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Think I'm going to have to say no to 12-hour days
  
 
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p.1 #1 · Think I'm going to have to say no to 12-hour days


I believe...that I'm getting too tired/old/something to do 12-hour shoots anymore.

Today was exhausting. I have to transport all my stuff myself, and it gets tiring being fully portable and mobile with 3-4 cameras, 5+ lenses, 4-6 flashes, and a light stand and umbrella on my back. I was ready to be done at the 10-hour mark. Too tired to bother being creative, I felt myself getting a little impatient for the time to be over. That's not good.



Sep 08, 2013 at 07:39 AM
ricardovaste
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p.1 #2 · Think I'm going to have to say no to 12-hour days


I would say there are a number of things at play here, rather than simply the 12 hour mark being a problem on its own.

EDIT:

I agree with others suggestions below. If you were to say "Hey, I feel just bored and knackered at 12 hours, I'll cut it down to X hours from now on". That would be treating the symptom, not the cause.

I would evaluate your approach to coverage, your approach to equipment, and your approach to your lifestyle.

1) The first simple question is whether you really need to be there for 12 hours and can this be adjusted and still give the same results. Only you can answer that.

2) Equipment. Not only the total amount of what you're using, but how you're utilising it on the day and carrying it too. You don't need 4 bodies on you all the time, you need a couple of extra for backup somewhere reasonably accessible, but having two on your is absolutely fine. If one breaks, you have the other and will be able to manage perfectly well for that given time of inconvenience. And then how are you carrying the bodies that you do use, is there a strapping system that may be better suited to you? I think your lens count is fine, to be honest, around doesn't sound too bad unless they're huge heavy bastards. I have one on each camera, and then a couple in the bag (along with accessories, batteries etc). Mine aren't tiny but they're not huge either (eg no 70-200). I have other lenses nearby, for backup. As for the flash equipment, you should be able to plan better with this. If I know I'm going to be using flash / off camera lighting I put it in the place I'll need it, either in the morning or perhaps the day before (if it's just a matter of some stands). No way I'm carrying all that crap around on my back, it would look ridiculous, and would hold back shooting. Then, if you do a LOT of OCF work through the day, just get an assistant to carry stuff for you - easy and inexpensive solution.

3) A fit and healthy guy will easily get through a 12 hour wedding. Sure, there are always challenges, but you shouldn't struggle physically. Start a new exercise routine, and if you can't fit that into your life, you need to be working less.

Edited on Sep 08, 2013 at 11:29 AM · View previous versions



Sep 08, 2013 at 08:25 AM
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p.1 #3 · Think I'm going to have to say no to 12-hour days


Exactly the reason I changed to Leica/mirrorless. Plus I started riding again. 300 kms per week. Now I'm bouncing off the walls at the 12 hour mark. Lose some gear, get fit, charge more.

Gordon



Sep 08, 2013 at 09:06 AM
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p.1 #4 · Think I'm going to have to say no to 12-hour days


I find weddings really tiring. I'm 43, which in the scheme of things isn't that old - although I can't do what I did in my 20's. I resorted to one of those high caffeine energy shots yesterday and I think it did help (along with my litre of electrolyte/carbohydrate drink). The first wedding I shot was 14 hours, which would kill me now.


Sep 08, 2013 at 09:34 AM
BKphotography
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p.1 #5 · Think I'm going to have to say no to 12-hour days


Maybe it's time to sit back and evaluate your approach.

As mentioned, reducing kit weight or how you transport it should help first off.

Also, I'm sure there are a few folk out where you shoot your weddings that would be willing to assist you with transporting, shooting and even shoot the shit with.

I know the above helped me.

Good luck!

BK






Sep 08, 2013 at 09:42 AM
Mark_L
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p.1 #6 · Think I'm going to have to say no to 12-hour days


Why do you need 3-4 cameras?
Why do you need 5+ lenses?
Why do you need a light stand, brolly and 4-6 flashes with you all day?
Get an assistant
Maybe look at changing your pricing so staying after the first dance is extra



Sep 08, 2013 at 10:21 AM
scottam10
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p.1 #7 · Think I'm going to have to say no to 12-hour days


12h is a long day. Do you really need to be there for all that time? I wouldn't stay more than 20min after the first dance - you can grab some shots of the party, but most of the important action is all over. 8-10 hours should be plenty

Also, I question the need to carry 3-4 cameras and 4-6 flashes all day; you can probably get by with 2 bodies and a few lenses, and only pull out the flashes / light stands when needed



Sep 08, 2013 at 11:51 AM
swoop
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p.1 #8 · Think I'm going to have to say no to 12-hour days


Cut down your equipment list from everything you own to everything you need. Suck it up and hire a second, work in shifts during the reception.


Sep 08, 2013 at 12:36 PM
morby
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p.1 #9 · Think I'm going to have to say no to 12-hour days


scottam10 wrote:
I wouldn't stay more than 20min after the first dance - you can grab some shots of the party, but most of the important action is all over.


I disagree with this. There's still plenty to photograph after the first dance is over. Many of my favorite photos happen at the reception.



Sep 08, 2013 at 12:50 PM
sgtbueno
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p.1 #10 · Think I'm going to have to say no to 12-hour days


I just dont understand why 3-4 cameras and what about paying somebody to assist you?


Sep 08, 2013 at 02:09 PM
 

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Brian Virts
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p.1 #11 · Think I'm going to have to say no to 12-hour days


I did my last 12 hour day a few weeks ago. I restructured my packages to 8 hrs, if they want to add hours, it's at a premium.


