Calling all Wedding Photographers

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by RainNotebook, Aug 31, 2008.

  1. RainNotebook

    RainNotebook TPF Noob!

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    I am going to be shooting an indoor wedding and I was wondering what you use to light a low light church. (I've been doing outdoor weddings) I'm willing to upgrade my equiptment to make the pictures look great but I need your help. I have a Canon Rebel EOS XT... and a speedlite 380ex flash.

    What do you use for a flash or strobe when you are taking your pictures? I'm looking at this camera flash bracket and think that this would work great. However it is so big and I don't want to be obnoxiously in the way. Or is that my only choice? If not what do you do in low light situations?

    I've never watched another wedding photographer at work and I don't know what aresenal they have.

    I really appreciate your help!
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2008
  2. NateWagner

    NateWagner TPF Noob!

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    well, I suppose it obviously depends on the rules of the church. I don't know if you already checked but many churches these days do not allow flashes used during the service. If that is the case here you'll probably just want to make sure you have speedy lenses (at least 2.8 or faster).

    If they do allow flash during service, I would probably go with (depending on your budget) a couple of Alien Bees 400's or 800's along with the obvious light stands and umbrellas.

    If you don't have a flash as of yet then obviously you would probably want one of those (if for no other reason than probably the reception etc.) and those you would need probably a 580ex. If you're doing weddings I would probably recommend having two of those, one obviously for backups (though the second could be say a 430ex or something to save a bit of money).

    I don't know anything about that kit... but it looks to me like especially having the lighting etc being held up like that would be quite awkward. But, who knows it may work.
     
  3. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I would definately inquire with the church about there rules before I walk in there without a backup plan. You would hate to go in there depending on a strobe setup and then have them tell you no flash. I will tell you though I can't imagine any church or couple for that matter would want you shooting off a couple of AB's in the middle of their ceremony. You should be OK with whatever Canon's top flash is as long as you have a fast lens. All the flash power in the world is not going to do you any good if all you have is a blown out subject with a black background. You are going to want to have a lens fast enough to expose someof the ambient light as well the flash is only part of the equation.
     
  4. RyanLilly

    RyanLilly No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well that bracket you posted is Huge! and It would be quite awkward to use that umbrella attachment. A 580ex would be the tops, but you could use a 430ex, I think that you will find your 380 to be a bit too weak. I you want a flash bracket, look around B&H for a flip type bracket, the pressT or ProT come to mind, because they let you hold the camera rather than the bracket, or if you want to spend some money, a Custom Bracket, rotating style is nice.
     
  5. NateWagner

    NateWagner TPF Noob!

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    yeah, I was thinking for the formals before the ceremony at first... don't know what I was thinking about the alien bees... that'd be really distracting... my bad on that one
     
  6. rlcphotos

    rlcphotos TPF Noob!

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    I have that bracket, its heavy and awkward to use,,sell it to you half price if you would like it
     
  7. RainNotebook

    RainNotebook TPF Noob!

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    lol I honestly don't know if I want it now. However I may be interested in it in the future if you could pm a pic and how much you want for it and I'll be able to think about it.



    Okay... here comes more questions. Well first of thank you all for your responses. After doing research on my two lenses I see that the lense speed is 1:3 obviously not the 2:8 that is highly recommended. Does anyone know of a source online that you can get a lense that fast (or faster) for a good price?

    I'm on a budget but at the same time it will be worth while to invest in something now. Also since I'm going to be investing in something like this what focal length do you suggest? Kind of a One size fits all. Especially because of the limitation of the distance the flash can go. (I've decided to upgrade to the 430ex)

    I REALLY appreciate all your help. I did convince the bride to do the poses as a local lake so I know that some of the shots will come out great!
     
  8. NateWagner

    NateWagner TPF Noob!

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    Well, before I go much farther who are you doing this wedding for? and have you done any or many of them in the past?

    I am a little confused... exactly what lens do you use with your xt? Is it the kit lens, the 18-55 3.5-5.6? or is it something else?

    Anyway, if I were to pick lenses for you to have... I would pick an 18-50ish range 2.8 from a third party (sigma or tamron) for about 300ish bucks. If you wanted something faster (which you may) you could get a prime, say a canon 50mm 1.8 for about 60-70 bucks on amazon.
     
  9. RainNotebook

    RainNotebook TPF Noob!

