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11-08-2012, 06:09 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by slip Quote
I would likely sub out the 70-200 for the 50-135
So might I if I had the 50-135. As it is, my 70-200 kicks arse for focus speed and sharpness, and I have a DA*55 for a fast gap filler.

11-08-2012, 06:25 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by harleynitelite Quote
Looking for advice on a list of equipment that would be of bare necessity on a budget for a wedding and advice on what one would charge that would be just starting out. I've never done it before, and although I think it would be alot of work and a bit stressful I think it would be fun at the same time. Any advice would be appreciated from those wedding photographers that are experienced out there. Thank you
why don't you volunteer for a local pro until you learn all the basics?

one thing that completely destroyed the market in my areas was all the guys that thought they could buy a d-slr, ask a few questions online then hang up an "open for business" sign. This led to the market being saturated with both "Will work for free/cheap" wannabe's that drove market prices down to the point Pros couldn't cover thier business taxes never minds wages or keeping current with equipment... and as the numbers of hacks increased so did the numbers of Brides who got burned and started telling stories about how ALL photogs were rip off artists.... which led to this...

"Hello I'm calling about your wedding photography.... yeah..how much do you charge? No I don't want to see your work, how much do you charge? No I just want a guy to shoot the whole wedding ceremony, portraits in the park, and reception for $100.00 and I want all the original files so I can go to costco for prints, and you're trying to rip me off, my cousin has a nice camera, he'll do it for $100.00"



"Then why the are you on the phone calling me, insulting me and wasting my time? use your cousin"
11-08-2012, 01:23 PM   #18
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Different market, Don. That type of client was never going to want to pay a pro price tag anyway. You will always have both the budget seeking clients as well as the amateur 'weekend warrior' types. The results a pro will produce are valued and paid for by couples who appreciate excellence.

I'm not advocating for the unskilled photographer to open shop but I'm suggesting it wouldn't matter to pros greatly if they did.
11-08-2012, 01:47 PM   #19
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I did three weddings this summer/fall. I charged $1200 + cost of prints on average. Looking back, I'm going to up that to $1500 + cost of prints. I included a 30 page book of 8x10s in the base price and one 24" print.

The gear:
2x K5
DA*16-50 f2.8
DA*50-135 f2.8
DA*55 f2.8
Tamron 90 di macro f2.8
2x aF540fGZ flashes
2x light stands
Elinchrom universal RF flash triggers
Tripod
Remote release (2)
48 AA batteries, each flash got a new set whenever we changed locations
10 8gb flashcards
2 32gb flash cards (backups)
8 spare k5 batteries
30" reflector
Think Tank stealth 250 bag
DA 18-55 kit lens (backup)
Black Rapid strap (easier to adjust the clients with the camera around my waist)

I personally sold my grip after the weddings, didn't like it.

I found the 50-135 was my most used lens, I shot very little with everything else. The 55 1.4 was good for the reception and for the getting ready photos, but that's all I used it for.

Having a spare body and as many batteries/flash cards you can carry is essential. My secondary at my last wedding missed the kiss due to dead AAs... I warned her too.

Weddings are fun, but a lot of work... A lot of work. I usually bail right after the dance, head home and sleep. I was in bed sleeping by 8 every day.

Only experience will prep you for weddings. There is no amount of reading or studying others weddings that will prepare you. And time goes by so fast. Make every bloody second count. 3 hours disappeared on me and I didn't get all my ideas down.

Scout ahead, know your venues, make sure all your gear is clean and setup.

Big one, ask if you can get the bride and groom to ask the people in the church to get unplugged. Turn off THEIR cameras and cell phones. Let them know they hired a pro and they can get the beautiful photos later. That's what they hired you for. Last thing you need is a P+S flash ruining the kiss.

