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Archive 2013 · Someone told me weddings can become...
  
 
misty23
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p.2 #1 · Someone told me weddings can become...


RichardLavigne wrote:
So why are you booking these clients? I'd argue that if you aren't happy working for this type of client... find a way to identify them and don't take their jobs. I think that all of the couples we've worked with have respected us and enjoyed working us... they are personally interested in our success as a business. I think that too few photographers have really sat down and identified what their ideal client is. What they do for a living, they like to do for fun, how old are they etc.... this can seem like a daunting thing to,
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I've read this so often " only book the clients that you want to work with", but isn't that an over simplistic view of running a wedding photography business ? We turn away work that could pay the bills because we didn't connect with the potential client ? I don't really see how a business can stay in business unless they are a part time "we do it for extra cash" business OR they are a well established business that can do that.
But for the everyday, average wedding photographer, I can't see that happening. We would starve.



Jan 06, 2013 at 07:17 PM
RichardLavigne
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p.2 #2 · Someone told me weddings can become...


misty23 wrote:
I've read this so often " only book the clients that you want to work with", but isn't that an over simplistic view of running a wedding photography business ? We turn away work that could pay the bills because we didn't connect with the potential client ? I don't really see how a business can stay in business unless they are a part time "we do it for extra cash" business OR they are a well established business that can do that.
But for the everyday, average wedding photographer, I can't see that happening. We would starve.


Your reply sums it up quite nicely... if you're interested in being everyday and average, continue to book anything and everything that walks through the door.

Honestly though... I'm not actually suggesting turning away clients (okay, maybe that is the right thing every once in a while) but actually, I'm suggesting that you find a way to target your ideal client and design your website, your interaction with them, your presentation... everything, so that it attracts that client. If you do so, you don't have to turn away clients because only the right ones are coming to you.



Jan 06, 2013 at 07:39 PM
form
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p.2 #3 · Someone told me weddings can become...


awad wrote:
what. no. don't play music from a speaker on your belt during a wedding.


Specifically during formals, b&g alone especially. That's the only time.



Jan 06, 2013 at 07:43 PM
dhp_sf
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p.2 #4 · Someone told me weddings can become...


form wrote:
As for feeling underappreciated, I definitely didn't realize the last couple was that way until the wedding day...and again, it doesn't happen often for me.

I think one of the things that made me feel that way on that day was that they had a "hobbyist photographer" family friend walk with me the entire time I was taking posed b&g photos and take her own photos of my poses so she could rush to print several of them for the reception...and during that time, I felt like everything the person shot could have been something on a similar level of quality
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it sounds to me that you are always focused on what you "can't do" rather than explore what you can do. why are you so caught up on your self-deficiencies? if I know i'm doing something that i don't like, i change it. it's really that simple. feel like you're repeating yourself? well, next time go in, take the shots that you know will come out and will be safe, then DO SOMETHING ELSE. why is that so hard? maybe it comes out maybe it doesn't. it won't matter because they have the safe shot.



Jan 06, 2013 at 08:16 PM
form
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p.2 #5 · Someone told me weddings can become...


dhp_sf wrote:
it sounds to me that you are always focused on what you "can't do" rather than explore what you can do. why are you so caught up on your self-deficiencies? if I know i'm doing something that i don't like, i change it. it's really that simple. feel like you're repeating yourself? well, next time go in, take the shots that you know will come out and will be safe, then DO SOMETHING ELSE. why is that so hard? maybe it comes out maybe it doesn't. it won't matter because they have the safe shot.


