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Author Topic: Shooting weddings  (Read 3605 times)

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CJH

« on: December 30, 2015, 11:41 »
0
A microstock board might not be the place to go with those-but you people happen to be the people I know.  I made a commitment to grow my photography business in 2016 including more event photography.  I wasn't really thinking weddings.  But people are starting to think I am a photographer (probably because of the long white lens)  So, I have been asked to price a wedding and I would like to make a bid but I am nervous because I have never done a wedding.  So, anybody got some tips that will help me get some know-how? I am thinking of taking an online course with the NY Institute of Photography, but I don't know how good they are.  It's one of those I am nervous because I don't have the experience but there's only one way to get the experience situations.  Any helpful hints?  I'm not afraid to invest in education and/or equipment to enter this field, but I don't want to throw money away and not learn anything.


ShadySue

« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2015, 11:54 »
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If you're in the US, you might also consider checking out Creative Live's wedding tutorials, there are lots and they're on offer (30% off) until tomorrow. Usually you can see one segment free to see the tutor's style.
I specify 'if you're in the US', because the style is nothing like what I'm seeing here (though I'm not in the business) and the prices they're talking about charging are eye-watering.

« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2015, 12:09 »
+1
Big money if you can get the right gigs. Especially in the USA. I've talked to several people over the years who have worked in, shall we say the "more affordable" end of the business.
I can't think of one of them who wasn't glad to be out of it.

CJH

« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2015, 13:23 »
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Thanks for the feedback.   I will check into Creative Live's site.  Yeah, classes can be expensive and sometimes you don't get much value.   Difydave.  My initial reaction was to bid low because I don't have experience, but I am trying NOT to get into the "affordable" market.  The wedding is in September 2016.  If I decide to bid it, I am going to go middling to high and work like crazy to get everything together and do a great job.   Do that a few times and that start going for the high end.

I have enough experience with racing to the bottom on pricing in the stock photography world.  *lol*

« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2015, 13:58 »
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Very wise. A lot of people in any business that offers a service think that they will "start cheap" to get work, and then raise prices as they go along.
All that usually happens is that they start cheap and go bust after 12 months because they're not making any money.
Good luck!

« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2015, 14:00 »
+1
The best advice I have heard is to be a second shooter to a wedding photographer for a year.

If you are on Facebook, there is a group - I think it's called Shoot & Share that has a ton of wedding photographers. Just remember that most of what you read is venting (people don't usually "explode" with the beautiful stuff - and it's a closed group so the right place to do it:)  A lot of good talk about contracts and situations on the group.

CJH

« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2015, 14:04 »
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Thank you!   I think sometimes we photogs are our own worse enemies.   Why would I want to contribute to driving down prices so nobody can make a living?  I will just concentrate on proving that I can produce images that take more than just a fancy camera.  Also, I majored in Econ in college and have an MBA.  It's kind of funny, but in some businesses people that pay a higher price will tend to be more pleased with the service than people that got "a good deal."  Even if the quality is actually the same!   Who wants to feel like they got bargain basement service for a wedding?

Thank you, Pixart.  I think it would be hard to be a second shooter in this town.  The businesses are small and not necessarily interested in training the competition.  I am going to look into that Shoot & Share group, though.  Learning from people that are doing what you are doing is awesome!

« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2015, 14:55 »
+1
If you really want to be a wedding photographer, Id suggest best route to go is to work a few weddings as an assistant. Do a Google search to find out who is trying to get wedding gigs in your town, and email those photographers, letting them know you are available.

If you get your own gigs, you need to have several people that could be an assistant to you, too. Also, you need a backup or two, should you not be able to shoot (think hospitalization because of an auto accident, for example. A bride is going to ask you about your contingency before she books you.)

Before actually booking any weddings, make sure you have a second camera, flash, etc. Always have a backup of everything. Extra batteries, for sure. Highly recommend a grip so you could use AA batteries, if you need to do so. Extra cards, too.  And many venues will require you to have insurance in place, and demand an insurance certificate from you agent before you can work the wedding.

Get to know where you could rent a camera or lens, in case of an emergency.

One more thing to consider: plan to work long hours on Saturdays!
I could go on, but this will give you plenty to think about as you mull over if you really want to do this.

« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2015, 15:23 »
+1
You never really know if your "comfortable shoes" are comfortable until you shoot a wedding. 

CJH

« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2015, 15:53 »
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I really like the idea of getting some "hands-on" experience as an assistant.  Maybe not so much with the entrenched photographers in our little town, but maybe from the nearest big town/city.  I didn't start out wanting to be a wedding photography, but if people are going to start asking I need to at least think about it.

« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2015, 16:32 »
+2
You will, as a wedding photographer, have a radius of where you will work. In my area, it was about 50 miles (generally).  You will get less resistance from those other photographers out of town. Consider too that you will need proper clothing (I own a tux from my shooting wedding shooting days). Today, it seems like dressing in total black is the norm, at least in my area. I always asked my brides what they want me to wear.

One other thing - probably the most important thing of all - is your contract. Don't even think about booking a single wedding without having an iron-clad agreement prepared and ready to present to your bridal client. Make certain your agreement says you will never be liable for more than the amount you charged for the photography. (Some of those bridal books say you can sue the photographer if your wedding is ruined.)  You will also have to decide about deposits and if it is nonrefundable.

All of this make microstock photography sound simple, right?

CJH

« Reply #11 on: December 31, 2015, 12:46 »
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Yes, it sure does!   Good point about the contract-I hadn't thought of potentially being sued for the whole cost of the wedding!  :o

marryanderson322

  • Photographer-retoucher
« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2017, 17:30 »
0
Watch some tutorials etc. Or as it has been already said try to be a second photographer on a wedding


 

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