Wedding Fright

Joined
Sep 21, 2008
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6,374
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Alabama
The point keeps being made that some of you don't seem to be getting- a wedding doesn't have do-overs, so if the couple don't know what to look for in a photographer, and the "professional" can't take good pictures then the couple won't have good wedding photos.

The key point being "gets the shots that matter" becomes quite difficult with a slow lens in a poorly-lit venue without adding light.



That's like saying a new camera buyer should "get what they deserve" with the bait-and-switch outfits because "it's up to them to do due diligence"- and if we're to follow the "don't talk about it" rule- without all the reseller ratings, warning posts, blogs and all that. After all, it's just another retailer trying to make a living!

Paul
I think most people do get it. It is up to the bride/groom to choose their photographer. There isn't anything about "bait and switch" unless the photographer puts pics in their portfolio that they didn't take.

This illustration shows a pro photographer and a great photographer are not necessarily the same. The market place will determine if the pro photographer can survive if they are not a great photographer. If someone can get a job with p&s camera, more power to them.

Because someone can get a job without having the best equipment and the best skills does show there is a difference between what the average consumer thinks is good and what we think is good. Just look on facebook or someones scrapbook to see what photographs are cherished by the family.
 
Joined
Dec 29, 2005
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Bournemouth, UK
If it had *nothing* to do with equipment, everyone would be using $1 disposable P&S cameras.

Paul
must be talking at cross purposes, if client saw work done on the "$1 disposable P&S camera" and then went ahead presume they would be happy with results if they were of similar quality to their wedding images

you don't look at work from a photographer with quality of $1 camera book them and expect your wedding images to look like they were taken on a medium format digital back
 
Joined
Jan 8, 2009
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538
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PA
Interesting story that fits this thread - my son just came back from a wedding in Arkansas. He was expecting a pretty laid-back, casual setting...well, the wedding was outside, took a half-hour or so, the groomsmen wore camo hats and sunglasses and the groom wore a polo shirt. Then they had cake with root beer and cream soda afterward.

Different people have different expectations...walking in there with 2 D700 bodies a couple of lenses and a half dozen flash units would have been just as much out of place there as a handful of relatives with disposable cameras would have been when my wife & I got married. I have my wedding picture on my desk and I'm glad we have good shots but, I haven't actually looked at the album for years.
 
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Apr 10, 2009
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Cozumel, Mexico
I did offer...then realized she was shooting Canon. Would have been happy to let her borrow my speedlight and/or the f/1.8 lens - for the sake of the couple's happiness with the shots.

I've seen her work on her website. no Woulard here.
It seems nowadays everyone with a dSLR thinks that they are a professional and can handle a wedding. Sadly enough you get what you pay for....
 
Joined
Jun 13, 2009
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Pittsburgh, PA
Maybe she skimped out because she knew you were going Rob.. :p
Ha. Thanks Jaytron, but I barely know what aperture is, let alone be able to take decent wedding photos (I've got a thread in the wedding photos section where I posted some of my recent shots looking for feedback). I'm not remotely willing to take on that risk. To me the photos of a wedding day are the most important part of the day and I wouldn't want to take on a job that I didn't think I could perform to the highest standards. I did feel bad, though, as I think she was intimidated by the amount of equipment I brought to grab some shots of the details of the wedding (so much so that I put most of the stuff back in the car once I realized she was uncomfortable and just grabbed my body+35mm to shoot the interior shots)


I'm actually a little disapointed in myself for starting this thread. I simply started it to mention the fact that the photographer actually thought that a f/3.5 lens was adequate for indoor/night photography and that a "professional" didn't have a flash....kinda surprised me...that's all. I'm completely unqualified to make any photography statements and I still realize that with poor lighting you need some sort of way to get good shots. I wasn't trying to bash the photographer in any way, as I'm sure 99% of the photos she passes onto the couple will be more than adequate for their needs.
 
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Oregon
I am a wedding photog. from a small town in Oregon. Oddly enough, business is so dry here that for the last 2 years all my weddings have been up near the Canadian border.

As a wedding photog, I can see what the OP is saying. Even if someone is talented, I've shot weddings where my fast gear literally saved the day...so it is remarkable to me that someone would attempt to shoot the wedding with the 18-200 and no flash (even though some venues won't allow it during the cermony, I cannot imagine not having it for fill during formals).

On the other hand...given the current trend of the wedding market (or lack thereof) & the current financial bind so many find themselves in these days...I can say that lots of people are not "looking at portfolios and choosing who is best". Truly. I'm in contact with brides throughout the year. In the current market, so many people are determining that professional photographs aren't as important to them as the location for the wedding or even the extra $ for the honeymoon.

With the advent of consumer grade dslr photography gear being available to so much of the general public, I've had several prospective brides say to me "I'm okay with "uncle Bob" (or whoever) just taking memory shots...I don't need pro shots". There are some who still want pro shots but (at least in my market) the decline has been very noticeable. My daughter (who is a photographer herself) was married a couple of years ago and chose to use the $ for the photog on the honeymoon. She said "mom...do you really think that if we can have 4 more days in Hawaii, I'm going to say 'no let's spend it on a photographer...when so many people will be shooting anyway and giving us their shots?' ".

So consequently, I'm seeing many more people who are shooting their first weddings or shooting weddings for a "gift" and the brides being very content with that.

As a photographer, I am shocked. As a person who's been affected by the current trend/economy. I understand.
 
