View Full Version : Wedding shoot recommendations please.
20th of October 2005 (Thu), 10:52
I have been asked to shoot a wedding on Nov 5th and have never shot one before. I normally shoot sports. I have informed the party that I have not done a wedding before and am a little nervous about the results. I did some work for them shooting football and they liked the results so they asked me to shoot this wedding. Plus the photographer they had hired pulled out due to scheduling conflicts.
Anyway I am wondering if the lens I have are going to get the job done. It will be inside and the church may not have good lighting. I am going to check out the church prior to the shoot. I have read some post on this board that say I may need a faster lens then the 17-85 I have. Iíve been thinking about an 85 1.8 for gym shooting so maybe now is the time to make the investment but I have come accustom to shooting with a zoom and have never shot with a prime.
I have also been contemplating a flash bucket. Does anyone think itís needed or can the 580 do a good enough job bouncing off the ceiling or with the bounce extender on the flash? Once again I do not have any experience using this flash in this type of setting.
Thanks for the help in advance.
Ronald S. Jr.
20th of October 2005 (Thu), 11:16
the 85 might be a bit long for group shots, no? anyone else think so? I think the 17-85 is definitely too slow for indoors imo, and you should absolutely pick up a flash bracket. If the budget is limited, a stroboframe will do. If it's not, then go for a custom bracket or one of the other really nice ones. As for the need for speed, you might think of looking at a sigma 24-70 f/2.8 (and then whatever acronyms sigma uses for their nice lenses). I don't use sigma, so I don't know the DG EX OS blah blah all that stuff. Condyk will tell you. The 85 1.8 will definitely get you some nice shots, though. I'm sure others will chime in here any time now. That's all from me.
Oh...be sure and have that 70-200 with you, too.
20th of October 2005 (Thu), 16:52
There has been an awful lot of discussion on this topic. I mean, really a lot.
You could use just about any lens. However, you will find the most use in the middle ranges, like about 30mm to about 70mm. Once in a while, you will need to go wider than 30mm, and once in a while you will need to go longer than 70mm. This assumes a 1.6-factor body. Some others here will suggest ranges somewhat wider than this. In general, a faster 2.8 lens is preferred, but you can still do it with something a pinch slower.
You want to check out the church and find out any restrictions about flash. In general, you will use a big external flash unit on a bracket and with a tripod. There are exceptions where you can get by without either, but not many.
Uhhh, that line about the other photographer pulled out because of a schedule conflict... Hmmm. That is certainly possible, but that strongly suggests that there was a business conflict over the terms of the wedding photography agreement. Been there. Done that.
20th of October 2005 (Thu), 17:25
21st of October 2005 (Fri), 00:06
Thanks for all the help. I know that this subject is one that gets a lot of play and after reading this Fourm and one other, I see that it is a comon problem. FIRST TIME WEDDING NEED HELP!!!. Well we all start somewhere. I had the same problem shooting football at night but now I am much better then when I started, but I am still on a steep learning curve and working at it every Friday and Saturday night.
Im also looking at getting the 24-70 f/2.8 I figure if this is my last wedding I can always use it for indoor sports.
26th of October 2005 (Wed), 17:29
Lens speed...I have shot many weddings with my Bronica ETRSi system on film using medium format lenses no faster than f/3.5, but even I will admit that f/5.6 at the tele end of the 17-85 is too slow...it limits the distances achievable with flash, and it limits the available light capture (to avoid the dark cave look that results from flash only). Besides, bouncing with the Canon ETTL-II is just too unpredictable in the outcome!
Do not rely upon a CEILING BOUNCE! In some cases, ceiling is colored and creates horrible color casts on your subject. In other cases, a high ceiling is just too far away! Better to use a small softbox mounted on the flash, but again ETTL-II rears its ugly unpredictable head! I would use a Metz on Auto with a Wescott Micro Apollo, and say H*ll with the Canon ETTL (but then I haven't used my Canon 20D with Canon flash for more than a few months, and am still on a very steep Canon flash learning curve!)
I have found that lenses wider than 35mm (on 35mmFF camera; 50mm on Med Format; 24mm on 1.5crop) create too much probability of perspective distortion in shooting groups unless you are perfectly square to the group when you shoot. And you need around 100mm (on 35mmFF; 150mm on Med Format; 65mm on 1.5crop) to shoot head and shoulders portraits. So if you intend to use 24-70 on crop format camera, no problemo.
