Want to sell your photos? Get Started!

First ever photography shoot

Attention!

This topic is locked.

Reason : We think the OP has enough info now...


30 Mar 2015 4:07AM
Situation: I am a beginner, I bought my first DSLR (Nikon D5500) in February. I am looking for free experience and I have been asked to do a wedding. I've arranged a consultation for 30/03/15. I am offering my services for free but any prints will be subject to any costs I may occur within an agreed budget of the couple.

I have a contract ready for the Bride and Groom to sign, I also have a Property release form for all the venues to complete.

Do I need the guests to complete a General release form and Minor/Child release forms on top of this?

I have no licence - do I need a licence?
I have no insurance - Do I need insurance?

Is there anything else you think I may have forgotten about and need to consider?

Join ePHOTOzine for free and remove these adverts.

StrayCat 15 19.1k 3 Canada
30 Mar 2015 6:34AM
Welcome aboard. You have your hands full.Tongue
StrayCat 15 19.1k 3 Canada
30 Mar 2015 6:54AM
sherlob Plus
13 3.0k 129 United Kingdom
30 Mar 2015 8:41AM
The advice of many on here will be - don't do it.

Are the couple concerned aware of the fact you describe yourself as a beginner?

What kind of results are they expecting? Consider asking them for examples of what they are hoping for. Can you match these expectations?

What will be the consequences of things going wrong on the day? E.g. will there be another photographer there (preferably a pro who can guarantee the results of their work)

And yes - you should consider insurance.
collywobles 15 4.0k 10 United Kingdom
30 Mar 2015 9:10AM

Quote:Is there anything else you think I may have forgotten about and need to consider?


Yes, ARE YOU CAPABLE of providing the B&G with photos that they expect to treasure for life, or at least until the divorce......... One of the most difficult aspects of wedding photography is to get the guests in the right place at the right time, There is a trick to it...........

My advice is to go and help other professional wedding togs before you go it alone, with so little experience you are walking into a potential nightmare.

But if you insist good luck and at least let us see you efforts..

PS: In looking at your PF. I'm afraid its pretty basic and you are gonna have to do so much better than that if your wedding shots are to be of any satisfaction.
KevSB 15 1.5k 5 United Kingdom
30 Mar 2015 9:16AM
I believe sherlob says it all tbh.

All I can add is you will receive hundreds of invites to do weddings when friends find you own a camera , very few will want to pay you.

The first experience for me was nerve racking on the day. and many days of editing and was never happy with what I did
The second experience again nerve racking and hated what I did.

for me there has never been a 3rd as I personally wont put myself in that position again, there is a whole different world to doing something you enjoy as against having to come up with the results.
Have you considered what will happen when none turn out as expected, if your camera fails on the day, if your card fails. and the hundred other issues that occur.

Customer/Friend Expectation's may be far higher than your skill set , I have turned down lots of friends since, some have been quite off with me for doing so but in my case the week of worry before and after the event is not something I want to do again.
fortunetly the two I did, the friends seem happy but they are far below what I thought I could do.

The one bit of advice I can give is have a word with the best man, get him on side to manage the guests ready for each photo, do the large group shots first before they get bored. then prey lol
collywobles 15 4.0k 10 United Kingdom
30 Mar 2015 9:18AM
KEV SB says it all..
altitude50 15 15.2k United Kingdom
30 Mar 2015 10:30AM
About 25 years ago I was paid to photograph a corporate event, mainly just of people sitting at tables.
Everything went wrong, parking was only available about 400 yards away, I had to carry heavy equipment, tables, stands etc in two journeys. In consequence I was late. Poor preparation on my part. Then every flash photograph was taken at too high a shutter speed. (Finger pushing on the shutter speed slider on front of the Minolta 9000 in the heat of the moment.) An absolute disaster and it haunts me to this day.

A few weeks ago I agreed to photograph my step-daughters wedding. The brief was that the bride and groom only wanted casual un-posed record shots no groups. I found that it was quite acceptable under those conditions with family there and I knew many of the guests.. I normally take very few photos of people so beforehand I introduced myself to a local handicraft group and practiced on them at their venue. I was using my Nikon D5200, which I am familiar with and only a Nikon hotshoe mounted flash.
On the day It was quite enjoyable. I had exclusive permission to picture the ceremony and the registry (false book!) signing. And those pictures were, for my eyes the best, good even.
In all I took 300 pictures. The ones of the speeches and cake cutting were, in my opinion, just about acceptable.
The couple were very happy with the results and have chosen 25.

But, if this is your first wedding with a newish camera and everything depends on you, I would say 'don't!'
Especially if you have to pose groups.

Like my early bad experience, you, the guests, and above all the couple will never forget it if you get even 20% of the day wrong.

meyeview 9 1.4k 1 United Kingdom
30 Mar 2015 10:36AM
just by owning a DSLR does not make you a photographer.
your images on this site show that you have a lot to learn.
taking on a wedding would be a bad idea. walk away before it's too late. that would be the best advice i can give.
take time to learn about your camera and hone your techniques.
most of all enjoy the ride.
Eastlands 8 760 4 Northern Ireland
30 Mar 2015 10:41AM
I have many years of photographic experience and my best advice is don't do it.
Overread 10 4.1k 19 England
30 Mar 2015 10:45AM
Since you're thinking a lot about the business end of things this suggests that you're not doing this just for the experience; but because you'd rather like to further your own interests in that area. Consider then that if your first outings as a wedding photographer under your own name are a disaster that it will haunt you. Locally word will get around; and online it will stick around for life. Even if the Bride and Groom are happy chances are what you produce at your stage in photography will be very sub-standard to what you potentially will be able to do in even a year - let alone two or three year of learning.

