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FORUMS Photo Sharing & Visual Enjoyment Weddings & Other Family Events
Thread started 19 Sep 2017 (Tuesday) 14:51
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I've been volunteered to shoot wedding

 
jimmy_beaner
Member
Joined Oct 2010
Des Moines
Sep 19, 2017 14:51 |  #1

My wife's friend is getting married on a budget and I've been volunteered to do the photography. I have done some engagement pictures and things of that nature, but mostly outdoors using available light. The wedding pictures will be in a church (not sure on the amount of available light). I do have a 580EX II though I would likely need to pick up a PocketWizard to deal with low light conditions.

Outside of that, I have 5 years' experience with my 7D and I have a 35mm f/1.4L that I've used somewhat exclusively for a couple years. A colleague of mine is letting me borrow his 6D and I'm planning to rent a 70-200mm f/2.8 L II. This should allow the flexibility I'll likely need without being a zoom mounted to a crop sensor.

My primary questions at this point:
What am I forgetting as far as gear? I don't mind picking up another flash but I rarely use flash (granted, maybe I'll use it more with the PocketWizards and what not). I am debating picking up random senior pictures so this gear won't necessarily go to waste.
What are the likely challenges I'll see that I may not expect from the gear I intend to use? I'm hopeful I have enough coverage on the wide side with the 35mm (and 1.4 is pretty good low light capable, with the noise reduction of the 6D especially) and enough with the 70-200 to get nice tight framing.

Is there something else that would be recommended other than the PocketWizard? I am looking at picking up a full frame camera at *insert undisclosed date here*. I just don't know that I have enough justification for it at this point and the 7D does a really nice job most of the time. I also have a G7xII I purchased for a Disney trip so my wife may not be terribly pleased with another camera when I haven't used the 7D as often as I probably should. Thanks for the assistance.


Canon 7D
Canon 35 f/1.4 L,

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MalVeauX
"Looks rough and well used"
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Florida
Sep 19, 2017 15:56 |  #2

1) Don't do it.

2) Don't do it, help them find an inexpensive experienced wedding photog.

3) You're going to do it, and you're going to spend a few hundred to do it for free.

4) Don't do it.

Ok, joking aside.

There are others far more experienced at this that will no doubt give you great tips.

My suggestion is this though: learn the ceremony sequence and have a shot plan for those moments. There's no pause button. You don't need to provide them with 100 photos. A few key photos of the ceremony moments are fine, but the most common shared photos are the post-ceremony stuff with dancing and dinner, etc. I wouldn't buy anything. Just use what you have and make it work, especially if this is free.

Very best,


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Pekka
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Sep 19, 2017 16:38 |  #3

I've done only a couple of such wedding shoots, and one advice is above all others: "be there in time and with the right gear". That does not mean ONLY the actual start of the wedding but that you must take time to in advance know what will happen next, when exactly it will happen, where exactly it will happen, where the light is and which way the people are facing. You have to be in the correct position with a correct gear setup for that moment before it happens. You, the photographer, should not be the center of attention, bride and groom are. Do not ruin the moment by moving around, in hurry, changing lenses in action will make you miss shots. Good luck!


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jimmy_beaner
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Joined Oct 2010
Des Moines
Sep 19, 2017 16:38 as a reply to MalVeauX's post |  #4

Well, I've been committed to doing it so that is irrelevant at this point. My wife is ok with me spending to provide it for free; it's one of her best friends. I have a list of things her way that she "owes" me to help me plan. Included among this list is a full itinerary and sequence of events list so that I can plan out shots and gear for each event. I've also requested a "shots grouping list" and someone that she provides to manage those groups.

Admittedly, I'm taking advantage of the situation to get a little bit of gear. I'd like some PocketWizards anyway and they just so happen to be needed for this event (unless there are better recommendations out there). I'm having the bride to be pay for the lens rental... and I'm extremely excited to use the 70-200L II. I've dreamed of using the lens ever since I had the 70-200L (non-IS). I've also really wanted to use a full frame camera and my friend is letting me borrow his 6D so it gives me a really good chance to use that as well.


