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Photographer
S K E L E T O N K E Y
Posts: 2,110
Louth, England, United Kingdom


I've been thinking about it for a while, but putting it off because I'm either; not condfident enough or worried that local photographers will take umbrage if I do get work.

Saying that, i know deep down it's a side of work I want to get into, for a bit of experience aswell as extra money, as I'm a bit strapped for cash.

Though I work 5 days a week, my job hours are quite flexible given in advance, if I do need to swap or take off a day.

I'm currently getting a load of TF and editorial submissions retouched and ready, as well as organising some more to fill up the summer. Before I buy 2 sets of business cards (One set for my portfolio and portrait style work, and the second for events/and personal commisions/prints) As well as buying a good size printer at the end of the year.

This is currently the plan, but I keep swithering as to whether it would be worth it or not, I need the extra money, aswell as to start renting a proper studio size place to keep my kits, but not sure If I'd only end up doing my own personal projects.

I'm thinking probably 6 months in advance, but it still worries me haha.

Thoughts?
Pm me if you want to give me portfolio related advice to my plans.


Allanah
Apr 21 13 10:12 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ontherocks
Posts: 22,427
Salem, Oregon, US


weddings are something that need to be taken seriously. you can get sued if things go badly. i sometimes have nightmares about them. that said they are a good challenge and you can really show off your talent.

for me weddings are hardly worth the stress and risk at the lower price levels (say $500). but if you can get $2K for them that's not so bad.

i will say for weddings it's good to be in shape. they can be hard work.

creativelive just ran something by sal cincotta about the business side of weddings.

so far we've done 7. here are some of our fledgling efforts:
http://www.twohartsphoto.com/weddings/w … er-oregon/

dark churches and reception halls are hard. i think it helps to have a good high-ISO camera and fast lenses. i'd like to upgrade my 5D MK II to a more modern sensor when i can afford to do so.

if you can assist at a few different types of weddings that would be helpful. doing a civil wedding on a boat is very different from a formal church wedding.
Apr 21 13 10:46 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
S K E L E T O N K E Y
Posts: 2,110
Louth, England, United Kingdom


ontherocks wrote:
weddings are something that need to be taken seriously. you can get sued if things go badly. i sometimes have nightmares about them. that said they are a good challenge and you can really show off your talent.

for me weddings are hardly worth the stress and risk at the lower price levels (say $500). but if you can get $2K for them that's not so bad.

i will say for weddings it's good to be in shape. they can be hard work.

creativelive just ran something by sal cincotta about the business side of weddings.

so far we've done 7. here are some of our fledgling efforts:
http://www.twohartsphoto.com/weddings/w … er-oregon/

dark churches and reception halls are hard. i think it helps to have a good high-ISO camera and fast lenses. i'd like to upgrade my 5D MK II to a more modern sensor when i can afford to do so.

if you can assist at a few different types of weddings that would be helpful. doing a civil wedding on a boat is very different from a formal church wedding.

Thanks for your response, you mentioned something about legalities and if I'm honest, I don't know exactly what the protocol is here in the UK when it comes to problems with clients.
I should probably ask a few people I know who do events, if they have run into this problem, and how to deal with it.

Apr 22 13 08:37 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
retphoto
Posts: 875
Sunbury, Pennsylvania, US


This http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article … g-day.html

was just a topic in another MM posting....the photographer was paid what amounts to peanuts and is being sued....

is this what you want to be in for?
Apr 22 13 08:52 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Farenell Photography
Posts: 18,021
Albany, New York, US


I'll start off by saying that wedding photography is NOT for the faint of heart. That being said what helped me over the years was (in no particular order):

1- get a deposit

2- formulate an agreement of understanding (aka a contract). Get the wedding party to sign it. Think of it as covering your own ass.

3- what helped me starting out was doing wedding for friends (I often did it as my gift to them). They knew what I was capable of & even if they were, I encouraged them to review my website.

4- depending on how you choose to do the wedding photos, think of it like is 1-part photojournalism, 1-part event photography, & 1-part formal static shots.

5- make sure you get your costs covered

6- don't be afraid to say "no" or walk-away from a job proposal

7- things WILL go wrong, just expect it. But its more a matter of HOW you handle things when it does.

8- if someone gets bitchy after-the-fact, refer them to the contract clause. If you're smart you'll have a clause in there stating to the effect "(you'll) do the best (you) can under the circumstances provided"

9- Word of mouth goes A LONG way. Good word travels x3 the distance if a person doesn't know about you. Bad word travels x6-8 the distance if the person never heard of you.

10- Not all wedding are created equal. I shot this one wedding a couple months ago where there was like 15-people total. It was the 2nd time around for both. It was one of the most stress-free assignments I've ever done. Then 2 weeks later, I had one in a gigantic church & 15 tables at the reception & kept going on & on & on. Both brides were happy with what I delivered but Lordy, what a contrast between the two!
Apr 22 13 10:37 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
glumpy
Posts: 516
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


I'd say you are better off doing things like corporate/ Charity events at this stage.

