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So I just got asked to shoot a wedding.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Connahhh, Aug 5, 2008.

  1. Connahhh


    Oct 27, 2007
    A good friend of mine asked me to shoot his Father's wedding. It's in 6 days, I'm going to be the only photographer there, and I've never done a wedding before. I've always pictured it as a stressful job that I wouldn't want to do, but something in the back of my head is saying go for it. Apparently, his Dad absolutely loves my work, but mannnnn. Haha.

    Any opinions? Feel free to ask for more information about it if you think it will help you give a recommendation. I told him I'd get back to him tomorrow.

    Help? Please? Haha.
  2. I've seen your work. I think you'll do a great job.
  3. Connor you'll be fine. Just do all the usual shots, bride&groom, extended family, cute shots of children. I know you have a fisheye so make some goofy pictures with the bride and her maids or the groom and his men. Just have fun, be creative, and shoot A LOT; don't get carried away staring ;) 
  4. Carole


    Jun 15, 2008
    Bellingham, WA
    Go for it. There is a first time for everything. I'm shooting my first wedding this Friday and Saturday. They are having the ceremony and a luncheon for family on Friday; then the reception (party) is on Saturday with family and all their friends. The ceremony is in the backyard, so I'm just hoping the weather holds. The forecast is good so we'll see :) 

  5. Carole


    Jun 15, 2008
    Bellingham, WA
    Go to the library. I got a book called "Digital Wedding Photography". It has some good ideas :) 
  6. Connahhh


    Oct 27, 2007
    Thanks everyone. I'm still thinking, but I haven't had anyone say no yet.

    I guess this is up to a lot of variables, but what should I expect to charge? I need to know because if I agree to this I think gear purchases might need to be made.
  7. latazyo


    Apr 23, 2008
    maybe pick up a 17-55 2.8
  8. Connahhh


    Oct 27, 2007
    That's what I was thinking for sure.

    To update, he said 100 people will be there (so smallish wedding) and name my price.
  9. Name your price? Look around the photographers of your area and see what they charge. Then adjust your price accordingly.
  10. Cleo68


    Jul 7, 2008
    Bedford, MA
    Perhaps you want to rent?
  11. I aways carried 2 cameras,and 2 flashes,extra cards,cords,batts,etc

    relax,and go with the flow.
  12. connor,
    good luck
    i will bet this....
    that, when it's done... and the stress begins to fade from every fiber of your being....
    that you'll think it was one of the most invigorating times of your life

    using your excellent skill in another way
    i can't wait to see the pictures
  13. rocketliv

    rocketliv Guest

    Good luck! I say go for it! My brother has asked me to do his wedding next year and I am quite nervous! I look forward to your wisdom after you do this!
  14. panda81


    Feb 7, 2008
    Connor - you're incredibly talented, there's no reason for you to stress :smile: Just try to have fun while you're doing it, I think that makes a huge difference in the quality of your work. Especially since you already know your customer loves what you do, so just keep on shooting in the style you like to! :biggrin:
  15. Well, since it appears you are going to be paid for the work, you have just entered "no excuses" land. This means:
    - You need a backup camera body
    - You need to have a written agreement as what you will provide for the money you receive. Since this is a family deal, it can be a little less formal than an actual contract but you at the very least need to specify what you will cover (pre-wedding shots of groom and bride, the wedding itself, the reception, etc). Also, how will you deliver the images, in what format, and who owns the images?
    - Make a list of the venues and shots and have the bride and groom check off the ones they want. Keep this list with you as you work. Here is a link to a list that is a good start: http://weddings.about.com/od/photographer/a/Photogchecklist.htm

    Is the wedding indoors? If so, from your list of gear in your personal signature, you may need to rent or borrow some stuff:
    - faster lenses: a Nikkor 17-55 f2.8 and a Nikkor 70-200 f2.8 VR would be ideal
    - a second body (see above)

    Take lots of memory cards.

    If you have an external flash, get out and practice, practice, practice. This is especially true if you want to take outdoor candids or formals where you will need to balance ambient with flash. Consider a flash bracket. A decent diffuser is mandatory.

    If at all possible, attend the wedding practice session. Take some shots from various vantage points. Find out if flash is allowed and when (often flash can be used up to the point that the ceremony begins when bride reaches the altar).

    Shoot RAW. This is especially true for indoor venues with dim lighting and weird color casts (pretty much any church). Consider taking a gray card with you and shooting that prior to the event and using that as a reference for PP.

    I don't mean to overwhelm or scare you. Based on your work, you have a lot of skill and talent. However, weddings are challenging because of the emotions involved and the fact that there are no "do overs" (well, you can go back and reshoot things like the exchange of rings in closeup... in fact I highly recommend discussing this with the minister and the bride and groom ahead of time). Also, once you accept money, as noted above you have gone from being the crazy relative with a camera to a hired professional.

    I recently did my first wedding (for money) in over 35 years (did some in my film days in the early 1970's) for a family friend and, to tell the truth, I was sweating bullets. I had the advantage of good gear (a couple of D300 bodies, a 17-55 and a 70-200). However, the church was dark with vari-colored windows in the ceiling and yellow-green paneling behind the altar. Yeesh, what a mess. I often shot at high ISO's and the PP was a LOT of work.
  16. Connahhh


    Oct 27, 2007
    Thanks everyone for your support!

    I just talked to him and it's absolutely nothing like I had expected. He just wants me to walk around with a camera for 5 hours and shoot. Capture the event, really. Photo journalistic, sort of. It's not in a church, rather, their back yard. So if the weather holds up I won't need to rent any gear or anything. We agreed on $40 an hour which seems reasonable for my age and experience and what he's asking for. They don't want any post production work nor prints unless they want it for certain shots. I think I might PP a few shots to show them how essential it is and they might ask me to do all of them. Anyway, that's where we left it.
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