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06-12-2018, 08:05 AM   #16
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I've shot three weddings, Two daughters and one Grand-daughter. Hardest work I've ever done!. I would not have done them without the experience of being a second at four other weddings. I repeat, "Hardest Work I've Ever Done"! I don't think I'd be game to step into a wedding shoot without some background experience. These are One Chance, One Shot to get it right Events. If you don't, go find a rock to hide under. Seriously! Have them get a wedding photographer and you shoot as a second. You'll find out what your lacking in a hurry.
I didn't charge anything for the shoots. I shot everything in Raw. Carried two cameras, Pentax K50 with a 16-85. Pentax K3 with 70-200. A flash on both with four sets of backup batteries in the kit bag (For Cameras and Flashes). A backup flash. Other lens, 50mm, 35mm, 10-20mm zoom, 100mm macro. Six spare 32G SD cards besides the 32G cards in camera. A set of cactus triggers. The kit bag has other stuff, cleaning wipes, tape, CP lens, etc.

I post process the photos, and give them a Zip drive with All the raw photos and the photos that I picked and processed. I also have three sets of backups that I keep. I sit with the bride and choose some photos to print (about a dozen) and what print sizes. She does what she wants with the rest. If there are photos that she(They) want that I haven't processed, I do them, just tell me what print sizes they want, other wise I crop to 8x10.

My Grand-daughters was the hardest. Everything fell apart. everybody got drunk, they didn't get dressed until thirty minutes before the vows and a limo was picking them up thirty minutes after the vows. the father in-law was in the way all the time with a video camera that he insisted needed to be on a tripod. Half a dozen others were taking pictures with Cameras or cell phones and flashes going off, Most of the stuff was indoors and close quarters, crappy light, the vows were outdoors, noon Arizona sun.

I think that one cured me of doing another one..
After it was all over with, ...They were happy. )



The after shoot stuff is time consuming, the shoot is stressful.
Good-luck.


Last edited by Roadboat24; 06-12-2018 at 08:51 AM.
06-12-2018, 08:06 AM   #17
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When shooting, I just look for the most reasonable subject and positioning to be in for shooting at the time. A lens that will cover wide angle shots such as groups and a telephoto lens that will have enough reach to shoot subjects at a reasonable distance would be good tools to have. Also flash would most likely be a necessity unless shooting with already lit areas or lenses that are capable of apertures that will provide enough light.

Just doing what can be done at a reasonable pace should cover most of the shoot.

Those are just some basic points.
06-12-2018, 09:57 AM   #18
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I’ve shot quite a few weddings, even several after I said I wouldn’t do weddings anymore. (Previous customers talked me into it). Here’s my advice, since I think you are going to do it.

For your first wedding, I hope it’s a small one, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the number of people who have requests for portraits.

DO NOT attempt to shoot it as a sole photographer. I’ve always hired someone to shoot second using a camera I gave them. Only once did I do a wedding alone because my second had a last minute emergency. That was stressful.

Get the bride to make a list of shots they want. Do not be afraid to stage shots after the ceremony. Look at online portfolios, you’ll quickly figure out who knows what they are doing.

BE INVISIBLE!!! My kit includes the following: DA 17-70, DA 20-40, DA 50-135, DA*200 and the FA Limiteds. These are in the bag, even if they don’t get used. I also have 4 bodies, two I carry, one for my second shooter and a spare. (You must have a spare, things happen)

As far as price, every area is different and the services you offer will affect that. My base includes a nice small print album (4x6) and a flash drive. But I have done books etc

Good luck. Ask questions if you have them!
06-12-2018, 10:09 AM   #19
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Wow, such negativity in this thread. In the words of Michael Palin as The King of Swamp Castle, "This is supposed to be a happy occasion.".
And yet, I agree with the general advice. Unless you're a masochist, RUNAWAY!

For example, there's this:
QuoteOriginally posted by LensBeginner Quote
there were two photographers, and while the rings were exchanged one was behind the altar changing lenses, and the other wasn't in position. That couple didn't get a picture of the rings exchange nor of the kiss...
Far too much unnecessary emphasis put on creating a happy memory. Far too much expectation to follow a prescribed ritual. Far too
little impulse to just enjoy the moment and relish the memories that occur, planned or unexpected.