Let me describe a sensation, a feeling for you. It's a feeling that I feel most times when dealing with most things, but not always. The words I will use to describe the feeling are not direct, but rather representative:

* Background too busy. Must get cleaner background.
* Pole sticking out of her head. Must change angle.
* Autofocus seems to be going to the backlit portion rather than the front of the face where I want it. Don't have time to figure out why or fix it right now, and it would misfocus for non-backlit subjects if I fix it for backlit subjects.
* What angle does her face look best at? No, that light isn't quite right but I'm not sure how to improve it. But I don't want to take the shot at a bad angle, but I also don't want to have no shot at all. Taking the shot anyway, waiting for a better angle. Maybe I can ask the MUA to adjust angle of the chair to 45 degrees to the window instead of straight on. But then what about side profiles?
* How the heck do I pose guys? Time to fake it again and tell them to be natural, most weight on back leg, tilt head very slightly towards far shoulder, one/both hands in pockets. Someday I have to learn how to use walls, other props, other postures for guys...
* Not enough room to get the subject distance I would like for these group formals, some rooftops in the background...is there a better place? Oh well, have to get this done now, I can angle downward from above if I'm on a chair.
* The wind is blowing the bride's hair all around. Have to adjust her angle so the wind is more in her face and hair blows behind her.
* Are the fake eyelashes even on both sides? Seems like the MUA made one lower than the other and now I have to work around that for the rest of the shoot.
* Bride poses? Put more weight on back leg, one hand on hip, pop hip, cross or bend the front leg across or in front of the back leg, turn face opposite direction from torso, look at me, at dress, grab dress, look down across shoulder, let me get behind...she doesn't look right at this angle, let me adjust and see if I can find the right angle...can't get it better, first one was the best. Moving on...
* Hair stylist didn't do a very good job, hair is very messy even without being windblown. Lots of strays, going to have to edit that out or try to fix it mid-shoot. Can't fix now, not enough time, just shoot and edit or hide...
* Don't shoot from below often, women don't like the way they look from below a lot...
* Don't forget context. What about using foreground/background elements for more environmental context? Is this a good angle? Not really, let me try another one...sigh, she won't give the right face, always talking or neutral face...must ask her to change expression, smile, etc for a few seconds.
* Reflection in the mirror shots are nice. Must make sure to keep myself out of the shot. The angle that I think looks best also has ME in the mirror, sigh must try different angle...
* Why isn't that the way it needs to be? I can interfere a little but not too much or it spoils the realism of the documentary images as the event actually took place.
* The rings are almost always hard to get when being placed on the finger, someone's hand is either at the wrong angle or in the way, and most venues won't let me get behind the officiant when the groom puts the bride's ring on her finger. Will have to do-over that shot again.
* Why isn't my camera focusing where I want it to? It's behaving weird again.
* Don't take so many photos where the subject is in the center. Focus and recompose. Not enough time to focus and recompose action/motion, must use the center point for some accuracy. Better to have the shot in focus at all than to have all OOF shots.
* Don't forget to try different angles. Use vertical framing more often.
I see something and it looks interesting to my eyes, but I can't seem to get it right when framing it in-camera and I don't understand why...
* Videographers, have to be nice and try to make friendly suggestions when they leave their unused tripods standing tall in the room at an angle I really want to be shooting towards...have to ask him to move it this time. Have to ask the second videographer if they can back off for a minute. Why does the videographer have to spiral around the b&g for the ENTIRE first dance?...please move, please move...ok I have to be right next to you the whole time now.
* She looks great, but how can I really emphasize that?
* Must watch out for the back fat, thick arms, double chin.
* The guy is completely emotionless and expressionless. Must ask him to imagine models and their expressions, look cool, look interested, look very suave.
* For poses, ask the bride/groom what expression she/he gets on her/his face when they think of their groom/bride? What emotions do they feel?
* Must get the key shots of ceremony. Getting photos of dad hugging bride and shaking groom's hand are often hard, can't get those angles and also get other angles, never really know for sure which way dad will face for hug, can't get in front of officiant, don't want to be too obvious/in evidence...
* Have to be careful in this resort, so tired of getting kicked out and told to stop taking photographs. Frustrating to not be able to shoot anywhere I want. Tell the b&g the plan, explain how I will find them in specified area, what to do there, and then I walk away from them to not seem like I am with them...then find them again, take photos discreetly, move on...don't see any security around, let's keep going...
* Watch out for that backlight, don't want too many photos showing an obvious backlight in the bg...
* Have to try to get the good expressions during the dance, see both faces in same/different images, not blinking or mid-talking or looking bad otherwise. I wish they wouldn't squeeze the hug so hard/smash the face so much, makes them look fat/less pretty for the photo...Mom's going to be self-conscious when she sees this image...
* I keep missing exposures or focus on shots. Good thing I'm overshooting so the redundancy should result in at least one usable one at this angle/pose/scene.
* Hands shake too much for 1/100 sec at 85mm now, have to hold super steady, lean on something, etc...
* Takes forever to get these large groups to stop talking to each other and just gather together for a big group photo. People hide from the camera, have to ask them to step to the side/etc...

