short of standing inbetween the bride and groom. Your presence there is almost as important as bride/groom!

    I maybe wrong, but my advice from doing only one wedding.
     
  17. joy division

    joy division New Member

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    Only way to get good at something is to do it.


    Just go do some weddings.
     
  18. Relay

    Relay New Member

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    exactly.

    I have done a handful of weddings and I learn something new eachtime and each one runs smoother than the last.
     
  19. tenplanescrashing

    tenplanescrashing Active Member

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    as long as you are up front about not knowing exactly what you're doing, that you're not a pro and she is hiring you as a non-pro, you should be ok. I shot 2 weddings and im sure I didn't do them both exactly right but both parties were pleased with their shots and thanked me quite often.

    as for a price, charge her what you think is fair and what she can afford. im sure there will be a couple people in here that will argue with me but I wouldn't charge her very much since you aren't very experienced.
     

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