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

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  1. #1
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    Ok, hold the laughter ...ME a wedding photographer!???

    Last night I received this message on my phone, " Hi, Denise my name is Angelica. I was looking at your website and just love your work. I wanted to know if you do weddings. I'm getting married in September and I'm looking to hire a good photographer."

    *GASP*!

    Additonal info I have is that it is a small wedding (75 guests), it is in my hometown and I would be the sole photographer!!

    I am suppose to call her today at 11:00 to discuss it further!

    There are a number of reasonably priced wedding photographers listed on my local craigslist that she could have contacted. Maybe she has, maybe she's shopping but to contact me!? No, I don't do weddings, never done a wedding ...BUT, very hard to turn down the opportunity when I desperately need the income! Maybe this is a godsend in disguise?

    First question - Should I even be considering this!? My thought is to provide a service at a very low economical price to people that might not otherwise be able to afford the service at all. Maybe that is the case here, I don't know. Also, I would be totally up front with her regarding my inexperience and leave the decision up to her. Maybe she'll decide it is in her best interest not to hire me and I am sweating this for nothing but she already knows I don't show weddings on my website nor do I mention them in my ad on craigslist.

    Second question - What are the top things I would need (to rent mostly) for gear? I have sold all of my best pro equipment! Also, I would need an extra camera, cards etc.! Yet, I don't want to put every penny I make from the job into the job! How many camera batteries, flash batteries, cards are we usually talking for a wedding anyway? I think I would have to rent a 5d II and a 35mm 1.4?

    Third question - When I talk to her today, what are some things that I should be asking that I may not be thinking of?

    Any input this morning before I talk to her would seriously be very appreciated! Have a great day guys!

  2. #2
    Denise, if I was inexperienced I would not take the job. I could do simple stuff like photographing my neighbours kids but I would not take on a wedding alone withouth knowing I could do I good job. As an assistant it would be ok though. Just my thoughts. :-)

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Rasmussen View Post
    Denise, if I was inexperienced I would not take the job. I could do simple stuff like photographing my neighbours kids but I would not take on a wedding alone withouth knowing I could do I good job. As an assistant it would be ok though. Just my thoughts. :-)
    Now that the shock has worn off, that is what I am thinking! It was flattering to be considered but when I talk to her later, I will politely decline. Sure would have been nice to pull it off though!

    IMO, if I have to ask as many questions as I have in this post ...I'm not ready. I need to wait until I have some of the advice to offer and not all the questions to ask!

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    My thoughts in order to your questions;

    1, You have very good photography skills. Your skills are probably higher than many "wedding" photographers that are professional now. But there is more to it than the technical side. I think that as long as you are honest with her, and do not oversell yourself and then she decides to use you then it is ok. Be up front and honest just as you are here. If she is ok with it then, sure go for it because she has assumed the risk, most likely so she could save money.

    2, Stick with your 7D and another if possible. Don't switch equipment at such an important time, it might backfire. Of course a 5D II works similar to a 7D, but what if some unknown pops up and you get a set of bad pictures.

    3, One question after she decides to hire you, "Are you sure you understand that I have never photographed a wedding, and I want to make sure you are comfortable with this?"


    Out of the many “I am going to be new a wedding photographer” posts I have seen on this site, I would say you are the one I would say go and do it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HDNitehawk View Post
    My thoughts in order to your questions;

    1, You have very good photography skills. Your skills are probably higher than many "wedding" photographers that are professional now. But there is more to it than the technical side. I think that as long as you are honest with her, and do not oversell yourself and then she decides to use you then it is ok. Be up front and honest just as you are here. If she is ok with it then, sure go for it because she has assumed the risk, most likely so she could save money.

    2, Stick with your 7D and another if possible. Don't switch equipment at such an important time, it might backfire. Of course a 5D II works similar to a 7D, but what if some unknown pops up and you get a set of bad pictures.

    3, One question after she decides to hire you, "Are you sure you understand that I have never photographed a wedding, and I want to make sure you are comfortable with this?"


    Out of the many “I am going to be new a wedding photographer” posts I have seen on this site, I would say you are the one I would say go and do it.
    Thank you! I feel I have a good grasp on what she as a bride would want to see in the final images and I have reviewed many of the local wedding photographers websites and can see what I would and would not do. I know what I would want to capture is I guess what I am saying. I know what my daughter ended up with from an expensive "professional wedding photographer" and I look at those photos now and think OMG, what was he thinking! So many of the outdoor ones show so much shadow!

    There is a local professional wedding photographer posted on craigslist and I guess it's not proper to post the link here but all of her shots of weddings on her website, the photos are blown out! I was looking at her site online last night and wondering is that suppose to be a romantic way of doing it? I didn't find it appealing at all! I can see applying maybe a softness in post to give it a romantic look. Is there a special techinque used in capturing wedding photos that is different than in other types of photography? For example, if I were to take a photo of a white bird, I would want to try and capture as much detail in that bird as possible. Yet, in the photos I was looking at last night, the wedding dress was just blown out white in every shot, no detail at all.

