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08-29-2009, 10:58 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by MJB DIGITAL Quote
More on topic:

@ the guys/gals who are saying they are interested in getting into wedding photography, have you looked into being an assistant or a second shooter?

do it.
I don't get it. My friends are jumping right in as a primary photog, borrowing flashes and lenses from friends to meet the needs of the day. They charge $800 (they wouldn't even give me a discount for my wedding) and their photos are not the greatest or sharpest in the world. Also, most of their photos are put through Lightroom for balancing and that's where it ends.

Do I think he's overcharging? Hell yeah. Would I risk using him as my primary photog? Hell no. Does he look confident doing it? Nope. So why didn't he jump in as a second photog? Because he preferred to make more money as a primary, and possibly put somebody else's most important date at risk. No backup camera or equipment.


Last edited by innershell; 08-29-2009 at 12:01 PM.
08-29-2009, 01:38 PM   #17
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There are those who just wanna be on top from the get go without having had to work hard to earn it.
They'll be caught out sooner rather than later.

Knowledge is one thing, but not enough to do weddings well. You can't fake experience...
08-30-2009, 12:11 PM   #18
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I don't think is a good idea begin with wedding photography because they are preciuous moment and you must not ruined by poor knowledge of their own means.

Generally are necessary two bodies so if one have some problem is possible complete the work the same.

Someone, as backup, use even more the only one flash.

For flash i think a Metz 48 AF 1 could be a good choice.
08-30-2009, 05:05 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by MJB DIGITAL Quote
p.s. "Toss down a shingle!" ha! I've never heard that one.
Heh. Putting out or hanging a shingle. That's an old 19th century colloquial American term (esp. the American frontier) for somebody opening a business, usually a professional office of some sort.

Good follow up post, by the way. I think you've captured some of the frustration.

I was looking at on-line wedding albums just before signing up here. There were more than a few with absolute CRAP on them. They obviously had no idea how to compose a picture, and forget about any technical photographic skills. I would have considered those 'showcase' photos an embarrassment - and they are posting them as their BEST WORK!??!!

Imagine, if you will, a couple in their wedding garb standing at the FAR side of a LARGE fountain. Now imagine the scene at night. Now imagine the photographer on the opposite side of the fountain taking a flash picture with the on-board flash. What result do you think they got? Yeah. Great stuff.

08-30-2009, 05:11 PM   #20
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^^^ I would love to see this shot. I wonder if the customers end up saying, "Oh well, we could have gotten better photos but we didn't want to pay $10,000. We are happy with the $3000 we paid and the photographer had a really nice BIG camera".
08-30-2009, 05:21 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by innershell Quote
^^^ I would love to see this shot. I wonder if the customers end up saying, "Oh well, we could have gotten better photos but we didn't want to pay $10,000. We are happy with the $3000 we paid and the photographer had a really nice BIG camera".
The couple were just standing there in the dark, facing directly to the photographer, arms at their sides, holding hands. This BIG fountain dominating the frame, can't even see the couples faces. What a horrid way to waste money, much less a bad way to use such a great photographic opportunity and a terrific backdrop.

<<<===(* Wrapping duct tape around head to keep it from exploding *)

I won't post any pictures for legal reasons, but I'll send you a link. They've since replaced the old pictures with more recent & better stuff, but some of it is still a travesty as you'll see for yourself.

Last edited by TourDeForce; 08-30-2009 at 05:39 PM.
08-31-2009, 12:05 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by innershell Quote
I don't get it. My friends are jumping right in as a primary photog, borrowing flashes and lenses from friends to meet the needs of the day. They charge $800 (they wouldn't even give me a discount for my wedding) and their photos are not the greatest or sharpest in the world. Also, most of their photos are put through Lightroom for balancing and that's where it ends.

Do I think he's overcharging? Hell yeah. Would I risk using him as my primary photog? Hell no. Does he look confident doing it? Nope. So why didn't he jump in as a second photog? Because he preferred to make more money as a primary, and possibly put somebody else's most important date at risk. No backup camera or equipment.
I don't know if you shoot or have shot weddings (or many weddings), but either way, I encourage you to shoot second for your friend who jumped into the game. After that, I encourage you to locate a photographer who obviously has savvy to go along with experience to go along with skill.

Compare.

I like to explain with this analogy:
A waiter in a restaurant is very clutzy on his first day. He (i'm going gender neutral and using he, because i was a waiter) might forget to bring the salad course before the entree. Maybe he'll forget that you need to wait a bit before ordering the entree so that the customer can have a minute to eat the appetizer course, then salads, and so on. This waiter could have his pen run out of ink and not have realized that you need to bring about five pens to work......

To be a good waiter it takes over a year to reach a perfect level of service to a table that lasts fifty minutes. Fifty stinking minutes of servitued has pulled me a hundred bucks on more that one occasion, but it took over five years to put together a restaurant skill set to deliver service over a fifty minute timeframe.

Now, the service we provide as wedding photographers isn't fifty minutes long. Our service can span an entire year. From initial consultation to finalizing details to days of shooting that last [up to] 14 hours or more to editing to print orders to album design....

But let's just focus on the day of the shoot.

Compare the fifty minutes a waiter spends to the average ten hours a wedding photog shoots. That is a ten hour day that is scheduled down to the minute. The smallest detail is important and the entire day moves fast, and sometimes far between locations. Basically what I'm trying to say is you need to know your shit.

