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I'm getting nervous as I'm assisting at a wedding today with a full time wedding photographer. Batteries plenty and fully charged 2 x camera bodies (40D and 400D) a selection of lenses and other bits and bobs. CF cards wiped. Shoes polished shirt and trousers ironed.
I did give a friend a hand who used to do weddings full time and still does the odd one ( I can't really count that one), but today's is in a totally different league as the person I'm assisting is very good at what she does and full time at it. I really want to give my best if not better if I can.
Must say I'm really looking forward to it and feel very lucky to get a chance with a proper tog
P.S Several bottles of Hobgoblin waiting for when I get home later.
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I remember my first wedding I photographed in 1996: being the one and main photographer I was more terrified and nervous than the bride and wondered to myself what I was doing there however all turned out well so I was worrying about nothing; we all have to start somewhere and you are starting the right way i.e. assisting not the deep end variety as I did
Good luck and enjoy
Thanks Peter, will do. I just keep having that "Have I left the oven on feeling"
Quote: Thanks Peter, will do. I just keep having that "Have I left the oven on feeling"
lmao.... i get that even now.... although not for weddings, but other jobs, i sometimes cant help but think, "now, do i have everything?" and then have to sit in the car in the drive for a few minutes going over everything in my head.... i never have forgotten anything, as i am sure you havnt, but that feeling sometimes just wont go away, lol.
good luck, and make sure you enjoy it, if you do, then the people you are with will too.
My only piece of advice would be to study the WAY she works and forget about the technicalities.
It's that ability to develop a way of working that's more important than an ability to take pics at this stage.
Cheers all it was a great day, really enjoyed it and got some shots I'm proud of, also got some that the photographer as asked if she can use on her blog
I did stand and watch the main shots when the bride and groom were lit and posed. Even enjoyed helping to arrange groups chatting to people and speaking with the registrars.
Above all a great day and I have been asked to do another one.
Just thought I would update you all
I have been to several weddings with the same photographers since this thread started and I'm loving it.
Not only am I enjoying the photo's but I'm enjoying chatting to the bride and groom before hand, parents, best men and the vicar/registrar etc.
I also get a great sense of achievement when getting the shots I have in mind, also being able to see how the day runs and what snags you can hit.
Such as Bride is late, groom is very nervous so he needs relaxing for the pre wedding shots. Even awkward wedding organisers at the wedding venue.
The main thing for me is the couple and making sure they get the shots they want and expect, after which all the Brides and Grooms have given us a big thank you at the end and thanked us for helping their day run smoothly.
My only regret is not going along this route sooner, I even have a couple of weddings booked later in the year for me to shoot (at last paying customers!) and the photographer Sharon has even offered to back me up if needed in return for the help I have given in assisting her.
So in summary it's really enjoyable, I have met some wonderful people (and some grumpy ones and a few uncle Bob's). Plus I have made a couple of really good friends in the couple I have been assisting and learning from, in fact they are taking me to a real ale pub soon as a thanks.
Oh and the 40D is now my backup and have got myself a 5DmkII and some more lenses Just need a decent harness as 2 cameras with lenses attached do pull a tad during a long wedding.
My next lessons are going to be setting up the bride and groom shots and lighting them with flash.
Thanks Stu for posting such a positive thread. One only hear fear when the subject of wedding photography comes up so it's great to hear that with proper preparation it can work out well.
Quote: proper preparation
I think you are absolutely right here, that preration is the key.
When I have a wedding to photograph I aways visit both the church and the venue (although most places nowadays are the same place) in advance to evaluate lighting, location, potential problems (even car parking)* and of course opprtunities for something different. My equipment is duplicated although with different lenses and both cameras are setup identically.
So yes, preperation, preperation, preperation...........
* One of my first weddings was at a church opposite a football stadium and - yes you guessed it - there was a match on that day and I could not find a place to park, fortunately I was very early so I was able to park a fair way from the church and still arrive at the correct time -- but I dont mind telling yoiu that did stress me on that occasion..... phew! On reflection had I had visited the church prior I might have guessed the problem with parking and hired a driver for the afternoon.... but then its easy in hind site so - PREPERATION! (8o)
The photographer who I assist got the following email yesterday from a couple who's wedding we photographed recently.
What a lovely message to receive, I'm really chuffed
Quote: This is just a very quick e-mail to say Thank You very much for such a wonderful day which you and Stu contributed to immensly! We want to send a more personal thank you to you which we hope you would accept, but just wanted to say Thank You in this e-mail in the meantime! See you soon.
Dave and Nic x
Well done Stu.
Good on you! It's so, so good to hear you've gone down the assisting route before jumping in. I wish I'd done the same, but like Peter, I jumped into the deep end way back in 2004 and shot a wedding with two D70s (one borrowed), two Jessops flashguns and a bunch of kit lenses and primes. I was fortunate insomuchas the couple were very laid back indeed and had a three day wedding, so I had a bit of time to settle into the role
Quote: The main thing for me is the couple and making sure they get the shots they want and expect
. Absolutely! And the next step is exceeding those expectations One thing I would say is that it's worth bag-carrying for a few more photographers - it took me ages to realise just how much you learn from watching photographers work - so many different and varied styles; so many different approaches. I still love to second shoot now, and learn something every time I do.
Reading this a bit late sorry. Nice to hear your story. How did you go about assisting? contact local photographers and ask if they'd be willing for you to shadow for free? If any of you are in the west midlands and want to take me under your wing, let me know
Quote: Reading this a bit late sorry. Nice to hear your story. How did you go about assisting? contact local photographers and ask if they'd be willing for you to shadow for free? If any of you are in the west midlands and want to take me under your wing, let me know
I was unlucky and lucky at the same time, basically I got hit by a car on the m6 I was on a motorcycle and smashed my foot up, anyway I was off work after the first op for 6 months a mate used to pick me up once a week for a cheeky beer, I met a couple of wedding photographers who have since become very good friends. From being friends they took me under their wing and helped by giving me loads of opportunities to attend weddings with them. This route has really worked out and I now have a couple of my own booked.
We really clicked and work very well together now and assisting is great because when you go out alone you can really be prepared and leave at least some of the nerves at home.
I'm not saying have an RTC but if you can get to know and help a photographer. You could try emailing ringing them or putting your details online with such sites as photoassist.co.uk
THanks for the reply. I've checked out that site and will have to have a deeper delve into it when I've got a little more time. Were you expected to take shots too or mainly just to observe and carry things? I guess what I'm asking is what is expected of an assistant?
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