Originally Posted by Lumpy53
My daughters friend asked me to photograph her wedding in December. She has seen some of my work from my daughter. I'm mostly an amateur, I have a Canon Xti with a Tamron f2.8 28-75 lens and a 430EX flash. I have taken one of Rolando's workshops.
OK, here are the questions;
Do I have the right equipment to do this? If not what other equipment would I need? Maybe a flash bracket?
Not sure if I have the experience to do it. Should I pick up a book? Any suggestions on a book?
How much should I charge? I know I'm an amateur and I won't charge her anything near what a pro would. I just wanted to get a ball park figure. And I would love the experience.
Should I get a contract?
Thanks for any help or tips you guys & gals can give me!
So far, I seem to be the first one to take the opposite view of this.
It seems you are asking questions that indicate you might not be ready to shoot a wedding, and no disrespect intended, because I have not seen your work. However, after shooting weddings for over 35 years, there is no way I would consider shooting a wedding without having some real world experience first. Some will say, you have to start somewhere, but to be honest, shooting a wedding on your own is not the way to start. You should try to work with someone else as an assistant.
Again, with no disrespect intended, to say to go for it and for you to hire an assistant makes no sense to me. The assistant can only do what you tell them, and you should be in charge.
There are many problems that can arise at a wedding, and it cannot be "re-shot". You might not be doing your daughter's friend a favor by shooting the wedding, and if anything goes wrong, you might not only find yourself in a legal situation (happens everyday), but your daughter might loose a friend. I have seen that happen also.. more than once.
You cannot read a book and get the right kind of experience. You have to actually be out there and experience it.
Contract you ask? You bet, and it better cover everything imaginable and unimaginable, to keep you in the clear if anything goes wrong. And if anything goes wrong as far as results, your fault, the bride's fault, or nobody's fault, it will probably be your fault.
With all that said, what are their expectations? Do they want specific shots? If so, and you promise to get those, and then fail to do so, ... well, I won't even go into all that.
I had hundreds of great weddings, but I also had some terrible ones. I know of more than one photographer who was threatened to be sued for missing a shot the bride asked for and the photographer agreed to.
In other words, if you are given a list of specific shots, think very carefully about what you are liable for.
Pricing? You did not state what you would be providing, so how could anyone give a knowledgeable answer?
I noticed one "quote" of $10,000, but give a substantial discount? I doubt seriously if most people are willing to pay a first time photographer even $1,000 for shooting a wedding.
I hate to be a naysayer, but encourage you to think about the ramifications of not providing what the bride and family expect. On the other hand, I do not know what those expectations are. My experience was most want high quality photography, and the photogrpher to perform "miracles" without much co-operation from the family.
One last thing. Do you have any sort of indemnification insurance? Not liability insurance (you need that also), but insurance that covers you for "photographer error", or non compliance?
If I sound like I am over cautious about the legal aspects of shooting a wedding, I am, and for good reason. Photographers, nowadays, are sued all the time for trivial matters, and sometimes it is by close friends.
I wish you well if you decide to shoot it.