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Advice for wedding photography planning

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Dave18 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dave18 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Advice for wedding photography planning
    Posted: 28 September 2017 at 10:05
I was recently ask to put together some advice for wedding photographers about planning for wedding day photography.
Here is the article
https://www.poptop.uk.com/events/2017/09/22/top-11-wedding-photographers-shared-their-tips-smooth-photo-session-private-events/
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addy landzaat View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote addy landzaat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 September 2017 at 11:47
Some good advice there. You and almost all your colleagues stress the importance of planning - know what you're gonna do and know what your clients expect!

You write in your piece: "Opportunities for candid shots; it's not often that you can photograph the actual signing (registrars won't allow it)" - why is that? I did the staggering amount of three weddings (and no funeral) but I was always permitted to photograph the actual signing. In fact this is one of my favourite pictures - the bride is signing while her father looks on:
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Dave18 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dave18 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 September 2017 at 17:17
In the UK it is sometimes possible to photograph the signing of the register at a church wedding dependent on the vicar, but weddings performed by registrars are not due to the data protection act, a double page in their registry book can contain up to 4 weddings so they are not at liberty to divulge other peoples details.
Usually they will set up a mock signing with a blank page after the ceremony
David
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addy landzaat View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote addy landzaat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 September 2017 at 18:54
Okay, I understand the privacy concern - but how much would it cost to just get one wedding on a page

Thnx for the clarification.
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mikey2000 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote mikey2000 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 September 2017 at 23:11
DAve, I had exactly the same experience with Signing Photos. The 'real signing' was a quietly dignified affair with no photos allowed. Then the fake register came out and it was a true photo-frenzy.

I'm nowhere near brave enough to take on a wedding as a paid job. I'm always super-impressed by the photographers staking their living on getting shots of someone's biggest ever event, with no real chance of a re-shoot.

The web page linked above contains some very very good wedding photos. Well done for being included
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Dave18 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dave18 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 September 2017 at 14:42
Thanks
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Steve-S View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Steve-S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 October 2017 at 17:10
Originally posted by mikey2000 mikey2000 wrote:

I'm nowhere near brave enough to take on a wedding as a paid job. I'm always super-impressed by the photographers staking their living on getting shots of someone's biggest ever event, with no real chance of a re-shoot.

Yeah, THIS.

I've been asked, but I'd never do it. I would consider doing a "second shooter" gig if a pro had specific chores they could assign me.

After I had several such gigs under my belt, and the gear I feel I'd need, I'd consider it.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Maxxuman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 October 2017 at 05:26
Originally posted by Steve-S Steve-S wrote:

Originally posted by mikey2000 mikey2000 wrote:

I'm nowhere near brave enough to take on a wedding as a paid job. I'm always super-impressed by the photographers staking their living on getting shots of someone's biggest ever event, with no real chance of a re-shoot.

Yeah, THIS.

I've been asked, but I'd never do it. I would consider doing a "second shooter" gig if a pro had specific chores they could assign me.

After I had several such gigs under my belt, and the gear I feel I'd need, I'd consider it.

The wedding photographers I work with want second shooters who have enough experience and ability to be able to represent their brand. Many will only hire someone who has shot a wedding as the primary photographer. Because there are parts of the day, such as groom prep (shots of groom with groomsmen getting ready for the day), where the second shooter is on their own. The primary photographer will often assign other tasks to the second shooter, such as capturing reception room or other venue details.

The other way to get experience is to assist experienced photographers. You can learn a great deal about how they achieve their results by assisting a few times. I've assisted a lot of photographers in the past couple of years and learned more doing so than second shooting. Most of the time I'll also shoot when not needed for assisting duties.
Barry
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Tricky01 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 October 2017 at 21:39
Originally posted by mikey2000 mikey2000 wrote:

...with no real chance of a re-shoot.
- and also Steve-S; this is one of the biggest fallacies I've seen in photography. I've done several weddings and one corporate event. I love weddings because you're roughly the third most important person there - everyone knows the happy couple have paid for you to shoot there wedding and are incredibly accommodating if you do need to take several shots. Everyone is also happy, so lots of candid possibilities, and wedding days are generally long, so plenty of time to catch good shots. Contrast that with corporate events, and that really is a horrible experience - you really are the least important person, and if you don't get that shot of someone receiving an award in the 1 second they give you, you're stuffed - no one is happy waiting around for the photographer. I'd recommend anyone to try, and both you and steve-S, you both clearly have enough command of a camera to easily excel. To try it is to love it
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Miranda F Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 October 2017 at 09:03
I must admit to being astonished at the amount of planning and pre-ceremony work which is described. I've attended quite a few weddings over the years (but nowhere near the 500+ the last pro I spoke to claimed!) and it is quite obvious that preparations and coverage must vary enormously.
Maybe my family just haven't hired the top photogs, but most of the pros I've seen just turn up, snap a few pics during the ceremony with the camera on auto and then pose small groups in the park/grounds/graveyard. Not much to that, I have to say.

