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  1. #1
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    equipment choice for weddings

    Hello! I just posted on another area and saw the help files. Please forgive me for posting the same question twice. Sorry, I am new! I would like to start doing wedding photography. I need help on what camera I should get. Does anyone have any suggestions? What other equipment will I need (lenses, filters, etc...)? Can anyone help me? Are there any wedding photographers out there?
    I am greatful for your help!
    Thanks, Michelle

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/mhaber/

  2. #2
    Learning more with every "click" mjs1973's Avatar
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    Re: equipment choice for weddings

    Welcome to the Forum. Lots of good questions, but not a lot of info to help point you in the right direction. For starters, how much experience do you have with photography? Do you want something with manual controls or something that you can use like a point and shoot? What type of system are you currently using? Film or digital? What is your budget? There are a lot of folks here that can help you out, but the more info you can give them, the better.
    Mike

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  3. #3
    has-been... another view's Avatar
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    Re: equipment choice for weddings

    I took a quick look at your site and it looks like you've been doing photography for awhile. Like the shot of the sunrise behind the pier with the shadows!

    I have done a few weddings (past tense, just not my thing...). More than equipment, it comes down to the mindset and knowing whatever equipment that you have inside out. Not to scare you off, but you have one chance to get it right and you're hired to get those results. Spare equipment is really important - stuff breaks, batteries wear out or settings get changed at the wrong moment and it's easier and quicker to just grab a backup than figure out what's happening. I don't know your background, so forgive me if you know how this works...

    If you can, it would be good to assist an established pro. They're not all receptive to people calling them (personal experience) because they might think they're helping a competitor get into the business. However, all you need is one that will talk to you, and you'll learn a lot. Being a good assistant to them will benefit you both.

    OK - as far as equipment, do you plan on shooting film or digital? It would make sense to build up whatever camera system you're already using, so it would be helpful if you would let us know what you've got.

  4. #4
    drg
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    la recherche de trolls drg's Avatar
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    Re: equipment choice for weddings

    Tall order!

    The questions regarding film or digital and whether you are invested in a particular camera brand are indeed important!

    For casual vs. full or nearly full time wedding photography, there's going to be a huge difference in how you may wish to invest in equipment.

    The services you offer as part of you wedding work will also dictate what gear you need. Journalistic style wedding coverage will require the least 'stuff' . Formal portraits plus coverage will require probably the most. The maximum size of image you are going to offer also will make a difference. I try to cater as much as possible to the whims of the client if possible, more sales, and if they want one or two large photos i.e. 16x20, as opposed to lots of smaller one or an album, then time allowed I'll shoot only with a 12MP+ DSLR or Medium format or even 4x5 LF.

    Generally you will need a good fixed focal length portrait lens( 70-100mm range in 35mm/DSLR size, a regular length (50mm) or a wide angle (~24mm) lens, a solid very adjustable tripod (you never know where you may have to shoot from), a good system or handled flash with external power or lots of rechargeable batteries, lots of film or Flash Cards, a light/flash meter is highly recommended, comfy shoes, a spare camera - even something different so that you'll get some photos. That is basic for a journalistic style of coverage unless you want to shoot with just one lens or a very high quality regular (24-70mm) zoom.

    Should you start adding portraits, then you'll find you need a lighting kit and backdrops.

    Now having talked about this in rather traditional terms, let it be said that I have photographed weddings with a Canon G5, and two now with a G6 on a Stroboframe with a 550EX flash. So you can see there are a lot of equipment possibilities.

    All this is only a small portion of being successful in photographing weddings. As has been mentioned many times elsewhere, a lot of this biz is people handling and sales.

    Welcome to Photography Review! There are several shooters who hang out here who know a lot about this facet of photography. Look forward to seeing more of your work (I've looked at your links, love hang gliding!) and more questions about where you want to go!
    CDPrice 'drg'
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  5. #5
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    Re: equipment choice for weddings

    Always carry an extra fully charged battery pack. Nothing worst than trying to keep peoples attention while you have to wait fifteen seconds for a flash to recycle.
    A Cross Screen filter is a "must have". It's a special effect filter that shows a flare above candles in particular, a dazzling effect. Can be left on lens at all times and does not have a filter factor.
    A couple of clothes pins,yes I said clothes pins. For the outside photos when Grammas' dress is blowing up around her neck

  6. #6
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    Re: equipment choice for weddings

