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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Weddings & Other Family Events Talk 
Thread started 07 Apr 2013 (Sunday) 06:05
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Long time friend asked me to shoot his daughters wedding

 
scotiez
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141 posts
Joined Dec 2012
Location: Grand Forks, North Dakota
     
Apr 07, 2013 06:05 |  #1

OK so I have this friend, we are not close friends just friends. earlier this week he asked me to shoot his daughters wedding later this summer. Its an outdoor wedding weather permitting. I told him I would be interested but I have zero experience in wedding photography and we need to talk about this more cause I am not sure at this time. He said the two professional photographers our town has are booked for over a year, and he doesn't have that kind of money to spend since the wedding itself is going to be expensive already. I am a landscape, architectural photographer for my own personal enjoyment. I have done high school senior portraits and engagement photos for friends but NEVER a wedding. I have the equipment to do this but lack experience and reading all the articles I can find about wedding photography has me scared out of my pants. I don't want to ruin this for them. I would like to shoot the wedding but not as there actual wedding photographer but just for myself to gain experience. But then again I am not even sure I want to get into wedding photography, That is a totally different animal compared to what I normally shoot. What do I do? Do I tell him I'll do it since he said the other photographers are booked till next year? And if I do this wedding I have a canon 5D Mark II, EF 24-105mm f/4L, EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM, EF 85mm f/1.8, and a EF 50mm f/1.8 II. I also have 2 speedlites that use off camera with remote triggers for portraits. What lenses should I use for the best results?
I would really like to hear your opinions' and advice.
Thanks


Canon EOS 5D Mark II, EOS 60D, EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM, EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM, EF 85mm f/1.8 USM, EF 50mm f/1.8 II, EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS, 430EX II, Yongnuo YN-560 II, Yongnuo RF-603 C3 2.4GHz Wireless Flash Trigger
www.scottgrassel.com (external link)

  
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tim
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Location: Wellington, New Zealand
     
Apr 07, 2013 18:40 |  #2

Say no. It's hard work, not just a few hours taking photos, I estimate 6 hours coverage takes me 24 hours of work. That includes customer contact, processing, retouching, but not an album. For some who's never done it before and wants to do a good job add a few days or a week (full days) of research. Plus it exposes you to liability, if you knock something over that burns something down, someone trips on your equipment, in lawsuit happy US it could ruin you - though it probably won't. You'd need a wedding contract, which cost about $100 if you buy a premade one from photographers toolkit. You need to rent or borrow a second body, flash, battery pack, and probably a wider lens. Overall it will cost you money, massive amounts of time, stress, and if you don't do an awesome job, it will cost you the friendship which you don't seem to value that much anyway.

There will be decent photographers that don't charge the earth somewhere near you. They'll have experience, insurance, and gear.

I say no to my friends who ask me to shoot their wedding. If I'm a good enough friend that they could ask me then I want to be there celebrating with me. If they're not that good a friend then, basically, get stuffed, pay me.


Professional wedding photographer, solution architect and general technical guy with multiple Amazon Web Services certifications.
Read all my FAQs (wedding, printing, lighting, books, etc)

  
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scotiez
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Location: Grand Forks, North Dakota
     
Apr 07, 2013 19:15 |  #3

yeah I am leaning more on telling them no. I don't think it would be right to charge them when I have NO experience. and by not charging them I certainly am not going to rent equipment that's going to cost me money just to do a wedding I really don't want to do anyway. I was only considering it if they can not find someone else but I think weather or not they find someone I am not going to do it. I have looked at a lot of wedding photos to get an idea what to shoot and from non professional and a lot of them look just awful. And then from the pros they look amazing and I know it takes time and practice to get shots like that. I think I am good at what I do and its not wedding photography.

Thank you for your advice and if anyone else would like to chime in your welcome to it. Love to hear from you even though I am pretty sure I have made up my mind.


Canon EOS 5D Mark II, EOS 60D, EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM, EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM, EF 85mm f/1.8 USM, EF 50mm f/1.8 II, EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS, 430EX II, Yongnuo YN-560 II, Yongnuo RF-603 C3 2.4GHz Wireless Flash Trigger
www.scottgrassel.com (external link)

  
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tim
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Apr 07, 2013 20:00 |  #4

If you say "I'll do it if you can't find anyone else" they'll hear "yes".

I've been doing wedding photography for six or seven years. I'm not bad, but I feel like after a few more years I'll be pretty good at it. My first year I wasn't bad, given my experience, but I'm so much better now you can't even compare. It takes most people years to get the technical skills, the people skills and just the understanding of what to capture and why.


