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Thread: How do you all do it?

  1. #61

    Default Re: How do you all do it?

    Quote Originally Posted by mabmy View Post
    My thoughts in blue Hart. Thank you.
    Hi,

    My post wasn't aim at you, just a general observation that I have.

    I don't tell the GWC what to do and what I want to do but to make a friend with them. That solve the problem for me.

    If you make friends with those so call GWC which big gear, then, they really paiseh to even block you. It is a communication and articulation skills. Do you think a friend will block your way? this is what I mean...

    As I mentioned, the idea is to basically use the best you can offer and it reduce the chance of being "compared to". It is not an absolute term, so just common sense.

    Regards,

    Hart

  2. #62
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    Default Re: How do you all do it?

    Quote Originally Posted by jOhO View Post
    I think next time you get "forced" into taking pics for pple who are close to you (read: take advantage), and seeing as you are fueled more by passion than money (that's good, btw!) tell them you will shoot for FREE, but you guarantee nothing. shoot for yourself and your passion, and these beautiful images (if any) can be SHARED with them. Specify that they should also really engage someone who does this regularly, and that you will be taking alternate angles that the pro might not be able to take. You mentioned that they "can't be bothered searching, and too expensive to engage another photographer" to which you need to stress your point, there could potentially be ZERO photos for something they paid ZERO dollars for. potentially. How you want to sugar coat that with PR polosoh, up to you.
    The problem initially with some people is that they know you're shooting for free but the circumstances on the day may change all their expectations and if this is going to be the moment worth remembering then you will be subjected to minor demands that suddenly grows exponentially. You will get pulled into something called "working" and this takes away from your experience of the event.

    I remembered I had to be DJ for someone's 21st as a friend because he wanted to go cheap, I regretted doing it because there was suddenly a lot of expectations on me with no proper gear and I had to sit by the music for hours, worst was nobody else wanted to help. I got a sour looking photo of myself at the end of it The music made up for it but yeah I would never do something like that again for free if it didn't leave me any time to actually enjoy the occasion.
    Enlighten me...
    [Uluru]

  3. #63
    Member NedKelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you all do it?

    interesting discussion. I'm like you, only have shot a few budget ones for close friends here in australia. They hire their own pros back in the home countries so didnt want a full one here again for their engagement ceremonies.

    Few things to note.
    Whether you are paid high or low amounts, if you are paid then you will need to man up and work like a pro. there are many strategies to this some subtle, some more in your face kind of styles, taylored to suit which ever kind of "uncle bobs" who stand in your path.

    First I think you must practice to exude confidence in your work. As you have said, the BnG are impressed in your work that is why the hired you. Plus they have compliments on your shots at the end of the day. Hope that boosted your confidence.

    When the couple hire you, the first thing you should do is start up a contract. Take a look at how some of the pros word theirs. This is to protect you in the event that you are blocked out and cannot get the shot, then you will still be paid. During this contract setup, make sure you discuss some of your ideas and also bring in the event you might need their help to take down uncle bobs as a last resort. This process is very very impt. You MUST make good rapport with your client!

    You will definitely need to take charge during the event.
    Try the "befriend" attitude. You will need to build up rapport with everyone on spot esp right at the start eg in the morning during the make up and dress session. These are the first line of attackers from their side. If you can get them on your side, the rest of the day, it will be easier.
    Means you will have to put in the effort to arrive earlier probably. To have time to talk to them. discuss a bit of your ideas for the day, try and make them cooperate with you.
    Once you can do that, they may even help you out for the rest of the day to take down other Uncle bobs
    Of course get on the wrong foot of theirs and all hell breaks loose. :P

    If you decide to go out all guns blazing like rambo, and use the 300 f2 to whack, dont whack their head. Whack their more expensive cameras
    "Opps sorry ah, looks like my cheaper lens is more robust than your gear" kind of attitude. Dont be sorry, cos they were in your way.

