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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Weddings & Other Family Events Talk 
Thread started 19 Jul 2012 (Thursday) 21:39
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first wedding...first ulcer...

 
e1rlindsay
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Jul 19, 2012 21:39 |  #1

I'm doing my first wedding this weekend. A friend with a budget (typical story) asked me, and I was very upfront that I had never done a wedding...i do mostly kids' portraits and just-for-fun candid types. i told her I would do them for free, just for the experience, if she really decided she wanted to use my novice self for her wedding. Well, she still picked me...aaaand, wanted to pay me. So now, the pressure is on and as the days click by, I get more and more nervous.

I've read and studied and practiced and i know that the day will be challenging and tiring and a little bit scary. My biggest fear is the ceremony, held in a small music hall, and knowing where to stand and what's proper etiquette for not getting in the way or disturbing the ceremony. And, if you saw my ring thread earlier, I'm also concerned about getting a good ring shot with the gear that I have...

All i have is a little ol' Canon T2i, with a 50 mm 1.8, 55-250 mm (came with camera) and 18-55 kit lens. I also have a wide angle lens that I got for free from a friend. It's probably not super high class, but seems to take good pictures. I have a Yongnuo 468II flash. I also have my lil' Olympus e-500 for backup, in case something happens. I have similar lenses and flash set up for the Olympus...

Any advice is greatly appreciated! I don't think i've slept a good night's rest all week!


~Emily

  
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2ndshooter
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Jul 19, 2012 22:14 |  #2

Make sure to watch your exposure. Try to take some "test shots" around the hall right before the ceremony, so that you know what settings to use once things get rolling.

Be.prepared! Extra memory cards, batteries, a cleaning cloth... Anything you might need.

We find it helpful to bring a step stool... Comes in handy at most weddings.

As far as where to stand... You kind of need to "feel the room". Generally we avoid the front half of the center isle, and being in front of the bridal party.

Make sure to get some wide angle, as well as close in shoots. I generally start out wide, and change lenses to get closer and closer shots, until the first kiss.

I'm sure there are a million other things, but I hope this helps. :) don't worry, I think you'll do well! Just remember to expose properly! When there is a lot going on at once, changing lighting conditions, and added pressure, it can be easy to not notice that you aren't properly exposed... And once a moment is gone, it's gone forever.




  
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e1rlindsay
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Jul 19, 2012 22:17 |  #3

thank you! I'll keep that in mind. that's a good idea to start wide and change lenses to get closer...


~Emily

  
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e1rlindsay
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Jul 19, 2012 22:18 |  #4

and luckily, in the pictures of the venue that she showed me, it appears to be a mostly white room with lots of natural window lighting...hopefully my exposures shouldn't be too changing in there. Also worried about the reception, as i think it'll most likely be a darker reception hall...i wish I had thousands of dollars so i could get some new gear! (lights, lenses, etc).


~Emily

  
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DennisW1
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Jul 20, 2012 00:54 |  #5

e1rlindsay wrote in post #14742545 (external link)
and luckily, in the pictures of the venue that she showed me, it appears to be a mostly white room with lots of natural window lighting...hopefully my exposures shouldn't be too changing in there. Also worried about the reception, as i think it'll most likely be a darker reception hall...i wish I had thousands of dollars so i could get some new gear! (lights, lenses, etc).


I'd worry more about making a list of the shots you need to get. Put it on index cards, a small notebook, make a list on your smartphone, whatever floats your boat but it will be a handy checklist to keep with you. Trust me, in the heat of the moment you WILL forget something, and having a list to take a quick peek at can save your bacon.

It sounds like you have a better flash than the on-camera pop up unit, that's good. What would be even nicer is if you had some sort of a bracket to get it up off the hot shoe and over the lens. This helps eliminate any possibility of red eyes and most of those brackets allow you to swivel them to put the flash up over the lens when you take vertical shots as well.

Unfortunately, you're very time limited and you probably don't have access to a local camera store that might carry such an item. It's also a very very very very (am I making my point here?) BAD idea to take a brand new piece of gear out on any assignment, much less one as stressful as a wedding, without having used it enough to be completely comfortable with it. So.....for gear, go with whatcha know and what you're most comfortable with.

I did weddings for years using medium format film cameras and 3 lenses (3 because I didn't have zooms for the camera) a normal lens, which I used about 90% of the time, a telephoto, roughly equivalent to a 100mm in 35mm format, and eventually I added a moderate wide angle, used it for tight spots and large groups. Like i said, I did close to 90% of all my shots with the standard lens and the old fashioned foot zoom. Think less about changing lenses and more about working with what you're most comfortable with. The 50 should serve you well for most of the ceremony, the tele-zoom for shots from the back during the ceremony, and the kit lens might do well for you when working with the flash, like at the reception. Just a thought.

