Approve the Cookies
This website uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies and our Privacy Policy.
OK
Index  •   • New posts  •   • RTAT  •   • 'Best of'  •   • Gallery  •   • Gear  •   • Reviews
Guest
New posts  •   • RTAT  •   • 'Best of'  •   • Gallery  •   • Gear  •   • Reviews
Register to forums    Log in

 
FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Weddings & Other Family Events Talk 
Thread started 07 Jul 2013 (Sunday) 10:55
Search threadPrev/next
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)

Wedding photography experience

 
alexdesign
Senior Member
427 posts
Joined Apr 2011
     
Jul 07, 2013 10:55 |  #1

Hello everyone.

Yesterday I went to my very first mass event (an Indian engagement party with 200+ people). I am taking good photographs in natural light but..I was thrown out of my "element" when the (soon bride to be) refused to go outside to take some photographs.

We were confined to one huge room with very poor (horrible) lightening due to D.J. was controlling the light and when I asked them to turn up the light, they said it was the best they could do.

There was another photographer the family had invited who was semi pro, I haven't seen his work but he had only one body (Nikon) with very powerful external flash. The guy was always taking the best spots and since he was also Hindu, he spoke to them on native language and pretty much made them pose as he wanted them to pose. When I'd come to where he was standing, the group would disassemble right away and they'd go their separate ways.

My photography style is more of photo journalistic. I don't like when people pose. I much rather snap pictures when they don't expect me or don't expect me to be there but without an external flash (other one that was built in in my Canon Rebel 2Ti camera) I took some photos but they aren't what I was hoping to get due to horrible light in room.
My hubby had his 5D with him with an external flash and took some decent shots but then his flash died in mid event and he had to run to a store to buy a pack of batteries ;) Live and learn.

I was shooting with my 100mm canon lens and since I was holding the lens for 5+ hours, my hand is hurting and by the end of an event I got exhausted. So exhausted that when we got home I just undressed, dropped on my bed and was out..

My questions are : Now I know not to even bother going to an event without powerful external flash or at least 3 probes with soft boxes. The probe alone cost around $300 each puls each soft box is $150 for each probe... I don't have any paying clients and my monthly income is enough to pay just the bills. How did you get started in wedding photography? What do you do when a bride refuses to get natural light poses/portraits etc? What flash are you using? 500? I have 420 one and seems it wasn't very powerful in that huge room.

During the dancing/party event everyone got into medium size tight circle and all I could shoot were backs of people. I wasn't shooting but was trying to lift up my camera and point it down to shoot "inside" the circle and it was like click "shutter" and hope fot he best... what do you do in such situations? A large ladder would've been nice but then there's a risk of falling of the ladder and breaking something... What do you do in such situations?

Thanks


http://www.flickr.com/​photos/62731114@N02/ (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)
awad
Goldmember
Avatar
1,067 posts
Joined Mar 2005
Location: Philadelphia
     
Jul 07, 2013 11:18 |  #2

weddings usually have terrible light. a lot of the time the B&G spends a lot of money getting the room to look the way it does, they never have photography in mind when they do it. but nevertheless, asking them to change the way it looks on the day of the wedding, is a terrible idea.

sounds like the other photographer has had way more experience shooting weddings.

if you aren't able to handle terrible light and quickly changing lighting scenarios, you shouldn't be shooting weddings. period. stick with portrait sessions where you can control the lighting more.

during those circle dances, i always force my way into the center and grab shots from inside. but if i feel like staying in the outside, i just reach over the crowd and shoot the faces that are opposite from me, usually framing with the people's backs that are closer to me. but i'm 6'3 so that helps.

if you can't afford equipment, rent it. much cheaper than buying. also learn how to use your flash. you can light up huge areas with a small speedlight, but that all depends on how much you understand your camera. if i have an on camera speedlight, i use the same set of batteries for like 3 weddings before they finally die on me.


http://www.redfieldpho​to.com (external link)
http://www.theredfield​blog.com (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
Christopher ­ Steven ­ b
Goldmember
Avatar
3,547 posts
Likes: 6
Joined Dec 2008
Location: Ottawa, Canada
     
Jul 07, 2013 13:41 |  #3

I should first say that I'm really glad for both you and the couple that there was a professional photographer shooting and that you didn't enter into a situation where the couple were depending on your shots. It's far better to find out what you don't know / don't have in terms of equipment in this situation rather than a wedding you're shooting solo.

You may find yourself less 'out of your element' when you're the lead photographer of the event / wedding. Normally when you are the lead, you would be consulting with the couple about exactly what would happen, so there really wouldn't be so many surprises about, e.g., whether or not the bride is going outside.

