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Author Topic: First paid photo shoot - DATE: 23 March 2013  (Read 17348 times)

blaydese

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First paid photo shoot - DATE: 23 March 2013
« on: March 06, 2013, 04:08:25 AM »
Note: American that lives on the island of Okinawa Japan

and...


THANK YOU IN ADVANCE

I was asked / offered the job to shoot a
co-worker's / friend's wedding on the 23rd.

I accepted, we talked, came up with a plan,
she's getting me a schedule, sent me the
location (it's a restaurant / wedding reception
place that specializes in small weddings of about
100 people or less), I asked what she was looking for
I explained that I'm not a pro, and I can't guarantee
anything, she still likes my work, so....

If you don't mind, I'd like some positive
support, advice, equipment recommendations
(based on what I have) and tips / examples.


(Sorry living on Okinawa I can't buy
anything, and get it here by the 23rd,
also with the Government furloughs
that are about to hit us I can't afford
anything expensive like an L lens.)  *sigh*

Equipment:

Cameras:

1 - Canon 60D W/battery grip
1 - Canon Power Shot 20SX

Flash:

1 - Polaroid Power Zoom Shoe Mount Autofocus Flash (Don't remember the model #)
1 - Canon Speedlite 420EX Flash - Old Version - got for free, missing the red lens cover.

Tripods:

1 - Leupold Trek Pod II
1 - OLD Tripod that used to hold the old VHS tape camcorder  :o

SD cards:

1 - 16GB Extreme class 10
1 - 8GB Class 10
2 - 8GB Class 4
2 - 4 GB Class ?

Lens:

Canon EF-S Zoom lens - 18 mm - 135 mm - F/3.5-5.6 - Canon EF-S
Canon EF-S Zoom Lens 18 mm - 55 mm - f/3.5-5.6 Is MK II


So here are some ideas / plans that I have:

A) Make an example book, so when I'm shooting
I can run over to the book, flip to any page and see
an example and say, AH-HA, let's try this !

B) I'm going to recon the place, talk to the staff
and see what 'props' they have, i.e. if it's raining,
we need plants, backgrounds and such for backdrops inside.
Oh yeah there is an attached garden to the restaurant.



C) I'm braining some 'items'... a 500W work light,
(To shoot silhouette shots, sort of like this:

(Google search)





Some other examples

(Google search)
 


 




Peace! 8)

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First paid photo shoot - DATE: 23 March 2013
« on: March 06, 2013, 04:08:25 AM »

Kristofgss

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I'm not a pro by far, but did some receptions, classic concerts and a wedding as favours  So what I write here won't give perfect pictures, but hopefully increase the odds of getting good ones.

- take the charger with you, it's always convenient to be able to charge up a spare pack
- go manual mode and take a few shots there before the reception to see which combination aperture (set it high enough so you don't lose it when zooming)/iso (as low as possible)/timing (as fast as possbile) works best without flash. (this prevents lighting differences caused by white dress, black tuxedo)
- When shooting with flash, always bounce, but look which color the ceiling has and if it is not white, put a colored gel over the flash to compensate till it matches the natural light (I've mcgyvered it on occasions and used candy wrappers) (this prevents weird looking colors)
- Set white balance to manual and get it to give a pleasing color. (I;e. not too blue) you don't have this issue when shooting raw, but that depends on how much memory you have left on your cards)
- When shooting the bride with a white dress, go for the AEB function where you have an underexposed and overexposed picture as well. On the off chance that the setting you thought it would be does not come out good, odds are, one of the other two will make a better match.
- When doing the grou portrait, quickly tkae the same picture with F4, F8, F16 (you can do this in under three seconds and it increases the odds that at least one of them matches the foreground/background sharpness ratio you had envisioned. At least you have the material, you can pick out what's best later.
- if at all possible, get the nifty fifte for less than 100 dollar as it is really suited to indoor photography.

danski0224

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Re: First paid photo shoot - DATE: 23 March 2013
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2013, 06:44:10 AM »
The only suggestion I have is to rent or borrow a bigger flash. Something like the 580 or even 600. You will need plenty of flash while indoors with your lens choices.

Find out which one of your zoom lenses provides a better image and stick with it. The 18-135 may have more design compromises in comparison to the 18-55. I haven't used either.

I can't imagine that you will have the time to put together an "example book" and have time to use it.

If your friend is happy with your work, just roll with it.

