First Wedding

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by MattSepeta, Aug 13, 2009.

  1. MattSepeta macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    Location:
    375th St. Y
    #1
    I got my first wedding gig and have no idea what to charge. I had been asked about it months and months ago, and never thought they would follow through. After looking at prices of the more artistic wedding photogs in our area, they wanted me to do it.

    I am thinking $800- $1000 for the whole day, as well as extensive retouching, a cool slide-show (Half of my current day-job is making 2.5d slideshows out of photos), and an album or something like that. Does that seem like a fair price for my first wedding? Advice?

    I also plan on renting a 2nd body to shoot with, so I don't have to fumble around with lens changing. However, if you guys think renting/buying another lens is a better option, I'm all ears... What canon body would you guys advise for shooting a wedding, if you think the 2nd body is the way to go?


    My rig: Canon xTi, Canon 70-200L f/4, Canon 10-22 f/3.4-4.5, Tamron 60mm f/2 prime, Speedlite 580exII on camera as master, speedlite 430 ex as slave.


    I have a feeling I may want a more midrange, like the 24-70L? Would that be worth it ifI was to try to get into more serious weddings/portraiture?

    I also assume I need some diffusers for the flashes... Would the standard stofens do the trick?

    Ps This will be mostly outside, with the reception at a country club. None of it will take place in a church...

    Thanks a ton guys, you are ever so helpful
     
  2. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #2
    I don't know what you should charge, but perhaps you should look at some photogs in your area to gauge the going rate. You can adjust accordingly.

    As for specifics, are you going to have an assistant? Someone to hold the off-camera flash. The guy we hired for our photos had an assistant (his wife) to help out with stuff like holding the flash, keeping people out of the picture, making sure he didn't trip or back into stuff, etc.

    Also, make sure you have proper attire.

    Lastly, what happens if it rains? The XTi isn't weather-proof. You might want to see what the couple's plan is for rain.


    Good luck.
     
  3. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    with Hamburglar.
    #3
    Stofens will be fine outdoors.

    A 24-70mm would be a wise investment - as would some faster glass. I think you just got the 60mm f/2, but you may want to consider a 35mm lens, as the 60mm may be long on a crop body.

    Eventually, you will want the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS lens too -- just keep doing weddings and you'll save up enough! :)
     
  4. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    with Hamburglar.
    #4
    If you are looking for a good second camera for weddings, check out used Canon 5D cameras -- AMAZING quality, although you won't be able to use your wide-angle lens.
     
  5. toxic macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    #5
    take a look at the other photographers in your area...and charge less, because this is your first time.

    always have a second body for important events, especially one-time things like weddings. get something you're comfortable using - if you've never used an amateur or prosumer camera (and don't have time to acquaint yourself), stick with another Rebel.

    if you've got time to get comfortable with a higher-level camera, I suggest you stick with APS-C. using two formats just makes things more complicated. if you want to try a 5D, try it later, when you're more comfortable shooting a wedding.

    if you'd like to rent both a camera and a lens, get something in the middle, like a ~30mm prime or 17-55. the focal length range of the 17-55 will most likely suit you better than the 24-70...but remember that you have you own shooting style which none of us here no about. if you don't like using "standard" focal lengths, don't bother with a standard zoom/prime.

    not sure about the usefulness of the 60...if f/4 is fast enough, I wouldn't bother bringing it.

    stofens just help the flash disperse and bounce off things. in an outdoor setting, it's useless. if you have an off-camera setup, get a reflector or two. it can double as a flash diffuser. I think a reflector is more important than a diffuser, though...but again, my style probably differ from yours.

    like ftaok said, get an assistant if you haven't already, and dress appropriately.

    here's a forum for some more tips: http://photography-on-the.net/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=113

    it's silly to assume that wedding photographers should use weather-sealed cameras and lenses. would a wedding take place out in the rain anyway? there are plenty (I would say most, but I wouldn't really know) of wedding photographers who don't use weather-sealed equipment. it doesn't help that the only sealed Canon bodies are bulky 1D's.

    in any case, all cameras can take a drizzle without failing.
     
  6. HBOC macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    Location:
    SLC
    #6
    well, i will be nice in my response. If you were to post this question at Fred Miranda, they wouldn't be so nice.

    Ok, so this is your first wedding? How long have you been shooting?
    Firstly, there is nothing wrong with shooting with the XTI. THERE IS something wrong with shooting WITH NO SECOND BODY! First rule, ALWAYS have a backup. Have 3 pairs of batteries, cards, etc.


