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Shooting a friend's wedding (Just for fun/learning), then...UH-OH!!!!

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Thread started 04 Aug 2012 (Saturday) 21:47   
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Ace ­ and ­ Deuce
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So, a friend that I work with has a daughter getting married this Saturday and he asked me to come, take some pics (for them) and have a good time. I told them that I have NEVER done anything like this before, and don't have the right cam & lenses for a job like that...but, whatever, it'll be fun.

They just called me and said that their hired photographer will no longer be shooting the wedding due to some conflict/argument/situ​ation or some crap, and would I still be willing to take some pictures from beginning (ceremony) to the end of the reception. I explained that I was only coming to have fun, and while they could have copies to any pics that I took, I am 100% inexperienced at this and make no guarantees for any pics. They said they don't care about any of that, and "As long as they could get a few pics from the evening, they'll be happy".

So, here I am, never shot in a church or reception hall, haven't been to a wedding in 18 years (mine), shooting with a T3i and the lenses listed in my sig. While I'm sure they are going to be totally cool with any pics I turn over, I would like to make the best of this situation, so here I am...I come to you wedding photo gurus for some much needed advice!

I do have a few questions:
When is it appropriate to use a flash? I'm assuming it's a no-no in the church. Should it be used as little as possible at the reception?

Since I have zero experience, is it still ok to ask/tell them to pose or line up for certain shots, especially between the ceremony & reception? Should I attempt to take charge in any way, lol?

In the church, should I move around a bit, or do you mostly stay stationary?

I know you guys are rolling your eyes, thinking "He's doomed", but help me out if you can. They aren't expecting much, but I'd like to do OK for them (and myself).

Thanks,

~Steve

Post #1, Aug 04, 2012 21:47:52


Canon EOS 6D *** Canon EOS T3i *** Canon - EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM *** Canon - EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM *** Canon - 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 EF-S *** Canon 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro *** Rokinon 14mm f2.8 *** Canon 18-55mm IS *** Canon 55-250mm IS *** Canon EF 75-300mm *** Canon 50mm f/1.8 II *** Canon 430exII flash
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RangersForever
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Ace and Deuce wrote in post #14815331external link
So, a friend that I work with has a daughter getting married this Saturday and he asked me to come, take some pics (for them) and have a good time. I told them that I have NEVER done anything like this before, and don't have the right cam & lenses for a job like that...but, whatever, it'll be fun.

They just called me and said that their hired photographer will no longer be shooting the wedding due to some conflict/argument/situ​ation or some crap, and would I still be willing to take some pictures from beginning (ceremony) to the end of the reception. I explained that I was only coming to have fun, and while they could have copies to any pics that I took, I am 100% inexperienced at this and make no guarantees for any pics. They said they don't care about any of that, and "As long as they could get a few pics from the evening, they'll be happy".

So, here I am, never shot in a church or reception hall, haven't been to a wedding in 18 years (mine), shooting with a T3i and the lenses listed in my sig. While I'm sure they are going to be totally cool with any pics I turn over, I would like to make the best of this situation, so here I am...I come to you wedding photo gurus for some much needed advice!

I do have a few questions:
When is it appropriate to use a flash? I'm assuming it's a no-no in the church. Should it be used as little as possible at the reception?

Since I have zero experience, is it still ok to ask/tell them to pose or line up for certain shots, especially between the ceremony & reception? Should I attempt to take charge in any way, lol?

In the church, should I move around a bit, or do you mostly stay stationary?

I know you guys are rolling your eyes, thinking "He's doomed", but help me out if you can. They aren't expecting much, but I'd like to do OK for them (and myself).

Thanks,

~Steve

I did a wedding yesterday where the minister urged me to use flash throughout the ceremony if I wanted. I've also had the opposite happening. Answer - there isn't one... it depends on the location. As for using flash during the reception, definitely! Don't be afraid to let her rip and most of the time the only person who notices flash going off is you. Perhaps be careful during the speeches and avoid blasting it right in people's eyes and you'll be fine. You'll have lots of people coming up to you and asking "what is that" and "how does that work" especially if you use it off camera!

Yes, you should move around a bit in the church and look for interesting angles. I like to stand behind the minister and shoot over his shoulder... and to either side. I then walk to the front and and mingle with the guests get some shots of the crowd before coming back to the stage for the rings and kiss.

As for the question on posing and if you should take control... we can't answer that. You need to ask your friend how they want you to act.

Post #2, Aug 04, 2012 23:44:05


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5W0L3
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If you aren't getting paid for it, and you have explained that you have no experience in weddings, then you shoudn't worry about much. Just enjoy and have fun and take whatever pictures you can and give them the best ones out of those.

About the flash, you will have to ask the priest at the church if he allows it or not. Sometimes the church policy is no flash, but the priest still allows it.

Post #3, Aug 05, 2012 07:11:52


Manav
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cpam.pix
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Ace & Deuce:
You're living my dream. I will always be afraid of wedding photography until an opportunity like yours comes up. I think that I might be prepared, but not confident enough to pre-plan my entry. I see it like jumping into water...it might be cold at first, but after you're in, the water is fine. Of course, maybe that's just my naivete helping me rationalize the situation.

Have a great day and please share your pictures with us.

Post #4, Aug 05, 2012 10:10:07


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Ace ­ and ­ Deuce
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Cream of the Crop
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Thanks guys!

cpam - it was funny, I originally wasn't invited to the wedding, and actually, I didn't know his daughter was even getting married. I said to him on break one day as I was telling him a camera story, "I'd like to crash a wedding just to see how I'd do, and what it was like". He said "Well guess what...". He invited me and here we are.

I do, however, think they cancelled the professional to save money, and are willing to take a chance with my pics. I'm sure I'll have some usable pics, and apparently that's good enough for them to save a bunch of cash, lol.

