Where to start for wedding photography all feedback welcome

Where to start for wedding photography all feedback welcome

21 posts
31 Oct 2016
Davenwuk
Photographer
Davenwuk
Hi All I am hoping in time to start to do wedding photography but as it someone's HUGE day I know it has to be right so I've bought a new D750 just getting the 24-70 f2.8 and 70-200 f2.8 plus spare other body ( not sure which yet) and flash etc. so i am after any help or feedback offered, my idea is to try more and more portrait first then second shoot etc is there anything else I could do, try or somewhere I could gain some other experiance from I've watched so many youtube tutorials now my head spins lol any help is appreciated. thanks All

Posted 31 Oct 2016
Edited by Davenwuk 31 Oct 2016
redbaron
Photographer
redbaron
Personally I'm not sold on the watching youtube videos. With training you get what you pay for. Second shooting or even just helping to carry kit around for an experienced wedding photographer is a good start but you may find it hard to get in with someone. I would join one of the societies that have wedding photographers. Sometimes a photographer will post wanting help, plus you can ask for advice on things like the best courses.

Just shooting loads of random portraits is not going to prepare you though. There is a hell of a difference between photographing a compliant model in the park and a wedding, where you may have an extensive shoot list, often contradictory client requirements and may need to switch from flash to daylight to extreme ISO in a dingy church with absolute confidence you can nail the shot

Rather than random portraits I would suggest you scout out the wedding venues in your area, buy some second hand wedding dresses off ebay then 'shoot' some staged weddings. It will give you portfolio images for the future and help you get familiar with the places you are likely to be working.

Posted 31 Oct 2016
Davenwuk
Photographer
Davenwuk
thanks for the advice

Posted 31 Oct 2016
jonathantennant
Photographer
jonathantenn..
Here's my advice -
Learn your equipment and don't be afraid to push the ISO in dark situations.
Sadly with wedding photography its 20%photography 80% marketing , business, meetings and people skills.
You will find the odd brideziller when you wonder why you're actually photographing the wedding.
I think watching YouTube videoes perhaps glamourises wedding photography and makes it look easy . I've photographed multi location weddings which can be a nightmare are shooting for 12 plus hours is draining.
Go on Amazon and but Mark Cleghorns book on wedding photography - it's a great book and I've learned a lot and also get yourself down to the SWPP convention in London in January where you're get to meet and hear some of the best wedding photographers in the world spark.

Posted 1 Nov 2016
photomane9
Photographer
photomane9
I don't shoot weddings and have only ever done six in my entire career. But as Jonathan Tennant says, once you have learnt all about your equipment, the fun is just beginning. A wedding day is a series of episodes, each of which should have its own 'manager' and for at least one of these epsiodes that's you, the photographer. If it's a church wedding the 'manager' for that part is the priest; for a registry or licensed venue the 'manager' is the registrar. You need to liaise with these people to ensure your activities are not impinging on what they see as their area - this may require tact and guile! Then it's your turn. For pictures outside the church or venue you have to be in total control or you will find that chaos descends. Having a member of the wedding party (such as the best man or a senior family member) as your chief whip is a good idea and saves you having to run around chasing key people to get into the formal pictures. This needs a degree of pre-planning. Once you get the bride and groom alone (assuming there are to be some quiet formal portraits) you need to appear to be entirely on top of the situation. Even if by now your are on backup camera and your fill flash is playing up, you need to exude calm and cheeriness, cracking a joke or two to keep the couple relaxed (don't forget they won't have had any booze yet!).
At every stage or episode the bride and groom are going to assume the 'manager' for that stage is going to know what they are doing and will happily be guided by them. By the reception phase things may be a bit more relaxed but again there will be a manager (probably the maitre d' or event organiser at the venue) and yet another person to liaise with. And of course all this is preceeded by your brief from the bride and groom. You need to be very clear in advance about what they expect if you are to capture their day in the way they will like.
Posted 1 Nov 2016
Edited by photomane9 1 Nov 2016
Biggles485
Photographer
Biggles485
Know your equipment blindfolded, as you have pointed out it is someone's big day. Know the location, do at least one visit to the venue / church / reception wherever, plan for good weather and adverse weather, plan for people with disabilities, just because you can get to a great location doesn't mean everyone can I tend to shoot a number of formal images / candid images / table sets The more formal are at the wedding itself, before, during and after. At the reception I let people chill for a while then take the bride and groom off on their own for twenty to thirty minutes shooting head and shoulder / portraits etc somewhere / location I have found on my previous visits Candid images, for instance I once shot the happy couple in a vintage cut off Roller, once I had the images I wanted stood back to let everyone else in, one of the young lads; I guess aged about 9 or 10 had been given a cigar and a pint to hold by his dad whilst the dad took the photos he wanted, this young lad in top hat, tails, a pint and a cigar would not have been seen by the bride and groom, basically you need eyes everywhere on the lookout for shots the happy couple would otherwise miss Table shots at the reception are always good because it means you more or less are guaranteed of capturing everyone at the wedding at least once, remember to capture the flowers, table decorations and anything that has some effort made to produce. Let it be known you are available for groups shots as requested Learn the "key players" names and who is who, Bride / Groom are the obvious but also parents / bridesmaid / bestman etc I actually choreograph my shooting schedule after loads of discussions with the bride and groom, however it is the Bride's day so I'm biased in that direction, then on the day I get the bestman's images out of the way and have him / her arranging the next group whilst I sort out and photograph the group in front of me Most importantly you need to be in control of the day but maintaining a sense of fun and can do attitude, a wedding is not for the faint hearted and the day can be very very long but can be very rewarding Good luck
Posted 1 Nov 2016
mph
Photographer
mph
[qt][author]redbaron[/author]
There is a hell of a difference between photographing a compliant model in the park and a wedding, where you may have an extensive shoot list, often contradictory client requirements and may need to switch from flash to daylight to extreme ISO in a dingy church with absolute confidence you can nail the shot[/qt]

Indeed there is!

