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FORUMS Photo Sharing & Visual Enjoyment Weddings & Other Family Events 
Thread started 19 Aug 2019 (Monday) 05:43
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A recent wedding and A SERIOUS QUESTION!!

 
rowdy
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Aug 19, 2019 05:43 |  #1

Admittedly, I don't shoot many weddings. They're just not what I do. However, I do enough to have the desire to be better and produce better results for my clients. As I surf around this forum and see some phenomenal images, I have to ask, HOW????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Every wedding I've shot, wedding day is such a pain in the ass hectic. Bride is always the last dressed, and usually with little time to spare before the ceremony. Then after the ceremony, bride and groom both are typically ready to get to the reception and not keep their guests waiting. HOW and WHEN are you folks finding the time to create such master pieces??!!!


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Dead ­ Pixels
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Aug 19, 2019 12:21 |  #2

I think that's a great question, and I've always wondered the same. With me, it's always been "grab and go", still leaving little time for all the things I'd wanted to do. And if you're using OCF and moving to different locations, it seems to compound the rush factor even more.

Maybe if the couple pays a heftier amount they'll make more time to get their money's worth?

FWIW, Rowdy, those pictures are really nice.




  
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Amadauss
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Post edited over 1 year ago by Amadauss. (2 edits in all)
     
Aug 27, 2019 21:32 |  #3

Their is a select group that has worked at building their business to the point they can demand a great price which then justifies the gear, the time, the quality and everything else. These are mostly brides that have planned their weddings for a long time, want everything perfect, follow a strict schedule, look amazing because they are beautiful to begin with and their daddies have no issues with paying a boat load of money, not just to the photographer, but everyone so princess can have the perfect day. Then you have brides like you mention that want the same end result for a fraction of the cost and are clueless what is required.

It takes a great deal of time and effort and knowledge to get to where you want to be and you will have to go through a great deal of wedding BS to hopefully reach where most successful wedding photographers land. Your comments show you have not yet met the brides that are willing to do whatever it takes to make their day perfect, or they do not even realize what it does take to get there. Education on your part to the couple would help that a great deal.

And how do you land those big dollar weddings? Well, and do not take the wrong way, but that first photo will not get you there. Even posting on this site with examples, you want to post your best work. In the great words of the dearly departed Greg Giraldo roasting Joan Rivers at her Comedy Central Roast, "What the heck did you do to your/his face?" Your post processing is not very good on that photo. And for Dead Pixels to state those pictures are nice explains why he is in the same boat (sorry Dead, but you want me to be honest right?).

Even when we did the cheap weddings, building up to the high paying ones, we put a plan in place to treat every wedding a certain way. and yes I understand, if they are paying nothing, how can they expect the time from you to make it right when they don't even seem to give a s**t and time is money. But we just decided we needed quality work to get the next job (the portfolio is everything, I repeat the portfolio is everything). So we met with every bride and explained in a nice way straight out, a plan is necessary to make the day great. We discuss what they should want to accomplish, and we tell them this is what it is going to take to get there and if you get that point across, they better understand, have confidence in you and with luck, follow your lead. Most of the time, those cheap weddings have brides that have no idea and you become the hero.

Once you get your plan in place and have brides following it, here is where I become real honest. If you want to have a great portfolio, and once you are starting to make it, you should become more selective. Yes I know all brides are beautiful in someones eyes, but bottom line, they are not. Almost all the photos, I say almost all, of the high priced guys posting here have mostly beautiful brides and if they are not a ten, the venue is along with Dad's money to make it the best, which helps them stand out. When you have this, even your day goes better and you just have such creative juices flowing to get some unbelievable photos, because you know the post processing will be a breeze, probably because they not only look great, but they had a great hair stylist, are mostly thin and have great makeup applied and did not have their reception at the local VFW(been there done that). Right now at the level you are, probably one out of four you get will be what you would want to put into that portfolio as stand outs. The other three will offer some filler with random shots. That said, you had the prefect opportunity, the bride you took above would be that one out of four. So when you have that good looking bride, do your best in post to make her really stand out in her photos. Moving forward, I would suggest when you get the attractive bride, you bite the bullet and do whatever it takes, with leadership, time needed and anything else to make the day work, and get the best possible photos.

