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Thread: Ok, hold the laughter ...ME a wedding photographer!???

  1. #31
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    +1 for Steve's comments

    Denise, some of the comments so far I have a thought on;
    1, A contract, in my state a proposal acts as the contract if an official agreement is not signed. Nothing wrong with writing up a proposal and describing your fees and all the other things you need to address with her.
    2, She hired you because of your pictures on your site. Did you rent lighting for these? I bet not. I say be honest with her, describe what equipment you are bringing as backup. If she wants backup flashes or other equipment she would have to pay for it. You can explain your set up in a proposal.
    3, You told her your abilities and that you would shoot the wedding, backup photographers cost money if she wants one. You could mention this to her, explaining that while you will try and get all the important shots you are only one person. If she wants backup it costs.
    4, I think you will need a release to use the photos later for advertising.
    5, Shoot this event with the resources you have. Go to the venue days in advance and test to see what your best lighting situation would be.

  2. #32
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    I so very much appreciate all of the information and opinions posted so far! It is incredible how this really helps a person brainstorm and think things through! I am so torn on this though! I feel one minute I think I can do this and the next I don't think I am ready for this!

    Here's where my thinking is at the moment (hopefully my 70+ wpm typing speed is fast enough before my thinking changes) ...

    #1 This came so out of the blue at a time where I really need it most ...a blessing from above ...maybe.
    #2 I could not ask for a better location, 5 mins. or less from home.
    #3 I think that with it not being a large wedding will most definitely be a good starting point.
    #4 I definitely need to meet with them soon to discuss their expectations and specifics of what they will want. I get the impression that she is grateful to have a photographer at all. I would love to give her so much more than what she is anticipating!
    #5 I threw a price out there without thinking ...$65/hr., $150 for a DVD and a photo gallery on my website for them to have printed professionallly what they choose to. I had mentioned that they could print and post online what they want off the DVD but I would want rights to use their photos on my website portfolio, etc. I don't know if all of this is a correct way to do it or not ...babe in the woods comes to mind! I do not know if it is proper for me to have my logo on those photos on the DVD(??)
    #6 I know lighting will be a huge handicap for me and I have approx. 50 days to practice, practice, practice!! This is a link to the place the wedding and reception is being held. If it weren't it being a late afternoon wedding it looks like natural window light sure would have been a benefit!
    http://womansclubkenosha.org/club-facility-rental

    Hopefully, I will be talking to her again this evening or tomorrow and have this decided one way or another! It's a tough decision! I don't want to ruin the most important day of their lives but I don't want to turn my back on an opportunity like this either when it comes knocking at my door! I know, if I don't do this, most likely I will never do this!

  3. #33
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    It all sounds reasonable to me for your first time out.

  4. #34
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    Anyone know of any typical prewritten contracts where you write individual specifics in an addendum? Just wondering.

  5. #35
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    http://wedding-photographers-directo...contracts.aspx

    Found this one earlier, just follow the links they have several.

  6. #36
    Moderator Steve U's Avatar
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    You know where it is happening you know when. Have a practice run shooting at the time and you then work out some location suggestions which work best with the available lighting. Using walls trees varying heights the sky whatever to you think. Ask about props hats parasols anything the bride might have in mind.
    When you scout with your daughter you will be amazed by the ideas you come up with.
    Remember the ceremony and reception shots will be duplicated by other people it is your shots alone with the bride and then those with the groom that will be different to everybody elses.
    This is an opportunity to sieze and will hopefully open many more doors for you.
    Steve U
    Wine, Food and Photography Student and Connoisseur

  7. #37
    Senior Member iND's Avatar
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    I recently wrote this for another post but I pasted it here for you.

    I've been doing weddings for 15 years, so if you need any advice I will be glad to tell you what I know from experience. Just send me a note.

    Hope this helps:

    Advice:

    Be prepared. (I've run marathons that were less exhausting).
    IT IS NOT ABOUT THE EQUIPMENT
    LET ME REPEAT
    IT IS NOT ABOUT THE EQUIPMENT

    ITS ABOUT KNOWING WHERE TO BE WHEN.

    Know your equipment and do not use cameras and lenses you are not extremely familiar with.
    Have a back up camera of the same type as your primary. (this is a must) Spare batteries, cards, flash.

    Know your bride, you have to sit down with her before the wedding, days before the wedding.
    Know what she wants and then try not to bother her the day of.

    Go to the rehearsal, ask to set the lighting to the level of the ceremony.
    Take test shots during the rehearsal.
    Know your light.
    Use no flash whenever possible, but know the limits of your depth of field.
    I use single point focus in the church with low apertures and make sure my bride is in focus ALL the time.
    The hardest shot is always the bride coming down the aisle.
    Dont let the bride be out of focus, and don't blow out the dress.

