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Archive 2013 · First wedding coming up! [HELP!]
  
 
agelessphotog
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p.2 #1 · First wedding coming up! [HELP!]


""To be honest, you should probably back out of this wedding. I am not trying to discourage you. I was in your position not so long ago and I would totally recommend you do things right the first time. Starting with an accountant and attorney. You shouldn't be charging money if you need to gain experience. You should 2nd shoot until you known the ins and outs of shooting a wedding. By "diving in there" with no insurance or solid contract, you're just painting a big "SUE ME" on yourself. Then you have to deal with the accounting side of running a business. Don't forget, roughly 35% of that $1600 belongs to the government whether you think you have a business or not.""


Can you give her a example of how she could possibly be sued?? I don't think she's guaranteeing anything in this photo shoot or on the contract other than being there for unlimited hours taking photos. She already told her client she's never shot a wedding before. Unless her photos turn out blown out or so dark you can barely see anything I doubt she has any worries or being sued. I agree 100% about the tax part. But being sued yes I know it happens every once in a while but those are extreme cases. Also I started shooting weddings last year. I was told the same thing. It turned out great for me. I got some experience. I made some money that I put back into my business for some great glass and upgraded from a d7000 to a D600.



Jan 03, 2013 at 03:49 PM
kwhaley29
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p.2 #2 · First wedding coming up! [HELP!]


Kid knocks over a light stand at a reception and it hits someone in the head - lawsuit. Photographer is bumped into by a guest and photographer falls into wedding cake - lawsuit. Photographer is rear-ended on their way to the reception and delayed because they had to remain on the scene to fill out an accident report - lawsuit. Photographer whacks grandma in the face with a 70-200 during a reception and she falls and breaks a hip - lawsuit. Memory card malfunctions or is ruined prior to backing up photos and a critical part of the wedding is missing because photographer didn't have dual memory card slots - lawsuit. This could go on and on unfortunately.

Now, whether or not these are legitimate claims or if they really have a strong case is another story but there's always a possibility of someone filing a suit. As soon as that happens you have to expend resources with a response. Chances are a photographer could go through an entire career without ever being sued, but it's always good to know what you might be getting yourself into in the unlikely event that something does happen.

P.S. I am not an attorney, I don't play one on TV, and I did not stay at a Holiday Inn last night.



Jan 03, 2013 at 04:35 PM
smukshots
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p.2 #3 · First wedding coming up! [HELP!]


No I do not have insurance, and with such short notice I would have to learn and understand how to get so. With less then 2 months to prepare for this wedding and to understand the details that need to be done, I am learning.

I guess I should have not taken the wedding, I was not prepared to do so. I did not go looking for one , nor did I feel comfortable taking it. But meeting and talking to the bride , I saw someone who was just as unprepared and rushed as I was.
I explained to her everything that this is new territory to her, but she said she did not care but saw something in my work she liked. ... what? I have no idea.

So I am throwing myself into the wedding industry for a bit. If all goes well I will do the 2nd shooting and all that. But this is as hands on as you get. It is not like I am going in there blind and unprepared, I posted here on the intent on asking for advice and help by seasoned professionals. Which I am getting lots of help and advice from which I am very thankful for

Also I am very aware of taxes and what dues I need to paid. That comment was based off someone saying I was not going to make profit... which I am but probably not as much as you would in a normal wedding coverage. which I am fine with most of my profit goes back into my business... and school




Jan 03, 2013 at 04:36 PM
smukshots
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p.2 #4 · First wedding coming up! [HELP!]


agelessphotog congratulation on your upgrade, this summer I went from the 40D to 5DII .. not new but new to me!!


Jan 03, 2013 at 04:36 PM
smukshots
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p.2 #5 · First wedding coming up! [HELP!]


kwhaley29
Yeah those can all be reasons why of lawsuit. Sadly with my bad coordination some of those things are more likely ... But that is the risk I will have to take.



Jan 03, 2013 at 04:41 PM
Jamesbjenkins
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p.2 #6 · First wedding coming up! [HELP!]


Kid, I've just read this entire thread, and I hate to say this but Shooting this wedding is an absolutely terrible idea.

You are woefully unprepared, you have no liability coverage, you have no contingency plans if something goes wrong. This could literally ruin your entire life if something happens and you get sued.

I'm a Farmers Insurance agent in addition to being a part-time pro wedding photog. I know a thing or two about the value of being properly protected. Unless you're the type who wants to take a very large risk with the success of your entire life, for the payoff of what you've already admitted won't be much profit at all...

Not a smart move.



Jan 03, 2013 at 04:47 PM
lilyphoto
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p.2 #7 · First wedding coming up! [HELP!]