'Poor light' is usually the most ideal lighting circumstances for anyone who is able to create light with flashes / strobes (is this what you mean by 'probe' ?). If you are depending solely on the light that is occurring at the venue for a wedding or event, you will find yourself in serious serious trouble, as I suspect you are beginning to learn.

Turning up the lights is not a good solution. Not only does it make for a less atmospheric event for people (who wants to party with supermarket fluourescent lighting ?), but it makes more difficult your ability to create shots that 'show' the darkness, that show that atmosphere.

Instead of worrying that the main photographer got the position for getting the 'best shots', I'd focus on elements that he can't even see. E.g., if the couple is his focus at that moment, grab candids of the guests whose focus will also be on them. You can get shots that are equally good if not better than his. Moreover, if you have the main photographer getting the groups, why waste your time getting even more of them ? You should be roaming around getting shots of the guests. Also--did you not talk with the couple about what your responsibilities were ? Did this include getting these group shots ?

When I hear 'my photography style is more photojournalistic' I often think I hear 'I'm beginning in photography and am passive and unable to get control of the scene and don't know how to pose people'. This may not refer to you, but just consider it. Consider it like you might consider the phrase 'natural light photographer'.

It's possible that you're not holding the lens right--do you hold under the lens with your left hand when shooting ? I just shot a 9 hour wedding last night with a 70-200 on my camera a significant part of the night, and my hands feel okay. My whole body, on the other hand, does feel wiped out--so you're definitely not alone here ! I hope you ate well--not eating, getting enough water can lead to serious fatigue.

Again, I'm guessing by 'probes' you mean 'strobes ?'. I don't use strobes. I use 2 flashes, one on-camera, one off. I also don't use softboxes and do fairly well with my setup.

Tungsten light IS natural light in a sense. It's the ambient you have to deal with for most weddings. You need to be able to accommodate the situation in which the bride doesn't want to go outside.

By '500' flash, I think you mean '580ex' ? I happen to use two 430ex's which suggests one doesn't absolutely need 580's to do weddings (though I'll eventually upgrade). I found mine for $150-$180 used. I also have an old vivitar that is solid as a rock.

For those circle dances I very often shoot wide, prefocus, lift the camera above my head and grab 3 shots for every 1 I hope will work--Ie., it will involve a little bit of luck in terms of exactly what the composition will look like, what was going on at that split second. I'm tall--6'2". If I were shorter than 5'8" or so, I'd either be in a chair or in the centre.

alexdesign wrote in post #16098742 (external link)
Hello everyone.

Yesterday I went to my very first mass event (an Indian engagement party with 200+ people). I am taking good photographs in natural light but..I was thrown out of my "element" when the (soon bride to be) refused to go outside to take some photographs.

We were confined to one huge room with very poor (horrible) lightening due to D.J. was controlling the light and when I asked them to turn up the light, they said it was the best they could do.

There was another photographer the family had invited who was semi pro, I haven't seen his work but he had only one body (Nikon) with very powerful external flash. The guy was always taking the best spots and since he was also Hindu, he spoke to them on native language and pretty much made them pose as he wanted them to pose. When I'd come to where he was standing, the group would disassemble right away and they'd go their separate ways.

My photography style is more of photo journalistic. I don't like when people pose. I much rather snap pictures when they don't expect me or don't expect me to be there but without an external flash (other one that was built in in my Canon Rebel 2Ti camera) I took some photos but they aren't what I was hoping to get due to horrible light in room.
My hubby had his 5D with him with an external flash and took some decent shots but then his flash died in mid event and he had to run to a store to buy a pack of batteries ;) Live and learn.

I was shooting with my 100mm canon lens and since I was holding the lens for 5+ hours, my hand is hurting and by the end of an event I got exhausted. So exhausted that when we got home I just undressed, dropped on my bed and was out..

My questions are : Now I know not to even bother going to an event without powerful external flash or at least 3 probes with soft boxes. The probe alone cost around $300 each puls each soft box is $150 for each probe... I don't have any paying clients and my monthly income is enough to pay just the bills. How did you get started in wedding photography? What do you do when a bride refuses to get natural light poses/portraits etc? What flash are you using? 500? I have 420 one and seems it wasn't very powerful in that huge room.

During the dancing/party event everyone got into medium size tight circle and all I could shoot were backs of people. I wasn't shooting but was trying to lift up my camera and point it down to shoot "inside" the circle and it was like click "shutter" and hope fot he best... what do you do in such situations? A large ladder would've been nice but then there's a risk of falling of the ladder and breaking something... What do you do in such situations?

