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FORUMS Photo Sharing & Visual Enjoyment Weddings & Other Family Events 
Thread started 14 Oct 2017 (Saturday) 14:05
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Help me shoot my first wedding!

Senior Member
840 posts
Likes: 24
Joined Mar 2009
Location: St. Louis
Oct 16, 2017 22:25 |  #16

When is this wedding? If they want outdoor wedding shots and you start practicing outside at 4pm today, your light will be very different at 4pm come Daylight Savings Time after November 5th. My wedding photographers knew full well of that situation, and were very prepared for it. We ended up shuffling down the field during the sunset to chase the sun, but man did those photos turn out great.

Also, ask the bride ahead of time if there are any certain poses that she would like. My mother and aunts all did the same pose with their bridesmaid's bouquets on their dress. Our photographers certainly did not miss that shot, and my mother cherishes that photograph of my wife

Canon 6D Mk I
24-70mm F/4L , 70-200mm F/4L , 50mm 1.8 I , Rokinon 14mm F/2.8 & 35mm F/1.4
"I'm so far behind, it looks like I'm winning"

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Monkey ­ moss
Senior Member
944 posts
Likes: 465
Joined Apr 2012
Location: Bristol, England
Oct 23, 2017 13:55 |  #17

Great advice

wallstreetoneil wrote in post #18474275 (external link)
Here is the absolute minimum I would use, if required to do so, to shoot a wedding:

1) A main camera, with 2 cards, a 24-70 F2.8, a hotshoe mounted flash for bouncing when required, backup camera battery, spare memory cards
2) on my belt / person a 70-200 F2.8 IS
3) a battery pack for the flash and a backup flash on my belt

In my wedding bag, a backup emergency camera, a 24-105 in case either or both of your 2 main lenses broke or were stolen, a fast F1.4-1.8 35 or 50 prime for very low light reception situations and a spare flash (I want to be able to shoot a wedding from my spare bag if something happen to the equipment I'm carrying.

For you, given what you have posted about your landscape experience, here a few things:

1) People need directing - you are going to be in charge - if you aren't no one will and it won't work - so you are now in charge - the good thing is, besides the bride, everyone will listen to you because that is what is expected at a wedding - and if the groom and bride have appointed you, you basically get to do wtf you need to do as long as the bride has approved it - so do it - get the job done (but don't be an ASS - be polite - you are not the show - the bride and groom are the show)

2) the bride has paid for her dress, or her parents have, do not blow out the dress - if you have a bunch of white in the picture, you are going to have to pixel peep occasionally to check exposure so that her dress is properly exposed - if presented with a pale fair skinned blonde bride and a dark tanned groom wearing all black - the bride always wins

3) spend a few days looking at nothing but wedding pictures and pick 5-10 poses that you like and 'practice' in your mind setting these up pictures - directing the bride, groom and family will be necessary (you are in charge and weddings have schedules)

4) F2.8, F4, F8 (1 row, 2 rows, more than 2 rows) - focus on the bride's eye

5) watch a few video's on bounce flash and then practice mixing ambient and bounce flash how much ISO relative to correct ambient exposure and then how much FEC to get a good exposure without it looking like people have been flash bombed

6) some couples and individuals are very natural together, some are not - they are very wooden - sometimes with these types of people, simply showing them a few pictures on the back on the camera, to show them how they look, make a little change, more feedback and then they will get what looks good

7) where are you going to stand when people walking down isle, etc, etc, etc - i.e. what does the event space look like and what are your camera settings for when action type stuff is happening

8) take lots of pictures of all the little artsy things that the bride and groom have made for their day - use LR / PS and try and produce some artsy unique photos

9) if for whatever reason, the colours / exposure doesn't work out, or maybe you just don't like the picture, force the picture to b&w and see what you can create

10) old people, grand parents, uncles and aunts, people that may not always be around - search out these situations as the day / night happens and find these pictures for the couple

