Wedding Photographers -- Need Advice!

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by WNK, Feb 4, 2008.

  1. WNK

    WNK TPF Noob!

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    I have some $$ set aside to buy new photography equipment, and am having trouble deciding what to get.

    I have a wedding scheduled for December (only my second as photographer, and the first one was very informal and completely outdoor, so a fairly easy shoot). So, which of these pieces of equipment do you think would be MORE essential for a wedding photographer?

    Option #1 - ultra wide angle lens... the more pricey of the two options, but I've found that sometimes my widest lens is just not quite wide enough for those "line-up-all-the-bridesmaids-and-groomsmen-on-the-church-steps" type photos.

    Option #2 - a flash... I avoid using my built-in flash at all costs; I don't like how it effects the end photo, but looking at an indoor, winter, (possibly evening) wedding, I'm very afraid that I'll need to use one. Any tips on choosing an addition flash (perhaps a Speedlite?)? Once I order it, I have months and months to get used to using it before the wedding, so I'm somewhat leaning towards getting this one before the wide-angle lens.

    Any advice would be appreciated!
     
  2. D-50

    D-50 TPF Noob!

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    Doing a wedding indoors without a flash would be a disaster. Get the flash 100%. A wide angle is nice but you can always take a step back.
     
  3. nicfargo

    nicfargo TPF Noob!

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    I would look at getting a speedlite and a battery pack (speeds up charge between flashes, and lets you go all night usually without changing batteries). Wide angle lenses are nice, but you can be a little creative and make shots work. If you don't have the lighting needed, you're pics will either need a high ISO (and become grainy), or they will just be too dark. I'd get a flash and some sort of diffusion/bouncing device to get rid of hard light on your subjects.
     
  4. WNK

    WNK TPF Noob!

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    Ah, great. The battery pack answers my next question ;)
    Any recommendation on what model Speedlite? Are there ones that are better suited for these type of indoor, church-lighting-type shots? The price difference between some of them are phenomenal; would I be fine with something like the 420EX? Or is the 480EG really so much better that I should just save my money and hope I can scrounge up enough for it? (or something in-between?)

    Thanks!
     
  5. Big Mike

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

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    Definitely get a flash...and hopefully you have a fast lens as well.

    I would recommend either the 430EX or the 580EXII (or the older 580EX would be fine). You can use an external battery pack with the 580EX but not with the 430EX. They are nice to have but a few sets of fresh batteries for the flash should be adequate.

    Another alternative might be the Sigma 500 Super.

    What about backup equipment? If you are going to be responsible for shooting a wedding, you will need at least two cameras, two flash units, and a couple lenses, either of which you could get by with, if the other dies on you.

    You might also want to think about something like a flash bracket, and you would need an off-shoe cord to go with that.
     
  6. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you are planning to shoot a wedding for money you need al the things you mentioned and more plus backups for everything. When I got into wedding photography he person I worked for would not even train me let alone give me weddings util I had 2 complete systems. For him I had to purchase 2 Bronica Etrsi's, 2 Metz 60 series flashes, 2 lenses etc.... at thie time I spent $5200 so if you are wanting to get into this do not tke it lightly. When I made the transition to digital I went out and spent $3500 (look in my sig for the list) and found out that I was woefully unprepared. I have done several weddings since then but feel like I need alot more before I think I can comfotably shoot another wedding. At the minimum I think I will need something like a D300 to use my 70s as a backup and then a fast wide lens plus another flash and more. I know this sounds daunting but this is not a game you are considering charging people so that you may document the most special day in most peoples lives. Taking a responisbility like this too lightly or going into it unprepared or withthe wrong gear can have dire consequences
     
  7. D-50

    D-50 TPF Noob!

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    two bodies and two flashes are a necessity. I would not say having two identical lenses is 100% necessary as long as you have a couple different lenses that work. If all you have is a 17 to 55 and 55 to 200 I would say you will need more. Be sure to have a 50mm. Also because of the low lighting do not get anything that is not 2.8. yeah its more expensive but if you're charging you'll make back that cost in a wedding or two. Be sure to bring a couple bakc up sets of batteries as well. A new set will give you a decent amount of shots but as you wear them out the recycle time is going to increase to a point where you cant wait. At that piont throw in a new set and save the old ones for when you can afford to wait 30 second to a minute for a recycle.
     
  8. Sclark

    Sclark TPF Noob!

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    Get a flash. I suggest the 580 EX. Also, get a Flip-It to put ontop of the flash. Get used to 'foofing' and using the flip-it for bounce light. Feel free to email us if you have questions that we can specifically answer for you.

    - Spencer Clark
    Anna and Spencer Photography - Atlanta Wedding Photographers
     
  9. WNK

    WNK TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for all the suggestions and recommendations... and yes, I do have two camera bodies, as well as extra lenses... just no flashes, since up until this point, I've had no need for any!
     
  10. THORHAMMER

    THORHAMMER TPF Noob!

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    I shoot canon, but I sure love my Nikon oldschool Sb flashes....

    waaay better than canons offerings in my opinion

    with all the mirrors in wedding halls, and IR from point and shooters cameras and flashes , the TTL is pretty much useless to me anyways.
     
  11. THORHAMMER

    THORHAMMER TPF Noob!

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    dont forget you can rent backup body, lens and flash for like 80 bucks total
     

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