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DPChallenge Forums >> Photography Discussion >> What was I thinking? Hard Lesson Learned
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07/12/2015 06:53:07 PM · #1
Last week, there was an ad from a wedding photographer on Craigslist in the city where I live. The photographer needed a helper with props, lighting, gathering people, etc. I decided to respond since it easy was easy money and a way to save up for my new camera and lens. After we met, had lunch to go over details, and where to meet and time to meet, I felt things got went well.

Day of the wedding, all was going as planned and then the photographer asked me to help photograph candid shots of the people and the groom. I told her that I never a wedding before and the closest thing I have come was to shooting a weeding was pre-engagement pics for my friends and some portraits for my family. The photographer told me she saw my portfolio on my website and she had confidence in my shooting style. I tried to back out, but she insisted. I was a nervous wreck. I never realized how much on the go you need to be but I should've put on comfier shoes or sneakers.

But my thing was "What was I thinking in taking the extra job as a second photographer. Maybe I wasn't confident enough. But you can tell, my hands were shaking, fumbling through the dials and ISO's for that perfect shot, my flash not working to add things to the mix.

Sometimes, I get discouraged especially from the photographs I take for my challenges here. Sometimes I don't participate because I do lack the confidence. A lot of the times it's because I run out of time.

But I have a hard lesson. I am not ready for the wedding scene. Next time there is an ad, I will make sure that the person is in need of a helper and ask if it involves being a second shooter. I just hope I didn't ruin those shots foe her.
07/12/2015 06:57:41 PM · #2
Look at the bright side, even if you did, the statistics say there's a 50% chance they'll get divorced anyway. ;-)
07/12/2015 06:58:45 PM · #3
if she wanted a second shooter, she should have hired one, but she only hired an assistant.

she threw you into the fire, no big deal. you did what you didn't sign up for, that's her problem if she expects better than you gave. its her butt on the line with the images anyway, not yours. if none of yours came out, she was still shooting, even if you only gave her only a handful to supplement, she should be happy.

07/12/2015 06:58:58 PM · #4
Originally posted by Cory:

Look at the bright side, even if you did, the statistics say there's a 50% chance they'll get divorced anyway. ;-)


That is very true :)
07/12/2015 07:00:34 PM · #5
Originally posted by Mike:

if she wanted a second shooter, she should have hired one, but she only hired an assistant.

she threw you into the fire, no big deal. you did what you didn't sign up for, that's her problem if she expects better than you gave. its her butt on the line with the images anyway, not yours. if none of yours came out, she was still shooting, even if you only gave her only a handful to supplement, she should be happy.


+
07/12/2015 07:04:42 PM · #6
Originally posted by Mike:

if she wanted a second shooter, she should have hired one, but she only hired an assistant.

she threw you into the fire, no big deal. you did what you didn't sign up for, that's her problem if she expects better than you gave. its her butt on the line with the images anyway, not yours. if none of yours came out, she was still shooting, even if you only gave her only a handful to supplement, she should be happy.


I gave her like 180 shots on her 2nd camera that she gave me. She did keep shooting all the big major parts of the wedding itself, the license signing, and so on. I did help with some setup and getting the guests together and stuff.

On the other hand, what I was told was that I would get $10/hr for 4 hours, instead, I got $25/hr for 4 hours.

Message edited by author 2015-07-12 19:05:55.
07/12/2015 09:14:34 PM · #7
Originally posted by adriano74:

Originally posted by Mike:

if she wanted a second shooter, she should have hired one, but she only hired an assistant.

she threw you into the fire, no big deal. you did what you didn't sign up for, that's her problem if she expects better than you gave. its her butt on the line with the images anyway, not yours. if none of yours came out, she was still shooting, even if you only gave her only a handful to supplement, she should be happy.


I gave her like 180 shots on her 2nd camera that she gave me. She did keep shooting all the big major parts of the wedding itself, the license signing, and so on. I did help with some setup and getting the guests together and stuff.

On the other hand, what I was told was that I would get $10/hr for 4 hours, instead, I got $25/hr for 4 hours.


Not sure what your hard lesson was....

You did what you were asked, and then some. I think you handled it perfectly, and if on top of your assistance she got some useful candids, then it's just gravy. The fact that you were nervous? Eh. You did well under fire.
07/12/2015 09:25:22 PM · #8
Originally posted by adriano74:

On the other hand, what I was told was that I would get $10/hr for 4 hours, instead, I got $25/hr for 4 hours.

