1st wedding - Need help


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May 24, 2006
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Next summer I have been asked by my sister to shoot her wedding, so I figure I should start researching some equipment & gear now. Currently I have a Kodak Z740 10X optical and I'm wondering if I should get a different camera.....any suggestions?? price range would be max 650CAD......any suggestions on using filters? I have the built in flash, but should i try to find a secondary flash?? I wedding is in August and I will be outdoors as well as the reception......I'm a total newb, so please explain in detail.
Outdoors in the afternoon is going to be a heck of a lot easier for you with that camera than an indoor church ceremony would be.

Without worrying about buying a whole new camera for just one event, I'd practice getting comfortable with what your camera can do in the type of daylight you'll be working with. Also experiment with the results you can get using the on camera flash as a fill flash. Practice, practice and practice posing people.

You have a whole year to get comfortable with everything you'll need to know and if you don't get there you still have time to tell her that she needs to hire someone. The only other thing to consider is to make sure you have a back up camera. The first wedding I did my camera died at the beginning of the reception, boy was I glad I'd brought along my old camera as a "just in case". You never know!
My first wedding i did while i was still in college (i was only just 17) and it was all on film so i brought my 2 cameras for colour and black and white. i was gutted when the one for b&w broke on me.

It was for my sisters mates wedding and they asked me becasuse they couldnt afford a proffessional. it was so hectic because they didnt do anything i asked and the church photos where ruined because they said i could use flash and on the day i found out i couldnt and they never gave me the list of poeple so i could shout everyone out so i had to rope in one of the best men to help me out. nightmare.. still came out with some superb photographs thankfully :)

i agree with summers, all you can do is practise and be prepared and always its good to have two cameras!
I have been wanting to get a nicer camera, so i think I might keep looking for a 1/2 decent point/shoot style camera.......I like the SLR but due to cost and some sporting events I attend they don't allow SLR type of camera's.

Here's a link to a sony I was thinking about......http://www.dpreview.com/news/0502/05021913sony_dsch1.asp

They have a 7MP that I'm also looking at....give me you options

Should I buy a fill flash and a filter set?? I was thinking about getting a mono pod for getting more stable shots, any thoughts?

My sister has very little money ad can't afford to hire a pro, so I hav more monay then her and would love to give her some great pictures, so I hope you guys don't mind me picking your brains for the next year and most likely longer.
Welcome to the forum.

Outdoors in the afternoon is going to be a heck of a lot easier for you with that camera
I agree, most point & shoot digitals will do much better in that situation than any other...however, there are still plenty of things that those cameras just can't do.

If you are thinking of getting a new digital camera, I would really suggest looking at the entry level DSLR models. The Canon Rebel XT or the Nikon D50 are the best ones. They are more expensive than a P&S digi-cam but they are 10 times the camera.

However, if you must, you can use what you have. As mentioned...practice, practice, practice.

Don't worry about a filter set, this is digital...the only filter you really need is a polarizer, which might be a good idea for outdoor shots.

Fill flash is not a kind of flash but a way to use your flash. Look it up and do some reading. If you have a camera with a hot-shoe, get an accessory flash and learn how to use it. The farther you get the flash from the lens, the better your photos will look.

If it's bright, you shouldn't need a monopod...it can tend to get in the way anyway.

Backup, backup, backup. Have two of everything, even if you have to beg borrow or steal. You can't just say sorry if your camera stops working or if you drop your flash. You have to be prepared for any number of problems that pop up.

Shooting a wedding can be tough...why do you think they charge so much? The standard advice is to convince them to hire someone with experience and then offer to shoot candids and other stuff. When it's all said and done, the photos will be more important than how the food tasted or how many flowers were there. This is not the area to skimp on. Having said that, if you think you can do it, then go for it. Research and practice as much as you can.

