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General photography questions and answers: Discuss Been asked to do a wedding......So...I've been asked by a member of staff at school to shoot their wedding. Eek. Obviously I've never done an ...
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Old 15-12-2008, 18:30   #1 (permalink)
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Been asked to do a wedding...

So...I've been asked by a member of staff at school to shoot their wedding. Eek. Obviously I've never done an actual wedding before, but I've done a wedding anniversary, and various different events at school involving people.
I had no idea really what to charge, but he suggested in the region of 100. Now, he wants me there from about 1 (probably get there about 12:30), til 5:30-6pm. I dunno what you lot think but I thought that the quoted price, considering it includes processing / editing time (but not printing) may have been a little too low, even if I am inexperienced.

He wants to meet tomorrow to talk about it, and I have already indicated that I thought that price a little below what I had in mind.
I'd like to know what peeps on here charge for their fully pro wedding shoots, as well as what you think I should be aiming for in terms of price.

Also, do you think I should even do it!? I mean, it's a lot of responsibility, but I suppose I have to start somewhere, and at least I more or less have most of the equipment I would need. Might look at borrowing a second body.


What do youse lot think?


Many thanks,

Jack
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Old 15-12-2008, 18:56   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Been asked to do a wedding...

i think you are well capable of doing it , the price well yes it IS a little low but on the other hand you are gaining the experience i would maybe up it a little more if it doesnt include prints, but you have to rememerb you havent done it before so can u justify charging the same as people with a wealth of experience ?
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Old 15-12-2008, 18:58   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Been asked to do a wedding...

No of course I can't. I mean, I think I have in theory got the technical knowledge to do it, but as a first time it wont go as smoothly as planned most likely. It is good experience, that is true, and naturally I can't charge what the going rate actually is, which seems to start from about 400 at the cheapest, and that's for about 2 hours of photography, not a potential 5 or 6.
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Old 15-12-2008, 19:06   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Been asked to do a wedding...

couple of things.......... take lots of water i couldnt believe how dry it was....... get them to write a list of shots and be prepared to stray completely from it. and take someone with you at the very least to help u carry everything about!
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Old 15-12-2008, 19:09   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Been asked to do a wedding...

Right, water, yes. I was planning to sit down with him provided everything goes alright price wise etc. and ask him what he wanted in terms of style etc (reportage, formal group shots, both, other...etc), and then get a list of people and their 'positions'. Also hoping to plan for a specified 'photography time' during the whole event, so that it is easier to organise people because they know it's 'photo time' as it were.
Hadn't thought of an assistant...not sure who I'd get to do it tbh
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Old 15-12-2008, 20:22   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Been asked to do a wedding...

100 quid..? not a bad hourly rate...
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Old 15-12-2008, 20:49   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Been asked to do a wedding...

Jack,

I think you'll do a very good job, especially as it sounds as if you've done quite a bit of planning - good

"I think I have in theory got the technical knowledge to do it" Yep So concentrate on creativity.

100 for 5 hours is rather low. You are going to be exhausted by the end of it + it would be a shame if you thought the money wasn't worth it. Sounds like he's after cheap labour, knowing your situation full well as being young + inexperienced.

Yes, try + take someone with you to help, otherwise if you try + do your first wedding all by yourself, depending on how big/busy/formal it is, you might be letting yourself in for a stressful time, which you don't want. Of course it will mean sharing your fee

Go for it - subject to a mutually agreeable price - and enjoy!
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Old 15-12-2008, 20:51   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Been asked to do a wedding...

Simple rule: If you can deliver what they want, then charge accordingly. If you can't, then set realistic expectations of what you can provide & charge accordingly.

A decent wedding tog charges 1K minimum. An excellent wedding tog is more

To photograph a wedding well, you need :-
  • to understand your camera gear inside out, for all conditions, incl flash photography. You won't have a 2nd chance to capture some moments.
  • Have good interpersonal skills, to organise groups, couples etc
  • have understanding of how to pose people / groups
  • have good understanding of how to use natural light vs flash
  • an artistic flair if they want more imaginative shots
  • have reccy'd the location, preferably at time of wedding to check light
  • a plan for the days shoot, plus a backup for when things go wrong (eg.rain)
  • a backup body , backup main lens & backup flash
  • an assistant to help organise groups, carry gear etc. Get couple to organise one of guests to help if need be

I've probably missed some , but at least a starters

To make life easier, I would suggest influencing the couple to have minimum group shots (say 5), then remove them from crowd for more intimate shots. In addition state you will shoot reportage, which allows them more time to spend with guests. That way you can shoot in a more relaxed style & not find your first wedding shoot so stressful, you never do it again
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Old 16-12-2008, 10:33   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Been asked to do a wedding...

