Would you shoot a wedding with this gear?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by ted_smith, Aug 23, 2008.

  1. ted_smith

    ted_smith TPF Noob!

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    Hi

    I am about to shoot my first wedding! It's a 'mates rates' affair wherein the couple weren't going to have a photographer at all due to funds. So I agreed to do it on the basis of them understanding I'm not a trained or even practiced wedding photographer. That said, I'm really reading up on what I need to do and things to make sure I get it right...anyway, that's another issue.

    What I've come to ask is this - my cameras are a Nikon D70s and a Nikon F80. My lenses are the Nikon 20mm 2.8 prime, 50mm 1.8 prime, 60mm 2.8 prime and 80-200mm 2.8 Zoom, a Manfrotto tripod with ball and socket adjustable quick release head and mono-pod option, and circular reflector\diffuser.

    In my view, while it's not the most professional gear, I think it will suffice. In 2005 the D70s was pretty much state of the art and the F80 was released in 2000 - I've read several threads dated back then wherein people used it satisfactorily for weddings. Lets face it, compared to a lot of the middle line cameras used 20 years ago I'm sure they're superb.

    I just wonder, does everyone else share my view or will I look like an idiot shooting a wedding with these? I have enquired about hire, but even a D200 is like £100 a day!

    Ted
     
  2. rub

    rub TPF Noob!

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    I know some people may say no, but considering the circumstances, I think you are fine. I am new to the business as well, and I have shot weddings with less (for friends - for free). They were in the same boat as your friends, if they couldnt find someone to do it free, it wouldnt be done at all.

    That being said, the best advice I can give you is that when it comes time for pictures, you are not a friend anymore. You are the one that is in charge, you have to direct people, you have to manage your time.

    I think that was the biggest eye opener for me. Time goes by EXTREMELY fast when you are working on a strict timeline. Be as prepared as possible. Try find a photographer friend, or even any friend to help out. When packing your gear around, those 2 extra hands are a great help.

    Also, be sure to organize what shots you MUST get. Talk with the couple -develop a list (there are some great ones posted on here already) and then manage your time so you can get everything in.

    With the last wedding I did, it was for friends. They approached me after the wedding, and said that they were so happy I took control and managedto round everyone up and direct them so well. (When really I was terrified and felt I was doing a crap job of it).

    Have confidence in what you do, know that they chose you because they like your style, and have fun!

    Good luck!
     
  3. Pure Captures

    Pure Captures TPF Noob!

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    Considering the circumstances, shoot your heart out. If you've never done wedding photographry before, find examples that you and the happy couple both like. Study them, determine what about the images makes them stand out, and emulate that success. I would reccommend practicing at the rehearsal as well. Researching, practicing and improving your shooting will make a bigger difference in the final product than any equipment upgrade ever could. Thrill them with your results (whatever the equipment) and maybe they'll pass the word along when you are shooting with nicer equipment and making bigger bucks doing it.
    That's how I see it anyhow.

    Matthew Block
    http://www.purecaptures.com
     
  4. KD5NRH

    KD5NRH TPF Noob!

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    If it can produce a good 8x10 print and has something approximating a normal (i.e. not fisheye, lensbaby, or 2400mm prime) lens, the camera can do just darn near any standard kind of photography. An expert with a 5MP PowerShot will turn out good wedding photos, while a piker with a 30MP Hasselblad might get lucky on one or two shots.

    The only thing I'd add to your gear would be a zoom that covers 18mm to as much as possible; you'll probably want some wider shots than 80mm will give, and using a prime with sneaker zoom will wear you out pretty quick.

    Many of the past masters of portrait and event photography would have pimped out their grandmothers to rabid weasels for your cameras. Grab a book, or just spend some time getting to know that little search box up there, and you'll do fine.

    Y'know, I keep hoping the next time this subject line pops up, it will be something a lot more unique:

    One word: ventilation.

    Sure; they're all dead now, but their work is still highly regarded.
     
  5. wxnut

    wxnut TPF Noob!

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    While this may be convienant to have a lens like this, its not a must. I shoot most of my weddings with the 70-200 2.8 from the back, or balcony. After I have a few good shots with that lens, I put my 14mm on and shoot a handfull of wide shots, then go back to the 70-200. There is almost always a 10 minute period where nothing is going on. Maybe when the pastor is giving a talk... To me, once you get a few wide shots of the alter area / whole inside of church, thats all you need. Get the 70-200 back on before the vows and you are set.

    Doug Raflik
     
  6. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You might find yourself a little short on lenses but really it is the photogrpher that matters. If you feel confident with the gear you have that is what is important. I shot weddings for 5 years with nothing but a 75mm lens when I was shooting medium format. Again what really matters is if you feel confident that you can shoot this wedding with the gear you have. If you don't have the abilities all the gear in the world is not going to help you.
     
  7. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Skip the magnesium; no church is going to allow it. Actually, just skip the 4x5. It doesn't impress anyone except the photo geeks in the audience, and then they'll be pestering you for the rest of the wedding, and keeping you from getting the job done. The B & G will be much more impressed if you get the portraits done quickly and painlessly. I've shot a 1/2 dozen weddings using 4x5, and what I learned is that there's a time and place for everything, and with a few exceptions, weddings really aren't the place for large format.
     
  8. John_Olexa

    John_Olexa No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Your 35mm gear will work nicely for ther deal you got going here.
    2 things
    1: go to the wedding rehearsal so you can see how it's going to go down. Talk to the preacher (or whoever) so you 2 are on the same page. Some don't like flash used at all.
    2: work with the DJ. Get him or her to let you know ahead of time what is happening next so you can be ready.

    Also other then the ceramony, during the reception if you have to say hold up a second for what ever reason, do so! So you are ready.
    A lot of time during the garter & flower toss part. They will stage the first one where the bride & groom stops short of really throwing there thing ( they'll stop at the point it's right above there head) so you can get a good shot then they do it for real the second time. Shoot that to of course. I'm sure you found plenty of site that will help you.
    you will do fine! :thumbup:
     
  9. ted_smith

    ted_smith TPF Noob!

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    Thanks all - I figured as much. Quality of the photographer, not his gear, being important seems to be the motto here I think.

    I am currently searching for a low priced F100 body, just to make my film capacity a bit better. I've read that they are the bees kneews in the film world, similar to the F5. So if I can get one of those I'll feel better. To upgrade my D70s is just too pricey. They even sell at around £250-£300 even now so getting a D200 or somethig is just too much for my meager budget.
     
  10. brileyphotog

    brileyphotog TPF Noob!

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    It actually sounds like you are all set except for one piece of key equipment - a Speedlight!
     
  11. Marnault

    Marnault TPF Noob!

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    I think you will be fine, you have two bodies, fast lenses covering the most important focal lengths would need to use the f80 with the 20mm for wide but it still works. Only thing you are missing is a flash gun, I would strongly suggest getting one as shooting the reception without can be very difficult.

    During the wedding day I would probably use the F80 with the 50mm and the D70 with the 80-200 and keep the 20mm in a pocket/pouch for when you need it. I would also try to get most of the shots on the D70, especially all the formals.
     

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