9th of November 2005 (Wed), 10:11
I agree totally with Wilt. I have shot numerous weddings with 6x6 format cameras having lenses in the area of f/2.8 to f/3.5. Given a relatively powerful flash, there should be no problem with these apertures. Through the lens flash metering is not a neccessity - in fact I have never shot a wedding using any of the Canon TTL systems. I have used many auto and manual flash units with many different cameras over the years. I really like the Sunpak 120J (which also comes with a TTL dedicated module). I always use some sort of diffuser on my flash. I like a small softbox which gives wonderfully soft lighting. I have also used a portable umbrella system wherein the flash is pointed backwrds and bounced from an umbrella. I loved the lighting but, the flash lost too much of its power with this set-up.
I also agree that a 24-70 lens is primo for a 1.6x crop camera. Wide angle freaks consistantly scream for wider lenses. The problem with the ultra wide lens in wedding shots is distortion. It is far better to learn how to arrange groups effectively and shoot them with a lens no wider than 24mm. Using ultra wide lenses is a lazy way to shoot groups. The 70mm long end of a mid-range zoom is fine for head and shoulders shots. In fact you can effectively shoot the entire wedding with just one lens, the 24-70mm f/2.8.
Redundancy is the name of the game in wedding photography. If you believe that you can escape Murphy's Law, then by all means - go to a wedding with one camera/lens combination and one flash unit. However, if you want to ensure that you will be able to provide the wedding couple and their families with a good selection of shots throughout the wedding - always have backup equipment. Buy, rent or borrow it. However, always check out your equipment before the wedding to ensure it is working properly. Check it out and learn how to use it when the shots you take are not emotionally important. Also check it out at a time when you can replace or fix any malfunctioning pieces of equipment.
SCRIPT: Always work with a written script of the shots you need to get complete wedding coverage. You can get many wedding books suggesting lists of shots. Peruse wedding magazines and Internet sites such as PhotoSIG.com to see examples of wedding shots.
My wedding shots are usually divided into 5 categories:
1. Pre wedding portraits of bride and groom.. Often this is impossible due to the superstition that the groom should not see bride in her dress before the ceremony. However formal portraits of bride alone are great. She will oftenbe more relaxed during these pre-wedding shoots than on the actual day.
2. Pre-wedding preparations - Bride dressing, groom's father putting flower on grooms jacket, bridesmaids helping bride, bride looking in mirror, etc.
3. The actual ceremony. Check to see if the person officiating will allow photos during the actual ceremony. If not, you will need to pose these afterwards.
4. Portraits of bride & groom along with the wedding party on altar or church steps.
5. Reception shots - even when I shot using medium format equipment, I enjoyed shooting receptions with a GOOD 35mm camera and lens. Usually, the orders for reception shots were not larger than 8x10" so a 35mm was sufficient. Ask the bride and groom's mothers if there are any special persones they want included during the reception shots.
HANDLING PEOPLE: The art of handling people in a high-stress occasion like a wedding is both an art and a skill. I tend to believe that the bride and the mother or the bride (as well as the rest of the family) really care less about photography "DURING THE WEDDING". You as the photographer are just some more stress that the have to deal with. However, after the wedding, they all want great images. Treading the fine line between being an ASSERTIVE photographer and being an OBNOXIOUS BOSSY photographer is often difficult. However, realising that all the females are usually stressed out and in a tizzy during the entire wedding and reception is an important thing to remember.
Despite the commonly accepted theory, all brides are not good looking. I have had the hardest times shooting the buffarilla (combination between a buffalo and a gorilla) bride. That is because she internally realizes what she looks like and that the camera will cut through the haze of wedding smoke and glitter and picture her as she really is. Obviously, try to picture her in the best possible way. However, that is sometimes difficult or imposible with some brides.
For the best images always remember to say the Wedding Photographer's Prayer"
Please provide me with a beautiful bride and a handsome groom.
9th of November 2005 (Wed), 14:35
Good info there RPCrowe, and interesting too :)
13th of November 2005 (Sun), 13:36
OK! Now I'm interested in knowing how your wedding experience went?
vBulletin® v3.6.12, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.