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  1. #1
    Member Stina's Avatar
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    Question Taking my camera to a Wedding

    The younger sister of a friend is getting married this weekend (Iíve know the entire family my whole life) and I am debating on if I should take my camera with me. I donít want to get in the pros way but just thinking about taking some black and white candid shots for them. I am considering taking either my 50mm or 135mm I donít want to take a lot so I can enjoy the wedding and not spend the entire time messing with gear. I am planning on using Ilford XP2. Any suggestions on which lens to take and if I should even take my camera with me. I really enjoyed some of the candids a friend of mine took at our wedding so I think as long as I stay out of the way it will be okay.
    If every morning when you wake your goal is to straighten out people, you probably should be a funeral director. - Charles Lowery

  2. #2
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    Nothing wrong with taking a camera

    Why shouldn't you take a camera? Just because you are a photographer doesn't mean you can't enjoy photography when a hired photographer is there. And you said it yourself, that is long as you stay out of his/her way.

    Take the 50. When I shoot weddings. I tend to like the shorter lengths for a more dramatic composition. While the photog is doing his thing keep an eye out for things that catch your eye that he might be missing.

    Enjoy, have a great time and capture some once in a lifetime moments.

    Dennis
    "Foolish consistency is the hobgobblin of little minds." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

  3. #3
    Member Stina's Avatar
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    Thanks Dennis I guess I just needed someone to tell me it was okay and thanks for the advice about taking the 50mm. I hope a can get a few shots they will enjoy.
    If every morning when you wake your goal is to straighten out people, you probably should be a funeral director. - Charles Lowery

  4. #4
    Erstwhile Vagabond armed with camera Lionheart's Avatar
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    Smile wedding photos

    I think taking as little gear as possibe is a good idea. The official photographer might feel a little uneasy if he or she sees someone with as much gear as they're carrying. I shot candids at my cousin's wedding last year and brought all my gear (he actually requested me to be the official candid photographer) and the main guy took serious umbrage at my presence, even though I told him I'm there just for candids and stayed out of his way. It probably didn't help that my gear was quite a bit more upscale than his. For my part, I should have just taken a short zoom to take photos with. I was so busy looking for those cute candids and switching lenses and trying not to piss off the photographer that I didn't get to enjoy the wedding.

  5. #5
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    Never Again

    I will never again listen to anyone that say's not to bring any camera's to there wedding. I missed out on taking some great wedding pictures when the bride wanted just the professional to handle all the pictures. Everyone was also told in advance no flash and guess what happen when the Bride and her father were coming down the isle. Every amatuer with a point & shoot and also digital ignored their wishes and shot pictures like crazy. I was so concerned not to steal any shots from the pro or even get in anybodies way that I didn't bring my F100 or lenses. These days no one pays attention to these requests and plus you should have seen the way the wedding party was dressed. The family group formal looked ridiculous.

    The pro also lost many negatives of the wedding and on top of it they waited almost a year for their album plus if it had not been for the snap shots taken by the mother of the bride and others their wedding pictures would have been limited. They also paid 2,500 to the photographer for his crappy work. Take the 135mm and the 50mm. You can get great candids of the bride & groom with 135mm without them noticing you.
    Last edited by wslandry3; 02-23-2004 at 08:31 PM.

  6. #6
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    "Professional"...

    I like to use that term loosely because it doesn't mean they are any good, just that they can afford an ad in the phone book. Most of them charge extra for the candid shots later in the day. And they CANT take candids during the ceremony and during photo hour because they are taking posed stuff. The couple will love the photos from you. For their gift give them an IOU in the card and tell them their gift will be in the mail shortly.

  7. #7
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    My experience as a wedding guest w/ camera.

    By all means take your camera. I have always brought a camera (SLR, a couple of lens and, more recently, a small digicam -all in one small bag) to weddings and have never had a issue with the wedding photographer. An album of good candids is often a favorite gift. If you are respectful and the pro is professional (and secure in their skill) you shouldn't have a problem.

    These practices have been helpful for me: I stay out of the photographer's way, line of sight and out of the spots that they seem to want to move to. I also make very sure that my flash doesn't interfere with their shots. Finally, I always try to remember to enjoy the wedding and take shots in the flow of being there. You will get better shots, have a better time, and be less of a potential "threat" to the working photographer.

    Have fun and let us know how it goes!

  8. #8
    Hardcore...Nikon Speed's Avatar
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    Take Your Camera!

    Quote Originally Posted by Stina
    The younger sister of a friend is getting married this weekend (Iíve know the entire family my whole life) and I am debating on if I should take my camera with me. I donít want to get in the pros way but just thinking about taking some black and white candid shots for them. I am considering taking either my 50mm or 135mm I donít want to take a lot so I can enjoy the wedding and not spend the entire time messing with gear. I am planning on using Ilford XP2. Any suggestions on which lens to take and if I should even take my camera with me. I really enjoyed some of the candids a friend of mine took at our wedding so I think as long as I stay out of the way it will be okay.

    And take both lenses! And your flash if you have one.

    I recently took photo's at a co-worker's wedding, where they had a pro photographer. I made it a point to stay out of his way, and not to take photo's at the same time he did (didn't want our combined flashes washing out faces/details). I respected his space, and did my best to be unintrusive. I normally shoot five rolls of film at a wedding, but I only shot three at this one since she had a pro there.

    The bride's mother went ballistic when the pro's photos came in because my shots were better than his. :-) You never can tell, but you may capture a shot that they treasure forever.

    As Lionheart and Wslandry mentioned, some pro's may be intimidated by you. If they are, they aren't much of a pro! And as they also mentioned, you have the opportunity to get some great casual shots that the pro won't be able to get.

