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Thread: Wedding techniques & Tools

  1. #1
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    Question Wedding techniques & Tools

    Hi,
    A lot of the CS forums are starting with stickies with tips, techniques and toys (some will call them tools...), but not the wedding one...
    Surprised ? Not really as it seems that it is a big business and not everyone is ready to share... But at CS we know better, don t we ?
    So let s go people, make this thread yours and push for being a sticky (I don t gain anything from it, promise, just don t have to go back to find it every time I want to read it )

    Give your equipment + the usual settings you are shooting with...
    Then the little tips that make some photographers charging so much for a wedding portfolio (even if all are not worth it.. ) and getting great shot for a special day !

    Thanks for sharing with one newbie in wed photos among others...

  2. #2
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wedding techniques & Tools

    A lot of the CS forums are starting with stickies with tips, techniques and toys (some will call them tools...), but not the wedding one...
    Surprised ? Not really as it seems that it is a big business and not everyone is ready to share... But at CS we know better, don t we ?


    Yes, I would call it tools, cause it means business, not for play play.

    So let s go people, make this thread yours and push for being a sticky (I don t gain anything from it, promise, just don t have to go back to find it every time I want to read it )

    They are manys, many, many, over the years, it would be faster to do a search than wait for people to reply.

    Give your equipment + the usual settings you are shooting with...

    Here we go again...... please do a search

    Then the little tips that make some photographers charging so much for a wedding portfolio

    Most photographers refering
    wedding portfolio are the "pre weddding portraits", aka "bridal portraits", aka "studio photos", "indoor photos" are you taking about this? or wedding day event coverage?

    (even if all are not worth it.. ) and getting great shot for a special day !


    Difine what is not worth it, IMHO, most couple under value their wedding day photography.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Wedding techniques & Tools

    eh....... camera lens and flash....hahahhahaha

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    Default Re: Wedding techniques & Tools

    Wow Toxic Diver, this is a pretty general question you are asking, and since many of my photographer friends consider me as one of those wedding photogs that manages to make a living even though I have a crap portfolio, I thought I would share some business tips i've learnt over the years.

    1. Never assume your client has no budget for wedding photography. Talking to them like they have a millin bucks to spend, makes clients feel like they have a million bucks to spend. What are the odds that couples who are about to plonk down $35 000 in cash for the chinese dinner wouldn't have $5k to spend on photography?

    2. When clients say, "wah so expensive," they're not saying they don't have the money. what they're really saying is "we don't understand why you charge so much more than everyone else." A bit of explanation on your style and how you do things normally solves this problem

    3. if you want to earn big bucks, you simply need the guts to charge it. No point putting up a price list that states your services are 1k, then grousing that clients will never pay you 10k. Clients will only pay you your advertised price. simple as that. If you don't have a 10k package, you will never sell a 10k package. geddit?

    4. Quit worrying and basing your pricing on part timers and their $300 packages. If you want to charge lots, these part timers never have and never will be in the same target market you are after. When was the last time you have heard of Ferrari worrying about the prices of Skoda cars. Your biggest competitiors after you have broken a certain price point is not other photographers. It's the gown designer, the florist and caterers who are competing for the couples budget. Not the $300 photographer.

    5. Understand business costs. I can almost assure you that if you took a careful calculation it will be far far higher than you ever imagined and you would have to charge far higher than you ever imagined. Your take home could be as little as $500 on a $2000 wedding after subtracting costs ie 20-30% which at that point, working for Mcdonald's might be more profitable.

    So that's about as much as I know. Hope this knowledge is as useful to you as it was to me since i got most of it out of a bunch of books.

    www.39eastimages.com

  5. #5
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wedding techniques & Tools

    Quote Originally Posted by ckuang
    Wow Toxic Diver, this is a pretty general question you are asking, and since many of my photographer friends consider me as one of those wedding photogs that manages to make a living even though I have a crap portfolio, I thought I would share some business tips i've learnt over the years.

    1. Never assume your client has no budget for wedding photography. Talking to them like they have a millin bucks to spend, makes clients feel like they have a million bucks to spend. What are the odds that couples who are about to plonk down $35 000 in cash for the chinese dinner wouldn't have $5k to spend on photography?

