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Old Jul 28, 2006, 7:25 AM   #1
TDN
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Hey Ira, I read in other topics that you do wedding shoots and create albums for friends.

This looks like a great way to earn some extra cash to me, since I'm a student and my time/money is limited, I could sure use it.

I have a couple of questions:

Do you need any licenses for that?

How much do you ask for 1 wedding album? How much do professional photographers ask, so I can know where to draw a line.

What's your average expense for 1 wedding? (i.e. sending the photos to a fuji lab, buying the material for the album itself...)

How do you get in touch with the couples? I don't know that many people getting married...


And last but not least: any tips?:-)

Thanks,

TDN
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Old Jul 28, 2006, 8:12 AM   #2
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TDN wrote:
Quote:
Hey Ira, I read in other topics that you do wedding shoots and create albums for friends.

This looks like a great way to earn some extra cash to me, since I'm a student and my time/money is limited, I could sure use it.

I have a couple of questions:

Do you need any licenses for that?

How much do you ask for 1 wedding album? How much do professional photographers ask, so I can know where to draw a line.

What's your average expense for 1 wedding? (i.e. sending the photos to a fuji lab, buying the material for the album itself...)

How do you get in touch with the couples? I don't know that many people getting married...


And last but not least: any tips?:-)

Thanks,

TDN





OK, first of all weddings are terrifying at first. It is not for the faint hearted. I think you should do a little research into the trials and tribulations of wedding photography before you rush forward.

I started doing photos for family, basically at cost, I have never advertised and I only shoot a wedding if approached to do so by someone who seems to be aware of my amateurstatus.Over the years I have used equipment from a Pentax K1000, through Minolta Maxxum 7000 to a Fuji S7000 (first attempt at digital, a "budget" job for friends that turned out very nice). This weekend I shoot my first wedding with the DL.

Licenses required? That depends on local laws. Since I do only occasional work none is required here however if I earn more than a certain amount I have to claim the income in my taxes (again that numberwill vary)

Wedding albums? I do notput together wedding albums, it is costly and time consuming (but can be quite lucrative). I suggest that doing a photo book through some company such as MyPublishercan cost as little as $50 and would probably sell for much more as part of a wedding package. Since I do "budget" work I usually supply the clients with about 150 4"X6" proofs in a simple store bought album. I will PM you with the details that would be of little interest to others here.

Average expense? Since I have only done one "digital" wedding it is hard for me to say. Good digital proofs are quite inexpensive (usually less than $0.25 each) but if you offer enlargements you need to research the cost of a decent lab first. The biggest expense doing digital is the time involved in editing. I also supply three copies ofa CD (or two) with the images sorted and properly cropped for standard print sizes (very little cost but a lot of work). Many professionals do not supply files, or charge heavily for them, because exclusive rights to reproduce the images can bring in more income. As a beginner (or a casual amateur like me) it is probably best to negotiate a fair price and pass everything over to the couple.

Getting couples? I live in a small town, if you have done a wedding and someone else has seen the result, and liked it, word travels fast. In a larger centre you may have to check regulations first and then take out an ad in a local publication.

The biggest tip I was given for wedding photography was "run away!". It can be challenging dealing with nervous brides and obsessive parents so beware. If you are serious however, start small. Pros can charge thousands for a wedding shoot, beginners must start far more modestly. Offer only the basics at first, and if you supply a CD remember to give a letter that grants copy rights to the couple, many labs will not print images that they are uncertain about the copyright. If it looks professional they will not print it unless you have proof of ownership.

There are others here with more experience than me so hopefully they will give their slant on things.

Ira







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Old Jul 28, 2006, 8:36 AM   #3
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Ok, I was just curious actually. I have no intention of doing this every month, I just wanted to know in case someone in my family needs a photographer.

My aunt (who is only 9 years older than me) got married a few years back, and I remember that she gave approx 2000$ for the wedding album :O

That got me thinking, and I think it would be benificial for whoever is marrying as well as for me that I would do the photography on the next occasion.

