I love weddings

Discussion in 'Weddings' started by Christopher Walrath, May 21, 2008.

  1. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    . . . but not at the working end of a camera. Sure I have shot quite a few weddings over the years and a couple have timely and financially saved my bacon. But generally I have taken myself out of the wedding circuit as of a year ago. I ahve one wedding I promised to a co worker coming up this fall but after that I don't think I'll ever do another one. I know if I've turned down one in the last year it's been twenty. Kinda like looking for chicks in a bar without a wedding band. Swing and a miss. I couldn't drag wedding business for anything. Now that I'm out, well . . .
     
  2. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Interesting. I like weddings normally...but I LOVE weddings when I am shooting!
     
  3. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I used to loath weddings, and only did them at the request of friends as a wedding gift. At my last drop in, however, things have changed. The kids today are less interested in the formal shots (though you still gotta get em, mostly for the moms) and more interested in really cool really fun stuff. And B&W!!! Ive done a couple, and I have to admit i enjoyed the work, Weird.
     
  4. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    I have only ever done two - both of them this month and both of them for friends at no charge.

    They were both fairly simple, only requiring some formal shots outside after the ceremony.

    As an added bonus, the father of the groom at the last one was so impressed that I was using film and a hand held RB67 that he is going to give me a couple of enlargers that he no longer uses!


    Steve.
     
  5. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    There is not enough money in this world to convince me to start shooting weddings. I've assisted a few, and I shot one for my cousin, as her wedding present. I literally saved her wedding, because the "pro" they hired shot the entire thing in 35mm, including the large group formals, and all the faces were tiny little dots, so you couldn't tell who was who. The "pro" also only had a 28, 35, and 50mm lenses, so the close-ups at the ceremony weren't very close-up either. I was happy enough to do the photos that I did as a wedding present and leave it at that, but I got a phone call telling me how my photos "saved the wedding", and they were going to place an order for reprints. Well, their 10th anniversary is coming up soon, and I haven't gotten the order yet. I'm sure they took the proofs to Ritz and made copies.

    Then there was the story from a co-worker about the time she almost got punched out by the (VERY drunk) father of the bride for making the bride cry. Why was the bride crying? Because daddy had fired the wedding photographer.
     
  6. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    Or go back to them. A-frickin-men.
     
  7. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I attended a wedding today, and the whole time I was thinking, "what a thankless job" (though of course they are "thanked" quite substantially when it comes time to pay up). I shot some candids at the rehearsal with my 2x3" Technika, but was happy not to have any camera on my person during the wedding or the reception. In the digital age the photographer and assistant are shooting thousands of shots plus there was a videographer, and the whole thing feels so overphotographed that any other cameras on the scene are overkill.
     
  8. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I love weddings too, especially since I no longer have to do them for the money, and can just be a guest.
     
  9. Joe Lipka

    Joe Lipka Member

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    I have only done one wedding. It was a wedding of American Civil War re-enactors. The wedding was done in period dress. They invited me because of my 5 x 7 view camera and period dress. ( I did reenactments for several years while working on a project.) It was a fun thing to do, but pretty stressful because of the nature of photographing large groups of people with a view camera.

    I gave up the re-enactment photography subject because of technological advancements. I was pretty hot stuff for a couple of years showing up with my big camera and canvas sack. I knew the end of my career was at hand when I spotted a black wagon and a tent at a re-enactment. I wander over and find a fellow photographer in the field. Portrait stand camera, brass barrel lens, a chair and head clamp. I could take that, but when he showed me how he was developing ambrotypes in oak buckets I pretty much knew I was finished. The march (backwards) of technology did me in.
     
  10. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    Contrast

    On the subject of weddings, and after been married for forty three years, I realise it's not an accident that the bride wears white,and the groom wears black :rolleyes:.
     
  11. Marco B

    Marco B Member

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    Since I've never shot a wedding, I can't comment from experience... but... a year ago or so I was in shop where a woman came in and told about her experiences as a wedding photographer and how she no longer considered it fun to do, because nowadays, by the time that you, as the professional wedding photographer (whether analog or d*****l) present your photos, the married couple is completely stumped by already having to go through hundreds of d*****l photos taken with cell phones, pocket cameras, mini cams and the like...
     
  12. Wolfeye

    Wolfeye Subscriber

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    Different people enjoy different challenges. Weddings are neither thankless jobs nor stressful when you do it right, and just like any other form of photography, there are many flavors of "right". 35mm is perfectly adequate for many, many weddings so I don't understand how that makes one a poor photographer, nor does a small selection of lenses. Gear is worthless without skill, and with skill, even limited gear can do a fine job.

    Whether we realize it or not, photography has been cheapened by digital. While we go about perfecting our chosen craft with film there are simple P&S digital cameras that take what most people consider "better" pictures. In the end it's the consumer who decides what is good. Just like brides do. They may actually prefer the (gasp!) digital picture aunt Mary took to the Hasselblad photo you took. Show those same two photos to bride X and she'll go gaga over the film shots.
     
  13. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    I agree. Mine was shot on 35mm. I didn't want any poster size prints done so it was fine.

    In fact, I now own the camera which was used for my wedding. A Nikon F601.

    It belonged to the wedding photographer who my father used to work for who shot my wedding for free - a very good price!


    Steve.
     
