Request for Assistance – Wedding Photography

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by ShutterVan, Jan 2, 2018.

  1. zulu42

    zulu42 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Under identical circumstances, yes. I'd do it again. I couldn't say no to somebody close to me if there were absolutely no other option.
    I made it very clear. I would do my best, probably get a few shots, but promised them zero.
    Discuss the potential pitfalls. You could goof one setting and all the photos could be trash. Could it possibly affect your friendship?

    At the wedding I shot, the couple wanted a specific shot. light paint a heart with sparklers, then pose inside the heart for a kiss and pop a flash. I completely failed on that shot.
    Another nightmare that nearly ruined all my shots:
    I never change my capture settings on my camera. It's always raw+normal quality jpeg. When I imported the files from that wedding, I had no raw files! Only basic jpegs! Somehow the capture setting changed. It was terrible and I lost a lot of shots that were underexposed that could have been saved with raw files. The keepers were of barely printable quality and should have looked so much better!

    There's so much that can go wrong. So much unpredictable. And such an important moment and no do-overs!


     
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  2. ceemac

    ceemac TPF Noob!

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    Who was it that said "no good deed shall go unpunished "?
     
  3. ac12

    ac12 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Been there, kinda.
    My nephew and his fiance asked me a couple days before the wedding if I could shoot part of the wedding, as the pro was scheduled to leave at a certain time during the reception. It was me, or cell phone cameras.
    My flash was left at home, so all I had was the dinky pop-up flash. Oh well.
    I was not happy with the results, but they were.

    Tips:
    • Get and use an assistant. This is VERY important.
    • Make a list of ALL the shots to shoot. You will NEVER remember them.
      • They need to be clear on what shots they want.
      • They need to provide someone to tell you who is who, for that list of photos. And that person NEEDS to be the one to round up the people for the shots (usually the formals), not you.
      • The couple needs to make sure that the people in the formal know they need to stay for the pictures. There have been instances where one of the uncles/aunts left the church and headed for the reception, before the family formals were shot.
    • If you have not shot formals, LEARN and PRACTICE.
      • Posing people can be very difficult for some of us, like me.
    • PLAN the shoot. Shot by shot. What to take, were to be, where people will be, etc, etc.
      • Write this stuff down, you won't remember it all.
      • Your assistant needs to keep track of the shots.
    • Go to the rehearsal and really think about where people are and where you need to be for what shots.
      • If they don't have a wedding planner, you need to step in and help.
      • For me the timing of the couples walking down the church was important, so that they don't stack up, and you can get clear shots of the individual couples.
    • Go to the venue of the wedding and church to see what you have to deal with and how.
    • Do a full "dry run" shoot of EVERYTHING (wedding and reception) with them and a few friends, so you can practice where you need to be to get what shots. And to get a feel for what the timing will be like.
      • Practice the cake cutting and feeding; where you need to be, how they hold the knife and look at you, etc. I found that always difficult for me.
    • Depending on the church, you may be restricted to where you can be, how much you can move around during the ceremony, and if you can use a flash. Find out what these restrictions are, in advance, and plan how to deal with them.
    • If you have not used a flash, PRACTICE and PRACTICE some more. It is not as easy as some think it is.
      • Understand the limitations of the flash; recycle time, max number of quick consecutive shots, range, coverage angle, when you need to use flash exposure compensation, etc.
      • I told my future niece, I can only take ONE shot of her tossing the bouquet; toss, mid air, or catch. I discussed the issues, primarily that my flash could not recycle fast enough to get more than the one shot. She made her choice, the toss, and it worked.
      • But the garter toss was a bust. My nephew tossed before I was ready, and I barely got the catch.
      • Get a flash bracket to raise the flash. Cuz cleaning up 'red eye' after the fact, is a real PiA.
    • Since YOU are shooting the wedding for them, you cannot let other guests shove you aside. You need to be the camera in the correct location/angle to get the shot.
    Gud Luk
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
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  4. beagle100

    beagle100 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    ^^
    sounds like good advice
    (but I remembered the flash)
    www.flickr.com/photos/mmirrorless

     
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  5. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Don't do it.

    I think you have already accepted the job in your own mind.

    Some of the pitfalls:

    Loss of her friendship.
    Your own money spent on spare photo equipment and lighting.
    Your time in preparation, photos on the day, and editing.
    Have I mentioned that you will lose her friendship?

    Good luck!
     
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  6. ShutterVan

    ShutterVan TPF Noob!

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    [/QUOTE]. No is a complete sentence. Just say no. I've said yes, twice. Both times really regretted it. It's an incredible amount of work, both shooting and editing, and a lot of stress. Just say no. If they really want pictures, they will find a way to afford it.

    Now, I just say no.[/QUOTE]

    I'm definitely saying "No." I would do it as an absolute last resort but I haven't even talked to them about the wedding at all yet. Just have their initial request.
     
  7. ShutterVan

    ShutterVan TPF Noob!

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    I don't know what they are planning on spending on the wedding nor when the wedding will take place. I said wedding but meant to say engagement photos. And, the request centers around the fact that they truly don't have much money.

    I'm very reluctant on wedding and my thoughts are; anything more than a beach wedding where the expenses are a shoe string budget...I'm out and recommend a pro. I really think that most people don't know or understand all that is involved in shooting an event...especially a wedding. I find it pretty easy to say no regularly and the forum has been very good for reinforcing my thoughts. It's simply beyond my talent - and any good pictures would be luck mostly.
     