Ask your friends if you really need to know weddings through and through before taking one on. If they say no, then do you think they know what they're doing on the job? If they say yes, do you think they're being fair to their clients?

It's a free and open market out there. I have some scissors, I'm a surgeon.
09-14-2009, 10:38 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by MJB DIGITAL Quote
It's a free and open market out there. I have some scissors, I'm a surgeon.
I went out as an apprentice once. Took maybe 200 shots. Personally liked only 3 of those. In retrospect, those 3 were off color. Didn't even know what white balance was at the time.

09-15-2009, 08:28 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by harleynitelite Quote
I've been looking in getting into wedding photography and would like some input as to what I would need to at least get started on a budget. Right now my inventory includes a k20d, a pentax 50mm 1.7 smc-a, the kit lens, a pentax 50-200mm Da, tripod, and a cheap flash (pentax af160). I know a diferent flash will be a necessity, but I couldnt pass it up for 10 bucks on ebay.
Ash and others have said it already but I want to concur. Reconsider whether you really want to do this. Not only is it very difficult and very stressful, you'd be entering a market that is already saturated. If you were thinking of this as a way to make money as a photographer, think again. Right now, this is a very bad market to enter.

If you do want to pursue this, here's what you need, in general terms.
  1. At least two camera bodies. Going to a wedding with just 1 body, in my view, amounts to professional malpractice. What do you do if your 1 body breaks? You must have 2 cameras. I take 3 to weddings.
  2. A couple fast lenses, with an emphasis on middle distance. You've got a medium telephoto (the 50) and a telephoto zoom (the 50-200). But the latter isn't a fast lens, and in any case, I think what you really need is something wider. I don't think you could shoot a wedding without the ability to go much wider than 50mm. I could maybe maybe shoot a wedding with the Pentax 40 or better yet a 35; but if I really wanted to shoot with just 1 prime lens, I'd use my Sigma 28. And in any case, I don't want to limit myself that way, and I suggest you consider getting an f/2.8 zoom lens. Pentax has the DA* 16-55; Sigma has an f/2.8 18-50 and I think so does Tamron. Tamron and Sigma both have 28-75 or 28-70 f/2.8 lenses that are very good. I used to have the Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 and wish I had it still. During the ceremony I work with the Pentax DA* 50-135 f/2.8 on one camera, and something else (Sigma 18-50 f/2.8, Sigma 28 f/1.8 if the light's really bad, or if the light's good enough either the Sigma 17-70 or Pentax 16-45 f/4) on the other camera. For the formals I often use either a prime or the Pentax 16-45 f/4. For the reception, where I can use flash, I have used the Sigma 17-70 and recently I even used the Pentax 18-250 with reasonable success. But remember, in the ceremony in a church, flash is usually NOT allowed. The other thing about churches is, you don't always know where you will be permitted to stand. You will probably never be really close to the bride and groom during the ceremony, so during the ceremony I find I'm more often using the 50-135 than the normal-wide lens. I take my Sigma 10-20 for a shot of the inside of the church with the congregation.
  3. You need at least two good flashes. I've never gone to a wedding with fewer than 2 flashes; I take four these days. Most of the event, I'll be shooting with only one lens but I may use the others for formals. And in any case, I've had flash units fail on me a number of times, and a couple of times it was while I was working. What kind of flash? Good flash. I have several Pentax 540s but my primary flash for on-camera shooting is the Metz 58b AF-1.
  4. A good tripod for taking formals, and ideally, a mechanical remote shutter release (the one with the cable - not the infrared one).

I think that's the bare minimum in terms of equipment. You will of course need to know how to use the camera and especially the flash, well, and fast. You will need to be able to shoot well under pressure. You'll need to be good at candid photography, and good at formal photography, able to be discrete to the point of being invisible in the church, and also able to assert yourself against a crowd so YOU can get the best shot of the couple cutting the cake, etc.

You'll also need a good computer, good software for processing the photos, and a service for sharing proofs with the clients.


QuoteQuote:
Also, I'm a bit concerned about the low light focusing and being able to get the shot the first time b/c sometimes you only have one chance during the moment.
You should be more than a bit concerned about low-light focusing. Most of the churches I've shot in have bad to very bad lighting. Some have been light mausoleums.

QuoteQuote:
Could anyone offer any advice, and possibly throw up a couple of wedding pics taken with a k20d in this type of low light environment?
Linking below a photo taken at a church in Austin. Sorry it's so small but the point here is how dark it was.

Good luck.

Will


09-16-2009, 07:34 PM   #25
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Based on personal experience, the most important piece of equipment is duct tape for the the mother of the bride's mouth!!
09-16-2009, 08:25 PM   #26
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Weddings...

I just wanted to say that I agree with most of the posts above. I shoot weddings for money on the side of going to school (mostly second shooting), but I've shot a few of my own weddings that I've booked. It's so hard to shoot a wedding alone, because you miss certain details. Here are some photos that I took last weekend during a wedding/reception. No flash was allowed, but I had a 50-135 f2.8, 16-50mm f2.8 and a 50mm f1.4 lens on me with two bodies (k10, k20). I was hand holding my 50-135 at around 1/60 - 1/80 of a second, ISO 800-1000, f2.8 and still getting blurry shots. I couldn't imagine anything slower. Here are some shots:

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Only the black and white was processed, the others are straight from the camera (still have to edit some). You can see how important it is to capture crowd detail and still be able to shoot what's happening with the bride and groom. It's very stressful and a lot of good gear is required. Hope this helps.
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