Post #5, Aug 05, 2012 11:31:52


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5W0L3
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Don't know why people think its okay to not have a professional photographer/videograp​her at their wedding. I mean unless it's your 5th wedding, you will be cherishing those memories forever and would want them to look nice.

Post #6, Aug 05, 2012 11:50:01


Manav
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Pupu
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I hope this helps. I went to my best friends wedding couple of weeks earlier. Although he had a professional photographer (actually multiple of them for different days) but I also wanted to try my hand and also include their pics in my portfolio. Besides, gift them a album with pics clicked by me. Typically in India, you don't get to take the bride groom out for pre-wedding sessions or take snaps of them, getting ready. But since I was staying with them at their house and knew them, I could click those snaps as well. This was certainly a edge over the pros.
So the series of rituals (in India weddings runs over a week, at times two weeks for few sects of people) continued and I kept clicking with my best of abilities. I have only one lens...Tamron 17-50 f2.8. For most of the time, the pro's had full set of lights on them so I didn't have to fight with light / no flash / fast primes etc. Last week my friend uploaded all the pics clicked by the pros and when I compared them with mine, certainly you can clearly distinguish and tell mine was better (I'm not diagnosed with "I'm the best disease" :-) ) I'm by no means a wedding photographer. All I did was to put all the learning that I gathered from this forum into those few days and I guess it worked. I stuck to the basics. Only place where I found challenged was reach, which I compensated with moving myself quite frequently.
The way I see it is, be positive about your abilities and apply your knowledge / experience. You have much better gear than mine. It should come out good.
BTW, with friends, I don't bother about money and I'm always there for their rescue :-)

Post #7, Aug 05, 2012 12:18:11


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scorpio_e
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So they invite you to the wedding to take picts. Then tell you a story about a cancellation. It sounds like they are taking advantage of you and putting you in a situation you are not prepared for.

Post #8, Aug 05, 2012 21:46:33


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Thomas ­ Campbell
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Wonder what would happen if you were suddenly sick day of. Or had a family matter that needed attention and couldn't make it. :lol:

I also think they are taking advantage of you. Shooting for yourself is one thing. Working for them is another thing completely.

Post #9, Aug 05, 2012 21:58:21


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-MasterChief-
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i wouldnt touch this with a 10 foot pole if i were you! but since you're already in the hole, do your best with what you have and prepare for the worst.

scope out the church before the wedding day if you can. go at the same time frame as the wedding so you can get a feel of what the quality of light is. on the day of the wedding, talk to the officiant and ask what the rules are -- flash, no flash, bounderies, etc.

browse the wedding forum and make notes on posing, group shots, etc.

rent a few primes, flashes, and perhaps a backup camera. bring lots of batteries, CF cards, comfortable shoes, and water! :)

GOOD LUCK BRO!

Post #10, Aug 05, 2012 22:05:37


beginners argue about bodies, pros argue about glass, seasoned veterans let the pictures argue for themselves.
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Ace ­ and ­ Deuce
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Ace and Deuce wrote in post #14817066external link
I do, however, think they cancelled the professional to save money, and are willing to take a chance with my pics. I'm sure I'll have some usable pics, and apparently that's good enough for them to save a bunch of cash, lol.

That's exactly what I said a while back...smells fishy to me, lol.

I appreciate the comments, guys! The wedding is actually Sunday, and the rehearsal is Saturday. The rehearsal is at 4:00, the wedding at 2:45, so the lighting should be close. I'm not going to rent anything since I'm not making a dime. I made sure from day 1 that there was another photographer with experience, and my efforts were strictly amateur. I will do my best, but it is what it is.

I do have a question, though... after the vows, do I hurry outside to get them coming out? Is there a lull? I don't want to get stuck in the crowd and miss them leaving the church.

Post #11, Aug 05, 2012 22:19:02


Canon EOS 6D *** Canon EOS T3i *** Canon - EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM *** Canon - EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM *** Canon - 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 EF-S *** Canon 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro *** Rokinon 14mm f2.8 *** Canon 18-55mm IS *** Canon 55-250mm IS *** Canon EF 75-300mm *** Canon 50mm f/1.8 II *** Canon 430exII flash
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-MasterChief-
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after the kiss, you "hurry" towards the aisles. the farther back, the better. :D

Post #12, Aug 05, 2012 23:07:39


beginners argue about bodies, pros argue about glass, seasoned veterans let the pictures argue for themselves.
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touji
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As long as they know you're not going to be there as the "pro," I don't think theres much pressure. Just do what you can at your own pace. Seems like you have already told them upfront what to expect.

Being young and naive, do the bride and groom dress up for the rehersals? Do the bridesmaids and groom dudes dress up too? Might be fun to take a bunch of pictures from the rehersal to throw into an album or something. If you get some really good shots, could also take some pressure off during the real deal.

Post #13, Aug 05, 2012 23:14:37


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ScullenCrossBones
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touji wrote in post #14819573external link
As long as they know you're not going to be there as the "pro," I don't think theres much pressure. Just do what you can at your own pace. Seems like you have already told them upfront what to expect.

Being young and naive, do the bride and groom dress up for the rehersals? Do the bridesmaids and groom dudes dress up too? Might be fun to take a bunch of pictures from the rehersal to throw into an album or something. If you get some really good shots, could also take some pressure off during the real deal.

No.

Post #14, Aug 06, 2012 05:39:53


:p Gear
Mama done took my Kodachrome away...

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scorpio_e
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ScullenCrossBones wrote in post #14820252external link
No.

Rehearsal shots are a waste of time. IMHO.. Unless you get a free meal and drinks :)

Post #15, Aug 06, 2012 08:01:36


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