    Ok here is some more information. Sorry, I left out so much.
    I would like to shoot in the digital format in the journalistic photography style. The digital camera I have now is a point and shoot with some manual features and could never be used on a job. I was looking for a digital SLR that would be best for the job (large prints, not too techy- more like a film SLR, lenses, etc...). I would like it to be easy to use. The option of an auto setting and manual. I would like to be able to get at least an 8x10 out of it but bigger would be better. I had some friends recomend the Canon (?)D20 and the Nikon D70.
    My goal is to start part time doing some friends and family weddings (they have been hounding me). They know I have no experience in wedding photography but are willing to be my guinea pigs Also, I would do peoples weddings who have a low budget and are willing to use a new wedding photographer and fairly new photographer. I am hoping that with in a year I will be able to market myself as a full time wedding photographer.
    If I do weddings full time it would always be the journalistic approach. Right now I would just like to get my hands on a camera that would be good for that (and also for other forms of photography as well- with weddings as my priority) so I can get used to using it (all cameras are different).
    As far as my budget is concerned I guess around the $800.00-$1500.00
    but if there is a camera that is just slightly above that than I will find the funding I know that I will need other equipment also like lenses, memory cards, batteries, etc...
    Most weddings around here are pretty casual. There are a lot of outdoor weddings such as beach weddings and weddings at the gardens, etc... I have done some video work for my husband (who is a wedding videographer) and I have an idea of how it all works. It is just a matter of getting the right equipment and some hardcore experience.
    I will see if I can find a photographer to hang out with. That is such great advice. Unfortunatley it is very competitive around here so hopefully someone will be willing. There are plenty of weddings to do though (3,000 a year and not enough photographers).
    I hope that I have covered everything. Please let me know if I left anything out! You guys are awesome!
    Thanks, Michelle

  7. #7
    has-been... another view's Avatar
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    Re: equipment choice for weddings

    If you don't have any system to build on, then either one of those two would be a good choice. I know the D70s just went thru a big price reduction but it's still in the $629 range, body only. It would be very risky to try to do something like this without a backup - if you're hired to shoot and can't do it because your camera stopped working just before the wedding starts, then you've got a problem... The P&S you have now could be used as somewhat of a backup, but it will limit you a lot (probably too much).

    However, I have seen people shoot with one digital body at weddings I've attended. Personally I wouldn't do it but obviously Murphy's Luck has been pretty good to some people. So a D70s, 17-85 DX lens (this camera body and lens sold in a kit), 50 f1.8 lens, SB600 flash, 2-3 gb worth of cards, a Stroboframe flash bracket and a cord to connect the camera to flash would probably be about the minimum you could get away with, I'd say. And you could probably find it all for about the upper range of your budget; maybe a little more.

    Again, two cameras and two flashes would be better and I'd put those high on the list of things to buy. Cords can break or short out so having spares of those is a good idea too. I had a friend help me out when I did my first wedding by loaning me a couple of pieces of equipment, so yes I did actually carry all this stuff... ;) The SB600 is the smaller of two flashes, and I'd probably get the SB800 which isn't that much more expensive in the grand scheme of things. I don't know Canon well, but they will have equivalents. Carry twice as many batteries as you think you'll need, too. Sounds like you've got a good plan though!

  8. #8
    Senior Member ChowChi-Ching's Avatar
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    Re: equipment choice for weddings

    Hello,
    I am shooting my first wedding on the 29th(very nervous!) and I just bought(yesterday) the SB600 Flash, Stroboframe Bracket and I have two Nikon D70s cameras, a 70-300 lens and a 28-70 lens. Should I get a different lens before going or will those two be sufficient? It is in a restaurant, it will be fairly low to low light. They want casual pictures, nothing formal, etc. Any extra help, would be great. I have already got alot of tips from the information you gave mahshelly1. (BTW, Sorry for hijacking your thread! Didn't mean to!)
    Summer Katz
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  9. #9
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    Re: equipment choice for weddings

    Your 28 - 70 is the only one you will need for inside photos. In fact,for outside also.

  10. #10
    has-been... another view's Avatar
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    Re: equipment choice for weddings

    Quote Originally Posted by ChowChi-Ching
    Should I get a different lens before going or will those two be sufficient?
    Only thing I'd be concerned about is that a 28mm lens isn't very wide on a DSLR. A lens that goes more into the 17 or 20 range would be very helpful in a lot of cases, such as the 18-70 or a lens like that. You do have the cable that goes from the camera to flash when mounted on the Stroboframe, right? Can't remember the number of the current one - the old one was an SC-17 but the new one is an SC28 or 29 I think.

    I agree about not needing the 70-300. Bring it, but it's pretty likely that you won't use it.

  11. #11
    Senior Member ChowChi-Ching's Avatar
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    Re: equipment choice for weddings

    Okay, I will look into another lens. I do have a SC-28 cord that I had to order but should be here in a few days.
    Summer Katz
    Katz Photography
    www.katzphotography.net

  12. #12
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    Re: equipment choice for weddings

    How to choose the right wedding dress, I just have no idea what to do in this situation

  13. #13
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    Re: equipment choice for weddings

    I recently had a wedding and the hardest part was choosing a wedding dress. I had been looking for one for days. Until I found out from my friend about a site like Hamilton bridal store There are so many good dresses on it. It's great for buying a cool dress here!

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