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  1. #1

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    I always told myself I would never do this...

    I always told myself I would never shoot a wedding. I don't need Bridezilla doing a meltdown because great uncle Harvey wasn't in any picture.

    And I certainly don't need this:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLK0TbVY6Ik

    Having read thread after thread on the trials and tribulations of wedding photographers, I went ahead and did it anyway. Yup, I've become the guy you all hate, the guy in the next cube with a camera who does it for free.

    We've known each other for 15 years, sat right next to him for 4. I helped him through his really ugly divorce. When he first asked I told him no way I could do it - it scared the hell out of me. Anyway, it was a middle-aged couple, the second time around for both. They've been together about a year, were engaged for about a month, and tied the knot in her parents basement with about 20 really close friends and relatives; so low key that they weren't going to hire anybody, so I didn't take food out of any baby's mouth.

    Before the ceremony I metered the key parts of the room and got ready to shoot. It was southwest exposure with plenty of light bouncing around. Then, 5 minutes before the ceremony the clouds rolled in so, in a near panic I re-metered all of them. I shot 3 rolls of Portra 35mm (1 400 with available light and 2 160 with flash), Portra 400 and Tmax 400 in 120 in the Mamiya C33. I had hoped to shoot some 160 on the Mamiya with flash, but things started moving too fast and I decided I didn't trust myself yet with manual flash settings. Even so, I was nervous enough when shooting the Mamiya that I accidentally reloaded with B&W instead of color.

    Anyway, this ain't anything I plan on doing again any time soon. As easy of an introduction as this was, I don't need the stress. God bless you who can do it regularly.
    Last edited by pbromaghin; 01-02-2013 at 06:03 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    “You seek escape from pain. We seek the achievement of happiness. You exist for the sake of avoiding punishment. We exist for the sake of earning rewards. Threats will not make us function; fear is not our incentive. It is not death that we wish to avoid, but life that we wish to live.” - John Galt

  2. #2
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    I have done weddings in the past, but I avoid them like the plague these days because see no point of putting myself in the firing line unnecesserily, because I don't need the money or the stress.
    Ben

  3. #3

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    Thta was funny about the wedding fight!

    Jeff

  4. #4

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    Heh. I feel your pain, pbromaghin.

    Our very close friends (our kids went through school together and we vacation together) have invited us to their son's wedding this summer. They have told (well, asked, reallly, but in a way that wasn't really a request) me I am going to be the photographer. I have told them they really should consider hiring a professional. Really. Really. As in: it would be a much better idea, and we would all be much happier. No dice.

    They're not going for it. I risk our friendship if I do not show up with camera. I think part of it is the money, but the other part is that their son is somewhat shy and does not want the photographer to be someone he doesn't know. So, I've been reading, will be checking out the venue, have purchased some stuff (a second identical strobe, flash bracket, extra batteries and cards) and will be there, doing my best. They have said that will be fine, they're not going to ask me for professional quality work, just something better than a collection of iPhone shots. My backup is an F3, because I don't have two D700s. My backup backup is a Canon S90. My loving wife has offered to help organize shots and carry gear.

    Sometimes, you just can't say no. Wish me luck.

  5. #5

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    Well, it came out alright. There was a strange focusing problem with the Mamiya, but the 35mm saved the day. All the family portraits with the 80mm from about 15-20 feet were out of focus. It appears to have focused 2-3 feet in front of what I saw in the ground glass. Closer in, the focus was very good. This was not something that could have been found by chimping on one of those little screens. The bride was intent on getting digital files to share so I had all the Portra lab-scanned and scanned the good B&W negs myself. I printed 11x14 and 13x19 B&W of the happy couple that turned out really nice, and some color 8x10s.
    “You seek escape from pain. We seek the achievement of happiness. You exist for the sake of avoiding punishment. We exist for the sake of earning rewards. Threats will not make us function; fear is not our incentive. It is not death that we wish to avoid, but life that we wish to live.” - John Galt

  6. #6
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Simpson View Post
    Heh. I feel your pain, pbromaghin.

    Our very close friends (our kids went through school together and we vacation together) have invited us to their son's wedding this summer. They have told (well, asked, reallly, but in a way that wasn't really a request) me I am going to be the photographer. I have told them they really should consider hiring a professional. Really. Really. As in: it would be a much better idea, and we would all be much happier. No dice.

    They're not going for it. I risk our friendship if I do not show up with camera. I think part of it is the money, but the other part is that their son is somewhat shy and does not want the photographer to be someone he doesn't know. So, I've been reading, will be checking out the venue, have purchased some stuff (a second identical strobe, flash bracket, extra batteries and cards) and will be there, doing my best. They have said that will be fine, they're not going to ask me for professional quality work, just something better than a collection of iPhone shots. My backup is an F3, because I don't have two D700s. My backup backup is a Canon S90. My loving wife has offered to help organize shots and carry gear.

    Sometimes, you just can't say no. Wish me luck.
    I've had several wedding invitations in the post in recent years and after I have accepted the invite the people call me up on the phone as if as an afterthought and ask me to do the wedding, because I think when they find out how much a pro. would cost it scares them shitless, and there's no limit to how far some people will go to take advantage of their so called "friends", and get things on the cheap, so I don't even go to weddings any more.
    Ben

  7. #7
    hdeyong's Avatar
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    About 35 years ago, a friend of mine was getting married and simply could not afford a pro. It was either me, or other guests pooling what they took with their Instamatics. I studied our own wedding pictures, did the shoot, (which completely killed any fun I was ever going to have), and they turned out really good. I've been asked ten times since, and have said "not a chance".
    I'm with Benjiboy, I don't need the stress and I don't need the money.
    I think today, you'd end up with a lot of pictures of the backs of peoples' hands, holding up their I-Phones right in front of you, to make sure they got that important picture they wanted. Their rudeness at times is startling.

  8. #8

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    You know? The expectations thing is what really bothers me. They want a whole bunch of digital files, quality be damned, to send to their friends. I want to give them a couple of really fabulous prints that can hang on their walls, their children's walls, their grand-children's walls, and their great-grandchildren's walls. Silver, imbedded in the paper, not ink splashed on top. And certainly not some damned silicon crystals flipped positively or negatively charged.

    I have a picture of my grandmother as a child, from 1895 or so, and I love it. I am the youngest of my generation and I don't know who to give it to because, after me, there will be nobody alive who remembers what a wonderful woman she was, nobody who remembers her voice without her false teeth, how she stood at the stove, how she stacked the lefse over the back of the chair to cool. It makes me cry to think about it.
    “You seek escape from pain. We seek the achievement of happiness. You exist for the sake of avoiding punishment. We exist for the sake of earning rewards. Threats will not make us function; fear is not our incentive. It is not death that we wish to avoid, but life that we wish to live.” - John Galt

  9. #9
    hdeyong's Avatar
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    Very very nicely said, especially the memories of your grandmother.

  10. #10
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    It's a chasening thought that in Britain two thirds of marriages end in divorce, it could be another lucrative revenue stream to shoot divorces too
    Ben

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