Wedding Questions

Discussion in 'The Professional Gallery' started by Johnboy2978, Dec 11, 2006.

  1. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    So I have my first wedding coming up 12/29 which I am doing for free, partly b/c it's my first time, and partly b/c they are friends and on limited funds. I met with the pastor yesterday, who was very pleasant, and gave me some do's and don'ts which I suppose are pretty standard (no flash preferably, and feel free to move around during the procession, then try and stay seated) etc. But I have a few questions which I would appreciate comments on.

    First, I am thinking that it would be best to stay in Tv mode in a fast paced event like a wedding? I am mainly concerned with not having blurred images, so that seems better than full M mode where I would be juggling other settings.

    Second, I would like to try and get as many pics before the actual ceremony than having everyone hang around after and have their guests waiting. How much time to allot before the ceremony? They aren't asking for a lot of pics, just the usual B/G with his/her parents, then individually, then B/G with pastor, etc. Also they want some bride getting ready, garter pics, etc. If the ceremony starts at 5:30pm, would 4pm be reasonable to get this started?

    Do you all ever drag out like a strobe flash/umbrella or would you just use a combination of speedlite and church lighting for these pics?

    Finally, is it preferable to stay in the very back during the ceremony or get an aisle seat a few rows back and take pics as best you can? It's a small church (maybe 12-15 rows of pews) and I can pretty much cover the ceremony from the rear of the church with my 70-200mm 2.8 lens and tripod I think. That seems to make the most sense to me anyway having never done it.

    Opinions/comments certainly appreciated. Other questions to follow I'm sure.

    Thanks for any/all responses.
     
  2. newrmdmike

    newrmdmike TPF Noob!

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    i spend 1.5 hrs with bride and girls before, and 1 hr with groom and guys. then go straight to church, shoot ceremony up close and from rear, sides, etc. then i spend a minimum 45min. with bridal party between ceremony and reception.

    as far as lights go, i would be fine setting stuff up if i didn't move around so much. the stuff before hand i shoot with max lighting equip being off camera flash. during the ceremony i use nothing. and with the bridal party before reception i take them to various locations and don't have time for any equip. setup

    during the cer. i move around the outside, and even to the inside of aisles.
    i try to be on the middle aisle when the ceremony is done and get them walking towards me down the aisle. but really you can do it from the sides, or even from the altar.
     
  3. Big Mike

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

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    I'm not all that experience with weddings (yet) but here is my opinion anyway :D

    Yes, getting a sharp shot should be a priority...so always keep an eye on the shutter speed. Keeping it in Tv should work...as long as you are not flirting with your maximum aperture...because if you suddenly can't open up anymore...then what happens? Either the shot is underexposed...or the camera doesn't fire...and just blinks at you. At least if you keep it in Av...the shutter speed may get longer...but if you are steady...you can still pull off the shot.

    It really depends. If they are OK with taking the formals before...then that's great. A lot of people don't think it's right for them to see each other before the event. You are right though...there will probably be fewer people hanging around before...which is better for you. Especially if you don't have another location to take the bridal party to, for photos.

    One thing to keep in mind...is that photos quite often take longer than you, or anybody else thinks. If you do it before...you may end up waiting for someone who is more concerned about making it for the wedding at 5:30...than the photos at 4:00. Plus, if they want shots with relatives etc....they would all have to be there on time. Either way, try to schedule as much time as possible...because things will come up and steal your time. It's not a big deal if you finish the photos early...but if you don't have enough time...you are pouched.

    Around here...most weddings are scheduled so that there is a couple of hours after the ceremony, before the reception. Most of this time is dedicated for photos. It really helps to get the family and bridal party away from the guests...To a separate location. It sounds like you are doing the formals at the church...is the reception there as well? If not, maybe someone can send the guests to the reception to await the arrival of the B&G.

    Do what ever you need to do. If it's really dark...and the speedlite is the only real source of light...then the studio light would probably be better. But if your on-camera flash is only for fill...then that should do.

    It really depends on what they want...and how the ceremony plays out. If the official wants you out of the way...then stay to the back...or off to the sides. I don't know if sitting in one spot will work or not. I would pick out a few different locations...and quietly move between them. It's getting a bit late...but I would suggest watching another wedding in the same location with the same pastor. Just so you know the order of things...and when you will need to be in the right location. Getting a nice shot from the back is usually nice...but you/they may want some different options & angles.
     