Now I have seen some absolutely gorgeous wedding pics, but not taken at any weddings I've been to - the best were studio shots done afterward or special trips where the photog and couple drove to some other outdoor location on their own. And in my book that's portrait photography (which is certainly a real skill) not wedding photography.

I guess it depends on what was requested too, but on one or two weddings I went to in film days the pro's pics were awful and they used mine instead. And on one wedding I went to the groom didn't hire a pro at all and gave everyone a single-use camera. That's much more common now when everyone shares pics on facebook. I strongly suspect that weddings pros will become a thing of the past at the lower end of the market.

Edited by Miranda F - 23 October 2017 at 09:08
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Post Options Post Options   Quote addy landzaat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 October 2017 at 10:18
At the lower end? Yes, most likely. If you just want a few pics to remember the occasion, amateur phone pics can be more then adequate.

But a decent photographer adds something, take a look at our Weddings (1) thread and these UK based members - as you are also UK based, I thought they were appropriate:
Richard Harris
Stuart Ratcliffe
David Wilkins
Maybe the next time somebody in your family marries, they can get a half decent photographer

And the preparations for a wedding?
Talk to the couple - what do they expect, what can you deliver?
Know the venue - visiting is ideal, but online pictures also give an idea.
Dress appropriate and be on time
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ricardovaste Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 October 2017 at 14:05
LOL, thanks Addy. I would add to this that cheap cameras, camera phones and social media have been around for sometime now, but there is still a broad spectrum out there. Some people still spend very, very little or comparatively huge amounts - it's got very little to do with technology. What I would say is that more advance cameras make it easier to get usable photos, and this is one thing that contributes to an overall higher standard and more choices - making it easier, in some ways, for those seeking a photographer. You also have the post recession, entrepreneurial spirit of many people seeking to work for themselves and in a creative way, so to some extent more creative people are attracted in greater numbers to this area now, than say 15 years ago.

Originally posted by Tricky01 Tricky01 wrote:

Originally posted by mikey2000 mikey2000 wrote:

...with no real chance of a re-shoot.
- and also Steve-S; this is one of the biggest fallacies I've seen in photography. I've done several weddings and one corporate event. I love weddings because you're roughly the third most important person there - everyone knows the happy couple have paid for you to shoot there wedding and are incredibly accommodating if you do need to take several shots. Everyone is also happy, so lots of candid possibilities, and wedding days are generally long, so plenty of time to catch good shots. Contrast that with corporate events, and that really is a horrible experience - you really are the least important person, and if you don't get that shot of someone receiving an award in the 1 second they give you, you're stuffed - no one is happy waiting around for the photographer. I'd recommend anyone to try, and both you and steve-S, you both clearly have enough command of a camera to easily excel. To try it is to love it


There is a lot of truth in what Simon says here, too. I'd compare it to a friend of mine who tried to mix video into his photography services (Weddings) some years ago, you know, back when video on an SLR was a novelty and for a short moment it was very trendy to do both. The brutality of having to record an exact moment happening, and either have it or not, isn't something that sat well with them. Many times, and this does depend on "style", you're able to seek a photograph that isn't predetermined and shoot it until you're happy. That may only be a few photos in 30 seconds or so, but it's often more than 1 opportunity. Of course, the flip side of that is that when it comes down to the actual content and an important moment, something happening, a key figure, etc, there really can be few opportunities, sometimes 1. For me it's less about whether it can be re-shot or not, and more about whether you have the required skill to simply execute on what you have in mind. Moments come and go - but not everyone sees the same thing.

As for the post, I'd agree that planning is important, you should always be prepared and know what the structure of the day is. But I'd also add that it's probably more important to *know* you client, than to plan for the end of the world. Planning can go too far, and for some clients, it can actually create work (problems) rather than solve problems.
I photograph the moments in people's lives that mean the most to them: Richard Harris Photography
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