Go to the rehershal, find out the flow of the ceremony, and (this one is important!) If the ceremony is in a church, make it a point to introduce youself to the priest/minister/pastor or whatever he or she is called and find out what they expect and allow...and please, please stick to it. Every photographer who follows you will thank you for that!.

If the reception hall is dark, you're going to be relying on your flash. Work close, those little units don't have much more than about a 10-12 foot range, check your exposures, and make sure you have sufficient batteries to keep shooting.

Take anything you think you MIGHT need. If you can borow a similar spare camera from a friend it would be nice insurance to have along "just in case". Obviously enough memory cards is a reqirement. Format all of them blank before using them. That way you're not putting a half full card in by mistake. I also number my cards with one of those stick on label makers and use them in order, helps to avoid wondering if the card you just put in is one you took out previously. It's the little things like that I've learned over time that make your job easier when you're under the pressure of shooting on assignment.

So much to learn, so little time. I hope some of this helps and doesn't confuse or stress you more. Good Luck and try to enjoy as much of it as you can. And let us see some of the results!




  
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gadgeteer
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Jul 20, 2012 03:48 as a reply to  @ DennisW1's post |  #6

Have you recon'ed the venue?

For my first couple of weddings I visited the places at roughly the same time as the ceremony, took a few test shots so I knew what settings to use.

Speak to the wedding official. Chances are they will know exactly where best to stand and also the venue rules. Don't know what it's like in the US but in the UK it really varies. Some places forbid all photography once the ceremony starts, others say no flash, some pretty much anything goes.

Oh and have a list of the shots you want, including any posed ones. This will help you if your mind goes blank during the day.

And have fun!


Wedding Photographer Nottingham & Derby - Martin Cheung (external link)

  
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scorpio_e
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Jul 20, 2012 06:49 |  #7

Don't do this:
make a list on your smartphone

They will think you are texting or whatever= not doing your job.


www.steelcityphotograp​hy.com (external link)

  
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scorpio_e
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Jul 20, 2012 06:50 |  #8

Rent or buy another camera body too:)


www.steelcityphotograp​hy.com (external link)

  
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e1rlindsay
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Jul 20, 2012 07:17 |  #9

I have my list printed out on paper of everything I want to shoot and everything the bride wants me to shoot...professional or not, I'll be whipping it out a lot to make sure I don't miss anything that she requested!

I haven't been able to check out the ceremony site; it's a small music hall that's ONLY open when they have an event (typically weddings in this season) and they won't let me come into another wedding, lol. I have some time before the ceremony, so i'll go in and scope it out...it'll be a time crunch, but better than going in blind.

My fiance will have my Olympus DSLR on hand during the day. I plan to use it as a backup, and have plenty of extra memory cards and batteries for both cameras.

I'll be hitting the road to the wedding in about 24 hours; pretty nervous, but i'm confident that i'll take nice photos for her. Wish me luck!! All of your advice has been very helpful...keep it coming, by all means!


~Emily

  
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scorpio_e
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Jul 20, 2012 09:46 |  #10

Good luck with the wedding. Don't forget to post some results:)


www.steelcityphotograp​hy.com (external link)

  
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snakeman55
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Jul 20, 2012 10:04 |  #11

scorpio_e wrote in post #14743705 (external link)
Don't do this:
make a list on your smartphone

They will think you are texting or whatever= not doing your job.

I agree with Scorpio on this one.

For the ceremony just stand in the back of the aisle with your 18-55 and alternate 18mm and 55mm shots. Don't get creative and run around looking for interesting angles. They will be doing kiss the bride before you know it. Keep it simple.


-Adam
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e1rlindsay
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Jul 20, 2012 18:56 |  #12

do i stand in the back of the aisle, or up in a front corner somewhere? I guess i'll just have to wait and see what the venue is like...


~Emily

  
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mrkgoo
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Jul 22, 2012 07:25 |  #13

Maybe too late, but you should be wherever YOU want to be to get the shot.

Be bold, but not intrusive. Like, do step right up and take some close ups of the right moment, but step back so you're not always a part of the ceremony.

Lots of good advice here already, but preparation is key. Scope out the event, understand the expectations of the bride and groom (and make sure they have the right expectations of you), prepare a list of shots, even if just mental, and DO met the bride and groom beforehand.




  
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olstudios
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Jul 23, 2012 09:23 |  #14

So how did it go?



Equipment:
Canon 60d | Canon 17-40mm F/4L | Canon Speedlite 430exII
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e1rlindsay
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Jul 23, 2012 10:53 |  #15

It was a crazy day, but I think it well! I have a ton of pics to edit, so I'll let you know how they turned out...Thanks everybody!!


~Emily

  
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