And yes I know several on the site will jump to defend all brides are worthy (well maybe the few that are loaded and can give you a great reference) and call me a jerk and whatever else. We have photographed all those types ourselves. But scroll up to the guy from Cyprus that is posting his flawless photos. Any of his brides look like those 3 out of 4? And this is going to sound very cruel but its a cruel world out there. We now will not book until we have a meeting face to face with the couple and 1. see what the bride looks like and 2 we get the price we want, which then will over rule 1 (we might be jerks and cocky but we aren't stupid). Seriously, the bride's appearance does play a part in whether we book it or not. Its a great position to be in and with time and hard work, you will as well, but we have just found having done well over 250 weddings that a beautiful bride who has the money and knows what she wants just ends up being a beautiful wedding.

On the whatever it takes thought, I would also suggest when you meet with the bride and you get the info of where everything is going to take place, you scout out the location, get on you tube and watch a zillion videos on how to pose a bride and groom, take clips of the video to show them and then plan it out with them. Actually plan the shots. Show them examples of how you would want them to pose. Make suggestions. guidance. Look like you know what you are doing and then do it. They will appreciate it and frankly they want it. We have even bit the bullet when the bride was a 9 or 10 and offered to photograph her the day before the wedding if she were up to it, go someplace that would give the best results, great light and take some killer photos. They are much more relaxed on the wedding day, loved the time we spent to do it right and it was great practice for us. But the real bottom line, the portfolio.


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FarmerTed1971
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Aug 27, 2019 21:57 |  #4

Damn Lucas, you're brutal. But... it's true and spoken from experience.

I just wonder why your wedding packages are so inexpensive. You could raise your rates by 25%, shoot a few less per year, and still come out with the same profit. You should seriously consider it. Of course I don't know your market so there could be a reason you are so inexpensive.


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Dead ­ Pixels
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Aug 28, 2019 10:50 as a reply to  @ Amadauss's post |  #5

That's the kind of "no holds barred" response I was hoping for. Good business advice for wedding photographers trying to grow, and lots of good information to digest. Thanks Amadauss.




  
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AnnieMacD
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Aug 28, 2019 11:01 |  #6

I agree that what Amadauss says is true if all you want to do is work with thin, beautiful brides whose fathers have a ton of money. And that leaves plenty couples for the rest of us.


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drmaxx
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Aug 28, 2019 13:25 as a reply to  @ AnnieMacD's post |  #7

This is not what I took away from Amadauss post - but I certainly can see how this can be understood this way.
(I saw it more like: "If you are a newbie in this business, focus all your efforts on building a great portfolio with beautiful people and places...").


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rowdy
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Post edited over 1 year ago by rowdy. (4 edits in all)
     
Aug 28, 2019 14:55 |  #8

The answer was more or less what I expected and suspected, and even delivered in the manner I expected from some in this forum. I sincerely appreciate the response Amadauss. I also accept the fact that my post processing could sometimes use a lil work, and may not be to your or everyone's "taste". As for being super selective on who you shoot with, hell it don't take much when you're working with what you have described. But again, JMO. Yes, after 20+ years in the motorsports arena, I am a relative newbie to the portrait game, so I'll take the shots you so gracefully fired. The honest truth is, I don't ever intend on being a "wedding photographer". I've way too much on my plate to deal with that much drama on a regular basis. I was merely "curious" and inquisitive. Have nice day.




  
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jcolman
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Aug 29, 2019 20:29 |  #9

The basic answer is: prepare your clients and think ahead. I ask (not tell) my clients "how much time do you think you would like to spend shooting photos of the two of you?" Then I work off of that. But even if your clients only want to give you say 10 to 20 minutes you can still get some fantastic photos by being prepared and thinking ahead.

This photo was shot in less than 10 minutes. Two lights were used (placed on either side of the bride). I was shooting by myself but I had preplaced my lights while the bride was getting ready in a room nearby.

IMAGE: https://i.imgur.com/FC4Z941.jpg

This photo took me less than 5 minutes to shoot. I kept an eye on the sunset while the B&G were dancing. I preplaced two lights outside then brought my couple out to do the shoot.

