BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Denyse Clark
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/2/2002
 

Hey, don't pick on the amateurs!


 
 
Hi, I read a lot of criticism in the threads about people who "just buy a camera & try to make a go of it"... hey, don't pick on us amateurs! There are truly different levels of this industry. Obviously I'm one of these amateurs, and I KNOW I don't begin to compete with the big boys. But that's just it, I have no intention of doing that. I photographed a wedding for a friend last year for $500. She was dirt poor, and her options were me, or no photographer. I don't claim to be a "real" pro. But I do have something to offer for people who have very little money, and they know what they are signing up for. To pretend that everyone has $5,000 to spend on wedding photography is somewhat ignorant. Your work is profoundly better than mine, and maybe someday I'll work my way up there. But until then, I say "keep up the good work" to the rest of the amateurs who are offering a nice service to the less fortunate of the world!


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12/14/2005 9:58:02 AM

 
Kerry L. Walker   You amateurs should just put up your cameras and leave the business to us professionals. I was born a professional. Then I picked up a camera and things went downhill to where I am today. LOL

Won't pick ON anybody but will pick AT everybody.


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12/14/2005 10:14:07 AM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Picky, picky, picky. I understand what you're saying Denyse. And I admit to being one of those pros who has attempted to dissuade more than a few unexperienced non-professionals from taking on an assignment where they're going to be in way over their head.

The reason for that, and I'm sure Kerry might be inclined to agree, is that weddings or other large events, can't be recreated to be rephotographed at least not without a huge expense. As the photographer who "blows it" so-to-speak, that's a pretty heavy burden to carry. For the families and especially the bride and groom, it's disaster.

So, when I see questions here about things like "got a wedding to shoot this morning, what film do I use" or "how do I use my flash" or "should I have another lens", I tend to cringe. The story is always similar. The bride and groom have little or no money for photography. When I see that kind of situation, I respond with something like tell them to buy a bunch of point and shoot cameras, put them on a table, encourage people to use them throughout the deal and turn them in afterwards. Afterall, there's a modicum of safety in numbers.

From my own experience as a full-time photojournalist for over 25 years, I've been asked to shoot a lot of weddings. I've done two. One, at the age of 16 for a high school english teacher. A friend came along to shoot as well. We were lucky. Very very lucky. Afterwards, I shuddered to think how many technical and even social things could have gone wrong and how I could have failed.

The last one I was asked to shoot was by a very close friend who shoots for the New Jersey Star Ledger. Initially I said no. Then he explained how many professional photographers were invited and would bring their gear. It wasn't a wedding, it was like a press conference. And, as it turned out, a lot of fun. Even Monte Zucker, a wedding shooter showed up with his camera and helped document the event. We weren't paid anything. It was an honor and oa favor to our friend and his daughters (they had a dual ceremony).

My point is Denyse, it ain't the money. It's the responsibility and technical knowledge required to pose, light, negotiate, multi-task, plan, orchestrate, AND shoot with reliable equipment that you are completely familiar with...and if it goes kaputsky, you have sufficient back ups to just switch over automatically and keep shooting. Anything less, in my view, is risky business and courting disaster which is just NOT fair to the clients.

Portraits are usually easy to reshoot. Product photos, no sweat. Sporting events...well, there's usually next weekend. But weddings? I cringe at wondering how I would have gotten the bride and groom back from Saudi Arabia to reshoot inside an Illinois church that was always booked up. See what I mean?

Even when the bride and groom and photographer are on the same page in terms of the "no guarantee, no promises" clause, blowing it has caused irreparable damage to a lot of friendships. Is it worth it for the learning experience? I don't think so.

So, if you feel confident and competent to handle the basic event and do ok at it, that's fine and I agree that you're providing a service. IF you continue and continue to keep learning from the experiences, I'm sure your skills will at least reach my level of ability and maybe evey Kerry's. LOL !!! For now, however, I recommend that you don't bite off any assignment that's bigger than you can comfortable handle with your current level of experience. That's all. And now, I have to continue my own downhill slide into the photographic abyss...or is it an abscess created from too much picking. (Yikes...someone call me a dermatologist).

