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Old 26th of June 2010 (Sat)   #1
Forumghost516
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Default First Post with a Question

Hey guys first let me say all of your collective work has inspired me to take the next step. I have been looking through all of the pages on here and scouring through the photos and have been absolutely inspired.

I am relatively new to photography. I shoot with a Canon 7D and a 20D Backup body. I have two lenses which are the 28-135mm kit lens and the 70-200mm f2.8L USM Lens.

I would love to try getting into weddings and have no idea where to even start learning.

I am in the Nassau area of NY and am willing to travel and purchase any proper equipment needed.

I have shot multiple corporate events before but as well all know Weddings are an entity all to themselves.

If anyone has any advice or would like an apprentice who is beyond eager to learn please feel free to get in touch with me.

Thank you so much all and please continue the incredible and beautiful work that you are doing. It truly is inspiring.

Sincerely,
Charlie
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Old 26th of June 2010 (Sat)   #2
texaskev
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Default Re: First Post with a Question

In many areas of the US you can attend wedding workshops. Some google searches may help. Also meetup.com may have photography groups in your area. There is also a lot of info on youtube.com about all types of photography. For your independant study, remember this. Most weddings take place in challenging lighting conditions so practice shooting in this situation. Last but not least look for wedding shooter and offer (or ask) to be a second shooter. You won't get paid but would be exposed to the game. It would be good experience for you. Good luck Charlie!!
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Old 27th of June 2010 (Sun)   #3
Peacefield
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Default Re: First Post with a Question

You don't speak to your skill level from a technical expertise perspective. For the most part, wedding photographers really just need to apply good quality skills that they pull out of a vast collection based on the varied circumstances we find ourselves facing. Do you have a good creative eye, do you understand the elements of composure, do you know how to control your flash and use it creatively, etc., etc. If you don't already have a good handle on these types of skills, look to develop them before working as an apprentice/assistant. I work with assistants on every job and I'm happy to give the time to develop others. That said, it's my expectation that I'm teaching a very good photographer the skills associated with shooting a wedding. I am not expecting to teach photography skills to someone who has not yet learned them.
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Old 28th of June 2010 (Mon)   #4
peterhanowell
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Default Re: First Post with a Question

You will find quite a lot of information on here (and millions of other web locations) about suggestions on making the transition to wedding photography after you learn/know photography generally. They range from:

a. Offer to shoot some weddings for free to get used to it; to
b. Offer to shoot some weddings as a second photographer for someone who knows how to do it; to
c. Offer to assist/watch/walk around with a photographer who does weddings.

You will find a variety of counterarguments against going with any of the possible paths above (and any other path that exists). Be aware that if you are leaning towards (a) above, many will attack you, stating that you shouldn't dare to potentially ruin a bride's big day by failing to get good pictures. There is some obvious weight to this concern, but it is usually overstated very dramatically.

If you know how to use your camera well, and you are comfortable with composition, portraiture, lighting, then I might suggest (b) above.

Good luck!

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Old 28th of June 2010 (Mon)   #5
egordon99
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Default Re: First Post with a Question

What do you have in terms of lighting?
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Old 28th of June 2010 (Mon)   #6
RT McAllister
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Default Re: First Post with a Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by peterhanowell View Post
a. Offer to shoot some weddings for free to get used to it; to
b. Offer to shoot some weddings as a second photographer for someone who knows how to do it; to
c. Offer to assist/watch/walk around with a photographer who does weddings.
I'm glad to see "A" at the top of your list - it's probably the most practical.

Many aspiring photographers do indeed have the skills to do this but lack experience in the general "wedding flow". They've never actually participated in one from start to finish and have only seen it from the perspective of a "guest".

As a wedding videographer I volunteered my "back stage pass" (or whatever you call the unlimited access we vendors have) to a few budding photographers for this reason alone. They would just stick with me and not really do anything other than haul gear. Their main reason for being there was simply to observe and get comfortable with the affair. (They didn't shoot any pictures - didn't even bring any gear)

It worked out quite well. I 2nd shoot for one of them regularly to this day.

If one needs this type of experience then following a videographer is "safe" way to do it. Unlike a photographer, the videographer would not feel like training this new upstart will contribute to their financial demise down the road.

Last edited by RT McAllister : 28th of June 2010 (Mon) at 12:40. Reason: I'm all thumbs today.
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Old 29th of June 2010 (Tue)   #7
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Default Re: First Post with a Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by peterhanowell View Post
a. Offer to shoot some weddings for free to get used to it; to
b. Offer to shoot some weddings as a second photographer for someone who knows how to do it; to
c. Offer to assist/watch/walk around with a photographer who does weddings.
I personally vote C. First off, before attempting weddings you should have a firm grasp of photographing in many situations. You really need to have a familiarity with your equipment that makes it almost second nature.
Then, assist as many weddings as you can.
After you have assisted a pro and feel comfortable try bring your equipment and start second shooting. Build a portfolio and gain experience.
Then, learn the business side, get familiar with the products you will be offering and the vendors who will provide them for you.
After you have that down offer your services confidently (even if you shoot at a reduced rate, even free if you choose.)
I would not recommend offering your services to craigslist for free. If you happen to shoot a few weddings and not perform you may find that years down the road those jobs will surface and it may be difficult to be rid of them.
Regardless if you charge a fee or do it for free, each job is important and can lead to great success and just as easily lead to crippling your business.
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