Thanks



christopher steven b. - Ottawa Wedding Photographer

www.christopherstevenb​.com (external link)| Blog (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
alexdesign
THREAD ­ STARTER
Senior Member
427 posts
Joined Apr 2011
     
Jul 07, 2013 17:44 |  #4

Thanks Chris and Awad.

@Awad, you say that "sounds like other photographer has more experience" - I wouldn't say that. Other than he did have powerful flash (much more powerful than my hubby had and we have 400 one). When I had a minute with a couple, I asked the bride to pose her hands to capture her drawings on her hands. In Hindu cultures women pain hands on ceremonies I guess. Anyway, as soon as we've taken about 4 pictures and then I had both bride and the groom place their hands in a "pyramid" the other photographer appeared right there by us with his camera and stole my composition photos! All he was asking for people to pose for him "stand still and smile" and he wasn't very creative.

I had a few creative shots in my head but they'd be possible only if the bride would've agreed to go outside.

@ Award renting lens/flash might be an option but it doesn't come cheap either. How do photographers get their equipment (those who are just staring out)? Do they have a full time job and just spend their money into some equipment? Do they rent it out and hope to get gigs later on who'd pay and then they'd buy equipment to own?


http://www.flickr.com/​photos/62731114@N02/ (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
scorpio_e
Cream of the Crop
Avatar
7,402 posts
Gallery: 3 photos
Likes: 259
Joined Aug 2007
Location: Pa
     
Jul 08, 2013 05:53 |  #5

You have to be aggressive at Indian events or you will not get the shot. Being tall is an advantage.


www.steelcityphotograp​hy.com (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
nicksan
Man I Like to Fart
Avatar
24,729 posts
Likes: 51
Joined Oct 2006
Location: NYC
     
Jul 08, 2013 11:01 |  #6

alexdesign wrote in post #16098742 (external link)
My questions are : Now I know not to even bother going to an event without powerful external flash or at least 3 probes with soft boxes. The probe alone cost around $300 each puls each soft box is $150 for each probe... I don't have any paying clients and my monthly income is enough to pay just the bills. How did you get started in wedding photography? What do you do when a bride refuses to get natural light poses/portraits etc? What flash are you using? 500? I have 420 one and seems it wasn't very powerful in that huge room.

Are you talking as a guest or as the hired professional? If the latter, there's a lot of lessons you'll need to take in. Also, if your monthly income is enough to just pay your bills, perhaps you should re-think everything. It takes money to make money. Backup equipment, (at least 2 cameras, redundancy in focal lengths, lighting equipment, etc.), gear and liability insurance, contracts, etc...they all add up to a sizable amount of money. Not to mention getting a dedicated website (domain name, hosting, etc...).

Also, as to the bride "refusing" to get the natural light portraits, I think you have that twisted. As a professional, you HAVE TO be capable of getting high quality photos regardless of the situation. That's your job as the paid professional.

alexdesign wrote in post #16098742 (external link)
During the dancing/party event everyone got into medium size tight circle and all I could shoot were backs of people. I wasn't shooting but was trying to lift up my camera and point it down to shoot "inside" the circle and it was like click "shutter" and hope fot he best... what do you do in such situations? A large ladder would've been nice but then there's a risk of falling of the ladder and breaking something... What do you do in such situations?

Thanks

Sometimes there's nothing you can do. I do the same thing. Raise my camera up high, aim it and shoot. You get good at it if you do if enough times. But again, sometimes you are just totally blocked out. It is what it is...




  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
gonzogolf
dumb remark memorialized
29,675 posts
Gallery: 121 photos
Best ofs: 1
Likes: 4376
Joined Dec 2006
     
Jul 08, 2013 11:05 |  #7

Don't confuse photojournalistic with disengaged. Obviously you were at a disadvantage with your gear and the language barrier and the fact that there were 4 photographers there. That said, dont use the concept of photojournalistic style as an excuse to be totally disengaged going forward. Get in there an mix it up a bit.




  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
sapearl
Cream of the Crop
Avatar
16,284 posts
Gallery: 148 photos
Best ofs: 1
Likes: 1316
Joined Dec 2005
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
     
Jul 08, 2013 11:35 |  #8

alexdesign wrote in post #16099735 (external link)
......I had a few creative shots in my head but they'd be possible only if the bride would've agreed to go outside.

