Videographer turning photographer for wedding..

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by salacious, Sep 2, 2015.

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  1. salacious macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    So I am filmmaker, but my friend asked me to do photography for his wedding, this is the first time i have ever done anything on a professional level (he is paying me like a pro too).

    I am hiring a Canon 5dmk2 and 24-105L lens with a flash from a friend, I have no idea how to use flash :)

    so aside from having no clue what to do and taking a huge list of things to photograph from a website is there any tips or advice you could give me? anything that you have realised or made a mistake on etc

    Thanks
     
  2. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

    Apple fanboy

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    #2
    When is the wedding? Hiring a camera and turning up to do something as important as a friends wedding with a camera you are not very familiar with, sounds like a good way to lose a friend.
    Not trying to be a down on your idea, but weddings are stressful to shoot. You have to be in the right place at the right time. Shooting in multiple lighting conditions etc. Thats why many photographers use a second shooter when they do a wedding.
    Imagine you are changing your batteries in your flash and miss the cutting of the cake?
    Flash in itself can be a nightmare if you are not used to using one. Check out http://strobist.blogspot.co.uk for flash info.
     
  3. jms969 macrumors 6502

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    #3
    WOW, I am dumbfounded!!!
     
  4. The Bad Guy macrumors 6502a

    The Bad Guy

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    #4
    Don't do it. Not if you still want to be friends afterwards anyway.
     
  5. tomnavratil macrumors 6502a

    tomnavratil

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    #5
    I have been doing photography for several years now and only a 2-3 years ago I've shot a wedding for a friend but only as a second shooter - no ceremony, just morning preps and afternoon party and even that was very stressful and I knew it could go very wrong.

    You have mentioned that you will be paid as a pro and thus she expects professional service and results from managing people at the wedding, getting the right shots, being creative and file and print management after the wedding itself. Are you sure you deliver that with the gear you've never used?

    Just gear-wise, if you're the only photographer, you need a backup of everything - body, lens, flash, bunch of memory cards, tripod etc., and from my experience something will probably go wrong, so being prepared is key.

    As others have said above, if you're not 100% sure you can deliver excellent results, kindly reject or offer being a second shooter for some parts of the wedding. Alternatively explain to her that you're not a pro photog and she simply can't expect the same level of images being delivered, if she's ok with that, that should reflect on your pay as well.

    However my advice is don't do it.
     
  6. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

    Apple fanboy

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    #6
    Looks like we are all on the same page then. I've been shooting for 2-3 years and I wouldn't dream of taking on a wedding with a camera I use every week. I'd be happy as a second shooter, but not to be the main man at such an important event.
     
  7. rodedwards macrumors member

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    #7
    Interestingly enough, I'm a pro photographer but i'm now doing pro video.
    In my opinion it's much harder to shoot quality stills photos than it is to shoot video. It's easy to miss the shot with photography and composition is more important. The stills pic has to be powerful and stand up to five seconds of viewing ... whereas a video clip can be five seconds long and doesn't need to be as perfect as all the other clips support it.
    My advice, don't take the wedding job lightly - certainly now without practice.
    The 5D2 isn't always the best camera for weddings either ... altho i use it for both stills and video there are better choices now out there.
     
  8. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

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    #8
    If this person is still insistent on shooting the wedding -

    1) get a book or search the net for "how to shoot a wedding..."
    2) Learn how to use a flash off camera along with bounce, diffuser etc.
    3) PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE
    4) More PRACTICE
    5) Expect to do quite a bit of post processing so learn to use the appropriate software.

    As someone who has shot more weddings than I can count (but with film cameras that are far less forgiving), I am in the camp with those that suggest you decline the job. You are doing yourself and your "client" a disservice even if you are an excellent hands on with video.

    Last - I am not saying the above to be negative or critical of the OP but just being clinical. A wedding is both a job and a craft and as such, one needs to know the ins and outs of the job and time is required to develop craft.
     