IMAGE: https://i.imgur.com/H0aHKIW.jpg

Same with this shot. 5 minutes tops.

IMAGE: https://i.imgur.com/JsLEw0U.jpg

I took about 10 minutes to walk with the bride to the top of this church in Santorini. I had my wife with me to hold my light.

IMAGE: https://i.imgur.com/DEaPF9l.jpg

A bridal session is a good way to spend some time with the bride before the wedding. I spent about 10-15 minutes with the bride setting my lights and getting this shot. I like bridal sessions because you don't have the "rush" of the wedding day.

IMAGE: https://i.imgur.com/H24hAHm.jpg

Another 10 minute set up and shoot.

IMAGE: https://i.imgur.com/RRpDzkg.jpg

So the real answer I suppose is "know your gear and your techniques" and communicate with the couple ahead of time.

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Dead ­ Pixels
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Aug 30, 2019 09:58 as a reply to  @ jcolman's post |  #10

Thank you Jcolman, great advice and information. Those pictures... simply breathtaking.




  
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rowdy
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Sep 01, 2019 15:54 |  #11

jcolman wrote in post #18918958 (external link)
The basic answer is: prepare your clients and think ahead. I ask (not tell) my clients "how much time do you think you would like to spend shooting photos of the two of you?" Then I work off of that. But even if your clients only want to give you say 10 to 20 minutes you can still get some fantastic photos by being prepared and thinking ahead.

This photo was shot in less than 10 minutes. Two lights were used (placed on either side of the bride). I was shooting by myself but I had preplaced my lights while the bride was getting ready in a room nearby.

QUOTED IMAGE

This photo took me less than 5 minutes to shoot. I kept an eye on the sunset while the B&G were dancing. I preplaced two lights outside then brought my couple out to do the shoot.

QUOTED IMAGE

Same with this shot. 5 minutes tops.

QUOTED IMAGE

I took about 10 minutes to walk with the bride to the top of this church in Santorini. I had my wife with me to hold my light.

QUOTED IMAGE

A bridal session is a good way to spend some time with the bride before the wedding. I spent about 10-15 minutes with the bride setting my lights and getting this shot. I like bridal sessions because you don't have the "rush" of the wedding day.

Another 10 minute set up and shoot.

So the real answer I suppose is "know your gear and your techniques" and communicate with the couple ahead of time.



I wish there was a "Love" button for this reply. Thanks for taking the time to demonstrate your process, and for your feedback. And your images??? Simply stellar!!!




  
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D ­ Thompson
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Sep 01, 2019 21:48 |  #12

rowdy wrote in post #18918222 (external link)
I also accept the fact that my post processing could sometimes use a lil work

The area that you cloned is the first thing I noticed on that image. It needs fixing.


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Sep 01, 2019 22:48 |  #13
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A similar hurdle exists in most for-client photography - the expectations of the subject might not align with reality. I encounter this from time to time in motorsports, when competitors are disappointed in photos I have taken of them. They want to see themselves pulling sky-high wheelies, hurtling round corners completely sideways or two metres off the ground over 'yumps', just like Rossi, Loeb or Hamilton.

I have to diplomatically point out that's because you weren't sideways, the front wheel barely lifted or the car never actually left the ground. :-)


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Sep 02, 2019 10:16 |  #14

Spencerphoto wrote in post #18920446 (external link)
A similar hurdle exists in most for-client photography - the expectations of the subject might not align with reality. I encounter this from time to time in motorsports, when competitors are disappointed in photos I have taken of them. They want to see themselves pulling sky-high wheelies, hurtling round corners completely sideways or two metres off the ground over 'yumps', just like Rossi, Loeb or Hamilton.

I have to diplomatically point out that's because you weren't sideways, the front wheel barely lifted or the car never actually left the ground. :-)

That's what Photoshop is for:-P


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Sep 02, 2019 11:00 |  #15

Remember this in shooting wedding the keys are as following.

1. lighting best lighting you can get
2. The Best camera you can get even if you have to get a rental
3. Photoshop is your best friend when doing wedding


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