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    I'm doing this wedding for a client. This is the fourth wedding I've done
    however all the other ones have been outdoor weddings. The receptions have been indoors and I haven't been too pleased with the lighting in the pictures. I just want to make sure I have the proper equipment before the wedding so there is less post processing.

    The kit that came with my camera is a Canon EF-S 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6. And my other lense is a Sigma 70-300mm 1:4-5.6. Now I'm having a hard time understanding the lense speeds. I'm assuming a 2:8 is faster than my 1:3. Am I right? Or am I even looking at it right?
     
  10. RainNotebook

    RainNotebook TPF Noob!

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    Okay... I've been doing a little research online and I think I figured it out. The lens that has the largest apeture is fastest. So my lens opens up to only 3.5 apeture, so a 2.8 would be the apeture. If what I'm saying is true what does the #: mean? (example my lens is 1:3.5-5.6 what does the 1: mean?) And again if this is true [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Sigma-28-70mm-Aspherical-Aperture-Cameras/dp/tech-data/B000AYW00O/ref=de_a_smtd"]this lense [/ame]would work great.
     
  11. NateWagner

    NateWagner TPF Noob!

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    I am pretty sure that the 1:3.5 is pretty much another way of saying 3.5, I used to have that lens and I can assure you it is slower (meaning as you said it has a smaller max aperture) than say a 2.8 would.

    Also, your lens is a 3.5-5.6 which means that when it is at the 55mm range of a lens, it would be a full 2 stops slower than a 2.8 would, which would mean that your shutter speed on the 5.6 would be 1/4th the speed of the 2.8, or you would have to make it up by quadrupling the iso. (or doubling both the SS and the ISO). *edit, I just looked at the link you posted, and while it is a 2.8, it is only so at the lower range of the lens, you really want the lens to be 2.8 throughout the zoom range (basically the only number should be 2.8 rather than 2.8-4 or anything like that)*

    Here is where we come to the problem, you can get away with slower equipment being outdoors, because you'll rarely have to worry about shutter speeds (as long as it's in the morning or afternoon) but as you know indoors you won't really be able to get away with it any more. The problem is that your equipment, while fine for outdoors, is definitely not up to an indoor wedding, especially if they require no flash (which is quite likely). If you want any sort of zoom, you're looking at spending at least 300-400 for the 18-50 and then if you want the zoom you're looking at around 700 for the 70-200mm 2.8.

    The main thing I would be worried about is this. What happens if a piece of your equipment ceases to function while you're shooting the wedding? What happens if your xt dies? or your main lens goes out, or your flash stops working? In senior portraits or engagments you can reshoot the event, but with a wedding it's pretty much over after it happens. With this in mind I would say (and many will agree with me) that it is nearly imperative to have backups of what you will be using for the wedding. Going into a wedding (especially if you're the primary photographer) with just the one body and one lens of each range begs that if something happens (which does happen sometimes) to your equipment not only will you have lost photos from their day you will also lose the photographed memories from their most special day.

    I don't say this to be mean at all, what I am merely saying is that the equipment list you've listed seems to be lacking backups. And in the event that something were to happen, what would you do?
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2008
  12. Big Mike

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

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    Firstly, I agree that the bracket in the link is too big. With an umbrella, it would give you better light than an on-camera flash...but only marginally. If the church/room is suitable, then bouncing the flash off of the ceiling is the easiest way to give you nice light.

    It seems like you are starting to get a handle on lens designations...but I would hope that a paid wedding photographer would have a very good knowledge of their gear. This worries me a little bit. F2.8 zoom lenses are considered by many as a necessity for shooting weddings professionally...and it's quite common to have one or more prime (non zoom) lenses that are even 'faster'. Something with a max aperture of F1.8 or F1.4 or even F1.2. That's the type of lens you would need in a dark church if you are told that flash is not allowed.

    I would also suggest something in the 17-50mm range with a max aperture of F2.8. Canon makes the best option, the 17-55mm F2.8 IS, but it's rather expensive. Tamron and Sigma each make a similar lens for around $400-$500. I would also add a 50mm lens, either the F1.8 ($100) or the F1.4 ($300).

    I also have the same concerns that Nate mentioned...what about back up gear? It would be irresponsible for a paid wedding photographer to shoot a wedding without adequate backup gear.

    I don't want to sound too discouraging, we all have to start somewhere...but on the other hand, this is a wedding which is supposed to be a once in a lifetime event and your not having a professional level of gear is not a good excuse if things don't work out.
     

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