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Wedding Photography
Where are the wedding photographers?
May 18, 2020 23:24:23   #
DanielB Loc: San Diego, Ca
 
Before I post again, which will be immediately after this observation, I was scanning through the posts and was very surprised that there are very few contributors to this forum. In fact most posts have no photography examples at all in them. Why is that? Is it because wedding photography is such a demanding proposition for most that there just isn't anyone doing it anymore?

I know most wedding photographers have a high risk vs low profit margin - meaning if something goes wrong, which we all know can happen in a drop of a camera, that you can loose more than your reputation. I know going into each job that this is a distinct possibility and there is high risk and low reward when it comes to the Mother of the bride. I think you pro's know what I mean.

We spend 6-8 hours on the actual wedding and 40+ hours sorting and in post but the average wedding couple have no clue of how much work it is to get results.

Then there are the Craigslist photographers that that have a Canon Rebel T7i with kit lenses offering $500 wedding photography and most don't even know what the exposure triangle is. They set the camera on full auto and point and shoot as much as they can and hope they get a few good shots...but I digress.

Thoughts anyone?

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May 19, 2020 07:14:09   #
yssirk123 Loc: New Jersey
 
Redundant equipment (at minimum n+1, and n+2 is better), 2 shooters, and priced so you have healthy margins. The Craig's list target market is not one that you want, and won't provide a sustainable business model.

Also, if you're spending 40+ hours sorting and processing your raw files, you might want to investigate a different work flow. Check out Capture 1 for processing.

Reply
May 19, 2020 12:07:36   #
fotoman150
 
DanielB wrote:
Before I post again, which will be immediately after this observation, I was scanning through the posts and was very surprised that there are very few contributors to this forum. In fact most posts have no photography examples at all in them. Why is that? Is it because wedding photography is such a demanding proposition for most that there just isn't anyone doing it anymore?

I know most wedding photographers have a high risk vs low profit margin - meaning if something goes wrong, which we all know can happen in a drop of a camera, that you can loose more than your reputation. I know going into each job that this is a distinct possibility and there is high risk and low reward when it comes to the Mother of the bride. I think you pro's know what I mean.

We spend 6-8 hours on the actual wedding and 40+ hours sorting and in post but the average wedding couple have no clue of how much work it is to get results.

Then there are the Craigslist photographers that that have a Canon Rebel T7i with kit lenses offering $500 wedding photography and most don't even know what the exposure triangle is. They set the camera on full auto and point and shoot as much as they can and hope they get a few good shots...but I digress.

Thoughts anyone?
Before I post again, which will be immediately aft... (show quote)


Yes I did that for several years before I graduated to full manual. Now I cringe when I think about it. It was back in the film days. I really thought that I could “take pitchers”. LOL

I hereby issue a blanket apology to all the brides and grooms and to all the photographers that actually knew what they were doing.

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May 19, 2020 12:57:36   #
cjc2 Loc: Hellertown PA
 
Something I often did not enjoy. Cheers.

Reply
May 19, 2020 18:31:25   #
E.L.. Shapiro Loc: Ottawa, Ontario Canada
 
Problem is, as soon as we begin to discuss wedding photography, on a professional level, the conversation usually goes to equipment issues or all the "sour grapes" about wedding photography not being profitable, and/or horrifying wedding disaster stories about failed equipment and difficult brides and family situations.

The first and foremost aspect of high-end profitable and artistic wedding photography is the photographer's skill sets in portraiture, photojournalism, people skills and organization management, and business savvy, and a proper marketing and promotional acumen.

OK, so we all love high-end gear, however, believe it or not, a really savvy wedding shooter CAN produce a masterpiece coverage with a Canon Rebel and a few lenses and some reliable lighting gear.

Even brand new top-quality equipment, right out of the box, can fail so equipment redundancy in all professional work is mandatory.

You simply have to know exactly what you are doing- there is no time to fumble with equipment. Your equipment. Your camera operating needs to be second nature so you can concentrate on dealing with the job at hand oftentimes under limited time frames and under emotional conditions. As for the candid, impromptu, journalistic part of the coverage you always have to be at the right place at the right time, anticipate the action and shoot quickly and unobtrusively. This requires that you know the framework, traditions format, ethnic and religious aspects of each wedding that you undertake. You must PLAN carefully with your clients so they understand how much cooperation and time you will need for a formal session so the can work it into their schedule. The need to know times, places, and who is to attend.