    Another strategy is to get the BnG to help you. Their power on the day is the biggest. That is where the contract terms comes in. Plus your previous discussions with them. This weapon must be used discreetly for max effect as previous comments pointed out no one want to be embarrassed. other than the uncle bob who needs to be.
    Eg pull the bride to the side discreetly and show her one or 2 "not so essential" photos and say "oh this photo would have been so fantastic if not for so and so". Unleash the bridzilla in her on the said so and so. If effective, sit back and watch some fireworks.

    End of the day, there might be someone who is really difficult to deal with.
    I have heard on flickr forums where uncle bob is so powderful that they can even utilize the pro's lighting system to their advantage!
    eg you have pocketwizard trigger? they bring their own and switch to your channel and use...
    or even worse disrupt your flow by popping it off from somewhere else

    All the best with your passion!

  4. #64

    Default Re: How do you all do it?

    Of course befriending the bros/sis is standard. Actually that practice is not really to ask them to help and assist you, but rather its more of a commercial reason, as there is a good chance that 50% of them are still unmarried so you can hand out biz cards later. But Agetan, really I/we have met people in which they do not wanna befriend. Sure got loverboys, you trust out your hand but they do not wanna shake. Like that gone case already, its war. "one of those horror stories". If someone orders the official photographer/videographer to stand here and there...."you stand inside the flat, I stand outside"....you'd go WTF man is this real?!....usually no chance to save the situation.

  5. #65
    Member mabmy's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 2100
    But Agetan, really I/we have met people in which they do not wanna befriend. Sure got loverboys, you trust out your hand but they do not wanna shake. Like that gone case already, its war. "one of those horror stories".
    Looks like you've had your fair share too. Its not always a bed of roses. Wanna take care of their feelings, end up can't execute the job properly. I just hope i get no more wedding shoots, and like joho said, if i do, do it free. Less pressure, expectation and i can always blame bad shots on gwc and uncle bob.
    Your pictures speaks for you, not your camera.

  6. #66

    Default Re: How do you all do it?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2100 View Post
    But Agetan, really I/we have met people in which they do not wanna befriend. Sure got loverboys, you trust out your hand but they do not wanna shake. Like that gone case already, its war. "one of those horror stories". If someone orders the official photographer/videographer to stand here and there...."you stand inside the flat, I stand outside"....you'd go WTF man is this real?!....usually no chance to save the situation.
    I heard you...

    Oh well, maybe I am so darn lucky for all the weddings I did so far for the past 6 years...

    Wedding is fun yet tiring at the same time.

    Regards,

    Hart

  7. #67

    Default Re: How do you all do it?

    I have this experience to share. Since I started my new
    business about 2 years ago, many relatives and friends
    ask me to be the official wedding photographer but I
    decline as I do not like it. My business is in instant
    photogarphy for events. They keep on insisting and
    buttering that I am a good photographer but I will
    still decline. As an alternative I will offer them my
    shoot and print instant photo service for free which
    they gladly accept. I enjoy the looks and joy on faces
    of guests when they receive their printed photographs.
    Up to date I have done about 5 free shoot and print for
    relatives and friends weddings and more are commig.
    As Agetan said you have to be tackful and friendly at all times
    to minimize problems if you are the official photographer.
    It does go a long way. You need to be polite but assertive and
    confident, no matter what gear you carry. Always put on a smile
    event though you have to deal wilh an as... ho...........................

    Abdullah

  8. #68

    Default Re: How do you all do it?

    Instead of being hardass about it, I find that being humble and friendly works best. Talk to them like friends, and they will probably be nice to you after.

    But if all else fails, it's time to bust out your contract with the couple, which should include clauses about disallowing other professional cameras or nuisance guests. Having the couple on your side = win.
    Videographer @ A Merry Moment

  9. #69

    Default Re: How do you all do it?