Sep 08, 2013 at 02:20 PM
Scott Mosher
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p.1 #12 · Think I'm going to have to say no to 12-hour days


Since I lightened my load it makes longer days MUCH better. Look at your image count in LR sorted by lens. Which lenses do you use for less than 30 images for the day. What bodies can you leave in a car/with an assistant? Now I shoot with 1 body, a 24, 35, 50, 85, and sometimes 70-200. Otherwise my extra body & lenses stay in my rolling bag.

Also do some weightlifting. I shot 2 weddings back to back a few months ago when I was in the middle of some weight training. My back/arms/shoulders felt great. Now that I've REALLY slacked off of my training last nights wedding was tougher than normal.



Sep 08, 2013 at 02:31 PM
hardlyboring
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p.1 #13 · Think I'm going to have to say no to 12-hour days


Everyone is different. I agree with Gordon though... Drop gear, get in shape and kill it.
A 12 hour day for us is actually quite short. We normally start around 9 and end around 12. If you plan for that long day by resting during the week (you can still get all your work done etc.) then you will have a better chance at success the day of the wedding.



Sep 08, 2013 at 02:31 PM
ckhagen
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p.1 #14 · Think I'm going to have to say no to 12-hour days


I hire an assistant and I don't carry anything except the one camera in my hand. The assistant is there to hold everything, read all my goofy hand signals, swap gear, and make sure I don't lose anything. They even bring me water and fix my hair.


Sep 08, 2013 at 03:00 PM
MikeW
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p.1 #15 · Think I'm going to have to say no to 12-hour days


form wrote:
I believe...that I'm getting too tired/old/something to do 12-hour shoots anymore.

Today was exhausting. I have to transport all my stuff myself, and it gets tiring being fully portable and mobile with 3-4 cameras, 5+ lenses, 4-6 flashes, and a light stand and umbrella on my back. I was ready to be done at the 10-hour mark. Too tired to bother being creative, I felt myself getting a little impatient for the time to be over. That's not good.


I did that when there was 2 of us, I was covered in sweat & the last thing I could think of was being creative. Since I am shooting one today by myself I built a system to carry my gear. Just a sack barrow with a cabinet that is lockable. I have a piece of pvc pipe strapped on with my einstein & BD on it. I can wheel it all around without working up a sweat. I may look a little odd going down the trails but at least I am not struggling to carry gear & I have the piece of mind my gear is locked up while I'm taking photos.



Sep 08, 2013 at 03:11 PM
MikeW
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p.1 #16 · Think I'm going to have to say no to 12-hour days


ckhagen wrote:
I hire an assistant and I don't carry anything except the one camera in my hand. The assistant is there to hold everything, read all my goofy hand signals, swap gear, and make sure I don't lose anything. They even bring me water and fix my hair.


I wish Though I don't have much hair left :P



Sep 08, 2013 at 03:12 PM
jcolman
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p.1 #17 · Think I'm going to have to say no to 12-hour days


Wait until you reach my age. Then I'll listen to your complaints.


Sep 08, 2013 at 04:23 PM
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p.1 #18 · Think I'm going to have to say no to 12-hour days


Reasons why this wedding in particular exhausted me:

Weather...humid and low 90s.
Lots of traveling on foot from and to many locations.
15-minute walk at the end of the night with full weight backpacking to the final destination (outdoor nightclub).
Stressed bride early in the day, having to walk among throngs of people in a bumper-bash fashion while on the las vegas Strip.
Setting up and tearing down light stand unexpectedly and in great haste when the bride suddenly had an idea (hadn't planned bouquet toss, suddenly I find out she's going to do it in the underground shuttle transport parking area).
Sometimes had to jog to keep up with the b&g.
One of the four cameras was the Nikon, which I brought along just for ultrawide since my Canon 16-35L is still at Canon for repairs. Otherwise I might not have brought that...so the dual system situation added bulk (about 5+ lbs). Normally if only using one system, I have 3 cameras (two main, 1 spare) for any given wedding.
Probably walked 2+ miles net with 40-50lbs on my back.

Generally...I pack differently for different weddings. This one didn't need as much lighting because there wasn't a situation for it - usually I have up to 8-9 flashes including two on-cameras, plus battery packs for the two on-camera flashes, plus light stands for about 4 flashes as needed. I only brought 1 stand which is small enough to carry on my back for this wedding. I ended up using a total of 4 flashes during the reception (two on, two off-camera) and I had 5, so I calculated correctly. Lenses...I used every lens I brought at some point in the day, including 14mm on Nikon (dress hanging photo, bus tour, reception), 24L (getting ready, reception, bus tour, outdoors at night), 35L (same as 24), 50L (reception, bus tour, out at night), 85L (getting ready, bus tour, reception) and 135L (bus tour). Any wedding I can NOT bring the 70-200 I absolutely don't bring it, including this one. The rest are flash triggers, batteries, memory. Not much else that weighs anything.

I wouldn't have been able to shoot the reception or outdoor nighttime photos like I want to without the f/1.4 and faster primes. They make it possible.

What I really NEED...is to have someone else carry my stuff.



Sep 08, 2013 at 07:03 PM
myam203
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p.1 #19 · Think I'm going to have to say no to 12-hour days


How early are you guys starting that 8-10 hours only brings you to the first dance?? Crazy.


Sep 08, 2013 at 09:16 PM
MattSepeta
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p.1 #20 · Think I'm going to have to say no to 12-hour days


I used to sell only unlimited hour packages. After a full season of 12+ hour weddings, I promptly re-evaluated.

Personally, I think 7 hours seems to be plenty to get the tail end of getting ready and a few songs into the dancing, which seems to be plenty.




Sep 08, 2013 at 09:45 PM
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