And this big, pervading sensation...I just have to adapt to all of the things that occur in life as best as I can. I don't feel like I can control much of it myself, and when I do try to control things they often go much more wrong than if I had let them be.

But...every so often, I feel the opposite way. I feel like I can handle anything that comes, and I can effectively deal with challenges and be proactive and make my own path and be in control of situations, and I feel for that time that I may have the advantage. Whenever I get that perspective, I want to understand how to keep it, but I never can figure that out. And it disappears by itself.

When I'm on that good angle, things just seem to go better, more right, less problems, more creative ideas, and fewer mistakes (that I notice anyway)...and I want to be at that good angle on life all the time. However, It's not something I know how to just make happen. In fact, I don't know how to make it happen at all, it just happens all by itself sometimes and then goes away as easily and quickly as it came.

The above gives a taste of how I think and what I think about during weddings, and in so doing also describes the feeling, the perspective and the sensation that pervades my mind. The verbalizations that are identifying faults and problems are often representative of not feeling in control.

I don't want to be that way. The obvious response from anyone else who is not/has never been that way for long is, "So don't be that way!" It's much easier to say Don't Be That Way when you aren't that way, than it is to actually not be that way when you are that way...

It is also probably an obsessive-compulsive way of thinking about things.

So, the above is a big chunk of "me" as a photographer. I've gained experience, and time has drawn my personality toward caution.


Edited on Jan 06, 2013 at 09:13 PM · View previous versions



Jan 06, 2013 at 09:05 PM
joelconner
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p.2 #6 · Someone told me weddings can become...


Use the Force....let go of your thoughts.


Jan 06, 2013 at 09:12 PM
form
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p.2 #7 · Someone told me weddings can become...


Use the Force, yes the Force...I really want to. I feel things bottled up that want to come out, but I don't know how to release them. And it's not gas. If it were, I'd know how to release it easily (and quietly, a skill learned over a 6 year relationship).

I really have seen myself be creative before, so I know I CAN do it...I just don't know how I can access that part of me.



Jan 06, 2013 at 09:13 PM
dhp_sf
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p.2 #8 · Someone told me weddings can become...


Much of what you listed is either something that gets engrained over time (rules of thumb/things to look out for) or something totally out of your control. I think about much of that too, but it sounds like you OBSESS over it to a degree that is paralyzing. Just shoot. You should be satisfied that you did your best with the conditions you were given. Stop thinking about what "it could have been if only."

It is what it is. Live with it. Move on. Find things you can control that you can improve. Focus on that. Be happier.



Jan 06, 2013 at 09:42 PM
misty23
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p.2 #9 · Someone told me weddings can become...


RichardLavigne wrote:
Your reply sums it up quite nicely... if you're interested in being everyday and average, continue to book anything and everything that walks through the door.

Honestly though... I'm not actually suggesting turning away clients (okay, maybe that is the right thing every once in a while) but actually, I'm suggesting that you find a way to target your ideal client and design your website, your interaction with them, your presentation... everything, so that it attracts that client. If you do so, you don't have to turn away clients because only the right ones are coming to you.


Well said. I couldn't agree with you more.



Jan 06, 2013 at 09:50 PM
D. Diggler
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p.2 #10 · Someone told me weddings can become...


awad wrote:
what. no. don't play music from a speaker on your belt during a wedding


It would certainly get people talking about his business.