11) if you have a certain picture set up, you really have 2 to 3 pictures so take them all (a full body portrait, a tighter 3/4 portrait, and or a the same but landscape) - think of shooting wider to allow cropping also

12) if / when you are doing a full body that includes the bride, do NOT crop off or not include the entire dress - the dress is like a 3rd important person

13) drink water throughout the day, make sure you eat, avoid alcohol

14) if it looks like it is going to rain, go purchase a few large white umbrellas from the camera store

You can shoot an entire wedding with 1 camera, one lens and a good flash if you really know what you are doing. If I had that, and I was allowed to bring one other thing, I would ask for an exact second copy of everything so that if anything went wrong, I would be ok. That one camera would be a Canon 5D3/4 or Nikon 810/850 with a 24-70 F2.8.

Jon :cool::oops::D:cry::confused::(:lol:
Gear: 5Diii, 16-35 f4, 24-70 f2.8 ii, 70-300L, 35mm f2 IS, 85mm 1.8
My Flickr (external link)

2,227 posts
Gallery: 21 photos
Likes: 545
Joined Mar 2009
Location: Beaverton, Oregon
Oct 27, 2017 11:02 |  #18

Larry Johnson wrote in post #18473521 (external link)
Go back to your friends and explain to them that you feel you have been put in a lose-lose situation. If they don't like the photos, your friendship is threatened and they have to live with unacceptable photos.

That opinion may not be true to fact.

Our son and his wife asked me to shoot their wedding and I suggested that they get someone more experienced. They still wanted me to photograph for them, and got enough to be satisfied. It wasn't comparable to the best, but it wasn't a loss.

So I wouldn't tell someone that total loss is the only result over the horizon isn't realistic. If he knows some photography, I bet "okay" may be the low bar, but there may be a chance for some very nice photos. (external link) . . . and . . . Coast Redwoods Main Page (external link)

2,227 posts
Gallery: 21 photos
Likes: 545
Joined Mar 2009
Location: Beaverton, Oregon
Oct 27, 2017 11:07 |  #19

ericz34 wrote in post #18472604 (external link)
Well, Wedding AND engagement!

Thing is I don’t do people.. I usually do landscape and urban/architecture photography. But both party’s are great friends and they wanted me to be the person to shoot their special days despite my advice to hire a professional photographer lol.

My biggest question is aperture.. I have a 6D and I’ll be renting a 70-200 f2.8.. I’m afraid of not getting them in focus, should I shoot at f4? For the proposal I think f4 would be best, and the wedding maybe f2.8?

Also, any tips are welcome.. considering I have no clue what I’m doing lol.

Thanks in advance!

If you usually do landscape, and reading your questions ... my thought is maybe practice a few portrait sessions with friends in the meantime, to get a handle on the aperture. It may require renting the lens twice. But it will give a chance to compare bokeh and depth of field.

If you can handle buying Tamron's 70-200mm with VC ... it's almost as good as Canon's ... and sometimes even sharper. (external link) . . . and . . . Coast Redwoods Main Page (external link)

5 posts
Likes: 8
Joined Nov 2017
Location: Adelaide, Australia
Nov 06, 2017 17:35 |  #20

Setting the couples expectations, realistically, is the most important job you have. Shoot at 2.8 or 4 or whatever you know you will confidently get in focus images at. In focus with bad lighting and composition is better than out of focus with good lighting and composition. Shoot what you are confident at and stress to the couple this is your first time!

Adelaide wedding photographer (external link)

44 posts
Likes: 11
Joined Apr 2007
Dec 05, 2017 12:07 |  #21

Two specific things:

- shoot a ton of general people shots with that 70-200, which is the workhorse of weddings, IMHO. Nothing counts like experience with your rig and your specific camera + lens combo.

- if in doubt, crank up the ISOs. If you aren't sure if the body will perform well at that ISO, see #1. TEST and get experience on it first.

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Help me shoot my first wedding!
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