Canon 7D
Canon 35 f/1.4 L,

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jimmy_beaner
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Des Moines
Sep 19, 2017 16:40 as a reply to Pekka's post |  #5

I'm hoping to minimize lens changes by having two bodies. And the flexibility provided by the 70-200L II should mean I may not need the other body. I figure on my crop body, the 35 mm is closing in on the 70 end on the full frame camera so maybe that'll be ok also.


Canon 7D
Canon 35 f/1.4 L,

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FarmerTed1971
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Post has been edited 2 months ago by FarmerTed1971.
Sep 19, 2017 16:51 |  #6

The 6D/35L and 7D/70-200 should work out great.

Get a Black Rapid double strap.

Plant the 580 on the 6D. Shoot in manual. Get a lot of practice around the house learning the flash. You will quickly learn what setting work for you.
Don't forget to ask the pastor if flash is allowed.

If you have to push ISO really high don't hesitate to convert shots over to B&W. The grain can look very nice.

Go to the location once BEFORE the event to scout it out and be there at about the same time as the event. Take some test shots. Write down your settings. Practice them.

Have one meeting with the couple and figure out what THEY want and the general flow of the day. Make a shot list if need be.

Get there early. Take test shots.

Wear comfortable clothes and don't forget appropriate shoes. Stay hydrated.

Charge your batteries the night before. Bring extra batteries. Double check that they are charged BEFORE packing out.

Bring extra memory cards. In fact have 4-6 of them.

Above all, have fun!


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jimmy_beaner
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Des Moines
Sep 19, 2017 17:01 |  #7

FarmerTed1971 wrote in post #18456044 (external link)
The 6D/35L and 7D/70-200 should work out great.

Get a Black Rapid double strap.
I like that. Nice suggestion
Plant the 580 on the 6D. Shoot in manual. Get a lot of practice around the house learning the flash. You will quickly learn what setting work for you.
Don't forget to ask the pastor if flash is allowed.
I started that last night with the 7D and my kids. Already getting good results though I'm sure they'll get better with more practice.
If you have to push ISO really high don't hesitate to convert shots over to B&W. The grain can look very nice.
Super. I'm really hoping the ISO performance of the 6D can help out as well. The 7D can be rough with higher ISO... the black and white is great advice.
Go to the location once BEFORE the event to scout it out and be there at about the same time as the event. Take some test shots. Write down your settings. Practice them.
We'll be in town the day before for the rehearsal (since my wife is part of the bridal party) and I will get a good scouting of the area maybe even some practice shots of the rehearsal. I should be able to see the full "run" of events.
Have one meeting with the couple and figure out what THEY want and the general flow of the day. Make a shot list if need be.
We've got a Pinterest board started and I have a meeting with this intention planned :)
Get there early. Take test shots.
I really like the idea of writing out settings. I'll be there before wedding party.
Wear comfortable clothes and don't forget appropriate shoes. Stay hydrated.

Charge your batteries the night before. Bring extra batteries. Double check that they are charged BEFORE packing out.

Bring extra memory cards. In fact have 4-6 of them.

Above all, have fun!

Thanks for the advice. I'm excited for it. I have 4-6 SD cards for the 6D but only one big CF card for the 7D. I run a double battery in the 7D and I need to check on 6D battery size. I carry extra AA batteries everywhere with my flash unit so that should be good.


Canon 7D
Canon 35 f/1.4 L,

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AZGeorge
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Joined Dec 2010
Southen Arizona
Sep 19, 2017 17:31 |  #8

FarmerTed1971 wrote in post #18456044 (external link)
Get there early. Take test shots.

Yes. Great advice and even better if you make it days early if at all possible. allowing plenty of time to work out plan G when the earlier part of the alphabet comes a cropper. Church buildings range from a dream for shooters to full blown nightmare.


