Help - volunteered to photograph a wedding

Started Jan 27, 2014 | Discussions thread
RomanJohnston Forum Pro • Posts: 18,806
A few notes from my experience.

WIMorrison wrote:

I have have been volunteered by my wife and daughter to photograph a family wedding and whilst I am a competent photographer weddings - in fact people photography is not my sceene as you can see from my website.

does anyone have some good suggestions - other than pay someone to do it for me - that might help me along the way and stop me making a complete idiot of myself ending up with average photos which is not what they expect.

many thanks for any hints and tops you send my way

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Iain Morrison LRPS CPAGB

1. Set expectations. I don't care who volunteered me as a photographer, I would tell them that I am not nor will I ever be a wedding photographer. Such things take YEARS of apprenticeship to get good at. With that are a competent photographer so you will do things like get the exposure correct....etc. If they don't like what they hear...then maybe they will go find a wedding photographer. This is time to have a backbone if your not used to standing up for yourself.

2. If they still want you to do it (probably because you are free) then they will get what they pay for. I would go to Kelby Training online and signup for $24.00 @ month...(you can stop it any one month will do) and they have some pretty good wedding and event photographers teaching people photography there. You will get some very good info there and should help quite a bit.

3. Rent faster glass than you have listed in your signature. I would say a 24-70 and a 70-200 VR lens would do you quite well. Keep the 24-70 on your D7000 and the 70-200 on your D800. Some may recommend a prime here in the forums...and if you were an experienced people photographer I would agree...but these fast zooms will give you options....and you will need that latitude. Have both armed and ready. Buy some extra batteries...(couldn't hurt to have them after the shoot either). Get a few memory cards. More if you don't have a storage medium or laptop....less if you do. Just bring a fast memory card reader...have one of your family members who so graciously volunteered you help you.

4. On that note...tell your wife that you cant do this alone and you will need her help getting people lined up for the family shoot portion.....swapping out memory cards. I say share the pain so she does not get these wonderful ideas any more. This is the ONLY way she is going to appreciate what you just took on and accepted even though you never offered.

5. Get a list of pictures the bride and groom absolutely cannot do without including a list of pictures of family members they want. Give this to your wife and make her the wrangler of people..(my wife did this when I got "volunteered" like you did....she now doesn't volunteer me without checking with me first...she knows its gonna cost her too

6.Oh...did I say Set expectations? (Yes...its that important) This will stop bridzillas in their tracks.

Now...with that all said....if you have NORMAL human beings your doing this for....they will probably like what you do for them much more than YOU will. Looked at your web page and you do have photographic skills. If your anything like me, you will be more critical of your impromptu wedding shoot then they every will.

7....o forgot. Tell them it might be 6-8 weeks of processing to get things done...TRUST me on this. Your first wedding is THE WORST. You will need time as your files will be all over the place....if you do it a second will be will remember the things that made your first one a challange.

Your mission (should you choose to accept) is not an easy one...but I think you will do well

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The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious; It is the source of all true art and science.
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