Monday, January 31, 2011

My First Job

A friend of mine called me and asked if I would like to take some pictures of a couple getting married. And I responded positively!!! She explained that the couple was getting married at the Civil Registry (a government office) and the function took about a few minutes. I did not have any idea what I should charge the client. First of all my friend told me that the lady was already complaining that she did not have a lot of money. I asked my friend how much she think I should charged and she gave me a guide line what she charged one of her clients - $200.00. She is a photographer as well. I found it to be a bit much so I decided that my fee would be $100.00.

I spoke to a friend about having the pictures saved on a CD and she informed me that she had a software that will enable me to print one of the best pictures on the CD labels. So I had my plan in place and was ready to roll. That night I ensured that the battery for my camera was fully charged. I definitely did not want the charge to run out while taking pictures. That is a no-no!!!

The day of the event was Friday January 27, 2011, time 2:30pm. I arrived at approximately 2:15pm and waited in the lobby for the couple to arrive and about 15 minutes later the bride arrived with some other people. They went into the room and I followed them. I introduced myself and right away the bride told me that she did not confirm that she wanted to have a photographer at the ceremony. She also mentioned that she was not able to pay me. I simply re assured her that it was not a problem. Mistake number 1 – job has to be finalized by both parties involved. In this instance there was a third party – my friend. Also permission should be obtained from the client for the pictures to be used in any marketing campaign.

The people, that were present with her, had cameras. One guy had a video camera. There really was no need for me being there. Anyway I proceeded to take pictures of her and her kids while waiting for the groom. Many of these pictures had a young man in the foreground. Challenge Number one: Remove this person from my pictures. I had to use Paint to crop the pictures.

The groom arrived about 2:40pm and the ceremony began about five minutes later. The room was very small and in addition to the couple, there were about ten people in the room. There was not a lot of space for me to move around to take pictures at different angles. As the ceremony was going on, I sat to the left of the couple and took what I could. The problem with that I mostly got pictures of the bride, the groom was hardly visible.

Challenge Number two – being able to position myself at different positions to get pictures at various angles. Another problem was when they signing the register. The table was against the wall so the couple’s back were towards me as they sign the register.

After the ceremony, the bride kept apologizing and tried to guarantee me that I would be taken care of financially. Again I said that there was no need for her to worry. I realized that my first job would be a freebie. Another shortfall on my part was I did not have any business cards to present to my client. That would be my next project.

After the formal part of the ceremony, we spent a few minutes taking group pictures. As I reviewed the pictures later that night, I realized that another thing a photographer should be mindful about. In a case like this, the people should be facing you. In many of my group pictures the group was looking at someone else. I am not too happy about that.

Summary: As I was reviewing my thoughts for this article, I remembered many years ago, I volunteered to take some wedding pictures for a very dear friend of mine who was on a ‘tight’ budget. I took a lot of pictures of her while she was dressing etc. That was a lot fun actually. When we arrived at the church, I was very surprised to see a photographer there. Apparently someone surprised her with a photographer. Anyway I took my pictures as planned even though I was not happy at all about another photographer being there.

My report may seem negative but it was a learning experience for me and I am thankful that it was a small function. I am also thankful to my friend to recommended me for the job. In my next job I will be well equipped with information and equipment.

Photographer's Art


  1. This couple looks lovely. I love this photo. I am assuming that you are too hard on yourself.

  2. Wow what a boost of inspiration Olga!!! Thank you so much!!! I did have to spend come time 'doctoring' some of the pictures where there parts of other people that I did not to see in some of the pictures. I think that would upload some of these photos in another post.

    Some of the pictures I choose to soften the edges. Those really look good and some I choose to change the color to Sepia.

  3. There is a reason people charge a lot of money for wedding photography, it isn't easy. If it is gardening, construction or photography I get half the fee before starting. Oh well you learned a lesson.


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