Take it light.
Mark


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12/14/2005 11:48:30 AM

 
Denyse Clark
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/2/2002
 
 
 
Mark- Hmm, really? You'd suggest to have someone buy disposable point & shoot camearas and let the guests sub as photographers rather than let an amateur take control of the day?? You're looking at a $200 investment for shots of the back of peoples heads, lol.

Come on, give us more credit than that! :) I've learned that the better you are at photography, the more critical you are looking at photos. But the average joe is often pleased with mediocacy, haha. Anyone looking for Pro work I imagine actually understands that they need to pay for such work.

I was asking those "what film/how do I use my flash" questions the month before I shot that wedding- and I needed that advice! I practiced my heart out beforehand, and I think they did pretty well for their $500.

I do agree about not taking on more than you can handle though. I'm terrified of ruining a special event for someone, and I hope that terror keeps me on my toes and helps me improve always.

We NEED you pros to help groom us newbies, as much as you hate it! :-)


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12/14/2005 12:16:47 PM

 
Carolyn  M. Fletcher
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/6/2001
Contact Carolyn
Carolyn 's Gallery
PickYourShots.com
  I think Denyse is right on! How is anybody ever going to learn anything if all people do is pick pick pick? HELP the new people! I'm not a pro, nor do I want to be, but I've sure learned a lot from nice people on this site helping me out and answering a lot of really stupid questions..and hopefully I'll continue to learn in the same way in the future. Give the newbies a break!!


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12/14/2005 12:28:14 PM

 
Bret Tate
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/12/2005
  I am fairly new to this site and I must say that I have seen many positive and encouraging comments and very few negative comments.

That said, I would like to offer my opinion. I have photographed weddings for 20+ years and I can honestly say that it is very stressful photography. There is no room for mistakes, no "re-dos", and you must be able to fix problems and react on the fly. I have had to work through many equipment failures. Both mine and the wedding patry's.

I spent a lot of time doing "family" portraits before I ever attempted a wedding. My wife almost made me give it up when she got tried of me fretting over shots while they were awaiting processing.

I understand your point regarding the need for photographers that will do weddings at a relatively small fee for those that can afford very little. By your own admission, you have something to offer. If you are confident, have the skills and the equipment for the job, and want to offer your services, I say go for it.

However, if you have just purchased a camera, have taken some shots on auto, aren't sure what all of the buttons are for, and have not spent time experimenting with shooting portraits and honing your people skills, you are asking for disaster.

I am in complete agreement with Mark. You run the risk of ruining friendships.You don't need to be a "pro" to do a good job at a wedding, but you do need to have some skill and experience.

I wish you all the best and continue to "work your way to the top". I hope that you reach your goals!

Thanks for reading my babbling,
Bret


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12/14/2005 12:30:29 PM

 
Denyse Clark
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/2/2002
  Hi Bret,
Are there REALLY people out there that would literally just buy a camera & go after a wedding?? I suppose there probably are.... And I'll assume that the downhearted comments out there are directed at them, LOL.

I've taken several betterphoto classes, and have spent countless hours figuring out my controls and taking test shots...

I just wanted to throw it out there that there IS a place for amateurs in the photography business as long as, like you guys pointed out, you know your skill level & stay within it. I'm actually trying to go after things like Baby Showers, Bridal Showers, Anniversary Parties, and Birthday Parties to keep honing my skills without all the pressure. I don't know if there is a market for it, but I can do it pretty cheap, so I'll see how it goes.... I'm having my Deluxe Website built as we speak.

Nice chatting with everyone!!


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12/14/2005 12:42:34 PM

 

BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/28/2003
  I'm glad this came up this way. It's positive.

So, the question is, how do newbies get into wedding photography? There are a couple of ways. First, let me tell you how you don't do it. You don't just go shoot one. OK, now that itty bitty bit of negativity is out, the rest of this will be positive, I promise.

