Wedding Photography... HELP

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Goldeeno, Jan 9, 2008.

  1. Goldeeno

    Goldeeno TPF Noob!

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    Hi guys, didnt know where to post this really. Ive been asked to cover a wedding in August (2nd). They cant afford a photographer, and didnt really want one, but whats a wedding day without a few photos. Im a good friend of a friend, who is related, and hes asked if i wouldnt mind covering the day. Which im happy to do. Im still very new to photography, even more so Portrait and Wedding. Altho i have been to 2 now, but just as a member of the party, holding a camera.

    I just have a few questions really..
    1)Lens.. ive got a 10-20mm, 18-55, 55-200, 100-400, but wouldnt know which one is going to be best, i would guess the 18-55, and 55-200 in my pocket. Or is there a len recommendation.. something like a 18-150? I dunno.

    2) Ive looked around on the forum and found the shot guidelines so i know the key shots i want, but when shooting, do you shoot in Av mode most of the time, and if so, what kind of aperture is best for portrait, i would instinctivly go for about f8 -f11 if possible, lighting depending.

    3) Next one as regaurds above, i havent got a flash gun at the moment, is it gonna be worth my while getting one, i guess that would be a yes. But having never used a flash gun will i be able to pick it up ok?

    Any help greatly appreciated, this is just a one off for a friend, and dont really want to cover weddings, but i think the exsperiance is going to be great.

    Cheers
    Andrew
     
  2. Tighearnach

    Tighearnach TPF Noob!

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    Only a noob myself so cant offer a lot but there are lots of pros on here that will sort you out im sure.
    Anyway my two cents worth....

    1)
    I have seen the 17-50mm f/2.8mm lens mentioned quite a bit in relation to weddings. Canon have one arouind 1000US but Sigma and Tamron supposedly do cheaper good quality competitors. This would be similar to your kit lens but faster which might be important in lower light.

    Also bring all your lenses if you can as they are quite varied and will allow a wide variety of shots.
    If you can get your hands on a second body for a loan, do. That will lower the amount of time spent changing lenses.
    Also i have the 50mm f/1.8. Only 100 US or less. Great little lens which suits portrait shots on a cropped sensor.

    2)Aperture is prob gonna vary. Faster lens (lower f number) will give you more bokeh (blurred background) giving focus to the subject but again it will all depend type of shot u are going for. Group shots would prob benefit from higher aperture keeping all in focus....

    Best of luck......
     
  3. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    1) If you are doing outdoor shots... your 18-55mm will serve you fine but will be very limiting. Once you move into low-light or dim situations (inside a church for example), you are going to run into problems. There are good zooms out there with a max aperture of f2.8 but it will cost money. (a common wedding photogs choice is 24-70mm f2.8L) I also back the suggestion to at the very least get the 50mm f1.8 which is relatively inexpensive. IMO, you can pretty much shoot an entire wedding with just that lens BUT you'll have to be creative in terms of "foot zoom".

    2) Aperture choice is going to vary and greatly depend on how much light you have to work with. For large group shots, the lack of depth of field is going to be a big enemy (or else you'll have some part of the group in focus and others blurred). My suggestion is to use a tripod and use a reasonable stopped down aperture to increase DOF.

    3) A flash gun is almost going to be an absolute. I would suggest getting one (EX line to maintain E-ttl compatibility with your camera) and perhaps an off shoe cord. Practice well in advance to make sure you are not going to the wedding cold.

    * another suggestion that worked wonders at my wedding was to purchase a bunch of disposable (with flash) cameras and place them at the reception tables. Some of the most memorable pictures I have from my wedding was from people snapping photos of each other at the tables. They had fun shooting and we had the memories to keep.

    * Also... make sure their expectations are set. You are doing this as a favor and not as a professional. I've seen friendships break into heated arguments because expectations were not set properly.

    Good luck and let us know how it turns out.
     
  4. Big Mike

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

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    I agree with all that usayit has said.
     
