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Thread: Weddings

  1. #1
    Computer Support Tech MNRyan's Avatar
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    Weddings

    I'm not sure if this belongs here, but I couldn't seem to find anywhere better. So here it goes,

    I got a phone call today from a friend that wants me to shoot his sisters wedding. Not such a big deal, but I mainly shoot Wildlife/Landscapes. I have done some engagement shoots and reception, but nothing this high pressure. And then he threw in the twists, the wedding is this Saturday 7/11 and they have a 2 hour shooting time limit. I recommended him calling her and some how starting a lot earlier and I asked if she had planned what kind of shots she was looking for, he said she didn't know. The original photographer is going to be there, but it's a member of the family with very very little knowledge and shooting with a what sounds like a canon P/S. Basically he's paying me to help make sure the pictures turn out better. So my question is: Does anyone have some advice on shooting weddings that could help me out.

    Thanks,
    Feel free to edit my images, just let me know what you did.

    Nikon D90 w/18-105 VR, 70-300VR, 35mm f1.8G &Tamron 10-24 f3.5-4.5
    Nikon SB-600 Speedlight (x2) w/ Gary Fong 1/2 Cloud Light Sphere (x2) and 1 Cloud
    Slik Pro 700DX tripod w/Vanguard SBH-200 ball-head
    Panasonic ZS8

    My photo's:
    http://s1227.photobucket.com/albums/...20Photography/

  2. #2
    Member gryphonslair99's Avatar
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    Re: Weddings

    Tell them that you have an engagement in St. Paul this weekend and then run, not walk away from this one. This is a sure recipe for disaster. This is a once in a lifetime thing and these will be the only photos of this event that they will ever have. Unless you fell you have the ability to do this I see no real good coming from taking up the challenge on this kind of notice.

    If they do not want to hire an accomplished wedding photographer, then you might suggest to them that they purchase a quantity of disposable cameras and distribute them between family and friends. At least their expectations will hopefully be much less and the memories special because it was family and friends just recording what they saw.

    What ever happens, good luck. This is a tough situation to be in.

  3. #3
    Computer Support Tech MNRyan's Avatar
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    Re: Weddings

    I wish I could run but I've already committed and explained to expect the worst, that way if something decent comes from it then they will, hopefully, be pleased. :nonod: :shocked:
    Feel free to edit my images, just let me know what you did.

    Nikon D90 w/18-105 VR, 70-300VR, 35mm f1.8G &Tamron 10-24 f3.5-4.5
    Nikon SB-600 Speedlight (x2) w/ Gary Fong 1/2 Cloud Light Sphere (x2) and 1 Cloud
    Slik Pro 700DX tripod w/Vanguard SBH-200 ball-head
    Panasonic ZS8

    My photo's:
    http://s1227.photobucket.com/albums/...20Photography/

  4. #4
    Member gryphonslair99's Avatar
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    Re: Weddings

    Well, Like I said before, good luck. I will offer what I can. Keep in mind I hate bridezilla and mommyzilla so I avoid wedding photography like the plague. It just isn't worth it for me.

    First, unless you know this other hired photographer well, I would suggest that you let them be. I'm not to sure how receptive someone else is going to be to you making suggestions on what and how they shoot.

    Instead, I would suggest that you take the second photographer role. If the first photographer is lost as to posed shots, then step in and shoot them yourself. As for shots to take, do a lot of cramming on the internet or go to the library and look at sites and books dealing with weddings. Pick out the types of poses that you feel you can pull off and get the details down in your mind so you can re-create them when the time comes. One outstanding wedding photo can do a lot to make up for a bunch of lousy ones.

    Before the wedding you will want to of course get some of the bride and the brides party. The groom and the grooms party. After this is done it is a good time to take candid photos of the bride getting ready, the groom getting ready, family members coming in, and special guests, like great grand parents etc.

    During the wedding you will want to get what you can of the actual ceremony. Get there early, at least an hour early to set up and speak to the person officiating to learn their rules for shooting during the ceremony. I would suggest two hours early to get shots of the church, alter, flowers etc.