@ Award renting lens/flash might be an option but it doesn't come cheap either. How do photographers get their equipment (those who are just staring out)? Do they have a full time job and just spend their money into some equipment? Do they rent it out and hope to get gigs later on who'd pay and then they'd buy equipment to own?

This is quite common: What we have in our "creative mind's eye" vs. the available time or inclination of the b/g to do what WE want instead of visiting guests and having a good time; been there, done that. It's all about being firm but diplomatic, mindful of the customs, familiar with the flow of the wedding and aware of just how much time you have...........or don't have. You simply have to be flexible and make sure you have the right gear for the situation.

Always assume the worst, that there will be parts of the wedding that will have very little light, or low quality light. To be prepared you need at least two powerful flashes and plenty of batteries. If you have sufficient ambient light you can use your flashes to add pleasant, flattering fill. If the reception hall is dark - possibly controlled that way for DJ dance effects - then you have enough to bounce or creatively use with the dance floor effects.

People save up for gear, rent it, take out loans, etc. That's how we do it. Few people have everthing they need immediately, for that first job. I'm not clear on your role at this wedding. Were you and your spouse the hired pro's for this event, or were you just guests using this as a portfolio practice session. I feel this is the case since his flash batteries died in the middle of the event.


GEAR LIST
MY WEBSITE (external link)- MY GALLERIES (external link)- MY BLOG (external link)
Artists Archives of the Western Reserve (external link) - Board

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
sapearl
Cream of the Crop
Avatar
16,284 posts
Gallery: 148 photos
Best ofs: 1
Likes: 1316
Joined Dec 2005
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
     
Jul 08, 2013 12:44 |  #9

alexdesign wrote in post #16098742 (external link)
......My photography style is more of photo journalistic. I don't like when people pose. I much rather snap pictures when they don't expect me or don't expect me to be there but without an external flash (other one that was built in in my Canon Rebel 2Ti camera) I took some photos but they aren't what I was hoping to get due to horrible light in room.
My hubby had his 5D with him with an external flash and took some decent shots but then his flash died in mid event and he had to run to a store to buy a pack of batteries ;) Live and learn.....

Well arranged, nicely composed and properly illuminated posed shots can be hard work. They take practice to do well, but these are very often the lasting shots that are requested if not expected by the families of the b/g. These images comprise the "lasting future record" of grandma or grandpa as well as other elderly friends and relatives who will eventually leave us.

I can't tell you how many times I've looked at my parents - now deceased - old photos from their wedding and saw relatives and friends that I'd only heard of.

In this regard the pro is expected to be the strong, organized individual in charge of getting certain critical shots. Of course it is always helpful to have an assistant from the family, working with you from the family who is familiar with the important members. When I first meet with the couple this is something we discuss and I get a feel for the types of group shots they want, or that I feel will be desirable.

Yes, we all like to do those informal, casual and candid shots. And they play an important part of wedding coverage. But they are also easier to manage than the important group shots which are often the "money" shots. Any time I shoot a wedding the parents will ALWAYS order reprints of the family groupings. This is far less the case with random candids.


GEAR LIST
MY WEBSITE (external link)- MY GALLERIES (external link)- MY BLOG (external link)
Artists Archives of the Western Reserve (external link) - Board

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
Corbeau
Senior Member
Avatar
377 posts
Gallery: 2 photos
Likes: 1
Joined Jan 2013
Location: Ottawa, Ont, Great White North
     
Jul 08, 2013 14:40 |  #10

nicksan wrote in post #16101715 (external link)
Also, as to the bride "refusing" to get the natural light portraits, I think you have that twisted. As a professional, you HAVE TO be capable of getting high quality photos regardless of the situation. That's your job as the paid professional.

Was it David Hobby or perhaps Joe McNally who said something like "A photographer is someone who finds solutions to problems."


Look and think before opening the shutter. The heart and mind are the true lens of the camera. -- Yousuf Karsh

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
ssim
POTN Landscape & Cityscape Photographer 2005
Avatar
10,884 posts
Likes: 5
Joined Apr 2003
Location: southern Alberta, Canada
     
Jul 08, 2013 18:28 as a reply to  @ Corbeau's post |  #11

alexdesign wrote in post #16098742 (external link)
Hello everyone.

We were confined to one huge room with very poor (horrible) lightening due to D.J. was controlling the light and when I asked them to turn up the light, they said it was the best they could do.

