I am new to photography industry, currently doing a basic course and I have already been so fortunate as to been asked to do 2 weddings. #FreakingOut#
The first of which is in January 2014. I am busy doing research on different cameras as I want to upgrade from my Nikon D80. The Nikon D600 seems to be very popular for the low end of the Pro level full frame cameras, but my question is, is it really necessary for full frame or will a APS-C sensor do the trick? Is it rather worth while to spend the money on a better lens than on a body? Or just to bite the bullet and go full frame (as I will have to change my lenses to FX aswell)
My second concern is indoor/low light capabilities for the ceremony and Reception - My experience with external flashes is limited at this point so finding a camera that performs well under high iso's is prefereable.
O and if anybody knows about a good 2nd hand full frame camera - I will be greatful :-)
Mercia, I want to start out by saying; the process of becoming a wedding photographer, should not happen overnight. Wedding photography can be very lucrative, but you need to grow as a portrait photographer first and also acquire a well-rounded complete knowledge pertaining to your camera, directing, and working with people etc. If I am you, I will stay clear from doing weddings too soon. Grow into it. You certainly wouldn't want to get a bad name, early in your career if you go at it too quickly. Take your time and don't let people talk you into shooting weddings if you're not completely ready. I will gladly discuss this issue, and work out a career plan for you before you take the jump. I love success stories and I know you will be one of them if you plan every step carefully and with some mentor-ship.
In regards to the Camera.... The quality of your work dictates the money you make and the jump to FF will make it worthwhile. FF performs a whole lot better ito dynamic range and especially in regards to low light - high ISO capability. My advice is go Full Frame, but you should first invest in fast, wide-aperture lenses. You can always do the jump to FF later, as soon as you start making extra cash on the side.
I have just posted my D700, MB10 Grip, 3 Batteries and charger on ODP website an hour ago and have numerous people asking about it... pity I did not get to post it on Photo Critic first... but I got disturbed by a customer query... and when I got back to my PC I had 4 phone calls and emails already. Asking R17 500.
I think you should ask Danie or Trompie about equipment. Trompie has a D600 and does some stunning work...
I think the low light is something everybody has to work with, and we normally start with faster f2.8 lenses in our kit (and if available a VR, movement control lens helps) and then lastly push up ISO.
I only know full frame and have been very happy with the results in low light. (D700 & D3, D3X a bit sensitive and prefers good light)
If conditions are poor I go back to my sharpest & fastest lens... 50mm f1.4. It is a blessing in the bag, and cheaper than buying a top of the range DSLR for noise capabilities, or a range of fast lenses...
There is the option to rent equipment for the event..
Finally I would suggest asking somebody that has done weddings before to assit as a 2nd Photog and that way you share the stress and cover all the events cumfortably, therefore producing you best work... as well as relaxing the Bride.
More cameras mean more chance of making a mistake. Something will go wrong at every shoot and if you have two camera bodies (2 photographers) you limit your chance of disaster.
I used the D700 for quite some time and would HIGHLY recommend Glen's deal above. If you dont manage to get it then I would also suggest the D600 but definitely go full frame. You can always hire a fast lens to start off with but getting used to the camera is a better idea than hiring a camera that you dont know.
Sound advice from Warren and Glen as well :)
Further to Danie's comment, I agree 100%. You don't want to jump straight into mistakes and ruin your name.
NB: Some very important points:
Stay away from cheesy props (chalk boards, balloons, umbrella's with lace and frills on it. etc.). It takes an exceptionally experienced photographer to pull off and arty look without looking like a complete amateur.
A wedding day is about commitment, love and emotion. If you cannot capture honesty and natural beauty in camera yet (without the need for unsuited props) then you know that you are not ready for it.
Also stay away for wierd unnatural poses - Bride and groom jumping in the air, looking at each other from opposite ends of a tree etc. You should feel comfortable to working with, and directing people before you take the roll as the main shooter at a wedding.
That said, If you can translate what you feel and see into your camera then I say go have a blast and njoy the day.