  4. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thanks for the responses so far guys. To follow up on a few things, as far as the pics before the ceremony, they would be separate. They wanted some with the groom & his family, her family, then pastor, then have her w/ family. The ones of them together would be after the ceremony. I didn't make that too clear. But I would like to get as much of that out of the way before that I can. Only thing is that she is having her hair done at 2, so I'm not sure how much more time I can squeeze in there. Maybe I can get some w/ the groom earlier, say around 3? That will free me up to get some of her while she's getting ready.

    I think in this church, the only real option is to stay in the very back and shoot between the aisles.


    There aren't any other wedding planned at this church with this pastor, as it's a rather small community church. I am planning on going to the rehearsal to kind of get it in my head the flow of events though.
     
  5. Big Mike

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

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    It does make sense to get what you can get...before the wedding. From what I have found...the girls seeming take forever to get ready...and the guys wait until the last minute and then rush though it. Also, the girls getting ready are much more interesting...they get hair, make-up, dresses etc. They guy just put on a suit. I usually spend a lot of time with the girls...while they are getting ready...and then if there is time...I rush over to get a couple of the guys before the wedding.

    It sounds like things may be a little tight for time with the bride...depending on a few things. Hair appointment at 2:00 and then dress & make-up after that...could be tight for photo time. If you can get the groom to be ready at a nice early time...like 3:00...then that should help...but that may be easier said than done.

    I guess it depends on your style...and what they want...but I say...Just go with the flow. Be where you can and capture what you see. It's fun to have a lot of the extra things covered...but there really are only a few 'must have' shots for most wedding. Find out the most important things..and make those your top priority.

    The Bride with her parents before the wedding is a good one. The Groom's mother or somebody putting on his boutonniere. Then the ceremony & formals of course.

    Just be prepared and alert and you will do fine.
     
  6. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thanks for the tips Mike. You are always very helpful around the forum and I appreciate your words. Thanks to you also newrmdmike. Anyone else care to chime in?

    I think I'm more nervous than they are. I think I will encourage the 3:00 for the groom. Then also send back their list of wanted pics and have them prioritize it for me and we'll just do what we can do.

    I know this is all up to what they want to do, but in general, what is an average amt of time for pics between the ceremony and reception? The reception is just a short distance away from the church, probably 5 min drive. It seems like when I got married 12 years ago, it took about an hour or so. That sound about right?
     
  7. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    4 oclock will absoulutely be way too late to take all the pictures they want to take before thet ceremony especially if you are going to be in more than one location. Realize that with the ceremony starting at 5:30 you have to figure any photos you will be taking will have to be finished by at the latest 5:00 if not earlier it takes lots of time to line up and for everyone to get into their places. And, as was previously stated photos take waaaay longer than anyone anticipates figure that late bridesmaid or the bride who just takes too long getting dressed. Another thing if you are new at this no offense, but you will be taking a long time getting the pictures you want. If it were me I would be asking for at the latest 4:00 if not 3-3:30 jut to be on the safe side.
     
  8. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I agree JIP. The wedding party is going to consist of only a maid of honor and a best man, so it will be a small (thank God) party. The before pics are going to consist of bride with parents (together/separate), bride with pastor, bride alone, then the same for groom. In addition, some of her getting dressed, garter, etc.

    I just emailed her to see if the groom could be there at 3 so I could do his then hers. Hopefully, since they don't want grandparents, aunt bessie and uncle clem, and second cousin 6 x removed in separate shots, it should work out. Plus, as I said, it is a very small wedding party.

    Anybody spare a valium?
     
  9. newrmdmike

    newrmdmike TPF Noob!

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    haha, good luck man, and no, no valium.
     
  10. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well one thing is good if you are doing it for free they can't ask for a refund. Good luck
     
  11. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Also I don't think it is necesarry for the groom to be at the church that early if the bride is getting dressed at home yo u can go to her house first and shoot her then you can got to the church and shoot the groom. I had no idea the wedding party was this small you should have no problem getting everything done ontime and with only two women to wait for they should both be ready in ample time.
     

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