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06-12-2018, 03:47 PM   #31
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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.
Think you have to take the "negative" comments as more of "tongue in cheek" type comments, offered in a friendly humorous way....but all tinged by experience. As I said originally, I sensed you want to do this and probably will, so by all means, get in there and have a go. There are lots of very good tips offered and you appear to have picked up on them. No amount of homework is too much, even try & get yourself invited to a wedding in the meantime to observe how others do it....and the back up photographer advice is very, very real.
Wedding photography is bloody hard work, but for those who get it right, it can also be very rewarding...and yes...they all started with their first shoot.

Good Luck. let us know how you get on.

06-12-2018, 04:49 PM - 3 Likes   #32
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Your best piece of equipment is a new pair of Adidas. Buy them and use them to run fast and far from the folly you are about to take on.
However, if you decide to go ahead with this, I jotted some notes down a while back regarding this very subject. It is by no means to be taken as gospel, it is just some thoughts on how I approach the day:

Every job is somewhat different, but the majority of the weddings I've shot fall into this order:
1) Pre-Bridal portraits, usually a very simple set up at the bride's house (or wherever she and the bridal party is getting dressed).
This ensures some pictures with fresh make-up. It may include those old stand-by shots of pinning on corsages and the like.
2) Ceremony: General picture list is some candid shots of the groom and groomsmen while awaiting the arrival of the wedding party, the arrival of the bride, processional, minister giving his preamble, speakers, the marriage itself (if allowed, some churches don't), ring exchange, the kiss, register signing, recessional, candids of the after ceremony mosh, the getaway.
3) Formal portraits
4) Reception, dinner and dance.

I take the shots in the order they are given to me for the most part. With the formals, I start with whoever is there, use as many of them as I can, and get rid of them as fast as I can as well.
The idea is to cull out people until you are left with the bride and groom.

Now, if it's just the wedding party there, and we are awaiting the arrival of family for family group shots, I do whatever I can until the rest arrive, then switch over to large groups immediately, shoot the big group and dismiss the family.
It's easier and less distracting to have as few extraneous people as possible at the formal session.

I don't do "angles". I shoot everything I can from a standing position. I like pictures that look like they were taken by a photographer, not an epileptic Parkinson's sufferer.

I shoot everything with primes, particularly, I do almost everything with a standard lens until we get to the studio.
Major exception is shooting the ceremony, I use a longer lens from behind the congregation.
Some people think this is limiting, I find it gives me the opportunity to find the best spot to take my pictures from.
I find my spot and I stay there. This keeps me unobtrusive. Ministers like it when a photographer doesn't put on a dog and pony show.

Cat herding is the responsibility of the bride and groom. My wife assists, she helps direct traffic regarding who is where and hunter gathers strays who wander away from where they should be, but I always recommend to the couple that they put someone in charge of making sure people know where they are supposed to be.

Rule 1: Stay out of the way.
Rule 2: If it moves, shoot it.
Seriously.

Before the ceremony I, if I can, get a few shots of the groom and his handlers, candids of them being boys in suits. Take a few shots of the entire congregation. This is a good time to try that panoramic stitching program if the church is wide enough.

At the ceremony, the only people who will be moving will be the people involved in the wedding.
Position yourself near the back third of the congregation. I position myself on the right side usually.
Everyone who comes past you once the music starts needs to be photographed coming up the aisle. Don't overdo it, it isn't necessary to shoot more than a couple of each. More than that makes you visible (Rule 1) and may deplete your flash to the point that you don't have a flash when you need it.
Any activity at the front of the church needs to be photographed. The bride may be handed off to the groom, amid some quiet hugs and tears.
This is a must have shot if it happens.
You can get a couple of shots of the priest doing his preamble, but you will probably violate Rule 1.
Don't risk it.
Fade to the back of the church. Put on your telephoto zoom if you have one and mount the camera on a tripod.
I like to have a second camera for this.
Photograph the ceremony from the back of the church using available light.
Don't violate rule 1. I'll push it by positioning myself right behind the last row of spectators.
Any speakers are important.
The priest is important. I like to get several with his hands gesticulating as I think they are more dynamic.
The blessing of the rings is very important.
The exchange of rings is very important.
The blessing of the new couple is very important.
The KISS is important.

