Advice for wedding photography.

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Garbz, Nov 9, 2006.

  1. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2003
    Messages:
    9,713
    Likes Received:
    203
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Ok, my aunt is getting married in Feb and she has nominated me as the official photographer. I wanted no part of it, but she has her hearts pretty set. Needless to say I'm scared out of my mind.

    Tomorrow I'm buying a Nikon D200, The 18-70mm AFS lens will come in early December, and I'm planning on buying a Nikon SB600 or SB800 flash units (but probably the former since it's half the price). I'll probably also get the battery pack attachment.

    What I am wondering is if anyone out there who has sucessfully photographed a wedding can give me any kind of hints, no matter how basic or advanced.

    Who do I concentrate on when photographing? Do I photograph just the wedding or the befores and afters as well? Is there some kind of etiquet when photographing in the church (I assume I'd need to get the ring on the finger, and the kiss)?
    How about lighting? Is it best to slightly fillflash even during the middle of the day? Better to stand close with a wide angle, or away with a narrow angle? When photographing single people how do the professionals or proametures crop the shot, torso up or full body (I guess this one depends on the case)?

    ... help.
     
  2. bitteraspects

    bitteraspects TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2005
    Messages:
    813
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    honolulu, hawaii
    normally id say DONT DO IT. if you have no experiance you usually dont want to tackle a wedding alone. but if it was by request of the bride, you cant really tell her no. all you can do is assure her you will try your best.
    your best bet is to go over a shotlist with the bride and groom, to see what they want. and as you will be the primary (or only) photographer, your main focus should be the ceremony highlites, and formals.
     
  3. Wolff

    Wolff TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Montana
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
  4. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Messages:
    3,019
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Pittsburgh PA
    Just shoot don't be afraid if she likes your photography she likes your photography and your style but one thing if you are going to spend all that money on a D200 why in the hell would you buy an SB600 instead of an 800 at that point the difference between the two in price should not mean much
     
  5. dewey

    dewey TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2006
    Messages:
    650
    Likes Received:
    29
    Location:
    The Space Coast of Florida
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    SB600 works fine... make sure you have a fast lens for the ceremony... say the 50mm 1.8 - it's amazing and it's like $100. My first wedding I was freaked out - just relax and don't think about the wedding think about capturing the moment - you'll do fine. :thumbup:
     
  6. Moose

    Moose TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2006
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    0
  7. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2004
    Messages:
    4,237
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Rochester, NY Velocity: Unknown
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Second that. Except I think you can tell her "no". Really, if she won't listen, it will be tough to say no, but it's better than facing her afterwards when things don't turn out.

    If you have a lot of photography experience, but you just haven't done weddings, I'd say go for it. But if you have equipment that's new to you (never a good idea for a wedding), you are unsure about lighting, and you haven't had exposure to the craziness of trying to be the main photographer of a wedding, I strongly suggest you pass. A lot of brides don't realize how much goes into getting a good set of photos. If you shoot regularly, a couple of months is enough time to get used to the camera, but the other things are a big deal. Do a search for other threads about starting wedding photography here.
     
  8. zx3guy2000

    zx3guy2000 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2006
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Ottawa
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
  9. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,821
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I agree with Mark. Wedding photography is one of the hardest things to pull off well...and if it doesn't turn out well...there could be a lot of hurt feelings. This isn't something that happens every day.

    I wouldn't even consider shooting an wedding without at least two cameras, two flashes and a couple of lenses. You need to have backup equipment...you can't just say "sorry, the camera wasn't working".

    Before I got into actual wedding photography, I had been asked several times to shoot people's weddings. I always said no...because I didn't have the equipment or the expertise. What I did do, was to offer to shoot all the supplemental stuff. I told them to hire a pro for the ceremony and formals...and I would be there to get the rest. It worked out great every time and I got a lot of good experience, without the stress and risk of being the hired pro.

    That being said...we all have to start somewhere...so if you feel that you can prepare well enough...then go for it. But remember...a wedding is no place to figure out what you are doing...do that before.
     
  10. uberben

    uberben TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2004
    Messages:
    651
    Likes Received:
    7
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    My first wedding was when I bailed out my brother in law who's photographer bailed on him 1 month before his wedding. I was terrified going into it, but I tell you..Preparation is KEY. Practice as much as you can with your flash and camera. Scope out the all the sites...and make sure you go around the same times so you can judge lighting and the location of the sun. You will also want to talk to the Pastor/officiate to see what is allowed at the ceremony. Things to ask about..Flash allowed? Where can you shoot and not shoot? Where have past photographers shot from? Get a fast prime lens and a fast walk around lens. Find out where you can rent gear. Camera's Fail, so rent extra stuff and if you can't afford a nice walk around lens, rent one....If you have a friend that wouldn't mind helping you pose people and track people down that is very helpfull. Bring lots of memory and shoot RAW+jpeg. You can salvage a lot of shots when you shoot RAW, and the + jpeg will make it easy to sort later. You'll need a ton of memory or a laptop/mobile hard drive to dump the photos. Since you'll have a new camera, Learn everything about the camera. Be able to shoot it in manual and comfortably change settings in the dark. Get an order of events broken down in 30 minute periods of time. Weddings never go as planned, but at least you'll be on time and ready to go. Also give her a list of typical photos and have her label ones she needs to have, ones she'd like to have, and ones she could care less about. that will give you an idea of where to focus. Since your shooting digital...Shoot shoot shoot. You never know when you'll capture something so unique. I typically take 3 shots for every posed photos, since people smirk, blink, check out your hot assistant. I do 10-12 hour days when I Shoot and its not hard for me to shoot around 1500+ photos. I never delete photos from memory cards and always back up my photos on my portable hard drive. You never know when something will go wrong so back it up when ever possible.

    Here is what I use as far as equipment:

    (2) Canon 20d's
    Tokina 12-24 f/4
    Canon ef 24-70 f/2.8 L
    Canon ef 70-200 f/2.8 IS L
    Canon ef 50 f/1.8
    canon 430ex
    canon 580ex
    8 canon camera batteries
    16 NiMH AA battery's for the flashes
    ( 8 ) 1 GB CF cards
    ( 3 ) 2 GB CF cards
    Wolverine 100 GB Portable storage device with built in memory card reader

    I had to rent the ef 70-200, the 580ex, and second 20d for my first wedding. it was well worth it. I borrowed lots of memory from anybody I knew and bought a bunch as well. I already had the portable hard drive. You will know right away if you can handle the crazyness of weddings and if you want to go forward with future ones. Good luck and feel free to PM me if you want any of the contract doc's I use to make things legit.


    My first wedding went amazing and I owe it mostly to getting all my ducks in a row.

    ~ Ben
     
  11. bitteraspects

    bitteraspects TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2005
    Messages:
    813
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    honolulu, hawaii
    true, you can say no. let her know shes better off going with a professional. i mean, it is only "the most important day of her life". what if you arent able to capture it? its not like you can just do a reshoot.
     
  12. uberben

    uberben TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2004
    Messages:
    651
    Likes Received:
    7
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit

Share This Page