Professional wedding photographer, solution architect and general technical guy with multiple Amazon Web Services certifications.
Read all my FAQs (wedding, printing, lighting, books, etc)

  
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highway0691
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Apr 08, 2013 00:41 |  #5

tim wrote in post #15801585 (external link)
It takes most people years to get the technical skills, the people skills and just the understanding of what to capture and why.

I'll also add, it takes years to learn how to say no without making them feel let down or yourself feeling guilty. I'm finally saying no to such requests and feel as though they understand. This applies to all business, sure it's the same for electricians, plumbers, cake makers etc.


There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept. Ansell Adams

  
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adza77
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Apr 08, 2013 04:11 |  #6

Interesting that they are already spending a lot of money on the wedding but it doesn't include photographs.

If I was approached like this by a friend, I would probably respond by advising them that when the wedding is over - there are only 4 things that remain. The rings, the dress, the spouse (hopefully), and the photo's.

Everything else that is spent on at a wedding is but for a moment, and then gone forever.

I'd then ask them to consider what they may have at the wedding that they are spending a lot on that could be sacrificed, or reduced to ensure that they get a photographer that knows what they're doing so they have the best opportunity of photo's that they won't regret later on.

If they reply that to them photographs aren't as important than the other stuff, or you decide in the end that they're in a jam and you'll help them, well I'd say that by your comment that you're "scared out of your pants" that they're in good hands.

(Because it shows you appreciate what's at stake, and what's involved - which is much better than some enthusiastic photographer who is keen as - but hasn't thought of all the consequences)

If you do go down this road, my suggestion would be:

1) Do up a contract so there is no misunderstandings of expectations. Make it clear you have zero prior experience, and that they have no expectations of any kind. That while unlikely, there is a possibility that they could end up with no shots they are happy with - and in any situation you will not be held liable for anything.

2) You could also subscribe to Kelby's for a month, and watch a number of lessons on Wedding Photography. (I've done this - they have some great ones there that will enlighten you with some great tips). 'Crash coursing' is never the best option, but it's better than no studying at all. :)

3) If you've got a friend who enjoys photography as well - get them as a 2nd shooter. Two shooters have a greater chance of 'flukeing' a good shot than one, and also count as a backup should something very bad happen (such as card malfunction, camera damage, etc)

4) Pre-scout the area and have various options depending on what the weather does. (Bright sun, cloudy, rain, windy, etc - you'll need to be prepared for all possibilities)

I'm not a pro myself, and have only shot 2nd shooter at a number of weddings with professionals - so take what I've said with a grain of salt, but hopefully it's helpful and encouraging.


Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power. - Abraham Lincoln

  
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scotiez
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141 posts
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Location: Grand Forks, North Dakota
     
Apr 08, 2013 05:10 |  #7

Thank you for your replies
I do not know what they have already spent money on. I do know they are people who does not have a lot of money to start with. And I think they are people who think of photography as just someone pushing the button on the camera. They do not think of the skill it takes behind the lens and the hours and hours of processing it takes after the shoot is over with. I also think photography is not a high priority with them. With that being said I am going to tell him today that I thank him for thinking of me for the opportunity to do this important event in his daughters life, but he needs to look for someone with experience even if he has to look out of town to get one that is available for the date he told me. The wedding isn't till late summer and I would have sometime to get things together but not enough time. Its an area I just have no interest in doing. I enjoy doing photography on my own and if someone wants to buy a print ( which I have sold a lot of prints ) from me I will sell them one, but I am stress free in doing what I love doing. I am not so sure I would love it if I was stressed out by doing a wedding and trying to make sure the bride stays happy. Some people can be quite picky and other not so much. I for one am very picky but I am the only one I have to satisfy which makes me happy.
I wish I lived in a bigger town where I know other photographers who actually does weddings as a business. I would ask to be a second shooter just to gain some experience in that area for occasions just like this.
Anyway thanks and I will let you know how things turn out after I tell him no.


Canon EOS 5D Mark II, EOS 60D, EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM, EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM, EF 85mm f/1.8 USM, EF 50mm f/1.8 II, EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS, 430EX II, Yongnuo YN-560 II, Yongnuo RF-603 C3 2.4GHz Wireless Flash Trigger
www.scottgrassel.com (external link)

  
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Long time friend asked me to shoot his daughters wedding
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