There are several ways to get the experience. First, shoot portraits and kids and babies and families and headshots and all that stuff. Do that for a while, like a few years, at least. Also, maybe at the same time, or maybe once you feel you have decent skills, go find a pro who needs an assistant. Don't get discouraged. Most pros already have someone. It's all about timing. You have to call right at the time when their assistant is leaving them. So, timing is everything. It can be frustrating. But, keep at it. Be persistant. Keep calling every few months. Build a rapport with some of your favorites in the area. Eventually, they'll give you a shot. I do it all the time. If someone is at my heels about it, and I get a small wedding or something, I'll bring them along and see how they do.

Weddings are a one-time event that cannot be recreated. You have to nail it. That is a huge responsibility.

Why does a pro get the bucks?

What if you are driving from the ceremony to the reception site and you get in a bad car accident? A pro, if they are alive and can breathe, has a plan for that. We are connected, networked, belong to organizations that can help with protections (like lawsuits), and have liability insurance if someone trips over your tripod and breaks their skull open.

What will you do if you are shooting a wedding, and you are doing formals in a park area, and you take a step back, and there is a small little hole in the grass and you twist your ankle and break it? Pros have a network of people they can call in that emergency who will come cover the ever for them.

This is why $5k sounds like alot, but it's not when you consider the immense time we spend making sure that someone elses memories are captured and protected.

I even have a plan for if I die on how to fulfill all my obligations to current in process work, and for all the future clients too.

Those are small examples of the things pros do that people who just think it's fun, don't do.

So, I always recommend assisting for at least a year, but usually it takes more like 3 or so years to really get into the whole biz. It's alot more than shooting.

A friend of mine was shooting in Florida, her camera flipped out. No problem, reached in her bag and grabbed her back-up. Then about 3 minutes later, it flipped out. Grabbed her 3rd back up, it went out. She was freaking, but noticed a guest had a decent P&S camera and she asked if she could use it for a while. She called her network and put out an APB. In less than 30 minutes, she had a few new bodies to use to complete the wedding. And, she didn't miss a beat. That's what a pro does.

So, I truly hopes this helps you. It is a really serious thing. I know there are people that can't pay $5k. There are some areas of the US where $2k for wedding photography is high-end. That's fine. You have to figure out the price point for your area.

But, most pros will tell you, that if you are shooting weddings for money, you are representing yourself as a professional, competent photographer. Regardless of what you say, or what you think your client thinks. They are expecting something. Something great.

The best advice is to work with someone for a while. What do you have to loose by doing that?


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12/14/2005 12:51:24 PM

 
Bret Tate
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/12/2005
  Denyse:

Just to give you an idea of the skill level that some people think is required to photograph a wedding, the following question was actually asked of me:

"I am supposed to photograph a wedding tonight. I think I know how to do it.I just want to know what the numbers on the lens mean and do they make any difference? I usually just leave it on 8 and my pictures come out ok. "

That sort of thing frightens me! A photorapher once told me that the difference between a "pro" and an ametuer is that pros do not show you every shot that they take and they can repeat results. An ametuer shows you every shot and everyone can get lucky with a shot but can you repeat it?

Have fun shooting


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12/14/2005 12:59:29 PM

 
Dr Silly
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/28/2004
  Hi Denyse I don't know about people picking up cameras and thinking they can shoot a wedding, but I do know I people see you with a camera in your hand that ia not a point and shot they think you can shoot a wedding.

It happen to me. I shot my sister's wedding and I didn't know about flash and camera settings. I was lucky I was able to get some photos my sister liked but most where BAD.

I never shoot a wedding again, I couldn't afford backup cameras and flashs.

After 30+ years I have taken up photography again, but only for me.

I think it is pretty cool that you are learning and helping people out who can not pay big money.

So bump a nose and have some fun.
Dr Silly


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12/14/2005 1:19:26 PM

 
Kerry L. Walker   My first post was just a wise crack but I would like to add to the comments already made.

"Mark- Hmm, really? You'd suggest to have someone buy disposable point & shoot camearas and let the guests sub as photographers rather than let an amateur take control of the day?? You're looking at a $200 investment for shots of the back of peoples heads, lol."

Not really a bad suggestion. If all their shots come out bad, there is no one person to blame. The only person they can blame is themselves for not hiring a pro.