I did a lot of stupid things my first few weddings, purely because I didn't do much research and didn't know any better. Thank goodness none of my mistakes effected me or the clients negatively. As I grew more passionate about photographing weddings I learned more and more and learned from other people's mistakes. Really it was just dumb luck that nothing bad happened. IT CAN HAPPEN! Don't feel invincible.

You've already gotten a lot of great advice, and I am not going to tell you to back out. Good luck.



Jan 03, 2013 at 06:56 PM
agelessphotog
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p.2 #8 · First wedding coming up! [HELP!]


smukshots wrote:
agelessphotog congratulation on your upgrade, this summer I went from the 40D to 5DII .. not new but new to me!!


Thank you. 4 weddings helped pay for a few new lenses, new camera (d600), props, backdrop stands, two flashes. I put all my money back into my business. I also was debating on whether I was ready to do weddings or not. I put alot of research into each wedding. Went on site and planned everything out. There is pressure that came along with each one. And you have to be constantly on your feet and paying attention to everything that is going on. It's nothing like any other photo shoot. But at the same time it is alot of fun and it pays well.



Jan 03, 2013 at 07:14 PM
agelessphotog
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p.2 #9 · First wedding coming up! [HELP!]


kwhaley29 wrote:
Kid knocks over a light stand at a reception and it hits someone in the head - lawsuit. Photographer is bumped into by a guest and photographer falls into wedding cake - lawsuit. Photographer is rear-ended on their way to the reception and delayed because they had to remain on the scene to fill out an accident report - lawsuit. Photographer whacks grandma in the face with a 70-200 during a reception and she falls and breaks a hip - lawsuit. Memory card malfunctions or is ruined prior to backing up photos and a critical part of the wedding is
...Show more


I am not saying theres zero risk by far. My main camera has dual memory slots. I myself never get above the cake where a accident could happen. I am very cautious. I only use primes. If a flash gets knocked down and breaks I will take that chance. However doing outdoor photo shoots the umbrella has caused my flash to get knocked down atleast 10 times now and never any damage. I realize a lawsuit can happen. But if your very careful and have a good contract I am not going to stress it. If i'm doing a $1500 wedding i'm not too worried about the bride and groom suing me I highly doubt they have the money for a lawyer to try and sue me. Not saying it can't happen but the chances of it are extremely slim. If I eventually start doing $5,000 weddings then ofcourse I will get insurance.



Jan 03, 2013 at 07:23 PM
amonline
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p.2 #10 · First wedding coming up! [HELP!]


Wow. You're clueless.

It's a matter of time.



Jan 03, 2013 at 08:38 PM
 

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Ian Ivey
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p.2 #11 · First wedding coming up! [HELP!]


My response is purely about making you think liability through. ... having a contract for this one might actually be a bad thing. (since you have no official business or insurance)

Having a contract does little to increase the odds of being sued for liability, but it can go a long way toward reducing the odds of being sued. A contract memorializes the agreement between parties. Many lawsuits are triggered by two parties remembering differently the original agreement. A well-thought-out contract covers the issues most likely to trigger conflict and also -- critically -- limits liability for performance issues to the amount of the fee. (The contract cannot usually limit liability for negligence resulting in, say, personal injury.)

Insurance or not, it would be a mistake to undertake any business agreement without a contract.



Jan 03, 2013 at 08:53 PM
catherine780
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p.2 #12 · First wedding coming up! [HELP!]


I'll start off by saying a wedding is like no other gig, but a quinceanera or debut is very similar. Do you have any samples of those events which you have done?
When I started I had no experience seconding for anyone, and unfortunately I learned the hard way. I would say the number 1 thing in shooting a wedding, is the fact that you have to take charge; directing people, posing, keeping people on time to allow you to have time to shoot.
You also have to be confident in how you're directing people, they have to feel like you know what you're doing; that'll make everyone more at ease. Know that they've never done a wedding, so its up to you to make them feel comfortable in whatever you're doing.
I looked through your website, and you're on the right track as far as exposure and lighting. I think although all the other comments on here are spot on, they can be scary. You are just out of highschool, and many on here would've jumped on the chance to shoot a wedding at that age. As far as what you're offering, I wouldn't offer any prints. I would give them a cd of all the images, and maybe 16x20 and a press printed album with about 30 pages.



Jan 03, 2013 at 09:51 PM
smukshots
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p.2 #13 · First wedding coming up! [HELP!]


catherine780

This is from the Debut I did back in April...

But yes I know the stress of directing people. It is always one of my weakness. But I am starting to get better with more events.

