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wedding shoot?
Old 05-07-2004, 04:43 AM   #1 (permalink)
val
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I agreed to shoot a few upcoming weddings. I know how to work a camera but am otherwise clueless. Any advice?
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Re: wedding shoot?
Old 05-07-2004, 05:01 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Val,
You don't really give any hint of your experience level, or when these weddings are taking place. Wedding photography is a very demanding job and definetly not for the faint of heart! It is a once in a life time experience for the couple (well for a lot of them anyway) and not a good place for us to practice our photography skills. You need to go into a wedding knowing what to do. And more importantly, knowing what to do when what you first thought you were going to do doesn't work! There are many talented photographers on this board and I'm sure many of them do wedding work. You will probably get answeres, but you need to ask more specific questions. Another place you may want to check into is Zuga.net. They have a very active wedding forum over there.
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Re: wedding shoot?
Old 05-07-2004, 06:32 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Seriously? You have agreed to take photographs at what is arguably one of the most important and emotional events in a person's life and you're clueless? I don't mean to sound, well, mean, but what the hell are you thinking?

I would back out of those shoots ASAP if I were you. If you really want to shoot the weddings, either as gifts to or favors for friends, fine - but as an "also" photographer - not as the primary photographer. Whenever I've been approached to shoot a wedding (and I have) I actually try to *discourage* them from hiring me telling them that the cake will be forgotten, the food will be forgotten, but the photos will remain forever. Cut corners *everywhere* but the photography.

If you're still going to do it, make DAMN sure your clients know up front that you're clueless. I'd even suggest putting it writing. If you have time before the big day, grab some friends and a few books on wedding photography (don't buy them - go to the public library first!) and practice on them. The money you spend on film and processing (or if you're lucky - digital) will be well invested as long as you learn.

But, I'd still back out of it - pronto.
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Re: wedding shoot?
Old 05-07-2004, 07:38 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Wow! Shooting a wedding for the first time...brings back memories. (I do 3 or 4 weddings a year.) Ed hit it on the button. Unless you have spent some time with another photographer shooting a wedding or attending a number of weddings to study how the photographers work, reconsider. But if you do it, here are a few things to consider.

1. Have a back-up for everything -- camera, flash, batteries, film (lots), cables, did I mention camera & flash. Look into a high power battery pack.
2. Visit the site ahead. You must know the routine so you can plan where to be at the appropriate time. Anticipate. I try to attend the rehersals if possible. Know where you are going. Know the route from church to reception site.
3. Work with the bride (the groom is along for the ride) to make sure you cover everything. Make sure she takes care of anyone that gets in your way, but don't discourage other photographers from shooting your set-ups, 'cause if something should ever happen, their film might save you.
4. Shooting formals, it helps to have an assistant help arrange everyone. It speeds things up and keeps your subjects from wantering away.
5. Use a processor that you trust. If you show up with missing film, the family will be all over you like ugly on a monkey.
6. Be professional.

7. Finally, have fun and put the couple at ease. Just because you can NEVER go back and repeat the event doesn't mean it can't be a great day.

Good Luck
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You have to be the coordinator
Old 05-07-2004, 07:42 AM   #5 (permalink)
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X's and O's of photography are one thing....knowing how it works, you will need a psych degree......

Be more specific on what you need help on. If you don't have a clue I suggest you raid a wedding before yours and pay attention to what is going on.








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Re: wedding shoot?
Old 05-07-2004, 08:41 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Last month's issue of "Popular Photography" had an article whose basic gist was "You agreed to shoot your friend's wedding - here's what to do so it won't be a total disaster." Your local bookstore or library may still have a copy of that issue in stock. There are also, if I recall, some articles on the topic at Zuga.net.

Fast, cheap approach: Ask all your married friends if you can look at their photo albums. Make notes: what works, what doesn't. Make a list of poses and *get those poses* at the wedding. As with almost all photography, you *cannot* take too many pictures at a wedding. (Although you can be too obnoxious about it and hardly take any at all.)

Not so cheap approach: A search on "Wedding Photography" returns 13,000 hits at Amazon. Get some books, get readin'. Alternatively, again, try your local library.

M
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