Need help fast for a friend's wedding

Discussion in 'The Professional Gallery' started by PhotoFanatic, Jul 24, 2006.

  1. PhotoFanatic

    PhotoFanatic TPF Noob!

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    I'm shooting a friend wedding next week and this is my first attempt at wedding photography. I really don't want to screw it up so I need some quick tips regarding camera setting and such. I'm very new to photography so I need all the professional advice I can get. I need to know what camera setting do you use for the church ( in the morning right before noon), there will be some shot in church and outside. On top of that, there will be a reception later on in the evening, so what setting would be perfect for such a setting.

    I don't have a lot of money for the equipment but this is what I have to work with: Nikon D100, SB600 Speedlight, Nikon 50mm f/1.8, Nikon 24-50mm f/3.3. Thanks
     
  2. PhotoFanatic

    PhotoFanatic TPF Noob!

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    Just to reassure you, I'm not going to be the main and only photographer there. I'm just going to take some extra shot that the professional photographer might leave out.
     
  3. Mindii

    Mindii TPF Noob!

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    Ummmm...how familar are you with your camera? Because if your totally confident then I would suggest that you set your camera to one of the automatic modes or P....

    As you are not the official photographer you could aim for some candids of the happy couple and guests...
     
  4. PhotoFanatic

    PhotoFanatic TPF Noob!

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    That's exactly what I'm gonna do. I'm pretty familiar with my camera, but do not fully understand which setting as far as the combination of ISO and aperture to use.
     
  5. Alison

    Alison Swiss Army Friend Supporting Member

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    Go to the church around and practice beforehand. Every church has different lighting so it's impossible to advise you on what settings to use. Talk to the pastor/priest/offical to see what restrictions they have for flash use, most don't allow it so you'll need high ISO settings to get a good image.
     
  6. Big Mike

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

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    Asking what settings to use...is kind of like asking what you should cook for your supper. There is no correct answer...except to say that you should use settings to get a good exposure...but even that is subjective.

    Then there is the matter of style. Do you want to shoot with flash or without? Do you want shallow DOF or not?

    The avaliable light may limit what you can do so be prepared for anything.

    Usually, you want to keep the ISO as low as possible...but if you are shooting without flash and holding the camera in your hands then you really need to watch your shutter speed. If the shutter speed (reciprocal) is lower than your focal length...then you could bump up the ISO.

    I agree that if you are not sure, use Auto mode.
     
  7. elsaspet

    elsaspet TPF Noob!

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    What Big Mike said.
     
  8. elsaspet

    elsaspet TPF Noob!

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    Not pointing anyone out, but I've seen a whole bunch of threads lately saying, "Help, I'm shooting my first wedding and don't know...........(pick your poison- ISO, DOF, Manual or AV, Flash.......on and on an on and on).

    Now I hope new shooters don't get mad, but my answer to the above is 'IF YOU DON'T KNOW THE ANSWER............JUST DON'T DO IT"

    What beginner wedding shooters don't understand, is this is the hardest lighting you will ever encounter, and you can't drag in a bunch of alien bees. The people are moving....fast, and all the time, and you can't yell to them to stop and pose every five seconds. You can't drag them outside because the light in the church is too dark. You can't argue with the priest who says to shoot from the last pew of a football field Chapel with no flash. You can't use kit lenses, and you need to know ABSOLUTELY know when to switch your camera from AV to Manual. Forget about P mode, because you will be totally and utterly screwed.

    DO IT RIGHT. Do what every other pro photog on the planet did, and get yourself an apprenticeship. LEARN from the ground up, so when you have your first wedding, you aren't wandering around wondering what ap you need to shoot at in manual and with what shutter speed to get the back of the chapel shot with no flash.

    There are no redos here folks. None. Good luck getting the bride and groom to re-rent the church and reception venue because you missed the shots. If you are doing this for a friend, kiss your friend goodbye.

    I hope like I don't sound like a complete biatch, but there have been so many threads here lately asking for Urgent Help, or whatever, because all of a sudden they are trying to figure out how to shoot a wedding this very weekend.

    The reason for this tanty, is that I had my shots completely messed up. Now that I'm on the other side of the camera, I take this very seriously.

    If you don't know how...........................Don't do it. Period. Even if they can't afford a "real" photog. Even if you need the experience. Just don't.

    Rant over.
     
  9. Big Mike

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

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    I agree with that.

    This time of year, there are new posts like that every day. I usually try to start my advice with
    But that gets tiring...most of these people will probably not take that advice anyway.

    It frightens me to think about how many weddings are actually shot by complete amatures. There are certainly hundreds of posts like this everyday on the Internet...and there are probably 10 times that many people who don't even get so far as to ask questions on a forum.

    It would be ignorant to claim that all these amatures will do a terrible job...many of them probably do a very adequate job. A lot of pros will tell you that is how they started out...rather than shadowing a pro themselves. They probably don't know what they are getting into...but at least some of them do come asking for advice.

    The funny (& SAD) part (I think), is that the people that ask an amature to shoot their wedding...because they spent more on the decorations than photography...probably don't know the difference between great and mediocre photos. They will get a bunch of snapshots and be satisfied with that.

    For several years, this is what I have done when I would get asked to shoot a family member's wedding. I would decline and tell them to hire a pro, convince them if need be. Then I would offer to shoot all the supplemental stuff. Getting ready shots in the morning, candids at the wedding ceremony, & even the reception. Then they only have the pro for the ceremony and formal shots. This worked out great for me and I got plenty of experience without the pressure of being the hired pro.
     
  10. PhotoFanatic

    PhotoFanatic TPF Noob!

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    Thank you for all the constructive advices/criticisms. I believed that I did mention that I'm only shooting this for my own practice as I'm not the main/professional photographer at this wedding by all means.

    I thought this forum is for asking advices and discussion about photography that's why I asked. If I have someone to teach me then I wouldn't have to ask these silly questions that seem stupid to the PROFESSIONALS on this board.

    I'm a colledge Div I tennis player and I often go onto various tennis forums. When a new player ask me how to prepare for a match or how to hit the forehand, I wouldn't tell them to go spend $60 and hire a professional coach to teach them, or just don't play the match until he's ready. Don't you agree?
     
  11. elsaspet

    elsaspet TPF Noob!

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    I do agree, and that's why I stated this wasn't about you. I'm happy that a hired gun will be there.
    You will have a great time, and because the pressure won't be on you, you will have a chance to really play and experiment. That's the way it should be done.
     
  12. Jovian

    Jovian TPF Noob!

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    weddings are so tricky to do, as many people have stated, you really have to approach every one as a completely new situation, and find out what settings will work for you in that situation, getting you the result that you are looking for, if that makes any sense. It's tough, but it's one of those things you just have to do to really figure out, ya know?
     

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