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1616 posts

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# 127307 5-Aug-2013 20:53
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Hi all, have a friend's wedding coming up in some months.  As I shoot landscapes for my hobby I prefer shooting non zooms (primes) and can get the older stuff also.  So I don't have a Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8.  The stores seem to be asking $95 for it in Wellington and I have to arrange insurance cover.  Auckland one store seems to provide insurance but the excess is $800. 

I may need a hire for 2 days, the church ceremoney, not pro work, just a friend's wedding and the second day at the botanical garden probably for the few people. 

I imagine the 24 or 48hr insurance won't be cheap either. 

At these crazy rates would be better to just get the lens even thou I may not use it much in the short term?  It is a lens maybe when I am tagged by people so I can use the zoom, when alone I tend to go slow and just swap my prime lenses etc. 


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8719 posts

Uber Geek

  # 872425 5-Aug-2013 22:52
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As a photographer for 40 years (OMG!), I suggest to avoid shooting friend's weddings - get them to hire a pro.
It's not a question of "doing a favour", or that a pro might do better, but:
It's an almighty huge PITA - and IMO you can't do it alone, you need an assistant to do the arranging of the formal shots, gathering aunties together etc. Pros know what shots are needed - work on check-lists etc.
It's a huge liability - stuff it up and your friend might not complain, but you'll know you stuffed up and feel like a heel (always the possibility you'll completely stuff up and lose very shot too - $%#@ happens).
You are also 100% guaranteed to not enjoy the wedding.

I have ignored this advice, and done a few friend's and family weddings. You need two camera bodies - forget frequent lens changes, you need a 24-70 on one and a 70-200 on the other. I'd suggest also several Nikon SBxxx flashes, and experience with remote triggering several flashes using Nikon CLS (ie to avoid the "stunned mullet" effect of on-camera flash - or flat/boring effect of bounce - even if/where you can use it).

Take a look at what good pros are doing, and seriously ask yourself if you can produce those results, under pressure, and "guaranteed".

OTOH, if it's informal candid shots as a favour, just use what you've got - don't go out and buy/rent special gear.

Sorry if this is a bit blunt. Please think seriously about it before committing.

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Uber Geek

  # 872431 5-Aug-2013 23:03
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Yeah, get them to hire a pro. But you can also do your own shots, as they will be different, and possibly better. This is what I did, and more of my shots were used than the professional photographers, partly because the pro wouldn't release the digital images unless they were paid over 1 k  for the DVD of them. This was partly the wedding couples fault for not reading the contract properly and not understanding that people may actually want their own copies of digital images to send around. So make sure that the contract includes their own DVD with the images on them, so they can make their own copies whenever they need them.


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Uber Geek

  # 872433 5-Aug-2013 23:16
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havent been formally asked there are 3 or 4 others who have slr cameras, I won't be in Christchurch which is the first event where the in-laws are then they are here in Wellington the week after. I don't know what their plans are at all. .. I think I am the only that is with a camera club.

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  # 872435 5-Aug-2013 23:25
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Ask one of your Camera club buddies to hire theirs, offer to pay their excess etc, don't buy unless you stand to gain more than you do from hiring.

Their excess if it breaks!! not in general :P

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  # 872478 6-Aug-2013 08:27
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I've photographed 120+ weddings. Weddings are super stressful, and you can't be both a guest and the photographer - it's one or the other in my experience. Suggest they hire a pro, even for a few hours.

There are multiple rental places, I forget the names as I just buy lenses I need. Topic, there's one in Wellington, plus others. Google will find them.

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  # 875987 12-Aug-2013 16:36
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Thanks, was told that they don't need a photographer as it's their 2nd event in Wellington and if they do they just want some snaps to document the event.  The first event in Christchurch they just have a friend to do it ... 

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  # 876007 12-Aug-2013 17:16
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The guys above said similar things to what I've experienced as a photographer. I've done a handful of weddings for friends and family and have indefinitely hung up my camera from weddings. There is a HUGE amount of work involved. Taking the pictures is half the job (maybe even less, time-wise) the other half is post production.

I told all of them upfront that they weren't going to get pro results and that I was prone to missing moments so gave them a check sheet of general shots they wanted and I would then get that a few days in advance and make sure I tried to check them off. I've found that I've got a dozen or more shots from the day that i've been really really happy with, and then a hundred or three which vary from 'pretty good' to 'oh yeah, that happened'.

Off topic: My worst experience was shooting a family wedding and the caterers losing their sh!t when they saw me eating and drinking whilst not realising I was family. Then there were the distant relatives who gave me the stink eye all night because they thought I was some shmooze.

On topic: In regards to hiring lenses, would it not be a case of notifying your contents insurer that you have a lens worth $X and you need to get it insured? Specified items on my contents insurance aren't massive $$ additions. You could then ring them up and remove it when you return the lens. I'd call your contents insurer first anyway and say you're looking at doing that and see what they say. Worst case is you say you sold it really quickly...

EDIT/ Hmm, didn't realise this was almost a week old. Disregard.

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