wedding photography 101

Discussion in 'The Professional Gallery' started by hot shot, Jul 7, 2006.

  1. hot shot

    hot shot TPF Noob!

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    right guys have just come off the phone to a friend and some how ive been roped into doing the photography for his wedding, Ive never done this befor so what do i need to know and what kit would you advise.

    Cheers
     
  2. darin3200

    darin3200 TPF Noob!

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    What camera and lenses do you have now?
     
  3. danalec99

    danalec99 TPF Noob!

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    I'm moving it to the Portrait & Wedding section for more views and response.
     
  4. hot shot

    hot shot TPF Noob!

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    i have a 350d and a 25-80mm with a metz cl-45 mk1 flash.

    sorry danalec99
     
  5. Sharkbait

    Sharkbait TPF Noob!

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    Unless you plan on getting into the wedding photography business, your best bet is going to be to rent some equipment. Preferrably rent it at least once a few weeks before the wedding and practice with it, then again for the wedding.

    You'll want (minimum):
    • Another camera body (preferrably two)
    • Flashes for each body (I'd suggest the 580EX)
    • Wide lens for portraits (Canon's 24-70 is nice if you want zoom, otherwise the 24mm is great and what I use most often).
    • Zoom lens for distance work
    • Spare batteries for cameras and flashes
    • Lots of flash cards (we carry upwards of 20gig for an 8 hr wedding shoot)
    For your lenses, you don't want anything slower than an f/2.8. Ever. We shoot everything at f/2.8, and even so most of the time we're at ISO1000 or higher.

    Also, it may sound silly, but go shoot some sporting events. I use a lot of the same techniques shooting hockey as I do shooting weddings. You have to anticipate the shots before they happen, make sure your camera is set up for the correct lighting conditions, and be able to zoom and focus quickly so as not to miss the moments.

    Cheers,
    John
     
  6. hot shot

    hot shot TPF Noob!

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    plan to get a 30d between now and then as well as a wide angle 15mm and a new zoom maby the 20-200 L that canon do(if i can strech that far) plan to take my laptop so i will just keep backing up to that if i run out of space, as for a second flash i can nick my dads metz cl45 mk1. as for shooting sports events well i shoot the fastest cars on the planet (top fuel dragsters) so fast photos are my speciality (check the link)
     
  7. elsaspet

    elsaspet TPF Noob!

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    2 or 3 camera bodies, primes lenses 1.8 or under except for the 70-200 2.8 IS which is a must have item.
    Fast recycle flashes on at least two cameras, battery pack for at least one, at least 10 gigs in cards, spare batteries for cameras and flashes, remote slave if possible.
    That's pretty much the bare bones.
     
  8. pacereve

    pacereve TPF Noob!

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    don't wait for a great shot because in the end you won't have many pictures. Just keep shooting, be trigger finger happy. You'll get some great pictures of a wedding from just random shots. Still great to get lots of group poses too, but don't miss out on what goes behind the scenes...
     
  9. Soocom1

    Soocom1 TPF Noob!

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    Several items not related to equipment per sei:

    Scope out the place where the wedding will take place and get to know it intimately if you can. Practice where you will be at for the shots. Remember, the wedding is about THEM not you.

    One of the most important items is to find out WHO you are going to be answering too. The bride, Groom, mother of the bride, mother in law..who?
    Ask about who gets photos and who doesn't. One item I have run into is that guests ALWAYS ask for copies. Ask the bride and groom if this is OK with them.

    Consult with them about the style and manner of photos.
    Find out if they want photos of the rehearsal (if any), reception, bride arriving, couple departing, etc.

    You don't want to become a distraction. Try to set up a spot behind the alter if possible to get shots of the wedding party coming down the isle.

    Practice with the lighting that will be there, try to keep note of the white balance (if digital) or any filters needed (if film).

    Find out the colors of the wedding and get appropriate clothing. (rented or not.)

    Talk with the minister/priest/rabbi/cleric/ who ever to find out if flashes are allowed. (Many churches and other places wont allow flashes.) If so, get ready to shoot with a higher ISO setting.

    Find out about certain cultural issues. (i.e. if photographing certain people, items, parts of the ceremony etc.)

    Carry extra batteries, memory cards, etc. If you get a digital SLR, shoot RAW as much as possible. Then convert to jpeg. (Trust me on this one).

    WATCH it with any portable lighting. (Cords are great liability issues, and can be very tempting to a 4 year old.)

    DO NOT SHOOT UNDER COLORED TARPS!!!!!! When I worked in a photo lab, two guys showed up with rolls of film from a wedding. They had shot the majority of it under a green tarp. We wound up converting many of the photos to B&W as a result, and it saved the photos!

    Ask about B&W by the way, and look into posed shots of the following:
    Bride looking in the mirror, groom horsing around with his 'buds'. Family shots, etc.

    Go here:
    http://books.google.com/books?q=wedding+photography+books&ots=201TjpNRs4&sa=X&oi=print&ct=title

    Also go to the local book store and read. Then go to the local camera store and ask questions!!! Lots of questions. Yes several will try to dissuade you from doing, but DO NOT LISTEN to them. Any guests that try to get you to do certain things, remember you are answerable to the couple, not the guests.

    Weddings can be fun. But to reiterate! DO NOT MAKE IT ABOUT YOUR WORK! It is about the couple.

    Good luck and have fun.
     
  10. Reverend

    Reverend TPF Noob!

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    I think that there are some great points in this thread, but honestly, I've seen wedding photogs do a fabulous job with much less than what has been mentioned.

    As a bare minimum, I'd get or rent:
    your rebel body (you already have this)
    24-70 f/2.8L
    Canon 580EX flash (or the closest to this that you can afford)
    flash bracket (I find them useful, some find them cumbersome)
    lots o' batteries (both AA for flash and xtra camera batteries)
    lots o' storage (minimum of about 4 - 6 gigs)

    Nice to have, but not neccessary
    2nd camera body with flash
    70-200 f/2.8L
    10-22 or a fisheye
    prime lens with <= f/1.8

    All of this , of course, is IMHO
     
  11. hot shot

    hot shot TPF Noob!

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    cheers for all the great info guys the only thing im concered about the service is preformed in a open mosque, meaning the during the cerimony any body can walk in and use the building. it the metz cl45 mk1 a decent flash to use in this situation or should i hire something elts? anything im concered about is the fact that the bride and groom will be accross london before the event (the goom will be in lee valley while the bride iat hollow road area.

    What should i do??

    Thanks for the help
     
  12. Sharkbait

    Sharkbait TPF Noob!

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    If you've never shot with a bracket before, you don't want one on your first wedding. They're huge and heavy.
    Triple that if you shoot RAW (And shooting RAW is the safest route).
    And what happens if the camera locks up (Error 99, baybeee!) or he trips over a chair or dj extension cord and drops it? Quick run to wal-mart for a handful of disposables?
    Essential unless you plan on being within 8 feet of your couple the entire day.
    This I agree with. I'd love to have a fisheye, but I can't justify almost $500 for a lens that would see half a dozen shots (if that) per wedding.
    Again, the 50mm f/1.8 is not necessary. There are times when I'll go two or three weddings without pulling it from the bag. But at $80 it's a spectacular lens.
     

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