    Hi TS,

    I understand how you feel.
    I have attended many weddings before and have seen many cases that you wrote here. I always respect the professional photographer who is hired to do the job, no matter how much they are paid and how good/bad their work is, because they sacrifice their personal time(time is money) and put in their effort to get the job done. Hence, if I bring camera to the wedding, I will only shoot at alternative/odd angles and never fight the fav spots of the wedding photographer. Most of the time, the photos taken at odd angles can turn out nice and unique.

    Also as a photographer we should be confident on what we shoot, no matter what gear we use. If we are paid or requested to shoot, we have the responsibility to get the job done, no matter what obstacles we face, including those nasty/arrogant/weird people you met. Otherwise you can always refuse to take the job if you don't feel comfortable at the beginning. For your case, I believe your skill should be very good because there are many people requested you to shoot for them. So, you just need to up your confidence to certain extend and be more expressive to handle the difficult obstacles.

    Don't be let down by those people who laughed at your gear. I'm sure there will still be some people laugh at you even if you carry the ultimate Nikon D3s. They may say something like "you see, this photographer uses such expensive high end gear, but photo quality same as mine using entry level D3100." There are many many different type of these people in the world and you can't silent them all. Don't let them ruin the joy and happiness you gain from photography - your favourite hobby of a lifetime.
    Kent Wong Photography |Leica Q & Leica M-P 240 | 75 & 28mm Summilux

  10. #70

    Default Re: How do you all do it?

    Quote Originally Posted by kentwong81 View Post
    even if you carry the ultimate Nikon D3s. They may say something like "you see, this photographer uses such expensive high end gear, but photo quality same as mine using entry level D3100."
    That's true also.... can happen too.

  11. #71
    Member mabmy's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you all do it?

    Quote Originally Posted by kentwong81 View Post
    For your case, I believe your skill should be very good because there are many people requested you to shoot for them. So, you just need to up your confidence to certain extend and be more expressive to handle the difficult obstacles.

    Don't be let down by those people who laughed at your gear. I'm sure there will still be some people laugh at you even if you carry the ultimate Nikon D3s.
    Hi Kentwong81, for your 1st point, sometimes i realize that couples in today's era doesn't really know what good photos are and mine are definitely not one of the best out there. I will definitely not be afraid or embarrassed to share with the couples who approached me to look at really professional photographer's work, but they have a more powerful tool. Its called budget. For them as long got picture can already, not that i have done a sloppy job, but each time you ask what their expectations are, they will say as long nice can already. I swear if equipments are not an issue, i would have come with a p&s and shoot and they will still say its nice because what i shoot can be done absolutely with no skills needed except for basic knowledge.

    For the 2nd point, i do agree with you, sometimes.. people can just be very shallow minded indeed.
    Your pictures speaks for you, not your camera.

  12. #72

    Default Re: How do you all do it?

    Quote Originally Posted by mabmy View Post
    . For them as long got picture can already, not that i have done a sloppy job, but each time you ask what their expectations are, they will say as long nice can already.
    Nowadays weddings are really expensive affairs. Unless you are working in a bank or have multiple incomes or something, it is highly unlikely that one can afford everything :
    (0) Diamond Ring for proposal - 2k (decent one say 0.5 carat, F VVS2)
    (1) HDB downpayment / ala clearing out ALL CPF and if you have not been working for long you so not enough CPF are gonna top up with cash
    (2) Reno, basic would be 30k, ID would be 60k. (design reno + furnishings/appliances)
    (3) shotgun wedding? Gotta have at least 10k savings then.
    (4a) wedding banquet
    Last time I held my dinner at Intercontinental, 29 tables 9 dishes (Joho took for me! ). That time it was $788+++. Now it would cost ya $1388 or 40k. Fork it out first, hope for the best for the angpows. If you can recover 60% you are safe! (so you spent 16k)
    (4b) Misc cost for wedding like BS pkg, VG/PG, 6k.
    (5) Honeymoon, plus spending $$ say 4k total.

    If the guy also has a nice car, he is pretty much fugged trying to keep up with instalment, misc like servicing/insurance/taxes/parking/petrol/ERP.