  5. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Isn't it funny how friends and family place you in "photographer for hire" status once you decide to graduate from a P&S to a DSLR??? In a world full of P&S's, the big DSLR seems to make you stand out..... almost as if you are suddenly marketing yourself. Goes to show that successful business is 90% marketing.

    I could walk into a room with a Leica rangefinder and no one will even take notice.. hehehe lol Guess it looks like any other P&S.

    Just a random thought....


    thanks for the vote of confidence Mike. I was about to say "been there done that" but I figure it wouldn't help the poster much.
     
  6. Goldeeno

    Goldeeno TPF Noob!

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    Thanks "usayit" and "tighearnach" really good sound advice.
    I have made fully aware im no pro, and they understand that, which will of course affect the price, i know wedding photographers charge alot, and i know depending on the outcome of the photos. Any surgestions of a price, for covering the day, on a cheap scale, or should i just charge for the photos they wish to keep?
    I love the idea of disposable cameras, im gonna borrow that for sure if thats ok?
    I have confidence with my equipment and my skills, but any advice is great adive, so thanks for replying. Ive got till August so plenty of time, but im sure it will soon creep up.
     
  7. adolan20

    adolan20 TPF Noob!

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    If you're going to put disposable cameras on the reception tables, may I suggest springing for a brand name such as Kodak or Fuji and not some knockoff. At the lab where I work, wedding reception cameras are a nightmare, I'd rather refuse to do them. The pictures come out terrible if they come out at all. Just my 2 cents:)
     
  8. Mav

    Mav TPF Noob!

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    You have some appropriate lenses, but I'd suggest renting or borrowing a 2nd body, which will save you the trouble of having to switch lenses all the time. If you can rent a 24-70mm f/2.8 that'd be great too.

    Have your 10-22 on one body, a rented 24-70mm f/2.8 on another, and use your 100-400 IS for the long shots and portraits is what I'd do. Also, do you have an external flash? Will definitely come in handy.
     
  9. nicfargo

    nicfargo TPF Noob!

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    I second Mav's comment about renting/borrowing a second body. First rule of photography is that St. Murphy is the patron saint of photography (Murphy's law, if it can go wrong it probably will). Inside your kit lens is going to be worthless without flash, which you said you don't have. I'd get one for sure. At minimum I'd get a 430ex, at best a 580ex II. Also, a 50mm 1.8 is a great lens. I did a lot of pics with it at my sister's wedding last summer and the shots turned out great. I now use a 24-70 f/2.8 L and a 70-200 f/2.8 L for my weddings...comparatively the L lenses are superior, but if they don't see shots with both lenses next to each other, they'll never know the difference.
     
  10. jotan82

    jotan82 TPF Noob!

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    one lens that i recommend is 28-135 IS USM. wide focal range, OK aperture. i shot a couple with this lens. i used two 580ex's for the big shots.
     
  11. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The biggest waste of money in weddings I think has to be disposable cameras on the tables at the reception. I have to agree here working ay Ritz I have seen so much crap coming from these cameras when they are used at all. Alot of times whe I have shot weddings I have felt obligated to try and push people to use the cameras on their tables otherwise the couple migh tpay all kinds of money for a bunch of cameras with 2 pictures on them. Ant the wors part is the MONEY!!! my god the hundreds of dollars these cameras cost to develop to end up with garbage. Now as far as you charging them I guess it depends on how close they are to you. If they are close friends or relatives you should do it for free and hope for the best. If they are just acquaintances you should run away and not do it. Weddings are too tricky to charge them and end up losing them as a friend/close relative because you charged them and they expectd professional results because you did. Finally, if you go with the glass you have you absolutely NEED!! to pick up a flash or you will not be able to get any useable images of the ceremony. As light as a church might look it is dark and th light needs to supplimenteo or you need a fast lens. I do agree with the people who have suggested you try and rent some good glass and mabye a decent body if you can afford it but glass is much more important.
     
  12. Goldeeno

    Goldeeno TPF Noob!

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    Cool, yeah a flash is on the cards anyway, and i was thinking the speedlite 430EX, value for money, its half the price of a 580 EX II.
    Ok so for all the people who have surrgested renting kit, where are good places?
     

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