whitleydanielle wrote in post #15624339
I have booked several weddings without even having a portfolio up and now I'm freaking out. I have NEVER shot a wedding and I want some good, SUPPORTIVE advice. Yeah crack a joke but then help if you can or please be nice and don't say anything at all.
I have a Canon Rebel T3i with the standard lens it came with and a 70-300mm.
I have ordered a fisheye lense to get those cool reception shots.
What else do I NEED? Just to get decent photos and work my way into getting ALL the right equipment?
Let's say, what lens (excluding the fish eye, and two that i already have) should be a MUST?
And what type of flash & diffuser/globe/etc should be a MUST?
And should I be present for the rehearsal or just get a detailed sit-down chat with the bride and/or groom about all that stuff?
Please be gentle
EDIT: WOw, I have been reading on this forum and I sound HORRIBLY inexperienced. I have been doing photography for about a year FULL TIME. I do most newborns, families, & maternity. Everyone has to start somewhere and I just really need some good, helpful advice. Anything at all will be great. I have awesome people skills, know I need to eat well and take breaks when I can, & have extra cards ready to go as well as batteries and an extra body if possible. I really just have concerns with the flash equipment (I'm a natural light photographer and know little nothing about flash) and any lenses that are a MUST HAVE.
I see you has been a 'full time photographer' for a year... and you have been advertising for 'free' wedding packages on your website since the beginning of the year.
given the top end package listed on your website is $600, i'm sure expectations have been set accordingly.
a few questions you need to cover if you really want help and a few basic 'dos':
1) is this in a church? or at the JP? Outside?
2) is it ONLY the ceremony? Which one of your wedding investment packages are you shooting for here?
3) do you have enough practice with off camera flash to use that? bounce flash? do you have enough time to shoot a few hundred shots off for practice with a good flash before the wedding?
4) do you have a contract the protects you from being sued in the event things don't come out to the bride's satisfaction?
If this is going to be in a church, you are going to NEED NEED NEED fast focusing, wide aperture lenses.
You are going to NEED a body that has really good autofocus in low light.
(these two because most ceremonies don't allow flash photography, so you have to use what is available)
you NEED to have a plan. A shooting list (there are tons of them on the internet) discussed and approved by the bride (or whomever hired you) and yourself is the START. you need to figure out how your going to get the shots. Give yourself plenty of time to scout the church. You mentioned the rehearsal. go to that. take every chance you can get to practice. Pick some spots for 'formals' (assuming those are on your list).
Be prepared to step up and order people around, if thats what it takes to get the shots on your list done. Don't be afraid to elbow people out of your way, if they insist on jumping in the middle of your shot.
I was actually serious that you may want to consider paying a more experienced wedding photographer to do this. If you can cut a good enough deal with him/her, they will bring $10k in equipment with them to shoot, you will fulfill your obligation, and get a chance to practice with no pressure.
check into rental gear. at the very least for the lenses and flash if needed.
For camera settings: with the body & lenses you have, expect to go to '6400 or H' ISO in order to get an acceptable shutter speed. if the church is really dark, It just can't be helped. the images are going to be grainy and look like crap in color, so just expect to end up making them black and white or processing them all to hell n gone.
if your a wiz with editing, and shooting in raw, you can probably pull a lot out even then, but your fighting the edge of what the equipment is capable of (again, if the church is dark).
and finally: if you can't take some straight up honest criticism about how you found yourself asking for 'emergency tips on wedding photography' without being able to take the inevitable flames for doing so, you may want to seriously consider if you have the mindset to deal with event photography. people are going to step in front of you while your shooting. they are going to know your doing it, and step in front of you with their iphone, so they can get a 'better shot'. They will take your gear, if you leave it sitting unattended. they will get drunk and hit on you, shout at you, call you names, and generally be ugly with you. with some customers, nothing you do will be good enough. You will break someone's heart because they refused to smile through their entire wedding, and they blame YOU for not getting a 'good enough' shot of them, and refuse to pay. and on and on and on. Those are rare, but they do happen.
I only bring it up because you need to take a good, hard look at yourself, and admit that you resorted to asking an online forum 'how do I shoot a wedding I booked, i've never ever done one before.'
The reason is brutal: It puts your business at risk for being sued for triple damages in texas if your client decides your work 1) isn't worth the money they paid and 2) discovers they were your first wedding. (i'm going to assume you told them it was your first wedding, so maybe this isn't THAT bad).
None of the responses on this thread have been harsh at all, simple straight up advice based on what you have shared of your experience, equipment, and the fact you started the thread with "OMG! I've never done a wedding before!" I guess it _would_ be overly 'harsh' to point out you probably shouldn't be advertising to shoot people's wedding for money, and then join a photo forum with the hopes that there is magical secret formula for shooting weddings in a dark church with a kit lens and a base model DSLR. So just forget anyone suggested that might be fraud at worst, and misleading at best... because a year of shooting posed subjects _does_ make you "horribly inexperienced" in event photography.
Good luck, with enough planning and practice, and guts, I'm sure you will do a fine job.