    Also, your lens line up needs some work. The 10-22, you will find you won't be using much for the wedding itself. For artistic purposes, yes, but for the wedding it self, probably not. Especially if it is inside, it is just to slow a lens, especially at the tele end.

    24-70L, 70-200 2.8L, 85L, 135L,..should cover you decently. Maybe even a TS-E lens would be cool for artistic shots..
    I think the use of primes is more ideal than zooms, as they are generally sharper. If you can get your hands on a 200mm 1.8 :)

    Have you looked at lensrentals.com? Pretty good rates.

    So I would definitely get a second body. You never know when one will fail, and then that is the end of your wedding career in your area, as word of mouth is VERY powerful and useful.
    Also, having two bodies enable you to have two vary different lenses
    (prime/zoom) at your disposal instantly.

    I would also check into the primes, and the 70-200 2.8. The faster, the better..
     
  7. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #7
    I guess what I'm thinking is a driving mist ;).

    Something that wouldn't stop the wedding, but might pose a problem for the camera. I really don't know if misty conditions might mess up a Rebel (I'm no pro), but it's something that worth a thought.

    But if an XTi could handle that, then it's probably a moot issue anyways.

    ft
     
  8. djbahdow01 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2004
    Location:
    Northeast, CT
    #8
    Pricing all depends on where you are. Honestly think about it this way, extensive retouching? How much time does that entail? If your making less than say $50/hr is it really worth it? Let alone a decent album will run you easily $400-$600 minimum. Remember quality before quantity. Personally I would probably do your price for my time and retouching with everything else prints, the Album, DVD slideshow being extra.

    You need a 2nd body, even if you barely shoot with it, when something goes wrong you need the backup. I didn't touch anything that was dependent on my shoot until I owned 2 bodies.Don't shoot Canon so I am unsure what to use although I have heard great things about the 5D II, but when I shoot, I basically have a 28-70 on one camera and 70-200 on another. Flashes on both. Also a flash on a stick for added pop.

    You should be fine without a diffuser, I normally shoot bare bulb, and just work with it. I have some great images, you just have to know your gear in and out. Guess it all depends on your preferences.
     
  9. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #9
    When I was doing photography, $1000 is for half a day, shooting, without an album.
    But I had >$10k of equipment and experience.
     
  10. davegregory macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2009
    Location:
    Burlington, Ontario
    #10
    Here are a few things you may wish to consider.

    1) Make sure you have a contract - The contract should make sure there is no written or implied position on the quality or quanity of images the couple will be provided. This contract should also state that you will retain ownership of all images taken. I don't know how your country's copyright laws work. However, in Canada, if you're commissioned to do a photo, the commissioner is the owner of the copyright by default. Either way, put it in writing. Also, if you're shooting the reception afterwards, make sure it says you get a hot meal included.

    2) Rent the 24-70 2.8, 70-200 2.8 IS. The faster the lens; the better. You'll
    want it for the reception. Rent a full frame camera as well. The low noise at higher ISO's will be helpful. Make sure you include this in your price considerations...You should not have lost anything when the bride receives her album and photos! ($150/day for a camera, $40-80/day/lens, these are estimates)

    3) Think about the time you'll be post processing images. So, if it takes you lets say 20 hours to PP, do an album spread, get the album printed, print X number of prints, etc, etc, etc.) So, now you're at...let's say 30 hours of work total...If they just want a DVD of high-res images, make them pay for it, since you won't be making anything off prints or albums. Charge another $600 for the disc.

    What you charge is your business, but personally, I wouldn't shoot for $1000.

    $1000
    - 125 (camera)
    - 100 (lenses)
    - .75/mi (gas)
    ------------------
    $750.00 (rough)

    You'd be lucky if you made $10/hr on the wedding. If you're cool with that, go for it.

    I would strongly suggest a second shooter as well. Or at least an assistant to help you with reflectors and other things.

    Pricing is the hardest thing photographers struggle with. My teacher once told me to figure out what I wanted to make hourly and work from there. When I got to a final price; Put it in paper and plaque it. So it can't be changed, not for anyone. That way it's "the business" charging $4000 (or whatever) for the wedding, not "You".

    Good luck with the wedding, I'm sure it'll be fun!
     
  11. a350 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2009
    #11
    My advise is be prepared, or over prepared. Backups of everything you can, flashes etc..