I was not so keen on print either. But the bride asked for prints.

http://smukshots.com/elsadebut_set1



Jan 03, 2013 at 10:35 PM
catherine780
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p.2 #14 · First wedding coming up! [HELP!]


smukshots wrote:
catherine780

This is from the Debut I did back in April...

But yes I know the stress of directing people. It is always one of my weakness. But I am starting to get better with more events.

I was not so keen on print either. But the bride asked for prints.

http://smukshots.com/elsadebut_set1



Not bad, just a couple of critiques, the group shots outdoors, be careful with the shadows caused by the sun, try to find shady areas, so you don't get those awkward shadows.
I also saw some of your groups indoors, seems like you're shooting from a low angle, try to come up a little higher, its not very flattering to shoot from a low angle. I have that problem myself, I'm 5'3.
Also when shooting groups, try to keep the guests closer together, and make sure you can see everyone's faces.

1 more thing, it comes second nature to every experienced wedding photographer, but make sure you get the standard posed photos, for example, bride with her parents, groom with his parents, groom with his family alone, and with bride etc. You can find a list online, and I know people dread this, but ask her for a list of 'must have' photos, and keep a checklist with you, but also advise her that you will try to get as many photos on her list but they are not guaranteed.

finally, shoot like crazy, but only deliver the best ones on cd, I know a lot of people give a lot more pictures, but I like to keep it down to 300.

I think you'll do fine, you're on the right track.



Jan 03, 2013 at 11:25 PM
smukshots
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p.2 #15 · First wedding coming up! [HELP!]


Catherine780

Thanks ... yeah I know there were ton of mistakes and missed important things especially for a debut. With this particular event it was more on the personal side.. So I had multiple hats photographer, I was in the court, as well I had to make sure everything was on time. (The mom told me the limo would arrive at this time make sure the dance is learned, everyone is dressed and the court pictures are taken by then) ... No excuse to miss anything though.

Group shots is my major weakness ... but I have been working and studying them so hopefully the wedding ones come out right.

The brides request is lots of group shots.... my main concern is where I am going to take them! Inside the industrial church on stage or outside in the parking lot. I will physically see the venues next week. But what I gather from the websites there is not much to work with. Plus it is pretty causal. So I am not sure what I can do to make the group photos not look bland.

Trust I shoot like crazy! Every event I take very hefty amount of photos. To the point I can't edit all the good photos I would like. Like the Debut for example the mom needed the photos in less then 3 weeks so that is what i got done. (At the same time it was my last month of highschool so you know, a prom to finish planning and take pics for as well finals and all that fun stuff so chaotic)

anyways I am just going off a tangent and memory lane

Thank you for your advice and critiques!!



Jan 04, 2013 at 12:24 AM
joshmitchell
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p.2 #16 · First wedding coming up! [HELP!]


I think you're being pretty irresponsible. Not only to potentially yourself, but to the client too.


Jan 04, 2013 at 02:30 AM
Ian Ivey
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p.2 #17 · First wedding coming up! [HELP!]


Oh, come on, now. It's not like the kid is going in with his eyes closed, with crappy equipment, or without any ability or experience at all.

It's not going to be an award-winning wedding gallery, but I'd put 20 bucks down that says he'll do better than most "bargian" CL shooters.



Jan 04, 2013 at 02:34 AM
BigIronCruiser
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p.2 #18 · First wedding coming up! [HELP!]


You did a respectable job with the photo's on your site, although the focus on many of them appears to be slightly soft.

Weddings can be hectic, so a plan will be your best friend. This is particularly true for formals, so as a first-timer it would be useful to have a shot list. On the day of the wedding you should find somebody to help with the list so you're not fumbling with papers while trying to shoot and get people in position. Everybody has a camera these days, so it's also beneficial to clear the area (politely, of course) of non-essential people before you start with the formals.

One last thing is to find out if the church and/or pastor has any rules.



Jan 04, 2013 at 06:36 AM
smukshots
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p.2 #19 · First wedding coming up! [HELP!]


BigIronCruiser
Thanks for the advise! I know the formal shots are very important to the bride so I really want to get these right. Though she asked if she can get group shots with everyone (120 guest) .... I told her that is not likely considering we have less then 40 minutes. So let's focus on couple, family and wedding the wedding party.(Do you think that was reasonable to say)

I asked the bride about the rules of the church she said there were none. I also emailed the church and they did not have any, as long as I am respectful.
But still I think I am not going to use flash because the church is decently lit (recessed lighting)... I don't want to be too distracting



Jan 04, 2013 at 07:23 AM
joelconner
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p.2 #20 · First wedding coming up! [HELP!]


I am so glad I did not know about this forum before I started shooting weddings. If I had (and had asked for advise), I might have freaked out and never started.


Jan 04, 2013 at 07:31 AM
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