  8. ShutterVan

    ShutterVan TPF Noob!

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    That is awesome...I mean very awesome advice.
     
  9. ShutterVan

    ShutterVan TPF Noob!

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    AC12 - WoW, that is AWESOME and thank you so very much. As a matter of fact, I'm going to cut and past it into my photo file of important notes. Thank you again and again!
     
  10. ShutterVan

    ShutterVan TPF Noob!

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    Well, I always remember my grandmother saying it and have heard it may times from others. However, according to the Quora website: It was was said by (Clare Boothe Luce) as one of her several quotes,she was an American Dramatist [Born:April 10, 1903 - Died: October 9, 1987]. Although, according to the Goodreads website: It was Oscar Wilde. So as everything on the internet is always accurate and true -- I may never know.
     
  11. ShutterVan

    ShutterVan TPF Noob!

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    I haven't accepted it and the the Photo Forum has been excellent for helping me "frame" the problem. After reading AC12's post...I will do everything to try and get the couple to use a pro photographer. Good advice and I'm thankful that so many help look out for us Noobs. Photography has a wide spectrum and all to often goes under appreciated. It's allot more than another iPhone snap....
     
  12. TCampbell

    TCampbell Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    You’re going to need to sit them down and interview them to learn about the plan for the entire day and what they want.

    For example...

    Sometimes the photographer shows up at the ‘church’ (or whatever the venue is that they plan to use). But sometimes the photographer shows up in the morning somewhere else... the bride’s house... a beauty salon, etc. because the bride wants photos of her getting ready.

    At the church... most religious ceremonies will NOT let you use “flash” photography during the official part of the ceremony... that’s from the time the father “gives the bride away” (you stop using flash) until the officiant introduces them as a new couple and they are about to walk back down the aisle (you can use flash again).

    During the ceremony... no flash. This means you’ll need a good long low-focal ratio lens ... think 70-200mm f/2.8 so you can capture the exchange of rings, the first kiss, etc.

    Will they do formals and where will they be?

    If at the church... if they want any shot with the minister, get that first because the minister will probably leave quickly.
    Next up... shots of the parents (specifically any formals that include the parents of the bride). This is because these people are officially the “hosts” of the reception and they need to be released quickly so they can go greet guests at the reception.

    Find out if they have grandparents in attendance or other people whom they want photographed at the wedding venue (sometimes they want a family shot because weddings are often a bit like a family reunion with the number of people who will come in from out of town).

    Be ABSOLUTELY SURE to get GOOD shots of the bride in her dress... the WHOLE dress (no cropping these must be full length shots... you can do some half-shots (waist-up) for more detail). When I shoot weddings I do this ... the bride has dreamt about this day for years and spent a long time picking out the dress. But I’ve been to weddings where the photographer failed to get these shots and the brides were upset practically to tears because they had no shots of them wearing the dress .. and they’ll never wear that dress again.

    Where will the reception line be? Sometimes it’s at the wedding venue... sometimes it’s at the reception venue.

    How much time will there be between the wedding and the reception? Sometimes you can take them out to a location for shots before they show up at the reception ... if time permits.

    You’ll get shots of the wedding party “arriving” at the reception and entering the room.

    If you want any shots of tables & guests... the tables will look MUCH better before everyone eats. After everyone eats they’re a mess and you’ll want to clear the table if you plan to shoot a group seated around it.

    If there is a buffet line for food, then YOU need to insert yourself in line immediately after the wedding party... you need to be eating when they are eating. You need to be done when they are done (regardless of where you sit or if your table is called... do this.)

    There will likely be a toast by the best man & maiden of honor... you’ll need to get shots of that... preferably shots that have both the person toasting the bride & groom and they’re reactions.

    If you need to move people to compose the shot... that’s ok. I moved people all the time. I also moved furniture to create a better photographic composition all the time.

    There will likely be father/daughter dance as well as mother/groom dance. Make SURE you get those shots because they tend to be somewhat emotional.

    And of course there will be the bride & grooms first dance... which you’ll shoot... as well as the rest of the wedding party (which you’ll also shoot). The dance floor starts to get crowded at that point so half-shots of the wedding party are ok... but get full-length shots of the bride/groom, mother/groom, and father/bride dance shots.

    There may be a bouquet toss... place the bride where you want her on the dance floor and get everyone behind her. Grab a chair to stand on so you can get the bride, the bouquet, and the crowd behind reaching to catch the bouquet.
    If there’s a garter toss, then YOU should position the chair where you want it on the dance floor to get the best shots... and similarly position the guys behind the bride when the groom is ready to toss the garter.

    At modern weddings, the person who caught the garter might have to put it on the person who caught the bouquet. Those are just “fun” / less-serious shots that the bride might want as a memory.

    At some point during the evening (especially if this is a photogenic venue) you can steal the bride & groom away for 15-20 mins for shots.


    If you don’t own the right lenses, flash guns, etc. you can rent them... but set up the rental so gear arrives at least two days before the wedding (three would be even better) so that (a) you make sure it actually shows up and (b) works. The rental companies can quickly get replacements to you IF you leave a couple of days. If you arrange the rental to show up the day before the wedding and something goes wrong, there’s probably nothing they can do to get replacement gear to you fast enough.
     
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