The Perfect Sunrise

by NULLZ

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33

How to Find a Second-Shooter Gig (A Brief Primer to the Somewhat harsh Realities of the Wedding Photography Industry) No, Really... How do I Find a Gig? The most reliable way to find high-quality second-shooter gigs is to research the photographers in your area, check out their websites, and directly contact any photographers whose work you like to give ...


33

Yes and no. I'm a professional event photographer and I run into this fairly frequently. I don't work a lot of weddings but I do many conferences and other less formal events where there are often other amateur/attendee photographers during an event. A skilled professional will be able to maneuver amongst a crowd including a crowd that involves other ...


32

It depends on your and the couple's expectations. No expectations? No problems. As the main shooter in getting high quality shots? Very difficult. Without experience? Pretty much impossible. Though it depends highly on the venue and how it is orchestrated. Outside before and after shots, pose shots, etc. are no problem, but the ceremony and reception ...


22

The answer to your question depends on what you mean by "photograph a wedding". You can certainly get some beautiful photos at a wedding with that setup, but it would be almost impossible to photograph the wedding in the way most people would expect, a 50mm on a 350D is just not wide enough. What some people don't realise is that there are couples who ...


21

NOTE: To some extent my answer is 'US-centric' being as I've never had to price my photography in another country. If you're not in the US, your mileage may vary. Never, ever base your price on what other photographers in your area are charging. You have no way of knowing what their expenses are, and thus you have no way of knowing what their profit margin ...


19

I've shot plenty of wedding cakes (all on location) and whilst the techniques vary I can offer some general advice on the location side of things to complement Stan's fine answer on lighting techniques. Lighting wise I use a bounced hotshoe flash whenever there's a white or neutral ceiling. Otherwise it's ambient light. One way cakes are not like people is ...


18

That may well be their photos on the website. Even people who are not that good will produce one really good photo per wedding. If people have been doing weddings for a long time they can usually produce a great portfolio whilst each wedding is not so good. This is the biggest problem with looking for photographers on the web but there are a few tips: Ask ...


17

First I'd like to address the other comments. They are correct if you present yourself as a professional photographer. While it may sound "snooty," it's true that you can't properly do a wedding unless you have some serious glass. You should have a collection that gives you 17mm-200mm and f/2.8 along that entire range. Prime is always better, but a 17-55 ...


15

As other commenters suggest, you're in for a world of hurt if you're the primary photographer with no experience. It's not really the equipment that's the problem (you can rent what you need and bill the couple), but rather the fact that wedding photography is hard and there are no do-overs. I suggest you check out this article over at the LensRentals blog ...


15

I'm not a photog pro (let alone a Wedding photog pro), but I think that in a world where every phone is a camera, and almost every camera around is a phone, it is non-realistic to put such a phrase ("no other photography should take place during event") in the contract.


15

You are right, a wedding is hard to do. But it is not impossible and we all have to start somewhere. One of the biggest challenges is going to be staying ahead of the program and getting in the right spot at the right time. Much of wedding photography is being prepared for the "next shot", getting yourself positioned and close enough to the action, and ...


14

There's a difference in "doing it as a wedding present" (for friends/family) and "doing it return for money". The "must have"s stay the same, but I would expect a professional to cover most of the "should have"s too. Having the right equipment There are three main groups of kit, the "must", the "should" and the "nice to": Must have Camera Lens ...


14

I did a wedding earlier this year, and having never done one before had the same fears as you. For me, the following points were very important: Talk to the bride & groom in advance. Discuss what they want from you out of the day. They are the MOST IMPORTANT thing for you to consider. They may ask for formal shots at the church, or informal shots at ...


14

This is not a silly post in the matter of an amateur that gets asked to work paying gigs. If your work is satisfactory, it is very common to initially have close friends and family consider you for their photography needs. As word of mouth continues, of course even people outside of your immediate contacts will pick up on your skills and engage in business ...


