shooting inside a church!

Bellezzo

TPF Noob!
Joined
Apr 14, 2012
Messages
88
Reaction score
6
Location
Denmark
Website
www.menexenus.blogspot.dk
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
hello everybody!

i've just been asked to come and get just a few pictures by a small wedding which i'm really excited about since i haven't been offered many jobs yet!
- but, since the ceremony is inside the church, i'm a bit anxious about the lightning! i don't use any flash and don't own anything like that either, but can you give me any tips on shooting inside the church without it? without any lightning set ups etc. because i don't have any of it and i don't have neither time or money to get it, haha! i prefer to do it without it too, no matter how unprofessional it may seem, haha.

any other tips on shooting weddings for one of the first times are welcome as well! :)


katrine
 

Dao

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Mar 24, 2008
Messages
6,426
Reaction score
462
Location
St. Louis
It is all about light. If inside of the church is kind of dark at the time of the ceremony, you just have to shoot with wider aperture and higher ISO (assuming digital). If there is still not enough light to have a properly exposed photo, then you really need to add artificial light.
 

pixmedic

I am the Lord thy Mod
Staff member
Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2012
Messages
15,385
Reaction score
7,657
Location
Central Florida
Website
www.flickr.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
flash during the ceremony isnt always allowed in a church anyway, although we use flash for the formal portraits in the church AFTER the ceremony.
depending on how low lit it is, you will have to use a combination of fast glass and ISO.
the aperture -vs- ISO settings will depend on several factors:
the actual light that is available
how large an aperture your lens has (and how much adjusting you will need to get the DOF you want/need)
how high an ISO your camera will handle.

in order to make any of that work, you will have to have an understanding of proper exposure and metering. (either in camera, or with a handheld meter...I use in camera spot metering)
assuming you understand the exposure triangle, its just a matter of setting your lens to the largest aperture setting that will get you the DOF you want/need, and if you are still underexposed, setting the ISO to compensate at a level that your camera can handle without excessive noise.
 

crimbfighter

TPF Supporters
Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2010
Messages
2,056
Reaction score
1,376
Location
Wisconsin, United States
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Along with the suggestions already mentioned, I would take a day trip to the church, at least a few days before the wedding, at about the same time of day the ceremony will take place, and take some test shots. See how your equipment handles the light level, and get exposure samples so on the day of, you already have a good idea of what camera settings you'll be working with. It might also help you test out some areas to get your photos from, different angles, ect. Heck, even bring someone with you to act as a stand in for the bride and groom. The day of is NOT the time to be figuring out that your anticipated camera settings are all wrong.. Like any job, doing your homework on the location can pay dividends.
 

tirediron

Watch the Birdy!
Staff member
Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 8, 2005
Messages
45,747
Reaction score
14,804
Location
Victoria, BC
Website
www.johnsphotography.ca
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Fast glass (2.8 or better) and at least a "semi-pro" body capable of rendering high-ISO images relatively noise-free is the only way.
 

bratkinson

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Dec 4, 2011
Messages
1,643
Reaction score
318
Location
Western MA
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Fast glass (2.8 or better) and at least a "semi-pro" body capable of rendering high-ISO images relatively noise-free is the only way.

+1 to that!

I've spent several years learning and remedying the ins and outs of in-church photography without the use of flash. Fortunately, it's the church where I am member, and they've never had a problem when I (or anyone else)uses flash.

It all comes down to the exposure triangle. You will be 'pushing' your equipment and skills to the maximum. Obviously, one absolute requirement is 'fast glass', f2.8 and faster (smaller f stop numbers). But shooting that wide open results in narrower depth of field, which can be increased simply by moving further back. If you end up shooting 'wider' than you want in the picture, it's easy to crop out the excess in post processing...if you have 16mp or more to start with. Lower than that, you'll have to limit your cropping to keep 'enough' pixels to keep a good, clear image.

Depending on your camera, you'll need to be setting the ISO as fast as possible without too much noise in the picture. What 'too much' is depends on your own tastes. If you haven't already determined what your highest acceptable ISO speeds are, you definitely need to do so BEFORE the wedding.

Fast glass, fast ISO, what else? Fast shutter speeds, too! Although there are times I've shot with shutter speeds as slow as 1/10th, at those speeds, the non-blur keeper rate is less than 1 in 25!...or worse! Shooting at 1/30 improves the non-blur rate to about 1 in 15, or a bit better. At 1/60th, if the subject (bride and groom) are reasonably motionless, the no blur rate is about 1/5. Even at that speed with a 1 in 5 'success' rate, would you be willing to 'risk' the 'kiss the bride' shot? I didn't think so. But if ISO and aperture are already at your 'limits', you won't have a choice. If you can shoot at faster shutter speeds, then do so. But don't forget that the wider-open the lens, the narrower the depth of field! Ideally, shutter speeds of 1/125 or 1/250 will stop subject (and camera) motion blur. But unless you can comfortably shoot ISO 6400, those shutter speeds are quite unlikely.

And since you are taking pictures of moving subjects (even their breathing is movement), be sure to use the AI Servo auto-focus setting so the camera tracks their moving. Nikon has some other name for it. I used to think that one-shot auto-focus was workable, but it turned out to be responsible for a large percentage of my subject motion-blurred images. Switching to AI Servo made a major improvement in reducing subject blur.

Additonally, the non-blur issue is affected by camera shake at low shutter speeds. That's why image stabilization is required at those speeds..IS/VR/whatever. That will reduce camera shake issues. If you can, I strongly recommend a monopod with a swivel head. That will add even more camera stability, thereby reducing blurred shots. Monopod heads are designed to move in on plane of movement only. I prefer a ball head on mine, as I am often leaning against a wall or pillar for added stability, resulting in the camera and monopod angled upward as a result. The ball head makes correcting that very easy to do.

Lastly, depending on your post processing skills, you can under-expose slightly and correct it in post processing. I'm thinking about 1/2 a stop. You may lose some darker details, but in my mind, that's still better than losing the shot. And, if you have to, cranking the ISO up just one notch more (1/2 or 1/3 stop) will give more noise than desired, but, again, which is better, a slightly noisy picture or no picture at all? There's also some very well regarded noise reduction post processing programs available as well that 'can do wonders' with noise. I have no doubt the pros out there are cringing as they read this paragraph, but I'm an amateur as are you...so we can 'get away with it' and not hurt our business.

Bottom line, know your camera AND your skills as best as possible. You will be pushing BOTH to their limits!
 
OP
Bellezzo

Bellezzo

TPF Noob!
Joined
Apr 14, 2012
Messages
88
Reaction score
6
Location
Denmark
Website
www.menexenus.blogspot.dk
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
thank you all very much for the advice! and especially thanks to you, bratkinson, haha! i'm still a bit worried about the noise though, but yes, maybe i can fix it.

crimbfighter: yeah, that's a good ideá, i was plannign on doing that as well!
 

texkam

TPF Noob!
Joined
Jun 6, 2012
Messages
1,277
Reaction score
364
Location
Big D. Near the lake.
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Unless you have very expensive gear or the church is lit up like a sports venue, expect grainy, blurry, OOF results.

no matter how unprofessional it may seem, haha.
Unprofessional results may not be as funny to the wedding party.
 

tirediron

Watch the Birdy!
Staff member
Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 8, 2005
Messages
45,747
Reaction score
14,804
Location
Victoria, BC
Website
www.johnsphotography.ca
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Is renting or borrowing either faster lenses or a better [camera] body, or both an option?
 

Mike_E

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Jan 26, 2007
Messages
5,327
Reaction score
266
Location
The Upper West Side of Mississippi (you have no i
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
OK, fast glass is nice- really a time saver but you don't have to have fast glass. What you do HAVE to have is good communication with the bride and groom. If you don't have the equipment to take shots @ 1/60 or greater work out a phrase that will tell the B&G to stop for a second so that you can get a shot. It's OK to do this if you need to, it is their record of their event that is being recorded and they are somewhat responsible for the outcome.

Look, you can use a 5 megapixel point and shoot if that's all you have. Prints look a lot different than pixel peeping on a monitor, what looks awful on a monitor works fine at 300 dpi on a print at the 4x6 level (with some basic post processing).

A basic monopod is a must. You don't have to have the best out there; heck, just a stick screwed into the bottom of the camera will do- you just have work with it. Camera shake is the killer at these events.

Now, as to the actual shoot, there are some classic shots that you should take -yes, I'll leave you to google what they are- but again you really need to get with the B&G to find out what they want. Going online is OK or buy a book and have them pick out the kind of shots that they want- the thing is to know beforehand what they want you to take.

Please don't get in the way of the ceremony, you can always stage the shots after the fact with the minister. Then too, start with everyone involved for the after shots and send people away as you've taken the photos of them working down to the B&G, this will save you a lot of time. If you have people taking shots while you are doing this have the group get together and have the others take their shots then pose the group for yours before moving on. There is no point in upsetting friends and family in this unless you are being paid AND have a contract.

Contracts- I would suggest getting a signed letter at least stating what you intend and the anticipated time of completion. If the shoot is for free state that and that there will also be no cause for penalty should the work be unsatisfactory to the B&G.

Talk with them, plan with them, work with them!

Oh, and by the way, wear comfortable shoes!!!
 

DiskoJoe

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Mar 24, 2011
Messages
4,540
Reaction score
528
Location
Houston
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Fast glass (2.8 or better) and at least a "semi-pro" body capable of rendering high-ISO images relatively noise-free is the only way.

The high iso capability is a necessity. Some prime lenses that can hit f1.4 are extremely helpful as well.
 
OP
Bellezzo

Bellezzo

TPF Noob!
Joined
Apr 14, 2012
Messages
88
Reaction score
6
Location
Denmark
Website
www.menexenus.blogspot.dk
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
again, thanks for all the advice.

i'm planning on borrowing a 50mm f1.4 lens for the day as i hope it well help me compared to my f1.8 lenses. and then i'll bring my tripod.

it's only a very small wedding, there's only 3 guests besides the couple and me, so it's just a small ceremony, and they really just wanted to have something to remember the day by so that's why they asked me, an amateur photographer! i'm still very excited though.
 

skiboarder72

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Jan 17, 2005
Messages
2,111
Reaction score
82
Location
Greenville, SC
Website
www.joshjonesphoto.com
again, thanks for all the advice.

i'm planning on borrowing a 50mm f1.4 lens for the day as i hope it well help me compared to my f1.8 lenses. and then i'll bring my tripod.

it's only a very small wedding, there's only 3 guests besides the couple and me, so it's just a small ceremony, and they really just wanted to have something to remember the day by so that's why they asked me, an amateur photographer! i'm still very excited though.

I wouldn't be worried at all. I photographed a candlelit wedding with a Nikon D300 and 50mm f1.8 lens about 5 years ago. It came out great. Just watch your shutter speed and ISO and you won't have anything to worry about!
 

Most reactions

ClickASnap

New Topics

Top