I happen to agree with all the post here but I think you need to understand the difference between a rank amateur and a skilled amateur. Sure, you can get acceptable results by just leaving the aperature on f/8 (as someone mentioned to Brett) but you need to know when you really, really WANT to change that, even if you don't NEED to. You also need to understand where you are at. You are not one of the RANK amateurs. You have skills and you didn't look for advice right before the shoot. You did your homework. There are people out there who will buy a new camera and go shoot a wedding the following weekend. The advice given these people is usually "Don't do it!" simply because a blown assignment (even if it is free) will most often damage a friendship. Remember, this is advice given, not picking on them.

However, when the B&G turn to someone other than a pro to do their wedding, (against all advice to the contrary) they should at least turn to an amateur who knows his or her way around a camera, as you do. I won't condemn you for shooting a wedding or discourage you from doing so as you have a clue as to what is going on. To those who don't, I won't condemn them either but I will suggest they go first as an assistant and then as a second shooter before they ever take on a job alone.

I shot my first wedding when I was 16. The person who asked me to shoot it knew that I was a good photographer but she was nuts to get me to do it, even though it turned out fine after all. We both got lucky that time. I kept on shooting and my skills improved but I later realized there was so much I didn't know, but I learned.


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12/14/2005 2:51:05 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  So what percentage of the $5,000 is the pictures and what percentage is the plan?


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12/14/2005 2:53:39 PM

 

BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/28/2003
  Gregory, that's funny coming from you, but I'll bite.

There's an old story about a Texas oil tycoon who one day was having trouble with one of his oil rigs. No matter what anyone did, they couldn't get it to work. So, the oil tycoon calls his buddy, who's been fixing rigs for 30+ years. His buddy is retired, but agreed to help out the old tycoon. So, he drives out in his truck, takes a look at the rig. Goes back to his truck and grabs a huge pipe wrench. He walk up to the rig, studies it for a minute, than BANG, hits it with the wrench. All of a sudden, the rig starts pumping.

He jumps back in his truck, and tells the tycoon that he'll send him the bill.

A few weeks later the tycoon gets the bill and he can't believe it. He calls his buddy and says, "Are you serious? $60,000. All you did was come out and hit the damn thing."

His buddy said, "well really, I only charged you $100 for the labor. The other $59,900 was to know where to hit it."


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12/14/2005 3:19:14 PM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  As Denyse said: "Mark- Hmm, really? You'd suggest to have someone buy disposable point & shoot camearas and let the guests sub as photographers rather than let an amateur take control of the day?? You're looking at a $200 investment for shots of the back of peoples heads, lol."

Keep laughing Denyse. It's done all the time and more often than not, with a large degree of success for a lot of reasons I won't go into here. BTW, as I often tell students when I'm afforded the privilege of teaching, "It ain't the camera, it's the nut driving it." In other words, I could shoot any event using a point and shoot and probably do a better job using that camera than someone with little or no experience using an autofocus point and shoot. Why? That should be obvious to you.

And I think you were right to ask a month before the wedding and practice like Hell in the meantime. What I object to is like I said, the people the day or morning before who are asking about what film, what lens, what or how to use flash...ad infinitim, and who don't experiment or even look at the venue beforehand to plan for problems. As Bret stated, you need to be prepared to handle problems.

I'm also in complete agreement with both Bret and Kerry. Like them, I never begrudge someone the opportunity to garner more experience, just not on the backs of someone (like a B&G) who could be potentially injured in the process because someone's skills were exceded only by their good intentions and mis-directed courage. Like the two guys getting ready to skydive when one asks the other...how long have you been skydiving? The answer he shouts back is "I haven't. But I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night."

And Kerry is also absolutely correct when he says in most instances we're providing advice, not criticizing. That advice we share is based on our years of experience, taken singly or in combination. It's offered to help you learn, not pick on you. Besides, if you're looking to do something stupid with potentially catastrophic results, and you get your friends (with inadequate experience) to encourage you, what does that say about your friends either here or elsewhere?

