Approve the Cookies
This website uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies and our Privacy Policy.
OK
Index  •   • New posts  •   • RTAT  •   • 'Best of'  •   • Gallery  •   • Gear  •   • Reviews
Guest
New posts  •   • RTAT  •   • 'Best of'  •   • Gallery  •   • Gear  •   • Reviews
Register to forums    Log in

 
FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Weddings & Other Family Events Talk 
Thread started 06 Apr 2012 (Friday) 07:55
Search threadPrev/next
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)

Should I consider shooting a wedding for a friend?

 
Noitca
Senior Member
551 posts
Gallery: 69 photos
Likes: 317
Joined Feb 2011
Location: Acworth, GA
     
Apr 06, 2012 07:55 |  #1

Ok, I was approached by an acquaintance about shooting his wedding. I have ZERO wedding experience, other than attending some as a guest.

First off, I would say this guy is a friend. He is my kid’s 5U baseball coach. I haven’t known him that long up to now, but will probably know him for a long time (not just through the season). Anyway, he has seen my photos of the kid’s games and he really likes them (player/action shots during the game)

I think there are 2 reasons they are asking me. First, and biggest, is probably budget. Judging from what I know and have seen (which isn’t necessarily a good thing, but still), they are covering most, if not the entire bill themselves. Both work, but aren’t doctors or lawyers and what not. I do not see them being able to drop 30k on the wedding. The second reason (guessing) is the photographers that they have talked to have probably missed what they are more interested in. From what they have told me, they have been sold on the portraiture side of it, they are more interested in good situational “action” shots, if that makes any sense.

Anyway, they asked me if I shoot weddings. I laughed (uncomfortably) and said no, none. They then said that they liked the shots from the games and that “type of shot” is what they are more interested in. I proceeded to begin to explain the differences/nuances between amateur sports photography and professional wedding/portraiture/fl​ash photography, trying to ease them out of the idea. It didn’t take. We left with a “think about it” comment. That said, they aren’t overbearing about making the decision yesterday.

My experience is mainly kids sports and my son/dog around the house. I do not even own an external flash, as it wouldn’t really do any good at 50+ feet and a bright sunny day. I would NOT do it with the lenses that I currently have. IF I were to do it, I would probably charge them $300-$350 and get the “wedding essentials” from borrowlenses (24-70mm f/2.8L, 50mm f/1.2L, 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II, 580EXII) for a week, a new extra battery and some spare memory cards and a nice dinner for me and my wife (who I would make help).

I have read wedding sections of photography books, tips, work flows, and looked at tons of examples (especially from here, which are great by the way). Reading/knowing is not doing. Weddings don’t seem fast, but I can only imagine that “the shot” comes and goes with lightning speed. Also, the external flash has me concerned. Not that I am scared necessarily, just having no experience I would be learning, pretty much per shot.

Am I in over my head? Should I decline and “run for the hills”?

The wedding pictures here are fantastic. I am comfortable with my camera itself, and I could certainly learn to do some of those techniques, but with no experience, on the fly?

Thanks, and sorry for the book.


T1i with 18-55, 55-250, 50 1.8

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)
Michael1984
Senior Member
641 posts
Joined Feb 2010
Location: Harrisburg, PA
     
Apr 06, 2012 08:01 |  #2

With your current equipment and the fact that you dont own off camera flash , or a flash at all, I assume you dont know much about lighting. That being said, even if you rent those lenses you will need to shoot at higher ISO with your body and not sure how well it does at those levels. If you charge him he is going to expect great work, If you screw it up they will not be happy with you, and a wedding is not something you want to ruin for someone. I would suggest respectfully declining the opportunity and if you want to get into weddings, second shoot a few of them, build up your equipment and go from there..


5D MK II | 24-70 2.8L

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
Gameface
Senior Member
Avatar
672 posts
Joined Mar 2011
Location: Boston
     
Apr 06, 2012 08:06 |  #3
bannedPermanent ban

NO... absolutely not.




  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
Noitca
THREAD ­ STARTER
Senior Member
551 posts
Gallery: 69 photos
Likes: 317
Joined Feb 2011
Location: Acworth, GA
     
Apr 06, 2012 08:59 |  #4

Pretty much what I was thinking.

