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03-11-2010, 07:05 AM   #16
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B & W weddings

There is an article in the current Rangefinder magazine you might find interesting.

03-11-2010, 07:14 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by puderse Quote
There is an article in the current Rangefinder magazine you might find interesting.
Nice article and some very creative folks doing more with weddings than 90% of the wedding photographers seem to be doing.
03-23-2010, 06:38 PM   #18
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I still partly use film

My daughter and I mainly use a pair of Nikon D40 digitals for weddings. She uses the 70-210 lens and I use the 18-55. But I always carry my trusty old Nikon F4 loaded and ready for backup. You simply must have backups. It also comes in handy for shots of the wedding party jumping, because of its 5 FPS frame rate vs about 2 FPS with the D40. I also use my Pentax MX when I'm not allowed to use flash, because I have the fast SMC 50MM 1.4 lens and 800 speed film.
The biggest problem with film is just the cost: about $15 per roll for film, developing, and a disc. Shooting digital is virtually free, and I tend to take more shots because of that. I end up with lots of fun shots of the brides laughing and making faces, and other fun things that happen during the day.
03-24-2010, 07:38 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by ziggy7 Quote
The biggest problem with film is just the cost: about $15 per roll for film, developing, and a disc. Shooting digital is virtually free, and I tend to take more shots because of that. I end up with lots of fun shots of the brides laughing and making faces, and other fun things that happen during the day.
Do wedding photographers charge the same as they did in the film days (with the future worth of money adjustments taken into account)? Are you passing the digital efficiency savings onto the customers or keeping it?

03-25-2010, 05:19 PM   #20
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Recession has reduced prices.

It does seem like there is a new guy every week advertizing on Craigslist to shoot weddings and supply an un-edited disc for $350 or less. Digital has invited new competition because it is easier and cheaper to use than film. It has put downward pressure on prices. I recently shot a wedding & reception at the local golf club for $395 to keep the bride from hiring the Craigslist guy for $350. Once she saw my web site photos, she hired me for the extra $45. One more pretty bride for my portfolio.
I only still use film at all because I have the Pro film cameras for backup and for some things that my D40's can't do. If a couple tells me ahead of time that they will want something blown up to poster size I'll use film, maybe even break out one of my nice old 6x9CM folders.
Some of the members of our local Pictage Users Group (PUG) have admitted that back in 2006 or 2007, before the Great Recession, they had $2000 minimums but have recently taken some $500 jobs to pay the bills (especially in the always dead December-February period).
03-27-2010, 07:40 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by ziggy7 Quote
It does seem like there is a new guy every week advertizing on Craigslist to shoot weddings and supply an un-edited disc for $350 or less. Digital has invited new competition because it is easier and cheaper to use than film. It has put downward pressure on prices. I recently shot a wedding & reception at the local golf club for $395 to keep the bride from hiring the Craigslist guy for $350. Once she saw my web site photos, she hired me for the extra $45. One more pretty bride for my portfolio.
I only still use film at all because I have the Pro film cameras for backup and for some things that my D40's can't do. If a couple tells me ahead of time that they will want something blown up to poster size I'll use film, maybe even break out one of my nice old 6x9CM folders.
Some of the members of our local Pictage Users Group (PUG) have admitted that back in 2006 or 2007, before the Great Recession, they had $2000 minimums but have recently taken some $500 jobs to pay the bills (especially in the always dead December-February period).
As we have discussed over in the pro section of the forum, the work of many people shooting weddings shows the result of this downward pressure. (I was discussing that as an observer). There is a lot of blazing away with hundreds or thousands of shots going for a masterpiece the way a thousand chimps at typewriters might attempt to write Shakespeare. On the other hand, I would how many of the people who will only pay a few hundred dollars (and get what they pay for) would have hired a "professional" at all if the prices hadn't gone down?
03-28-2010, 09:17 AM   #22
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Yes, lower price expanded the market

You are correct about lower prices expanding the market. It is true that many of the brides who are paying less than $400 for a quickie digital job and a disc would simply not pay more. The fact that most of the guests at weddings are blazing away with pocket cameras or even decent digital SLR's also has an effect. Of course, in 25 years they may regret that they don't have a nice album...

