Wedding – Should I or Shouldn't I?

Elrond

Member
My brother in-law is getting married next September and they have assumed that I will be the photographer! They know that it’s just a hobby to me and that I wouldn’t be anywhere near as good as a professional but they like my photos!

So, should I do it or give them as much warning as possible to find another photographer? My main worries are probably the same as anyone else who has been asked to do a wedding for the first time!

I only have one body, 50D, and won’t really want to get a second for what may be my one and only wedding. My main lens is a 17-55 IS USM and I do have a 580 EX II flash. I have thought about the possibility of renting another lens but that would involve chopping and changing.

So should I or shouldn’t I? I’d be interested to hear opinions of people who have been in the same situation and what everyone else may have to say!
 

andy1249

Distinguished Member
Plenty of weddings have been shot on 50D or equivalents , the camera is more than capable ,

Heres a checklist to get an idea of essential formal shots

Photographer's Checklist

The only other thing I would say is you need a tripod and a fast lens for the Church. A 50mm 1.8 along with your flash is excellent for this ( the famous nifty fifty ) and you only need to have this for the church as the light will be low, you can switch back to your standard lens once you leave the church.

Plan all the shots , have it laid out step by step and you should be OK.
 

mark.carline

Novice Member
i would set their expectations low and then try hard, plan the day, try and get loads of ideas from FlickR wedding groups etc...

If your worried about not giving them some amazing shots then tell them..
 

OrbitalPete

Novice Member
It's a big decision. At the end of the day it means you're going to spend all day working, not enjoying the wedding.

It also puts a lot of pressure on you; going in blind is not an option, so you're going to want to spend some time planning shots, practising your portraiture. Things you should also consider are spare bodies and memory cards if things go wrong.

It ultimately depends on
a) how relaxed the B+G are about the wedding; are they going to expect a proper set of wedding photos or are they happy with whatever comes? Explain to them that it's not just a case of pointing the camera int he right direction.
b) how willing you are to take on the challenge.

Personally, if I were asked to do my brothers wedding I would probably say no. While I think I could probably do it I wouldn't want to risk ballsing it up (e.g. http://www.avforums.com/forums/digi...-not-wedding-photographer-3.html#post10549362), having relatively little experience at portraiture and a dislike for trying to get people to smile/line up/behave etc etc.:D
 

nikonuser11

Well-known Member
I'd say go for it but manage their expectations, also why not get another TOG along for help/support/organising etc etc which has the added bonus of him taking loads of pictures informally of the day, between you I'm sure the B&G will be delighted - plus who else gets 2 Photographers at their wedding:smashin:
 

SomeVorn

Novice Member
IMO it depends whether you want to photograph weddings as part of a career. If so, this is an ideal escape from the photographers endless merry go round that is -

"I can't photograph a wedding until I've photographed a wedding"

I do want to make this part of my career so I did my first in august, with a friend who recently finished his A-Level in photography who also wanted to take this opportunity.

I used a Nikon D80 (inferior to your 50D in some ways I'm sure) - I also used a combination of 10-20mm (rented) 18-70 kit lens, 30mm 1.4, 50mm 1.4, 85 1.8 and 70-200 2.8 (rented).

I absolutely planned the **** out of the whole afair. I knew where I'd be, I knew what angles I wanted. I knew what lenses/equipment I wanted at certain times. I knew what lens to have on when I had nothing else to do. I checked out the location of the ceremony more than once, spoke to the videographer and the vicar. I went to hotel first - planning for wet weather and nice weather. I also went through the tiniest details with the family of the bride, showing them a rough shot list and asking whether there was anything specific they wanted.


I got there at 11, finished at 1:30am. 40+ hours on the computer.

If you don't want to do this for a career, then I'd think about this carefully. If I was asked to do another wedding by a friend, I confess I'd probably ask them to look around first - looking for a photographer style they can really relate to. If they insisted that they want me to do it, I'd consider it.
 

f6cvalkyrie

Well-known Member
I have done it once, and wouldn't do it again.
Not that the results were bad, or the couple unhappy with the book I presented, no, no,

but it puts such a horrible responsability on your shoulders ....

Leave this to the professionals, I would say

:hiya::hiya:
Rafael
 

psenior1

Novice Member
I did my first a couple of months ago - loved every minute and can't wait to do more.

Only you can know if your up to the job - if you decide to go for it then as said before just plan, plan and plan some more. I'd recommend buying 'Wedding Photography - the complete guide' by Mark Cleghorn before you decide - gave me a good overall idea of what is involved before, during and after the day...
 

jmbrailsford

Well-known Member
Say thanks but no thanks and enjoy the day ;)
Hi,

I agree with Radiohead's comment, especially if it's relatives, you won't enjoy their big day and if photos aren't liked then ......

I have done it once and will never do it again, I did it for a mate at work and hated every minute of it and in the end the pics were ok but lacking the 'professional touch if you know what I mean, don't get me wrong my photos were fine but they wer e more a record of the day and conveying the emotion of a wedding, does that make sense?

