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Help! Newbie just got a wedding at a CClub

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  • Help! Newbie just got a wedding at a CClub

    Hello everyone,

    New to posting but been lurking for a couple of months. I am amazed at the level of quality work you guys and gals produce. I only hope that I'll be half as good real soon. Oh yea, like in a month soon. I got a wedding at a country club for first week in August. The ballroom where the weding and reception are being held leaves a lot to be desired. The ballroom is more like the inside of a gym, that leaves the course outside for nice shots. I got permission from the golf pro to borrow about 4 or 5 carts to run out to a couple a holes. One has a small pond and bridge just put in and the other I am told has nice flowers planted around the area. The golf course is nice with lots of large old trees and green green fairways. I need some ideas for about an hours time out on the greens/fairways, hope yall can help. First post and here I am asking for a miricle.
    Thanks for any ideas.

  • #2
    welcome to retouch

    well, you've provided some of the info, but where is the wedding actually going to take place, a church, the ballroom, outside, where?

    you mention someone said there is this and that around the course.... go out and walk it and see for yourself or you may be disappointed or delayed come the time of the wedding. also, prepare for bad weather if you're going to be working outdoors. also, i dont know where you live or where the wedding is, but august here is hot and humid. a sweating bride and groom dont make for good photos. plan ahead.

    consult the bride and groom, especially the's HER wedding. what do they want? some weddings dont want pics of the actual ceremony as they feel it distracts from the mood. others do. find out.

    if you're going to be working indoors, lighting can be awful in some settings. come prepared with your own lights if possible.

    what type of camera are you using and what lenses and filters and accessories do you have? tripod, studio lights, uv filters, lenses etc?

    what level of photographer are you, cause i may be asking questions unnecessary to a long time pro, but i get the feeling from your questions that this may be somewhat a new field for you.

    what access will you have before the wedding? some folks like the preparation steps shot. some dont. i did one wedding years ago where i had access to the bride being dressed by her maids of honor (well, the last stages anyways) and she loved it, but others might find it intrusive. some want everything formal and others like not so formal. some want all the staged poses and some dont. find out.

    if you're using film, are you doing the darkroom work or farming it out for processing?

    are you the only photographer or will they be relying on multiple people, pro and friends and family also?

    a little prep work and communication goes a long ways. do your homework



    • #3
      Thanks Craig,

      Your right, I need to give you a little more info. The wedding ceromony is in the ballroom, the course has a small bridge and pond that I've seen and is nice but will go out there to see the rest of it.

      The weather here is hot and usually dry. I will ask the bride if she wants to do the pictures on the course before I spend more time on something she may not want to do, good point, same on using flash at the ceromony.

      I have been fortunate in that I have had photography as a hobby (expensive hobby) for several years now but only now am I trying to go full time. I use two 20d's, 28-70 L,70-200 L, 10-22 and lights at the studio with almost no backgrounds. I painted a 12x24 lenolium white and have one nice background for her bridals but really need more variaty.

      Want to do things the very best possible, I want the bride and family to look at their album and cry (because it's that beautiful ) but my photographic level needs to go up to acheive that. I would say that I am a notch above amature but I think really the credit goes to the equiptment. I have photographed on the average two or three weddings a year over the last 10 or more years and feel fairly comfortable weddings. I will be the official photographer, her contract states no other photographers.

      The bride wants the flush mount type album so I will be getting YSI and I will also do my own printing. Suggestions on which albums look the best for flush mounting would also be appreciated.

      I will have my son there as an asistant. We will have two hours before the wedding with her for for us to get the shots she would like. I need to ask her if this is two hours for her only or is this for her, the bidesmaids, the groom and groomsmen and any pictures includeing the outdoors.

      I believe they are pretty much open to most ideas. The groom is a lawyer for the DA's office and from what she tells me he and his friends are real characters. They are both very nice.

      So there we are, ready to give it a go but this is still a bit aprehensive since this is my biggest wedding to date.