I really think you can cope John,no probs.
All you have to do is try and think what shots you are going to do and what your friend requires.
I was guest at my friends daughters wedding on Saturday last. It hammered with rain from 7am until 11pm.
I managed to take a few candid shots but the photographer had to take every shot inside the church which was a great pity because our local church has lovely settings which were not practical to take shots without everyone getting drenched and frozen. The church was packed and therefore space was at a premium.
Best wishes and go for it.
PS I don't think 100 is enough either. Does he know how much the prints will be?
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Old 16-12-2008, 11:24   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Been asked to do a wedding...

100 is on the low side. Inexperienced yes, but you are putting a lot of effort and time in this. And especially if you need to hire a second body and lens. Add this to the bill.

Just a tip.
Ask the bruid and groom for a list of photo's to be taken. (I did one at our wedding and my lovely husband didn't bother after me asking him a million times. So we ended up with lots of photo's of me and my family, but not enough from his side, which was a great shame).

I would get a list of standard poses from somewhere and keep them with you. At least you got a starting point.

Go for it Jack. It's a great opportunity for you.
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Old 16-12-2008, 16:49   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Been asked to do a wedding...

You will do fine Jack, Check your satch262 @yahoo.com email, I've sent you a couple of PDF's I hope you find them useful.
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Old 16-12-2008, 17:02   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Been asked to do a wedding...

Jack I am sure that you are more than capable of doing the job far better than most (incl some professionals) and while I appreciate that you have no experience of wedding photography, if the guy who wants you to do this didn't have faith in you I very much doubt he would have asked you in the first place...now with that said the price he has said is not a just 'a little low' its an insult!!! You should point out to him what is involved, what could go wrong, how much time you would be there, the cost of your professional equipment and how much time and effort goes into post processing the images to get the top quality professional images you will supply at the end. Point out that you don't compromise your work to the cost that he may be able to afford, if he can just afford 100 then frankly he should probably get aunty Nellie to do the photography as any photographer who is charging just 100 hasn't got a clue (never mind experience).

As a total beginner, if you are willing to take on such a shoot by yourself without the assistance of another experienced photographer then you should be asking no less than 500. When I was shooting weddings 4 years ago we didn't entertain jobs for anything less than 2500 and then that was a shoot of around 3 hours but the cost did include a 10x8 wedding album as well.

Good luck which ever way you decide to play it and my best advice is enjoy the day as much as the bride and groom, remember its a happy occasion and if you look relaxed, in control and like you are enjoying the shoot then the results will be better too
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Old 16-12-2008, 17:26   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Been asked to do a wedding...

Agree with what all the others say...plus...I'd want a signed afidavit from the client that he wont moan if they don't turn out right. 100 is not worth getting sued or a bad rep for. In a close knit environment, like a school, your rep could be down the tube before you can recharge your batteries. HTH.
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Old 16-12-2008, 17:47   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Been asked to do a wedding...

well i have to say i think the prices quoted are way too high. or maybe it has to do with geography.
a local photographers near me did my OH's friends wedding last year, this included a wedding album.
he charged 750

you are not a professional and yes i do think u would do a better job than some professionals but you dont have to make a living or have over heads to cover so i dont think it fair that you compare what you will charge with someone who does have all the additional expences.

I have a wedding coming up in Dundee, i will cover the bride in the hotel, the ceremony etc and the first dance. she only wants a CD of images no prints. i wouldnt dream of charging near what has been quoted and not cos i dont think i can do the job, cos I think it would be ripping someone off.
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Old 16-12-2008, 17:55   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Been asked to do a wedding...

Jacks in London Fiona, its the most expensive part of a different country than where you live

Just think of the time alone he will spend on the wedding..at 100 he will be lucky to make 20 per hour

I understand everyone needs a break to get a start, but working for nothing is not ripping someone off
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Old 16-12-2008, 18:00   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Been asked to do a wedding...

