July 23, 2014, 10:47:37 PM

Author Topic: Gear or Wedding Photographer  (Read 1378 times)

photog4hire

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Gear or Wedding Photographer
« on: January 05, 2014, 08:46:19 PM »
Hello All!

I am getting married in June and have 2 options as far as wedding photography goes.  1. higher someone to do it.  2.  I buy gear that I don't have and have a talented friend take the photos. They have been very successful with portraiture but are looking to break into a weddings.

The wedding itself will very small and short. Roughly 10 people including my fiance and I and the ceremony will be 15minutes.  It's also in the mountains. A pro wedding photographer would definitely want to get their monies worth for the travel alone.  We've been quoted by 3 different local photographers for 2-3K.  The price is a bit of an issue for what we a looking for.

After sharing this, my fiance suggested that we put the roughly the same mount of money into my gear and have my friend do the photos. :) Were talking roughly 1.5K on gear.

This appeals to me because, aside from the wedding photos, I would have something to show for my money spent.  In addition to this, my friend will hand over all RAW files.

I intend on shooting APS-C for a while so APS-C lenses are something that I won't regret investing in.  Also, the wedding will take place during the day and we will not require in any low light photography.

I currently have a 70D and a EF-S 10-22, 28 F/1.8, 40 F/2.8, and a 50 F/1.4.  I was thinking about adding a 17-55 to give my friend some flexibility while shooting and an 85 F1.8 for close ups.

They will be using my camera as their 5DII was recently stolen and all they get their hands on at the moment is a Rebel t3i.  I am assuming that they will get another FF by June but do not know what they really have planned.

I know it's a stretch to only have one camera and one photographer but we are also talking about a very small wedding.

What do you guys think?  Go with the gear? :) Or hire a pro who has their own gear?
70D, 10-22/3.5-4.5, 28/1.8, 40/2.8, 50/1.4

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Gear or Wedding Photographer
« on: January 05, 2014, 08:46:19 PM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: Gear or Wedding Photographer
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2014, 09:03:24 PM »
How will your fiancée feel if your friend bombs his/her first wedding shoot – hers – and key moments are blurry, poorly composed, or missed altogether?   If the answer is, "Meh, it's only a wedding," then have your friend shoot it.  If the answer is, "Why the hell did you tell me your friend could handle this, my wedding photos suck and it's all your fault my wedding was ruined," hire the pro.  (Oh, and yes I know you stated it was her suggestion - don't think for one minute that means the latter reaction can't happen...)
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photog4hire

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Re: Gear or Wedding Photographer
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2014, 09:22:35 PM »
That's a valid point to consider but I have seen their work, it's nothing they cannot handle.    I have no focus issue with my 70D and a wedding at 11am will offer more than enough light.  So as far as technique and proper gear goes that is not a worry. 

What is of concern is whether or not money will be better spent on gear for a person who more than capable for the job or higher a pro who would like to charge 2K + 500 more for second shooter just as a shooting fee. The prints will be extra.

That being said, I think it's becoming clear what is the better value. :)
70D, 10-22/3.5-4.5, 28/1.8, 40/2.8, 50/1.4

neuroanatomist

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Re: Gear or Wedding Photographer
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2014, 09:25:37 PM »
That's a valid point to consider but I have seen their work, it's nothing they cannot handle.


http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2010/07/fwigtew-and-other-first-wedding-acronyms
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tolusina

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Re: Gear or Wedding Photographer
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2014, 10:26:55 PM »
You know your friend and hopefully his photographic skill set.
Some pros are as incompetent as the noobs described on the link Neuro posted, there are plenty of horror stories around on the web, plenty of examples of excellent work too.
You are taking a chance either way you go, you won't know how things come out until afterward.

If you are handing over your gear for him to work with, get that gear to him well in advance of the event (like a month or more) so that he is as familiar with your gear as he is with his own. Your wedding day is not the time for him to figure out your gear.
 
Your friend hopefully will attend and shoot as a photographer, an observer and chronicler of the event rather than a guest and celebrant.
That said, I think that any wedding photographer would do well to consider themselves an important part and parcel of the entire celebration and place themselves so with the Bride and Groom, both Mothers in Law, the wedding planner/coordinator, the Priest/Minister/Rabbi/Mullah that will be performing the ceremony.
 
Here's a B&H youtube vid featuring Jeff Cable, suggest you and your friend both give it a view.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-Xbr6-I00w
There are sure things in that video that won't apply, but notice how strong he is about The Family and working with and for The Family.
 
If you do use your friend, I suggest you let him have a full set of the raws and jpgs so he can use them for self promotion.
 
From my own experience of only a few wedding shoots, I find myself a little removed from photographic responsibilities when I shoot for friends as a gift, I like to be a bit more in party mode.
Shooting for friends of friends for compensation is a whole 'nother matter, I go straight into  Jeff Cable mode, working hard to not miss a shot, processing and delivering the product as quickly as possible.
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Gear wise, you have both a 70D and a T3i available, he should carry both. Avoid lens changes. Put the 50 F/1.4 on one body, doesn't matter which, use this for anything near low light and for sure use it for the formal, wedding party group shots.

I'd want more reach and range for the zoom on the other body than what you have or the 17-55 you've mentioned.
Consider instead any among the Ef-S 18-135s, 18-200 or the EF 24-105, 28-135.

 
 
 
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Don Haines

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Re: Gear or Wedding Photographer
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2014, 10:44:19 PM »
Have a rehearsal well before the event.... Have your friend come and take pictures of the rehearsal so he can find out what works and does not work at the venue... afterwards, evaluate the pictures with your friend so they find out more of what you want and you find out what he can deliver.... it is a wonderful learning opportunity for both.
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Re: Gear or Wedding Photographer
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2014, 10:44:19 PM »