Want to be a wedding photographer?

Started Jan 23, 2007 | Discussions thread
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dipics
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Want to be a wedding photographer?
Jan 23, 2007

Hopefully this thread will evolve into some sound advice. As if I have any control over that..

Here's mine, I've been shooting weddings for 27 years now. Have something over 750 of them under my belt personally and quite a few more that my employees have shot. But, take any advice I offer with a grain of salt. What works for me might not work for you.

Training.

Before you even consider shooting a wedding, get some books about wedding photography and study up. This is the first step. Then, find someone to train you. Hire on with a local professional as an assistant. An assistant works for me for a year before they are the primary shooter on a wedding. During that year, they pack-mule for 5-10 weddings, then they are second camera for 10-20. Only then can they be first camera and for the first 5 or so weddings that they are first camera, they have a backup (2nd camera) that is actually normally one of my primary photographers (often myself). Then I actually put them in charge of a wedding. Over-trained? Well, yes. And I like it that way.

Equipment

I’m not going to get too heavily into equipment because the equipment that you use depends heavily on the style of photography that you do. Some photographers rely on high ISO and shoot mostly available light. Some bring 150 lbs of lighting equipment. To each his own. But, one thing is true no matter what. Bring two of EVERYTHING that you need to shoot the wedding. At a bare minimum, this means two of each of the following:

-Cameras (I bring two identical cameras and actually use both in each wedding, one for available light, the other with flash.)
-Two flashes if you use them.

-Two flash brackets.

-Two Sync cords. (if not more, I haven’t had great luck with sync cords over the years)

-Two of EACH LENS you need to shoot the wedding. Note, this doesn’t necessarily mean that fisheye that you use once. It does mean each lens you cannot do without.
-Two tripods if you use them.

Basically, if you can’t shoot the wedding without it, then bring two of it. In addition to this, bring twice as many batteries of each type than you think you will need. Also, twice as many compact flash cards and a way to back them up while you are there.

Speaking of compact flash cards, I use 2 gig cards. Some people use larger ones. I’m actually uneasy with the 2 gig cards though. I get about 200 shots on a 2 gig card. If I lose one of them, it will be bad. If I would lose a 4 or 8 gig card (lose as in it quits working or physically lose one) then I would likely kill myself. Two gig is about my potential pain threshold on this decision. Find yours.

Also in my equipment list is:

-Leatherman tool (the wave)
-Small roll of duct tape
-Plenty of change for tolls etc.
-GPS (with the church and reception hall already programmed in)
-Lens pen
Grey card (actually a twist-fold one by Lastolite, very cool)
-Safety pins of assorted sizes
-Pennies/sixpence for the shoe (you’ll be their hero)
-A LadderKart
-Other misc stuff that I have found useful over the years.

If anyone else has any other advice, I’m interested in hearing it. That’s a start though.

DIPics

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