    2. When clients say, "wah so expensive," they're not saying they don't have the money. what they're really saying is "we don't understand why you charge so much more than everyone else." A bit of explanation on your style and how you do things normally solves this problem

    3. if you want to earn big bucks, you simply need the guts to charge it. No point putting up a price list that states your services are 1k, then grousing that clients will never pay you 10k. Clients will only pay you your advertised price. simple as that. If you don't have a 10k package, you will never sell a 10k package. geddit?

    4. Quit worrying and basing your pricing on part timers and their $300 packages. If you want to charge lots, these part timers never have and never will be in the same target market you are after. When was the last time you have heard of Ferrari worrying about the prices of Skoda cars. Your biggest competitiors after you have broken a certain price point is not other photographers. It's the gown designer, the florist and caterers who are competing for the couples budget. Not the $300 photographer.

    5. Understand business costs. I can almost assure you that if you took a careful calculation it will be far far higher than you ever imagined and you would have to charge far higher than you ever imagined. Your take home could be as little as $500 on a $2000 wedding after subtracting costs ie 20-30% which at that point, working for Mcdonald's might be more profitable.
    Best business advice so far..


    Quote Originally Posted by ckuang
    So that's about as much as I know. Hope this knowledge is as useful to you as it was to me since i got most of it out of a bunch of books.
    So lucky, nowadays got internet, why don't people do a search first?

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    Default Re: Wedding techniques & Tools

    I find it funny that the first one to answer, is actually not saying anything and has the attitude of (unfortunatly..) a lot of wedding photographers (some even have this kind of behavior with their clients.... ). But please don t take offence of this...
    You are right by saying that a lot of people wants to know equipment and settings, but even if it does not make a good photo, it helps havng it right...It s annoying for pro to read this kind of postings but you and I were newbies one day (long time ago when we were struggling with heavy camera and rolls and rolls of film....) and were asking those questions... So now, as we know better, our turn to help on what we can... That s the way I see it...

    BTW, the search was done prior to my posting... a lot of stuff, some good, some bad, some useful, some useless... Like every time.. but that's internet too..

    Cost, prices and what people want change from time to time.. The arrival of Digital a few years back changed completely the way of shooting (the No limit effect for non pros) and the way of thinking of the couple. they know that taking 50 photos or 100 photos is just a question of time, your time, not cost in film and development etc. So the approach can t be the same.

    More over there is a big difference between real and good wedding photographers (in studio before and/or on the day shoots) and people who are shooting models. The main reason is that the couple are average people, you me and 99% of the population, some time very at ease in front of a camera sometime not at all...

    So you can read all you want, it is like Excel or Photoshop...read all you want in all the books of the world it will never be as easy than if someone tip you or show you... Something you can do with a model but not at a wedding.. You can t ask people to reproduce the emotion of a moment "sorry guys, f***ed up my metering could you please do that again.." Can you ?

    Luckely some guys like ckuang are ready to help....for free, thanks mate greatly appreciated !

    PS : "Not worth it" meaning u r hiing a photographer for your wedding day and it turns out to be really crap...(luckily not married yet, but some friends were not that lucky..)
    Last edited by Toxicdiver; 7th April 2006 at 02:18 PM.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Wedding techniques & Tools

    Ineresting...

    anyway, if search no use, how would you get the answar you want? you didn't say what systems you are or intent to use, so you want every one to tell you what they use to shoot weddings? and tell you how they shooting weddings?

    Ok, back to the topic, hope others will post here what they use and how they shoot weddings, so you may have all the answers you want, just ignore what I have said earlier.

    and one more thing that I would like to hear from you that, how to justify what the customer paying is "worth it", like to know to should a photographer be charging for wedding day.

    thanks for reading

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    Default Re: Wedding techniques & Tools

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights
    Ineresting...

    anyway, if search no use, how would you get the answar you want? you didn't say what systems you are or intent to use, so you want every one to tell you what they use to shoot weddings? and tell you how they shooting weddings?

