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Thread: Wedding techniques & Tools

  1. #41

    Default Re: Wedding techniques & Tools

    Why the obsession with setup?

    I have always thought that the hardware is only a means to achieving one's vision.
    I am an olympus shooter, betting on the future of the four-third system. Depending on which camera maker comes out with a better camera/lenses, i can switch between the oly, lumix and leica system.

    i personally think that there are not many techniques that are unique to wedding photography alone. the photography techniques apply to all kinds of photography, be it sports, editorial, street etc.

    what one needs to know about wedding is what kind of shooter one is. are you a street shooter who is good and observant and apt at capturing the special/humourous/emotional/poetic moments? or are you the control freak who wants everything set up nicely so that when you press the shutter, it's exactly what you envisage it to be? or are you the glamour type whose aim is to make the bride/groom look as beautiful as possible by all means?

    every style will have their own market. choose the one that represents who you are, or what you believe in, and be the best in that particular genre.

    i think the best "technique" or advice is more on how one practices the business of wedding photography. ckuang has already given a very comprehensive starter. want to know anything, i think you have to serve him tea and call him "shi fu".

    by diligently looking at the wedding portfolios here, i think one can learn alot of things. of course, there's no stopping you from visiting other photo forums to learn from other photogs from overseas. a bit here, a bit there, i'm sure you will learn something. gotta put in some time, no short cuts.

    i am from the old school of learning, when my seniors will just ask me to look through the contact sheets and study their train of thoughts. they would answer any questions i have, and provided critique to the crap i shot.

    so perhaps the threadstarter can submit his portfolios and see how it goes.

  2. #42
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2003
    State of Confusion

    Default Re: Wedding techniques & Tools

    I know of a seasoned pro (as in, he shoots weddings for a living) who uses a Nikon D50 with kit lens as his main workhorse, and his back-up is some digi-compact camera. But he also shows confidence and is friendly, so customers don't seem to have any complaints at all.

    I feel that one of the more important skills to have in wedding photog is PR skills. No PR skill, no matter how good your gear or technique is, you'll probably get nowhere fast.
    Sony Alpha system user.

  3. #43
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2003
    State of Confusion

    Default Re: Wedding techniques & Tools

    Quote Originally Posted by FLiNcHY View Post
    Does anyone find it appalling that divorce rates are reaching 50% in the US. (rising in Singapore as well)

    So that probably means 1 in every 2 couples you shoot, will end in divorce.

    I find that so sad. Here we are trying to document that once in a lifetime day with two people looking into each other's eyes, so much in love.

    And you know that years down the road, they'd be tearing their albums apart, with tears in their eyes.

    I'm a wedding photographer, and it is my belief that all marraiges should be between two people who want to spend the rest of their lives together. And i certainly want all my clients to do that.

    But i just can't help but feel a little sad about the grim reality. That one in two marraiges will end in divorce.
    Well, one couple that I shot for, divorced after about 3 years of marriage. It's a bit sad lah, because I know one of them quite well, and as a friend, you're there to capture the moment for them. And now, this kind of thing happened. Summore, this is one of the first few wedding shots I did, so it's one that I remember more clearly than the rest.

    Anyway, back to the discussion, I find it a bit pointless to discuss equipment and technique when it comes to wedding photog. It's more an art than a science. Like some have mentioned, look at the other portfolios for ideas, inspiration. The threads would then have specific discussions of the settings used. I find that incidental learning in this way is a lot more useful than a consolidated sticky, which would present nothing more than generic tips which 1) could be found in any book, and 2) would not be useful in many unique situations where you'd want to get creative.

    We all have opinions. And I suggest that we eat humble pie from time to time and not put down people's ideas/suggestions, especially when they've been in the business for quite a while, and know very well what they're talking about.
    Sony Alpha system user.

  4. #44

    Default Re: Wedding techniques & Tools

    Quote Originally Posted by synapseman View Post
    I know of a seasoned pro (as in, he shoots weddings for a living) who uses a Nikon D50 with kit lens as his main workhorse, and his back-up is some digi-compact camera. But he also shows confidence and is friendly, so customers don't seem to have any complaints at all.