    You have a few options on how to charge, here are a few examples.

    1. Charge a flat rate and give the clients every shot you take and you'll need to color correct and edit every shot. Pros, none.

    2. Charge a smaller fee for your time, include a few pics in that price ones you will edit and print for them. They have option to select from other shots if they wish for more money. Pros, less time on your part

    3. Charge them nothing for your time, let them choose which pictures they would like then edit those pictures only and charge them for only the pictures they want. Pros, less pressure on you, being your first time and all.


    My wedding we paid a photographer for his time, cost around $350, he shot before the wedding, during the wedding. Included a few pics and let us choose which ones we wanted above those, worked out great and he did an excellent job, a real pro. The prints cost a little more than average but that's how he makes his money is on the prints after the fact, not the shoot.

    My friends wedding where I was the best man, they paid a guy $1000 and got all the shots on DVD, the guy wasn't very good, all the shots before the wedding was in the exact same spot in the church, he never moved. The guy shot before the wedding, during and the reception, must of shot a few thousand pics, few good ones. If it had been me I would of been pretty pissed after spending a grand.

    Option 3 may be your best bet in your situation, if all goes well then start charging for your time. I see photographers offering their services for free all the time to get experience. Don't give the pictures away for free but it's hard to charge for your time with no experience.
     
  12. HBOC macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    Location:
    SLC
    #12

    Good points in here. Shooting is JUST half the work. Then you have to go through all the images. I am sure you will be shooting RAW, which is even more work, err; i mean.. fun:)

    I would check out lensrentals.com, like i mentioned before. You can get great weekly rates. You could get by with shooting with 2-3 lenses. the 24-70, 70-200 2.8 and maybe an 85L or the 135L.

    Also, remember that the rentals are going to cost you. SO if you are charging $1000, then $200 or so is rentals, then that is $800 to you, minus some of the prints, which an enlarged print will run like $20 from a good place. Is your monitor calibrated? If not, there is another $70 (for a cheap syder calibrater) off of your bottom line.

    Pay is also another aspect. I met a guy that started off with an XTI + a few lenses. He now shoots with a 1DS3. He started off charging $800. He did amazing work, and word of mouth got him his work. He built up a beautiful portfolio that spoke for itself. So I would personally start lower. You will gain knowledge and confidence. More importantly, you will have fun and have experience. If you get a second shooter, you will have to pay them something as well. You also don't want a second shooter have more knowledge than the main shooter, however.

    Also, the CONTRACT! have them sign one, and make a deposit. Get it in writing. I have heard horror stories of the groom/bride suing the photographer for lack of services, etc. Research how to write a contract and what it should entail, to cover your end.
     
  13. anubis macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2003
    #13
    This is all good advice. PP is going to take you a LOT longer than you think because weddings are typically over 1,000 photos... adjusting each one individually (which you will want to do) takes a really looooooong time.

    Also, album layout takes an incredibly long time. For $1000 I wouldn't include the album. They can get expensive in a hurry as well.

    Many wedding photographers use only primes; however, I prefer zooms because events and moments at a wedding can happen very fast, and if you limit yourself to primes, you'll find that you missed a fleeting moment (mom emotionally hugging a bride, e.g.) because the prime currently attached to your camera was too long and you didn't have enough time to take 5 steps backwards and get the shot or swap lenses. A zoom allows you to compose the shot in a second or two, while having to move to get the right composition with a prime can take many more seconds - far too long.

    Also, most wedding venues are not lit like it's a photoshoot. They're mostly dim or otherwise have poor lighting, so you'll need the fastest zooms you can get: 24-70mm f/2.8L and 70-200mm f/2.8L IS. I also have the 10-22mm but it can be challenging to use in most situations because it's too slow.

    A second camera is a requirement, to either use two cameras at the same time or at least to have as a backup.

    I wouldn't shoot the wedding of a close friend, especially as a beginner/novice. If you've never done it before, how can you be sure you will produce a product that the B&G will be happy with? If they're unhappy with the product, would you be OK losing them as friends?

    Weddings are pretty high-stakes in the US, emotionally and financially. Professional wedding photographers carry professional indemnity insurance, shielding them from liability if an unhappy client sues them for not getting the photos they wanted at an event that cannot be re-enacted and are not only considered "once-in-a-lifetime", but also "the most important event of my life".