11-09-2012, 06:48 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by adwb Quote
not negotiable:-
2 x bodies
2 x dedicated any brand flash lights
1 x 24-70 f2.8
1 x 70-200 f2.8
1 x tripod.
spare cards do not use bigger than 8gb
spare camera batteries
boxes of spare flash batteries , even if you use rechargeable AA bats
sensible bags to back kit in.
signed contact for the job
payed in full



nice extras:
1 x assistant
1 x fast 50mm
1 x fast 100mm
1 x monopod
1 x flash meter
2 x light stands with manual flash and radio triggers
reflectors
plastic sheet for couples to sit on.
sensible huge bag to pack all the kit in.

you need to know :
it goes with out saying your how to use your kit and manual flash
knowledge how to tie bow ties
knowledge how to pin corsages
knowledge how to calm jittery brides
knowledge how to deal with bridezillas
knowledge of the venue and what the h**ll you are going to do if it is p*****g down
special images wanted by the couple. get a list before the event so you can let the couple not worry about their images.
meet before hand and get torn copies of images they "love" from magazines ect.

That pretty much covers it but you may be better off with a 16-50mm f2.8 than a 24-70 on a crop sensor.
11-09-2012, 06:58 PM   #21
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If you are looking at the bare minimum for what gear you need for weddings, it is probably not yet the industry for you.
You always need more than you need at a wedding just in case

My kit for weddings includes
K5
k30
DA*16-50mm f2.8
sigma 70-200 f2.8
sigma 50mm f1.4
sigma 85mm f1.4
sigma 105mm f2.8 macro
i also have cheaper versions of the focal lengths listed
I have 3 spare batteries for the K5 and 4 spare for the K30
3 speedlights
Many rechargeable batteries for flashes with around 3 spare sets for each
iv lost count of how many SD cards i have
flash diffusers
Black rapid shoulder strap to carry 2 cameras comfortably
Comfy lowpro backpack.
a couple of stands and multiple wireless triggers with many spare batteries for these,
sunscreen, a banana and poweraide :-D

I also have a spare K7 body if worse comes to worse
11-11-2012, 01:48 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by harleynitelite Quote
I was curious to know adwb, why use memory cards no larger than 8gb? That caught my attention as a bit odd, but I'm sure there is a valid reason I'm not thinking of.
you dont lose to much if the card fails, you would stil loose alot but not the whole event.

best plan is to break the event down into sequences/ sections and use one card for each.
11-11-2012, 11:21 AM   #23
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I've found this list very helpful for when discussing shots required with the couple. http://www.all-things-photography.com/support-files/weddingchecklist.pdf I'd also add that it's really good to go to the venues beforehand. That way you can plan your shots and talk to the people there to find out if you can use flash, where you're allowed to shoot from during the ceremony etc. You can ask the celebrant to request no other photography while you're doing your thing - as suggested above - arrange a secure place to store kit, and take a laptop. I gain peace of mind by not only using smaller cards and changing them frequently, but by also uploading them whenever there's a quiet minute or two. I also get the phone numbers of the parents of the couple and the best man and maid of honour, and try to meet up with the ushers beforehand as they're really useful to have when shooting the formals for rounding up that stray uncle whose snuck off for a smoke, etc.

In addition to what others above have said - all of which is excellent advice esp. two bodies and loads and loads of batteries and cards - I also take gaffer tape, hair bands, safety pins, hair slides, a small sewing kit and plasters - it's amazing how often people need these things and it both makes your job easier and keeps them happy.

11-11-2012, 01:53 PM   #24
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I agree with all the posts on equipment, knowing your gear, contracts, the weather, scouting locations, etc, but I also ask the B&G to draw up a really specific shot list that I print out multiple times (I give them a basic shot list that they adapt). I ask that the best man & ushers (with said shot list) collect the guests so I just need to worry about taking the pics, not organising the guests (no-one likes to hear the photographer yelling "Bride's parents and sister please!" or saying "So, what photo do you want next?"). It comes much better from the bridal party - and there's usually an usher from each side of the family who knows who's who.

I also make it crystal clear EXACTLY what they'll get after the wedding - album, prints, DVD slideshow, cards, CD, etc.

Other things on my list are : confetti (just in case you need some extra) and fill up the car the night before (PANIC - I haven't got enough juice to reach the reception!)

Send them a 1st wedding anniversary card too - a bit of PR never goes amiss.

Finally (and this depends heavily on the B&G and how well you get on) bring some booze for them. If you stop off somewhere between the service and the reception for pics, a bottle of beer is a real treat after the most stressful afternoon of their lives and helps them relax (much better pics!).