    I have a guy still on instalment payment, everything want but cannot pay 1k. Still driving his friggin car...MADDENING! Its a face thingy I guess.
    I have another couple, extremely extreme nice. Pay deposit, then before big day pay up in stages (even though I never asked for it), like $100 per month for a few months before big day. On big day settle like $200 or so. Hmm.... That's for their long ROM. Now AD, "booked" already for 2 months but can only pay deposit end of this Jan. Hmm.... One of my nicest couple, they actually overpaid me, but I returned the extras of coz.

    I can tell you, a lot of my couples, reality HITS only when they are about to get wedded. The gals PANIC. What Hermes Birkin....WLL and not even 5 years. Chanel might even be a problem....

    BTW I just remembered that I still have not gone for my honeymoon proper (as in 2 of us solely) since 5/5/5 coz working non-stop after that....anyway no chance already but as a group can.
    Last edited by 2100; 12th January 2011 at 11:27 PM.

  13. #73
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    Default Re: How do you all do it?

    It's only a matter of attitude towards work.

    Take it with stride and do your job if you are the paid photographer. The "nuisance" will always be there and when one notices a certain professionalism in the way you shoot, (which I call "charisma") most of the other photographers will give way.

    When I first started off, I had the same butterflies in the stomach and the lack of confidence in shooting and allowed many guests trampled all over me and being taken advantage of. (Thats life!)

    Then there will always be people who have that I have better gears than you do, so technically they feel more superior. Came across these people a lot. Then again, challenge yourself to deliver better shots, even if you use a el cheapo DSLR. I started going for this full time with only a D70 and kit lens hearing sniggers from guests and other photographers saying "huh? D70 only har? Is he really pro?" (only to find out later their big lenses, D200's and S2pro didn't even come close to what I gave the clients)

    The moment I changed the attitude to reflect a more professional attitude (which took quite sometime...) people start to take notice. Nowadays, I hear " This guy is a pro..... let him do his job."

    And about good friends and relatives, I will ask them to respect my profession and pay the rates I'm charging. (with a small discount, they are after all, good friends or relatives) If they don't engage me AND I'm attending as a guest, I will NOT bring any camera equipment to the venue, except perhaps a compact for personal shots. Some relatives will still try their best and get hold of another camera and shove it to me and my standard answer will be " Are you sure you want me to be the photographer? " with the look that says..."I will bill you" . Usually they would understand and back off or you will become the guy with $$$ in his eyes tag for the rest of the family members.
    That was hard to do initially but then after a few incidents, things change and respect became the order of the day once they realise that working as a actual day wedding photographer is a very special job where commitment is deep.

    Its a matter of self discovery I would say.

    Each will find their own niche. Need not be doing weddings for a living, there are many others as well.

  14. #74

    Default Re: How do you all do it?

    With regards to equipment level and various people telling me that they have a "pro gear for high price & low gear for low price" (eg. $500 AD bring D200, $800 AD bring D300) attitude. I still don't get it till this day.

    I always thought you bring gear that you feel most comfortable with... not what reflects the price level. Basically somewhat doing disfavour to yourself and your clients, but well, it's the shooters choice. I've met senior bridal shop pgs with such attitudes (their attitudes abt life have become rather twisted anyway in general), so i'm not surprised.

  15. #75

    Default Re: How do you all do it?

    For those paid photographers who keep saying the guests with better camera equipment looked down at them, did it really happen? And not a case of feeling inferior yourself?

    I'm juz wondering... how did it happen? As in, the guests who were holding their big cams with big heavy cams and lenses walked up to you and say something to the effect: "Hey kid... you use a $500 lens and you're the so-called pro photographer? Look at my $2,000 lens and top end cam body!"

  16. #76

    Default Re: How do you all do it?

    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi2 View Post
    For those paid photographers who keep saying the guests with better camera equipment looked down at them, did it really happen? And not a case of feeling inferior yourself?