It sounds like she recognized that you were doing a different job than what you were hired for originally -- is it possible she had a second who bailed on her?

Anyway, if she already paid you and you've delivered photos then by definition you did OK -- you'll know you did fabulously if she calls you for help again ... :-)
07/12/2015 09:26:44 PM · #9
What if she calls you back for another wedding? That would be the definite proof that you did the job she asked.

Great that she gave you more per hour than originally were offered. You must have been a relief to her and it probably helped her not to be in a panic mode = better pictures from her also.

Job well done!
07/13/2015 12:00:32 AM · #10
Originally posted by tanguera:

Originally posted by adriano74:

Originally posted by Mike:

if she wanted a second shooter, she should have hired one, but she only hired an assistant.

she threw you into the fire, no big deal. you did what you didn't sign up for, that's her problem if she expects better than you gave. its her butt on the line with the images anyway, not yours. if none of yours came out, she was still shooting, even if you only gave her only a handful to supplement, she should be happy.


I gave her like 180 shots on her 2nd camera that she gave me. She did keep shooting all the big major parts of the wedding itself, the license signing, and so on. I did help with some setup and getting the guests together and stuff.

On the other hand, what I was told was that I would get $10/hr for 4 hours, instead, I got $25/hr for 4 hours.


Not sure what your hard lesson was....

You did what you were asked, and then some. I think you handled it perfectly, and if on top of your assistance she got some useful candids, then it's just gravy. The fact that you were nervous? Eh. You did well under fire.


I think I felt my hard lesson was that I needed to be comfortable in the attire I was wearing. And I never been in that situation before so i didn't know what to expect. From the running all over the place and trying to keep up. But I got the jist of it all.
07/13/2015 12:03:11 AM · #11
Originally posted by GeneralE:

Originally posted by adriano74:

On the other hand, what I was told was that I would get $10/hr for 4 hours, instead, I got $25/hr for 4 hours.

It sounds like she recognized that you were doing a different job than what you were hired for originally -- is it possible she had a second who bailed on her?

Anyway, if she already paid you and you've delivered photos then by definition you did OK -- you'll know you did fabulously if she calls you for help again ... :-)


Well, only time will tell. And I actually hope she does. She said it will take a couple of days to look at all the pictures. So I would just feel anxious at least to know how she felt about them.
07/13/2015 12:05:13 AM · #12
Originally posted by kawesttex:

What if she calls you back for another wedding? That would be the definite proof that you did the job she asked.

Great that she gave you more per hour than originally were offered. You must have been a relief to her and it probably helped her not to be in a panic mode = better pictures from her also.

Job well done!


Thank you kawesttex. I still am learning on a lot of the aspects of photography. I think that's why I usually chose to shoot landscape, no reactions from them :)
07/13/2015 07:53:14 AM · #13
Originally posted by adriano74:



I think I felt my hard lesson was that I needed to be comfortable in the attire I was wearing. And I never been in that situation before so i didn't know what to expect. From the running all over the place and trying to keep up. But I got the jist of it all.


its not a hard lesson, it just becoming aware to the animal that is wedding photography.

I shot a small backyard wedding over the weekend, easy right, nope.

I had at least 5 different people asking me why I would do this. It was hot, I was sweating, running around, the bride was all over the place, freaking out, frantically trying to get every picture possible and since it was a backyard wedding they had no one to coordinate or facilitate the affair, it was chaotic but man was it a rush. I love it.

and then you get home and see how great the pics turned out.
07/13/2015 08:26:33 AM · #14
try to work with kids, you'll understand why so many are doing weddings.
07/13/2015 08:38:39 AM · #15
Originally posted by GeorgesBogaert:

try to work with kids, you'll understand why so many are doing weddings.


i refuse to shoot young children (except for very close friends and family when I wont charge them), I'm not joking. that genre takes a level of patience that I just don't have.

07/13/2015 09:18:31 AM · #16
Good points by Mike.

Personally, I've only done one wedding and that was gratis for my sister in law. I avoid them because it changes photography from fun to stressful for me. BTW my sister in law wasn't very thankful and actually complained. Turns out she has some serious issues anyway and is going through her 2nd divorce - so I guess there's that! ;)

My other thought is that 25$ for 4 hours is a joke and that was not cool of her. Even 10$ and hour is not nearly good enough IMHO. Photogs get paid thousands for weddings but I guess if you knew the pay going in I'm confused why you didn't get the measly 40$.