I wouldn't shoot a wedding unless it was clearly understood that I wasn't going to deliver a classic wedding photo album. If I could shoot what
I want, then maybe. I would do my best to deliver a beautiful set of photographs, but there'd be no guarantee the obligatory cliched shots
would be taken. Weddings can be shot beautifully, artistically AND with originality. I've seen it done. But you must have an open minded
client. Otherwise, it's on your shoulders to deliver a dull, cliched set of photographs.

06-12-2018, 10:27 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by tvdtvdtvd Quote
Wow, such negativity in this thread. In the words of Michael Palin as The King of Swamp Castle, "This is supposed to be a happy occasion.".
And yet, I agree with the general advice. Unless you're a masochist, RUNAWAY!

For example, there's this:


Far too much unnecessary emphasis put on creating a happy memory. Far too much expectation to follow a prescribed ritual. Far too
little impulse to just enjoy the moment and relish the memories that occur, planned or unexpected.

I wouldn't shoot a wedding unless it was clearly understood that I wasn't going to deliver a classic wedding photo album. If I could shoot what
I want, then maybe. I would do my best to deliver a beautiful set of photographs, but there'd be no guarantee the obligatory cliched shots
would be taken. Weddings can be shot beautifully, artistically AND with originality. I've seen it done. But you must have an open minded
client. Otherwise, it's on your shoulders to deliver a dull, cliched set of photographs.
^^^ This is very true. My clients understood I had a “journalistic” approach because I had a portfolio to show them. They knew up front there would be only a few traditional type shots.
06-12-2018, 10:34 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by tvdtvdtvd Quote
Wow, such negativity in this thread. In the words of Michael Palin as The King of Swamp Castle, "This is supposed to be a happy occasion.".
And yet, I agree with the general advice. Unless you're a masochist, RUNAWAY!

For example, there's this
Far too much unnecessary emphasis put on creating a happy memory. Far too much expectation to follow a prescribed ritual. Far too
little impulse to just enjoy the moment and relish the memories that occur, planned or unexpected.

I wouldn't shoot a wedding unless it was clearly understood that I wasn't going to deliver a classic wedding photo album. If I could shoot what
I want, then maybe. I would do my best to deliver a beautiful set of photographs, but there'd be no guarantee the obligatory cliched shots
would be taken. Weddings can be shot beautifully, artistically AND with originality. I've seen it done. But you must have an open minded
client. Otherwise, it's on your shoulders to deliver a dull, cliched set of photographs.
I didn't say that to me it would be like that.
But since I work, from time to time, in the wedding business (not as a photographer), I know how the customers are like, and what their expectations usually are.
And I wouldn't be in those photographers' shoes...

Last edited by LensBeginner; 06-12-2018 at 11:18 AM.
06-12-2018, 11:23 AM - 1 Like   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by LensBeginner Quote
I didn't say that to me it would be like that.
I didn't mean to suggest you might miss the shot. Rather, I was stressing the emphasis the client usually makes on getting these
obligatory shots. A wedding photographer might deliver 100 beautiful shots that completely encapsulate the day, but if one of the
cliches are missing the axe will fall. Who could possibly want a gig like that?
06-12-2018, 11:30 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by tvdtvdtvd Quote
I didn't mean to suggest you might miss the shot. Rather, I was stressing the emphasis the client usually makes on getting these
obligatory shots. A wedding photographer might deliver 100 beautiful shots that completely encapsulate the day, but if one of the
cliches are missing the axe will fall. Who could possibly want a gig like that?
It's the same with the music, believe me...
Don't want to generalize though... some clients can be reasoned with, some can't. As it is with most things.
All in all, it's a fun job to do.

06-12-2018, 12:03 PM   #24
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This is one of the best reasons for having not only a backup photographer but also a backup camera!!!

06-12-2018, 12:10 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by bikehead90 Quote
Do I hang out in the back and shoot with a long lens?
This strategy could very well result in a lot of pictures of cell phones and ipads. I would work close with a wider lens. Discuss this with the priest--he may be able to advise the best place to be. He may also have some rules. I remember one guy who was great to work with--he would pose the couple during the vows. But generally you need to be between the ceremony and the congregation to get unobscured shots.

Take a tripod with you to the park for the group shots and B&G portraits--it's very helpful. You can walk up to your subjects to help them pose etc and then return to an unchanged camera position.