    Have you given any thought to how you're going to have the B&G order pictures? Most amateurs and wanna-be pros simply offer a CD with the photos on them and expect the B&G to take the photos to costco or where ever and select and order pics themselves. This might work OK for a young and technically literate couple, but most people aren't able or willing to do that much work themselves. Wedding photographers have web sites with online proofing and ordering to make the process easy for the clients and their family and friends.

    I don't know anybody who would pay $1,000 to hire someone with no wedding experience. I was lucky to have found a few brave volunteers who let me shoot their weddings for free until I was able to build up a portfolio. You're lucking out; don't mess it up ;)

    Good luck!
     
  14. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #14
    If you haven't shot a wedding, you should know what you're in for, and the couple should know that up front. Weddings are a lot of work, and if you don't have the right shot lists, lighting (provided- by nature or man, or brought,) organization skills, ability to delegate (especially the "round up the right relatives" parts,) ability to get a good exposure for a black tux and white dress (or other colors as appropriate) then you're in for a long day. I'm sure you've though of all of this, but I mention it because *IF* the couple or one of them is a friend, a wedding shoot gone bad can be disastrous to a friendship- and it doesn't have to be the couple's displeasure- give the mother-in-law an excuse to rip the new groom and the discord can resonate quite far. That's not even taking into account bridezilla...

    I've shot three weddings as the official photographer, all when I was much younger and less wise. All for friends who "couldn't afford a photographer" and "liked my pictures a lot." The one that came out the best photographically was hated by the bride (husband loved the shots) and bride's mom who didn't like the formals, or thought there weren't enough of them or something- but the camera didn't make her look old and fat, being old and fat made her look old and fat! The one I thought I did the worst on, the bride absolutely *loved*- that's the most difficult part of wedding photography, making sure the clients are happy- in the first case, I was happy that I'd delivered good images and not as bothered by the negative comments because I thought the images were up to my standards. The second case was the worst for me, as I could see where things had gone wrong (Rooftop of a church at mid-day- ugh!) and where the film just didn't have the dynamic range for the scene.

    If you can deliver a high-quality product, then you should charge a price that's appropriate for the output, no matter how many you've shot. If you can't, or don't know then you should give a fair discount off the regular price, but if you intend to do more weddings, keep your price high and discount from there, otherwise you'll find it difficult to raise your rates should you have success.

    A wedding isn't the time to learn a new body- rent an identical body if you can. Seriously- you'll be running all over the place all day, you don't need to try to remember something that should be instinctive just because you need a different angle of view.

    Depends on the size of the groups for the group shots IMO, but I'd rent one first, and factor that and insurance into your costs.


    If that's what you shoot with now, then sure- I'd do the better bounce card thing myself, or rubber-band index cards on (the BBC is more adjustable, but you need a learning curve.)

    Time of day will make a difference, and you may want to try to get them there early for formals if the wedding time is bright-of-day.

    Also, get a rain cover or two, they're cheap insurance no matter how sealed your body/lens combo is. I prefer Fotosharp, but anything will do.
     
  15. wheelhot macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    #15
    wow, great advices peoples! Loved all of it, I still got lots to learn about wedding photography :)

    I never thought of giving a free wedding photography :eek:

    But I do wonder though, do photographer charge differently for a couple shoot and the real wedding or they charge all together as a single package?
     
  16. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    with Hamburglar.
    #16
    In addition to renting a second body, you really should rent some better glass. Even though much will be outside, f/4 etc. doesn't usually cut it. You will want (read: the couple will want) pictures with nice background blur - and sharp group shots.

    The lenses you currently have will be very borderline, and you can't afford to miss those perfect moments. Rent a 50mm f/1.2L or an 85mm f/1.2L -- those are on my cameras 95% of the time for weddings (maybe with your crop camera, go with 35mm and 50mm lengths.)

    As your first wedding, don't worry about profit - worry about getting it right. Brides/Grooms don't exactly like "doing it over" so equip yourself with the right equipment and then learn the trade. When your finances allow, buy instead of rent - and raise your prices as your skill level increases.
     
  17. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #17
    You can sell a package deal there, that's how you nail both.

    And as for never thinking of giving up your time for free for a wedding, I've done it twice and frankly it was the right choice. Just because I had a good camera and decent glass did not give me the right to call myself a photographer or charge a professional rate for the one day you can never really repeat.
     
  18. wheelhot macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    #18
    Ah, that's great. But I do wonder, how do you market yourself to do a wedding for free? I fear later I get too many people asking if I can take their wedding for free :rolleyes:
     
  19. Doylem macrumors 68040

    Doylem

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2006
    Location:
    Wherever I hang my hat...
    #19
    A wedding is one of life's unrepeatable occasions. There's no chance of a re-shoot if anything goes wrong.