Good luck.
Some of my Work in Progress..... www.dftimages.com

Dylan777

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Re: First paid photo shoot - DATE: 23 March 2013
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2013, 09:20:13 AM »
My 2 cents: Your current gear is not adequate for wedding. Rent 5D II(s) and some L primes for this task, unless your friend has lower expectation in IQ.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2013, 09:24:46 AM by Dylan777 »
Body: 1DX -- 5D III
Zoom: 24-70L II -- 70-200L f2.8 IS II
Prime: 40mm -- 85L II -- 135L -- 400L f2.8 IS II

reactionart

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Re: First paid photo shoot - DATE: 23 March 2013
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2013, 09:35:32 AM »
This is my first post in CR :D.
I'm not a pro photographer either but I do have couple of dozens weddings in my belt.
I'll give you some do's and don'ts. Your 60D will be sufficient enough to cover the entire event. Make sure just carry the batteries and cards with you at all times. If the light permits, shoot without flash, natural light most times look more pleasing plus people tend to get annoyed with flash a lot. If 420ex is the only flash you can get then use it wisely and be careful of bouncing it. At times it'll bounce unwanted tints to your subject.
If you can get the 50mm 1.8 II before the wedding. Do it. That will be your portrait lens, however since you only have 1 body be ready to switch lenses a lot, or just move a lot.
Shoot at lot of frames and shoot RAW, I don't care what everyone says. It's your first gig, it doesn't matter if you have to go through 1000s of pics, at least for now this way you have a lot of material to use and give to your client.
Learn some posing techniques for couple. This is a must. Your client is expecting you to know how to pose them and tell them if they're smiling correctly or have their eyes closed, check your shots thoroughly but quickly.
Meet all the family members. Get a lot of facetime. They will be pleased that you took shots of a lot of their guest. Theyre gonna be looking back at the album, saying, oh I remember them, blah blah blah.
You can ditch the tripods and other heavy accessories, if you really wanna take em and use em, wouldn't hurt bringing another friend with you to help you carry gear.
Back up your stuff.  If you have some downtime in between events, please back up your cards.
Last but not least, have a blast.
Canon 70D | Tokina 11-16mm | Canon 17-55mm IS | Canon 50mm 1.4 | Canon 85mm 1.8 | Sigma 50-150mm HSM OS | Canon 430ex II and 580ex II | 3 Yongnuo YN-622C Triggers.

robbymack

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Re: First paid photo shoot - DATE: 23 March 2013
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2013, 10:31:54 AM »
Ideally you'd be able to rent a back up body and a lens or two but since that doesn't seem to be in the cards just go with it. If you can go get a properly working flash. You may have trouble using the focus assist with the broken one you currently have. Focus assit will help you lock focus in dim lighting.  A 430 exxii would be more than enough and definately bounce it rather than blasting folks directly in the face with it. You should be able to find a good one used in your area for not much cash. I'd also not venture outside your comfort zone. If you don't normally shoot full manual don't. Id say shoot av f5.6-f8 with flash and auto iso. Then fiddle with the flash ec until you get the look you want on the back of the lcd. Heck you may even just shoot full auto with a good flash. Probably better than fiddling with the settings just be prepared for the limitations. I like the idea of trying to get some shots you've seen online, however I would caution you that the set up for some of those shots may take a bit of time (which you may not have) so don't get too grandiose with your plans. sometimes the best advice is KISS (keep it simple stupid).  Above all else have fun. 

sanfranchristo

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Re: First paid photo shoot - DATE: 23 March 2013
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2013, 10:36:22 AM »
Please refer to some of the excellent advice (and warnings) on this same topic, thoroughly covered here:

http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=12589.0

(Without re-debating the issue, I will echo another commenter and say that your zoom lenses probably aren't up to the task and you should consider renting/borrowing/buying a proper portrait prime at the very least. It is also a somewhat reckless idea to shoot without a backup DSLR body of any sort.)
« Last Edit: March 06, 2013, 10:42:48 AM by sanfranchristo »

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Re: First paid photo shoot - DATE: 23 March 2013
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2013, 10:36:22 AM »

sandymandy

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Re: First paid photo shoot - DATE: 23 March 2013
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2013, 10:43:08 AM »
Get a 50mm 1.8 II at least.  I mean you own like two of the worst lensese canon has to offer :P You miss a lot of possibilites a good lens gives you.

RLPhoto

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Re: First paid photo shoot - DATE: 23 March 2013
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2013, 10:49:37 AM »
Please do this for yourself, and your client, and for your reputation.

1. Add a 50mm 1.8 to your kit. You have no fast glass, and you'll need fast glass at some point at a wedding. Its cheap, fast, and quality(to a Point). Ditch the 18-55mm, You already have the 18-135mm and no need for it.

2. Scout all the locations ahead of time, and get a shot list from the couple.

3. Practice basic on-camera flash technique, Fill, Bounce, AF-Assist, Etc... It will be Needed.

4. A second body would be highly recommended in case your 60D dies.

All in all, I would keep the couple's expectations low. If you turn out better work than expected, you'll impress them. If you raise they're expectations too high, you'll never meet them.






a-hopps

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Re: First paid photo shoot - DATE: 23 March 2013
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2013, 11:06:10 AM »
If you do get a fast prime, practice with it. Learn how to use depth of field. I only say this because of your current lens setup. If you have experience with fast primes then disregard my advice. no harm done.
5d Mark III, 7d, 24-70 f2.8L II, 70-200 f2.8L IS II, 85 f1.8, 40mm f2.8, 600 EX-Rt, Alienbees, Konova slider, etc...

