Art and Photography

Wedding photography - startup Camera

  • Last Updated:
  • Aug 10th, 2017 7:03 pm
[OP]
Newbie
Jul 13, 2017
21 posts
2 upvotes

Wedding photography - startup Camera

Hello there,

I am in search of a good camera to start up my own wedidng photography business. I currently have Nikon 5300 but would like to upgrade to a camera within 1200$.

I know to be a good photographer you dont need a great camera (money can't buy everything). But to build my portfolio, clients would ask me what gear I have. I don't want to tell them I have very outdated camera.

Few questions:

Should I buy a used camera to start?
Should I only buy set of lenses.
Nikon (d700,d800) or canon(6d,7d)? I am more familiar with Nikon.
Should I wait for black friday to get good deal?
Any recommendation where can i find good deals on used cameras?

I am starting a part time business now. I dont want to spend alot at the moment.

Please help :)
30 replies
Sr. Member
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May 5, 2010
755 posts
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I don't have any experience in wedding photography so I'll leave the specific details to Ancaster and other members here, who know this topic, to help you out.

I just want to say that, in my opinion, one thing that's very important to seek, for doing paid photography, is having a camera with dual memory cards. A lot of them have it now. Memory cards are pretty reliable, but they do break eventually. You'll never know when and there won't always be sign before it breaks.
If your card breaks and you lose a whole wedding's pictures, well that's a few thousands dollars you won't be having and your reputation will take a HUGE hit.

In the last 2 years that I have been shopping for cameras and gears, Black Friday is usually a let down.

If you're just starting, part time and don't want to spend a lot, rent the equipments buddy. $1200 won't get you far.
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Jun 15, 2012
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If you want to be serious about it, and since you're a Nikon shooter, buy a used D750, a 24-70 f/2.8, a light stand, a trigger and one Yongnuo flash.
Learn posing/direction, master your flash on and off camera, hone your Lightroom skills and maintain a single style as your brand.
You will need to develop a portfolio, a website and/or social media presence, and references before people can trust you to do the job. That whole process will take a while, after doing budget shoots and 2nd shooting, and it's not easy because established photogs usually hire other pros as serious 2nd shooters.

Weddings are fast paced all day events, part of it in lowlight conditions, some situations a one-shot deal where you better get the shot.
imho, a full frame camera and a fast standard f/2.8 zoom is a bare minimum must.
It's better to eventually have 2 bodies and several lenses. Imagine if you dropped your camera at the beginning of the wedding day and both the body and lens bust, you're done.

This is what I bring to a wedding:
-Pelican case
-Canon 5DIV x2 (records to 2 memory cards each), a Holdfast to strap the cameras
-(in order of use) 50 f/1.2, 24/1.4, 70-200 f/2.8, 85 f/1.4, and I leave a 16-35 f/2.8 in my car
-4 flashes, 2 triggers, 3 light stands, Magmod system (grids, sphere, bounce), full CTO gel on 3 flashes
-12mm macro adapter, and CPL filter
-Icelight
-tons of AA batteries for the flashes, and 4 extra Canon batteries
-a reflector that also strips down to a diffuser
-Manfrotto tripod (and eventually I'd like to grab a Profoto B2+OCF that'll mount on my monopod held by assistant)

The assistant helps me with all that and mainly to hold my modifiers for certain shots.
A second shooter is required if the bride and groom are getting ready far away from each other, it's a large wedding, or if the clients pay for it for more shots and angles.

You will need to get to know your print and album services. You'll also be writing up contracts, and have professional backups in case something happens and you can't do it. People are highly depending you, there's no re-shoots.

It's a saturated business, hundreds if not thousands of wedding photogs around you if you live in a metro city. I don't recommend it unless you're truly passionate about it, will constantly learn, practice on your own, look at wedding photos every day, deconstruct them, etc. You will also be giving up many weekends during the year, especially through the whole summer.

You should be authoritative, friendly, and funny to get people to genuinely laugh. You have to think on the spot, and to be creative you need to already know all your gear like the back of your hand.
Last edited by AncasterRFD on Aug 7th, 2017 1:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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For example, this is a routine shot, I already know my camera settings, I know I need my 24mm for a bit of perspective distortion, and the posing is specific, create an S curve, one leg over the other, arms at different heights and positioned so I can see them in the shot, soft hands, chin down, look at your left hand, arch your back and take a deep breath, "click". I specifically shot at that angle so her ring would show, and it forces you to look at it because she is lol. Done in 30s, everything is deliberate, understanding how to pose and experience will give you that. Edited in Lightroom using Mastin Labs, Fuji 400, Shadow Hard, MF Grain.