13

I do have various clauses, 'act of god,' 'exclusivity of photographer,' etc. as others have outlined in their answers, and (assuming you're based in the US, YMMV if you're elsewhere) you should have these sorts of clauses too, if nothing else for the following reasons... Unlike many of the photographers I personally know in the city I live and work, I walk ...


13

On crop sensor cameras such as the 7D, 60D, etc Canon only makes one lens that really fits the bill. The Canon 17-55mm f/2.8 IS is the bread and butter of this range. Many full frame photographers keep a crop sensor camera around just to be able to use a lens with IS in this range, with this aperture, on a zoom. The 24-70mm f/2.8 L is the closest ...


13

Comparing the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM against the Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 APO EX DG HSM OS FLD you will find that the Canon excels in almost every aspect, and the price reflects that. Sharpness The Sigma lens provides a very compelling option on a crop sensor camera. It performs well when stopped down to f/4.0 and beyond. The issue is that in ...


12

I strongly, strongly suggest that you get a zoom lens, something like the 17-50 mm Sigma f/2.8 (or it's older brother, the 18-50mm). I suggest this because you will not have time for recomposition by changing position; a wedding is an event that will happen quickly, and you'll need a tool that will let you get the angles and the shots you need as they ...


12

I'd (strongly) consider renting a lens or two: Try them out and figure out what works for you. You can afford to use better lenses than you can afford to buy right now. Remember that even though you're just starting out at this, and may not have the money to buy the best lenses, the people getting married will only (we hope) be doing this once. At least ...


12

Your question is about two separate clauses, and I believe they both should be in a well formed wedding photography contract. Exclusivity clauses will point out that the hired professional is the exclusive photographer for the event. Clients take responsibility for notifying guests that they must not interfere with the paid photographers duties. This does ...


12

There's some great advice in the other answers. One clause you might want to add is one that specifies that you aren't liable for any restrictions imposed by the venue. If the bride hired you based on some neat lighting effect you are known for, but you show up and the church officiant decides he won't allow any flash photography, you don't want to be on ...


11

Most important tip: if your friends did ask you to take photos of their wedding and you are entirely new to this kind of photography: DO NOT DO IT. Really. Spare yourself and your friends (possibly they are not your friends anymore) the disappointment. Hire a professional (they are not this expensive) and take photos along with him (ask him beforehands, ...


11

If I were in your position I would have all of that plus a written agreement stating that the couple understand that you are not a professional wedding photographer, you are doing this as a favour (and in the process saving them hundreds of dollars), and thus they cannot complain (or sue you) if the results are in any way not as good as they are expecting. ...


11

I've not needed to do this yet (despite pressure from a would-be-mother-in-law) but I would suggest asking the photographer if you can see the full set of photos (s)he took on their most recent shoot. You have to bear in mind that a photographer's portfolio only shows you their best shots which could just be luck and offers no indication of how consistent ...


11

I have shot with the Canon EF70-200mm and the Sigma 70-200mm. I've included a 100% screenshot of an image made a couple of weeks ago with the Sigma lens: The image was made at f/13 under studio lighting, but as you can see, it's sharp as a tack, and I was using the autofocus. My impression of the lenses are these: Canon is a touch faster to autofocus ...


11

Wow, are you hosed. You tell them the price before you start. Its too late now. Traditionally, wedding photographers made all their money off prints. If you give them soft copies, you cut yourself out of that profit stream. Bay Area, NYC, Chicago, etc. I wouldn't consider doing a shoot unless I got at least $100 per hour for my time. Plus I'd want more to ...


10

Don't fret...too much. Eruditass suggested becoming a second if you want to learn weddings. This is a good suggestion for the long run. I'm guessing that your cousins are on a tight budget, don't want or can't come up with the cash for a pro AND would be "honored" if you shot it for them. Am I right? Here's the cool part. If you do end up shooting their ...


10

It depends on who asked you. If you were asked by the main photographer, she's your boss. Generally, you do what she asks you to do, and if you have your own ideas, you may express them, but she has the final word - because she has taken the responsibility for recording the event. If she asks you to assist her, so be it - you have the common goal of ...



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