Oh, and plan for everything to go wrong (you'll know how to cope then).
11-11-2012, 01:54 PM   #25
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Proper Prior Planning and Preparation Prevents A Poor Performance.
11-11-2012, 05:19 PM   #26
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As many others have said, adwb pretty much hit it on the nose. However, in regards to flashes, I would add that they should be the type that can take external battery packs, like Pentax AF540FGZ or the Metz 58. These give you much more operating time without having to change the internal batteries so often.

QuoteOriginally posted by adwb Quote
you dont lose to much if the card fails, you would stil loose alot but not the whole event.
This is one of the reasons that I've argued for a second in camera card slot that will allow backup of the primary card, or allow every other shot to be written to each card. I believe that this kind of backup strategy would appeal greatly to wedding photogs or any event photographer.

Last edited by HawaiianOnline; 11-11-2012 at 05:19 PM. Reason: added clarification
11-11-2012, 08:58 PM   #27
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Since you mentioned minimum, I assume that's including cost as well?
All the gears mentioned are really good, but also come at a price.

I would get the tamron 17-50 instead of DA 16-50 and tamron 70-200 and the long Tele zoom. Both are considerably cheaper than Pentax or sigma version.

Then one or two primes that can have a fast Aperture for good dof control and a macro lens to capture all the intimate details at the wedding. Choose the focal length that suite your style for those primes.

If funds still permit, get an ultra wide lens. Sigma uwa or Pentax fish-eye lens depends on your style.
I will typically use these lenses for 1% of my wedding photos.
11-12-2012, 09:38 AM   #28
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Our daughter was married this summer. Here's what the photographer used:

Nikon D4
Nikon 24 - 70/2.8 (used mostly for church photos)
Nikon 70 - 200/2.8 (used for reception photos)
(Obviously that translates to roughly the 16 - 50 and 50 - 135 APS-C Pentax lenses)

So that's about $10k of Nikon gear right there.

Not sure what flash she used but it was a Nikon -- probably their best. Had that hooked up to an external power pack she carried around.

Her technique for the church photos was to set the camera for multi-exposure (three to be exact). She said she does that so if someone blinks it's likely that at least one of the three will be OK. Not sure what flash/power pack can support three shots at something like 10 fps but it did.

I don't know what she brought for extra bodies and lenses but don't think she used anything beyond what I listed above.
11-12-2012, 12:56 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by IchabodCrane Quote
Our daughter was married this summer. Here's what the photographer used:

Nikon D4
Nikon 24 - 70/2.8 (used mostly for church photos)
Nikon 70 - 200/2.8 (used for reception photos)
(Obviously that translates to roughly the 16 - 50 and 50 - 135 APS-C Pentax lenses)

So that's about $10k of Nikon gear right there.

Not sure what flash she used but it was a Nikon -- probably their best. Had that hooked up to an external power pack she carried around.

Her technique for the church photos was to set the camera for multi-exposure (three to be exact). She said she does that so if someone blinks it's likely that at least one of the three will be OK. Not sure what flash/power pack can support three shots at something like 10 fps but it did.

I don't know what she brought for extra bodies and lenses but don't think she used anything beyond what I listed above.
I'll be doing a few fairly important portraits next week...not as killer as wedding, but very significant for me. I'm trying to learn as much as possible from this thread

I really don't think it was multi-exposure (the feature that "adds" or "fuses" several exposures together). I'm thinking that is either CH or CL drive (high or low fps continuous) or exposure bracketing. Which one of these is more useful?

I imagine that with a fairly powerful flash with a power pack, without any modifiers, and a higher ISO, shooting 3 consecutive flash exposures should be possible. If bracketing, I think it would make sense to have the bright exposure done first, then the metered one, and lastly, the dark one.

I'd be curious to know if this is possible with the AF540 and how to set it up...then I'll be needing a power pack, which I would get one of those aftermarket ones.
11-12-2012, 01:00 PM   #30
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since this is a subject that comes up on a regular basis and since this thread has sensible kit and suggestions perhaps if there were a couple of requests we could get admin to make it a sticky thread?
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