Derek Pye

The Rules of Photography: Less is more and it’s also less work

on Wednesday, 22 September 2010. Posted in On Photography

Photography is about rules, rules and more rules. You can't be a top professional husband and wife wedding photography team unless you know the rules. Breaking them will break you and lead to a life of misery and pain. Here are a few of the basics.

The Rule of Thirds - You may have heard of this one and the accompanying myth that it's got something to do with composition. No no no! That's what we want you to think. The rule of thirds is the rule that any fees or associated costs go up by a third when anybody mentions the word wedding. Never break this rule or I will come round to your house and kick your head in.

The Ten Second Rule - Obey this and you'll save thousands of hours in post production. It's a trick dating back to the days of film. When you are out shooting a wedding it's tempting to snap away. After all you’re shooting digital so it's not costing you anything. Wrong! The more you shoot the more hours you have to waste sat at a computer looking at the bloody things. Here's the trick. Every time you are about to take a photo, count to ten. Think. Is this really any good?. Is this a great photo? 99.99999 times out of a hundred it won't be so don't take it. You've probably missed the moment now anyway. I used this rule at a wedding recently and returned home only having shot 9 photos, and two of those were when the camera went off accidentally as I was lighting a fag. This saved hours in post-production. Less is more and it’s also less work. The Ten Second Rule also allows time for the bridesmaids to tuck their tits in.

Golden Hour - Nothing to do with the light. Golden Hour is the time between the start of the wedding breakfast and the beginning of the first speech. During Golden Hour you will find your wedding photographer in the bar drinking your free booze. Photographers call this time  Golden hour as there is nothing more beautiful that being paid to drink free booze. Not to be confused with a golden shower, which is something to do with the mother of the bride.

 

The Inverse Square Law - The amount of grief you will get on the day is inversely proportional to the clients bridezilla rating. Multiply the number of emails you have received from the bride by the total number of answer machine messages. Add in the number of rows in the spreadsheet the bride has just sent you. If you are at an ethnic wedding you also need to multiply by the number of Aunties.

The Circle of Confusion - This refers to any group of hobbyist prosumers at a wedding. You should attempt to create a Circle of Confusion as often as possible. The easiest way to do this is to set up any shot which the hobbyists consider an exciting photo opportunity, the signing of the register for example, against a window. Any prosumer will freak out when programme mode fails to cope with the backlighting. The resulting fuss is a Circle of Confusion. This is for the photographers amusement only.

Hits

13904

Comments (11)

  • HD Viddy

    HD Viddy

    05 February 2013 at 19:51 |
    Hey nob joint can u use this rules on v***o?

    reply

  • Sharon

    Sharon

    05 February 2013 at 19:52 |
    I loved this!! Really hysterical.

    reply

  • Peter pro

    Peter pro

    05 February 2013 at 19:52 |
    The Ten Second Rule also allows time for the bridesmaids to tuck their tits in.

    Thanks Derek - I find the bridesmaids spend most of their time doing this.

    reply

  • philip fwhite

    philip fwhite

    05 February 2013 at 19:52 |
    what a load of fucking bullocks

    reply

  • Giles Keen Photographer

    Giles Keen Photographer

    05 February 2013 at 19:53 |
    Once again you turn conventional wisdom on it's head revealing the unpalatable truths that lie behind the mystery. For those of us, like me and Philip, struggling with progam mode could you please post some tutorials.

    Kind regards

    Giles

    reply

  • Christine Tonge

    Christine Tonge

    05 February 2013 at 19:53 |
    Hi There - not if this is the right place to ask this but I am gettin married in Tunbridge Wells on July 23rd 2011. It's a Saturday and we are having about 80 guests. I'd really like getting ready photos with the bridesmaids first and then ceromony etc + famly shots. Not sure about budget but I'd like a coffee album and was thinking about £700 plus a disc with ALL copywrights. I've been quoted over £1000 which seems ridiculus for some pictures. Can you help? Can you let me know if you are available on the date and what total cost is. We can give you some dinner and you are welcome to stay and have some drinks afterwards.

    reply

    • Photog

      Photog

      05 February 2013 at 19:53 |
      this is to the last comment by Christine Tonge:

      Digital is "free", right?

      Wrong.

      There is this thing called "time". Successful photographer-businessmen (and businesswomen) have figured this out, One-lungers don't usually understand this.

      What is time worth? Actually, it's worth a lot. Let's say you are doing your own editing process? Every minute behind the computer is a minute not spent selling or shooting. So, if you are trying to clear USD $60,000 per year in net-profit, that means you have to be billing twice that. $120,000 per year. That means your time is worth no less than $60 per hour or $1 per minute. But if you are lucky, you have some low-paid assistant doing it for you, so let's be really generous and say that person only costs you $20 per hour before loadings. (computer, light, heat, office space, pilferage, etc.

      If I am being super generous in my equation, your lowest-cost is USD $0.50 per minute.

      Now, factor in how many images per minute can be processed, viewed, sorted and purged? Surprisingly, with interruptions, etc., you'd be lucky to average four. So, each image has an averaged cost of $0.13. So, for every 1000 pictures you take, your MINIMUM cost in time alone is $130. If you shoot 3000 pictures, your time costs are no less than $390. If you are a "one-lunger" with NO assistant, trying to net $60,000 per year, you MUST multiply by four. So each 1000 pictures you take costs YOU $520.

      This doesn't even take into account wear and tear on cameras and flashes as well as the need to keep adding more and more hard-drives and computer memory. But this is easy to determine. Just add up all your equipment and software purchases and divide by the number of jobs it was used for. If your annual expenditures are $5000 on equipment, computers and software, and you shoot 50 weddings, then you have $100 per wedding to account for in fixed costs. (but we all know that if you are shooting 50 weddings per year, your annual expenditures are much higher than $5000).

      So, let's see.... Per wedding cost for a one-lung photographer shooting 3000 images at 50 weddings. USD figures:

      $100 fixed equipment cost
      $1560 in time costs

      Per wedding cost for a photographer with a low-paid assistant or somebody who doesn't value their own time much:

      $100 fixed equipment cost
      $390 in time costs

      So, by trimming from 3000 pictures to 1000 pictures at each wedding would save you in time costs alone:

      $1040 (one-lunger without assistant)
      $260 (low-paid assistant)

      add all up, you get the point

      reply

      • Christine Tonge

        Christine Tonge

        05 February 2013 at 19:54 |
        Could you go over that again

        reply

  • Wedding Photographer Surrey

    Wedding Photographer Surrey

    05 February 2013 at 19:54 |
    We are thankful to you for sharing information with us. It's really very helpful post in the field of photography to make perfect photography following these rules.Thanks for sharing.
    Wedding Photographer Surrey

    reply

  • Megan

    Megan

    05 February 2013 at 19:55 |
    No only is this the worst advice known to man, but smoking whilst on the job at a wedding. How is that professional!

    reply

    • Derek

      Derek

      05 February 2013 at 19:55 |
      Well if you are a smoker then it would be unprofessional not to smoke. I don't think you should start smoking at a wedding if you have never tried it before

      reply

Leave a comment

You are commenting as guest.