Shooting my first wedding!

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by natural.disaster, Jul 9, 2010.

  1. natural.disaster

    natural.disaster TPF Noob!

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    I have been ask to do a wedding July 17th. All i have is my camera with built in flash and a tripod. I ask the to have another photographer, even a family member with a backup digital or something...but it appears to be all on me. So i guess im going for it. No charge of course.
    I have a few questions for any of you who have done weddings....

    1. Pictures of the couple and wedding party will be done between ceremony and reception...Do couples usually do pre-wedding pictures in their wedding atire? Like all the wonderful outside shots i keep seeing on the net....Is that something i should offer? There will be no time after reception to do outdoor shots as it will be dark.

    2. How do i get around the church during the ceremony to shoot from different angles without people thinking im rude...Or should i just try to pick one spot that might be best? Or does the quality of the shots mean more than the opinions of family and friends?

    3. How do you balance gettting pics of the bride and groom while dressing and not miss any of the important shots like tying the tie and lacing the dress?

    4. Should i shoot all the quick shots in Auto mode? Will that ensure that they wont be totally out of focus or the exposure come out crappy? I dont want to miss anything while trying to change settings!

    5. Should i even attempt to use the tripod, and if so, when? During the ceremony?

    Im so nervous. I will be going to the church a couple of days ahead of time and to the rehearsal so i can get a feel for where everyone will be and when...and to take some test shots to see how they come out..Ive tried to talk to the couple about it all, but they just tell me to do the best i can and not worry. YEAH RIGHT!
     
  2. cfeldman10

    cfeldman10 TPF Noob!

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    hey there!
    I've never shot a wedding but attended one last week.
    Maybe I can answer some of your questions.

    1. Photos of couples (for example in the park) is usually done before getting to the venue. The photographer usually takes the couple to a location they scouted ahead, and takes the photos there. It's important to take it easy so the couple doesn't mess up their make up/attire.

    2. In my experiences (from attending weddings), it has been perfectly acceptable for the photographer to move around during the ceremony. You may be in someone's way for a few seconds but they will get over it. The couple would much rather have that memory then you taking bad photos in case you'd be in someone's way.
    The wedding I recently attended had 3 photographers. While the ceremony was taking pace they were up and down the aisle taking pictures. don't forget to also photograph the guests!

    3. Don't have an answer...just gotta keep on top of things. always be aware. Don't be scared to as someone to hold on for a second (for example when lacing the dress) so you can get a better shot.

    4. no idea what kinda camera you have or lens

    5. No to pripod (in my opinion). You should always be moving around. When you see a moment, capture it.

    Going to the church ahead of time is a great idea to get some of those settings just right.
     
  3. natural.disaster

    natural.disaster TPF Noob!

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    Thanks! The couple is pretty laid back and not going for the big fancy wedding. Maybe 100-150 guest. So maybe it wont be too bad lol.
    I was thinking no to the tripod as well. Id probably end up falling over it or soemething anyway. :)

    My camera is the Nikon D5000 with 18-55 & 55-200 lens....

    If i cant use the flash inside the church....what am i to do??? Im almost certain ill need to do something or they will come out too dark!
     
  4. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    1. The "Formals" as they're often called, are normally shot after the ceremony, but before the reception. This needs to be planned well ahead of time. Talk to the couple and find out what, if any posed shots they want, check locations, and have a back-up location in mind in case the weather doesn't play nice.

    2. VERY CAREFULLY! Scout the venue ahead of time, talk to the rector/verger/deacon and find out if photography will even be allowed and if flash is permitted (Photogaphy is normally permitted, flash only rarely). Find out exactly where in the church the ceremony will be held and spend a couple of hours practicing angles, exposures, etc.

    3. Find out what shorts are important to the couple. Ask them if they even want 'preparation' shots. The last two weddings I've done the couples have not been interested in them.

    4. NO! Aperture priority is the standard for most indoor wedding shots since you want shallow DoF.

    5. The tripod likely wouldn't even be allowed in church and would hamper your movements wayyyyyyyy too much. You may want to use it for the formals, but that's likely the only time.