    Ok, back to the topic, hope others will post here what they use and how they shoot weddings, so you may have all the answers you want, just ignore what I have said earlier.

    and one more thing that I would like to hear from you that, how to justify what the customer paying is "worth it", like to know to should a photographer be charging for wedding day.

    thanks for reading
    Catchlights, thanks for the input.
    You are right.. I forgot to give what I am using normally :
    D2X 85mm f1.4, 17-35 AFS 2.8, 70-200 AFS 2.8, SB 800 (+ if I can get my hand on 50mm f1.2, 60mm or 105 micro)
    So that might help, might not will see..
    Only us are filling up this thread...

    You know it is worth it, when you have a happy customer who is recommending you to his friends and that thanks you for the great job you have (like really thanks you...)
    And I think this is nothing to do with money itself but quality for the money, as mentionned earlier yo can charge whatever you want if the pleasure you bring to the couple is in the same proportion...but you are a pro, so you know what I mean....

  9. #9

    Default Re: Wedding techniques & Tools

    HI toxic diver, just curious isnt this thread ment for phtographers the showcase their work?

    Wedding portfolios.

    There are numebrous threads to pick up thechniques, on CS digital dark room, newbeis conner, studios and pootrature etc. lots of fantastic examples on how to get the shot right. 39east and catchligh are being very kind to reply with advices. And its a very competitive market out there, I think generally serious wedding photographers freelancer/ fulltime will not mass share their hard earned expericese so openly unless a learner has a personal realationship to be mentored. Anything tips furthur than the fundamentals is really out of kind generousity. Photography is so much more than pricing and camera settings..

    Rome was not built in a day. Theres just no shorts cuts.
    Last edited by Tsangstudios; 7th April 2006 at 04:01 PM.

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    Default Re: Wedding techniques & Tools

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights
    Difine what is not worth it, IMHO, most couple under value their wedding day photography.
    Give about... 90%.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Wedding techniques & Tools

    Quote Originally Posted by Toxicdiver
    D2X 85mm f1.4, 17-35 AFS 2.8, 70-200 AFS 2.8, SB 800 (+ if I can get my hand on 50mm f1.2, 60mm or 105 micro)
    are you serious that you want to find the best setting. Look at wat you have, you can't be a newbie right.

    with D2x I will use programme mode all the way.

  12. #12
    Senior Member jOhO's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wedding techniques & Tools

    i dunno man, maybe i'm benig sensitive, but this thread seems to imply that if someone doesn't post tips here he is NOT willing to help.

    ok yeah i guess i'm being sensitive!!

    anywayz, alot of us have posted alot of stuff REPEATEDLY in CS. perhaps if you really wanna have a consolidated thread, you could do a search and collate all the useful comments. that would take alot of time tho, but i'm sure u'd be thanked profusely for your help to this community.

    and ckuang has already spoken, best wedding day photographer in singapore (imo). what more do u want.

    ckuang: crap portfolio? ahhaha means the work that u don't show is even better lar!

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    Default Re: Wedding techniques & Tools

    I newbie, so cannot post comments

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Wedding techniques & Tools

    Quote Originally Posted by jOhO
    i dunno man, maybe i'm benig sensitive, but this thread seems to imply that if someone doesn't post tips here he is NOT willing to help.

    ok yeah i guess i'm being sensitive!!

    anywayz, alot of us have posted alot of stuff REPEATEDLY in CS. perhaps if you really wanna have a consolidated thread, you could do a search and collate all the useful comments. that would take alot of time tho, but i'm sure u'd be thanked profusely for your help to this community.

    and ckuang has already spoken, best wedding day photographer in singapore (imo). what more do u want.

    ckuang: crap portfolio? ahhaha means the work that u don't show is even better lar!
    Hi Joho, wow, that is really high praise, considering I have been admiring your works, ie the sepia toning and the semi desaturated images you have on your website because they look so classic and the semi desaturated look is so Vogue magazine looking and I think that's really cool. I have actually been wanting to call you but been a little shy. My friends are always ribbing me about my portfolio and saying I should shoot like www.jeffascough.com or www.joebuissink.com or www.mikecolon.com and I keep having to remind them that i'm working on it.