I even ended up getting blamed by the driver and the hotel manager for making the party late for the reception even though I had them there 10 minutes before the time I was told they had to be there only to find out that the bride and groom and the parents had all told me the wrong time :mad:

It's no fun even though it sounds like it should be, I would rather offer to help them pay for someone to do it, I know they are probably trying to save money, but in the end it could cause problems later.

Mike.
 

SomeVorn

Novice Member
Damn that's a long day. Mine are typically 11am to first dance at 8pm. Home by 9.

With practice you'll cut that editing time by 90% as well.
I know but as I'm sure you understand, it being a bit of a break for me, I wanted to make an impression etc. One of the things the videographer (20+ years in the industry) said I should offer was value for money - especially when starting out. When money is short for everyone, people might look for that instead of someone who is done in 3 hours (yes I've been speaking to people brides/grooms and guests recently - asking how much the photographer charged, how long they were there for, how many images you get and whether the used flash in church and *some* togs are gone in 3 hours and charge gareth bowers prices:eek:)

I still believe that the style and quality of the photographers images should come first - but if I was competing with someone who the potential clients believe to offer the same quality of images as I can provide, it might sway things my way. An extra few hours of doing what i enjoy isn't a big deal for me.

If i ever have a family and get anywhere near as successful as you, I'll begin to creep back the time at which I leave hehe.

You're right of course with the editing - but again, trying to make an impression - I had to go through 2400 images - shrinking that number down to 400. Lots of indecision, looking for cohesion, creativity while trying to keep things simple.
 
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Radiohead

Well-known Member
I know but as I'm sure you understand, it being a bit of a break for me, I wanted to make an impression etc. One of the things the videographer (20+ years in the industry) said I should offer was value for money - especially when starting out. When money is short for everyone, people might look for that instead of someone who is done in 3 hours (yes I've been speaking to people brides/grooms and guests recently - asking how much the photographer charged, how long they were there for, how many images you get and whether the used flash in church and *some* togs are gone in 3 hours and charge gareth bowers prices:eek:)

I still believe that the style and quality of the photographers images should come first - but if I was competing with someone who the potential clients believe to offer the same quality of images as I can provide, it might sway things my way. An extra few hours of doing what i enjoy isn't a big deal for me.

If i ever have a family and get anywhere near as successful as you, I'll begin to creep back the time at which I leave hehe.

You're right of course with the editing - but again, trying to make an impression - I had to go through 2400 images - shrinking that number down to 400. Lots of indecision, looking for cohesion, creativity while trying to keep things simple.
Good for you for doing it properly and making sure you're value. It's the right way. I do some very long ones as well, but they're not the norm.

When I started out I shot loads as well - for a 10 hour day maybe 2000 images. I'd shoot 700 for that period now, and still deliver the same 200-250 as before. It's just something that comes with experience and confidence. I think everyone does this at the beginning so you can expect that to come down in time.
 

SevloW

Distinguished Member
I was put in a similar situation.

Planning is very important.
It's important to visit the wedding venue, both the service and reception, Identify locations for your photos.

Have 2 camera bodies availble for use, make certain you have more than needed memory cards, batteries etc.
Be relaxed and be confident, take a shed load of photos!
If possible have an 'assistant' to help you out (gathering the clan etc).

Yes, it can be stressful but it's also very enjoyable.

Once you have all your photos then you need to be prepared to spend a long time doing the editing and sorting out the printing etc.
 

Lewis201

Novice Member
I'd possibly do it if I had a mate who was really brassic, having a small do, and I had far more experience than I have now and faster glass. But if they were going for the expensive dress/venue/catering type wedding, I'd try and convince them how important getting a pro tog in is and how fantastic their images will be.

PS. Surely it's your sister's wedding not your brother-in-law's wedding lol?
 

Biscuit761

Novice Member
The one I did a few weeks ago was a bit stressful - especially when I realised I had left my carbon fibre tripod at the registry office !!

However it all went well and I got some great shots. I put them together in a photobook from Apple. Am a bit unhappy with it as a lot of the pictures have come out dark, seemed fine on the screen, I think the automatic systems they used took the very bright outdoor scenes and tried to balance the colour - I believe that some photobook producers do the colour balancing manually but charge a bit more - I will probably be using these in future.

If you do do it be prepared to be a bit bossy, my lot didn't want to pose very much.

Bill
 

OrbitalPete

Novice Member
It'll also depend on whether your screen is calibrated.

People tend to have their monitor brightness far too high. Also, screens display in subtractive RGB which gives very vibrant colours. Printing, however is additive CMYK and tends to give duller tones.

Getting a perfect match from screen to paper is impossible, but even getting close requires careful calibration and a bit of experience.
 

Elrond

Member
The only other thing I would say is you need a tripod and a fast lens for the Church. A 50mm 1.8 along with your flash is excellent for this ( the famous nifty fifty ) and you only need to have this for the church as the light will be low, you can switch back to your standard lens once you leave the church.
I have the nifty fifty as well. I forgot the mention my main lens is f2.8 so that should also do the trick!

It's a big decision. At the end of the day it means you're going to spend all day working, not enjoying the wedding.