Image
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AncasterRFD wrote:
Aug 7th, 2017 1:05 am
-Manfrotto tripod (and eventually I'd like to grab a Profoto B2+OCF that'll mount on my monopod held by assistant)
You not intrigued by Godox? I see lot of people switiching to that - lighter easier to carry.
For Sale:
    Canon C100 + Canon 70-200 f2.8 + ...
Looking for: Sony Camera for video (for a good price)
Sr. Member
Aug 1, 2010
699 posts
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Montreal
PrinceMS wrote:
Aug 7th, 2017 2:44 am
You not intrigued by Godox? I see lot of people switiching to that - lighter easier to carry.
Profoto is considered to be one of the best. The Godox is fine and does the job.
Portrait and Wedding Photographer - Instagram
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PrinceMS wrote:
Aug 7th, 2017 2:44 am
You not intrigued by Godox? I see lot of people switiching to that - lighter easier to carry.
Yes, an AD600 would probably do the trick, I wonder if they're reliable? I'd have to do more pro work to make the Profoto worth it.
I'm using a Rovelight right now on a stand and it's still clunky (forgot to add that to my list which sits in the car too whenever I need it)
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Dec 28, 2007
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AncasterRFD wrote:
Aug 7th, 2017 1:30 am
For example, this is a routine shot, I already know my camera settings, I know I need my 24mm for a bit of perspective distortion, and the posing is specific, create an S curve, one leg over the other, arms at different heights and positioned so I can see them in the shot, soft hands, chin down, look at your left hand, arch your back and take a deep breath, "click". I specifically shot at that angle so her ring would show, and it forces you to look at it because she is lol. Done in 30s, everything is deliberate, understanding how to pose and experience will give you that. Edited in Lightroom using Mastin Labs, Fuji 400, Shadow Hard, MF Grain.

Image
Wow, wow, wow. This is a nice photo. Well done.
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I think your budget is going to be a limiting factor and you need two bodies as minimum. Anything less you are playing with fire.
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What is your setup now? Other than the D5300, you haven't indicated what else you own.
You will want to definitely have 2 bodies, with different focal lengths on each. If sticking with DX, something in the 17-50mm f/2.8. If going to FF, then 24-70 f/2.8.
The second body will have a longer lens, still f/2.8, the 70-200mm is a good lens for this. I would also keep another spare lens or two in the kit, just in case, because bad things rarely happen to us when we really want them to. You don't want a failure without any sort of backup. You could probably get by with a 35mm f/1.8 and an 85mm f/1.8 in there as spares.
That said, you will also want to budget for a bunch of memory cards, batteries, flashes (and the batteries for these). Things like reflectors are nice if you can have someone to hold them. A hard case to hold all that stuff in securely as well.
Sr. Member
Oct 8, 2007
962 posts
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Bedford
Some really good advice here. It is a tough but fun and rewarding business. To be successful, you have to have a real passion. And be good at marketing.

$1200 will not get you far, but can get you started.

I shoot a d7100, d600, 17-55 2.8 , 70-200 2.8 and 105 vr macro for most events, with a 50 mm 1.8 g as a backup. A couple younnu ettl flashes as well. Most purchased used on Kijiji.

For maybe $1500, you could get a 35 mm dx 1.8 g , 85 mm 1.8g and a d600. I was amazed how much I needed flash for weddings, so grab a couple as well.

If it helps, the first paid events I did was with a d7100 and a 50mm Prime.
[OP]
Newbie
Jul 13, 2017
21 posts
2 upvotes
Thanks for your input. Right now, I have a D5300, 18-55mm lens and a tripod.

I am planning to get used D7100 with 18-140 VR Lens. I will buy new flash, 35mm f/1.8 g , 85mm f/1.8g. Is it a good start? They are in my budget.

Please suggest.
[OP]
Newbie
Jul 13, 2017
21 posts
2 upvotes
Wow, Such a wonderful pic. I love colors
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Tbik78 wrote:
Aug 8th, 2017 11:27 am
Thanks for your input. Right now, I have a D5300, 18-55mm lens and a tripod.

I am planning to get D7100 35 mm f/1.8 g , 85mm f/1.8g. Is it a good start? They are in my budget.

Please suggest.
You could do that, the 85 is a little long on DX. 35mm is a very common wedding length on full frame, but it'll be 52.5mm on the 7100 which is actually fine for regular portaits. On DX, you should probably use 24mm for environmental portraits if you want the 35mm look.

You would be best served with a 17-55 f/2.8 on one of the bodies so you can quickly zoom in and out, weddings are super fast paced, you don't really have time to switch lenses except in the lull of changing locations. You're going to need that constant f/2.8. On the other body, keep the 35mm on it and switch it out when appropriate. On that note, the 85mm could be your ceremony lens when I mostly use my 70-200.

What you're lacking is something wide, you can only back up so much with large groups.
Sr. Member
Oct 8, 2007
962 posts
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Bedford
Good point. Maybe one of the Tamron mid range dx zooms and an 85 on a second body would work.

If you haven't already, family photo shoots are a great low risk way to get experience. A wedding is just 8 of these strung together. Do some of these, put the money aside, and get the gear and skills you need to shoot weddings.

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