Registered: Sep 05, 2005
Total Posts: 4179
Country: United States
Welcome to the Non-Official Wedding Resources and Information Thread.
The REAL Resources thread is located in the upper left corner of your current browser screen. It's permanent, and well resourceful!
Hopefully through the help and cooperation of everyone involved we can keep a repository of up-to-date information available for everyone. Catering not only the new photographer starting his first few weddings, but to the seasoned professional who contains wisdom beyond his years.
What equipment do I need?
In my humble opinion a wedding photographer must be prepared for anything. From shooting a dark wedding hall to the brightest of days outside at the country club. Typically this compasses many different brands of cameras and ranges of lenses. General consensus agrees that f2.8 and better lenses from Canon and Nikon are preferred over most. Not only delivering quality, but having not to compromise when the event is taking place is key.
Both Canon and Nikon offer many options for camera and flash systems. These range from the tried and true Canon 20D/30D/40D/5D/1DMarkII/MarkIII/and 1Ds systems to the Nikon D70/D70s/D200/D300/ and D3 systems.
Combined together with the best lenses one can afford one can go wrong with either system now. In the past, there were greater advantages. (Opinions may disagree ) Above all this is the belief in backups. Simply put, if you are tackling someone’s wedding for money, show up with more than one quality camera. Accidents DO happen and WILL happen eventually. Everyone has bad days and knowing you're not going to be sued if a camera dies is very encouraging.
RAW or JPEG?
Old argument, same answer... offer the best YOU can at the time. If you're a great editor aftwards and want the best range of file quality to offer, then choose RAW. Many a shot or entire wedding has been saved by RAW file mode.
JPEG's are a lossy format, meaning you can and will lose quality if you save over the original time and time again. Many top shooters shoot JPEG mode for speed, effeciency in file handling afterwards and compatibility with slideshow programs, etc.
Compact Flash Cards
Sandisk and Lexar are the top two brands in the world. The ULTRA II and III and now IV brands offer speed, efficiency and time tested quality. If you purchase Ultra III or IV, you receive photo rescue software for free. Lexar too offers quality products at a reasonable rate, along with photo rescue software with their PRO line cards.
Where do I get a fancy custom website?
Big Folio - http://www.bigfolio.com
BluDomain - http://www.bludomain.com
FloSites - http://www.flosites.com
Darkroom - http://www.intothedarkroom.com
Flash Palette - http://www.flashpalette.com
LiveBooks - http://www.livebooks.com
Photoidentities - http://www.photoidentities.com
Tafota - http://tafota.com
Winklet - http://www.winkletwebdesign.com
Creative Motion Design - http://www.creativemotiondesign.com/
PhotoBiz - http://www.photobiz.com
Post Production Services
Silverback Imaging and Design - www.silverbackimaging.com
Balanced Exposure - www.balancedexposure.com
Who do I print with?
Professional labs trusted the country over and abroad start with the largest lab in the U.S.
Millers Lab - http://www.millerslab.com they also have a consumer site that is open to professional use at a discounted cost in exchange for some customer service (no phone calls, email support only, customers can look up your prices if you mention where you print with). www.mpix.com
White House Custom Color - http://www.whcc.com
H&H Color Lab - http://www.hhcolorlab.com/
There are many others that are worth mentioning, you may find them in the Wedding Resources link at the top of the post. By many opinions, these are three of the best and most trusted.
Who do I use to host and sell photos online?
Pictage - http://www.pictage.com/
Exposure Manager - http://www.exposuremanager.com/
Insta Proofs - http://www.instaproofs.com/
EOS Template - http://www.eostemplate.com/
Collages.net - http://www.collages.net/
Red Cart - http://www.redcart.com/
Pictures Pro - http://www.picturespro.com/
Pickpic - http://www.pickpic.com/
Zen Folio - http://www.zenfolio.com/
ZmugMug - http://www.smugmug.com/
Where to get albums?
There are many different types, coffee-table books, hard backed, leather, fake leather, metal covers, see through covers, press printed, photo flush mount (a favorite now), square/rounded corners, photo cameo covers. So many options, so little time. We'll break it down into groups for now.