You are right about the flash bit. In theory I know more than I know in experience, just from what I have read, and beginning to think about the lighting in the great photos posted here. But, critically thinking the lighting all the way through, and then executing it? Not so much. Flash for me is the pop up, which I really try to limit to fill light when I can. I recognize that it pretty much sucks. One time I tried taking a picture of my son with a drop behind him. I tried to utilize some natural light from a window and use the pop-up, with a kleenex jamed over it to diffuse it some for fill light. IMO, it turned out OK, but I am quite positive you guys would tear it to shreds. I definately did not have enough light on the background, as he blended into it.

On the iso.. yeah, it's a rebel. That said, I have been pleased before with *some* of my results from the higher iso shots before, well, what I consider "high".. 1600 definately, maybe even 3200. I can push the camera to 6400 and 12800, but I have yet to get a quality pic with those. I have found that as ISO goes up, framing needs to go in.

sort of separate..

What shutter speeds do you guys usually go with? I was thinking maybe in the range 1/125 to 1/250, but that's a guess. Surely it's less than what I try for out on a baseball field (1/1000+).

I am used to 1/500-1/1000, f/4-5.6, no flash, outdoor lighting, iso 800 does just fine for me (maybe it wouldn't if I had a better lens?) sometimes NR sometimes not, iso 1600 usually requires some NR, but I use that iso settnig a lot.

If it were 1/125 to 1/250. The additional stop to two stops for the f/2.8 lenses, the additional light from the flash, and the additional stop due to reduced shutter speed.. that iso 800-1600 *COULD* be sufficient?


T1i with 18-55, 55-250, 50 1.8

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
Red ­ Tie ­ Photography
Goldmember
Avatar
3,575 posts
Likes: 1
Joined Nov 2009
Location: San Diego
     
Apr 06, 2012 09:22 |  #5

i think your right (and smart) thinking you are in over your head and wanting to back out. Shooting a wedding is 100% different than what you are used to. And I am not saying this to be harsh, and you even said it yourself but let me break it down. You do not have the necessary equipment, the necessary knowledge of how a wedding progresses as the photographer, or the necessary understanding of the basic equpiment you need to cover the wedding (flash). You sound like a cool guy, and posting in this forum how you did shows you have a solid head on your shoulders.

One thing I also noticed when reading your post, you said they wanted more candid/less portraiture. I feel comfortable betting that if you ask them for some photos of the style they like, they will be posed and lit (with flash of some sort). Photojournalism is a big catch word right now, and clients I have talked to that said they liked it always pick the posed shots in my portfolio that they like. They want it to appear candid, not traditionally posed like they see in photos from 40 years ago.


Bryan
Gear List (external link)
San Diego Wedding Photography - Red Tie Photography (external link)
Red Tie Photography Blog (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
scorpio_e
Cream of the Crop
Avatar
7,402 posts
Gallery: 3 photos
Likes: 261
Joined Aug 2007
Location: Pa
     
Apr 06, 2012 09:42 |  #6

I would vote for a no as well. You would be in over your head.


www.steelcityphotograp​hy.com (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
Noitca
THREAD ­ STARTER
Senior Member
551 posts
Gallery: 69 photos
Likes: 317
Joined Feb 2011
Location: Acworth, GA
     
Apr 06, 2012 10:10 |  #7

Thanks for the responses.

Oh yeah, I know I don't even have anything close to the necessary equipment. For me, photography is a hobby, any and all costs associated with it are completely parasitic at this point, but I enjoy it. It is nice to dream about the "right equipment".. but with no practical return, dropping a few mortgage payments on a killer lens just doesn't sit right.

Its funny how much a little knowledge of things opens your eyes though. At my cousin's wedding, I was watching the photographer(s) and eyeballing the gear. I leaned over to my wife and pointed out the main photog, then said to her that I bet they easily have 15k worth of gear they are carrying around, wouldn't surprise me if it was significantly more. She was shocked.

If there is one thing I have learned from attempting sports photography, shooting people is not still life, if you are reacting to action, you are going to miss "the shot". You might see it, but not capture it. My wedding experience is only as a spectator, which what you see ends up being pure reaction. That was problem 1, having no clue how quick things go at a wedding from a photographer's standpoint, probably means I end up reacting to almost everything. Problem 2 was dealing with the flash/lighting.