    I know what I would want to try and capture. The question is, can I make the brides vision a reality. I would do my best I would most definitely be up front with her on my inexperience. My youngest daughter is willing to come with as my assistant and help in any way she can, say if I take outdoor shots, she would hold a reflector, etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ddt0725 View Post
    I know what I would want to try and capture. The question is, can I make the brides vision a reality. I would do my best I would most definitely be up front with her on my inexperience. My youngest daughter is willing to come with as my assistant and help in any way she can, say if I take outdoor shots, she would hold a reflector, etc.
    There is nothing wrong with taking the job if you have been honest and upfront.
    After you talk to the person, if they want to save money and use you, they are grown adults and can make that decision for themselves. You do not have to second guess the decision.
    Take the job if offered.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by HDNitehawk View Post
    Out of the many “I am going to be new a wedding photographer” posts I have seen on this site, I would say you are the one I would say go and do it.
    +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?

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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.

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    Wink Better than you think...

    Hi Denise!

    I haven't been on here in a while, but just looked today and wanted to say that I agree with some of the others. Your photography is much better than many wedding photographers out there. Here's how I have prepared to shoot weddings and would suggest the same for you:

    APPRENTICE with a GOOD-QUALITY, full-time (or at least full-time during wedding season) photographer in your area. Do maybe three weddings as their assistant. Preferably for a little pay, but even just to be AT a wedding and learn the flow. That's the hardest part. You know the gear, you know the editing. The only thing is: If you aren't in the right spot at JUST the right time, you won't get the shot.

    After you get maybe three second-shooter weddings under your belt, THEN I'd definitely try to get a wedding every now and then and just go from there. I think you'll do much better than you think! Also, yeah rent a 5DMkII or a MarkIII preferably, as it's a better camera and it's more similar to your 7D. Hell after a few maybe you can afford to upgrade to the MarkIII

    So you'll only be charging $65 and hour, of which $10 of it goes to an assistant? Hmm.. I was thinking 90-100 per hour. $400 is very very reasonable, in fact perhaps too reasonable. I'm actually shooting a wedding TODAY for $750, and I only gave them that discount because they referred a client to me that I made some good money from, so I agreed to a lower-price as a thank you. I have to spend $100 to rent a car to drive the 45 min south to shoot it for the day, plus $150 to rent a 5DMk3, of which I already own (just need it as a backup camera!) I'll leave in a few hours to shoot it. I'm only making $500 but it's ALL profit. Granted I've shot a few weddings before, I'm still not a "wedding photographer" yet... hmm... are YOU comfortable with the $400 price? I think that's the question!

    - Jordan
    www.freshphotoblog.com

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jordan View Post
    Hi Denise!

    I haven't been on here in a while, but just looked today and wanted to say that I agree with some of the others. Your photography is much better than many wedding photographers out there. Here's how I have prepared to shoot weddings and would suggest the same for you:

    APPRENTICE with a GOOD-QUALITY, full-time (or at least full-time during wedding season) photographer in your area. Do maybe three weddings as their assistant. Preferably for a little pay, but even just to be AT a wedding and learn the flow. That's the hardest part. You know the gear, you know the editing. The only thing is: If you aren't in the right spot at JUST the right time, you won't get the shot.

    After you get maybe three second-shooter weddings under your belt, THEN I'd definitely try to get a wedding every now and then and just go from there. I think you'll do much better than you think! Also, yeah rent a 5DMkII or a MarkIII preferably, as it's a better camera and it's more similar to your 7D. Hell after a few maybe you can afford to upgrade to the MarkIII

    So you'll only be charging $65 and hour, of which $10 of it goes to an assistant? Hmm.. I was thinking 90-100 per hour. $400 is very very reasonable, in fact perhaps too reasonable. I'm actually shooting a wedding TODAY for $750, and I only gave them that discount because they referred a client to me that I made some good money from, so I agreed to a lower-price as a thank you. I have to spend $100 to rent a car to drive the 45 min south to shoot it for the day, plus $150 to rent a 5DMk3, of which I already own (just need it as a backup camera!) I'll leave in a few hours to shoot it. I'm only making $500 but it's ALL profit. Granted I've shot a few weddings before, I'm still not a "wedding photographer" yet... hmm... are YOU comfortable with the $400 price? I think that's the question!

    - Jordan
    www.freshphotoblog.com
    Thanks for the advice, Jordan and good luck on your wedding today!! Hopefully, after I have done more than zero of these, I will be able to walk away with a profit that I am proud of! In the meantime, this is the only offer I have to gain any experience at the moment. It is 3-5 minutes from my house, it's small and I am not renting any equipment. I will be putting myself through a great deal of stress I know but I will walk away with some experience in wedding photography, contracts and pricing, post-processing, spending time on an assignment with my daughter and allowing a couple to have some lasting memories from their big day that they obviously would not have been able to do otherwise. IMO, all of this priceless!

    So, yeah I am ok with it! Would I like to be making more $ from it, sure! But it is what it is and since I am not doing anything else, the most I am giving up is chilling on here with you guys (sigh ) on the evening of September 29th and I will be editing their photos instead of my own afterwards of which I can use for my own benefit in the future.

    As much as I could use more of a financial benefit from doing this, sometimes you just have to look at the non-monetary value of something.

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