    For most couples the day is a blur (lots of emotion, plus champagne...). Their memories of the event will be wrapped up in the photos in the album.

    I don't like weddings, or wedding photography (too formulaic for my tastes...), but I appreciate the skill of a good wedding photographer. The camera skills and the people skills. Getting people to do what you want without being a bully. Dealing with difficulties with good humour, efficiency and a back-up plan for every eventuality. Getting all the prescribed shots in the time available. Being unflappable. Emotions run high at weddings, and the photographer has to be the one with the cool head and man-management skills...

    To the OP... the fact that you are asking these questions suggests to me that you may not be ready to tackle your first wedding assignment as the official photographer. Do you feel confident in your own abilities to take on this most demanding of assignments... or are you looking for a way to say "No, I don't think I'm ready for this"?
     
  20. waiwai macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2009
    Location:
    Florida
    #20
    Hi there,

    It's best to do some research on your competitors before formulating a price for your services. It is highly dependent on your area. A $1000 for a wedding job elsewhere may be too much or too little in your area, so its best to find out what the average wedding photographer in your area charges.

    Just some tips. Seeing as this is your first wedding job, the price you quote/set should be more flexible. In other words, you shouldn't be out to get as much money as you possibly can. Now as "odd" as this may sound, a lot of new wedding photographers come out wanting to charge what the veteran / seasoned wedding photographer charges. This is a big no no. For obvious reason. There are going to be many hiccups on your first job and in order to protect yourself you should consider that #1 you have no experience in weddings. It doesn't matter how mad your skillz are in photography, you will make mistakes. Lets face it... Weddings are stressful and there's a lot of stress involved. The first wedding gig will either make you or break you. This is why when charging clients, you should explain to them that this is your first gig so they know beforehand what to expect and what not to expect. Second, you should charge a little under what the average market rate is. The reason being... If you do a good job and didn't charge a whole lot, clients will be raving about your services - that word of mouth advertising is going to give a big boost for your business. And if you didn't do so well... you did ok... Clients won't be too too disappointed in what you gave them for final results. However, here's the main reason... If you did a crap job and you charged less than what everyone does, then they won't really be "out to get you". Now if you charged them the market rate and gave them crap... You might as well not show your face in the wedding scene for a long long time because they're going to go to their friends, family, co-workers and tell them all what crappy experience they had with you. I've seen this happen to 2 people in my city, and believe me... stuff like that sticks to your reputation for a long time if not forever. Just remember, if you are serious about doing more weddings in the future, there will be many many opportunities for you to make the big bucks, so don't rush into it and try to milk your clients just yet.

    As far as prints go, most new wedding photographers just charge that seperately. Good practice when starting out would be just to charge what the lab charges... Give them the receipt and show them, this is how much it costed or costs. This shows that you are not trying to take advantage of them... This means good rep for you. You can always charge a percentage or a flat rate for arranging/organizing prints for your clients... like 10% or something like that is reasonable. But prints aren't where you're bread and butter are... unless you do prints from home or something (but its not very cost effective and the quality of home prints aren't near as good as lab prints unless you have a commercial printer at home). Majority of clients are fine with just receiving digital copies on DVD too, just as long as you state beforehand what you do and don't do.

    As for gear... You're going to want a 2nd body. One body should have a standard zoom like a 17-55 2.8 and your 2nd body should have a zoom or fast prime (70-200, 50mm, 85mm). And you will want lots of extra batteries for your flash. If you know the schedule of the day and will have "break/flex time" bring a laptop so you can upload and backup your photos during that time. Backing up photos is very important, memory cards arent perfect and they can get corrupted at the most unexpected times.

    Lighting in churches are harsh... Depending on the design of the church you could have a mix of diffused light from frosted glass, orange light, candle light... lotsa shade... it's going to be difficult getting proper WB in there, so best bet is to go to the church before the wedding day and get a handle of the setting you're going to be working with (you will have little or no time to fidget with your camera settings / experiment on the wedding day), its going to be bang bang bang done. So be prepared for that.