[qt][author]redbaron[/author]
Rather than random portraits I would suggest you ........ buy some second hand wedding dresses off ebay then 'shoot' some staged weddings. It will give you portfolio images for the future.........[/qt]

Which puts this suggestion into the realm of dishonesty if it gives the client the impression you know what you are doing.
To be frank - and this is genuinely not intended to be rude (though it undoubtedly may come over that way) - I do not think your portfolio demonstrates the ability to undertake this type of assignment.

Posted 1 Nov 2016
Davenwuk
Photographer
Davenwuk
WOW.. thanks all for you advice some great points to think about, and if anyone thought I hoped to try weddings in a few months then a huge NO I was thinking more 8-10mths depending how much camera time I can get, if not then 12mth+ I just like to plan and make sure I have as much information as possible that's why I asked again thanks all for your help and taking time to give it, all best...Dave

Posted 1 Nov 2016
jonathantennant
Photographer
jonathantenn..
Mph
There's plenty of wedding photographers, and some well respected ones who have used two professional models dressed them up and shot them on a wonderful location and used the images on their websites as bride and groom - dishonest ? Though it could backfire as the average bride and groom having their average wedding at an average venue may be put off as they may think that photographer only shoots attractive couples at fab venues.

The trouble is with weddings you don't know what's going to happen on the day. I always have a timetable written down and have all the pictures the couples written down and some more.
I try to meet the vicar, priest ...... a day or two before the service to introduce myself. I've photographed weddings where there's been a ban on photography during the service because of the past experiences of other wedding photographers disrupting the wedding, the church or venue may be lit by candels and it's so dark in there. Will you be able to handle that situation?
What happens if it's raining, where would you do the group pictures as I bet you there's always one person who won't want to get wet. I've also had a bride who refused to walk on the grass incase it dirties her dress or shoes so find out on the consultation of restrictions that the bride may impose on the day.. I also had a bride who turned up 4 hours late at the hotel where I was suppose to getting pictures of her getting ready. In the end I had to make the call to leave the hotel and not bet the bridal prep and to get to the church as the service was starting in 30 minutes with no sign of the bride .



Posted 2 Nov 2016
mph
Photographer
mph
jonathantennant

Mph There's plenty of wedding photographers, and some well respected ones who have used two professional models dressed them up and shot them on a wonderful location and used the images on their websites as bride and groom - dishonest ?


Yes! 

Actually - I think they would be less well respected if clients kmew.  Fine if they are upfront about it - but unless they can't get permission from genuine couples to use real shots I honestly don't feel there is any excuse.
Posted 2 Nov 2016
jonathantennant
Photographer
jonathantenn..
Been shooting weddings for 20 years, started in the old days of film and 2 1/4 and been to a lot of wedding conventions so I like to think I've got my finger on the pulse and sadly it happens all the time.

Wedding suppliers club together - venue, wedding car, florist, wedding dress supplier, photographer, get a couple of models and BOOM an instant perfect wedding picture.





Posted 2 Nov 2016
Davenwuk
Photographer
Davenwuk
Thanks all I am glad of all the advice as to make sure I cover as many possibilities as possible and capable for those that just happen in time of course

Posted 2 Nov 2016
Edited by Davenwuk 2 Nov 2016
oscar
Photographer
oscar
Check out weddings taking place in your area. Go and watch. Don't intrude.
Everything needs to have a plan + plan B.
What happens if you are ill on the day? Who will do the shoot for you?
Work out your costs based on this being your prime income.
A wedding will entail 16/20 hours from initial enquiry to final images.

Any questions ask.

Posted 4 Nov 2016
MG
Photographer
MG
oscar
Check out weddings taking place in your area. Go and watch. Don't intrude. Everything needs to have a plan + plan B. What happens if you are ill on the day? Who will do the shoot for you? Work out your costs based on this being your prime income. A wedding will entail 16/20 hours from initial enquiry to final images. Any questions ask.
16 to 20 hours? It isn't unusual to shoot 2000 images at a wedding. You have at least a day or two's work before tje wedding takes place. I know that sounds excessive but each time you have contact and do any preperation it all adds up. The day can easily be 12 hours if not considerably more with travel. I have shot weddings where I have been working for 16 hours plus. Going through the 2000 shots, starting to cut them down, preparing the proofs, doing the edits, choosing the album, helping the client decide... I think realistically it's a couple of weeks work unless you get a production line going. Whatever amount you charge whether it be £250 or £2500 you won't find many wealthy wedding photographers. I actually find weddings rather tiring and they can be quite lonely... Everyone spends all day getting merrier and marrier, they all sit down and feast whilst you are lucky to get a sandwich. Photographing many weddings certainly puts you off having one yourself ever! Haha. Back to the original post, as others say, attend weddings, lots of them. Watch how others work, how they handle the situations. If you are not good at handling lots of stress then don't do it. If you are not fantastic with people, don't do it. If your photography sucks.... Then take your time and that can improve. Go on one of Andy Gaine's workshops. He won wedding photographer of the year last year. I have worked alongside him filming a wedding. His way of working is unconventional, laid back and quite honestly, I wasn't convinced that he was doing an amazing job at the time but he certainly was.... You could learn a lot from people like that....
Posted 4 Nov 2016
Edited by MG 4 Nov 2016
Davenwuk
Photographer
Davenwuk
Wow thanks all some great advice

Posted 4 Nov 2016
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