    Maybe I should organize a little dinner or get together for local wedding day photographers, what do you guys think? Kind of like a local/Singapore version of the WPJA get togethers or the NPPA pot luck night so all of us can kick back, grouse about clients, get to know each other, understand each other's business and help each other along. So instead of fighting each other we can all work together and have a better quality of life and just make our work more fun. I knda miss that because when I was working as a photog in the States, alot of the photojournalists got together for fun, helped each other out and it was great, It was like being part of this big family, which sometimes I feel is a missing in Singapore.

    Anyway, back to the original topic, Toxic Diver, don't get the rest of the guys wrong, i've found the photogs here in clubsnap generally helpful. Perhaps you could refine your question further. I think most of us would be happy to help. It's just that the question is really broad, we don't know what stage you're at in your career, so it's really hard to give advice. Ok, to contribute a little more, here's the setup I use on my shoots

    leica m6ttl with 21-90mm leica m lenses
    Canon 5D with 24-70mm and 85mm lens
    580ex with omni bounce
    sometimes use Pocket wizards with a sb 28 dx
    sometimes a holga [but the pictures rarely ever turn out]

    settings? whatever it takes to achieve my vision

    Would it help you? Honestly speaking , I use my current setup because I'm a dyslexic with a bad back so unless you're suffering from the same problems, you'll find my outfit to be a little ummm....stupid to say the least. What do i mean? As much as people love Leica's, I think they are one of the quirkiest cameras in the world. Can't do closeup, flash integration is crap, loading is slow as hell. I use them because they're small and light and the only things my bad back can support. I've long given up on the Canon 70-200 which i used to use or a second DSLR body because it's just too heavy.What else do you need to know?

  15. #15

    Default Re: Wedding techniques & Tools

    Quote Originally Posted by ckuang
    Maybe I should organize a little dinner or get together for local wedding day photographers, what do you guys think? Kind of like a local/Singapore version of the WPJA get togethers or the NPPA pot luck night so all of us can kick back, grouse about clients, get to know each other, understand each other's business and help each other along. So instead of fighting each other we can all work together and have a better quality of life and just make our work more fun. I knda miss that because when I was working as a photog in the States, alot of the photojournalists got together for fun, helped each other out and it was great, It was like being part of this big family, which sometimes I feel is a missing in Singapore.
    That would be cool, dont think joho is far from the truth that you are probably one of the best around. Dont think you can find another local photog who won something on wpja heh heh..
    Last edited by Tsangstudios; 7th April 2006 at 06:11 PM.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Wedding techniques & Tools

    Quote Originally Posted by jOhO
    i dunno man, maybe i'm benig sensitive, but this thread seems to imply that if someone doesn't post tips here he is NOT willing to help.

    ok yeah i guess i'm being sensitive!!

    anywayz, alot of us have posted alot of stuff REPEATEDLY in CS. perhaps if you really wanna have a consolidated thread, you could do a search and collate all the useful comments. that would take alot of time tho, but i'm sure u'd be thanked profusely for your help to this community.

    and ckuang has already spoken, best wedding day photographer in singapore (imo). what more do u want.

    ckuang: crap portfolio? ahhaha means the work that u don't show is even better lar!
    ckuang is one of the most generous member of the wedding community here, sharing lots with me. Joho too, showing stuff in the net with insightful work. Yes, shall we do a meet up over dinner, WPJA members (and non members too?). I bet there lots to discuss and share!


    Toxicdiver, my settings are
    2 canon DSLRS one fitted with a wide angle zoom 17-35, the other with a 24-70. i use 3 primes 35mm, 50mm, 90mm and if its a big wedding with space, i bring my 70-200 along. two flashlights 550ex.

    by the end of the year my setup will be as follows

    1dmk2n with 85mm 1.2, (24mm 1.4 in the bag)
    5D with 24-70mm

    20D (office spare)

    2 flashlights
    Last edited by Belle&Sebastain; 7th April 2006 at 07:19 PM.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Wedding techniques & Tools

    my setup is

    d70 with 18-35 with sb800 and lightsphere...this would cover most of the std shots.....coz in a way...i the "safe" shots still have to be there...the tea and table shots and all...so a wide angle zoom comes in really handy...furthermore the lightsphere improves the quality of light greatly...

    s3pro w and assortment of primes 28mm 50mm 85mm depending on space contrains etc etc.... i will choose the lens i want.... reason..the s3 is a great performer at low light so i can safely use it at high iso without flash to capture the more journalistic stuff...