RMC33

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Re: First paid photo shoot - DATE: 23 March 2013
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2013, 11:30:07 AM »
Please do this for yourself, and your client, and for your reputation.

1. Add a 50mm 1.8 to your kit. You have no fast glass, and you'll need fast glass at some point at a wedding. Its cheap, fast, and quality(to a Point). Ditch the 18-55mm, You already have the 18-135mm and no need for it.

2. Scout all the locations ahead of time, and get a shot list from the couple.

3. Practice basic on-camera flash technique, Fill, Bounce, AF-Assist, Etc... It will be Needed.

4. A second body would be highly recommended in case your 60D dies.

All in all, I would keep the couple's expectations low. If you turn out better work than expected, you'll impress them. If you raise they're expectations too high, you'll never meet them.

Huge +1

If you can get an ETTL cord as well and practice a little off camera flash by holding it off to the side. Works wonders.

Axilrod

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Re: First paid photo shoot - DATE: 23 March 2013
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2013, 11:45:55 AM »
+1 for renting some better gear.  But at the same time I wouldn't rent too much new stuff since you don't want to be working with a bunch of equipment you're not familiar with.

I'll tell you this, if you can only rent one piece of equipment, get the 17-55 f/2.8 IS.  It's an amazing lens and will really improve the overall quality of your images.  I know you already have an 18-55, but come on it's the kit lens.  Lensrentals.com has the 17-55 at $42 for 4 days, go for it.  You'll see right away that there is a tremendous difference between that and the 18-55. 
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Re: First paid photo shoot - DATE: 23 March 2013
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2013, 11:52:23 AM »
Since you cannot get any additional equipment, as you noted, you can make do with what you have, its just a matter of creatively using it.  Its certainly not helpful to tell you to get more qquipment if you have already said that you can't.
 
Millions of weddings have been shot just fine with lesser equipment.  I have photos that are well over 100 years old, and they look fine, and they used equipment with maybe 1% of the capability you have.  People at the wedding will help you be holding very still if that actually turns out to be necessary..
 
For example, you will not be able to light up a large room or a crowd of 100 people with just the one flash, and I'm not aware of anyway to synchronize the Polaroid and Canon flashes unless you have a slave trigger. 
 
However, you may be able to setup the group outdoors, it depends on the lighting, so try to get them together when the light is best.
 
You sound to me like a pretty savvy person, I'd bet that you will do just fine.

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Re: First paid photo shoot - DATE: 23 March 2013
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2013, 11:52:23 AM »

distant.star

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Re: First paid photo shoot - DATE: 23 March 2013
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2013, 11:59:57 AM »
.
Since you're obviously committed to this, only a couple of things come to mind for your situation. Go into it with a joyous and enthusiastic attitude and have fun while doing the best you can. Beyond that, think about this:

1. As others have said, get a 50mm f/1.8 II. I know you said you can't buy anything, but these lenses are everywhere. Someone there has one and will lend it to you or rent it to you for $20 or so. Get one, and play with it in advance. Other than that you have equipment capable of producing fine results. Don't get down by elitists who tell you good work can't be produced without $10,000 worth of equipment.

2. Don't do anything you haven't tried (hopefully perfected) first. That silhouette shot looks great, but creating it may not be as easy as you think.

3. Shoot RAW. That will give you greater latitude for error.

4. Finally, don't do business with friends. Beyond expenses, don't accept money for this job if these people are really friends. So, you should first decide if they are really friends or your first customers/clients.

Just some thoughts, for what they're worth. I promise I won't send an invoice! Have a great time -- no better feeling than seeing a bride tear up at pictures you've taken of her wedding!!!
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cayenne

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Re: First paid photo shoot - DATE: 23 March 2013
« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2013, 12:13:22 PM »
I didn't see mention about how many battery packs you had...make sure you have more than enough.
Also, you likely need more memory cards....you will want to shoot RAW, and that eats up a bit more space on the memory cards.

I've not shot weddings, but I've been studying and readling a LOT about it, in hopes to branch out on my own doing this too.

You definitely might be well served by renting a 2nd camera, like a 5D3 and a couple of good L lenses. Maybe a 70-200L and a 50L....I know a lot of wedding photog like to have those, good for low light and can be tack sharp, and nice shallow DOF.

Good luck and please report back how it went and post some sample pics!!

If you get some special shots, look into getting them to buy a couple of wall hanging size prints (especially if the rent the higher end camera body)...you can order those, and add a bit of $$ on top for some profit to cover your expenses.

My $0.02,

cayenne

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Re: First paid photo shoot - DATE: 23 March 2013
« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2013, 12:13:22 PM »