    Also be sure to let your client know to advise guests that you are the photographer for the day and that people need to give you space. If brother bob and uncle joe are running around taking pics and getting in your way, you will not be responsible for not being able to get the shots you need. Guests are mostly respectful of you and will not get in your way... Its the ones that are "photo junkies" that you need to be worried about. They tend to "assume" the role of main photographer... because they are the clients relatives or whatever... lol... it happens... And you can say, "excuse me, i need to get some shots, you can get some after me", but that's about it... You can't do much after that if they still don't give u the space (getting into arguments or yelling at them is not going to look very good for you... give them 1 warning and then afterwards, just let it be - you can justify to the newly weds afterwards why some shots weren't possible, etc... they can't complain).

    Anyway, i wish you all the best on your first wedding. Be sure to drink lots of water and bring little snacks like granola bars or power bars to eat while on the go.

    If you need more help or advice, feel free to PM me and I will help you out the best I can.

    Cheers!
     
  21. MattSepeta thread starter macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    Location:
    375th St. Y
    #21
    Excellent advice!

    Thank you so much guys! Tons of great input! I cannot respond to all of it, so I will just put my updated plan out there...

    The couple wants to handle all of the prints, albums, etc... They are creative and would like to do it themselves. Definitely not going to do a slide show either, for the time being. I am just going to shoot and deliver retouched images on a disk.

    The wedding is going to be very casual, ie: blazers, nice pants, the groom is not even wearing a tux. That will be nice I am thinking, it should really help keep a casual, fun atmosphere.

    I completely understand how I should not be shooting for a big profit on this, I am looking at it more as a portfolio builder.

    Looks like im going to be exchanging my tamron 60 f/2 for a canon 50mm f/1.4... Wise decision? That should leave me with some extra cash to put towards renting a 50d. I have never shot full frame so I don't think it would be wise to rent a 5d, as much fun as that would be.

    How do you guys feel about the 135 f/2L?

    Again, thanks for all the great advice.
     
  22. mscriv macrumors 601

    mscriv

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    #22
    So true and a great point. Your people skills are key and in some cases are actually more important than your photography skills. I'm a professional DJ and have worked with all kinds of vendors. You've got to know how to handle anything and everything at a wedding. Keep in mind you are not just there to make the Bride and Groom happy, but everyone there. Your ability to successfully interact with both the guests and the other vendors is crucial to the success of your event. It only takes one person saying, "your photographer was rude to me..." to change everything, no matter how great your pictures are.

    As far as price, $1000 is low for everything you are offering, but high enough to give the client very high expectations. Be aware of this. You have to decide if this is a professional gig or job experience while helping out a friend. There is a difference and each brings different expectations.

    Have fun, but take the advice you have been given here seriously (great comments from everyone) and do everything you can to be prepared in all areas.

    Oh yeah, have fun too. :)
     
  23. waiwai macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2009
    Location:
    Florida
    #23

    Right on, yes 50mm 1.4 would be a wise decision. 135 f/2 is a good portrait lens... Good for when you are taking more creative shots with the bride and groom or solo shots. But if I were going to rent or buy another lens... I'd go for a 85 1.4 or a 1.2... Budget permitting... hehe.
     
  24. waiwai macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2009
    Location:
    Florida
    #24
    oh and also in your contract or a seperate release form, be sure to state as part of terms and conditions that you are allowed to use the photos you took at the wedding for portfolio purposes (and any other purposes you deem fit). that means stating that you will post pics online, hardcopy, etc...
     
  25. MacVixen macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2009
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA
    #25
    I love and echo all of the photographer's sentiments here. This especially:

    May I approach this from the bride's perspective? :eek: As stated by many, a wedding is a once in a lifetime deal - I speak from personal experience when I say that bad wedding shots can ruin a couple's wedding memories.

    I went the "friend" route for my wedding - actually it was my now-husband's uncle who was supposedly a professional photographer. I took a look at some of his photos and they seemed decent enough if a bit formulaic. But since he was only going to charge us $900 and give us the negatives we decided to go for it. TERRIBLE decision. The whole photo-taking process was torturous as Uncle had zero interest in our ideas for photos - I finally said "That's it. I'm done," after 40 minutes of the same old poses over and over and over. and then we got the pictures and they were AWFUL. Truly terrible - I could cry everytime I look at them. The wedding day was such a blur and I wanted the photos to be my reminder of things that happened during the day, but I can barely bring myself to look at the pictures even 5 years later :(

    I advise that you really speak to the couple about what sort of "look" they want for their photos and follow that - it should make for a much happier bride and groom even if all of your photos don't turn out perfect.

    Good luck!:)
     

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