    anyways...the s3 only comes out during certain parts of the day.... so most of the time its in the bag which is normally chucked into a corner at the bride/groom's place.... so weight wise.... not much issues for me...

    cheerios

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Wedding techniques & Tools

    Hi, just saw this thread. Dun have any advice since I just started. I met ckuang once and he gave me the same advice. Dun under quote, it will be a chain-reaction. But you must be confident to deliver what you've shown or promised.

    ok, my setup; 1 EOS 5D with 24-70 f2.8 & 580EX with lightsphere, 1 EOS 5D with 17-40 or 12-24 or 50mm prime. I seldom bring 70-200 f2.8....very heavy and seldom got chance to use, rather bring my 15mm f2.8 FE and 85mm f1.8, more useful. 50mm is a must for me, very used to it liao.

    My backup is just a very worn out 300D & another 580EX. ha ha

    I wish I have 24 f1.4L and 85 f1.2L like Belle & Sebastian, these lenses produce very nice blurred off background, but can't justify the cost. Mybe this is another advice, make do with what you have to achieve the best result.

    That's it.
    Last edited by TrailsofLife; 7th April 2006 at 07:58 PM.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Wedding techniques & Tools

    Quote Originally Posted by Witness
    my setup is

    d70 with 18-35 with sb800 and lightsphere...this would cover most of the std shots.....coz in a way...i the "safe" shots still have to be there...the tea and table shots and all...so a wide angle zoom comes in really handy...furthermore the lightsphere improves the quality of light greatly...

    s3pro w and assortment of primes 28mm 50mm 85mm depending on space contrains etc etc.... i will choose the lens i want.... reason..the s3 is a great performer at low light so i can safely use it at high iso without flash to capture the more journalistic stuff...

    anyways...the s3 only comes out during certain parts of the day.... so most of the time its in the bag which is normally chucked into a corner at the bride/groom's place.... so weight wise.... not much issues for me...

    cheerios
    I got D200 and D70, but unlike you, I use D200 as the main with flash and D70 as the journalistic one. Reason is that it's kindda waste to use a lower-end model as the main cam while leaving the other one as a so-called 'backup'. But frankly, your set-up is absolutely logical. Perhaps I should try that in my next wedding shoot.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Wedding techniques & Tools

    If you have a crap portfolio, then we're in big trouble

    Quote Originally Posted by ckuang
    Wow Toxic Diver, this is a pretty general question you are asking, and since many of my photographer friends consider me as one of those wedding photogs that manages to make a living even though I have a crap portfolio, I thought I would share some business tips i've learnt over the years.

    1. Never assume your client has no budget for wedding photography. Talking to them like they have a millin bucks to spend, makes clients feel like they have a million bucks to spend. What are the odds that couples who are about to plonk down $35 000 in cash for the chinese dinner wouldn't have $5k to spend on photography?

    2. When clients say, "wah so expensive," they're not saying they don't have the money. what they're really saying is "we don't understand why you charge so much more than everyone else." A bit of explanation on your style and how you do things normally solves this problem

    3. if you want to earn big bucks, you simply need the guts to charge it. No point putting up a price list that states your services are 1k, then grousing that clients will never pay you 10k. Clients will only pay you your advertised price. simple as that. If you don't have a 10k package, you will never sell a 10k package. geddit?

    4. Quit worrying and basing your pricing on part timers and their $300 packages. If you want to charge lots, these part timers never have and never will be in the same target market you are after. When was the last time you have heard of Ferrari worrying about the prices of Skoda cars. Your biggest competitiors after you have broken a certain price point is not other photographers. It's the gown designer, the florist and caterers who are competing for the couples budget. Not the $300 photographer.

    5. Understand business costs. I can almost assure you that if you took a careful calculation it will be far far higher than you ever imagined and you would have to charge far higher than you ever imagined. Your take home could be as little as $500 on a $2000 wedding after subtracting costs ie 20-30% which at that point, working for Mcdonald's might be more profitable.

    So that's about as much as I know. Hope this knowledge is as useful to you as it was to me since i got most of it out of a bunch of books.

    www.39eastimages.com

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