I already did something similar for the 50th anniverary of my grandparents last year, but I didnt have the equipment I have now, and the proportions of that project were nowhere near those of a wedding.
Also I didnt charge much extra, with the exception of the 50$ they gave me for my work.

My estimate is that I could make a full wedding album with an expense of about 200$. I know a very decent and low-priced fuji lab and I would compose the album myself. I know it sounds big, but I like doing that sort of stuff, and the thought of starting such a project sounds appealing to me.

Anyway it would depend on the actual cost, but since professional photographers ask that much, I think I can make a decent buck without ripping off my family and friends.

My little brother is doing his communion next year, I think I will start off with that, as an experiment.
With some white blankets, and proper lighting, it's not that hard to make a decent studio environment in your home.

If I do it, I'll keep you guys posted

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Old Jul 28, 2006, 8:39 AM   #4
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Sounds to me like you are on the right track.

Ira
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Old Jul 28, 2006, 12:25 PM   #5
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Ira that IS the best advise - run away. But sometimes you just cannot. When asked i always say NO! Until the arm-twisting starts. A couple of years ago I had to do a wedding for a niece and I was scared s***less. But, they liked the results - I didn't. They couldn't afford a photographer with experience - so I did it.

Now her sister wants me to do hers for next year. I don't want to do it but I can't get away from doing it. I give them my time they do the rest. Gratis and no charges.
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Old Jul 28, 2006, 12:46 PM   #6
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I did a wedding a few years ago, for my stepbrother, with a Minolta 7000i, 2 lenses, a flashgun and a tripod. I didn't want to, but they couldn't afford a pro.

Took 4 rolls of 36 exp film and I like maybe 3 or 4 from each roll. They didn't like 2 of the shots, so I put them all together in an album and gave it to them as a wedding gift.

Total cost around £60.



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Old Jul 28, 2006, 1:18 PM   #7
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That is pretty much how I started, did my first wedding in 1984 I think, with a K1000, an ME Super, a 50mm, a 135mm, 1 28mm and a 70-150 zoom. Used a Vivitar 285 flash, which I still have and use. Since then I have done about 30 or so (usually one or two a year). Last year I tried digital, what a relief, no more waiting for the proofs to arrive to see what went wrong. I am shooting a wedding tomorrow and another in October to make up my quota for this year. I'll post some samples in this topic if they are fit to show.

A friend of mine just did a wedding and all he did was give them all of the jpegs straight out of the camera, over 600 of them!!! Let them do the editing and printing. I couldn't do that, hate for people to see the flops, but it was economical for him and they were happy with the arrangement.


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Old Jul 30, 2006, 3:46 PM   #8
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Here is one picture from yesterday's wedding, this was shot using two small strobes (only 40 Ws) with umbrellas used as reflectors, and the 18-55mm kit lens (which I used for most of the wedding). I created a duplicate layer, desaturated, erased the flower, increased the contrast and darkened and blurred the background and this is the result:
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Old Jul 30, 2006, 4:17 PM   #9
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Monza76 wrote:
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Here is one picture from yesterday's wedding, this was shot using two small strobes (only 40 Ws) with umbrellas used as reflectors, and the 18-55mm kit lens (which I used for most of the wedding). I created a duplicate layer, desaturated, erased the flower, increased the contrast and darkened and blurred the background and this is the result:

All that for one photo. Nice work, but multiply by 50-200 shots and that is a lot of computer work! Hats off and credit to you.



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Old Jul 30, 2006, 8:17 PM   #10
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I took about 350 pictures, I will not do this level of work with all of them, most will simply be sharpened and cropped if necessary. I usually pick the best images to resize for 5X7 and 8X10 prints, the rest are left as is. The bride and groom portraits all get special attention since they are likely to be printed in larger sizes. I will probably do about 10 "specials" where I apply a little more post processing such as this example.

The sample below was altered by creating a blurred layer and then erasing it from details such as eyes and lips in order to keep skin texture smooth.






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