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Thread: My first photography job - help!

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    Platinum Member Neville Bailey's Avatar
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    My first photography job - help!

    I've been asked to be the official photographer at a wedding, and I am both excited and terrified!

    What should I do? I have no idea how to prepare for something like this and I am scared that I might botch it up and ruin the bridal couple's special day. On the other hand, I feel honoured and excited to take on the challenge.

    I've been asked to give them a quote, but I have no idea how much I should charge, if at all.

    I've made it clear that I have not done anything like this before.

    Any tips or advice to this novice?
    Neville Bailey - Pastel Accounting Consultant and Photographer
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    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    Congratulations on your first professional photography job, it was only a matter of time me thinks.

    If you need any help setting up a new photography company profile in Pastel I'm only a PM away

    As for advice on the job, with weddings it would be a good idea to go with two of everything, two cameras, two sets of lighting etc etc. I'd also take an assistant with you, it's a high workload. Good luck and let us know how it goes.
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    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    The best is probably to phone a couple of wedding photograpers and tell them that you need to find out what it would cost....you are very excited about your daughters upcoming wedding...then you can probe them on their charges etc. Most of them charge a flat Event rate and then cost per photograph produces. They never give the client the res images so that the client is able to reproduce the images themselves. I read somewhere that there are a couple of things that you should do, have a battery grip or at least a couple of spare batteries, take exposure bracketed photograps i.e. Program the camera to automatically take one pic with exposure -1 stop, 0 stop and +1 stop so that you can choose from the three photographs.

    There are some things that many photographers do that really annoy me, they pitch up in dirty jeans and have no regard for the context of the event, they put light anywhere without thinking about the guests and they position themselves anywhere and everywhere. I think the trick is to photograph the event in such a way that your presence doesn't annoy the guests too much. A way to do this is to use telephoto lenses and off camera flashes.

    You could also get to the venue an hour or two before the wedding camera and laptop in hand. You could then take sample photographs at the various expected positions at the venue, download them and check them and note down on a notepad what the best camera setups are for each spot (camera settings, lenses, lighting etc). Then you dont have to fiddle with the camera trying to set it up in real time. I think that going through this procedure will also calm the nerves because you will feel comfortable that your pics will come out great because you proved it by doing the tests.
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    Gold Member Dave S's Avatar
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    Congrats on your first pro-job Neville, lots more to come I'm sure.
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    Email problem KimH's Avatar
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    Congrats indeed!
    I am sure you will do a superb job on the day
    "If at first you don't succeed, do it like your mother told you."

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    Platinum Member Mike C's Avatar
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    Very good advice from Andy D

    it would be a good idea to go with two of everything
    As well as from AdrianH

    I think the trick is to photograph the event in such a way that your presence doesn't annoy the guests too much.
    When you arrive at the church, talk to the officiating minister/priest/pastor and ask what is and is not allowed in the church. It is very embarrassing to get chewed out in the middle of the service because you have taken a photo at the wrong time or got in the way.

    Best shots for in church (if allowed) Bridal entrance - Father kissing bride - Vows - Rings - Blessing by minister - signing of register (best to let everyone sign first, and then you can pose them for shots with a small bouquet on the register - both hands on the table) - confetti (or whatever) as they come out of the church.

    Visit a few websites for ideas. Try www.nielendk.co.za - she has the amazing ability of capturing the bride and groom just before or after the "pose". Makes for a much more natural look.
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    Platinum Member Mike C's Avatar
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    My wife has also added that it is a good idea to ask the bride if she has any specific shots that she wants. Eg - some specifically want bride with the grannies - or bride with sisters - or something like that.
    An education isn't how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It's being able to differentiate between what you do know and what you don't. - Anatole France

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    Diamond Member Vanash Naick's Avatar
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    I think that you will do just fine!
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    Platinum Member Neville Bailey's Avatar
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    Thanks to everyone who has offered advice and support, and I am humbled by the general vote of confidence expressed in my ability to carry off this job.

    However, my initial excitement has given way to absolute terror, and I am inclined to not do it after all.

    I also posted my original post on a photography forum to which I belong, and the almost unanimous response is that I should not even contemplate something like this, without having done at least a few stints as an assistant photographer to a pro.

    The last thing I want to do is not meet the expectations of the bridal couple, in spite of their pleading that I will be ok.

    I'm not sure if any of you have picked up that I don't take many pictures of people - perhaps that is an indication that this kind of photography is not my strength?
    Neville Bailey - Pastel Accounting Consultant and Photographer
    neville@accountingsoftwaresupport.co.za
    www.accountingsoftwaresupport.co.za
    View Neville Bailey Photography

    *** 20% DISCOUNT ON PASTEL XPRESS / PARTNER SOFTWARE UNTIL 15 DECEMBER 2017 ***

    "Give every person more in use value than you take from them in cash value."
    WALLACE WATTLES (1860-1911)

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    Platinum Member pmbguy's Avatar
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    Hi Neville

    Perhaps you should find a Wedding photographer who does not have a job scheduled that day and secure them as a professional assistant for the wedding. You could split the profit. Having the other photographer there will put you at ease and you will have a perfect opportunity to learn, at one go, how to do weddings.

    In any event, I wish you luck I know you will do well. I am always impressed by your photos
    It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. – Charles Darwin

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