You seem to be after fast money without a lot of investment and this is where they hit the mark.

You can see the target which is a good start. You can either google charity events or Gala balls in your area and then contact the organisers or go to the reception venues and see if you can give them some info and a kickback if they can line you up some work.

I find these pretty easy, especially in the marketing side and the profits are great.
I shoot the couples as they come into the venue on a portable studio background with a green screen. usually I try to get events of 500 people as a minimum but prefer 1000 when I can get them.

I drop a background and sometimes a logo onto the prints in the greenscreen software and print the pics out to 6x8". We display them on tables near the exit of the venue and sell them on spec. We get busy again after dinner as people come see the pics and are always impressed and bring out friends etc to have shots done with them.

I usually do about 12-1600 in an evening which is pretty good given the costs are so low and the hourly rate works out nice too. I was doing golf days but only do them if paid by the organisers now. They are generally the wrong demographic ( men) to be selling pics to. They are a good earn if the company putting on the day hires you though as everything id virtually pre sold and your money is guaranteed.

For these I usually spend 2-3 hours out on the greens shooting everyone then come back to the clubhouse and print mag covers for all the players and put together a slide show set to music which we burn for all the players.

For these events depending on what the clients actually want and the size thereof,
I generally get 2-5K for.
It's an early start, a flat out day and you are buggered at the end but it's all finished when you go home and a real good days earn.  Even 1 of those a month would give you a nice extra income.

Again, easy work to get because you can work with the golf clubs and things don't have to be planned 6-12 months in advance.  I once went to see an organiser at a golf day, left her some literature and within 15 Min got a call about a company she was going over the confirmations with that wanted me to cover their event.
They put the money in my account the next day and I shot their event 4 days later.  They had me cover their next event which was interstate the next month and they were both top Dollar jobs. They weren't real big but the company took ALL the options which bumped the money right up.

People crap on about the difficulty and cost of onsite printing. Generally people who have never done it and don't realise how simple and profitable it can be.
You can buy printers with bulk ink systems for about $150 a pop ( get 2-3) and make your money back the first gig.  Last year I bought a new laptop and 3 new printers and made over $3k more than I spent that weekend alone.

IF you have lights, get a greenscreen and some software and with the printers and a laptop you are good to go with the dinners and balls. If you are a little less well off gear wise, go for the Corporate golf days and you'll soon have more than enough to cover lights and anything else you may need.

If you get into the corporate events, You won't be stuffed mucking around with weddings let me tell you!
Apr 22 13 10:40 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
MC Photo
Posts: 4,144
New York, New York, US


ontherocks wrote:
weddings are something that need to be taken seriously. you can get sued if things go badly. i sometimes have nightmares about them. that said they are a good challenge and you can really show off your talent.

for me weddings are hardly worth the stress and risk at the lower price levels (say $500). but if you can get $2K for them that's not so bad.

i will say for weddings it's good to be in shape. they can be hard work.

creativelive just ran something by sal cincotta about the business side of weddings.

so far we've done 7. here are some of our fledgling efforts:
http://www.twohartsphoto.com/weddings/w … er-oregon/

dark churches and reception halls are hard. i think it helps to have a good high-ISO camera and fast lenses. i'd like to upgrade my 5D MK II to a more modern sensor when i can afford to do so.

if you can assist at a few different types of weddings that would be helpful. doing a civil wedding on a boat is very different from a formal church wedding.

Are you happy with the colors you're getting?

If you ad an orange gel to your speed light, you'll be able to WB for the ambient and the color in the background will match the foreground. It will also cut the power of the flash a little which will allow you to increase the ISO and bring up the ambient.

Apr 22 13 10:49 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Will Snizek Photography
Posts: 1,387
Beckley, West Virginia, US


Weddings can be good money or headaches.  You'll need at least one assistant to do a wedding right too.
Apr 22 13 12:14 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ontherocks
Posts: 22,427
Salem, Oregon, US


i'm aware of the technique (warm up the color of the flash light) but i haven't tried doing it at a wedding before (i'd have to see if my rogue flash bender will go on over my honl amber gel). i'll have to experiment with that at my next one to see if i like the result better.

regarding ISO i'm often at ISO 1600+ but my 5D MK II really struggles at 3200 and beyond.

regarding the ambient i've tried not to overpower what the event looked like to the human eye (something cliff mautner cautions against in his training). when they cut the lights for the dancing it gets pretty dark. i normally shoot at 1/100s when using flash but i could try slowing the shutter speed down but then i think you can get blurring in the background?

MC Photo wrote:
Are you happy with the colors you're getting?

If you ad an orange gel to your speed light, you'll be able to WB for the ambient and the color in the background will match the foreground. It will also cut the power of the flash a little which will allow you to increase the ISO and bring up the ambient.

Apr 22 13 12:26 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ontherocks
Posts: 22,427
Salem, Oregon, US


get a hold of a good contract that works for your area. we got ours here:
http://www.photoattorney.com/?page_id=579
(but she's in the US)

you can run into things like what happens if a customer pays an initial payment (or two) and then calls to say the wedding is off or they no longer can afford your services.

to me weddings are challenging both technically and from a business standpoint.