    I feel that one of the more important skills to have in wedding photog is PR skills. No PR skill, no matter how good your gear or technique is, you'll probably get nowhere fast.
    that is absolutely true

    sometimes it is more important for the photographer to build up a rapport with the couple. treat him as your friend. so posing of shots and instructions as directed can be much more comfortable.

    the talk on equipment is over-hyped IMO. i am shooting ROMs only with my 24-70 now. 70-200 if i have the time to ask the couple to pose. some shoots that i cover have the outdoor shoot before the ceremony. might be a bit rush for both parties.

    nevertheless, i have learnt an important lesson throughout my short period of time as a ROM photog, it is always the communication skills that comes first.
    Last edited by wanzw; 25th November 2006 at 05:37 PM.
    random equipment.
    where are my primes?

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    CCK-Yew Tee

    Default Re: Wedding techniques & Tools

    Quote Originally Posted by Toxicdiver View Post
    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....
    wow u got such a good collection of equpiment... All those add up coming to 10k... Hope i will have enough money to buy those good lens..

  6. #46

    Default Re: Wedding techniques & Tools

    Quote Originally Posted by ckuang View Post
    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.
    good spirit of sharing bro! hope to meet up with u someday! as well as other wedding pros! im just a noob who doesnt even own a DSLR though!
    but it doesnt hurt to make more frens right?

  7. #47

    Default Re: Wedding techniques & Tools

    I think PR skill is very important as someone here has pointed out. Besides that, learn as much as possible by looking at other's photos, especially the perspective used by the photographer. Go to the library and look at the photos in the magazines. In your everyday life, train yourself to see everything in a photographic sense, yeah, you have to immerse yourself in photography every single minutes if you want to get good photos. Just like business men, they are always thinking of their business 24 hrs a day, likewise, a photographer should be the same.

    As for the setting of the camera, like the depth of field, shutter speed, contrast, colour, lenses; You have to experiment with it in your everyday photography in order to get a grab on what works for you. It is a very personal thing, it can't be taught.

    I think perspective plays a very important part in photography. It is about how you frame a scene from a particular angle and the distance between you and the object. It is the art of seeing; you don't really need a camera in order to learn it. Just go around, at different angle & at different distance, try to observe the changes of the main object's size in relation to other objects in it's surrounding , the changes in the background, the changes of light.

    I think if you keep seeing things in these way indefinitely, you will learn to take photos with good perspective sooner or later. Those who doesn't develop this skill is because they think that only when they have a camera ,then they can practise photography. This is wrong! A camera is only a tool that helps you to capture an image; It is the trained eyes that make the image in the first place, not the camera.

    Regarding contrast, color, ..... You can experiment with it in your post processing stage. I have seen so many black & white photos, some of the blacks are slightly brownish, some slightly bluish, some greenish, some neutral grey....... Again, try to adjust the black to give you the kind of black you desire. Experiment with higher ISO to give some graininess to your people photography; More grains can give that extra amount of impact to your photos. Also, try to burn away unimportant areas(blackened) of the photos.

    There is so many you can do with the software to transform an ordinary photo into a top notch photo. Sometime the lighting is not so great in environment, this you can adjust in during post processing. Do not be fooled by so many beautiful photos in the forum believing that the photographers achieve it by merely pointing his camera at his subjects and have not done any adjustment during post processing to add that extra touch to it.

    With the digital photography, you can experiment to your heart's content. You can only learn by doing it yourself, in your own way; All successful photographers do things in their own way. You should too. Have more confident in yourself.

    I have an insight recently: " There is no success formulae in the beginning; It only comes after you have tried relentlessly, making a lot of valuable mistakes along the way and learning from it." Everyone's success formula is quite different, you find your own. Nothing is set in stone. If it does, then we would not see so many different kinds of 'style' from different photographers. Luckily, everyone can do things his own way, in a creative manner!
    Last edited by johnlim; 21st January 2007 at 01:36 PM.

  8. #48

    Default Re: Wedding techniques & Tools

    Hey , after 3 pages and 9 mth of talking.. what happening..
    was hopping to read something like " let fix a date to meet" or something like tat..

    1st and formost , really appreaciate the fact that there are some many style in wedding and different setup, each producting great pic for wedding couple no doubt that I am not a fan D50 ..
    Here is my setup D2h , D100 AFS 17-35, Af28- 27 AFS 80-200, 85 F1.8 SB 80dx.

  9. #49
    Senior Member Cheesecake's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    I live in a haunted house!!!!!

    Default Re: Wedding techniques & Tools

    moved to a more appropriate section.
    'wedding portfolio' is for the showcase of wedding photographs/photography/portfolio.
    You'll Never Walk Alone! - i have the best job in the world!

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