For the formal portraits and/or romantic casuals, you have to be well-grounded in posting and lighting individual bridal studies, portraits, groups, with a keen eye for detail. You need to understand some principles of bridal fashions- how to drape a gown, train, how to arrange the veil, flowers, retain detail in the whites and produce fine detail in lace and embroidery. where to exactly place the bride's bouquet in her portraits, how to make sure the groom, his best man, and ushers are ship-shape- no sagging trousers, crooked neckties, sloppy jackets... the list goes on- I can write a book! You gotta know how to photograph parents, grandparents, little kids- flower girls and ring boys, cakes, rings, drunken uncles and come out unscathed- with a good job under your belt!

Lighting issues- available light, window light, flash usage, daylight, daylight with flash or reflector fill, additive and subtractive lighting methods, multip flash or Speedlight,

$$$- money issues? Why would anyone want to do all this hade work and not earn a decent profit? Photographers that underprice themselves. Star a business without a solid business plan, constructing a price list based on their overhead expenses, costs of sales and profit margins is simply committing business suicide. The only way you can charge more than the low-priced crowed is simply to offer better quality and service and set your prices accordingly. If your work is really a cut above the rest, and you can't demand a fair. reasonable and profitable, you are in the wrong market.

High-quality wedding photography is alive in well among true professionals. There are hacks out there as well but that can happen in every trade, job, or profession. For those wanting to pursue a career in professional wedding photography, I would advise some serious formal classes and seminars such as those offer by the Profession Photographers Association of America. Finding an apprenticeship or good mentor is ideal, going out as an assistant, then a second shooter and gradually breaking in by doing smaller weddings until you gain sufficient confidence and consistent performance.

On the particular forum, there is not all that much interest in this field but this section is open for your participation. This is not a job for the faint of heart or the lazy or impatient photographer. It's serious work, it can be enjoyable and profitable you have the personality and talent. Ya- gotta love PEOPLE! Google the word "misanthrope" that is the anthesis of a good wedding photographer!

Anybody wanna lesson or tip on wedding shooting- post here, in this section, and you will receive an answer! If you know something I don't know or have some ideas of your own- post those too! All are welcome to participate!

I have bee shooting weddings for over 50 years- I have seen some bizarre things go down but most of the time there are no issues. So...pleaes do not post horror stories about fainting brides, uncooperative grooms, grouchy clergypersons, inept photographers you have seen mess up or become rude or about equipment blowing up in church in the midst of a ceremony and the shrapnel killing the organist!

Reply
May 23, 2020 16:22:34   #
DanielB Loc: San Diego, Ca
 
E.L.. Shapiro wrote:
Problem is, as soon as we begin to discuss wedding photography, on a professional level, the conversation usually goes to equipment issues or all the "sour grapes" about wedding photography not being profitable, and/or horrifying wedding disaster stories about failed equipment and difficult brides and family situations.

The first and foremost aspect of high-end profitable and artistic wedding photography is the photographer's skill sets in portraiture, photojournalism, people skills and organization management, and business savvy, and a proper marketing and promotional acumen.

OK, so we all love high-end gear, however, believe it or not, a really savvy wedding shooter CAN produce a masterpiece coverage with a Canon Rebel and a few lenses and some reliable lighting gear.

Even brand new top-quality equipment, right out of the box, can fail so equipment redundancy in all professional work is mandatory.

You simply have to know exactly what you are doing- there is no time to fumble with equipment. Your equipment. Your camera operating needs to be second nature so you can concentrate on dealing with the job at hand oftentimes under limited time frames and under emotional conditions. As for the candid, impromptu, journalistic part of the coverage you always have to be at the right place at the right time, anticipate the action and shoot quickly and unobtrusively. This requires that you know the framework, traditions format, ethnic and religious aspects of each wedding that you undertake. You must PLAN carefully with your clients so they understand how much cooperation and time you will need for a formal session so the can work it into their schedule. The need to know times, places, and who is to attend.

For the formal portraits and/or romantic casuals, you have to be well-grounded in posting and lighting individual bridal studies, portraits, groups, with a keen eye for detail. You need to understand some principles of bridal fashions- how to drape a gown, train, how to arrange the veil, flowers, retain detail in the whites and produce fine detail in lace and embroidery. where to exactly place the bride's bouquet in her portraits, how to make sure the groom, his best man, and ushers are ship-shape- no sagging trousers, crooked neckties, sloppy jackets... the list goes on- I can write a book! You gotta know how to photograph parents, grandparents, little kids- flower girls and ring boys, cakes, rings, drunken uncles and come out unscathed- with a good job under your belt!

Lighting issues- available light, window light, flash usage, daylight, daylight with flash or reflector fill, additive and subtractive lighting methods, multip flash or Speedlight,

$$$- money issues? Why would anyone want to do all this hade work and not earn a decent profit? Photographers that underprice themselves. Star a business without a solid business plan, constructing a price list based on their overhead expenses, costs of sales and profit margins is simply committing business suicide. The only way you can charge more than the low-priced crowed is simply to offer better quality and service and set your prices accordingly. If your work is really a cut above the rest, and you can't demand a fair. reasonable and profitable, you are in the wrong market.