Now move. You have to get the tripod out of the way (put it on the pew beside you and retrieve it later), and get up to the front of the church with flash on camera, ready to go.
Don't worry, you actually have a fair amount of time.
The signing of the register is important. Sometimes nice pictures happen depending on where people are standing beside the signing table.
Be aware, but don't get too far out of position. You can't let anyone get between you and the aisle as the signing winds down.
You'll be given a chance to photograph the entire party at the front of the church, most likely. Take advantage of it, and then position yourself towards the middle back of the congregation.
As the B&G come down the aisle towards you, you get to play paparazzi running backwards as they make their escape. Don't fall down or into a baptism tub or anything silly (Rule 1).
When the B&G make it out of the chapel, I take advantage of the situation to congratulate them for a job well done, shake his hand, give her a little hug and then photograph the rest of the party coming out.

That's it.
Yer done.
06-12-2018, 05:21 PM   #33
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i am of a different ethos here
DO IT!
do it because from that point onwards, that couple owes you big time.
do it because if you've never done weddings before, this is a great way to be thrown into it.
do it because being a wedding photographer (even for a short time) forces you into very uncomfortable situations, which allows you to grow and learn in a stressful situation.
do it because it will improve your landscape/portrait/travel/macro/candid shots that much more when you go about doing your own type of shoots
do it because it will add to your portfolio
do it because you will expand your horizon.


i personally have done about 8 weddings, and about 23 engagements in a relatively short period of time (a year and a half), and i did my own engagement shoots scattered over 4 seasons, in about 20 different locations (so really, 43 engagements). is wedding for me? not really. did it help me grow into my other interests? OH HELL YES!

it teaches you to be creative, and use whatever lighting is around you (even flash).

is it stressful? yes.
will it make you money? yes
is it fun? not really
is it worth it? to me, yes!
06-12-2018, 09:21 PM   #34
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Just give them a price of $8'000 to $10,000. Hire an experienced wedding photographer & be the second photographer.
Just joking 😁
I would say DO NOT TAKE THE GIG!!!!!
"BUT" If it is a low key (non production) wedding and the couple is on a tight budget than go for it. Google the hell out of wedding photos, have a good talk with the couple to narrow down what they are expecting. Shoot only in raw (this will give you the best chance to salvage a must have photo) Use multiple cards (I have a K3 II that has multiple card slots) Take hundreds of photos this will help insure you get the important ones. After the wedding only show the best of the best photos to the bride. (I once made the mistake of showing a large selection of photos to the bride and it turned into a nightmare. She wanted them all, way to much processing!!!!) Like I said only show your very best shots!!!
GOOD LUCK!!!!

06-12-2018, 09:56 PM   #35
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This will be your first wedding shoot. Take it as a learning experience. Also as a chance to build a portofolio. Dont charge for it. Especially when it is for family.
If it turns out good, you will get good reference to those you think will be getting married soon.
If it turns out bad, well, it will all be kept in the family. What are families for right?

I shoot weddings. I enjoy them. But its also hard work. But for some years I didnt charge because I needed the experience. I shot for friends and family members.


---------- Post added 13-06-18 at 07:57 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by LensBeginner Quote
Get sick! make up an excuse! don't do it! you'll regret it for the rest of your life!

Last edited by Culture; 06-12-2018 at 10:07 PM.
06-13-2018, 12:47 AM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by bikehead90 Quote
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.
My comment was meant to be tongue-in-cheek.
Since apparently you made up your mind, and are brave enough to take the challenge, I can only wish you good luck and good light.
06-13-2018, 01:39 AM   #37
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What he /\/\/\/\ said
06-13-2018, 03:21 AM - 1 Like   #38
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I think in general it is wise to be a second photographer with a wedding photographer you respect for a few weddings before you jump in yourself. Shooting weddings is difficult, but far from impossible. People sometimes act like it is shooting a high end sporting event, but it isn't quite that bad.

Make yourself a list of all the shots you need and get those before you think about taking random "interesting shots." Set yourself a schedule and do your best to stick to it. Time is often at a premium and getting formal shots in the time you have allotted requires dedication to that schedule. If you don't have an external flash, you should get one and learn to use it.

As far as after the fact, I think it is expected you will develop your images, cull the poor ones. Typically my wife would get some type of personalized USB drive that she puts the photos on. She also maintains a Zenfolio website that her clients can access to download their photos.