Well, it turns out it's a shorter amount of time that I had anticipated, 3.5 hours max I believe. I settled on 150 kinda because I'm doing him a favour, but also because I found it hard to say more, something which perhaps I'll learn to do in the future. Fi's right that I'm not making a living or supporting anyone, so it's a decent amount of money I suppose
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Old 16-12-2008, 20:53   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Been asked to do a wedding...

Thats not a bad rate 43/hour. before TaxGo for it.
Perhaps we can view a selection from your efforts.
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Old 16-12-2008, 22:01   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Been asked to do a wedding...

I think you haven't done to bad with your 150. I was thinking about that amount myself.

Great challenge as a first payed photoshoot
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Old 16-12-2008, 22:24   #19 (permalink)
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Re: Been asked to do a wedding...

Quote:
Originally Posted by brian wright22 View Post
Thats not a bad rate 43/hour. before TaxGo for it.
Perhaps we can view a selection from your efforts.
Tax? Pah. Not 18 yet , and not enough to be covered by the student employment stuff if I remember correctly...

Might post some up quality and couple's permission providing
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Old 17-12-2008, 08:06   #20 (permalink)
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Re: Been asked to do a wedding...

Congratulations on your first commissioned shoot.

Enjoy the day and good luck!!
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Old 17-12-2008, 10:53   #21 (permalink)
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Re: Been asked to do a wedding...

Glad you've sorted out the price/time now Jack - and congratulations! Enjoy it
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Old 17-12-2008, 12:21   #22 (permalink)
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Re: Been asked to do a wedding...

End of the day all wedding photographers had to shoot their first one, so you are just starting in the same place as all the others have. good luck
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Old 18-12-2008, 12:23   #23 (permalink)
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Re: Been asked to do a wedding...

I've never done any paid photography however, if I get into a position where I feel that I could do the job justice, I'd be thinking along the lines of "Am I getting paid a sufficinent amount to cover my time (taking the pics AND the post processing), PLUS the stress of doing it right and the possible aggro of muffing it up (i.e. memory card going on the blink or any other catastrophic and highly unlikely scenarios)".

I'm sure that it'll run without a hitch. From memory there are a few "how to" threads on here (kids santa party rings a bell) which cover all the requirements. I read a great tip which was to set your camera so that it won't take a shot if you have no memory card inserted. As stated before, a plan is essential so you can tick off the shots you've covered.

Let us know how it goes and good luck.
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Old 21-12-2008, 06:57   #24 (permalink)
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Re: Been asked to do a wedding...

Jack, first of congratulations on being asked to cover the wedding - well done! There have been some very good points raised above and Dave has given a very good overview of what is required. I do think you are charging too little because it is not just the time at the wedding but all your travel, downloading, editing etc, then you must also take into account cost of equipment and photographic knowledge, these are all area you should bear in mind for the future.

I thought you might like the following shot list I work to, it is just an aide memoir and in no way a comprehensive plan but you might find it useful. I have this on a Word document done in a box format, I also have a final box with requested shots supplied by the bride and groom. I always give this list to my assistants/second shooters and for some reason it seems to calm them down , maybe it's because they have something to focus on!

Pre-wedding

Dress details
Flower details
Shoes & jewellery
Bride getting ready
Bride full length portrait
length portrait
Head & shoulders portrait
Bride stairs
Bride & bridesmaids (full)
Bride & bridesmaids ( )
Bride, bridesmaids (informal)
Bride, bridesmaids & parents
Bride & parents Bride & individual parents
Reportage shots

Ceremony

Location details
Groom arriving
Groom & best man
Groom (full)
Groom ( )
Groom & ushers
Groom & rings
Groom & parents Groom & family
Guests arriving Bridesmaids arrival
Bridesmaids exiting car
Formal & reportage
Brides mother & bridesmaids
Bride in car
Bride exiting car
Bride & father
Bride & bridesmaids
Bridal party (incl officiator)
Bride walking down aisle
Guests
Parents Abstracts (candles etc)
Readings
Vows
Rings
Kiss
Applause
Register (individual)
Register (bride & groom)
Walking down aisle
Venue doorway (full & )
Bride, groom & parents
Bride & groom, parents, best man & bridesmaids
Bride & groom, best man & ushers
Confetti
Car

Bride & groom portrait shots (formal & informal)

Bride & groom (full)
Bride & groom ( )
Bride (full & )
Reportage
Fun shots
Dress

Reception

Arrival in car
Bride & bridesmaids
Drinks (reportage)
Scene setting
Informal group shots
Guests & children
Bride, groom & parents
Bride & groom, parents, best man & bridesmaids
Bride & groom, best man & ushers
Larger groups
Tables Table decorations
Cake
Cake cutting
Speeches (speakers)
Speeches (top table)
Speeches (guests)
Party
First dance
Special friends
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Old 21-12-2008, 08:19   #25 (permalink)
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Re: Been asked to do a wedding...