    A few thoughts: Fast glass is almost essential for wedding photography. I would consider renting a 24-70 2.8 and 70-200 2.8 if you can; these are pretty much the standards.

    As I've mentioned, scout all the venues ahead of time, ask for the name of the either the wedding planner or the maid of honour and meet with him/her/them to discuss the ceremony, timings, locations, etc.

    Know exactly where and when all the various aspects will occur. Know how long it will take you to get from 'A' to 'B' to 'C' where to park etc. Make sure you have parking money handy.

    Clean all your gear the night before, format your memory cards, charge your batteries, know where everything is in your bag so you can grab it quickly.
     
  5. burstintoflame81

    burstintoflame81 TPF Noob!

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    Shoot on many small cards, not one large one, that way if one gets fried you do not lose all your shots. ( I know this from experience, so trust me, its the best advice I could give ) It was also given to me in these forums, and I didn't pay any mind to it.

    Also, you definately need to rent some Fast Glass. Its a MUST if this is indoors. Also, try to rent a second camera body to keep one long lens and one short lens. You will NOT have time to swap lenses as often. Also, during the actual ceremony your camera is probably going to be quite noisy as they do their vows. This is when you should use a longer lens and keep distance so not to be a distraction but still get your shots.

    Shoot in shutter priority mode to avoid getting blurred shots. The aperture will set automatically but depending on the length of lens, you can keep the shutter speed as low as you can while avoiding camera shake. If you don't have a fast lens, you will have to ramp up the ISO which leads to noisy pics.
     
  6. natural.disaster

    natural.disaster TPF Noob!

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    Uggg i doubt ill be able to rent a lens before the wedding. Still gotta buy an outfit and an extra battery...and im unemployed.....YIKES!
    So one vote for Aperture Priority, and one vote for Shutter Priority...
    Im so freaking out right now lol. Tonight i tried taking pics of my kids inside with the house lights and one umbrella light without the flash...not matter what my settings they turn out dark, grainy, redish, or all three...Unless i used Auto mode. So i have no idea what im doing wrong but i know i gotta fix it before the 17th!
    I know if i dont have a pretty fast shutter speed, im gonna blur every one picture...
     
  7. burstintoflame81

    burstintoflame81 TPF Noob!

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    Make sure ISO and white balance are on auto. Sounds like they aren't unless you are in Full Auto mode.
     
  8. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Okay, if you're stuck with slower glass, then you're stuck with slower glass. In that case the recommendation for shutter-priority might be best. For most of the ceremony, there's not a lot of fast movement, so you'll be able to use slower shutter speeds.

    First: Find out what the slowest shutter speed is at which you can safely hand-hold your camera and get a sharp shot. Typically it's around 1/60th. Don't forget as time goes on, you're going to get tired and you won't be as steady. A monopod might be of some help. As well, be sure that you shoot RAW+JPG; it'll eat up more memory, but in the long run, you'll be able to salvage a LOT more from a raw image than a .jpg, but you will need the .jpg to to help you sort things.

    If Auto is the mode that seems to work best, than use that; at the end of the day an okay picture is a LOT better than one that's too dark, missed focus, or whatever.

    Good luck!
     
  9. natural.disaster

    natural.disaster TPF Noob!

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    Double checked both...WB is Auto and ISO has Lo1,Lo0.7,Lo0.3,then 200-3200. I dont usually mess with it at night unless im using Auto because even with all the lights on its not bright in here....
    I guess ill spend a few hours at the church on rehearsal day trying to figure out what will work best in each area of the church.
    Im gonna try to do all the close up shots like rings, boquet, dress, etc before the ceremony...Then use other lens for ceremony. Formals will be done between ceremony and reception. We will have about a 30 minute time frame to work with...but the reception is just downstairs so its ok if we are a little behind.
    The bride has given me a list of about 80 poses she wants that she printed off line...so ive gone through them and made notes as to which ones can be done when and where and we have discussed it. But she's pretty much just leaving it all up to to decide what, when, and how...
     

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