S K E L E T O N  K E Y wrote:
Thanks for your response, you mentioned something about legalities and if I'm honest, I don't know exactly what the protocol is here in the UK when it comes to problems with clients.
I should probably ask a few people I know who do events, if they have run into this problem, and how to deal with it.

Apr 22 13 12:29 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Hensley Photography
Posts: 332
Duncanville, Texas, US


There are no redos for something that is insanely emotional and important to the bride. You need to second shoot at several to get a feel for the flow of the day, the ever changing light, where to stand, what the important shots are, the emotions, the drama, more drama, did I mention the drama, and the light, then there's the culling and the editing and the products and the indecision about which ones she wants and her mom wants and please make sure I don't look fat and why are pictures so expensive when my Uncle Bob has a camera even if the rest of the wedding costs thousands.
You really need to spend some time with wedding photographers before you jump in.
Apr 22 13 03:48 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Carle Photography
Posts: 9,227
Oakland, California, US


It is going to take just as much networking with weddings as it is to book other types of work with a big delay in money VS networking portfolio building and education.

If you're already doing fashion editorials and you have a road map for the big paycheck at the end of the road, then you might just want to network harder in that genre and maybe pick up some smaller jobs along the way until the bigger ones come through.

Lookbooks with smaller clothing designers.
Smaller commercial jobs.

Turning a hard left will not get you that big paycheck faster, so keep on your path and take the smaller fashion/commercial/catalogue jobs now until you have the editorials to book the big ones.
Apr 22 13 06:42 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Patrick Walberg
Posts: 42,653
Salinas, California, US


Please read this thread ... all of it! 
http://www.modelmayhem.com/po.php?threa … 697&page=1

It's about a young female photographer getting sued by a couple whose wedding she shot.  This took place in England by the way.  I gave a lengthy post as to how I feel sympathy towards the young photographer.   The way I got started shooting weddings was about 30 years ago, a buddy of mine from high school was getting married.  He knew I was into photography, and invited me to the wedding.  I introduced myself to the photographer who happened to be someone I knew from having my senior portrait taken.  I was able to act as a second shooter for the reception.  Then I was able to tag along on a couple more weddings before flying solo.

This was back in the day when film cameras ruled and digital was still just a fantasy.  When it comes to shooting weddings, I kept my standards high and my prices within the ballpark.  I'd say at one point, the average cost for wedding photography was between $2,000 to $5,000 depending on what was asked for.  I would keep it closer to the $2,000 mark, and refused to drop my quality as digital hacks started advertising on Craigslist that they would do weddings for half or even less that half of what I charged.  Then I started getting more "bridezillas"  ... of which cost seems to be a major factor for them to complain about.  I even dropped my price to $1,000 and continued to shoot film, because it is what I am most comfortable shooting with. 

Finally I gave up when I came in contact with a nice young man in a nearby town who did an excellent job of shooting weddings and for FREE!   He had the top Nikon gear, a normal 9-5 job, and took great pleasure in wedding photography purely as a hobby!  I go into more detail in the above thread link ... read it!   wink
Apr 22 13 08:48 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Patrick Walberg
Posts: 42,653
Salinas, California, US


Will Snizek wrote:
Weddings can be good money or headaches.  You'll need at least one assistant to do a wedding right too.

I think she should assist an established wedding photographer first.

Apr 22 13 08:52 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Patrick Walberg
Posts: 42,653
Salinas, California, US


Farenell Photography wrote:
I'll start off by saying that wedding photography is NOT for the faint of heart. That being said what helped me over the years was (in no particular order):

1- get a deposit

2- formulate an agreement of understanding (aka a contract). Get the wedding party to sign it. Think of it as covering your own ass.

3- what helped me starting out was doing wedding for friends (I often did it as my gift to them). They knew what I was capable of & even if they were, I encouraged them to review my website.

4- depending on how you choose to do the wedding photos, think of it like is 1-part photojournalism, 1-part event photography, & 1-part formal static shots.

5- make sure you get your costs covered

6- don't be afraid to say "no" or walk-away from a job proposal

7- things WILL go wrong, just expect it. But its more a matter of HOW you handle things when it does.

8- if someone gets bitchy after-the-fact, refer them to the contract clause. If you're smart you'll have a clause in there stating to the effect "(you'll) do the best (you) can under the circumstances provided"

9- Word of mouth goes A LONG way. Good word travels x3 the distance if a person doesn't know about you. Bad word travels x6-8 the distance if the person never heard of you.

10- Not all wedding are created equal. I shot this one wedding a couple months ago where there was like 15-people total. It was the 2nd time around for both. It was one of the most stress-free assignments I've ever done. Then 2 weeks later, I had one in a gigantic church & 15 tables at the reception & kept going on & on & on. Both brides were happy with what I delivered but Lordy, what a contrast between the two!

Amen!   smile

Apr 22 13 08:56 pm  Link  Quote 
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