My First Wedding-help

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by LynziMarie, Jun 26, 2008.

  1. LynziMarie

    LynziMarie TPF Noob!

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    I'm very nervous about doing this... I'm doing it completely for free and it's for one of my good friends, so I know they'll be happy even if I give them a bunch of...well... bad shots.

    But this is practice for me, and I'm treating it as if I am doing a professional shoot. I've given them a check list for what they do or don't want, I've made sure they know that I'm not a professional photographer so the results may or may not be what they're expecting.

    For the actual ceremony, where things are more slow paced, I'm going to manually do everything. But during the reception, for the candids, is it okay to use automatic to capture things as quickly as they happen?
    I'm just very new at doing things manually... I don't want to miss things because I couldn't get it focused right in time. I'm even worried about doing the actual ceremony on manual.

    I did do their engagements, and her bridals as well, and they were very pleased with what I got. I'm not, though, because both days were gloomy and cloudy... and rainy... and I got my external flash just a few days ago... :meh: so after those shots...

    Just as a side note, I'm doing this for them because
    A. Their funds are very tight, having five children between them, so they can't afford a pro.
    B. The bride wants to help me get as much practice as possible, so she's helping me by allowing me to do this.

    I've read through all I could find on here about this subject, and found it all very helpful!! But I didn't get quite as much info as I thought I would if I asked.
     
  2. Rachelsne

    Rachelsne TPF Noob!

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    dont use auto, you may get stuck with high noise pictures, I would use av if you have to.

    remember to adjust your ISO when changing enviroments-inside out

    Shoot Raw, you will have much more contol over fixing bad pics that way

    If the pictures suck, they will be disapointed even if they say they wont be, Weddings are important.

    Take your time, dont rush your self, and try to remain calm

    Of course I have never done a wedding so cant offer real advice :)
     
  3. LynziMarie

    LynziMarie TPF Noob!

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    oh yeah, I fully would expect them to be dissapointed! it's not like you can do it again so you can get better pictures of it! haha I mean you could, I guess....

    I'm pretty sure they won't 'suck' per se... and I'm actually pretty sure if they're in focus the couple will be fine with them. It's more doing it right and making sure they're the best I can do at this point that I'm most worried about. I want them to be happy with the shots, but neither of them know anything about photography, so they won't notice if this or that is blown out or if it's a little too soft... any of that stuff. Not like it's noticed here.

    Another thing I'm a little bit concerned about is taking shots of the actual ceremony... I am going to talk to the couple about this and find out where my boundaries are, but it sounds so... scary being a possible distraction to their wedding! Luckily, I've got my 18-200mm lens so I won't have to be in their face for closeups... but still... *shivers* hehe
     
  4. Rachelsne

    Rachelsne TPF Noob!

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    dont kust talk to the couple talk to the churchand the person doing the wedding-ometimes when you get married there is so many things to remember they may not know about boundries.-I say that from my getting married expereince lOL
     
  5. LynziMarie

    LynziMarie TPF Noob!

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    that's a good tip thanks!!

    they're getting married outside, so there's no one to really ask about the ceremony... however, I'll for sure see about the reception. That could be bad if you're getting good stuff and someone comes in with "flash photography is not allowed" GREAT moment I'm sure! hehe
     
  6. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    First, I am just a beginner and do not know anything about how to take good pictures in Wedding.

    But I am wondering if it is possible to find a place that similar to ceremony or the reception place and practice? Like what settings is best for such situation.

    Also, last time when I was at the book store, I found few books that talked about how to take good wedding photos.
     
  7. MDesigner

    MDesigner TPF Noob!

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    Dao has some great advice. I'm wondering, too, if it's possible to find a similar setting.. maybe take shots inside a church? I wonder if it's possible to crash a wedding and go right to the "official" photographer and tell him/her that you need practice.. you'll just take shots, and stay out of his/her way. Hmm.

    Besides that, I wanted to share some great advice I recently discovered:

    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/expose-right.shtml

    Shoot in RAW for sure, and as the article says.. expose to the right :) (without any highlight clipping of course) I have to say this is good advice. I've had situations where my exposures were in the middle or on the low end, and when you boost those shadows & darks, you get noise and posterization. Blech. On the other hand, however, I've had highlights that were ALMOST clipped, and pulling them down in Lightroom actually revealed full detail, no noise or artifacts.. totally awesome.

    Someone please tell me if I have no clue what I'm talking about.. I won't be offended. (I'm still a newb)
     
  8. LynziMarie

    LynziMarie TPF Noob!

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    those are good ideas!!
    I've actually just started an internship with a wedding photographer, so he's always on call if I need any help...
    unfortunately, my mom and I are in Philadelphia celebrating my birthday, so I haven't gotten to tag along on a wedding yet, and this wedding is the morning after we get back.

    thanks again for the advice everyone!!
     
  9. Mike30D

    Mike30D TPF Noob!

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    Take a deep breath....

    As long as the couple know your level of experience, you should be alright.