    After the wedding you want to get shots of the couple, then with the parents, brides first then the grooms. Then add the brides family, the grooms family, then all of the families together. Some of the entire wedding party with the bride and groom included of course. After that it is up to you. A hand shot with the ring, a kiss, etc.

    Have lots of batteries for your strobe. Lots of memory cards and swap often. Don't wait for the last shot but swap near the end when there is a lull in the action.

    Ok, got all that committed to memory? Like I said, good luck. I wouldn't want to be in your shoes for this one

  5. #5
    Spamminator Grandpaw's Avatar
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    Re: Weddings

    Just a couple of suggestions. First check all the settings on your camera and flash the night before and make sure the camera isn't on a strange setting you were using the last time pictures were taken. Check the ISO, compensation +or-, white balance set for what you will be shooting first and things like that. Remember that polarizer filter that you left on your lens from the last time you used it?

    I usually ask for someone that is familiar with everyone to help me out. This way when you need family members for a shot this person can help round them up for the picture and speed things up. After the wedding I usually start with the shots with more people in them and work my way down to the bride and groom. I have found this works better because the longer it takes to get the group shots the more jackets and ties come off delaying the shots getting them all back on. It also gives them less time to scatter and have to be located to take the picture. It makes for a big delay when the people you want in the next shot "groomsman" are out decorating the car.

    Remember when you frame a shot to leave enough room around the subject so when you crop for 8x10 or larger prints later something important is not cut out of the shot. Also be aware of your backgrounds when a picture is being taken, nothing like flowers and other things looking like the grew out of the top of someones head when you see the print.

    These are some random thoughts I had when I read your question. Be sure to have CHARGED UP BATTERIES AND CLEARED OUT MEMORY CARDS like has already been suggested. Remember that having a lens hood on a lens can make your equipment look more impressive but can cause problems when using a flash by having dark areas at the bottom of your pictures depending on the lens and location of the flash. also use bounce flash or a defuser when you can, Jeff
    Check out my website Here
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    All images posted by me anywhere are Copyrighted by Federal Law and may not be copied or used in ANY FORM without my personal written permission. Jeff Impey
    "I decided years ago I was only going to have two types of days... Very Good Days or just Plain Good Days I just refuse to have Bad Ones!!! :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

  6. #6
    project forum co-moderator Frog's Avatar
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    Re: Weddings

    Reading your post, I see you are the one being paid. I'd tell the friend that you expect to be paid for your time even if they don't like your pics because you did tell them that its not your field of photography.
    I think gryphon mis read and thought the other person was the paid photographer.
    Since they aren't, then I would take over and use your friend to help arrange things.
    If this is a formal wedding it will be more difficult. If its informal you have more leeway. Is it indoors or out? Can you pre check for backgrounds and stuff?
    I've only done snapshots at weddings and don't envy you one bit. We do have several wedding photographers here though and hope they jump in. You may want to repost in viewfinder and/or do a search for wedding advice shots. There is probably a wedding category in the gallery.

    Please come back and show us your results and then hang around. We learn both from good stuff and not so good and I'm curious as to how they will come out.
    Keep Shooting!

    CHECK OUT THE PHOTO PROJECT FORUM
    http://forums.photographyreview.com/...splay.php?f=34

    Please refrain from editing my photos without asking.

  7. #7
    Be serious Franglais's Avatar
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    Re: Weddings

    You have an excellent camera - lens - flash combination. In your situation I would simplify and do the following:

    1. Only use the 18-105 lens
    2. Use the flash on the camera set to BBL (fill-in) the whole time
    3. Set the camera to 800 ISO (except if you're in bright sunlight)
    4. Use flash light balance
    5. Use program mode the whole time
    6. Stay between 6 and 15 feet of your subjects the whole time except when doing groups
    7. Make sure you get the faces well

    What people want to see are the faces. Using Nikon's fill-in flash system ensures you get a fairly balanced result the whole time which looks natural
    Charles

    Nikon D800, D7200, Sony RX100m3
    Not buying any more gear this year. I hope

  8. #8
    Computer Support Tech MNRyan's Avatar
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    Re: Weddings

    I got some more info last night and found out that the wedding is outside and they now have two shooting locations, a park with some water falls and the other at the place of the ceremony which is also a park. It doesn't sound like the most formal of weddings (the last minute photographer) and I mentioned a few things to my friend about the other photographer and he told me not to worry about it.

