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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...

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Old November 18th, 2018, 02:50 AM   #1
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wedding photography

my daughter is interested in getting into photography and since I'm in the wedding video business I can start her off as a 2nd shooter with a number of tog's.

My question relates to gear - since I shoot Panasonic I can give her a GH4 with an assortment of lenses, flash & an FZ1000 that are surplus to requirements but I'm wondering if that's suitable since most togs seem to use Canon, Nikon or Sony. I don't think I've seen a tog with a GH4 or 5.

I don't want to spend money on different gear but I also don't want to inhibit her chances with the wrong gear.

thoughts? any tog's out there using Panasonic?
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Old November 18th, 2018, 05:06 AM   #2
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Re: wedding photography

Hey Paul

We do all our photo shoots at weddings with two FZ1000's and brides are delighted!! Sadly though unless your daughter rolls up to the gig with at least a Canon 5D IV and a lens the size of a pumpkin she won't be taken seriously at all. Yes, very narrow minded attitude but that's how a lot of wedding photogs seem to think. Maybe look at letting her be a 2nd shooter and use the photogs gear??? I've chatted to many 2nd shooters at weddings and most don't even get paid and use the photogs gear. If they want to use their own camera it needs to match the photogs camera .. that's how they seem to work around here at least!!
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Old November 18th, 2018, 07:01 AM   #3
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Re: wedding photography

We do both video and photography. We shoot Nikon in stills and Canon in video (I know, why not Canon on both, it's a long story.)

I agree that being a second shooter can be challenging, sometimes not even getting paid much. If she knows photogs in that market, maybe reach out to them since they are the ones she'll be wanting to work with.

I always feel an instant connection when I see a Nikon pro, since most are Canon. Not sure if I've ever seen a Panny pro.
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Old November 18th, 2018, 10:25 AM   #4
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Re: wedding photography

Chris makes a good point about the necessity to match the lead photographer's camera. A second shooter will just hand over the RAW images for post-processing so ideally the cameras are the same but at the very least they need to be Canon if the 'tog shoots Canon or Nikon if the 'tog shoots Nikon. Apart from the occasional oddball that shoots with Olympus OM-D or similar you will find that 95% of wedding photographers shoot either Canon or Nikon. You may get some low end shooters using APS-C but the majority will shoot full frame.
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Old November 18th, 2018, 11:06 AM   #5
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Re: wedding photography

If I was going into invest into Wedding Photography, I'd shoot mirrorless. In fact I've worked with several Photographers who have gone down that route, even if it's a b camera. A silent shutter is much less obtrusive than the loud click click click you hear throughout the day. I'm surprised more haven't gone down that route, though the needed investment is a factor and Nikon and Canon have only just released a fullframe mirrorless.

The GH4 you are right to say would not command respect. It's respected by Videographers, but not Photographers. The sensor size is the real stumbling block there as is the AF. AF is so important for Wedding Photography. You may only get a split second to nail a crucial shot. So I'd invest.

That said, beyond sensor size, and in terms of make, I'd think less about appeasing any pros with a particular brand. As they could be either Nikon or Canon. Rather have your daughter pick a camera she enjoys using. It's her skill taking photos that counts and most pros will respect the final image over the brand. So a camera she feels happy to use and which fits her style of work best is ultimately what will help her achieve her best work.

I've spoken to lot of Pros at Weddings and many have a respect for Sony, even if they use Canon or Nikon, so don't be afraid to stray from the obvious 2. Fuji although not fullframe still makes some very good cameras and they're earning more respect with each model.

For most pros hiring, finding someone who can shoot great images under stressful and demanding conditions and being reliable and punctual top the camera. So make sure any camera has great AF, good sensor size, ie anything above micro 4/3s and it'll be generally respected by Pros.
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Old November 18th, 2018, 11:55 AM   #6
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Re: wedding photography

Thinking about my situation and beyond just the “equipment,” she could be bringing something to the table that’s really important, the female gene. That’s the one that feels emotion and has a good chance of capturing it. That’s probably why I’m not into weddings although I’ve done a few but they were pro bono (relatives). Doing the ~ documentary (male gene) is one thing but capturing emotions with a picture requires empathy.

When I do something with my video camera and my wife is taking some shots with her iPhone (not anywhere near a full frame or with big glass), some of her shots almost always make it into the video, along with a bit of Ken Burns effect. (I also bought her a cam because she get's those really good personal shots/clips)

From my perspective, her unique female “equipment” (the gene), is very, very important, and might make up for not having "the right kit".
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Old November 18th, 2018, 04:36 PM   #7
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Re: wedding photography

I think replies here might be missing the point! Paul doesn't want his daughter to shoot WITH him but rather with other photographers as a second shooter.