Joined
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Pittsburgh, PA
I am a wedding photog. from a small town in Oregon. Oddly enough, business is so dry here that for the last 2 years all my weddings have been up near the Canadian border.

As a wedding photog, I can see what the OP is saying. Even if someone is talented, I've shot weddings where my fast gear literally saved the day...so it is remarkable to me that someone would attempt to shoot the wedding with the 18-200 and no flash (even though some venues won't allow it during the cermony, I cannot imagine not having it for fill during formals).

On the other hand...given the current trend of the wedding market (or lack thereof) & the current financial bind so many find themselves in these days...I can say that lots of people are not "looking at portfolios and choosing who is best". Truly. I'm in contact with brides throughout the year. In the current market, so many people are determining that professional photographs aren't as important to them as the location for the wedding or even the extra $ for the honeymoon.

With the advent of consumer grade dslr photography gear being available to so much of the general public, I've had several prospective brides say to me "I'm okay with "uncle Bob" (or whoever) just taking memory shots...I don't need pro shots". There are some who still want pro shots but (at least in my market) the decline has been very noticeable. My daughter (who is a photographer herself) was married a couple of years ago and chose to use the $ for the photog on the honeymoon. She said "mom...do you really think that if we can have 4 more days in Hawaii, I'm going to say 'no let's spend it on a photographer...when so many people will be shooting anyway and giving us their shots?' ".

So consequently, I'm seeing many more people who are shooting their first weddings or shooting weddings for a "gift" and the brides being very content with that.

As a photographer, I am shocked. As a person who's been affected by the current trend/economy. I understand.
Well stated.
 
Joined
Jun 4, 2008
Messages
879
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UK
I'm actually a little disapointed in myself for starting this thread. I simply started it to mention the fact that the photographer actually thought that a f/3.5 lens was adequate for indoor/night photography and that a "professional" didn't have a flash....kinda surprised me...that's all. I'm completely unqualified to make any photography statements and I still realize that with poor lighting you need some sort of way to get good shots. I wasn't trying to bash the photographer in any way, as I'm sure 99% of the photos she passes onto the couple will be more than adequate for their needs.
Don't be disappointed for starting the thread. A lot of us hear what you are saying. It is surprising to see someone that isn't ready for all situations with a payed gig, not that they had an 18-200. Although having more equipment than the hired person begs the question, do you look like an obsessed person with all of this money and equipment invested into taking pictures? :tongue: I don't ask my wife that.

It is just a fact that some of the folks making money are not as serious as today's amateur hobbyist/enthusiast when it comes to thinking about what equipment to get. It was once recommended to me that I shouldn't buy a 300 2.8 VR (expense) and that I should only rent that kind of lens. Blasphemy! :biggrin:
 
Joined
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Messages
879
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UK
As a photographer, I am shocked. As a person who's been affected by the current trend/economy. I understand.
Your post is right on and this last statement is a good way to sum up the state of photography opportunities today. Realize the state we are in today with opportunities and figure out how to work around it and move on.
 
Joined
Jan 8, 2009
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San Jose, CA
I'm finding more and more that people are willing to hire a friend with a Digital SLR to shoot their wedding. Seems crazy to me. My wife and I spent an average amount on our wedding, but we put the most money into wedding photos. Our friend who happens to be a professional photographer still wasn't cheap, and that was even after having a her give us the a hefty discount because we all went to high school together. It was worth every penny. While our wedding was during the day, and no flash was necessary, there had two photogs, two very nice camera setups (D200 and a D3 I think) with a couple of different lenses. Plus, a lot of photogs won't pose people. While our photogs weren't pushy, they definitely lined us up and placed us in the right lighting at the right time in the right place.
 
Joined
May 1, 2006
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314
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NoVa/NEPA
I'm finding more and more that people are willing to hire a friend with a Digital SLR to shoot their wedding. Seems crazy to me.
One of my friends, who's also my business partner in an IT company got very upset when I refused to shoot his wedding (I don't do weddings.) They went without a photographer (I didn't even bring my camera though.)

Paul
 
Joined
Mar 10, 2009
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MD
i was at a wedding this past weekend and shot for fun and since it was a close friend i only brought my 17-50 2.8 with sb600.
my friend was the official photographer and he asked me to shoot as backup incase as well.
it was quite an experience and i would actually like to shoot backup again a few more times just to get comfortable in the setting.

oh and the flash was a life saver. i couldn't imagine shooting without a flash indoors especially for a wedding!
 
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
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Arizona
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Chris
On another forum, there is a wedding pro who tells people that if they don't have enough money to pay for a $3000 photographer they have no business getting hitched. He told one couple that their marriage was doomed because they hired a cheap photographer (only $900.)

That is of course nonsense. I had a free photographer for my wedding, but that is not the reason I am divorced, and I doubt hiring a pro would have had any effect on that.
 
Joined
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... it was quite an experience and i would actually like to shoot backup again a few more times just to get comfortable in the setting. ...
I hired a backup photographer for the last (and possibly the Last) wedding I photographed. She got the better deal, even though I made more than twice as much from it. But to just shoot, then turn over the memory cards and collect the dough is nice! I'd like to be a professional back-up shooter.
 
Joined
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I hired a backup photographer for the last (and possibly the Last) wedding I photographed. She got the better deal, even though I made more than twice as much from it. But to just shoot, then turn over the memory cards and collect the dough is nice! I'd like to be a professional back-up shooter.

That would be nice.
 
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