Originally posted by Mike:

if she wanted a second shooter, she should have hired one, but she only hired an assistant.

she threw you into the fire, no big deal. you did what you didn't sign up for, that's her problem if she expects better than you gave. its her butt on the line with the images anyway, not yours. if none of yours came out, she was still shooting, even if you only gave her only a handful to supplement, she should be happy.
07/13/2015 09:24:23 AM · #17
Personally, I'd rather deal with kids. The formalities and strict timeline of a wedding don't appeal to me.
At least with kids, in a worst case scenario, you can do a re-shoot =P

Originally posted by Mike:

Originally posted by GeorgesBogaert:

try to work with kids, you'll understand why so many are doing weddings.


i refuse to shoot young children (except for very close friends and family when I wont charge them), I'm not joking. that genre takes a level of patience that I just don't have.
07/13/2015 09:40:24 AM · #18
Originally posted by tate:



My other thought is that 25$ for 4 hours is a joke and that was not cool of her. Even 10$ and hour is not nearly good enough IMHO. Photogs get paid thousands for weddings but I guess if you knew the pay going in I'm confused why you didn't get the measly 40$.


in her defense, he accepted.

ETA, i think you misread, he got $25/hr not $10. $100 instead of $40.

Message edited by author 2015-07-13 09:42:46.
07/13/2015 09:51:07 AM · #19
Weddings are stressful. I've only photo'd at friends' weddings, and out of my own - never been asked to. But I'd love it! The stress and challenge of it, and the fact that you get only get one chance. I think I've taken some nice wedding photos as well.
07/13/2015 11:43:20 AM · #20
I did misread that. Still underpaid for someone who was wielding a camera at a wedding but not quite as bad =) If anything, the learning experience was worth it.

Originally posted by Mike:

Originally posted by tate:



My other thought is that 25$ for 4 hours is a joke and that was not cool of her. Even 10$ and hour is not nearly good enough IMHO. Photogs get paid thousands for weddings but I guess if you knew the pay going in I'm confused why you didn't get the measly 40$.


in her defense, he accepted.

ETA, i think you misread, he got $25/hr not $10. $100 instead of $40.
07/13/2015 12:54:00 PM · #21
not really. $25 is decent pay for assistant work, especially if they arent responsible for any post work or liability :)
07/13/2015 01:31:33 PM · #22
Originally posted by Mike:

not really. $25 is decent pay for assistant work, especially if they arent responsible for any post work or liability :)

if someone offered me $25/hr to be a second shooter or gear-lackey at a wedding for 4-6 hours, I'd do it.

I've done photo and video for weddings. it's stressful.
the worst part is that for most people, they don't factor in the post-processing time as part of your work, they say "you're only there for 4-5 hours, why charge that much?"
taking pictures is the fun part, especially if you're given someone else's gear and you don't need to worry that you forgot a lens, or if you cleaned your sensor; any mistakes of gear are on them, and any incredible images that you shot are credit to yourself for framing/settings used at the time. it's win/win for some "easy extra money, coupled with practical experience"
07/14/2015 02:42:29 AM · #23
Originally posted by Mike:

not really. $25 is decent pay for assistant work, especially if they arent responsible for any post work or liability :)


And that's just it. After the wedding, the only thing I had to do is give her back her camera and she took care of the rest. I did learn many lessons, though. So it wasn't completely a waste. :) I just never knew stressful it could be. Especially, the time management.

Also, I just want to thank everyone who has commented on here. You have all given me good insight and a great level of confidence. Now I know why DPC has been my favorite place for advice. You are all great.

Message edited by author 2015-07-14 02:45:31.
07/14/2015 03:18:10 AM · #24
You did fine.

I have a friend and colleague that gets married in two weeks and he asked me to cover it. He said no pressure but is there.

Let us know what you reward yourself with the money you made :)

07/14/2015 03:40:54 AM · #25
Originally posted by Tiberius:

You did fine.

I have a friend and colleague that gets married in two weeks and he asked me to cover it. He said no pressure but is there.

Let us know what you reward yourself with the money you made :)


Actually, with the money I made plus my daily job, I'm saving to get:

//www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DOVD9Z0/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00DOVD9Z0&linkCode=as2&tag=lonelyspeck-20

for my astrophotography. :)
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