It also puts a lot of pressure on you; going in blind is not an option, so you're going to want to spend some time planning shots, practising your portraiture. Things you should also consider are spare bodies and memory cards if things go wrong.

It ultimately depends on
a) how relaxed the B+G are about the wedding; are they going to expect a proper set of wedding photos or are they happy with whatever comes? Explain to them that it's not just a case of pointing the camera int he right direction.
b) how willing you are to take on the challenge.
I think If I did do it I'd say I'd only do up until the food. That way I also get some enjoyment out of it! When I got married our photography only stayed until the food as well and we were happy with that!

To be honest we were glad anyone came as it was the day England were playing Portugal in the last World Cup :thumbsup: My cousin had a pocket TV with him and our photographer included that as one photo which is quite funny! Saved everyone else trying to see the score as he was giving updates!

a) The B&G aren't expecting what a pro could do and they are happy with this plus I think money is the other issue! They started off with a budget of £50 for the cake :eek:.
b) That's the thing! I'm thinking it could be a good opportunity to see what it's like, but thinking that way is OK until it starts and the bricks start coming at the start of the day! I may not get another chance to see what it's like!

Say thanks but no thanks and enjoy the day ;)
Is that just because its family? If not how come you didn't say no to your first wedding?

If it wasn't family would you say otherwise? How did you approach your first one?

Only you can know if your up to the job - if you decide to go for it then as said before just plan, plan and plan some more. I'd recommend buying 'Wedding Photography - the complete guide' by Mark Cleghorn before you decide - gave me a good overall idea of what is involved before, during and after the day...
If I do go for it I've got over 10 months of planning and practice!

How do you know if your up for the job when you have no experience of it?

in the end the pics were ok but lacking the 'professional touch if you know what I mean, don't get me wrong my photos were fine but they wer e more a record of the day and conveying the emotion of a wedding, does that make sense?
Yeah that does make sense. However we were very happy with our photographer that was paid for, but on the other hand Radiohead's ones, that i've seen, seem to have that bit more if that makes sense!

I guess it's all down to they style of the photographer in the end as they say you should look at other weddings they've done to see if you like them!

My main worry is that they will just look like any other photography and lack that extra bit for wedding photo's!

The other worry is that it's a church so do people think that adds to the decision or should a church be taken no differently to anywhere else?

PS. Surely it's your sister's wedding not your brother-in-law's wedding lol?
Not unless I've got a sister that I've never known about :)

It's my wife's brother. I admit I've never been good at what each relative is called!
 
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mark800

Distinguished Member
I would advise you not to do it, despite your photographs being excellent.

Take your camera and just focus on the candid shots that the professional photographer won't focus on. That way you'll get some lovely shots that will go down well without the pressure.
 

senu

Distinguished Member
I would advise you not to do it, despite your photographs being excellent.

Take your camera and just focus on the candid shots that the professional photographer won't focus on. That way you'll get some lovely shots that will go down well without the pressure.
:cool:


In the end only you can tell how badly you want to do it..( or not..)

I have done a few and find them very stressful indeed
These days I am happy to be a second shooter . this helps me relax a bit more and have more fun doing it
I would say no though
Your kit is fine as is your " mindset" but if the results dont meet expectations ( unless thee are no expectations) both yourself and the couple may be less friendly than you are now
With the best of will they will be unhappy if you dont " deliver the goods"

If you must say yes , just keep thier expectations low , and your aspirations high
 
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psenior1

Novice Member
How do you know if your up for the job when you have no experience of it?
For me it was mainly two things I think.

One was general photography skills, and being confident I could cope with the different lighting and weather conditions and knowing my camera and kit well enough to make any changes quickly.

The other was people skills, I was lucky as SWMBO was assisting and between us knew we could get the right people in the right places at (mostly!) the right times.
 

Some Bloke

Well-known Member
My brother in-law is getting married next September and they have assumed that I will be the photographer! They know that it’s just a hobby to me and that I wouldn’t be anywhere near as good as a professional but they like my photos!

So, should I do it or give them as much warning as possible to find another photographer? My main worries are probably the same as anyone else who has been asked to do a wedding for the first time!

I only have one body, 50D, and won’t really want to get a second for what may be my one and only wedding. My main lens is a 17-55 IS USM and I do have a 580 EX II flash. I have thought about the possibility of renting another lens but that would involve chopping and changing.

So should I or shouldn’t I? I’d be interested to hear opinions of people who have been in the same situation and what everyone else may have to say!
I'd say go for it.
You've got an advance it that, you know the bride and groom already and you've got from now until September to practice taking shots of them.
You probably could ask the vicar of the church if it's OK to use the church as the location.
Practice, practice, practice.

Good luck :smashin:
 

senu

Distinguished Member
So.. "You cant say no cos its Family although you really should say no..for that very reason..:rolleyes::)"

Sounds like a pop song from the 80's:rotfl:

Seems to me your heart is in it you might as well just go for it , dont expect to "enjoy it" but if you do and also get great pics as well.. good on you
An advantage ( if that) is a lot of inside knowlegde of the couple , venue and some other family .. The familiarity can also be a disadvantage but you can turn it into a big asset
 
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