    Move around discretely. Dress appropriately and try to not be noticed. Dress like a guest but do not stand out.
    Ask the church if they have any rules about where you can and can stand during the ceremony.

    Know the sequence of events.
    Where is the bride getting ready
    Where is the groom getting ready
    Can you cover both locations?

    Know where your bride is at all times.
    Make a shot list of MUST get shots (ie bride putting on dress)

    Have a assistant help you carry stuff.
    I use three cameras during the wedding each with a different lens and different settings.
    Its not about having the right lens, its about being in the right places and having a camera ready to capture the moment.
    I recommend beginners only concentrate on journalist style. Tell you bride to act like you are not there.
    Plan to capture the day, and to tell a story, with the layout.
    DO NOT PROMISE TO GIVE OUT YOUR JPEGS. ONLY GIVE OUT YOUR BEST.
    GET EVERY SHOT THE BRIDE WANTS. GET EVERY GROUP SHE WANTS, GET EVERY AUNT AND GREAT AUNT THAT SHE WANTS.
    Get to the reception hall before everyone else to take the tables and the small details.
    (Figure how to do this when you are still at the church or doing off site shooting and everyone is off to the reception hall except you, can you do this the night before? Ask at the rehearsal, or have a second shooter)

    Are there pictures at the church of family? There are techniques to save time here if you are on a tight schedule.
    Leave 10 min for each group. (these always take longer than the bride thinks)
    Everyone wants photos but no one wants to take the time for them.
    If you have a lot of groups the bride need to know how much time this will take. (ahead of time)
    Dont be a source of frustration for you bride.
    This is her day and EVERYTHING needs to be about her.
    Maids of honor are usually not much help but it helps to try to bond with the best man and maid of honor. (they can be of help)

    Will there be off site photos between the church and the reception.
    If so you need to scope this out ahead of time, at the same time of day, look for locations and the best light.
    Know what you are going to do before you get there.
    You must be able to organize groups. (they may be drinking at his time, don't ride with anyone, get your own driver)

    Do groups by starting with the large groups and work down.
    You will not be able to reassemble the crowd once they scatter.
    Same idea for church groups. Try to place your bride and add people around her. Dont keep moving the bride.
    You need someone to help you look at your groups as you concentrate on the camera setting. Think how people should be grouped.
    Watch how people are turned, watch how hands are hanging and mens coats not hanging correctly.
    This is not the time to try something new.
    Dont let there be equipment problems. Bring enough of everything.
    Know your flash and how to change settings without thinking about it.

    Try to eat when you can, and drink plenty of water.
    Wear comfortable shoes. Don't drink alcohol.

    The reception: know your shot list and when things are going to happen, first dances, cake cutting, tosses? These happen quickly dont get caught sleeping.
    Work the room and take at least one shot at each table.

    The night before the wedding go over in your mind what is going to happen the whole day.

    Equipment advice:
    If you only hand a 24-70mm 2.8 you could do the whole wedding just fine.
    Dont get over involed with more lenses unless you have more bodies to keep them on.
    As soon as you change to a prime your wish you had your zoom back on.
    My three cameras for the day:

    In the church (no flash)
    5D 24-70mm 2.8
    5D 70-200mm 2.8
    5D 24mm prime 1.8

    Reception
    5D 24-70mm with 580EX all night.

    Outdoors
    5D 24-70mm 2.8 (with 580EX if I need fill flash)
    5D 70-200 2.8
    5D 85mm 1.4 prime


    Its a marathon if you are alone. Be rested, prepared.
    Push the ISO instead of missing shots.
    Good luck

  8. #38
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    The best way to learn is to be in, just a bit, over your head. Good luck, Denise.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by neuroanatomist View Post
    +1 on this. Your evident skill behind the camera, and the fact that you know the right questions to ask (and no one had to tell you that you need two cameras, etc.), mean you can do this. As Rick states, be up front and honest. Wedding photography is part skill, part personality, and part experience, and I think you've got the first two covered.

    Ok, so it's now after 11am CDT - how did the conversation go?
    Thanks, John! It is that 3rd part that has me scared to death! But if I don't, I will always wonder if I could have.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by HDNitehawk View Post
    http://wedding-photographers-directo...contracts.aspx

    Found this one earlier, just follow the links they have several.
    This is extremely helpful! Thank you so much for providing the link! It certainly covers everything and gives me details to think about that I hadn't thought of already!

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