As far as pricing, I hesitate to stay. A lot of what people pay for when they are paying for a wedding photographer is a level of experience, which you don't really have at this point. At the same time, you are devoting your time and energy to it and that is worth something. I would sit down and talk about your style, your abilities and what you think you can offer them and then come to terms on it. You definitely can do it, but it isn't an easy thing to do.


Last edited by Rondec; 06-13-2018 at 09:18 AM.
06-14-2018, 12:03 AM - 4 Likes   #39
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You have to start somewhere.

But start as an intern. That means do it for a couple who cannot afford a photographer at all, and do it as a gift. The spirit of giving will overcome some flaws, and charging money makes you kitchen help instead of a generous family member.

If the couple can afford a pro, and if they have those expectations, you know what to (not) do.

I did all my first weddings for college buddies who were broke. They were happy to get competent photos, and grateful I was available. They were friends and it was my wedding gift to them.

It is stressful. Stuff breaks, and you need backups. I had the film advance on a C330 crap out on me once. Another time, a roll of film went missing (my wife’s photos were the backup).

For my last wedding, I used a Canon 5D (full frame) with a powerful speedlight on a Stroboframe QuickFlip, with a wired remote flash cord. My wife shot candids and used a Nikon D300 equipped similarly. We both had clip-on soft diffusers, and those do eat batteries but the effect is worth it.

My lens was a 24-105 and my wife used a 24-120. I brought a 70-200 for long shots, but rarely used it and generally didn’t keep it on me. Unless the couple explicitly wants selective focus, shoot at f/8 and always be in the right place at the right time.

My last film wedding was 2005, and I used a Pentax 645 NII with a 45-85 zoom. For all the weddings I shot from the 70’s until I got the Pentax, I used Mamiya C-series TLRs with a Sunpak handle-mount strobe (Vivitar 283’s later on).

Leave all your specialty lenses at home. Bring a stout tripod for the formals.

Buy a battery grip for your camera, mostly to make the camera imposing enough to command respect.

At our last wedding, we shot 1600 pics and spent 40 hours editing about 500 them into a Blurb book, which we delivered, along with the pictures on disk. Do not show or deliver any mistakes.

Photograph everything anybody spent money on—decorations, place settings, place cards, gifts, dresses, limos, etc. Make sure every person in attendance is in at least one photo. Don’t annoy people—it will show in the photos. But do control the situation with pleasant firmness.

Bring many spare batteries. Practice with your equipment for weeks prior to the event. Only take proven equipment. Rehearse the order of events in your mind, including when you change batteries (hint: do it before you need to). Buy and read books on the topic. Do not get ideas from bridal magazines—those are staged and trying to recreate them will not work. Keep it simple. Learn how to trust your camera’s automation, but work in single-shot mode and practice anticipation. Do not use digital filters—they are gimmicks that won’t make bad photos look good, or good photos look better.

Your camera will be heavy. Practice carrying it around for six hours.

Buy a Fuji Instax camera and get a couple of the kids at the wedding to set up a photo booth. Let them take pictures of everybody who comes up to them, and let those who are photographed stick them in an album with handwritten notes.

Look for natural settings for the group shots and portraits. Use a big reflector (like six feet) instead of fill flash.

If you want to be a pro, do several of these gift weddings, the use that portfolio to get hired on to a big studio as a sideman. The money is nearly as good and the headaches much less, but you have to deliver the goods every single time.

For gift weddings, I made them sign a contract agreeing to continue to be my friend even if I screwed it up and delivered not one photo.

Good luck.

Rick “luck is 99% preparation” Denney
06-14-2018, 12:12 AM - 1 Like   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Your best piece of equipment is a new pair of Adidas. Buy them and use them to run fast and far from the folly you are about to take on.
Oh, come on. Adidas? For running? Walking, maybe but running c'mon man.
06-14-2018, 01:00 AM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by bikehead90 Quote
Oh, come on. Adidas? For running? Walking, maybe but running c'mon man.
What would you suggest then? Hoka? Saucony? Nike? Brooks? Reebok? Asics?
06-14-2018, 02:34 AM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by rdenney Quote
You have to start somewhere.

But start as an intern. That means do it for a couple who cannot afford a photographer at all, and do it as a gift. The spirit of giving will overcome some flaws, and charging money makes you kitchen help instead of a generous family member.