    I always make a point of asking the bride, groom and preacher about photographing the wedding ceremony itself. Universally, the preachers don't want photo's taken during prayer. I always respect that. I also make it point not to take flash photo's during the ceremony. I use my 50mm with an 80B filter to take shots then. But you can bet that there will be dozens of point and shoot camera's and they will be taking shots all during the ceremony. I find this annoying (what ever happened to having respect?) and slightly funny ( like that P&S from the middle of the church is going to give them a decent photo!).

    Take your camera, enjoy the wedding, and show us some of your shots. :-)
    Nikon Samurai # 1


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  9. #9
    Member Stina's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone a while back I didn't take a camera to another friends brother's wedding and later regretted it when I was told the ďproĒ was a real jerk and did even get some of the shots he was supposed to. When I saw him at the wedding I thought he was someoneís Uncle taking the photos for them because he was dressed in a manner I thought unprofessional for the wedding photographer (faded blue jeans and an old looking shirt). I have a small bag I can fit my camera and both lens in so I guess Iíll go ahead and take both. I think Iíll just take black and white film. Iíve been on a bit of a black and white kick lately so Iíll just run with that and try to do the best I can to get some candids and stay out of the proís way.
    If every morning when you wake your goal is to straighten out people, you probably should be a funeral director. - Charles Lowery

  10. #10
    We just can't have nice things... darkrainfall's Avatar
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    I'd say, go ahead and take your camera, but just remember that the "pro" photographer is doing this to make money as well as, hopefully, have some fun taking the pics. That and if you do take your camera, try not to take a flash picture at the same time as the hired photog because it can and will wash out details. I was shooting a wedding and I was using digital and film, the mother of the bride wanted a particular shot to use for cards after the wedding and I complied and took a couple shots with my digital camera. What I didn't realize until I reviewed my pics was that someone behind me used their flash at the same time that I took the pic and washed out the faces of the people in the first row of the pic. I had taken a couple of shots, but had framed them differently. I also had the same picture on my film camera, but it was off to the labs and the mother wanted her picture right away. I ended up photoshopping as best as I could and explaining to her what had happened. Also, if you have pro equipment, you might want to talk to the photographer to let them know you are just there to take candids and hopefully the photographer won't be a jerk. *smile*

  11. #11
    Senior Member Charles Hess's Avatar
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    Others all had great advice, so I'll just echo that you certainly should take your camera. If I took both lenses, I'd probably wind up never taking the 50mm off the camera. Just remember not to get in the way of the photographer during those obligatory set-up shots. Enjoy.

  12. #12
    has-been... another view's Avatar
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    Absolutely take the camera. People at weddings expect to be photographed so it's an easy way to get great people shots. While the 135mm lens would let you get a little farther away from your subject so you'd be more discreet, the 50mm would still be my choice for a couple of reasons. First off, you don't need to worry about being discreet - it's a wedding. If you get closer the results will be better. Second, if you're not using flash at some point, the 135mm would require about two more stops of light to handhold (and it's probably a slower lens than your 50mm) so you'll probably need a tripod with it or 3200 speed film. But bring it and a flash in case.

    I've photographed at several weddings and been the hired pro for one at this point, and don't see any conflict with what's been talked about. You don't want to get in the pro's way or stand next to them and copy their posed shots, etc but that's just common courtesy. The pro is probably concentrating on getting all of the shots on the list first and candids second. No one person can take every great shot that could be taken at a wedding. So many great candid shots will happen just because you were here or there while the pro is shooting the cake cutting, etc.

    At my sister's wedding, I noticed the pro watching me and looking at my camera. I walked up to him, introduced myself and told him I would try to stay out of his way and feel free to yell at me if need be, etc. He was a nice guy and didn't have a problem with it. I took candids when he was doing posed shots, etc.

    This is turning into a book... A couple of final things - count how many other people there have cameras, you won't be the only one. If the hired photographer is good at what he or she does, they shouldn't have a problem with you being there, they realize this. If they're a jerk, then just stay out of their way but I personally wouldn't put the camera away because of this. Have fun!

  13. #13
    Member Stina's Avatar
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    I don't think I will have any problem with the pro. I found out he is the same photographer that did my best friends wedding. The only time I heard him get cross with someone taking photos was after he had to repeatedly ask someone to please wait until he took his shot before taking their picture, which I totally understand.

    I don't have any 3200 film at home but my 50mm is a f1.4 and my 135mm is a 2.8 and the church and the reception hall are both pretty well lit so hopefully I can get by with my 400 speed film and flash only if needed, I guess I can always push it if necessary. My camera is a Minolta X-700 so I don't think my gear will cause anyone to worry about me causing him any sales.

    I don't know why I always worry about taking my camera somewhere. I usually feel fine once I get there and have it in my hand. I am just weird I guess
    If every morning when you wake your goal is to straighten out people, you probably should be a funeral director. - Charles Lowery

  14. #14
    has-been... another view's Avatar
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    During the service, you'll be lucky if you get 1/30 at f2.8 with 400 speed film. My point was, even if you did, you couldn't get a sharp hand-held image with a 135mm lens. This same exposure would work out to 1/60 at f2 with your 50mm which you should be fine with. Of course, you might not have that much light, but you still might be OK with two stops less (1/30 at f1.4, if you're very careful). I don't know if you plan to shoot during the ceremony or at all without flash, but it's something to think about. Good luck!

  15. #15
    Member Stina's Avatar
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    I betting I won't take any during the service because, well (pushes back chair and stands) My name is Christina and I cry at wedding. I guessing I won't be able to focus well during the service Thats part of the reason I couldn't do wedding photography that and the once in a lifetime day stress.
    If every morning when you wake your goal is to straighten out people, you probably should be a funeral director. - