going to do a wedding

nsupanda

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I'm shooting my sister's wedding in December. I'm pretty sure it's all going to be indoors. I consider myself to be a beginner and I don't have experience with different types of lenses.... does anyone have any suggestions? I plan on renting a couple of lenses before the shoot to try them out to see which ones I like. I am looking for a wide angle lens for sure.

Please don't badger me about, "Why are you shooting a wedding, leave that up to the pros". I have already discussed with my sister that I am not a professional, but she still wants me to do it. This will be my third wedding, so give me a break.

Anyway, I have the Canon Xsi kit lens and the 50 mm 1.8 already. Which lenses do you suggest that I try out?

Thanks in advance for useful information!
 

Jeremy Z

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If you have shot 2 weddings before, and you sister has seen the results, I'd say she knows what she's getting into. (normally, I wouldn't recommend that a self-declared beginner tackle a wedding)

From my wedding experience, a top quality flash will be more important than additional lenses. You've got the two best basic lenses for wedding photography, IMO. Just make sure the kit lens goes down to an equivalent 28mm, so you can fit everyone in the groups shots.

Also very important in a wedding is to have back-up equipment. A spare body and memory is potentially much more valuable than a lens you may or may not need. I don't know about you, but I would feel REALLY bad if I screwed up my sister's wedding because my body stopped working and I didn't have back-up. ;)

A good tripod is also an excellent investment, if you don't have one. It makes low-light portraits possible without flash and without having to go up in sensitivity.

Here's something you maybe didn't consider. I'm thick, so my wife had to point it out to me, but if you're the photographer, you won't be enjoying the wedding nearly as much as if you were a guest. You're there to work, and you're looking at it from a different perspective than that of a guest. You're looking for shots, not to have fun & socialize. Is that OK with you and your spouse? It wasn't OK with my wife at my friends' wedding. I ran around taking pictures and she sat there, knowing no one and not really having fun.
 
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nsupanda

nsupanda

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From my wedding experience, a top quality flash will be more important than additional lenses. You've got the two best basic lenses for wedding photography, IMO. Just make sure the kit lens goes down to an equivalent 28mm, so you can fit everyone in the groups shots.

Here's something you maybe didn't consider. I'm thick, so my wife had to point it out to me, but if you're the photographer, you won't be enjoying the wedding nearly as much as if you were a guest. You're there to work, and you're looking at it from a different perspective than that of a guest. You're looking for shots, not to have fun & socialize. Is that OK with you and your spouse? It wasn't OK with my wife at my friends' wedding. I ran around taking pictures and she sat there, knowing no one and not really having fun.


I forgot to ask about the flash!! I have NO experience with flashes, can you suggest a good one so that I can practice?

The whole social thing isn't for me anyway. I would rather take pictures. :) I'll be fine!
 

Big Mike

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If it's going to be indoors, then I also suggest getting a flash (don't even thing about using the built-in flash). The Canon 430EX would be a good choice (the 580EX would be better, but is a lot more expensive). Hopefully the location will allow you to bounce the flash off of the ceiling, as this is usually the easiest way to get good lighting with your flash.

As for lenses, 'fast' (large max aperture) lenses are usually beneficial when shooting a wedding. So the 50mm F1.8 is good, the kit lens...not so good. I'd suggest something like the Canon 17-55mm F2.8 IS (or the Tamron 17-50mm F2.8 or Sigma 18-50mm F2.8). You might want to add a telephoto lens like the 85mm F1.8 or a 70-200mm F2.8.

As mentioned, backup gear is very important. Your sister knows that you aren't professional but likes your photos...that's all well and good....but an important difference between most pros and amateurs, is that pros are prepared to get the job done, even if their primary gear craps out on them. Will you be able to carry on if something breaks or stops working for some unknown reason? Camera, flash, lens, batteries, memory cards etc...they can all mess you up.
 

Jeremy Z

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Get a bounce flash. If it is Canon, it will be one of the higher-end, more costly flashes. I bought the top-of-the-line Pentax flash for mine; I think it was $300 or more, but worth it. Even if your wedding venue doesn't have white ceilings that you can bounce off of, you will find uses for it elsewhere. In the meantime, you will appreciate the fast cycle time, TTL metering, etc.
 
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nsupanda

nsupanda

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Just made an impulse buy! I had a large B&H credit I just decided to spend a little bit extra and I bought the 580x II. Now I will have plenty of time to practice with indoor lighting (most or all of my photographs take place outdoors).
 

Big Mike

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Just made an impulse buy! I had a large B&H credit I just decided to spend a little bit extra and I bought the 580x II. Now I will have plenty of time to practice with indoor lighting (most or all of my photographs take place outdoors).
Congrats.

Don't discount using flash outdoors. When shooting people, I often use flash when shooting outdoors. The sun is most often overhead, which causes dark shadows in areas like people's eyes. Using flash can brighten up those shadows and make for much better outdoor portraits.
 
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nsupanda

nsupanda

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Yeah, I took some pics of my daughter at about 12:00 noon and the shadows were so harsh from the sun but the flash on my camera was too harsh too. I also bought a diffuser to attach to the flash, it was about $15. Do you ever use that?
 
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nsupanda

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nsupanda

nsupanda

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Oh, I guess if I read the link you posted I would understand what you're talking about. Thanks for that, I appreciate it!!!
 

farmerj

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Oh, I guess if I read the link you posted I would understand what you're talking about. Thanks for that, I appreciate it!!!


eeh , fugedabudit.
 

Dylan-Fishman

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I really like the layout of your website :D.

I would recommend renting or buying a lens in the 85-100 range. So you can get some good headshots during the wedding.
 
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nsupanda

nsupanda

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Thanks! I am writing down all your lens suggestions, I really appreciate it!
 

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