    The biggest thing now that's bothering me is that I wont have a chance to preview either location and only having 2 hours to shoot the formal shots, this 2 hours is hoping that everyone gets there on time and we still have to travel from one park to the other. I wont have time to setup at the ceremony. I strongly urged my friend to convince her to move the shooting time up at least an hour if not 2 but I guess I'll have to wait and see.

    Now for some more questions, Being outdoors with a lower powered flash, I shouldn't have to diffuse it should I? Should I set the flash to rear sync? And I'll be be on my own so I wont be able to use a reflector, plus I don't own one. I guess that's one thing to my advantage is that it is all outdoors so there's no need for any fast glass that I don't have anyway.
    Franglais: Why use program mode? Wouldn't I want to use a combination of shutter and aperture priority modes?

    BTW I just wanted to thank everyone for the advice, and you can bet I will post some shots!

    Thanks,
    Last edited by MNRyan; 07-10-2009 at 05:03 PM.
    Feel free to edit my images, just let me know what you did.

    Nikon D90 w/18-105 VR, 70-300VR, 35mm f1.8G &Tamron 10-24 f3.5-4.5
    Nikon SB-600 Speedlight (x2) w/ Gary Fong 1/2 Cloud Light Sphere (x2) and 1 Cloud
    Slik Pro 700DX tripod w/Vanguard SBH-200 ball-head
    Panasonic ZS8

    My photo's:
    http://s1227.photobucket.com/albums/...20Photography/

  9. #9
    Be serious Franglais's Avatar
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    Re: Weddings

    MNR> It doesn't sound like the most formal of weddings (the last minute photographer) and I mentioned a few things to my friend about the other photographer and he told me not to worry about it.
    FR>> He's right. Simplify

    MNR> The biggest thing now that's bothering me is that I wont have a chance to preview either location and only having 2 hours to shoot the formal shots, this 2 hours is hoping that everyone gets there on time and we still have to travel from one park to the other.
    FR>> They won't get there on time. Just shoot whoever you got

    MNR> I wont have time to setup at the ceremony.
    FR>> You go in with the camera around your neck. The only thing you have to do is ensure you're standing at the best spot. Then shoot

    MNR> Being outdoors with a lower powered flash, I shouldn't have to diffuse it should I?
    FR>> No. Don't worry about it. Use it direct and make sure that you're close enough for the fill-in effect to work

    MNR> Should I set the flash to rear sync?
    FR>> No. Don't worry about it

    MNR> And I'll be be on my own so I wont be able to use a reflector, plus I don't own one.
    FR>> The one thing you DO have to worry about is the position and quality of the light on the faces. When you get to the park, the bride/groom will certainly have chosen some sports to do pictures. Your role is to make sure you use the best one, without everyone squinting into the sun or lit directly from above so their eyes disappear in their sockets.

    MNR> I guess that's one thing to my advantage is that it is all outdoors so there's no need for any fast glass that I don't have anyway.
    FR>> Indoors you can go to 3200 ISO. But don't forget to change it back when you go outdoors

    MNR> Why use program mode? Wouldn't I want to use a combination of shutter and aperture priority modes?
    FR>> Use what you feel most comfortable with and where you will make the least error. In Program mode the camera sorts out exposure and you don't have to think about it. When you're doing a wedding you don't have time to think about the camera. All your attention is given to crowd control and what's going on in front of you. I choose a setup where the camera will get it right most of the time with minimum intervention from me leaving me to concentrate on the rest
    Charles

    Nikon D800, D7200, Sony RX100m3
    Not buying any more gear this year. I hope

  10. #10
    Computer Support Tech MNRyan's Avatar
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    Re: Weddings

    Well I'm off to the races, well so-to-speak. Thanks for all the great tips! I'll post some shots as soon as I can.

    Thanks again,
    Feel free to edit my images, just let me know what you did.