Some very valid points here. The weddings I am doing are for friends and family and they know what to expect of me. I make it very clear to them that I am at the start of my career. Ideally I am going to ask them for a couple shoot prior so they don't have any surprises on the BIG day.
Thanks for the advise on the gear. The jump to full frame will be a bit more expensive but rather do it right the first time around.
Glen if your deal falls through on ODP I am a willing buyer. Let me know....
Warren - Funny thing you should mention the props, I was just thinking today how I can utilize my chalk board :-)
A chalkboard is almost like asking a friend to come with on a 1st date.... Its cuz you are hoping that someone or something will suck up the attention to relieve pressure. Reality is you are sharing a very special and intimate day with the couple who are getting married. There should be no place for a spare wheel!
Focus on the moment, get involved with it and go with what is happening between the couple and their friends and family. Dont let a chalkboard (or balloon, or umbrella etc.) get in the way just because you feel pressured. I want to give you the same advise as what I give my brides on their day... Enjoy it and be yourself.... Unfortunately because you are being paid to be their you have to make the camera an extension of yourself and your vision and that is where technical ability comes in... Good luck and.. OWN it
Be sure to post your best pics on the forum for constructive critting.... I see you have not posted any pics yet, this would be a good place to start :)
I haven't uploaded to photocritic yet as I am having troubling viewing images (and the instructions) from this website. I will try and post them tonight from my tablet.
Another question on sharing images, Is it legal to share on this website or do you need a model release form?
As a general rule of thumb, always get a release - my release allows the client to decide if I can place them on the web or just use them in my portfolia. Safeguards you and allows you to use the pics without worries. You also need to have a good contract in place to cover you for problems or natural acts, like rain, and have a fall back plan in place.
I have waited for replies and followed this forum with keen interest. I am also a NEWBIE at wedding photography and in fact wanted to fast track my learning process opting to receive one on one training.
Firstly when I purchased my camera I think I did not have a clear enough vision of what I wanted and purchased a camera for "weddings and everyday use". Luckily I did some research with regards to low light etc and the D7000 which was in my price range and the recommended camera became my baby. I did however avoid the kit lenses and opted for a 24-120mm lens option instead with an off camera flash. Whilst my lens is a little heavy, it gives me the ability to zoom across the crowd with ease. It is simply my workhorse.
It is not a full frame camera but my golden rule from the start has been do the best I can with what I own and only upgrade or purchase extra when I have cash. Master your camera and equipment before you upgrade and don't rush into every purchase or course. Decide on your post editing solution and stick to it as this will allow for a much quicker workflow afterwards, and of course - research, research, research....!!!
Having said that, I found my one on one training helped me with great pics for a portfolio and a lot of reading material. Unfortantely the one on one training had limitations with regards practical shooting and critque.
I have had my D7000 for a year now and have only done 3 events with a 4th in December. I shoot mainly with that lens but have 2 other kit lenses which are standard with a D5100 - this is my fall back camera and used by my partner in backing me up. For low light I pump up the ISO and sometimes use the off camera flash, bouncing where possible rather than spoiling the moment with harsh light.
The feedback I have received is the kind of feedback we all love, including tears of joy. So why then only a few events in a year? Mainly because I want to be 100% sure of myself first before advertising extensively and opting to do weddings exclusively or maybe because I am way too critical of my work (and shy to show it on forums). To progress and fill the gap I decided to take on smaller jobs, maternity shoots, family shoots, couple shoots and my most recent gig - a creche.
This has allowed me to express myself as an artist and develop my shooting skills. It has also afforded me the ability to receive feedback from the clients which to me is the most important as it has helped to build my confidence levels, both during shooting and post editing.
If you would be interested in getting together and/or maybe working together I would love to hear from you. It would not only help build both our portfolios but we would be able to lean on one anothers experiences etc.
I hope my ramblings have been beneficial. Either way - Good Luck and All the Best....!!!
Thanks Pat, makes sense what you say.
Photography is a long journey and as Danie said as well... does not happen overnight.
I will see where the road takes me and maybe in the future we could "join forces" :-)
It's always good to have a back up incase you become ill etc. Last word, don't try to out do those around you - find what you do best and just do THAT..! Your work will be better for it.