High-quality wedding photography is alive in well among true professionals. There are hacks out there as well but that can happen in every trade, job, or profession. For those wanting to pursue a career in professional wedding photography, I would advise some serious formal classes and seminars such as those offer by the Profession Photographers Association of America. Finding an apprenticeship or good mentor is ideal, going out as an assistant, then a second shooter and gradually breaking in by doing smaller weddings until you gain sufficient confidence and consistent performance.

On the particular forum, there is not all that much interest in this field but this section is open for your participation. This is not a job for the faint of heart or the lazy or impatient photographer. It's serious work, it can be enjoyable and profitable you have the personality and talent. Ya- gotta love PEOPLE! Google the word "misanthrope" that is the anthesis of a good wedding photographer!

Anybody wanna lesson or tip on wedding shooting- post here, in this section, and you will receive an answer! If you know something I don't know or have some ideas of your own- post those too! All are welcome to participate!

I have bee shooting weddings for over 50 years- I have seen some bizarre things go down but most of the time there are no issues. So...pleaes do not post horror stories about fainting brides, uncooperative grooms, grouchy clergypersons, inept photographers you have seen mess up or become rude or about equipment blowing up in church in the midst of a ceremony and the shrapnel killing the organist!
Problem is, as soon as we begin to discuss wedding... (show quote)


Love the last paragraph. All this is exactly correct. I might add it's a physically & mentally demanding business also.

Reply
Jul 19, 2020 17:20:29   #
steve_stoneblossom Loc: Rhode Island, USA
 
E.L.. Shapiro wrote:
Problem is, as soon as we begin to discuss wedding photography, on a professional level, the conversation usually goes to equipment issues...


Quite a mouthful, but spot on! As a seasoned semi-pro with no desire to become a full time wedding photographer, I have exposure to lots of wedding photography. My wife owns (and I help operate) an event-based floral and decor business. At the time we launched our website, we often had difficulty getting photographers (in particular, out-of state photographers) to share their work with us for mutual promotion. I got a camera and began shooting our jobs. I've learned a lot over the dozen or so years I've been doing it. I get my share of good shots, but real good pros are worth their weight in gold. There are good photographers, and great photographers, and there are artists. Some people just have an eye that leaves me wishing I could see the world as they see it.

And I couldn't agree more with your thoughts on back-up equipment, familiarity, lighting knowledge, and most importantly people skills. A wedding photographer has to be a secret conductor.

Reply
 
 
Aug 19, 2020 20:59:18   #
bdk Loc: Sanibel Fl.
 
my daughter bought a Nikon maybe 5600 not sure of the number .... She learned all the automatic settings, cloudy day, indoors, sunny etc. Thats all she knows, and I hate to say it she is doing amazing . To the point she is thinking about leaving her regular job, and she is making 100K plus a year. She started doing glam shots and it just exploded for her. so u never know.

As for weddings I shot a few, im done with it. been there done that , paid the price....

Reply
Aug 21, 2020 17:42:43   #
E.L.. Shapiro Loc: Ottawa, Ontario Canada
 
bdk wrote:
my daughter bought a Nikon maybe 5600 not sure of the number .... She learned all the automatic settings, cloudy day, indoors, sunny etc. Thats all she knows, and I hate to say it she is doing amazing . To the point she is thinking about leaving her regular job, and she is making 100K plus a year. She started doing glam shots and it just exploded for her. so u never know.

As for weddings I shot a few, im done with it. been there done that , paid the price....


I have been shooting weddings for over 50 years. I still enjoy the work-it's exceiting, challenging and profitable.
Those that dislike the work, perhaps have become kinda "fed up" shoud defiantely pack it in! If you are not into it your displeasure will reflect in you photograhy and that is not fair to the photograher or the clients.

My daughter is an extremely talented photograher but she never wanted to enter the busiess full time. She teaches art and photograhy to young children and teenagers, does some work in the music industry and does well financially when she shoots portraits, headshots and publicity work for musicians and actors.

If you daughter wants to pursue photography, don't discourage her. Nowadays young folks change careers more frequently that their parents ever did. If you daughter is pullig down 100K at her present occuation, she must be good at whatever she is doing so if her photograhy business does not work out, she can always go back to her original profession.

There are many successful professional photogahers out there that are not technical wizzards- they learn a few solid procedures and thier creativity, their "eye" plus some good business acumen pulls them through.

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