This is the reason you need that external light source. I'm glad to see that you have acknowledged that issue.

alexdesign wrote in post #16098742 (external link)
My photography style is more of photo journalistic. I don't like when people pose. I much rather snap pictures when they don't expect me or don't expect me to be there but without an external flash (other one that was built in in my Canon Rebel 2Ti camera) I took some photos but they aren't what I was hoping to get due to horrible light in room.
My hubby had his 5D with him with an external flash and took some decent shots but then his flash died in mid event and he had to run to a store to buy a pack of batteries :wink: Live and learn.

If you really want to do wedding photography as a paid assignment then you need to start to concern yourself with what the client wants and not what you want. I always sit down with the client and ask them what they want out of their wedding pictures. Overwhelmingly the answer is a blend of both posed and spur of the moment images. Is your style the way it is because you don't have the confidence to do elegant posing. It can be tough at the beginning but in order to be a well rounded photographer I think you need ot be able to provide multiple styles or whatever the customer asks for. I see many that bill themselves as natural light photographers but for many this is because they fear using an external flash or don't wish to spend the money on one. Natural light images can be very nice but I have yet to shoot a wedding when I didn't need my flash to either make up for lack of overall light or simply to fill in shadows.

alexdesign wrote in post #16098742 (external link)
My questions are : Now I know not to even bother going to an event without powerful external flash or at least 3 probes with soft boxes. The probe alone cost around $300 each puls each soft box is $150 for each probe... I don't have any paying clients and my monthly income is enough to pay just the bills. How did you get started in wedding photography? What do you do when a bride refuses to get natural light poses/portraits etc? What flash are you using? 500? I have 420 one and seems it wasn't very powerful in that huge room.

I would think that for starting you should look at the Canon speedlight. I have recently picked up the Canon 600EX and it is a great unit. This is more a personal unit for me. For my paying work I have three of the Quantum T5Dr (external link) which can also work well as mobile studio lighting and a couple of the Quantum Trio (external link) which is a shoe mountable flash. I love the units that Quantum makes and they have capabilities that you won't find in your Canon speedlights. They make shooting a wedding a treat. The problem is that this hardware doesn't come cheap but, imo, is worth the investment if you are trying to do this profession full time. This is the bride's day and if she doesn't want to have natural light shots taken after you have explained it to her then it is her choice.

Being the photographer that is hired to do the wedding you sometimes have to become firm and/or aggressive with the couple and fully explain to them that if you don't get a certain shot now they won't get it at all. You still have to respect their decision though. I've shot many of the circle dances and I simply force my way into the circle for the time to take a few shots of the couple and the people surrounding them. I stay down low so as not to block the view of the participants. A tall ladder would work but it is not very practical for most of the receptions I have ever shot.

I am a tad confused about who was the hired photographer, was that you. If it was and you were giving way to the other shooter you should have spoken to the couple. Communication is the key to getting done what you need. If I ask a bride a question and she says no and I disagree with her I will take a minute or two to try to explain to her why that is the wrong answer.

It seems like one of your bigger hurdles and questions is how do you go about getting into the wedding marketplace. There are alot of threads in the business section and here that talk to that question in specifics. If you build yourself a good name in your local market and learn how to network well in that market you should not have trouble at least booking the odd wedding here and there.


My life is like one big RAW file....way too much post processing needed.
Sheldon Simpson | My Gallery (external link) | My Gear updated: 20JUL12

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)

1,559 views & 0 likes for this thread
Wedding photography experience
FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Weddings & Other Family Events Talk 
AAA
x 1600
y 1600

Jump to forum...   •  Rules   •  Index   •  New posts   •  RTAT   •  'Best of'   •  Gallery   •  Gear   •  Reviews   •  Member list   •  Polls   •  Image rules   •  Search   •  Password reset

Not a member yet?
Register to forums
Registered members may log in to forums and access all the features: full search, image upload, follow forums, own gear list and ratings, likes, more forums, private messaging, thread follow, notifications, own gallery, all settings, view hosted photos, own reviews, see more and do more... and all is free. Don't be a stranger - register now and start posting!


COOKIES DISCLAIMER: This website uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies and to our privacy policy.
Privacy policy and cookie usage info.


POWERED BY AMASS forum software 2.1forum software
version 2.1 /
code and design
by Pekka Saarinen ©
for photography-on-the.net

Latest registered member is Brandonjza80
1264 guests, 299 members online
Simultaneous users record so far is 15144, that happened on Nov 22, 2018

Photography-on-the.net Digital Photography Forums is the website for photographers and all who love great photos, camera and post processing techniques, gear talk, discussion and sharing. Professionals, hobbyists, newbies and those who don't even own a camera -- all are welcome regardless of skill, favourite brand, gear, gender or age. Registering and usage is free.