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Old Jan 29, 2008, 10:40 PM   #1
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I already photographed a full wedding and it was badly organized so I wasn't able to take my best shots. Problems like flaky family member help, bad videographer with assistant, weird planning, and requested (problematic) printer on site... obstacles that made us rush, leaving no time to pose. The couple posed for others and none of those are printable!

My current skill level is timing and framing while having no training or time. I like to take shots of a guy serving a tennis ball with the ball frozen on the strings. P and A mode often give me underexposed shots so I go full manual.

I'm tempted to buy a D300, but I don't know if there's much difference with D40X to be able to print up to 24x36. I'm going to get a 50 1.8 and 18-200vr unless you tell me save enough for 24-70 2.8 and 70-200 2.8 which might take some time. I only have 3k.

What would pro wedding photographers do in my case?
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Old Jan 30, 2008, 3:27 PM   #2
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well, i'm not sure, but i think a pro wedding photographer would not even consider the 18-200
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Old Jan 30, 2008, 6:01 PM   #3
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The 18-200 is my last resort as I'm going to miss shots with it unless I keep it as backup and practice along with 50 1.8.

I have:
D40 and D40x with kit lens
4 more EN-EL9
3x4gb 4x2gb SD cards
2 carbon fiber tripods and 2 monopods
and more junk

I need:
EN-EL3E x2
Compactflash case
50 1.8
8gb sandisk III
$640 or $730 with customs if I'm unlucky


Already $2764 tax and fees included. I have 3k with 10 cents interest a month with my cheapskate bank. And 3.1k credit card...

Cheap desperate setup:

80-200 2.8
17-55 2.8

High end:
24-70 2.8 (not even available in local stores)
70-200 2.8

Finally more compact flash... ouch! How can my backups compare with medium and high end stuff?
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Old Jan 30, 2008, 7:17 PM   #4
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Location: Taylor Mill, Kentucky
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I think you're gonna need a few more items. Your medium price lens selection will work ok. I would recommend adding a wider angle lens for larger group shots or small churches where you can't get far enough away. You will need the D300, simply for the durability. When you start adding things up , $1800 for a body is really a small part of the total cost. The D40's will do for backup, although I would probably recommend another D300, or maybe a D200. Even a D80 would be more desirable because of its ability to control the flashes as a commander. It will be alot easier to switch cameras and use a backup in case of failure when both are either the same or have a similiar control and feature set. I think you'll need to add the following:
  • another 2 Sb800's for use in large rooms and as backup
  • 2 umbrellas or softboxes[/*]
  • stroboframe flash bracket with nikon sync cable[/*]
  • 2 backups of your most commonly used lens. One for your backup camera for times you have a different lens on your main, and one backup in case you have a failure[/*]
  • a backup for all your lenses[/*]
  • another tripod[/*]
You need to be prepared for bad things to happen and failures. They can and eventually will happen especially when you start doing one of these every weekend. You're also going to have to consider expenses of you marketing materials. Do you have samples of albums and special products you offer (canvas prints, etc)?? What about advertising costs, i.e. yellow page ads, etc. If your just going to do this part time, I think you're thoughts on costs are in line. I think your underestimating what it takes to do this full time. Just having the equipment isn't going to be enough, and my guess is you need about 15k to get setup right.
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Old Jan 31, 2008, 12:58 AM   #5
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If things are going very well, I might have everything needed this year, but I'm much more worried about the knowledge and skills required to go full time.

I have a dream list and it's only 50k of stuff. I'm playing very tight at the beginning as I already bought 5 umbrellas, 2 big soft boxes, 2 reflectors, and more heavy tripods/monopods, but none of which can be carried around or worthy to be mentioned. I use my 2 different background stands for my tennis nets and everything was bought at a fraction of the price. I'd estimate 40%.

I already spent years developing some nice skills in webdesign and marketing. I tried to gather skills that benefit each other and photography is a combination of technical, pure luck, and inspiration. My gambling(technical+luck) days were over after I realized I'm still cursed with bad luck even if I was very skilled.

I guess the most valuable thing I need is being an assistant of a top pro photographer for a season. The legal part is a complete mystery.

Isn't there an insanely big photography book that covers almost everything? lol
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