Jan 07, 2013 at 12:40 AM
 

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mikethevilla
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p.2 #11 · Someone told me weddings can become...


Inku Yo wrote:
When shooting a wedding becomes mundane and boring and routine, I will find another job.

+1.

And now I have another job for this exact reason. Weddings on the side just fits my lifestyle much better.



Jan 07, 2013 at 01:06 AM
julieawhitlock
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p.2 #12 · Someone told me weddings can become...


Exactly that. The first three years in business I turned down every single client I didn't feel inspired to work with. Now I've built a loyal following because all I've ever given people is 100% passion and commitment to each couple. Now I get only my target clients and the ones who do inquire that don't match get sent along to another more suitable photographer.


Jan 07, 2013 at 04:44 AM
julieawhitlock
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p.2 #13 · Someone told me weddings can become...


And please do put music on your belt. That made me smile. This may be bad advice haha


Jan 07, 2013 at 04:45 AM
Marcus Watts
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p.2 #14 · Someone told me weddings can become...


When doing photos of just the bride and groom and bridal party by all means load some songs that they like and play while doing photos.

Do it once and you will always do it after.



Jan 07, 2013 at 02:33 PM
widjayaman
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p.2 #15 · Someone told me weddings can become...


Form, some of those bullet points I do think about too (albeit it's more 'ingrained' than a 'pervading' thing,) but the rest of those... wow. It's a bit OCD, no? I think It actually explains a lot of things. Maybe this OCD-ness toward 'technically perfect' is what's depressing you and holding you back from raising your prices, etc.

I vote 'no' on the music thing. bad idea haha..



Jan 07, 2013 at 02:55 PM
misty23
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p.2 #16 · Someone told me weddings can become...


Hire a roadie to carry a boom box and stay with you all day long. Wear big gold chains, call youself Big Daddy F and rock the wedding....what up cuz.....



Jan 07, 2013 at 03:15 PM
Jamesbjenkins
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p.2 #17 · Someone told me weddings can become...


Marcus Watts wrote:
Not to be disrespectful but i would love to see an example of an image that has pushed the envelope.


Perhaps I should have said "push MY envelope", as that's what I meant. So sorry my images aren't edgy enough for you.



Jan 07, 2013 at 04:36 PM
Joel Knepper
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p.2 #18 · Someone told me weddings can become...


julieawhitlock wrote:
Exactly that. The first three years in business I turned down every single client I didn't feel inspired to work with. Now I've built a loyal following because all I've ever given people is 100% passion and commitment to each couple. Now I get only my target clients and the ones who do inquire that don't match get sent along to another more suitable photographer.


Just curious, how do you send them to another photographer? There are times I've wanted to do this but feel awkward saying I don't want to work with someone.



Jan 07, 2013 at 05:20 PM
julieawhitlock
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p.2 #19 · Someone told me weddings can become...


Very gently. And I focus on the positive. Xyz photographer does a fabulous job doing very gorgeous, traditional and fabulous portraits. I think they'd give you that high fashion look you are really looking for.
Followed with an " I'll be honest, I don't think I'd deliver on the vision you have. I know that xyz would love working with you guys. You'd totally be her ultimate dream clients."

And it's not bullcrap. The goal is getting the right photographer matched to the right client. If its not me, that's just misery for both of us and a date that could be booked with a couple that does match me!



Jan 07, 2013 at 05:27 PM
RichardLavigne
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p.2 #20 · Someone told me weddings can become...


julieawhitlock wrote:
Very gently. And I focus on the positive. Xyz photographer does a fabulous job doing very gorgeous, traditional and fabulous portraits. I think they'd give you that high fashion look you are really looking for.
Followed with an " I'll be honest, I don't think I'd deliver on the vision you have. I know that xyz would love working with you guys. You'd totally be her ultimate dream clients."

And it's not bullcrap. The goal is getting the right photographer matched to the right client. If its not me, that's just misery for both of us and a date that
...Show more

You've got it figured out...



Jan 07, 2013 at 07:23 PM
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