Where's the Wedding togs?

Discussion in 'Weddings' started by djorourke, Feb 9, 2009.

  1. djorourke

    djorourke Member

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    Kinda sad to see so few wedding photographers still using film.

    I use a hybrid myself. Nikon digital gear and Bronica 645 gear. Lately I've even contemplated going totally film. I'm just getting a better look with my film work, and I prefer the work flow.
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    There are a few on APUG, Matt Wells (Matt5791) shoots film, Colour and B&W.

    There is a call for film photography for weddings and there's also a largely untapped potential for a high class B&W wedding service. I shot a few B&W weddings back in the 90's where the customers wanted something different from the usual, they approached me because they knew me for my B&W landscape work.

    Ian

    Ian
     
  3. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    I got out of the wedding business a few years ago, though I will begrudgingly occasion the needs of a friend in dire straits. I was shooting with my Mamiyas but I ditched them to fund the jump to 4x5. Now I just whip out my Nikon N65 and have at it. At least it's less gear to keep track of.

    Oh, and I push B&W whenever possible. If I shoot both, more often than not the B&G order by and large the B&W work.
     
  4. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    There are work flows and approaches to using film for weddings. The first thing to realize is you can't get the el cheapos, you have to abandon them, or offer the cheaper service. The film service must offered on the basis of results, not process, ie the prints tell the tale, not the words. The best way to tell the tale is with the prints, as computer monitors can't convey the subtle differences. After a year of pushing it, I am having a great deal of success with my alt process portrait and boudoir work. It's when friends of the first few saw the actual prints in the homes of the clients that the phone went off. You could post em on the web till the cows come home. Turns out they have to see it to get it, because that is the product, and the product is far more than an image if you are doing it correctly.
     
  5. Gary Holliday

    Gary Holliday Member

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    I'll add myself to the list also. When someone rings me up, I'll send them out a few prints. I target the higher end and leave the cheap, disc only packages to the bottom feeders.
     
  6. Alex M

    Alex M Member

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  7. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    When someone asks me to photograph their wedding, I suggest they get two or three friends with cameras to do the ceremony, and a bunch of one-use film cameras and put them on all the tables at the reception (because if the ask me, they are too cheap to pay a pro.) And if they are good enough friends, I offer to take one image with the 8x10.

    Vaughn
     
  8. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    I'm retooling toward all film weddings.

    I like Vaughn's idea of one great shot too. I want to provide a very limited amount of shooting and a well-defined set of prints. One of the things that I found in digital was that too much choice is not good for the client or for me.

    I'm thinking 4 - 36 exposure rolls of 35mm and 2 rolls of 120 in a TLR, for a wedding with 50-75 people will be more than enough.
     
  9. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    I would have thought that would be plenty.

    I can't quite believe what I read on other forums occasionally about brides expecting 1000 - 2000 images. What for?

    I'm sure there are no more than sixty pictures in my wedding album.



    Steve.
     
  10. Riccis

    Riccis Member

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    Hey, guys:

    As Alex pointed out, I am a 100% film shooter. I came back from digital because of the look of film and better workflow (for me) as my business is better suited if I dedicate my time to networking with coordinators and photo editors instead of sitting behing my computer post-processing my digital images to look like film.

    I am not an anti-digital person as I just got an M8.2 but just love documenting my work with M7s and B&W film instead... If you are interested in hearing more about my philosophy, please download from iTunes (http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=291806626) a recent interview I did for the Inside Analog radio show.

    Cheers,

    Riccis

    web. www.riccisvalladares.com
    blog. www.riccisblog.com
    flickr. www.flickr.com/photos/riccis
     
  11. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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    I agree. I'm reminded of something I just read on an RSS feed from I forget where. Photoshop News? Anyway, the guy said something about 12,000 images taken and 250 gigs. He also mentioned something like 70 gigs of photos taken in one 24 hour period.

    Wow. I don't think I've ever been inspired or 'inspired' like that.
     
