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Author Topic: Shooting Weddings?!  (Read 11916 times)
JonathanRimmel
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« Reply #20 on: April 05, 2012, 09:08:54 AM »
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I am curious. Other than this kind of shoot being a "once in a lifetime, miss it and your screwed" type thing, why are so many photographers against shooting them?
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Colorado David
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« Reply #21 on: April 05, 2012, 09:40:00 AM »
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The bride and her mother have been browsing wedding photography websites for weeks or months by now and have developed favorites.  They already know what their photos will look like before they're shot.  The degree to which the actual photos fall short of the ones in their imagination is the multiplier for how much they hate you after it's done.
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JonathanRimmel
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« Reply #22 on: April 05, 2012, 12:07:55 PM »
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The bride and her mother have been browsing wedding photography websites for weeks or months by now and have developed favorites.  They already know what their photos will look like before they're shot.  The degree to which the actual photos fall short of the ones in their imagination is the multiplier for how much they hate you after it's done.

Wow, that strongly illustrates a reason to stay away from wedding photography...

I suppose I should know better, when it was the groom that asked me, not the bride.
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stamper
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« Reply #23 on: April 06, 2012, 03:06:10 AM »
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Look on the bright side: book the divorce shoot too, and make it a double-whammy. Your accountant will love you, as will the tax inspector; what can you lose, other than your neck?

Rob C

That's stretching things a bit? Smiley
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Justan
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« Reply #24 on: April 06, 2012, 09:15:08 AM »
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The bride and her mother have been browsing wedding photography websites for weeks or months by now and have developed favorites.  They already know what their photos will look like before they're shot.  The degree to which the actual photos fall short of the ones in their imagination is the multiplier for how much they hate you after it's done.

 Cheesy Delightful Cheesy Funniest comment I’ve read here for a while…

….and sooooooooooooooo very true!

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Mike Guilbault
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« Reply #25 on: April 15, 2012, 04:16:36 PM »
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Most of the advice above is good.  I shoot both commercial, portrait and wedding photography, however, if you've never shot a wedding, or portraits for that matter, then taking on a wedding for the first time is an incredible undertaking and responsibility.  Of course, it really depends on what the client is expecting too. If they're expecting 'snap-shots' that's one thing, but if they are expecting decent wedding photographs that could be something all together different. 

I always say you need to be three things to be a wedding photographer... the technician that knows their equipment inside out and has backup equipment for when things go wrong, the artist to capture not only beautiful images, but emotional ones as well, and a psychologist to handle the stressed out bride, mothers and guests.  John is right in this respect that you need to be able to communicate 'effectively' with people, usually people that you don't know, however, you also need to know how to pose or place people with a wide variety of body shapes, styles and heights in a flattering position so the groups don't look like a football team - like how to pose a tiny, petite bride beside her 250lb groom (or vice versa!).

The trend with recent wedding photography is a more casual and photojournalistic approach, however, the bride and groom are only two of the people interested in the photography.  The family and guests in the parents or grand-parents generation are from a time when carefully posed and well executed portraits are preferred. And don't forget.. beauty is in the eye of the "check-book' holder! - and if the parents are footing the bill, you need to cater to their wants as well.

In summary... I would say RUN!
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mediumcool
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« Reply #26 on: April 15, 2012, 06:38:42 PM »
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I always say you need to be three things to be a wedding photographer... the technician that knows their equipment inside out and has backup equipment for when things go wrong, the artist to capture not only beautiful images, but emotional ones as well, and a psychologist to handle the stressed out bride, mothers and guests.  John is right in this respect that you need to be able to communicate 'effectively' with people, usually people that you don't know, however, you also need to know how to pose or place people with a wide variety of body shapes, styles and heights in a flattering position so the groups don't look like a football team - like how to pose a tiny, petite bride beside her 250lb groom (or vice versa!).

All good stuff, Mike. But you neglected to mention *ethanol*, the application of which strains some weddings almost to breaking point.  Grin

OK if you’re a guest, and can enjoy the action like some extra-terrestrial anthropologist, but the photographer can get caught in the middle; something as simple as “… no way am I going to be in the same photo as that bitch”, etc.

I stopped doing weddings over a decade ago—too stressful.
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Rob C
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« Reply #27 on: April 16, 2012, 03:48:20 AM »
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I stopped doing weddings over a decade ago—too stressful.


I started doing absolutely anything when I hung out my shingle; soon, very soon, realising that jacking all the trades was never going to get me anywhere, the first angle I closed was weddings. I hated them, the people with whom I had to deal (obviously, as a newbie I got the dregs of the trade), the places I had to go and the bullshit that came when seeking money.

Years later, I was asked by my muse, my favourite model of all time, if I'd shoot her wedding. She was 'society' in as big as it got in Scotland. Though I knew all about her, her best angles, the lot, I turned her down. Why? Because I knew it wasn't my scene and that I didn't want to blow our relationship by turning out stuff that the two families wouldn't like very much. I passed, and I think we were both relieved by that.

Rob C
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mediumcool
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« Reply #28 on: April 16, 2012, 05:10:51 AM »
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Years later, I was asked by my muse, my favourite model of all time, if I'd shoot her wedding. She was 'society' in as big as it got in Scotland. Though I knew all about her, her best angles, the lot, I turned her down. Why? Because I knew it wasn't my scene and that I didn't want to blow our relationship by turning out stuff that the two families wouldn't like very much. I passed, and I think we were both relieved by that.

Rob C

Any happy snaps from the sidelines?
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Rob C
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« Reply #29 on: April 16, 2012, 08:50:49 AM »
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Any happy snaps from the sidelines?