It will likely be dark at the reception so get accustomed to your flash. For the dancing pictures, bouquet toss, cake cut etc I have found that zone focus works a treat. Set your focus to say 5 feet and your aperture to f8. Keep yourself at that distance and point and shoot.

Back in the last century when I shot weddings I used a vivitar 285 thyristor flash which fired when I pressed the shutter. Modern flashes do the pre-flash routine which means the flash fires after you hit the shutter. So you have to hit the shutter *before* peak action--something to keep in mind for the catching the bouquet and tossing the garter shots where timing is important.

Good luck!

Last edited by johnyates; 06-12-2018 at 12:31 PM.
06-12-2018, 12:22 PM   #26
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Thanks to all those who didn't eviscerate this post with negativity. Because the wedding won't be for awhile, I'm shooting their engagement portraits. That, I'm 100% sure I can do. Any more constructive points for the wedding will be welcomed. Again, thanks to all who've been constructive with their feedback.
06-12-2018, 12:47 PM   #27
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I photographed my Wife's sister's wedding. How I did it:

I made it perfectly clear I was an amateur and could not only not promise great results, I could not even promise ANY results.

I made it perfectly clear that a professional is really the only way to go, if you want any kind of certainty.
They made it clear that they could not afford a professional and that it was me or phone pics from their friends.

That cleared up, I offered to do it for free, taking the experience as my payment and offering only a CD of (between zero and some) images for them to get printed at their own cost if they wanted.

I researched the location...a beach in summer in the early afternoon with the couple under a marquee! I had a bit of a moment, then read up on some techniques to mitigate the issues.


I took everything I had, but ended up using only two lenses (28-75 and 70-200) a flash (for fill against the shadows) and the tripod for group shots. My intentions of using reflectors, off-camera triggers and all that came to nothing. I used 2 large cards and wrote to both at the same time. Other than that, the thing is to BE WHERE THE ACTION IS.

You are THE PHOTOGRAPHER. So, you need to get to the front, run around the back, push through the middle, get in front of other people's shots, ask others to get out of your shot... And the toughest of all is you need enough personal skills to do so without getting punched and to get people where they need to be, posing nicely, not wandering off to the bar...quickly and efficiently. Trying to arrange group shots is like herding cats and time just disappears, but in the end they are the ones that family want prints of on their mantlepiece, so they are not optional.


Study wedding photographs in the style the couple likes (ask this in advance) and DO A LIST of shots you need to get. Mine wanted a reportage style so that suited me nicely, but if they want formal and posed, so be it...you need to work out how and be prepared. A practice session is essential, either with the couple or with friends.


Finally, if you can, get out of it. The stress is unbelievable and you won't enjoy the ceremony at all. If anything goes drastically wrong with you or your equipment, you will deprive the happy couple of their memories of the day and that will be hard to get over...and you will be worrying about that until the day you deliver the images. Not being negative, you just need to be aware that there is a reason people charge thousands for a few hours work.
06-12-2018, 01:29 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by victormeldrew Quote
You are THE PHOTOGRAPHER. So, you need to get to the front, run around the back, push through the middle, get in front of other people's shots, ask others to get out of your shot... And the toughest of all is you need enough personal skills to do so without getting punched and to get people where they need to be, posing nicely, not wandering off to the bar...quickly and efficiently. Trying to arrange group shots is like herding cats and time just disappears, but in the end they are the ones that family want prints of on their mantlepiece, so they are not optional.
That is so true. Your role is that of 'Ringmaster of the Satin Circus'
06-12-2018, 02:28 PM - 1 Like   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by bikehead90 Quote
Thanks to all those who didn't eviscerate this post with negativity. Because the wedding won't be for awhile, I'm shooting their engagement portraits. That, I'm 100% sure I can do. Any more constructive points for the wedding will be welcomed. Again, thanks to all who've been constructive with their feedback.
sorry you feel that way

personally I wish you nothing except the best of luck

and the same to the happy couple

Last edited by aslyfox; 06-12-2018 at 02:37 PM.
06-12-2018, 02:47 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aslyfox Quote
sorry you feel that way

personally I wish you nothing except the best of luck

and the same to the happy couple

No. Many folks have been legitimately helpful with their advice. Number one take away is to find a partner. Shooting a wedding is going to be something new, but I'm ready for the challenge. I apologize if that came off like I was feeling attacked.
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