Think about it and STOP nit-picking that lint off Kerry's shoulder !!! LOL !!
Mark


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12/14/2005 3:26:14 PM

 
David A. Bliss   I have another view to add. I have to leave the wedding photography to the guys who have already responded. I have never shot a wedding, and never plan to. I am not good at that kind of photography, and would be terrified to try it.

But, I do have an opinion on the original topic. I am officially an amateur photographer. I have not had the pleasure of selling my work as fine art or as stock. Someday, with the right amount of time, effort, money, and luck, I might be able to break into the highly competitive world of nature and landscape photography. I am a good photographer, but not outstanding. But, I have a lot of knowledge, gained from years of study and experience, and nothing gives me more pleasure than sharing that knowledge. I am a mentor at heart.

With that said, there is a difference between an amateur, and someone who has just bought a camera and thinks they are a photographer. There is another site on which I used to post, which I have since left because of the negative attitudes of the “amateurs.” While I love passing on knowledge, I hate when someone who asked for an opinion gets defensive and angry by the response. Everyone should be able to look at their work in a critical way, and accept honest opinions. If you can’t, then you will never grow. (Most) everyone who joins a site like this wants to share or gain knowledge, or both. I have learned nearly as much teaching as I have over the years shooting.

One thing, though. I think some of the attitude you are speaking of is directed at people who don’t bother to try and find out on their own. There are many, many resources, from the internet to magazines, for information. Too many people try and take the easy way out, and expect to get the “magic” answer to “How do I become a good photographer?” The answer is, study and practice. If you need help along the way, as we all do, then forums like this are a wonderful place to gain helpful information. But no one here will be able to sum up in a response the way to shoot photographs.


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12/14/2005 3:51:17 PM

 
Pete H
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/9/2005
  Man-O-Man!
I will defend to my last breath the right of ANY novice or newbie attempting to do anything in this wonderful art. If you fail..well; you fail. To tell or suggest to someone they can't or should not is where failure begins,
Concerning weddings?...There are more than enough to shot..even the big boys can't get 'em all. LOL

Like Mark F., I don't do weddings. Bridal portraits are another story, as I have much more control over the shoot..AND, it can be re-shot if need be.

Who is picking on the newbies? I can't say I've read any real derogatory remarks on this site..Quite the contrary..seems very positive to me.

Finally; I've seen some so called "pro" wedding shooters that produce garbage!..and charged in excess of $1,000!

In only my opinion, in this biz you have salesmanship, marketing, creativity and top notch shooters..All three are needed to enjoy success.

You wanna' shoot a wedding with limited experience? Fire away! There are many here that will help if we can.


The ONLY difference between successful people and those who are not is this: Those who succeed don't hear the naysayers, are willing to take risks and try.
Those who grind out an existance "think" they can't and so they won't..won't even try..prefer to stay in the comfort zone. :)

Pete


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12/14/2005 5:28:21 PM

 
Denyse Clark
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/2/2002
  I was feeling a bit controversial this morning when I logged on, so thanks everyone for humoring this thread :)
I love this site!

If any of you "big guys" want to check out my gallery and give me some feedback, I'll take it. The good,the bad & the ugly. There are only a few wedding shots, then mostly just stuff from day to day life. Thanks again everyone!!


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12/14/2005 6:31:14 PM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  thanks for being a good sport denyse,i did check out your gallery.i might leave a comment later.i don't think in the near future you'll take any business away from anyone here,but I think you have potential.just do it,learn from your mistakes, and do it again.i think i'm in the ugly category.
sam
i hope theres not a vote,bacause I might win all three?


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12/14/2005 7:23:36 PM

 
Sherry S. Boles
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/28/2005
  Well, I just wanted to add this thought...