You gotta be joking! What's to be happy with your best model getting wed, almost inevitably embracing the mother syndrome some time along the way and a whole, beautiful, working relationship consigned to rot in the dud wet prints bin? This was a muse for which I mourned...

Rob C
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JonathanRimmel
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« Reply #30 on: April 16, 2012, 10:08:50 AM »
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I am fairly certain now I will turn this one down.
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Rob C
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« Reply #31 on: April 16, 2012, 04:21:49 PM »
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I am fairly certain now I will turn this one down.



Like in wee bit pregnant?

;-)

Rob C
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Mike Guilbault
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« Reply #32 on: April 16, 2012, 06:03:43 PM »
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I am fairly certain now I will turn this one down.

We knew you could do it!!  (turn it down that is) Wink
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louoates
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« Reply #33 on: April 16, 2012, 06:15:28 PM »
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I am amazed at how specialized wedding shooting has become. I get a pro photog magazine from time to time that specializes in weddings and I'm blown away with all the neat services offered to the pros, from custom album printing and web-based image delivery, to shooting equipment. My daughter was married in Sedona, AZ a few years ago and the pros who shot her wedding did a spectacular job with all the bells and whistles.
I do very well in my own niches and sell lots of products but I could NEVER compete with a good wedding shooter in either technique or after-shooting products. Nor could I compete psychologically -- handholding the various factions bound to show up drunk or otherwise repulsive.
It's surprising how many decent photographers get lured into this arena and get eaten alive.
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Tony Jay
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« Reply #34 on: April 16, 2012, 06:29:32 PM »
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There is no doubt that wedding photography is a very specialized niche.

Many exceptional image makers will never make it in this genre because there is so much more to success in this area than merely shooting good pics.
I have immense respect for those that do succeed.

Regards

Tony Jay
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David Eichler
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« Reply #35 on: April 17, 2012, 11:02:34 PM »
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I am amazed at how specialized wedding shooting has become. I get a pro photog magazine from time to time that specializes in weddings and I'm blown away with all the neat services offered to the pros, from custom album printing and web-based image delivery, to shooting equipment. My daughter was married in Sedona, AZ a few years ago and the pros who shot her wedding did a spectacular job with all the bells and whistles.
I do very well in my own niches and sell lots of products but I could NEVER compete with a good wedding shooter in either technique or after-shooting products. Nor could I compete psychologically -- handholding the various factions bound to show up drunk or otherwise repulsive.
It's surprising how many decent photographers get lured into this arena and get eaten alive.

The only way I would want to do it is if I could do it the way someone such as Jeff Ascough does: have a highly distinctive style for which people seek you out and not try to be all things to all people or cater to clients' stylistic whims. Thing is, even if you can start out with a strong, individual style, you probably still need to pay your dues doing routine wedding work or some other kind of work, photographic or otherwise, until you can establish yourself enough to sell only your style.
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amsp
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« Reply #36 on: April 22, 2012, 06:44:17 PM »
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Sometimes you can't even save a friendship by saying no. I was once asked by a close friend to shoot her wedding, I told her that I don't really do weddings (I shoot fashion & advertising), but If she REALLY wanted me to I'd do it and give her a good price too. I asked how much she wanted to spend and she told me she was expecting me to do it for free, but she'd give me 300$. Of course I respectfully declined and said for that kind of money I'd rather not have the stress and just enjoy the wedding as a regular guest instead. That's when she went completely ballistic, yelling and cussing, calling me every word in the book. Needless to say I never talked to her again.
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louoates
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« Reply #37 on: April 22, 2012, 07:10:10 PM »
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That's when she went completely ballistic, yelling and cussing, calling me every word in the book. Needless to say I never talked to her again.

Wow! Think of all the fun you would have had after the wedding when she didn't like your work.
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Lightsmith
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« Reply #38 on: June 22, 2012, 03:05:11 AM »
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Several problems with being a nice guy and agreeing to shoot a wedding. First you have no experience in shooting a wedding so you do not know the flow and cannot anticipate what you need to be ready to do and when before it is too late to do it. Second you are not likely to have the equipment as in two ISO 3200 capable bodies, lenses from 24-200mm at f2.8, two high output strobes and ideally with battery packs, a lighting solution for large group shots with up to 40 people in each grouping and needing to take 10-20 sets of shots in under 30 minutes.

Anyone who wants to invest the time and money should start out shooting a half dozen weddings with an experienced wedding photography as the primary. Then you can see what they use and how and how they manage the flow of the day and how they manage the people throughout the day and people are stressed and do need to be managed by the photographer.

It is also very hard work. For me it is a 10-12 hour day with at best 15 minutes of down time to wolf down something to eat and get a glass of water. And you are on your feet or your knees the entire time which is also tiring even if the weather is not hot and humid.
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Brad Barr
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« Reply #39 on: June 28, 2012, 08:25:55 PM »
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Well as a wedding photographer (95%) of my income....I can safely say, so far great advice everyone.

The most stated reason folks shy away from weddings, is stress.  Not just your own (from lack of experience, fear of not delivering as well as you wanted, the unknow etc) but the stress on all the other major players.  Brides of course, but MOB's are the biggest offenders.  Followed closely by wedding planners (or more accurately wannabe wedding planners).  Then there are the other vendors...the dj want this....the banquet mgr wants this... the light is going away fast....

then after that, you have all these images to pp.  Shot mostly in mixed light sources.  If you were smart/experienced enough, you probably lit the reception yourself, but other times of the day you just cant do that....so...

should i continue?
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Brad
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