I need advise, quite long, please read.

Discussion in 'Photography' started by Mike Gauthier, Mar 21, 2005.

  1. I have a passion about photography and I want to try my luck into
    it.....into wedding photography at least.

    I had an old Olympus Om-10 and I have done the picture for my oncle's
    wedding, and I have ''directed'' my own wedding. All of these picture where
    really good and I got some really good feedback on them and I have been
    asked to do 2 more wedding following the result of these ''photoshoot'', but
    unfortunatly, the camera was damaged and I could no longer take
    pictures.....

    Lately I saw a result of a ''professional'' wedding photographer of one of
    the wedding I refused due to the fact that I had no camera, and I was blown
    away about the mediocricy of the picture. They where sharp, no doubt about
    that, but they was just plain boring and looked like a photoshoot at
    wallmart if you know what I mean! I even did a search about Wedding
    photographer in my region and they are a bunch, but they are nothing close
    to impressive....but they are expensive (ranging from 800/day to 2000/day if
    you don't count the ''xtra'') and most of them are nowhere close to being
    called creative.

    So, In my most honest opinion, I sincerely think I can do better than 75% of
    them. So I will try my luck into wedding photography and I am purchasing in
    the following week a photo kit: Canon OES Rebel XT, 50 mm f1.4 lens, 85 f1.8
    lens, 24-128 mm IS lens, 2 x 1024 mb 80 flash card, battery grip, pro flash
    (to be determined) etc....

    My Questions to all of you is this:

    What is the most effective way, in the first year, to get client? Newsgroup,
    newspaper advertising etc....Do you have any suggestion? This is not about
    the money, at first, but what should I charge?

    Also, I should mentioned that for the past 10 years, I have been a graphic
    designer. So for anything related to Photoshop is not a problem, and I can
    put together a website with photo/previous very fast. My graphic design
    career takes most of my time from october to april (slow in september and
    may, and almost nothing from june to august)

    Thanks everyone

    Michel Gauthier
    www.michelgauthier.com
     
    Mike Gauthier, Mar 21, 2005
    #1
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  2. Mike Gauthier

    UC Guest

    Yup...try 'er out...see whot hippens....

    Mebbee you get sum money.......

    Jes' make shur ya got yer paints on strate....
     
    UC, Mar 21, 2005
    #2
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  3. Mike Gauthier

    chrlz Guest

    Only time for a quick reply, but a few things I hope you have thought
    of:

    1. What is your *backup* camera and lenses?? Under no circumstances go
    with one camera alone, even if it is `just` a backup film camera - and
    you should be very familiar with your backup as well.
    2. Do you have an assistant? You'll find it much easier if you have
    one, at least for the first few weddings.
    3. Are you aware of the limitations of shooting in a relatively small
    format (ie enlargement/cropping limits?) And the dynamic range issues
    (potentially - white dress=blown highlights, black suit=lost shadow
    detail)
    4. Have you got a copy of `the list`? - in other words a list of all
    the images you take for a formal wedding. If that list is less than
    100 shots, it's not complete!
    5. Do you have insurance? Have you thought about how you will deal
    with difficult clients, or when (and it *will* happen) you screw
    something up?
    6. I suggest you use more and smaller memory cards - disasters are less
    costly then! Watch your usage so that you do not have to change a card
    at a critical moment.