At my wedding the "professional" that we had doing the pictures (and family friend) had just bought a new camera. My wedding was the first with the new camera. My wedding pictures turned out horrible! I was EXTREMELY disappointed... The color was off, the quality was low, etc.
Thank goodness for the ameteurs (and a pro guest shooting with her personal camera)! Those pics turned out better than most all of the "pros" pics. Fortunately, I was able to get a decent 8 X 10 from one of the guests pictures (and copies).
So, yes, Denyse...Some photographers-even pros-just grab a camera and run out and shoot! And destroy the reminders of priceless moments forever...
I didn't pay for those "professional" photos! And, Thankfully, the marriage is MUCH better than the wedding photos!!! =)


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12/14/2005 8:38:54 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  So how much of the oil rig fixer guy's $59,900 is know how, and how much of it is incase he twist his ankle going back to the truck.


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12/14/2005 11:44:56 PM

 
Denyse Clark
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/2/2002
  Sam- thanks for the comments. I really do know I won't be taking any business away from anyone soon, (which is fine w/ me!) but I just wanted to know if the pro's thought I could rightfully compete in the "I have no money, please do my wedding pictures" category, despite them not wanting to admit such a category exists, LOL.

I'll keep working & learning. Thanks everyone who took the time to look at my gallery & comment!!


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12/15/2005 5:05:55 AM

 
Kerry L. Walker   I will comment on a couple of shots - bridal shots since that is what we are discussing.

The sepia shot is terribly out of focus. I don't think it was shot that way. I think it just loaded up wrong. Might want to re-load it.

The window shot of the bride has a lot going for it. You could have used a reflector to throw some of that window light onto the brides left side - or not. I kinda like the mood of it as it is. Depends on what kind of look you wanted from the shot. There are a couple of things you could have done that would have helped it though. First, I would not have cut off the top of her head. Her hair is pretty and I would have preferred to see it all. (BTW, the self-portrait looks good like that, not because your hair isn't pretty because it is but because that is just the type of shot it is. Looks great as it was shot. A compliment from a man old enough to be your dad - you're cute.) I would also have gone for a little more DOF to get the flowers in focus too. A shot with the flowers in the foreground, out of focus, with the bride in focus, looks great, but not with the bride holding them. All in all, it is a good picture.


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12/15/2005 6:31:55 AM

 
Denyse Clark
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/2/2002
  Thanks Kerry, those are the kinds of things I need to hear to make those adjustments in my shots. (not the cute comment, but the other ones, lol)

Going back to those who suggested working with a Pro for a while to get experience... I actually was offered a spot last year (not a pround Pro, but still), and long story short, decided not to accept it b/c my closest friend had a major & serious beef w/ his daughter, and I opted for loyalty to my friend. Boy was that dumb... my friend has since started a photography business right under my nose. So much for friendship. Lesson learned- business is business.


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12/15/2005 7:35:56 AM

 
Phillip Corcoran   I'd like to turn this on it's head, so to speak -- and it's true. A couple of friends invited me to their wedding for which they'd booked one of those wedding photo companies. I took along my pentax SLR and a bounce-head flashgun intending to get a few shots for myself. Anyhow, while the pro guy was taking the shots at the reception, I asked if he minded me taking some shots at his side -- "don't mind at at all" he replied, so I let him arrange the people and I took my pics as he took his. Two weeks later my married friends rang: "Those wedding pictures we bought were a big disappointment, do you have any we can buy from you?" I told them to give me a couple of days and I'll bring them. I made an album of my own photos and presented it to them free of charge --- they said my photos were brilliant. I'm not a pro -- but I've been taking photos for 30 years or more. Don't get me wrong --- a skilled pro can't be beat -- but the outfit they picked to shoot their wedding was taking money under false pretences. Seems even professional photography has it's 'cowboys'?


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12/15/2005 12:07:07 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  Title dosen't matter if you know how to do something.


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12/15/2005 5:09:09 PM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Phillip raises an interesting issue when he mentioned " one of those wedding photography companies ". True, I'm hardly experience in wedding photography, but maybe someone else around here knows. If a b&g interviews one of those wedding photo companies and looks at a portfolio, if you hire them based on the porfolio, are you going to get the guy who shot what you looked at or do they delegate it to someone else who may be available on the date of the wedding?

