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Done a million times...but wedding photography

Discussion in 'Photography & Video' started by Gamefreak501, 7 Mar 2006.

  1. Gamefreak501

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 7 Aug 2003

    Posts: 8,027

    Location: Bedfordshire

    Hi everyone,

    A colleague at work expressed interest in my photography and wanted to see some of my work,

    Anyway, I gave him some info and he'll be seeing some prints, but he said I may be making some commission doing Wedding Photography,

    Anyway, what kind of equipment will I need?

    Any tips you can offer?

    Cheers!
     
  2. SDK^

    Capodecina

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 19,272

  3. Gamefreak501

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 7 Aug 2003

    Posts: 8,027

    Location: Bedfordshire

    Haha!

    I just realised I replied to one of those threads! Silly me!

    Although, I think putting a price on it will be the hardest thing.

    I am an amatuer after all. I know how to meter and so on, although I have only been taking photographys about 1 year now... :confused:
     
  4. SDK^

    Capodecina

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 19,272

    I started by shadowing a couple of wedding photographers from my local studio for about 6 months. This was completely unpaid but gave me invaluable experience.
     
  5. Gamefreak501

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 7 Aug 2003

    Posts: 8,027

    Location: Bedfordshire

    Nice :)

    I'll have to look into that - I think there are a few people I can talk to around Luton town :)
     
  6. SDK^

    Capodecina

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 19,272

    Another thing to remember is that taking photos is only a very small part of wedding photography.

    You have to be good at marketing yourself.
    You need to be able to organise people without annoying them.
    You need to be to handle stress and come across as pleasant even during frustrating moments.
    You should come away from a wedding having not been the center of attention.

    etc etc..
     
  7. Gamefreak501

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 7 Aug 2003

    Posts: 8,027

    Location: Bedfordshire

    Really complicated sounding! :( I'll have to work hard at this!
     
  8. AndyBorzi

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 15 Nov 2005

    Posts: 1,390

    Location: Peterborough

    I'm sure most of it has been said in the links above and what SDK said.

    The most obvious hints/tips - Take spares of everything - batteries (camera and flashgun), bodies (film and/or digital), lenses, film/memory cards(a few small capacity ones rather than one large capacity), mobile phone (in case you are held up etc) - maybe extreme but arrange for someone to be available to drive you just in case your car goes belly up - believe me it happens!! :) )

    Make sure you know the time of the wedding and the time of the reception so you know you have time for photos. Make sure the b&g know to allow at least an hour/hour and a half for photos after the ceremony and before the reception starts. Check if you are allowed to take photos in church with/without flash.

    Have a list of formal pictures the b&g want and give copies to the ushers and the best man. Make them do all the organising and rounding up of people for the photos. Last thing you need is to be running round shouting for people.

    Do the big groups first and work your way down to the b&g. This way the guests can wander off to get drinks etc.

    Above all, have fun! If you look like you are having fun, the guests react better to this, the b&g will relax for you!

    As SDK has said, see if you can be bagman for a local professional. He/she will probably be glad of some company! ;)

    Best of luck!

    Andy
     
  9. morgan

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 12 Jul 2004

    Posts: 1,587

    One vital factor is planning.

    There are key moments in a wedding that you can predict. Walking down the isle, signing the register, confetti, brides house etc etc. You need to know EXACTLY how to shoot these scenarios. This means having a full understanding of the lighting characteristics of the venue (light temperature and amounts of light at different times of the day).
    You need to know how to use a flash inside out, and ensure you know how your camera works inside out. There is absolutely no way you can repeat any point of the wedding ever again...and you cannot miss a single key event or you have failed.

    I personally think that the flash is probably the most key thing at a wedding. I use it so much. And I completely underestimated the learning curve in understanding exactly how and when to use it. Bad or no flash and you can loose a shot, use too much flash or direct the light in a bad direction and you end up with trash. Then add the scenario where you have to use flash in a dimly lit (tungsten lighting) church or venue with high ceilings and you are the land of nightmares. Its not easy at all.

    For a typical wedding you firstly have to be comfortable with the b&g, and they need to be relaxed with you. you need to plan where you have to go, times etc and ensure you fully understand thier demands and what they would like to to do at every part of the day.

    The other thing is details. The b&g will have spent £1000's on making thier day as they wish, you must ensure you document every part of thier experiance.

    I would say that unless you are 110% confident I wouldnt attempt to work for a b&g. If you fail its far worse for the couple than it is for you. This is, afterall, the most important day of thier lives.
     
  10. AndyBorzi

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 15 Nov 2005

    Posts: 1,390

    Location: Peterborough

    Don't want to make it any worse for you but morgan is absolutely correct!

    Again: yup yup yup. Get to know your flash inside and out. If you can goto the venue and take a whole load of test shots. If you have studio lights, pack em with a long extension cable! We were rained off once last year and took the whole lot in the church and these saved the formal shots! Informal shots were taken with on-camera flash.
     
  11. Biggus

    Gangster

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 396

    Location: S/E Kent

    On a side note, if you do "get into" wedding photography, ensure that your PC has a very good backup system or you could be in deep doody if something goes wrong with it before you finish the pics. A friend nearly lost 2 lots of wedding photos due to some weird drive issue, lucky for him I managed to recover all of them. He has since spent over £1500 on getting his PC up to spec to ensure this (hopefully) doesn't occur again. He now has 3x 300Gb HDs in RAID5 in his PC, plus a 1Tb RAID5 NAS drive which should give him much better data security.
     
  12. Gamefreak501

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 7 Aug 2003

    Posts: 8,027

    Location: Bedfordshire

    I am getting more and more worried, after reading those posts and I haven't even been told when it's going to happen!
     
  13. stuart38

    Hitman

    Joined: 15 Nov 2002

    Posts: 821

    Location: Colchester

    I don't know the exact scenario youre going into but Im sure if they are a decent wedding photography company/person then they are not likely to expect you to go and do a shoot on your own, they are more likely to just have you tag along and see how your pics turn out. If one or two of them make it to the bride and grooms final album then you know you've done well.

    He/She will probably want you to be using a long lens to capture some candids while the pro does all the creative work.

    I guess what Im saying is - get in there ya lucky bugger and stop worrying about it :)
     
  14. Gamefreak501

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 7 Aug 2003

    Posts: 8,027

    Location: Bedfordshire

    Well, a development...

    I have been given a date for when the wedding is taking place and a where...

    I showed the guy my Deviant Art and he liked what he saw, then gave me the details and I gave him, what I believe to be a fair price - I'll be printing 6x4 or 7x5 prints of everything, and a few A4 prints, as well as doing 3-5 hours of shooting (not sure how long to be honest). I may even throw in an album for the smaller prints.

    At the moment I am thinking of taking this lot along:

    2x Minolta 7000, Dynax 5D,
    5x colour films
    5x black and white films
    My FH65 and FH95 flashguns
    50mm, 70-210mm, 35-105mm
    1gb memory card, 4x 256mb/2x 512mb memory cards
    Tripod

    I am also going to talk to some local studios about shadowing...anything I should also consider?

    Thanks in advance!