  9. salacious thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    Thanks for your replies, the wedding is tomorrow, I cannot refuse at this stage :)

    I like to think I have good composition skills, I have my nikon d3200 which I will take as my second body with a 35mm slapped on.

    I usually take all my photos without flash, how essential is flash?
     
  10. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #10
    With respect, if you are choosing to do something you have never done before, - a job where there will be no margin for error whatsoever, and little forgiveness for mistakes as it is an important day in someone's life, as everyone else has already pointed out - why on earth are you using a camera you are not comfortable with?

    It seems to me that you are setting yourself as many hurdles and obstacles as possible; you don't do stills photography, you are not familiar with flash, you are photographing one of the most important days of someone'e life and you haven't a clue how to go about it, and you are choosing to further handicap yourself by bringing along a camera with which you are not familiar.

    Worst of all, you have crossed the boundary between friendship and commercial transactions. This is not win-win, i.e. 'easy money' because it is a friend who might be less demanding. If anything, this could be the opposite.

    Now that it is a business arrangement, it will be judged as such, and your standards will have to be even better - that means delivering photographic standards as good as the pros, but informed - and lit by - by your personal friendship with the person getting married.

    At the very least, bring along someone else who knows what they are doing as a reliable back up. And use your own camera; this is not the time for experimentation. If you are not familiar enough - and you won't be - with a strange and unfamiliar camera to photograph swiftly, surely and flawlessly tomorrow you run the risk of - frankly - making an absolute mess of things. You don't want to be the topic of conversation in twenty years time when an embarrassed ex-friend shrugs through her wedding album with apologetic but annoyed words along the lines of: 'Oh, we made a total mess of that; we got in a friend of mine who knew a bit about photography but it turned out to be a disaster.'

    Re flash, what other sources of lighting will you have? Will you be visiting any of the venues in advance to check out angles, sources of light, ambience? If not, why not?
     
  11. RCAFBrat macrumors regular

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    #11
    So its a done deal and its either you or nobody - maybe there was no time to book an experienced photographer or someone had been hired and is no longer available - now you need to prepare and execute.

    This is a start:

    The best you can do is make sure you are as well prepared as possible. As a filmmaker you will go into a shoot with a list of establishing shots and scenes that you need; you work out the angles, movements, lighting, sound etc before the camera starts rolling and need to do the same here.

    Can't offer anything but encouragement; perhaps others will have some hints. Suggest looking at some other other threads regarding weddings but I believe a lot of them apply to taking video of the big event.

    Best of luck.
     
  12. salacious thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    I had a quick 1 hour session with a friend who is a pro photographer, he taught me the basics of flash and that will do for me and he gave me some tips, doesnt seem overwhelming at all, as for using a camera im not familiar with, I have used 4 cameras that I had never used before on the same set and had only 20 mins to learn their functions, I have the camera now have played with it its similar to the 600D which I used to have and it seems straight forward.

    everyones concerns did make me laugh and your right I am not a pro tog but I do have compositional skills and have been taking photos for 3 years comfortably and produce good shots, my friend knows im not a pro tog so he is well informed of that, but im confident I can get great pics for them.
     
  13. bhtwo macrumors 6502a

    bhtwo

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    #13
    I wish you the best of luck... I don't use flash either, but the natural light will soon disappear... what then? Maybes set up some lamps in a secluded spot?

    looking forwards to seeing some of your shots.
     
  14. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #14
    Good luck.

    My advice stands on paying an advance visit to all of the venues that you will be working from tomorrow; I strongly recommend that you do that. Indeed, that way, you will get a sense of how the space is organised, where the light - both natural and artificial - comes from and what the ambience is, and where you can think about positioning yourself to best advantage; in other words, you can plan ahead to some extent.

    Personally, I don't much care for flash, but I shoot with summilux lenses, which are very fast and allow me to work indoors without flash.
     