  12. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

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    I enjoyed the interview, and it's great to see you on APUG!
     
  13. AutumnJazz

    AutumnJazz Member

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    I would LOVE to hear some horror stories. I am a sucker for those, in any industry. :D
     
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  15. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    What for? Well neither the bride nor many digital togs know better. The end use is not considered well, many digital shooters don't charge properly for post, and "more-is-always-better" right?

    Just delivered an album that ended up with about 100 images in it, from over 2,000 shots at the wedding. It was a job from when I was all into digital. Total PITA. 1 in 40 sold. Processing and sorting and weeding through 2000 shots is a lot of work for the client and for me.

    Another wedding shot within days of that by another local wedding tog and 2 helpers ended with about 7,000 shots in 8 hours.

    The technical term for this is "spray-and-pray".

    About that time I found some info from PPA, (I'm paraphrasing by memory so take these numbers with a grain of salt) the average film wedding job sold about 80 images from under 400 total shots and an average digital wedding sold about 5-10 more from about 1200 shots.

    Once I figured out that as soon as I had my shot volume in control, digital would become the high cost alternative because of all the upgrades and depreciation. That was the beginning of the end of digital for me.

    I'd be plum happy selling 1 of every 2 or 3 frames I shot instead of 1 in 40, hence my goal of 4-35mm and 2-120 rolls which gets me to about 168 shots and 60-80 sold.
     
  16. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I don't think it really helps to compare, because the markets will be different as well. There are some wedding people who make a boatload of money either way. I feel it is a matter of product and philosophy. There is no reason to to "spray and pray" with any format, just a tendency with the untrained or un-thoughtful. I think success as a wedding photographer is based on performance and marketing. You lick those and you can shoot what you want.
     
  17. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    You are right about "spray and pray" and "product and philosophy" Jason.

    The importance of a comparison, for me, is simply for the freedom it; it's about breaking the misconception that digital is always cheaper so that I can make good business choices that work well for me.
     
  18. analogsnob

    analogsnob Member

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  19. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 10, 2009
  20. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Both of the ladies I regularly assist used to use film, and now offer it as an option, though in over two years of assisting these shooters, *not once* has a client requested film, and only *once* have they wanted even 4x6 proof prints. They want the files; plain and simple, and a web gallery. Using film for these services would be prohibitively expensive. Getting good processing and scans of near 1000 pix-worth of candids between two shooters would cost an arm and a leg, and what is the point of shooting film when the client wants a web gallery and electronic files? Out of sheer coincidence, both bosses use exactly the same cameras: Contax 645s and Canon A2s for film, and Canon 5Ds for digital. (I use my 10D and a borrowed 1D Mk. I or II with them.)

    I think if I shot weddings by myself, my only option would be film, as all my best equipment is for film. I would probably use my 645 1000S and Canon FD stuff, and possibly my C33 or RZ 67 from time to time.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 10, 2009
  21. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Most wedding photographers aren't into giving up the files or negatives without getting something out of it, because it means no print sales.
     
  22. rthomas

    rthomas Member

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    I like this idea, thank you! I think that will be my response from now on. I've done weddings (using d******) for a few friends from time to time, but next time I will suggest your idea, and offer to shoot a roll or two of portraits with the RB67.
     
  23. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    They prefer a buyout, because they get paid well enough for their time, and this way they don't have to deal with any of the printing.
     
  24. Riccis

    Riccis Member

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  25. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    I don't think it's a film vs. digital thing. I just don't see why anyone would want 1000+ images from their wedding regardless of the medium used. 100 would be plenty.

    It just seems that because the digital shooters can shoot a lot more, they do and therefore it is now expected, making more unnecessary work for everyone.



    Steve.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 11, 2009
  26. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    None.

    This becomes a business plan and marketing question session; "is that what I want to be known for?" and "can I really afford to do all the marketing and pay all the bills if that is what I sell?"

    For me the answers are no and no.

    I fully expect video and "Aunt Linda" to completely take over that market eventually.