George
Democracy Dies in Darkness

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Colin ­ Glover
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Joined Aug 2012
Southport nr Liverpool United Kingdom
Sep 20, 2017 12:31 |  #9

Ditto to everything said by others. What'd I add? Don't rush during the ceremony. I mean, don't just set High speed burst and hold it down. Take time to compose shots. I'd advise against single point AF as you could end up focusing on the gap between the couple (been there, done that), use all points and evaluative metering. Chimp to ensure focus, and set your camera to show AF points on playback.
Take it slowly, carefully check composition before you press that shutter and try BBAF. I tried it at an air show for the first time on Saturday, and I was impressed. As AF and shutter are detached, it'll hold focus as long as you keep the BBAF button pressed, eliminating the need for refocus each time.
Above all, enjoy the occasion. If you get a taste for it.... Who knows where I might lead, just don't tell the wife how much you're spending.


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SSNTUFF
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Colorado Springs, Co. USA
Sep 20, 2017 12:41 |  #10

Something to do that is not gear related is to sit with the couple and make sure that they understand your skill level and what kind of pictures you think you will be able to deliver. Don't oversell yourself. Also be ready for "bridezilla" to show up if things are not running smoothly. Your wife should be able to help on this point. Use this as a learning experience and try to have fun with it where you can and be serious when you need to be. Be open to take shots as they present themselves and not have a strict shooting plan.


Land locked submariner, making do with what I have.

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scorpio_e
Cream of the Crop
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Pa
Post has been edited 2 months ago by scorpio_e.
Sep 20, 2017 13:01 |  #11

I would upset if someone volunteered me for a wedding,. No MAD!!!! # no respect..

" Well, I've been committed to doing it so that is irrelevant at this point" Who does this? Seriously I would not be happy and would not do it.


www.steelcityphotograp​hy.com (external link)

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bpalermini
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Ashland, Oregon
Sep 20, 2017 13:15 |  #12

scorpio_e wrote in post #18456616 (external link)
I would upset if someone volunteered me for a wedding,. No MAD!!!! # no respect..

" Well, I've been committed to doing it so that is irrelevant at this point" Who does this? Seriously I would not be happy and would not do it.

Your wife does not volunteer you for things? Lucky guy, or, you have a much different relationship than I do.


Bob Palermini
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scorpio_e
Cream of the Crop
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Joined Aug 2007
Pa
Sep 20, 2017 13:20 |  #13

Wedding are a huge amount of pressure and preparation.

1. Keep it simple. Do not do OCF with pocket wizards. You do not want to risk light stands falling over and getting sued.
2. Focus on capturing the emotion
3. You do not need a battery grip
4. 24 to 70 2.8 with your 580 EX
5. 6D as a backup

I would use one camera that I know..the 7D... 580 EX II mounted on camera and the 24 to 70. A 64 gig card would be more than enough. You may go through one camera battery.. To be safe..change the camera battery right before the reception starts.

Have your wife shoot as you second shooter since she volunteered you ;) and she can organize the family formals for you and watch the bride wedding dress during formals.


Have them sign a contract too.. Even if you are doing it for free...

I can't believe you got volunteered into this...

You really should have a camera with dual card slots :)

Good luck!!!!!


www.steelcityphotograp​hy.com (external link)

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scorpio_e
Cream of the Crop
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Pa
Sep 20, 2017 13:22 |  #14

bpalermini wrote in post #18456625 (external link)
Your wife does not volunteer you for things? Lucky guy, or, you have a much different relationship than I do.

Actually she does not volunteer me.. She would ask me so I guess I am lucky :)


www.steelcityphotograp​hy.com (external link)

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jimmy_beaner
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Member
Joined Oct 2010
Des Moines
Sep 20, 2017 13:34 |  #15

SSNTUFF wrote in post #18456610 (external link)
Something to do that is not gear related is to sit with the couple and make sure that they understand your skill level and what kind of pictures you think you will be able to deliver. Don't oversell yourself. Also be ready for "bridezilla" to show up if things are not running smoothly. Your wife should be able to help on this point. Use this as a learning experience and try to have fun with it where you can and be serious when you need to be. Be open to take shots as they present themselves and not have a strict shooting plan.

I sent them a "portfolio" of an engagement session I did for another friend that was unedited and she really liked the pictures. So they know the kind of work they're likely to get. I just always want to improve my own work so I'm sure my standards are higher than her standards. Fortunately, I didn't have to sell myself at all... which is fitting given the sales bill. I am hoping to enjoy it.


Canon 7D
Canon 35 f/1.4 L,

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