T1i with 18-55, 55-250, 50 1.8

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
Michael1984
Senior Member
641 posts
Joined Feb 2010
Location: Harrisburg, PA
     
Apr 06, 2012 10:22 as a reply to  @ Noitca's post |  #8

The only way I would suggest it at all is tell him you have never done it before, you dot have the best camera but can do your best and promise him nothing, but do not charge anything. If he is ok and understands the pictures would suck go for it. But I would try to talk him into a professional


5D MK II | 24-70 2.8L

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
scorpio_e
Cream of the Crop
Avatar
7,402 posts
Gallery: 3 photos
Likes: 261
Joined Aug 2007
Location: Pa
     
Apr 06, 2012 10:28 |  #9

It's not only the equipment. You need a solid contract and liability insurance. So for the minimal you would charge,is it really worth it?


www.steelcityphotograp​hy.com (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
mcap1972
Member
Avatar
171 posts
Likes: 64
Joined Sep 2008
Location: Toronto
     
Apr 06, 2012 10:38 |  #10

If you can tell him to find a pro.


Avangard Photography (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
Exposure101
Senior Member
555 posts
Gallery: 1 photo
Likes: 5
Joined Sep 2008
Location: West Coast
     
Apr 06, 2012 10:46 |  #11

scorpio_e wrote in post #14220125 (external link)
It's not only the equipment. You need a solid contract and liability insurance. So for the minimal you would charge,is it really worth it?

Agreed. I would have him sign a release of liability or some kind of agreement saying that you're only charging him for the expenses (or hell just do it for free) and that you have stated you are not a professional and thus will not be liable for how the pictures come out. Even though i have done events as well as took pictures at wedding (for myself), i have never shot a wedding myself and would be uncomfortable shooting one for money. Its an important event in a persons life and i dont want to compromise it for them.




  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
rmsppu
Member
53 posts
Joined Feb 2012
Location: Philadelphia, PA, US
     
Apr 06, 2012 10:48 |  #12

Noitca wrote in post #14219476 (external link)
Ok, I was approached by an acquaintance about shooting his wedding. I have ZERO wedding experience, other than attending some as a guest.

First off, I would say this guy is a friend. He is my kid’s 5U baseball coach. I haven’t known him that long up to now, but will probably know him for a long time (not just through the season). Anyway, he has seen my photos of the kid’s games and he really likes them (player/action shots during the game)

I think there are 2 reasons they are asking me. First, and biggest, is probably budget. Judging from what I know and have seen (which isn’t necessarily a good thing, but still), they are covering most, if not the entire bill themselves. Both work, but aren’t doctors or lawyers and what not. I do not see them being able to drop 30k on the wedding. The second reason (guessing) is the photographers that they have talked to have probably missed what they are more interested in. From what they have told me, they have been sold on the portraiture side of it, they are more interested in good situational “action” shots, if that makes any sense.

If the primary reason that you're being asked is budget, then I'd recommend saying "no".

It is possible to find professional photographers who will emphasize candid shots over portraits, as the couple requests.

Noitca wrote in post #14219476 (external link)
Anyway, they asked me if I shoot weddings. I laughed (uncomfortably) and said no, none. They then said that they liked the shots from the games and that “type of shot” is what they are more interested in. I proceeded to begin to explain the differences/nuances between amateur sports photography and professional wedding/portraiture/fl​ash photography, trying to ease them out of the idea. It didn’t take. We left with a “think about it” comment. That said, they aren’t overbearing about making the decision yesterday.

My experience is mainly kids sports and my son/dog around the house. I do not even own an external flash, as it wouldn’t really do any good at 50+ feet and a bright sunny day. I would NOT do it with the lenses that I currently have. IF I were to do it, I would probably charge them $300-$350 and get the “wedding essentials” from borrowlenses (24-70mm f/2.8L, 50mm f/1.2L, 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II, 580EXII) for a week, a new extra battery and some spare memory cards and a nice dinner for me and my wife (who I would make help).

I have read wedding sections of photography books, tips, work flows, and looked at tons of examples (especially from here, which are great by the way). Reading/knowing is not doing. Weddings don’t seem fast, but I can only imagine that “the shot” comes and goes with lightning speed. Also, the external flash has me concerned. Not that I am scared necessarily, just having no experience I would be learning, pretty much per shot.

I think that's a good self-assessment.

If you do decide to do the wedding, I'd strongly recommend renting another camera body (if not a Txi Rebel, then get it far enough in advance to become familiar with the controls). This gives you a backup in case of a hardware problem, frees you from the delay and anxiety of frequently changing lenses, and allows you to have a 'second shooter' (your wife, or a tripod-mounted camera and a remote).