In no particular order:
High End Albums Include:
Finao - http://www.finaoonline.com/
Graphi Studio - http://www.graphistudio.com/usa/index.html
Queensberry - http://www.queensberry.com/
Art Leather - http://www.artleather.com/
Picto Book - http://www.pictobooks.com/html/index.php
Leather Craftsman - http://www.leathercraftsmen.com/
Jorgensen - http://www.jorgensen.com.au/
La-Vie - http://www.la-viealbum.com/
Kiss Wedding Books - http://www.kissweddingbooks.com
Rag and Bone - http://www.ragandbonebindery.com/ * - Consumer pricing is available on the website, but everything is hand made and high end.
Mid-Range Albums Include:
Album Art - http://www.albumart.com/
Albums Unlimited - http://www.albumsunlimited.com/albumsFlushMount.htm
Zook Book - http://zookbinders.com/
White Wedding Album - http://www.whiteweddingalbum.com/
Premeria - http://www.premiraalbums.com/
Albums Inc - http://www.albumsinc.com/
Black River Imaging (Candid2000.com) - http://www.blackriverimaging.com
Jones Book - http://www.jonesbook.com/index.php
Vision Art - http://www.visionartbook.com/
The Together Book - http://www.thepbook.com/
Bound to Last - http://www.boundtolast.co.nz/index.html
Willow Book - http://www.willowbook.com/products.htm
Asuka - http://asukabook.com/index.html
Cypress - http://www.cypressalbums.com/html/welcome.html
Low Priced Alternatives: (last resort?)
Snapfsh - http://www.snapfish.com/
My Publisher - http://www.mypublisher.com/
Shared Ink - http://www.sharedink.com/
Blurb - http://www.blurb.com/
Shutterfly - http://www.shutterfly.com/
Lulu - http://www.lulu.com/
CD & DVD Products may be found here:
Albums Inc - http://www.albumsinc.com
American Digital - http://www.american-digital.com/prodsite/products.asp
What do I charge for a wedding?
This all depends on how long you've shot, what products you deliver, and what market or demographic you are trying to capture. The low end bride will want 4 hours - all day coverage and a DVD of everything for 500.00 bucks. On the other hand many photographers don't even show up until a 3-5,000 dollar fee is paid upfront and THEN albums prices apply. This is a topic that is hotly debated and will continue to be for years and years to come.
My experience in my short time in this business, is to cover you costs and equipment/insurance. Whatever that actually price point may be, many start with 2 1/2 times cost and work up from there. Your mileage may vary. =o)
What if I mess up and someone sues? Insurance to the rescue!
Many use home owners, etc. but there are two firms that specialize in photographers and our equipment. They're known internationally and cover accordingly. Along with all this, they are quite affordable for the available coverage options up to even recreating a wedding to take retakes.
Hill & Usher - http://www.hillusher.com/
Tom C. Pickard Group - http://www.groupinsure.com/
So you wanna be in Movies?
Moving pictures, aka Movies, aka DVD/Online Slideshow options.
Wanna wow your clients? Try putting their beautiful wedding to music and movement!
ShowIt! Web - http://www.showitfast.com (web only)
Pictures To Exe - http://www.wnsoft.com
ProShow - http://www.photodex.com
PhotoToMovie - http://www.lqgraphics.com
Stock20 - http://www.stock20.com
Music Bakery - http://musicbakery.com/
Royaltyfreemusic.com - http://www.royaltyfreemusic.com/
Triple Scoop Music - http://www.triplescoopmusic.com/
(Thanks to John Patrick for the help)
This is but a small slice of professional opinions and ideas that have been expressed not only here but all around the internet. If you are a working professional and have something to contribute please do so, by giving a short personal opinion of the services mentioned. Please include a full name and link to said company or group.
Thank you for your time, I hope these lists and informational links have helped greatly. Here are a few external links that have helped inspire and direct this thread in the right direction.
Corey Polis of Polis Photography and a valued FM member - http://polisphotography.com/resources.html A HUGE Business resource.
Photo Love Cat - http://photolovecat.blogspot.com/ An ever growing photographers resource blog.
Everyone enjoy! Thank you for reading. If it wasn't for Fredmiranda.com I wouldn't have a growing business or be the photographer I am today.
Tim Miller Photography