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Photography Question 
Michelle Ross
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2004
 

HELP!! Wedding Photography Questions?


Hi! I took some engagement pictures for a couple last weekend and now they have asked me to do the wedding for them. It is in March. I am just starting out and have done VERY VERY little portrait photography and they are aware of this. What they want is about 9 hours of my time, 250-300 pictures of the day/evening and they want to just pay me a fee to do the pictures and have me burn them onto a CD and then they will make their own prints, etc. If they would want any editing of the photos via Photoshop, etc they would pay me additionally at a later time by the hour just on the ones they were interested in? They have offered $500 which is just a starting point and obviously negotiable? Anyone have any thoughts/suggestions. It is a friend's daughter who is getting married and we live in a very rural area where there is some competition but on the date she needed many were already booked, so based on that information can anyone offer me some advice??? Thanks!!


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1/2/2005 4:28:40 PM

 
Jeanie Hagen   Hi Michelle,
I also live in a rual area and $500 for a wedding is reasonable. As far as editing I would do some right from the start,like cropping, vignetts, some simple things to really make the pictures special. This will also serve as a beginning of your portfolio to show other perspective brides. And if you invest a little bit of time and creativity on the photos for this bride her friends will probably call you too!!
Last suggestion, look at bride magazines there are tons, to get ideas for the shots, 250-300 is alot you'll need lots of ideas!! And don't forget to have fun!!


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1/3/2005 8:49:23 PM

 
Michelle Ross
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2004
  Thanks Jeanie! 250-300 seems like alot to me as well . . . but what I"m thinking(and I will verify this with her) is that includes candids, etc and I am "hoping" to get her 200 usable shots. My biggest concern is lighting. The flash can be too much and then when I can't use it obviously I won't have enough. I'm thinking my lenses only open up to 3 or 3.5. I plan to do some editing just for my own personal satisfaction. And of course I will offer these to them additionally. I live in SW Kansas and that is where they are getting married but they actually live in Denver. So being able to get together after the wedding will not be real convenient and some of the newly budding photographers here are offering the Pics on a CD option. I'm not sure weddings are what I want to do(I'm just starting) but figured this would be a great way to test the waters. I have til Saturday to give her my final answer. :-) Thanks again!


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1/3/2005 8:59:06 PM

 
Vince Warwick
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/4/2004
  Hi Michelle,
I have to agree 250-300 shots for wedding for one person seems a little high. A friend and I both go to wedding shoots together and just about manage that with two cameras. If you were to attend the whole dayís events, i.e. getting ready, Arriving, After the ceremony and then the reception then perhaps you could manage it.

Pricing!
If you were to look at $500 thatís $55.00 per hour, which sounds great however, for calculations sake lets just say you get 100 images out of the whole set, each image taking 5 minutes to correct.

100 x 5 = 500 Minutes
500 Min / 60 = 8.33 Hours

Now you are looking at Shooting time 9 hrs for whole day + image time of 8.3 hours totalling 17.3 giving you an hour rate of $28.90. Remember this is for 100 images if you got 200 then this will half again.

If I were to give any advice it would be not to be put under any pressure on how many images you take. Concentrate more on the quality of your images and subject. Get some kind of liability insurance as well just in case someone trips over your tripod.

Planning is essential ask try to get as much information prior ask them what they really are looking for traditional or photojournalism like you mentioned above perhaps both.

As Jeanie mentioned above all enjoy it when you plan ahead this helps.

Hope this helps

Best of luck

Vince


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1/4/2005 8:18:50 AM

 
Lisa Mann   Hi Michelle

I photographed my first wedding 18 months ago and, like you, had done very little previously!
The bride had only requested that I "take photos of what you would want at your wedding". As it turned out, I took nearly 15 rolls of film and easily covered everything. I made sure that I took all the obligatory photos, but the bulk of my photos were definately candid. Look for the toddlers picking up confetti, a bridesmaid smoothing the veil, a quiet moment between mother and bride, the table arrangements before everyone is seated, the groom picking up the bride and walking into the water! (the wedding was at the beach). Little, candid things like that are touching and alot more memorable than the standard line up of the bridal party. Another little hint is to take two cameras. One with colour, and the other with black and white. Sometimes a situation will suit one more than the other and it helps to have both on hand immediately. Have a friend hold the other camera for you so you don't have to worry about it getting in the way. And make sure you have a "loud, organisational" family member of the wedding that can help you organise the family groups into order especially if you don't know everyone (guests tend to disappear and it makes it really hard to get the "Smith" family photo!) If you take photos of people's speeches, make sure it's at the end of a sentence (or they look like they're singing). I hope this helps you out, Best of luck!


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1/10/2005 8:44:46 PM

 
Michelle Ross
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2004
  Thanks Lisa! I'll take note of these things! :-)


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1/11/2005 3:47:00 AM

 
Vince Warwick
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/4/2004
  So your going for it then?


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1/11/2005 4:01:21 AM

 
Michelle Ross
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2004
  Yes Vince I'm taking the plunge. . . They are a very laid back couple . .. not that I won't still have to work very hard, but I think this would be a great shot and seeing if weddings are what I would want to do. I ended up winning a 50mm 1.7 lens off of eBay so I'm hoping that will be good for some of the portrait stuff.


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1/11/2005 4:11:02 AM

 
Vince Warwick
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/4/2004
  Excellent you'll love it. Good news about the lens I'm sure you'll use it on the day. All the best.

Vince


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1/11/2005 4:23:23 AM

 
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