Wedding Gear Question

Started Jun 30, 2013 | Discussions thread
Biggs23
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,574Gear list
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Re: Wedding Gear Question
In reply to PenguinPhotoCo, Jul 1, 2013

PenguinPhotoCo wrote:

To pay yourself/the labor, overhead, pay for equipment, etc in any business means you need to charge enough.

Many part timers fool themselves by not counting most of their expenses (and many just ignore insurance or perhaps don't claim the income and skip the taxes).

They try to make a few bucks off their hobby.

I'd say 20% of the time you can get a competent photog with decent gear and results that are good in a timely manner. But the other 80% of the time...there are many horror stories out there.
The norm is just mediocre to bad pics - lighting, posing, backgrounds not up to par - but most folks don't know the difference. 99% of the pictures they've ever seen are family snaps and figure 'a good camera' will make the pictures better.

Few seem to consider that anyone can use a visa card to buy a camera - or tools to fix a car or pots and pans - yet few would expect good car repair or haute cuisine from a newbie that has ' a good wrench' or 'a good pepper grinder'.

Like any service, say car repair or furnace repair, a business needs to get $75 plus per hour, for every hour of labor involved. A wedding may appear to be 7 or 8 hours on the day of, but there are meetings/consults, prep, travel, image culling of bad shots, editing of the keepers, backup of the files, time to put them online or burn a disk, etc. This can easily double the time involved in a wedding.

So what you end up on the low end is poorly paid, part time workers - think mcdonalds or walmart. Or you get a business that 'just doesn't make any money' so they close up shop. Or they're part time so if they boss says 'you will have to go to phoenix...' they'll skip out on the wedding (seen this all too often) or try to find someone to cover for them.

As for gear - under perfect conditions any camera can take beautiful pictures. But live all day events like weddings rarely present perfect conditions the whole time - so when things get marginal unless you have top level gear the images will drop in quality and you get a very uneven quality.

few part timers have a clue how to pose to make someone look good - thinner, prettier, compose an image properly. No matter how good (or bad) a camera it's only a tool - like a screw driver or spatula. It's up to the person using the tool to determine what kind of results you get.

Exactly correct. The tools aren't half as important as the people behind them.

As for your initial question, I'd say that similar gear is pretty typical for low end shooters. The fact that they had an actual flash bumps them above the average entry for the low end of the market.

What I'd typically expect (speaking in Nikon terms):

Low-end: Nikon D3100/5100, perhaps a flash.

Middle: Nikon D600/D700 + backups, a flash or two.

Mid-high: Nikon D800 + backups, several off camera flashes.

High-end: Nikon D4 + backups, as many flashes as needed.

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Any opinions I express are my own and do not represent DPReview. Have a good one and God bless!

 Biggs23's gear list:Biggs23's gear list
Nikon D4 Nikon Df Nikon D810 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED +4 more
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