  15. sarge macrumors 6502a

    sarge

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    #15
    If you are going to use flash -and you should, you ABSOLUTELY MUST hot foot it down to your local rental shop and get this battery pack or it'll be one stressful shoot:

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/692461-REG/Quantum_Instruments_T3_Turbo_3_Rechargeable_Battery.html
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/730916-REG/Quantum_Instruments_SD7_SD7_Power_Cable_for.html

    It will allow you to power both the camera and the flash head for the entire event, otherwise you will be swapping batteries and missing shots all day long. If you want to make it even easier on yourself I would highly recommend that you rent another lens & body - here you're talking about spending another $75-$125 or thereabouts for having a dedicated long-reach non flash body at the ready -say a 7d w/the telephoto and a 24-70mm 2.8LII for the 5D. Those would be my bare bones recommendations -no assistant, no big softbox or strobes.

    I'm all in favor of shooting friends weddings - they're hoping to save $$ and you get to learn how it's done (or not) on their dime. Generally this means that after you rent all the necessary equipment you won’t have earned anything for your time beyond a little experience – after all, that expense is the professional know how that the couple was willing to give up.
     
  16. salacious thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    I was mistaken the lens i got was a 24-70mm f2.8, I have played around alot with the flash today and took loads of pics, everything seems fine and I can get some really nice shots, learning the camera was a doddle no issues feeling fluent with it now.

    I rented the camera package for a cheap cheap price so my profit is very comfortable, I'm feeling more comfortable now, just gonna set up a shot list and be prepared!

    I will update with how it went and see if I lose a friend or gain more customers through word of mouth!
     
  17. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #17
    Have you taken a look at the various venues that will play host to this function tomorrow?
     
  18. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

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    #18
    When I was younger, I spent 3 years as a second photographer to learn the trade as a wedding photographer and finally decided I was ready to go it alone. I lasted a year and it was the most stressful thing I have ever done in my life. In fact, it was so bad that after I gave it up I sold all my gear and wouldn't pick up a camera for 5 years and I have not done any pro photography since.
    If anyone asked me to do a wedding now, I'd run for the hills!
     
  19. sarge macrumors 6502a

    sarge

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    #19
    I believe there is nothing more for us to do but sit back in admiration of the person who is confident enough to stop and ask for directions and __adjective__ enough to ignore the route the locals gave them.
     
  20. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

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    #20
    Tbh I see a lot of poor wedding photos. I got married 17 years ago today. Maybe I'll get out our album and pass s critical eye over them.
    Good luck today @salacious. Your going to need it.
     
  21. Padaung macrumors 6502

    Padaung

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    #21

    Happy anniversary! I've just had my one year anniversary. My photographer was a former photography colleague (and is still a friend). He'd just returned from living in Barbados for three years where he was shooting roughly three weddings a week. I was over the moon with the results. However, he and I, with hundreds of weddings now photographed between us, still get stressed before we photograph a wedding.

    Like others have said, if I were Salacious I'd have passed on the job but it is too late for that now. He seems to have huge amounts of confidence which can only be a good thing now, so all the best for the wedding day :)
     
  22. bhtwo macrumors 6502a

    bhtwo

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    #22
    I admire his balls... looking forward to seeing the photos.

    As Phil said... I did a year as assistant to a wedding photographer... put me right off.
     
  23. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #23
    Amen to that.

    Congrats on your wedding anniversary, @Apple fanboy. And agreed, I have seen a lot of not simply poor, but downright atrocious, wedding photos.

    Well, there is confidence born out of preparation and planning and there is blithe confidence.

    Nevertheless, I join with the others in wishing @salacious good luck.
     
  24. ProjectManager101 Suspended

    ProjectManager101

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    #24
    Take pictures of the kids with the rings
    Picture of the couple kissing, holding hands, smiling, saying hello.
    Pictures of the husband with his friends teasing him
    Pictures of the brides mate and the girls together
    Family of the bride with the bride
    Family of the dud with his family and the bride
    Take pictures of everything the bride is doing, dancing with her father, crying, she is the main target always.
    Cutting the cake.
     
  25. AngerDanger macrumors 68030

    AngerDanger

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    #25
    I'm interested to hear how this turns out from @salacious. And I thought the photo contest stakes were high…
     
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