      • #4
        In my opinion you have a lot of guts, no sense, but a lot of guts......

        Now that I have your attention, may I state the obivous, you are dealing with a lawyer, you have stated that you are in over your knowledge and experiance base, so what happens if they are disappointed? Can you spell trouble? It starts with the letter L.

        The hallmark of a professional is knowing your own limitations. If you feel uncomfortable about the job, then by all means get out of it and give it to someone who can handle it. Ask that person if you can go along as a second shooter in order to gain the experiance.

        Your reputation will surely suffer if you are the subject of a lawsuit over your poor performance, as well as reflect poorly on the rest of us.

        I will now get down from my soapbox.......



        • #5
          i disagree with mike completely. when i started my own business i had hit the point where i wanted to jump in, and did. i never looked back and never regretted it. fears of 'what if this goes wrong and what if that goes wrong' will forever keep you from doing anything. just jump in and do it

          if you've got that many cameras, a studio, lights, and are processing your own stuff, you're more than ready. go for it it's a funny thing about 'significances' and 'magnitudes'; you're already doing weddings. you know how to use a camera and lighting or you wouldnt be getting more weddings to do. that this is the 'biggest' one you're going to do is just a significance. the equipment is the same equipment. it doesnt change just because the size of the job does. your skill is the same for a large or small wedding, so just toss that whole significance out the window. it's a wedding. you've done weddings. you know weddings... go shoot your wedding

          that you're talking with the bride and finding out what's needed and wanted is the first big key, so good on that. and just because it's HER wedding, dont forget to ask him also



          • #6
            Ok Mike,

            I found another photographer to do the wedding for me. He will let me watch and I had to give him a bonus on top of taking the whole amount for the wedding.


            Hey Mike, don't think those thoughts haven't gone though my mind too. I do think that the obvious needs to be spelled out just to make sure one is ready play the hand.

            In my case 300 and 400 dollar weddings are no way to make a living and you can have just as tough a time dealing with small wedding where they might not appreciate the investment in time, equiptment, training or artistic expression. Beleive me I'm gonna pay attention to all the details and go out of my way to give them the very best I can at my present level.

            Mike thanks for the concern, I beleive as a senior member with years of experience you are genuenly looking out for us newer less experienced souls in need of guidence but do this wedding I am and need that input from those of you who are good at this.


            Thanks to you too, I beleive that if someone wants to be a credit to his profession you are gonna have to try to do more than what is within your comfort level.

            Ok guys,

            How about some ideas.


            • #7
              I was a wedding photographer for over 10 years and also had a couple of part time pros working for me

              Good on you

              You have thought about what Kraellin has said and that is enough.

              You have the equipment and you know what you are doing so go for it.

              The only advice I can give if you are ‘unsure’ it to do a Mock Up. Take your kids to the church and the reception and treat them as bride and groom. Take all the photos and get them developed just as you will on ‘The Big Day’ then, next weekend do it again and pretend it is raining.

              This will give you a lot more confidence on the Day. You will know what you are doing and you will find any problems. And you will come across as a lot more professional.



              • #8
                Thanks Ken,

                Being uneasy or somewhat nervous or unsure comes from my lacking in posing ability. Thats number one. I don't have a bunch of reliable, brides always lovem, poses that I can do at each wedding, that’s where I need the ideas.

                I can shoot a lot of candids but for them to look good I think I would like to light them in such a way that you get good contour lighting. This is where my assistant comes in. I have never had the luxsery of an assistant before, this is a plus. I will try to place him with an off camera flash so that my on camera flash becomes the fill and his the main giving us a more interesting lighting.

                Without this lighting they are very flat unless I start shooting a lot more without flash and use the available light or just add very little light. I don't like the shadows that are cast from the on camera flash but I don't like less than sharp slow shutter high asa (iso) speeds either.