    And to answer your actual question.. (O;

    Think about where your potential clients will come from, and where they
    will go. Wedding gown makers, cake shops, reception houses - talk to
    them about contra deals - you advertise them, they advertise you. You
    can target engagement notices (look them up in the phone book and send
    them a package with examples of your work and a good deal), advertise
    in wedding magazines, get links from the websites of the above...
     
    chrlz, Mar 21, 2005
    #3
  4. Mike Gauthier

    Mike Kohary Guest

    Just a recommendation on this - that's too many lenses for a wedding. You
    won't have time to be changing lenses all the time. Get a good all-purpose
    zoom lens and stick with that, or two lenses at the very most. I work
    weddings with a 24-70mm f/2.8 and a 70-200mm f/4. Those cover all the range
    I need.
    No newsgroups - nobody reads them except us dorks. ;) Do put up a web
    page, which is handy to have for promotional reasons (you can point anyone
    to a web page, which they can peruse at their convenience). Get business
    cards and put together a good sample portfolio. If you only have a couple
    of weddings under your belt, that's fine - just pick your best from what you
    have. You can add to it as time goes on. Check your local wedding dress
    shops and see if they accept "vendors", where you can set up a little table
    with samples and cards, etc. Check other shops related to wedding goods,
    and see if you can work out a deal where you promote each other. Focus on
    stuff the girls will see, not the guys - the women getting married tend to
    take the lead on all this stuff, and they're the ones you want to reach.
    The grooms just rent a tux at the last minute. ;) After you do several
    weddings, if you do them well, you will start to get word of mouth. Put
    your card out at the wedding. If you hear of anyone attending the wedding
    getting married themselves, make sure you talk to them and get them your
    card. Carry your card everywhere with you - everywhere. You never know
    when you'll have the occasion to hand it out.
     
    Mike Kohary, Mar 23, 2005
    #4
  5. Mike Gauthier

    Dirty Harry Guest

    Very nice reply, I was also thing the same thing as the OP. Do you think
    that 8mpix or 8.2 of the 20d is too little for quality enlargements? I have
    a 24" print from the rebel that I would call excellent, but I have no idea
    how large of blowups people would want. I current have a rebel but will be
    getting a 20D and keeping the rebel as a backup. I do have a full manual
    film camera with a quality 50mm f1.8, but I think the shooting speed would
    be way to slow no?

    To the OP, I think that you should really invest in a 20D if you're
    planning on going pro (which is what you would be doing). The XT is still
    considered a camera for amateurs, and the 20D is for "advanced amateurs" lol
    (2 grand Canadian and I'm still going to have a camera for rookies?? )
    Maybe someone can correct me here but I"m guessing that you would get about
    100 images per card if you just shot raw, which is only going to give you
    200 images.
     
    Dirty Harry, Mar 23, 2005
    #5
  6. Well the wedding preparation, the wedding and the reception would be
    entirely shot with the 24-128, but the other lens are for the ''formal''
    picture which would mainly be shot with the 85 mm, but I might use the 50mm
    if i need more light or more speed.
     
    Mike Gauthier, Mar 23, 2005
    #6
  7. Mike Gauthier

    Chrlz Guest

    Bear in mind that I come from a background of shooting weddings for
    the upmarket side of town, and we exclusively shot on medium format
    equipment. Quite a lot of wedding photographers shoot 35mm film, and
    their clients (which are probably a slightly different group) seem
    happy enough..

    35mm film, like 6-8Mp DSLR's, begins to struggle with enlargements
    beyond about 13"x9". It depends on the subject, but if your client
    wanted a big family group photograph at that 24" you refer to, and the
    viewer wants to get up close and be able to clearly see Aunty Pat's
    dimples amongst a group of 15-20 people all in the shot, well...

    So to me, 6-8Mp, just like 35mm film, is borderline for weddings. And
    the difference between 6 and 8 is very little. But if you show the
    clients the quality of the biggest enlargements you can do, and they
    are happy, then go for it.
    As long as you have a powerful flashgun (and a high synch speed would
    be very useful for outdoor fill), and use film designed for
    weddings/portraiture, it should be ok, taking all of the above into
    account. But you will also need/want a wider lens for shooting in
    confined areas, and a longer portrait lens, along with that second
    camera body for backup and/or shooting different film (eg b&w).
    Which is way too many to lose if there is a card failure!! So there
    is an argument for more, smaller cards...
     
    Chrlz, Mar 23, 2005
    #7
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