    Nikon D90 w/18-105 VR, 70-300VR, 35mm f1.8G &Tamron 10-24 f3.5-4.5
    Nikon SB-600 Speedlight (x2) w/ Gary Fong 1/2 Cloud Light Sphere (x2) and 1 Cloud
    Slik Pro 700DX tripod w/Vanguard SBH-200 ball-head
    Panasonic ZS8

    My photo's:
    http://s1227.photobucket.com/albums/...20Photography/

  11. #11
    Be serious Franglais's Avatar
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    Re: Weddings

    Have fun. Don't forget to ask permission before publishing on Internet. They've paid you, it's in a private place (the park). You can't do what you like with the images.

    BTW in my last reply it sounded like I was saying don't do any preparation, which is not true. If I have time then I visit the places beforehand at about the same time of day and look at what the light is like, choose the best spots, etc. I try to make things as simple as possible for myself on the day, in order to avoid making mistakes. I only do about one wedding a year and that's not enough to be an expert.
    Charles

    Nikon D800, D7200, Sony RX100m3
    Not buying any more gear this year. I hope

  12. #12
    Computer Support Tech MNRyan's Avatar
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    Re: Weddings

    Well they pushed it ahead 2 hours and I show up an hour and a half before that and now they say that they're going to be an hour late. Oh well at least I have plenty of time to check out the area. I have already gotten permisson to use the photos, I generally ask when ever I'm asked to shoot an event. Well thank goodness for cell phones and evdo 3G internet!
    Feel free to edit my images, just let me know what you did.

    Nikon D90 w/18-105 VR, 70-300VR, 35mm f1.8G &Tamron 10-24 f3.5-4.5
    Nikon SB-600 Speedlight (x2) w/ Gary Fong 1/2 Cloud Light Sphere (x2) and 1 Cloud
    Slik Pro 700DX tripod w/Vanguard SBH-200 ball-head
    Panasonic ZS8

    My photo's:
    http://s1227.photobucket.com/albums/...20Photography/

  13. #13
    Member EverlastingImpressions's Avatar
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    Re: Weddings

    How did this turn out?

  14. #14
    Member gryphonslair99's Avatar
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    Re: Weddings

    Quote Originally Posted by EverlastingImpressions
    How did this turn out?
    You know what they say... "Dead Men Tell No Tales."

    That would be my guess.

  15. #15
    Member EverlastingImpressions's Avatar
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    Re: Weddings

    haha. I'm sure it wasn't THAT bad!

  16. #16
    Computer Support Tech MNRyan's Avatar
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    Re: Weddings

    I'm still working on the photos, all 990 of them. All I can say is we spent 1 hour at the first location and got all the bride, groom, and wedding party shot and then another 45 min at the second location for the family shots. I think they turned out ok for the rushed shooting time. Most of the pics are from the reception. But as soon as I get some free time (ha free time, good joke eh?.....) I will post some up!
    Feel free to edit my images, just let me know what you did.

    Nikon D90 w/18-105 VR, 70-300VR, 35mm f1.8G &Tamron 10-24 f3.5-4.5
    Nikon SB-600 Speedlight (x2) w/ Gary Fong 1/2 Cloud Light Sphere (x2) and 1 Cloud
    Slik Pro 700DX tripod w/Vanguard SBH-200 ball-head
    Panasonic ZS8

    My photo's:
    http://s1227.photobucket.com/albums/...20Photography/

  17. #17
    Member EverlastingImpressions's Avatar
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    Re: Weddings

    Looking forward to seeing them! :]

  18. #18
    Computer Support Tech MNRyan's Avatar
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    Re: Weddings

    Hey I haven't forgotten about the pics.... I'm been in the process of starting school and moving..... YAY....ok not really........ Anyways does anyone have a suggestion for a site to post pics to so I can link to them??
    Feel free to edit my images, just let me know what you did.

    Nikon D90 w/18-105 VR, 70-300VR, 35mm f1.8G &Tamron 10-24 f3.5-4.5
    Nikon SB-600 Speedlight (x2) w/ Gary Fong 1/2 Cloud Light Sphere (x2) and 1 Cloud
    Slik Pro 700DX tripod w/Vanguard SBH-200 ball-head
    Panasonic ZS8

    My photo's:
    http://s1227.photobucket.com/albums/...20Photography/

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