What is expected and what is to be expected?


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yuanseng

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Dec 27, 2007
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Hi all I've got a situation here, I consider myself to be an amateur photographer with a very basic setup consisting of a D50, Nikon 50mm f/1.8, Sigma 18-125mm f3.5-5.6, Sigma 70-200 f2.8 and a SB 600 flash set.

Recently 2 of my colleagues saw the shots I took at a company event and they liked what they saw, so they asked me to be their backup photographer for their wedding, capturing the general atmosphere and faces candidly. I had told them I have no experience in this area but they liked my photos anyway. So I agreed.

Now I'm in a fix cos I dunno what I'm supposed to do, like what is to be expected at the wedding, what kinda post wedding services am I supposed to give (like am I supposed to print out the photos for them and put in album?), or what kinda DI I'm supposed to do. I'm not very skilled in DI either just the basic touch ups, levels, blah blah. Nothing fancy like Mr Rarinda Prakarsa defintely or JOHO. They are absolutely fantastic.

Then they next question is renumeration. They said they'd pay me but I dunno how much is appropriate? Cos I've got no "commercial" shoots before and hence no proper portfolio. I'm more concerned that they give me too much and I don't deliver as they expect. Not very nice since they're my colleagues.

So in a nutshell, what is expected of me and what is expected of them? Would appreciate any advise on this! Thanks in advnace! :)
 

Rashkae

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Nov 28, 2005
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Look in the "The Photo Biz" forum.
 

Fragnatic

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Jan 24, 2008
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#3
i suppose u are talking abt the wedding actual day?

for weddings, it depends on wad the client wants.
like do they want the photos to be burned into a CD/DVD only? (usu, the gd ones are processed and burned la)
or do they require a photo slideshow?
or do they want an album printed out?

rates will depend on the services u provide.
u can let ur colleagues decide how much to pay u. or u can offer ur services to them free, since u know them and are just helping them.
since u are the backup photog, i tink u can just pass them the processed photos in a CD/DVD. the main photog will do everything required.
 

Ah Pao

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Nov 7, 2003
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#4
Since they asked you for your help based on what they saw (i.e. your event shots, which served as your portfolio), then that should be the minimum standard you should deliver.

As for the deliverables, I think it's better to clarify with them what they want. Clients pay professionals based on their deliverables, so you should do the same. The principle is to come up with a win-win situation. Mostly is just a CD/DVD, but if they ask for more, explain that it will costs them to at least cover at least the material cost. It's not fair for you to fork out for their event...otherwise you'll go bankrupt or grow very grouchy very soon. :)

From my experience, if they get you to help in shooting the event not as a professional, they won't pay you what they will pay a professional. Just take whatever they give you and accept it - you deserve it!
 

synapseman

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May 6, 2003
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#5
Since you've already declared clearly your background to the couple and they still want you to shoot, then on the day, just go ahead and "do your thing". Guess what they want is a set of photos that are of a different perspective from the main photographer.

Make it simple, select the good shots, burn to DVD and pass it to them. Leave it to the couple to pay you how much they wish.

More importantly though is that you do not get in the way of the main photographer. Observe him from a distance. Where he goes, you go somewhere else, shoot something different. During downtime, maybe you can chat with him to pick up some pointers.

Good luck. For all you know, this may be the catalyst for greater things to come for you. ;)
 

yuanseng

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Dec 27, 2007
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#6
Fragnatic: Yes it's the wedding day. There are 2 days actually, the first day being the ROM then the next day being the chinese rites and dinner.

Ah Pao & Synapseman: Thanks for the advices!

I did put some thought into venturing into this arena before but I didn't think my equipment were up to standard so I didn't wanna ruin pple's wedding photos. That's why I made sure I was only the back up photographer. I do hope to be able to pick up some pointers from the professional who is there! Then again I dunno if they'll hire some "japalang" photographer whose portfolio is no better than mine... cos I've seen some of them with photos that are really nothing but snapshots, nothing fantastic that I couldn't do.
 

synapseman

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May 6, 2003
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#7
I did put some thought into venturing into this arena before but I didn't think my equipment were up to standard so I didn't wanna ruin pple's wedding photos. That's why I made sure I was only the back up photographer. I do hope to be able to pick up some pointers from the professional who is there! Then again I dunno if they'll hire some "japalang" photographer whose portfolio is no better than mine... cos I've seen some of them with photos that are really nothing but snapshots, nothing fantastic that I couldn't do.
Don't worry about the other photog on that day. He does his job, you do yours. Just don't clash, can liao.

Yup, you'll be amazed at how some really mediocre photographers can actually make a living out of this! According to top-level pros, the thing of greatest importance is actually business knowledge, not so much photo skills. A good businessman who is a lousy photographer is likely to stay in business longer than a good photographer with no business skills.

For the rest of us, the next best thing to do is read up about Wedding Photography from books and magazines. Then you can also take courses at places like Photographic Society of Singapore.

IMHO, you don't need fantastic equipment to start shooting weddings. One friend (now a pro with an established studio), started off with a film SLR and 50mm lens. One current pro (as in, earn a living from wedding photography) I know shoots with a Nikon D50 with kit lens! I started with a prosumer, then when I had my first low-end DSLR, I used it with a kit lens for a very long time. Work with what you have, because I personally believe that if you can push your gear to its limits, even modest equipment will give more than adequate results (for a beginner wedding photographer anyway).

You will instinctively know when you've hit that limit, outgrown your gear, and know what next to get, so don't worry about your "equipment not up to standard".

(Anyway, you've got a 70-200 f/2.8. That's better than what a lot of folk have!)
 

yuanseng

New Member
Dec 27, 2007
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#8
Thanks for the advice! Was away at Bangkok the past week hence the late reply. Will do my best and I'll see what comes out of it!
 

night86mare

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Aug 25, 2006
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#9
don't hinder the main photographer

you are backup, so don't worry too much about it. if you are not a professional and there is a professional doing the job, personally if i have somehow got myself into this fix - i would call this a fix, will explain why later.. though yours isn't a very big fix.. i won't charge anything. maybe just say treat you to drink or something. it will be a different story if you have been doing wedding phtoography for some time and have the relevant expertise and confidence i guess.

personally my view is that it is just so much easier to say no, unless you are relatively close to the colleagues and they definitely have a professional doing the job. once again, unless you have been doing wedding phtoography for a while. better to avoid fire, there are 8000 things that could happen and go wrong..

just do your best, don't stress too much about it since got professional doing the main job.. and be creative, try out new stuff (but please, don't do stuff that crosses the line, it's a wedding after all) to offer an alternative view.. even more so if you plan to do it seriously later on. if you have been looking at works here, check out will03, joho you've seen.. still got iamasaint.. these are the ones that post quite often here.. give you a better idea of what is deemed as good wedding photography. :)
 

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