If the couple can afford a pro, and if they have those expectations, you know what to (not) do.

I did all my first weddings for college buddies who were broke. They were happy to get competent photos, and grateful I was available. They were friends and it was my wedding gift to them.

It is stressful. Stuff breaks, and you need backups. I had the film advance on a C330 crap out on me once. Another time, a roll of film went missing (my wife’s photos were the backup).

For my last wedding, I used a Canon 5D (full frame) with a powerful speedlight on a Stroboframe QuickFlip, with a wired remote flash cord. My wife shot candids and used a Nikon D300 equipped similarly. We both had clip-on soft diffusers, and those do eat batteries but the effect is worth it.

My lens was a 24-105 and my wife used a 24-120. I brought a 70-200 for long shots, but rarely used it and generally didn’t keep it on me. Unless the couple explicitly wants selective focus, shoot at f/8 and always be in the right place at the right time.

My last film wedding was 2005, and I used a Pentax 645 NII with a 45-85 zoom. For all the weddings I shot from the 70’s until I got the Pentax, I used Mamiya C-series TLRs with a Sunpak handle-mount strobe (Vivitar 283’s later on).

Leave all your specialty lenses at home. Bring a stout tripod for the formals.

Buy a battery grip for your camera, mostly to make the camera imposing enough to command respect.

At our last wedding, we shot 1600 pics and spent 40 hours editing about 500 them into a Blurb book, which we delivered, along with the pictures on disk. Do not show or deliver any mistakes.

Photograph everything anybody spent money on—decorations, place settings, place cards, gifts, dresses, limos, etc. Make sure every person in attendance is in at least one photo. Don’t annoy people—it will show in the photos. But do control the situation with pleasant firmness.

Bring many spare batteries. Practice with your equipment for weeks prior to the event. Only take proven equipment. Rehearse the order of events in your mind, including when you change batteries (hint: do it before you need to). Buy and read books on the topic. Do not get ideas from bridal magazines—those are staged and trying to recreate them will not work. Keep it simple. Learn how to trust your camera’s automation, but work in single-shot mode and practice anticipation. Do not use digital filters—they are gimmicks that won’t make bad photos look good, or good photos look better.

Your camera will be heavy. Practice carrying it around for six hours.

Buy a Fuji Instax camera and get a couple of the kids at the wedding to set up a photo booth. Let them take pictures of everybody who comes up to them, and let those who are photographed stick them in an album with handwritten notes.

Look for natural settings for the group shots and portraits. Use a big reflector (like six feet) instead of fill flash.

If you want to be a pro, do several of these gift weddings, the use that portfolio to get hired on to a big studio as a sideman. The money is nearly as good and the headaches much less, but you have to deliver the goods every single time.

For gift weddings, I made them sign a contract agreeing to continue to be my friend even if I screwed it up and delivered not one photo.

Good luck.

Rick “luck is 99% preparation” Denney
Good advice. An author I would recommend is Roberto Valenzuela. Someone who has trained his eye for composition and can make a big difference.
06-14-2018, 03:12 AM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by LensBeginner Quote
What would you suggest then? Hoka? Saucony? Nike? Brooks? Reebok? Asics?

I personally like Nike, Brooks, Asic, or believe it or not Five Fingers (yes, I know they make you look like a tw@). I haven’t run in long time because it tends to exacerbate an ankle injury I have. It’s mostly weights and cycling for me.
06-14-2018, 03:36 AM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by bikehead90 Quote
I personally like Nike, Brooks, Asic, or believe it or not Five Fingers (yes, I know they make you look like a tw@). I haven’t run in long time because it tends to exacerbate an ankle injury I have. It’s mostly weights and cycling for me.
I agree on the fact that running can be stressful, especially when done with bad form (i.e. almost always when you're tired!)
I too prefere cycling by quite a margin... plenty of nice mountains around Florence...
06-14-2018, 04:32 AM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by LensBeginner Quote
I agree on the fact that running can be stressful, especially when done with bad form (i.e. almost always when you're tired!)
I too prefere cycling by quite a margin... plenty of nice mountains around Florence...
I'm envious of you. When I lived in Japan I rode the Shimanami Kaido and I thought that was the best cycling I've ever experienced, but I can only imagine Florence
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