                I can drag the shutter for the alter pictures to get a nice effect but that brings me back to my number one weakness, posing or posed shots. And at this wedding they are not in a beautiful church (uneasy feeling not a lot to work with) with lots of neat places to place them.

                They are in a ballroom that looks more like an empty band room. There is nothing in there to make you think this is a wedding. I'm sure they will decorate some, they said they were but the really interesting photographs I think will come from very interesting poses and lighting and the surrounding fairways and greens outside.

                I don't have trouble with lineing them up and taking charge when it's photo time but I have less to work with and never at a golf course. But on the other hand I see this new location as an opportunity to do some new and cool pics I haven't tried before.

                Thanks Ken


                • #9

                  I thought about it again and I think I see now what you are saying. Perhaps I'm working myself into a lather when the basics are there already and sweating out the details too much may lead to down and out big time stress. I will do a few breathing exersices now,



                  • #10
                    well, i would assume having done weddings before that you know all the standard poses, the rice, the garter, the cake cutting, throwing the bouquet and so on. sounds like your main concern is the ceremony itself and that big, empty sterile room.

                    find out who's in charge of the 'decorating committee' and see what they're doing. use an aperture setting that blurs out the background. ask for low lighting and pick your film accordingly. and if you really want to get a jump on it, go to the room and bring some color filters and lights and run some test shots. i forget all the tricks, but i seem to remember that thin gauze over a lens makes an interersting effect as does a light coating of petroleum jelly, if you're into experimenting. but dont take my word for it....test first.

                    set up some designated marks from which to take your shots. oh, and go to the wedding rehersal! that's the best way to check things. you've got all the real participants and the setting together.

                    i like your flash idea. you might try that at the rehersal.

                    but, the best idea i can give you for working in a big empty room is, photoshop. if you're working with digital, or scan your regular films into your computer, the sky is the limit on fixing. in fact, here's a cute suggestion. go take some outdoor shots now, while the sun is shining. if it rains, take your pictures indoors and then simply put in the backgrounds you took earlier. and as far as that goes, you can fix your big empty room shots up also. make em think they had it in st. petersburg cathedral if ya want this is the great thing about digital, the easy manipulation. use it!



                    • #11
                      In my last post I mentioned Kraellin when I actually meant Mike. Apologies everyone.

                      I assume they have seen your sample album and booked you from this. If you want to try something different then by all means do but you must include the photos in your sample album and in a similar form. You may feel this is limiting your creativity but this is what you have shown them and to some extent this is what they will be expecting. If you include something different in your proofs then they can choose what they want in the album.

                      If you want to change your style then you should change your sample album first.

                      I have to agree with everything Kraellin has said except the for the big reliance upon Photoshop.


                      And that’s only the start of your problems with moving group shots taken inside with flash to an outside background.

                      Photoshop should be used to enhance good pictures Not to repair bad pictures.

                      If you are taking a 12x24 background with you then this should make the background changes easier. But I don’t think trying to move them to an outside location is a good idea. Moving them to St. Petersburg cathedral is much better.

                      All you need now is confidence.



                      • #12

                        I will include something different in my proofs, that would be the only way to introduce a gradual change in style.

                        Taking a background with me to the reception seems like too much trouble, thats what a studio is for. If this was a church directory then of course but I will only be for about 5-6 hours and I think Craig was just kidding about St. Petersburg cathedral, remember I'm short on backgrounds too.

                        I have to make due with what is there and the fairgrounds are beautiful, guess I'm gonna wing it. Do the walking away and back towards the camera, standing in place and jumping, twirling around, a lot of close-ups of them both and individuals then throw in few putters at low angles.

                        I do agree with Craig that photoshop is a must, after all most prints would look less than brilliant without it. To enhance means just that, I don't believe any of us would send a print without some sort of manipulation or retouching. Past masters either relied on their lab or their own darkroom for those great prints, photoshop is the new darkroom.

                        About confidence, that is being provided through the interaction here.


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