Recommended Gear for event photography?

Discussion in 'The Professional Gallery' started by uberben, Oct 12, 2005.

  1. uberben

    uberben TPF Noob!

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    I have been asked to shoot some weddings in the next year. All would be paying jobs so I want to do well by them. I currently have a 300d body, the kit lens, 50mm f/1.8, and a 28-105 f/3.4-4.5 lens. I also have a couple CF cards, a few spare batteries and a cheapo tripod. What are some things I should buy before hand. I already know I need a decent tripod and a nice flash. What do you guys recommend. My wife gave me a 2000 USD budget to work with.
     
  2. Alison

    Alison Swiss Army Friend Supporting Member

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    Flash for sure will be essential for both a fill outside and to light the reception hall. Depending on restrictions where the ceremony is you may want a longer range lens. My favorite lens for wedding ceremonies is the 70-200 2.8 because even when the church restricts photographers to behind the last pew I can still get some close ups and the 2.8 allows me to get low light shots if flash is restricted. You'll want to see if you can get or borrow a back up camera body. When we shoot we have the 10D, D70 and usually a film camera as well.

    Other essentials in our bags are:
    -Extra batteries (rechargables are a good bet)
    -15 minute charger if you go the rechargable route
    -lens cloth
    -Diffuser for the flash
    -If you have film camera for a backup bring at least 4 rolls of film

    Eventhough you didn't ask, I'll give some advice anyway ;)

    -Vist the locations before hand and talk with the official performing the ceremony to make sure you're on the same page
    -Take practice shots to test the lighting, make sure to ask whether the lights will be on/off during the ceremony, etc
    -Do a test run from house to church to reception and make sure you know the fastest way to get there
    -Have a list of photos that the bride/groom want for the day
    -Index cards work well as a guide to map out the order photos will be taken
    -Know their timeframes, how long will you have to take photos between the ceremony and reception
    -Talk to the DJ or band first thing when you get to the reception, ask the order of events and a time line for things like the dance, cake cutting, etc.

    I'm sure you'll get lots of advice, and see that we all do things a little differently ;)
     
  3. uberben

    uberben TPF Noob!

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    Thank you!!!

    I have access to my friends 300d as a backup as I need it. I have been looking the 70-200 2.8 and it looks like a great lens. People gave it rave reviews on fredmiranda.com . I'll try and find one at shop so i can try it out. What flash/diffuser do you recommend? Do you know of any lighting system kits? I know I have a lot to learn, but at least I have time on my side to practice with friends as models.
     
  4. Sharkbait

    Sharkbait TPF Noob!

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    For your body, I'd definitely go for the 580EX flash and a LightSphere II diffuser. That's the flash kit that I use and I'm very pleased with its results.
     
  5. DocFrankenstein

    DocFrankenstein Clinically Insane?

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  6. DocFrankenstein

    DocFrankenstein Clinically Insane?

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    You need to increase your budget.
    Second body
    10-12 gigs of flash
    2 flashes
    Lenses backing up each other
    A laptop/mobile storage device
    Flash bracket
    Studio light with an umbrella on a stand
    Wireless trigger

    You also need to know posing, psychology, write up a contract, face types and the ways to light them, know your way around a studio...

    Unless you wanna be a hack of course
     
  7. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    I'll second this. Add a flash bracket and off camera flash cord. I also like to carry the biggest mini softbox I can find (that will work with the flash). The Lightsphere II is best when bounced; you'll get more light out of the softbox when not bouncing.

    The Canon 85mm f/1.8 is an awesome lens, and not too expensive.
     
  8. uberben

    uberben TPF Noob!

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    In an ideal world that would be great. I have an understanding with my wife that I any money I make shooting pics or other side jobs goes into the buy more camera gear account. I want to make a checklist of things needed and just get them as budget allows. I do own a laptop for mobile storage needs.

    Thanks for the responses and keep them coming. I would rather be stunned and humbled by the gear i need then ignorant.

    And of course i'm not aiming toward "hackville" :lol:

    Thanks
     
  9. Alison

    Alison Swiss Army Friend Supporting Member

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    I think you've got a great plan! When I first started weddings I didn't have all the things I do now, and the results were still good! As long as you are upfront with the couple (and it sounds as though you have been!) then you'll be fine. My first few weddings I shot at a steep discount because I didn't have a portfolio to show and I didn't want to disappoint the couple if something went wrong. It's was nervewracking, but it's one of my favorite weddings that I've done! From everything you've posted and asked about I don't think you're in anyway heading toward hackville - far from it!

    I look forward to seeing the results from the weddings :D
     
  10. danalec99

    danalec99 TPF Noob!

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    -comfortable shoes
    -someone to guard your gear
    -water
    -energy bars
    -always have your flash cards on your body. everything else other than the images can be replaced

    -visit other wedding photography sites and study/observe how they do it (some links here)
    -try to mostly work in available light, ie, if that is what you like. but that would call for f2.8 or wider.
    -direct flash sucks. bounce it whenever you can (just make sure you dont break the flash while bouncing ;) )
    -the friendly groomsmen might offer you alchoholic drinks; politely refuse it. you don't want all the images to be blurry and call it pj, do you? ;)
    -after the wedding, take the backup of the images (CD/DVD) before you open it in your favourite image editing software
    -KISS - keep it simple and stupid. in the end its the images that matters. tool helps.

    Good luck!
     
  11. Sharkbait

    Sharkbait TPF Noob!

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    I can't emphasize that enough. My entire workflow is based around redundancy. Some of the huge selling points I emphasize when I meet with a couple revolve around the redundancy of our backup systems. We have over half a terabyte of digital storage on-site.

    After a wedding, I unload the CF cards to one hard drive, immediately back them up to two more hard drives, and burn a copy to DVD-ROM for the firesafe. I've never lost a single wedding image, and you have no idea how reassuring it is to a bride to hear that.
     
  12. Sharkbait

    Sharkbait TPF Noob!

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    Definitely
    Only if you plan on shooting everything in RAW
    I've gotten by with one, but two is definitely better
    I'd have at least two short lenses and at least one long
    Why?
    Yep, they come in handy. At the very least a sync-cord so you can hold the flash away from the camera.
    Can give great photos, but only if you plan on the emphasis of your photography being traditional, posed portraiture. I shoot a more interpretative/photojournalistic style and a big light setup would be a lot more cumbersome than its worth to me.
    Again, this depends on your style. Even though I'm a trained portraitist, my wedding style requires almost no posing ability.
    phD not required ;)
    download a couple from the internet and piece one together. Bases to make sure are covered are a deposit from the couple in event of cancellation, a coverage for you in case of image loss, a section on fees and additional shooting alotment, and coverage in case of equipment failure.
    That definitely helps, but it's relatively basic and also is going to depend on abient lighting at the event.
    Is the wedding going to be held in a studio? :scratch:
    Now that's just kind of rude. :thumbdown::???:
     

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