    I'm juz wondering... how did it happen? As in, the guests who were holding their big cams with big heavy cams and lenses walked up to you and say something to the effect: "Hey kid... you use a $500 lens and you're the so-called pro photographer? Look at my $2,000 lens and top end cam body!"
    this is so darn true isn't it...

    But to be entirely honest though... using the best available gear in the market that suits us as a photographer do help... personally, i find it satisfy my "lust for gear" department when using the best. It doesn't mean it can't be created with any other type of gear, but it is just a personal choice.

    a 24MP DSLR may be overkill for my work, but I just love the depth of the image. It is a personal satisfaction I must admit. However, it is a lot easier to sell a 1x1.5m canvas if the clients can see the details of what they are getting.

    I admit, I am a photographer but I do love the latest and greatest gear as a person. it is great to use them... that's all.

    Regards,

    Hart

  17. #77

    Default Re: How do you all do it?

    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi2 View Post
    For those paid photographers who keep saying the guests with better camera equipment looked down at them, did it really happen? And not a case of feeling inferior yourself?

    I'm juz wondering... how did it happen? As in, the guests who were holding their big cams with big heavy cams and lenses walked up to you and say something to the effect: "Hey kid... you use a $500 lens and you're the so-called pro photographer? Look at my $2,000 lens and top end cam body!"
    I did mention/shared my examples earlier on....

    I don't feel inferior, coz for me its simple as I have to answer to my clients that's it. In my wedding thread, as long as the testimonials keep coming and the cheque clears.

    Just that it gets somewhat irritating sometimes, getting told to do stand here and that....breathing down your neck while you are chimping, ya know that kinda thingy.....
    Obviously the more you shoot, the more you'd experience/see.

    Actually the original discussion is mild.

    Ok, maybe allow me to ask everyone this. Would you believe these scenarios :
    (1) The dad can suffer heart attack during Yum Seng and drop?
    (2) Wife/husband divorce before you hand over DVD?
    (3) Police shows up during banquet coz of a fight? (sorry, lousy question, other countries think they use guns)
    (4) Stage collapses during yum seng?
    (5) Bride (not sis/bros) dress/hair gets burnt on stage?
    (6) March in with not one but two kids in tow? (bride not preg)
    Etc.

    I'll have to dig though if you need photos.....

    Eg 10 happening stuff, over 700 weddings. 1.4%...that's about right.

    There are more stories whenever I come across some guys or my other hobby pals, who are ex-PGs, commercial. Stories galore....
    Wedding ceremony, reception cum party on board yatch. Gals dancing in bikinis and nipple pasties jiggling for you to take. Wish I was there....

    PS. Alarm clock, can fail? (I think last year not many has backup alarms..... I did forewarn a couple of times).
    Actually my analogue alarm clock did fail (really failed, not that it ran out of batt), luckily not right before AD.
    Last edited by 2100; 14th January 2011 at 03:02 PM.

  18. #78

    Default Re: How do you all do it?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2100 View Post
    Eg 10 happening stuff, over 700 weddings. 1.4%...that's about right.
    Wow... 700 weddings?

    Regards,

    Hart

  19. #79

    Default Re: How do you all do it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Agetan View Post
    Wow... 700 weddings?

    Regards,

    Hart
    Just an example lah.... I not so much, 500+. But uncles in the 2k+ range who worked nearly 30 years (now mostly retired), there are more ard than we'd care to think. Not sure if you know that guy in his ~ 50s I think (forgot name) who used to be from Academy. Aiyah lost his card. Still shooting what.... and going strong.

    If we meet again here in 6-7 years time, prob approaching 1k. Not unbelivable....

    In the corporate world, there are quite a few who stayed with SingTel for over 40 years. If I am not wrong record dunno 46 or something.
    Last edited by 2100; 14th January 2011 at 03:19 PM.

  20. #80

    Default Re: How do you all do it?

    hahahaa....

    Would be enough to afford those big esate in Linden Dr and Drive Ferarri or Lamborghini then... of course if the charge support the number...

    Anyway, just kidding... It is scary to think about the number.

    Regards,

    Hart

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