Shooting my first wedding - Help

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by burstintoflame81, Dec 16, 2009.

  1. burstintoflame81

    burstintoflame81 TPF Noob!

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    I am shooting a wedding for my sister in law for free. It is going to be a laidback wedding. I just wanted to toss this out here and ask everyone to give their #1 most important piece of advice they could give for a first time wedding shooter. Keep in mind that this will be slightly traditional but not overly formal. I will be shooting with a Canon T1i with a Sunpak PZ42X flash and I will probably mostly use my 50mm F/1.4 lense. I am going to order a grip and two extra batteries ( so I will have a total of 4 ) and will have 2 16gb cards with a few 2gb cards as a backup.
     
  2. inTempus

    inTempus TPF Noob!

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    You're in for an ear (eye) full over this subject. It gets beaten to death at least once a week.

    My advice? Find a professional and have them shoot it. Weddings are the most demanding photography gigs known to man (outside of being a combat photographer). You need nerves of steel, great people skills, lots of knowledge and lots of experience with a camera and associated gear.

    Screwing up someones wedding isn't cool, and it could likely land you in court. I don't care if they're family... ESPECIALLY family. Wedding photogs are the most sued professionals on the planet.

    My second peice of advice: If you insist on going threw with this shoot get a good contract from a competent lawyer. You're probably thinking "they're family, they'll forgive me if a screw a few shots up". Wrong. You need to do a little research on the net if you don't think a contract is important. I don't know how many horror stories I've read where family and friends sue their photog buddy/relative over screwed up wedding photos. Hell, you're better off screwing up a complete strangers wedding photos as you don't have to seem them every year at Christmas dinner.

    Get a pro or get a contract.

    Good luck, I know few people listen to this sound advice.
     
  3. T-town photographer

    T-town photographer TPF Noob!

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    :thumbup::thumbup::thumbup::thumbup::thumbup:

    Michael
     
  4. flyin-lowe

    flyin-lowe TPF Noob!

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    It won't take long to realize that if you are asking questions in this part of the forum you should not be the one photographing the wedding. It might not be a bad idea to follow the photographer around for the day and learn a thing or two but weddings are a different animal.
     
  5. clbd39

    clbd39 TPF Noob!

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    well looks like they covered it lol

    I recently had a friend ask me to shoot her wedding and I told her I don't think it's a good idea, and that was that

    I told her to hire someone she doesn't know personally but to make sure it's a sound photographer
     
  6. Scout

    Scout TPF Noob!

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    If you are going to do the wedding, I recommend getting a backup camera and lens. Would hate to see the camera get dropped (or anything else) at the beginning and miss the wedding!
     
  7. Darkhunter139

    Darkhunter139 TPF Noob!

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    How are they going to sue him if he does it for free....
     
  8. Aritay

    Aritay TPF Noob!

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    Have them hire a pro.

    Then you can roam at free, for free, and take candids. Surprise them afterwards with some nice candids.

    DO NOT BE THE PHOTOGRAPHER OF RECORD.
     
  9. chip

    chip TPF Noob!

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    you will need two persons to cover a wedding. Divide the coverage between the two of you. You should have two cameras apiece. You need one camera with a 24-70mm 2.8 and another with a 70-200mm 2.8. No time to change lens during the ceremony. You will also need a tripod.
     
  10. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Well, there's always a first time. MY best advice would be to abandon the idea of shooting the event with a 50mm lens on a crop-body Canon,and buy yourself a Sigma or Tamron 17- or 18-50mm f/2.8 zoom lens, and PRACTICE shooting with the lens indoors using the flash before the day.

    Honestly, I think you might be unprepared and unqualified to shoot the wedding--but hey....it happens all the time. Stay calm. Check the LCD periodically. KEEP THE ISO AT 400 INDOORS, and do not tempt the fates. Do not worry about ISO 100 quality being better than 400. Shoot EVERYTHING in RAW mode, as a CYA security measure. Stay calm. Realize that you as the official photographer,payed or not, can help stage and direct the action. On the cake-cutting shot, best man's toast,garter and bouquet toss, first dance, etc,etc, YOU must instruct the couple on what to do,and you must ensure that your shooting position is not interfered with by some guest with a camera. THINK about your shutter speed and do not let it get too slow.

    Make sure you have spare batteries for the flash,and a backup system would be really,really,really nice to have. Ideally, I would try to convince them to hire a professional, but these days, many "pro" wedding shooters are really just weekend warriors of very modest abilities. Oh, and no alcohol...
     
  11. DerekSalem

    DerekSalem TPF Noob!

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    There's absolutely nothing wrong with shooting a wedding on a "crop-body Canon". I know 2 men (actually my father and a friend's father) that have shot 20-30 weddings a piece (my dad's well over 50) on Canon's 40D/50D line. They both have a good selection of glass, but the point of discussion here is that both of those cameras are cropped frame.

    I'd definitely agree on as wide a zoom-lens as you can get, especially with a crop body (my father uses a 17-50mm f/2.8 Tamron as his base lens with another quick lens and an 18-200 f/3.5 for his zoom), but the full-frame is not a requirement.
     
  12. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 TPF Noob!

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    17-18mm isn't really that wide on a crop sensor. More like 10-12mm. I guess I should say it's not considered ultrawide like a 14mm would be on full frame.

    I wants me a FX camera just so I can use the 14-24, though I could use it on my body, i'd be paying a lot to use the center of the image... But that's off topic, hehe.

    How couldn't they? The fact that he's doing it for free won't matter if the bride is unhappy and wants to make him pay for it.
     

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