Reason I ask is that it seems to me you're hiring someone to perform a specific service based on the quality of their work, not a conglomerate. See what I mean? If Phil's friends didn't get what they paid for, they clearly should ask for a refund. And if they looked at a portfolio and didn't get the guy who shot it, I'd sue the conglomerate for fraud. Just a thought.
Take it light.
Mark


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12/15/2005 5:29:54 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  I'm sure they would try to avoid that with routining what they provide. I can see the ad, "all our photographers are well trained". Don't try to come up with anything on your own, in other words. Just follow the employee handbook.


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12/15/2005 5:44:59 PM

 

BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/28/2003
  So, one of those outfits is Bella. It is very popular and does very well. They show a variety of work that comes out of Bella, and tell the B&G taht any number of photographers will show up. So, you can't go suing them because they tell you that it depends on who is available at the time.

It sucks. But, I do know for a fact that Bella has some really excellent shooters. they are guys who don't like all the wedding BS (booking, selling, etc), they just like to go shoot. And they get paid a decent amount to just show up and shoot. It's a win-win for everyone.

However, I think it's a cheesy way to do it. A wedding is very personal, very intimate. The photogrpaher is hangin' with the couple, the couple's family and friends all day long. They need to know who that will be and if that personality will gel with their family and friends.

Anyway, that's an option for you too. Find one of those companies, and see if you can shoot for them for a while. I understand from heresay that a company like Bella is hard to shoot for, you have to have a ton of experience and know your stuff. I'm not sure exactly what that all means, but it's worth finding one of those places in your area and finding out.


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12/15/2005 5:48:41 PM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  hey denyse,
so what do you think of the input?i'm impressed with the response.people wanting to help,new idea?
stay personable with the bride.i'm pretty sure if she gets what she wants you'll eventually get a good clientel and more business.even if it's low key I think you'll be happy and eventually prosperous. wishing you and yours the very best this holiday season.and all here.shoot away denyse.
sam


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12/15/2005 7:37:17 PM

 
Denyse Clark
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/2/2002
  It's been a great thread sam, very intersting. I liked hearing from previous brides & what they did & didn't like in a photog sales pitch. All helpful stuff. Like I said, I'm gonna go after some smaller events (b-day parties, bridal showers) for a while here, but if a low-key wedding comes up, I'd probably do it again.

On a side note- my wedding photos were done by a conglomerate company, and I didn't meet my photog until the day of. I talked to him on the phone the day before, and told him some stuff I wanted, and then he didn't do my requests, just did his "by the book" work. Pics overall were nice and I was happy. Since divorced so who really cares anyways, lol. But you do lose a personal touch w/ a big company, that's for sure... Then again, it was affordable. I think there is a place for all of us out there, even us who are still learning, as long as we keep it honest with the client.


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12/16/2005 5:21:05 AM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  At least he didn't twist his ankle. Would have doubled his price.


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12/16/2005 6:37:10 AM

 
Craig  Paulsen   Nice try Denyse,

trying to shuffle yourself in with the amatuers.


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12/16/2005 8:37:45 AM

 
Denyse Clark
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/2/2002
  Hi Craig- not sure what your comment means??

Oh, and Phillip- way to go, nothing cooler than saving the day when you weren't even trying!


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12/16/2005 9:23:27 AM

 

BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/28/2003
  Gregory, your comments are just bizarre.

All I am saying is that there is overhead that I have to pay for. So, my prices reflect that overhead.


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12/16/2005 12:16:15 PM

 
Craig  Paulsen   I'm not going to put more butter on your bread, just accept the compliment.

You wouldn't believe how many amatuers are trying to get their foot in the door without any experience. At a wedding you have to set your camera in a split second to capture special moments.
You didn't just jump on a bike and ride it, now did you? You had training wheels.