Brides honestly don't care what gear you have and we do great with our Panasonics BUT lead photogs tend to place a huge importance on gear and Canon shooters seem to expect you to have matching equipment and Nikon photogs expect at least a D850 with a decent selection of lenses. Yes, talent and a good eye is of course important but they do place a massive importance on gear if you want to be their 2nd shooter.
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Old November 19th, 2018, 12:38 AM   #8
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Re: wedding photography

I think Chris it depends on the Photographer. I've worked with many that have different gear between 1st and 2nd shooter. It also depends on what you are charging for your services. If you're in the high end bracket, then I expect gear would be very important, but I think starting out, you're not going to be chasing 2nd shooter jobs with the top end Photographers, who will want experience as well.

I had a 2nd shooter last week for me who shoots Sony compared to my Panasonic. For some Videographers that would be an issue. Some Photographers shoot with b cameras of a different make. Maybe not many of them, but I think there's flexibility there.

Starting out, I think a good camera and lens will attract a certain price bracket of 2nd shooters. Once you've built up some experience shooting Weddings, then perhaps then you'd upgrade. I'm still not convinced a GH4 is a good option to start out. AF is tricky and I think important, especially if new to Weddings. You could pick up any older model Canon or Nikon at 2nd hand and armed with a good lens could venture in, upgrading later.
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Old November 19th, 2018, 02:52 AM   #9
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Re: wedding photography

thx guys, yes Chris I am looking at placing her with a variety of togs as a 2nd - not working with me (maybe some time in the future, maybe - I'd like that but she needs to learn objectively, not working with 'dad')

The point has been made, and this was what I was concerned about - that togs will want stills from the same camera brand so post is easier.

It may be that I start her off learning the basics with existing gear and then invest in something better when she gets to the point of getting paid work as a 2nd.
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Old November 19th, 2018, 03:59 AM   #10
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Re: wedding photography

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Mailath View Post
thx guys, yes Chris I am looking at placing her with a variety of togs as a 2nd - not working with me (maybe some time in the future, maybe - I'd like that but she needs to learn objectively, not working with 'dad')

The point has been made, and this was what I was concerned about - that togs will want stills from the same camera brand so post is easier.

It may be that I start her off learning the basics with existing gear and then invest in something better when she gets to the point of getting paid work as a 2nd.
Take a look at buying used FF gear. After a few years of using Sony RX 1" sensor cameras I recently bought myself a "proper" camera again after being years without a FF DSLR. Previously I always used Canon as I was doing stills & video but was astonished at how cheap you can now get a used Nikon FF camera. I shopped around a bit & eventually bought a D810 in perfect condition for £1000. Compared to Canon the Nikon lenses are cheap too. All modern Nikon lenses are plastic with no aperture ring but fantastic optically & even cheaper used. You can find used D800s for under £600 & they are built like tanks so don't get beaten up much.
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Old November 19th, 2018, 04:03 AM   #11
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Re: wedding photography

My Wife and I both shoot wedding video and photography and work independently on different weddings or together. We both have the same kit, shooting video with Panasonic cams and stills with full frame Canon Dslrs. Having said that, we both also often use one of our Panasonic FZ1000s for stills where a silent shutter is needed, usually church ceremonies or where there is no time to change lenses in fast moving moments. There are differences between stills from the two makes, but not enough that processing can't change quite easily. The full frame is great for the big blow up beauty shots, but general work is fine on the Pannys.

I've also noticed over the last year that a number of photographers that I have worked with previously, are using much smaller bridge cameras with 1" sensors in preference to their full frame Canon or Nikon cameras for most of the daylight shots, keeping the large sensor cameras for low light situations.

Coming back to the OP, I think that training as a 2nd shooter is more about being quick and confident at getting good shots and less about having top end gear.

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Old November 20th, 2018, 07:18 AM   #12
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Re: wedding photography

On our side of the island .. I find plenty of young ladies that are being 2nd shooters and are also using the lead photog's spare camera too. This is probably the best way to see if she likes it. OK she more than likely won't get paid but she will learn an awful lot in a very short time and gain valuable experience shooting actual weddings. Take it as free training and then she can branch out on her own or with Dad ! Actually offering a video/photo package is tempting for brides and a big advantage for the videographer as you can safely yell at your photog without any nasty comebacks!!
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