Thus you'd be crippling your chances by putting out low-standard work and getting a name for yourself of providing that level of quality. And that's without disasters. Disasters and things going wrong or the B&G disliking what you provide is even worse and any drama fallout will persist (esp if anything gets onto facebook and the like).

The modern shopper does google things and complaints will be found.


As such I'd second what the others say - yes you want experience but there are ways to get that without the risk. At your stage even just a few friends and an evening or two having fun doing photography would work. At the end of the day the photography of a wedding is black and white subjects in close poorly lit environments - you don't need to to a wedding to practice that (heck you can learn a lot about lighting and angles just with a few stuffed toys - plus they don't get bored half way through either).
Things you have forgotten

1/ To confess your sins now to a priest, since you will be very dead indeed when the new wife get's her 'Pictures'

or......

2/ Visa to permanently reside in a cave in Papua New Guinea or some other remote part of the planet for the rest of your life..


See 'Meyview's post above, and note that of all the photographic work you may ever undertake, the 'Wedding' genre is the most fraught and unforgiving...no matter how nice the wife to be may seem when only at the negotiation stage she will be very handy with a meat cleaver when it comes to photos that don't match up to her wildest dreams.

You may be lucky. You may suddenly discover a great talent for wedding photography descending upon you on the day. I hope it does. Good luck!
mervyntattoo 10 766 Wales
30 Mar 2015 10:50AM
I used to do weddings on film, no insurance and thankfully no disasters. There is so much more to it than pressing the shutter release for instance; in groups, can they all see the camera with BOTH eyes? You have to be authoritative yet not pushy, keep the crowd amused but deal with the snap-shotters pushing in front of you to steal your shot. There is so much more involved than at first appears. Be outgoing, confident and entertaining!
30 Mar 2015 11:00AM

Quote:just by owning a DSLR does not make you a photographer.
your images on this site show that you have a lot to learn.
taking on a wedding would be a bad idea. walk away before it's too late. that would be the best advice i can give.
take time to learn about your camera and hone your techniques.
most of all enjoy the ride.



I completely respect this is my first DSLR yes however there have been occasions in the past where I have had the chance to borrow friends and the not so great point and shoot. Since I can remember the idea of capturing a moment to last a life time has been important to me. I do have courses in the pipeline and when I originally set out to offer free experience I never intended on taking part in a wedding.


Quote:The one bit of advice I can give is have a word with the best man, get him on side to manage the guests ready for each photo, do the large group shots first before they get bored. then prey lol


There is a clause in this contract that goes The Bride & Groom and Photographer agree to happily cooperate and communicate to achieve the best results possible. I would recommend that the wedding photographer be provided with a helper (In cases this could be the best man) who will point out key individuals to be photographed. The photographer may also require the assistance of the best man in organizing family groups. The Bride & Groom also agree to give the photographer(s) sufficient warning of key events at the wedding to give the photographer time to prepare.


Quote:The advice of many on here will be - don't do it.

Are the couple concerned aware of the fact you describe yourself as a beginner?

What kind of results are they expecting? Consider asking them for examples of what they are hoping for. Can you match these expectations?

What will be the consequences of things going wrong on the day? E.g. will there be another photographer there (preferably a pro who can guarantee the results of their work)

And yes - you should consider insurance.



I have already advised the couple they should arrange a professional however Id be more that happy to come along and possibly work with the photographer or off to one side out of his/hers way. The couple have no money to pay for a photographer and as my services are going to be completely free it means Nanna Margaret can take a seat.

I have already warned them that this would be my first wedding and I cannot guarantee results and they are completely okay with this.

What insurance should I consider?

mikehit 9 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
30 Mar 2015 11:00AM
I am not one of those people who will pontificate about how someone should or should not do something like this but believe me it will scare the bejesus out of you! It is bad enough trying to get photos as a guest interested in photography (which I have done many times) - the mere idea of being solely responsible for the photo record of a couple's biggest day has had me breaking into cold sweats the one time it was even suggested (by an intermediary sounding me out).
You are not only taking photos but organising groups of people the majority for whom the main objective is to get to the bar as soon as possible and not leave it until the food is ready! The phrase 'herding cats' doesn't even come close.
Having said all that there is a chance you will enjoy it and make a relative success of it as long as you take all comments as an indication of what to expect. I have seen wedding sets where the guest pictures are as good as those from the photographer, usually on glorious sumer days but the reason people pay a photographer is to increase the chance of getting good photos even if conditions are not ideal. Do you know how to overcome those conditions?

Now to your questions:
Do you need a licence? No
Do you need insurance? You can get by without it but if someone trips over your camera bag and breaks their leg then you may find yourself on the end of a litigation with no safety net
Do you need a property release? No - they are worthless in UK law
Do you need a general release form or minor/child release form? No - neither is not needed under UK law (this all started in trigger-happy US) and serves very little purpose if you are simply processing the images for the purpose it was intended (people to remind them of the wedding). Are you going to go round every guest and say 'can you sign this piece of paper to say I can use your (or your child's) image as I wish'? Talk about a mood killer and it will have them wondering exactly what you are intending to do with them.

About the only sensible thing you have said is about having a contract. Does this mention the number of images you will process, print and present in an album or on CD/DVD? The time you will be at the venue? The turnaround time for getting the photos to them? Payment schedule?


If you go through with this then I wish you all the best but please be totally honest with the couple about your abilities and experience (or lack of it).