Advice sought for wedding photography business startup

Started 5 months ago | Discussions thread
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TheSonyEnthusiast Forum Member • Posts: 67
Advice sought for wedding photography business startup

Hi everyone,

I'd been in the process of doing heavy upgrades to my equipment in anticipation of two weddings: my best friend's and my own.

For years friends and family alike told me to go into photography as a business because of the work I've produced. I've done weddings, science conferences, commercial shots, and everything in between. I remained a bit hesitant because I didn't want my passion to become 'work' and had this nagging fear my love for photography would become lost by doing it for money.

For the past few months though, the realization of my upcoming marriage means I have my fiancee's needs to care for. As a result I decided to take the plunge into doing weddings and other work on the weekends to supplement my income. Additionally I am hoping to offer videography as well but still need a few things before I can commit to that (video tripod, slider, Sony Vegas Pro 15, etc).

If anyone is curious as to my current equipment I'm starting with:

Cameras: DSLR-A850, two ILCA-99M2s (coming soon), twenty FM-500H batteries

Flashes: two HVL-F58AMs (and two external battery packs), four HVL-F43AMs.
Macro Flashes: HVL-MT24AM, HVL-RLAM
Focus Monitors: CLM-V55

Zeiss Lenses: SAL1635Z2, SAL2470Z, SAL24F20Z, SAL50F14Z, SAL135F18Z (also an SAL1680Z)
G Lenses: SAL70400G2, SAL70300G, 1.4 and 2x teleconverters
Normal lenses: SAL16F28 Fisheye, SAL20F28, SAL28F28, SAL50F14, SAL50M28, SAL100M28, SAL2875,

Filters: ND8 (multiple), starburst, soft, circular polarizers, etc.

Microphones and Adapters:
-XLR-K1M (x 3, long story)
-URX-P03D dual channel wireless receiver (channel 14-25 block frequency)
-UTX-B03D x 2 (14-25 block frequency)
-UTX-M03 (14-25 block frequency)
-UTX-P03 (14-25 block frequency)
-URX-P03 (30-41 block frequency, not paired with anything at the moment)
-various lav mics and accessories

-ECM-CG50 (x2)
-ECM-XM1 (x2)

Miscellaneous: HDR-XR520V camcorder, LA-EA4 adapter, various lens adapters.

Disclaimer: I realize the A99ii is not the most ideal for shooting video because some people don't like the aperture locked at F3.5 when set to autofocus but I plan to rack focus manually with focus peaking monitors at larger apertures and eventually get a dedicated video camera (PXW-FS5, FS7ii, etc).

With that said, what recommendations can veteran business owners offer on helping to kickstart my own business? What unforeseen circumstances should I anticipate dealing with? What obstacles did you have to overcome and how? Would the HDR-XR520V serve as an okay 3rd video cam working in tandem with the two a99ii's? What are your thoughts on the amount of equipment redundancy within the list?  And I guess lastly any final thoughts or words of wisdom?

Thanks and hope to hear from everyone soon.

 TheSonyEnthusiast's gear list:TheSonyEnthusiast's gear list
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H3 Sony Alpha DSLR-A850 Sony 50mm F1.4 Sony DT 11-18mm F4.5-5.6 Sony DT 16-80mm F3.5-4.5 ZA Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* +21 more
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