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Originally Posted by Hacker View Post
Jack, first of congratulations on being asked to cover the wedding - well done! There have been some very good points raised above and Dave has given a very good overview of what is required. I do think you are charging too little because it is not just the time at the wedding but all your travel, downloading, editing etc, then you must also take into account cost of equipment and photographic knowledge, these are all area you should bear in mind for the future.

I thought you might like the following shot list I work to, it is just an aide memoir and in no way a comprehensive plan but you might find it useful. I have this on a Word document done in a box format, I also have a final box with requested shots supplied by the bride and groom. I always give this list to my assistants/second shooters and for some reason it seems to calm them down , maybe it's because they have something to focus on!

Pre-wedding

Dress details
Flower details
Shoes & jewellery
Bride getting ready
Bride full length portrait
length portrait
Head & shoulders portrait
Bride stairs
Bride & bridesmaids (full)
Bride & bridesmaids ( )
Bride, bridesmaids (informal)
Bride, bridesmaids & parents
Bride & parents Bride & individual parents
Reportage shots

Ceremony

Location details
Groom arriving
Groom & best man
Groom (full)
Groom ( )
Groom & ushers
Groom & rings
Groom & parents Groom & family
Guests arriving Bridesmaids arrival
Bridesmaids exiting car
Formal & reportage
Brides mother & bridesmaids
Bride in car
Bride exiting car
Bride & father
Bride & bridesmaids
Bridal party (incl officiator)
Bride walking down aisle
Guests
Parents Abstracts (candles etc)
Readings
Vows
Rings
Kiss
Applause
Register (individual)
Register (bride & groom)
Walking down aisle
Venue doorway (full & )
Bride, groom & parents
Bride & groom, parents, best man & bridesmaids
Bride & groom, best man & ushers
Confetti
Car

Bride & groom portrait shots (formal & informal)

Bride & groom (full)
Bride & groom ( )
Bride (full & )
Reportage
Fun shots
Dress

Reception

Arrival in car
Bride & bridesmaids
Drinks (reportage)
Scene setting
Informal group shots
Guests & children
Bride, groom & parents
Bride & groom, parents, best man & bridesmaids
Bride & groom, best man & ushers
Larger groups
Tables Table decorations
Cake
Cake cutting
Speeches (speakers)
Speeches (top table)
Speeches (guests)
Party
First dance
Special friends
Hi Hacker,

that's a great list and I think everyone appreciate it, including me.

Thank you very much!

I got pulled into shooting a baptism last sunday. I was invited as a guest but then asked to make pictures. Of course I had my camera and my new lense but was not at all prepared for the shooting.
I wish I had a list like yours for the baptism.

BTW: I looked at your website and your work is beautiful.
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Old 21-12-2008, 21:10   #26 (permalink)
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Re: Been asked to do a wedding...

Thanks for taking the time to post that list Hacker
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Old 21-12-2008, 23:26   #27 (permalink)
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Re: Been asked to do a wedding...

Great stuff guys, been a bit busy so haven't had time to reply properly. Thanks very much for everything.
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Old 30-12-2008, 00:01   #28 (permalink)
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Re: Been asked to do a wedding...

Right, well luckily I know the person who I sold my D50 to, so they're kindly letting me borrow it back for the day, in return for some shots of their jewellery / modelling etc for their art school application, so that's a plus. Going to check out the place tomorrow, but my prospective assistant has called out so I'm not sure if I will be able to find one by the 31st, we shall see...
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Old 01-01-2009, 22:22   #29 (permalink)
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Re: Been asked to do a wedding...

For a hundred quid, just give them the CD with the best pictures on! or better still two CDs.
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Old 02-01-2009, 00:24   #30 (permalink)
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Re: Been asked to do a wedding...

Look forward to seeing the photographs and Hacker that is a great list that I'm sure a few people will be saving for future use
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