    Shoot manual during the ceremony. You should be able to use your flash during the processional and recessional. Crank your ISO up and use your FEC.

    Shoot manual at the reception. Crank your ISO up and use your Flash Exposure Compensation. All you'll have to worry about is how much FEC to use. Use a nice big f-stop and a shutterspeed that's fast enough just to freeze motion. If you're using Canon, use ETTL.

    If you're doing a lot of outdoor and indoor stuff it's easier to switch between manual and AV mode. Manual for the indoor and AV for the outdoor, just remember to change your ISO when you step outside.

    Don't be afraid to rent equipment, www.lensrentals.com is a good place to rent from. What's your biggest f-stop on your 18-200? You're gonna want something that's at least 2.8 for the ceremony only because most churches do not allow flash during the ceremony.

    Shoot RAW as someone already said.

    Make sure you have plenty of memory.

    As far as your boundaries go, talk to the officiant. You want to be stealthy during the ceremony and not up in everyone's business. I've seen it happen and it's ugly.

    These are things I have learned in my short wedding experience from the pro I've been working with. I too am still new at this. Good luck.

    For some good advice on using flash, check out http://planetneil.com/tangents/flash-photography-techniques/ Neil is a pro and is a member over at DWF.

    You might also sign up for a "start" account over at DWF. It's free and DWF is strictly focused on weddings.


    Now I'll probably get slammed for giving advice on wedding photography... oh well......
     
  10. RyanLilly

    RyanLilly No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    There is a sticky in the professional gallery. Read it.
     
  11. christopher walrath

    christopher walrath No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    OK. My advice is to CRUNCH Photography between now and then. Take thousands of pictures in TV, not AV. This way you can set your shutter speed above you lens focal length being used and prevent camera shake. If you are under exposure then get a GOOD tripod and shoot from there. You owe it to yourself to get better, a little more confident. No pressure, but, THERE ARE NO RETAKES AFTERWARDS. What you do is all that they will get.

    Now, practice. Get to know photography. Concentrate on exposure adjustments between shutter speed and aperture and ISO. Get to know your camera and equipment. And practice perfection. If you practice getting EVERY shot right the first time then when it counts it will feel a little more comfortable. I would also suggest shooting a smaller job for someone else, a reunion or some such. Fell a little less pressure where you have mroe time and get a taste of what it is like working when things HAVE TO WORK OUT.

    With digital you have the ability to preview and retake on the spot but it will go much more smoothly if you get good enough to shoot, preview, and you are looking at a great shot the first time around so you can move on and keep it flowing.

    Learn. Learn. Learn.
    Practice. Practice. Practice.

    You can do it. Just work hard so you can do it right. Good luck and ask any and all questions. We'll be here to help.
     
  12. christopher walrath

    christopher walrath No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Oh, and some actual advice about the wedding. Get as many shots before the ceremony as you can. Start with the guys before. Pick a good backdrop inside or outside. Get those shots. Maybe a pic of the groom making a run for it and all the groomsmen trying to hold him back. Get one of the Dad straightening the tie. Get one of the groom and the best man. Take pics of the ladies in the dressing room. Mom straightening the veil. Little girl photos are huge successes almost no matter what. Get a shot of the bride looking off to the side in front of a window or to the side with a reflection in the mirror.

    Before the ceremony, ask the minister for sure that he/she does not want flash photography during the ceremony. This way you are in with the Rev. Set up about five seats back on the aisle and get everyone coming down the aisle. Don't forget a pic on the groom's face the second he sees his bride. Then disappear to get some natural light shots from the back. You can restage the ring and the kiss later if you need to with flash. Then get every one coming back up. Skip the reception line, no one cares.

    No for the most tedious part for the family. The after ceremony portraits. I would get a game plan down. I always shoot the bride and groom first. Give them a minute by themselves while you are 'fiddling with gear'. They'll appreciate the break. Take them. Then bring up the bride's parents and grandparents if any present. Then bring up the groom's and get them all. Then dismiss the bride's and groom's only. Then let the family go. Get the girl's up there. Shoot them. Get the guys up there and shoot them all. Then let the girls sit down. Groomsmen only now. Then the four B, G, MH, BM. Then a few neat shots, the rings on hands on bride's lap or in front of bouwuet. B&G silhouette in front of a bright window or open sky. Meter the sky and hold that exposure and they will be blacked out for the sillhouette.

    Then on to the reception. First stop, the cake. Get it before anyone falls on it. Then hunt down the DJ and get the schedule so you will know where you need to be and when. Get all the events. Take too many candids. They will be appreciated. On the bouquet toss, stand in front of the bride and tell her to look at you after she throws it until she sees the flash. That way you can get it midair with her smile and everyone scrambling. Same for the garter. An embarassing shot of taking the garter is almost always in good taste and fondly remembered.

    ONE MAJOR THING. Insist that no one else take photos at the after ceremony portraits. Reason: waiting for everyone will slow it down and further agitate the B&G when all they want to do is get it over with.

    Good luck.
     

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