I've been doing some quickie beach wedding shoots for a local wedding planner who specializes in them. Her previous photog lived at the beach and would spend 30 minutes on the beach and mail the bride a disc for $100. She moved away. I told the planner I would do the same thing, but since I'm 30 miles from the beach I must charge $195. I try to meet with each bride ahead of the wedding to upsell her on more time and an album. The ones who are having a reception usually will pay an extra $100 for an hour there, and I have press printed albums starting at $100. It's a different business from 5 years ago.
03-28-2010, 11:54 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
I have actually never had a professional photographer offer me the negatives for any shots I purchased, but I think you are more likely to have the bride and goom ask for scans of the negatives, than the negatives.
To chime in there, indeed. In film days, keeping the negs and being the one to sell the prints was where a lot of the real money was.

When I shot weddings, I did not/could not do this, ...at most I'd put together the initial package of prints and an album. The customers would get the negs after that, mostly cause I knew I'd be very out of there at any given minute. I'd hit one of two pro labs I trusted, do nothing fancy, they'd proof everything, and I'd sort of broker the first set of enlargements/albums. Then they would get the negs. (Again, since I had every intention of vaporizing, this was the only fair thing to do. Not the way to maximize profit, though.) I think only maybe once did anyone get my custom darkroom work, and that was only cause something went wrong and it was just easier and faster to fix myself.

People shooting weddings for *money* will use digital because it is cheaper for them, even if they slack off about the post. ...if you are doing it as a favor/gift, and have the stuff anyway, it's a way to make something rather 'special.'

Try *not* to show up relying on any gear you don't know intimately, though.

04-02-2010, 08:17 AM   #24
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I've shot weddings for pay back in the film era and in the digital era as well. There are a multitude of reasons why pros gave up their MF film slrs to shoot smaller format digital. Recurring consumables costs eating profits was only one of them, but ever since digital became the coin of the realm, you're just not going to be able to justify it unless you're offering something truly special and can charge comeasurately more. (Without extensive experience and referrals, good luck with that.)
Low light interiors and receptions: digital kicks film to the curb for being able to change ISO between shots. Film at very high ISOs requires medium format for decent sized prints, and there's a very limited selection nowadays.
Not changing film at the end of a roll and missing an important shot like the boquet toss as the result: priceless. (Also a reason MF was preferred over 35 was faster swap-out.) CF or SD cards hold hundreds of shots.
04-05-2010, 03:08 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ivan J. Eberle Quote
Low light interiors and receptions: digital kicks film to the curb for being able to change ISO between shots. Film at very high ISOs requires medium format for decent sized prints, and there's a very limited selection nowadays.
Not changing film at the end of a roll and missing an important shot like the boquet toss as the result: priceless. (Also a reason MF was preferred over 35 was faster swap-out.) CF or SD cards hold hundreds of shots.
To me, that is digital's biggest advantage. I prefer film for many things, but digital owns the indoor color shot in low light. I've never really grown to love any color film with an ISO over 200.
04-05-2010, 03:45 PM   #26
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QuoteQuote:
they just spent fifteen hundred bucks on table centerpieces, and you're the last one to be paid. )
This is a mystery to me. Arguably the most important day in ones life and you spend more on the Dj than a photographer. My wife and I "invested" in the only tangible thing that would last our entire lives, the photographs. In twenty years we can look back at our wedding album and relive that day. At that point who cares whether you had chicken or beef...
04-08-2010, 11:30 AM   #27
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A wedding pro who works primarily in film shoots so many rolls doing the same thing that all of the film checks and double checks and backups and reliable processing and pricing are second nature. That's not true for most others who don't shoot events on film on a daily/weekly basis.
04-08-2010, 11:46 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by kunaalbhasin Quote
A wedding pro who works primarily in film shoots so many rolls doing the same thing that all of the film checks and double checks and backups and reliable processing and pricing are second nature. That's not true for most others who don't shoot events on film on a daily/weekly basis.
Uh, isn't that a quote from a previous post by me?
04-08-2010, 09:10 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
To me, that is digital's biggest advantage. I prefer film for many things, but digital owns the indoor color shot in low light. I've never really grown to love any color film with an ISO over 200.
For wedding shots, I normally do digital nowadays.
Reason being I am not a pro-wedding photographer, but helps out friends or relatives during their wedding by taking pictures of the crowd having fun on their Big Day.
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