You may also want to purchase a cheaper flash (Yongnuo?) and absolutely get an off-camera bracket & cord. Personally, I find learning the basics of a new lens to be much easier than learning how to use a new flash--get the flash in advance and practice a lot.

Noitca wrote in post #14219476 (external link)
Am I in over my head? Should I decline and “run for the hills”?

Maybe...maybe not. Besides being in over your head technically, consider what shooting this wedding (instead of attending as a guest) means to you and to the couple.

The fact that you describe them as acquaintances and are considering charging for the wedding strongly influence me to suggest that you do not shoot the wedding. Completely aside from any considerations of your experience, the equipment, or the final results, in my opinion, your having a just casual relationship with the couple and charging for shooting the wedding turn it into a professional relationship, and seriously jeapordize any future friendship.

Let me offer some examples from my own experience.

Outside of POTN, I'd describe myself as a serious amateur photographer (here, I don't even qualify as serious!). In the distant past I did some freelancing (parties, local newspaper) and did some assisting for a real photographer. I've done 2 weddings--one for a friend of over 20 years (also a 'serious' photographer), and one for my sister-in-law. In each case, the couples were very familiar with my photography, were asking me to shoot because of the tone they wanted to set at the wedding, because of the style of my photos, and not because of the budget. In both cases I made the cost of the shooting (2nd body & flash rental, lens rental, radio triggers, etc., album) my gift to them. In each case, the quality of my photography would not affect my future relationship with the couples.

I was very clear about my experience, about what they wanted, and luckily everything turned out well.

Personally, I do not enjoy shooting weddings, and would immediately turn down a request that's similar to what you've been asked to do.

I'm blown away by the beautiful images and quality that other people can achieve. However, in the particular cases of the weddings I've done, the images have additional meaning to the couple because they knew who took them, not because of my skill.

In your case, I'd be very concerned about the situation -- contractual/[Semi]-professional, rather than personal -- that you are may be getting into.

Noitca wrote in post #14219476 (external link)
The wedding pictures here are fantastic. I am comfortable with my camera itself, and I could certainly learn to do some of those techniques, but with no experience, on the fly?

Thanks, and sorry for the book.

Practice. Practice a lot. Watch social groups in a park/restaurant/street corner as they stand closer to each other/further away, gesture while talking, etc. Just as shooting sports is about understanding the flow of the action, anticipating where & when something visually dramatic will occur, a social situation has similar rules...particularly something as highly structured as a wedding.

Good luck, and let us know what you decide and how it turns out.




  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
Noitca
THREAD ­ STARTER
Senior Member
551 posts
Gallery: 69 photos
Likes: 317
Joined Feb 2011
Location: Acworth, GA
     
Apr 06, 2012 12:06 |  #13

Wow, thanks for the additional responses.

Regarding the charging stuff. That is 95-99% recognition that my current lenses would not do the job. I don't have any specifics on time/location as of right now, but still. I know some will be indoors and low light. Me doing it for "free" is one thing, me paying all expenses to get the gear to be at least "minimum" to "adequate"... no. The "as a gift" would be an interesting angle... but I am not sure I know them 'that well'... basically, if I am not shooting it, I am not going.. and that is a mutual feeling. The wedding pack for a week + insurance is about $280. A SD card and Battery would be cheap, but needed I think to cover the whole event (at the rate I take pictures). Putting it another way.. IF I already owned those three lenses, I wouldn't charge him anything at all.

Perhaps getting a dinner for me and my wife would be a bit much :) (I was semi-joking on that part anyway)

Regarding the gear. Getting familiar with the lenses I think would go pretty quick (and I would probably fall in love with pretty quick too). Honestly, the one that I would struggle most with would be the 50 f1.2. I haven't shot fixed focal length before, and changing the composition of the picture requires me to move the blobs at the end of my legs.

The flash would be a different story, thus the reason for the week rental, and not a cheaper 3 day rental. Thus to give time to learn some before I would have to make it count. I suppose I could always rent/borrow (or buy, eek) a flash by itself to learn earlier. The extra body, and reasoning for having it, I had thought about, but again, was considering not even suggesting that due to costs on them and me basically wanting to spend zero (other than time) and recieve zero.

IF I had decided to do it, and lets say all shots were not useable, or the quality of the resulting shots were not up to my personal standard and expectations, I would most certainly cover the rental costs and everything myself and reimburse them for the rental costs.

