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Old 20th of May 2008 (Tue)   #1
Fingertip
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Default Christmas day, No Pay!

I am a wannabe photographer looking for experience and took a job a friend of mine set up for me. It was Christmas day, so I figured no other photographer was going to want to do this wedding. I was also informed that they were not going to hire a professional photographer.
I did it for free and gave them a CD with a note saying they could order pictures from me or print them themselves.
So far I have not recieved an order , a thank you, a little gas money ( it was over an hour away) Nothing! I have never met these people, so it wasn't like a wedding gift or something.
Are these pictures so bad that I should not even recieve a thank you?
I was hoping that I had done at least a little better than some random relative with a compact camera.
Is it possible I ruined thier wedding with such visual trash?

btw I have improved greatly since these pics were taken.

Mark G
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Old 20th of May 2008 (Tue)   #2
Fingertip
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Default Re: Christmas day, No Pay!

Wow, am I embarassed! I just checked out another thread from a photographer who did not get paid, and his pics are REALLY good.

After posting the pics I realized they are not very good, but I do want to improve. So if any one could help out a real novice, I would appreciate it!

I think part of the problem is that I have been a videographer for 10 years and have never had to manage a flash. I had just bought a sunpak flash and this was my first attempt at using it.

Mark G
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Old 20th of May 2008 (Tue)   #3
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Default Re: Christmas day, No Pay!

Hey these arent that bad. Just work on getting the exposure and color better in the shots, crop for composition in post processing. You simply havent posted enough for anyone to tell. Sure they are not 'pro' level, but if they had shot it themselves, it would have been awful. People are weird. I shot a Bat Mitzvah two months ago and I did a pretty good job. I heard nothing. My wife ran into the family and the mom said they hadnt even looked at the images yet!
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Old 20th of May 2008 (Tue)   #4
Eric Redard
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Default Re: Christmas day, No Pay!

From what I read in your post, you gave them the CD and the OPTION of purchasing prints from you or printing themselves. I think most people would print themselves and fortunately or unfortunately you will not hear from them again.

I would contact them to get a model release, if you haven't received one already just so you have it in case you want to post their pictures on the (public) web and tell everyone that you never received anything for shooting their wedding on Christmas Day. (hint, hint)

As for CC for the images... you mention that you need more practice with the flash which I would agree... and you also mention that you have improved.... might want to post those for others to CC.

Just my thoughts.

Peace.
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Old 20th of May 2008 (Tue)   #5
Fingertip
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Default Re: Christmas day, No Pay!

Thanks for the input guys.

This picture was taken a few months later, I think it is much better, but I still can't figure out why all my pics seem a little fuzzy.
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Old 20th of May 2008 (Tue)   #6
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Default Re: Christmas day, No Pay!

Nice catch.... you might have been too close and the focus wasn't able to lock or I find that many images benefit from some kind of post process sharpening. Could use some contrast to for some pop.
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Old 21st of May 2008 (Wed)   #7
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Default Re: Christmas day, No Pay!

why are ppl so fast to give their stuff away so fast?? if i were to do a wedding for free i would offer them a proof cd and tell them if they like them they can order the ones they like... not to be harsh but u dont open a store and let ppl pay when/if they want...
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Old 21st of May 2008 (Wed)   #8
stathunter
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Default Re: Christmas day, No Pay!

To be direct the photos are not great. You need to learn your camera inside and out and understand what type of photos you are looking to shoot in weddings. You need to anticipate shots and guide the couple on where to stand for photos----because the photo you have with the doors in the background is bad.
Read the tips about weddings and know your equipment. And never work for free.
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Old 21st of May 2008 (Wed)   #9
Fingertip
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Default Re: Christmas day, No Pay!

I am actually not upset by not getting paid (althought the title of the post might be misleading) because that was the agreement up front. What got me thinking was why they didn't even thank me or maybe even offer a little gas money or something. Maybe the pictures are so disappointing that they can't bear to tell me.

My goal was to do a better job then the average relative and learn in the process.
My goal of learning was achieved. I don't know if I achieved my goal of being better than nothing at all ( since they were not going to hire a photographer).

As far as guiding people for the formals, The doors were everywhere and could not be avoided. I tried hard to get them further away from the wall so I could soften the background and actually drew an invisible line to show them where to stand, but they completely ignored me and just stood wherever!

I have been a professional videographer for 10 years and am looking forward to the idea of getting paid for photography. But the problem is, pictures like this are worth very little. I realize the common attitude ( both in forums and at the local photo shop) is "don't work for free". I am in complete agreement with this for the most part. The problem is charging for stuff like this is an insult to real photographers.
So, do I tick off pro's by working for free, or, do I tick off pro's by insulting the profession by calling myself a photographer when I am clearly not(yet).

I would really like thoughts on this since it has been bugging me for a while now. I am not coming in here with preconceived ideas, I really am open to opinions from both sides.

Thanks
Mark G
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Old 21st of May 2008 (Wed)   #10
Tfer
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Default Re: Christmas day, No Pay!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fingertip View Post
Thanks for the input guys.

This picture was taken a few months later, I think it is much better, but I still can't figure out why all my pics seem a little fuzzy.

I'm not great at this yet, but your PP seems to be letting you down. Less than 5 minutes with PSP X2 left me with this.

I changed the color of her sweater to something with more contrast - like I said, it's quick and dirty, but you get the idea. With more time, I could easily smooth out any rough edges.
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Old 21st of May 2008 (Wed)   #11
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Default Re: Christmas day, No Pay!

Also intensified the color of her eyes, smoothed the dry skin on her right cheek, applied some curves and soft focussed the picture.
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Old 21st of May 2008 (Wed)   #12
Fingertip
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Default Re: Christmas day, No Pay!

Thanks, it looks much better.
I do have some photoshop skills, but it would have taken me quite a bit longer to do what you have done. This photo was raw, I probably should have put up something touched up, but to be honest I didn't really know where to start with this picture.
I know the wedding pictures in question were butchered in photoshop! I used the "adjust color for skin tone" on all of the pictures, and at the time I thought "Wow, this cool", but now I see it did not work so well.

This is an impromptu shot of my nephew and his girlfriend shot a couple of days before the wedding. I don't know why the wedding shots didn't come out as well as this one. I guess consistancy is the mark of a real pro.
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Old 21st of May 2008 (Wed)   #13
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Default Re: Christmas day, No Pay!

Couldn't help but to give PP on this little angel a shot. All I did was a few tweaks in lightroom, brought her over to CS3 for a little noise ninja action. Created a copy, filter high pass, hard light, layer mask, hide all, and brushed the eyes and lips to bring up the sharpness and viola! seriously took no more than 5 min. Just to give you an idea how things can look. Let me know if I am way off base here.

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Old 21st of May 2008 (Wed)   #14
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Default Re: Christmas day, No Pay!

Oh crap, I just realized you didnt have image edit on let me know if you want me to take it down immediately. Sorry about that one. I saw edits and assumed it was ok without actually looking to see. You know what they say about when you make assumptions.
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Last edited by JBerlotti : 21st of May 2008 (Wed) at 22:56.
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Old 21st of May 2008 (Wed)   #15
Tfer
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Default Re: Christmas day, No Pay!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Berlotti Photography View Post
Oh crap, I just realized you didnt have image edit on let me know if you want me to take it down immediately. Sorry about that one. I saw edits and assumed it was ok without actually looking to see. You know what they say about when you make assumptions.

Yeah - me too. Sorry if I offended. That's why I haven't played with the nephew picture yet...

Nice job on the sharpening, though.
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