Good Luck.
As suggested already, it's very important to buy a flash unit that can mount onto your camera. Then learn to bounce the light off white walls or even the ceiling. You can even bounce the light from the flash off a piece of white cardstock rubberbanded to the flash like a visor. This is an absolute necessity if shooting indoors and you don't want those awful photos that have that flash white-outed look. Since we're in the digital age now, make sure you have a lot of memory with you and take photos like crazy!

oh no, I just realized your little Kodak camera doesn't have a hot-shoe
Whatever you decide to get, just make sure it shoots in extremely low light with minimized noise at super high ISOs. Also, in most venues I shoot, I am required to stand at the back of the cathedral, which can be pretty darn far back in some places. Make sure you can get sharp images from about 50-100 yards away, in low light.
I totally agree with Big Mike, and would also suggest at bare bones minimum the Canon XT. Another thing to consider is that most churches do not let you use flash at all. Some others only on procession/recession, so be prepared to shoot without flash. In that case you are going to need something with an AV mode so that you can get your ap down far enough to boost your shutter speed.
If flash isn't allowed, make sure you have a tripod with you. Remember, a Tripod can double as a monopod too if you only extend one leg.
They said that the wedding was going to be outdoors, so a dark church should not be a problem...but from the sounds of it, the wedding is a long way off...so the location may change...and of course if the weather does not cooperate, they may suddenly be in a dark cave somewhere.
Opps! Sorry. I didn't catch that Mike. Ok, outdoor weddings (at least what I have seen) are free for alls. A lot of times you can be just about anywhere. That will help a lot!
The wedding will be outdoors for sure, actually in my parents backyard with some beach shots......can you guys give some comments about the sony camera?? I like the point and shoot, but I do have a minolta SLR 35mm for back up.

I like the zoom of the sony and the cannon i would have to buy different lens as well......any other suggestions along the line of the sony.

What is a hot shoe?? i have the spot for another flash to be mounted ontop of my camera, is that it?? please explain I'm very new to this.....
officersdr said:
What is a hot shoe?? i have the spot for another flash to be mounted ontop of my camera, is that it?? please explain I'm very new to this.....
Yes Looks like this:

I don't think your camera has it.

Shooting weddings is tough, because you need both equipment and skill. If you're shooting digital, at the very least you need a DSLR and a flash on top of it... that's just for outdoor. Yes, you'll use the flash outdoor as fill light.

You can get D50 or Drebel. Order it from www.bhphoto.com and you'll only need the flash then.

For the flash I'd recommend a vivitar 285 or some other auto thyristor. It works OK as a fill outside if it has manual controls.

If I had your eqiupment and my skills, I'd just use the minolta and shoot the pictures on black and white film. It doesn't need require the flash as much and the photos won't be flat. That might be the best way for you.

If you decide to shoot black and white, get a lightmeter and measure the light to be sure the exposure is right... This way the bride and groom will have good negatives. The prints... depends on your labmonkeys. :lol:
You know, you might want to rethink this. It IS hard, and you do normally need a bunch of special equipment.
People told me this when I first started out, and I didn't listen and totally Fubared the whole thing. I was sick about it to the point that I was actually physically ill. It was a screw-up that I couldn't take back.
This is the most important day in people's live besides the birth of their children. You don't want to go in blind with a point and shoot. If that is the very last option they have, maybe, but as a friend I would try to find someone a little better set up to work for free to build a portfolio.
I'm not saying this in an uncaring way, but instead in a VERY caring way. If this is a friend of yours, you don't need that pressure, and they don't need to take this kind of chance. You can develoxe your skills in other ways until the time comes.
Please don't take this wrong. I just don't want you to face the kind of horror I did the first time around. It's massive responsibility. It's the toughest type of shooting I can think of besides sports. And it means the world to the couple.
this is for my sister and she wants me to do it......she has NO MONEY for this and it's a very simple wedding. She is unable to afford even a cheap photographer, so she insists on me doing it......I'm excitied to do it. She has told me that she is not expecting pro work, but she just wants someone with a 1/2 decent camera taking pictures rather than buying a bunch of disposables and has the guests do it.
If you're going to get a 1/2 decent camera but can't move up to a DSLR in price right now I seriously recommend you look at the Panasonic Lumix FZ-20 or FZ-30. Both have hot-shoe flash capabilities too.

Secondly, don't scratch the idea of giving disposables to the guests.. the more shots the better, even if 3/4's of the shots by the guests are crap, you may still get some good ones.

Not that I have experience but I think it's very important in Weddings to take as many shots as possible.

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