That said, I am confident that I could SOMETHING usable. I have been to enough weddings to know that there are predictable parts, and I have an idea of things/moments that I would want to capture that aren't necessarily those predictable parts. That something would be better than what would be captured by a non-photographer using a point and shoot. Would they be the excellent quality and as artistic as you guys do? ha-ha.. no. I am not that nieve.

Edit... and for what it's worth.. I would say that it's sub 1% that I am going to do it anyway now. My inexperience combined with I don't really want to tell them that "I can do it, but you need to rent some stuff for me and you could end up with nothing anyway"... just seems odd to me, at best. If I owned adequate gear and would truely charge him nothing and me spend nothing.. I would put it at about 25% that I would do it. (still leaning to no).


T1i with 18-55, 55-250, 50 1.8

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
nicksan
Man I Like to Fart
Avatar
24,738 posts
Likes: 52
Joined Oct 2006
Location: NYC
     
Apr 06, 2012 12:21 |  #14

I'll just say this. Once you charge anything, even $100, expectations tend to go through the roof. That's just the way people are.

If you aren't looking into getting into wedding photography, then you have nothing to gain from shooting this wedding. You aren't properly geared up so it'll actually cost you money to shoot this wedding if you end up renting and if you take my advice of not accepting money at all. I can see someone doing this if he/she wanted to build up a portfolio for future weddings, but if this is just a one-off deal, then I would strongly consider against it. There's absolutely no benefit to shooting this wedding.

If you are going to do it anyways, then listen to the people who suggested getting some kind of contract together. If you don't accept money, then it shouldn't be too complicated.




  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
sdipirro
Goldmember
Avatar
2,207 posts
Likes: 45
Joined Dec 2005
     
Apr 06, 2012 13:09 |  #15

You will need backups for everything, including your camera body. Things die unexpectedly, and then what? I think you're underestimating the speed at which things happen. It seems slow when you're a guest. When you're the wedding photographer, things happen amazingly fast. You will sometimes be running from one place to another to make sure you get a particular shot. You have the guests arriving, the wedding procession, the ceremony, formal pictures, the reception and key photos you can't miss at each stage (father giving away the bride, first kiss, first dance, bouquet toss, cutting the cake, etc...). Church ceremonies sometimes don't allow flash. Reception lighting is often terrible. While comfortable with your camera, you need to be equally comfortable with lighting and be able to fly by the seat of your pants as things happen quickly.


Cameras: 1DX, 1D4, 20D, 10D, S90, G2
Lenses: Canon 10-22mm, 16-35mm f2.8L II, 24-70mm f2.8L, 70-200mm f2.8L IS, 300mm f2.8L IS, 200mm f2L IS, 50mm f1.4, 50mm f1.2L, 85mm f1.2L, 1.4x TC, 2x TC, 500D macro, Zeiss 21mm
Lighting: 580EX, Elinchrom 600 RX's, D-Lite 4's, ABR800, 74" Eli Octa, 100cm/70cm DOs, Photoflex Medium Octa and reflectors, PW's, Lastolite Hilite, Newton Di400CR bracket

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)

2,298 views & 0 likes for this thread
Should I consider shooting a wedding for a friend?
FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Weddings & Other Family Events Talk 
AAA
x 1600
y 1600

Jump to forum...   •  Rules   •  Index   •  New posts   •  RTAT   •  'Best of'   •  Gallery   •  Gear   •  Reviews   •  Member list   •  Polls   •  Image rules   •  Search   •  Password reset

Not a member yet?
Register to forums
Registered members may log in to forums and access all the features: full search, image upload, follow forums, own gear list and ratings, likes, more forums, private messaging, thread follow, notifications, own gallery, all settings, view hosted photos, own reviews, see more and do more... and all is free. Don't be a stranger - register now and start posting!


COOKIES DISCLAIMER: This website uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies and to our privacy policy.
Privacy policy and cookie usage info.


POWERED BY AMASS forum software 2.1forum software
version 2.1 /
code and design
by Pekka Saarinen ©
for photography-on-the.net

Latest registered member is m.nobles
853 guests, 184 members online
Simultaneous users record so far is 15144, that happened on Nov 22, 2018

Photography-on-the.net Digital Photography Forums is the website for photographers and all who love great photos, camera and post processing techniques, gear talk, discussion and sharing. Professionals, hobbyists, newbies and those who don't even own a camera -- all are welcome regardless of skill, favourite brand, gear, gender or age. Registering and usage is free.