  14. Marc Akemann

    Marc Akemann Subscriber

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    I pretty much agree with Wolfeye. Up until a couple of years ago, I shot around 10 to 15 weddings a year. I wanted my weekends back so I replaced the weddings with other commercial work....some of which has ended up having to be shot on weekends anyway, darn it all! :wink: But all-in-all, if done right, the whole wedding photography experience (like anything else) can be a good experience and profitable. And, several of my past wedding clients still call me for photo shoots (family portraits, various events, work related subjects, etc.) and have become life-long friends. It's all about how we're built and outlook. :smile:

    Marc
     
  15. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    Hey, I wore black as well. Whaddya think it means? JJ. There's no better way to be. Just got an Aletta 4x5 and getting a 140mm f11 for Father's Day. WoooooHooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  16. Jack Lusted

    Jack Lusted Member

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    I've just got back from doing a wedding - not as a photographer but as a minister.
    As is the unfortunate custom, the bride was late, but just before she arrived the photographer turned up - a young woman (I guess) in her mid twenties, dressed to the nines but with a tripod and a couple of digicams.
    As far as I could tell she did a reasonable job - that is she did not get in my way or generally be a nuisance.
    After the service as I was clearing up she was fiddling with one of her cameras and I passed the usual pleasantry that goes on between priest and wedding photographer - that is ' well I've finished with them now good luck for the rest of the day' - or something like that. Well we had a short chat where she said that today was her first church wedding and, by the way, she hoped that I did not mind her taking her shoes off. I then noticed that her shoes had some very significant stiletto heels! She must have been in agony.
    I wished her well and she tottered off for the rest of her assignment.
    Perhaps at college it should have been mentioned that comfortable shoes are an essential part of your kit.
    I also wonder what style of shoe would go with what brand of camera - polished brogues with a Leica, hush-puppies with battered old Rolleiflex...

    Jack
     
  17. Wolfeye

    Wolfeye Subscriber

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    I had a wedding to shoot too, Saturday. All digital. The bride expressed desire to do some B&W shots on film, so I brought my Pentax 645 - but we ran out of time. I had an engagement shoot last Saturday where I did bring, and shoot, some Acros, but guess what? Got their first order on Wednesday and they bought not a single B&W image.

    Why can't people who don't appreciate B&W simply say so, instead of saying "Sure that might be nice." when I ask if they'd like some B&W images shot on film? My own fault. I should be silent unless they bring up film instead of pushing it like a pimp with only one ho. :smile:
     
  18. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I haven't found that to be the case in the first few that I have done, but to be fair, I have I followed a couple of practices to make sure of that from the git go.
     
  19. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    I am now officially retired

    My brother got married yesterday. The day was great. Things moved along smoothly. Due in great part to my expertise, I might say. No, I am not supergeust. I was the photographer. It fell on me (as it was a small wedding) to pin on the boutineers, announce the bridal party at the reception, tell the first time minister that in future he should insist no flash photography during the ceremony, generally keep things moving and, I'm missing something, um, oh yeah! I was the shutterbug as well.

    It was a good day and I must say I nailed it to a T. But it was my baby brother's wedding and I couldn't be just a guest. I do not want to be the family member that everyone turns to and says 'Hey, bring your camera so I don't have to afford someone I'm not related to.' As I said I was happy to do it. But never again. For anyone. I am now officially retired from wedding photography. Now gimme a piece'a damn cake!
     
  20. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    With everyone getting out of wedding photography, looks like it might be a pretty good time to get in!

    Not really. I'm sure for every quality photographer that calls it quits, there are thousands of college kids with DSLRs that will do it for $100 and spend 13 hours 'shopping out Uncle Ted.

    I'm curious as to what practices these are.
     
  21. archphoto

    archphoto Member

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    I did 2 of them here in Brazil, and I like it.
    It is not something that I am after though, but still.

    Peter
     
  22. Wolfeye

    Wolfeye Subscriber

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    My first wedding this year will be on Father's Day. It's an indoor-outdoor, non-church affair, at a local park. Not too stressful, but they do want a roll of 645 B&W. I'd normally shoot Acros without hesitation but I'm thinking Tmax 400 will give me the flexibility to shoot more indoor shots without flash. I'll be scouting the location tomorrow.
     
  23. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    I'm shooting my cousin's wedding next month. A very casual thing; registry office then the local pub. It'll be the couple and their parents only - if it was any bigger, I'd have said no. I'm going to use Pro400H if it's sunny and Superia 400 is it's overcast (a tip I read here on APUG, I think). In the evening at the pub (more guests then) I'm going to use Delta 3200 in the Muj II to get some nice candid snaps.
     
  24. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I think the most powerful one I use is called "pre-qualifying" as in I'm turning down almost as much work as I take. They don't realize it at the time, but while they are checking me out, I'm doing the same to them. Certain signals result in me referring them to someone else. It is a very powerful tool for having mostly positive experiences.

    The second trick is not to get involved in albums. I farm that over to someone who likes doing it. I can easily make up the revenue shooting more gigs, because I can take more as I'm not bogged down for a month or more handling the maddening trickle of minutia that producing albums entails.

    As far as the people who would hire a $100 DSLR kid, well, they aren't anywhere near my customer demographic, so they might as well not exist from my perspective.
     
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