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Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Tabitha M. Brennenstuhl
 

Buying new equipment for weddings


Hello everyone! I am a beginning wedding photographer ( 2 years with about 20 weddings behind me) I have $2500 to spend. I want to stick with canon. I want a canon 5d, which is looking like on ebay I can get a used one for around $1600 - $1800. I also need a flash and a good lens, I want a wide angle, I have a good enough telefoto and normal lens. To be honest, I don't know as much about lenses as I should. I want something to get up close and personal with the bride and groom. .......So I guess I need help with choosing a flash and lens......OR should I go with a less expensive camera but a better lens? If so, which one, within the canon family? I plan on buying this week! Thanks!


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3/7/2008 2:12:12 PM

 
Oliver Anderson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/16/2004
  Holy Cow....you should post some of those photos so we can judge your ability. 20 weddings is A LOT, here is an article that will point you in the right direction.
http://photo.net/learn/wedding/equipment


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3/7/2008 6:55:46 PM

 
John P. Sandstedt
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/8/2001
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  Check out this month's Shutterbug Magazine. There's an interesting article about whether a full size sensor is really needed. Maybe by a heavy-weight pro, but for the vast, vast majority of photographers of all skill levels [amateur through pro] the recommendation is for the APC chip and a minimum size of 8 MP.


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3/8/2008 9:26:39 AM

 
Jerry Frazier   Needs vs wants.

A "full size" frame is simply something that has been placed upon us, but it's meaningless anymore.

Size I grew up on 35mm frame, the 5D and 1Ds cameras are simply awesome because I see through my lenses the way I expect to see and it does make a little bit of a difference.

Knowing I need a 35mm or 50mm lens on a full frame is easy. Sometimes, I'm a little off on cropped sensors.

However, if you've only shot on a cropped sensor, it shouldn't matter at all to you. The adjustment from a 40D to a 5D will probably be something you wont care much for if a 1.6 crop is all you've known.

I'm just old school, and feel comfortable with the full frame sensors. But, it's not better. I just like it because I'm used to seeing that way.


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3/8/2008 9:41:42 AM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  great scenerio tabitha,you speak as if 20 weddings went wrong?boy if you could clarify a few things.cooter.


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3/12/2008 10:23:30 PM

 
Oliver Anderson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/16/2004
  Everytime I read this it makes me shake my head...then I re-read it and shake my head again...I am working with some amazing wedding photographers and feel you owe it to your client to own the proper equipment and posses the knowledge how to properly use it PRIOR to the wedding. I don't know maybe its just me but, unless you live in LA, marriage is a HUGE investment you make once in your life. If your photos SUCK then your memories are gonna be all you've got. Have a pleasant evening.lol


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3/12/2008 11:11:51 PM

 
Tabitha M. Brennenstuhl   Sorry for the delay in response, my entire family has the flu, and I am coming down with it as well. I have counted my weddings, and I have done 17 in the past
2.5 years, many of them family and friends, but not all of them, I have not had one couple be dissapointed. I have been working with a digital rebel, after reading your responses, and other threads, I have decided to go with the 40d, tamron 17-35 f/2.8, canon 50mm f/1.4 and a canon 85mm 1.8. By the way Oliver, were you a professional wedding photographer when you began shooting weddings? How did you get started?


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3/13/2008 7:32:50 AM

 
Oliver Anderson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/16/2004
  I was fortunate enough to team up with some amazing photographers, buy the required lenses & equipment, and study their past wedding albums and read numerous websites/books. Learning while assisting someone near the top of the game is invaluable. I still haven't photographed a wedding solo nor will I till 2009, people have too much money invested into that special day and I feel more compfortable as a buckup till I've got 15 weddings under my belt. The average wedding photographer in my area, w/my clientele earns about $5,500-$12k.


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3/13/2008 8:10:51 AM

 
Tabitha M. Brennenstuhl   I was able to study under a really great wedding photographer in Nantucket, MA, that's probably the price range his weddings were there. Where I live, wedding packages range from $600 - $3000, and the cities I live near, Louisville Ky and Cincinnati OH, they charge from $1500-$6000. This year, I will definetly feel way more secure since I will have backup equipment. I know, I know, I should have never shot any wedding without backup equipment, but fortunatly I was very lucky! Thanks for the advice!


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3/13/2008 8:43:50 AM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  sure,now i'm shaking my head.
close and personal?
anyway many venues exclude flash,you get access to a balcony.no problems with 400 or 800 iso?
churches are problematic because of lighting and the no use of flash/position.
if you studied under some one you would have never entered into this without a backup,even a cheap old film camera or disposable.
please tell me i'm wrong.
yeah,me


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3/13/2008 9:43:37 PM

 
Tabitha M. Brennenstuhl   Ok, I'm not on here to be attacked, thanks for the advice above.


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3/15/2008 5:30:33 AM

 
Oliver Anderson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/16/2004
  Tabitha, You should not take the response as an attack on you, more as constructive critisism. You've worked 20 weddings after training with an experienced wedding photographer. The wedding photographer should have instructed you on the importance of having backup equipment, what type of equipment works best, how to utilize that equipment, what angles to shoot the ceremony from, and how to provide a quality product to the client after their wedding. Another thing to remember is there are other future wedding photographers logging on and reading this thread and we're trying to provide proper advice to them on how to properly prepare for a wedding. Even you mentioned about how you "Never Should Have Shot Without a Backup" Remember it is the photos, not even the video, that most people see everyday whether its on the wall, desk, nightstand or album and its your responsibility to provide that.


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3/15/2008 8:07:22 AM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  kinda straight there oliver.i guess I need to re-evaluate my approach.
attacked?i am sure you won't explain that tabitha.
with almost 20 weddings now your asking q's?
ok,you became offended by a post.ah geeez.
your post with lenses sounded like a cliff notes version of wedding photography.
hope your ok,sam


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3/16/2008 10:39:33 PM

 
Jerry Frazier   Tabitha,

The main thing with weddings is to make sure you are charging enough. The typical scenario is someone starts out charging very little. After their first year, the look at their bank account, and it's bone dry. After the tears, they raise their price a little, still under cutting everyone in the area, because they are new. Then, after that 2nd year, holy moly, still broke! Third year in, spend money on nice website, upgrade gear, upgrade computer, get a blog, start marketing aggressively, raise prices ALOT, get in line with the rest of the dogs, and start making some money, OR they can't play at that level and they go away.

If you're running a real business, you need to play with the big dogs. If you're just messing around, then do whatever you want.

You're getting responses from pros about how to approach this thing, and getting offended by it. You shouldn't.

If this is just a "fun hobby", then that's fine, I guess. Just make sure your wedding clients know that you're just doing it for "fun". That's all I ask. If that understanding is there, then go for it. Most brides that I know wouldn't want someone doing it for "fun". It's serious biz. And, you might be taking away a wedding from someone who actually feeds their family by doing this, so just keep that in mind.


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3/17/2008 3:03:08 PM

 
Oliver Anderson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/16/2004
  I love Ramen.


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3/18/2008 11:10:29 AM

 
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