Now go do the right thing


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12/19/2005 6:48:13 PM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  i enjoy gregory's comments, concise and to the point.and as old as I am there were no, no training wheels offered for any bicyles. no police in schools, fights daily at recess,if you weren't strong, you got beat up.if you were to say weak, you got beat up again.but once you stood up to someone, you earned respect, even if you lost.these bullies soon learned you were real so to speak, and would back off.
there are many challenges in our lives that we must overcome.here it's photography.and in most situations the bully is photoshop.newbies can not compete with your expertise in a program that changes the rules. how fair is that?
denyse ??? take what you want from this, and yeah go ahead, do your best and go from there.i think your ability and your sincerity will get you there.
what is this about anyway?
yeah


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12/19/2005 7:38:55 PM

 
Craig  Paulsen   you want to get more technical, OK "you had to learn your balance". You wouldn't learn how to ride a bike on the freeway would you? Weddings are freeways of photography. I know alot of commercial photographers that wouldn't shoot a wedding because they say "too much responsibility and too stressfull". They are use to their studios and everything is set up or for outdoors waiting for the perfect light. With a wedding "you get what you get" and no reshoots.


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12/19/2005 7:56:13 PM

 
Brendan Knell
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/17/2005
  I agree, I also enjoy Gregory's comments. The are short sweet and to the point.


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12/19/2005 8:02:51 PM

 
Craig  Paulsen   I like short comments about short comments


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12/19/2005 8:16:21 PM

 
Denyse Clark
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/2/2002
  Oh, ok Craig, I'll take the compliment :) I wasn't sure if that's what it was, or if you were telling me I didn't belong at all, I am my worst critic afterall.


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12/20/2005 5:06:57 AM

 
Denyse Clark
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/2/2002
  Craig- where are you images in your gallery?? Come on, let's go, get uploading :)


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12/20/2005 9:14:26 AM

 
Craig  Paulsen   I'm constantly FTPing wedding photos(20-30hrs) each. My own and my students, so I don't want to disrupt the action (which has happened before). Normally Nov-Dec is low volume, but this year I've had more weddings(alot of last minute). Alot of people getting married here in Southern Cal. This weekend I had 2 at Long Beach and one yesterday at Newport. I also have one on Christmas Eve. Someone wanted to get married on Christmas day, but I'll be flying home that day.


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12/21/2005 9:45:07 AM

 
Denyse Clark
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/2/2002
  Hmm, yes I suppose the wedding weather in So CA is much nicer than here in western NY this time of year! The one wedding I did was Dec last year, and it was 4 degrees. Not fun.

Ok, you're off the hook then, I'll check back down the road.


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12/21/2005 10:32:46 AM

 
Dr. Evil   uuuuuuuu, now here is a juicy one, who else is there to pic on then.


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12/27/2005 12:01:40 AM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  kinda like walking into a candy store is it? c'mon doc, at least take your shoes off?


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12/27/2005 11:35:59 AM

 
Brendan Knell
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/17/2005
  Denyse, if you didn't know, the reason that Craig doesn't have any pics in his gallery, is because Craig is the name changer.


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12/27/2005 1:09:39 PM

 
Denyse Clark
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/2/2002
  Brendan- thanks, I didn't know... I don't spend a lot of time in the forums and it is beyond me why anyone would waste their time messing w/ everyone else like that. Good to know.


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12/27/2005 1:31:50 PM

 
Craig  Paulsen   The reason is already given, time is tight right now and no I'm not the name changer. Who started this anyway?


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12/27/2005 11:23:00 PM

 
Brendan Knell
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/17/2005
  If you really aren't him, then upload some pics. With the new uploader, it wouldn't even take you 5min to upload 10pics.


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12/28/2005 3:22:42 PM

 
Denyse Clark
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/2/2002
  Brendan makes a good point... with as much time as you are on the forum, you should take 5 min to upload some pics.


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12/28/2005 5:22:13 PM

 
Craig  Paulsen   already did, looks like bobs and andys


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12/28/2005 10:54:40 PM

 
Craig  Paulsen   just kiding, maybe by next weekend


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12/28/2005 11:01:53 PM

 
  You know, after reading all the comments here, I just wonder how many of us never decapitated anyone on film before.


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12/29/2005 10:15:49 PM

 
Brendan Knell
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/17/2005
  What?


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12/30/2005 12:23:26 PM

 
Kerry L. Walker   A problem associated with rangefinders. Not normally associated with an SLR or even most of today's P&S cameras.


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12/30/2005 12:28:23 PM

 
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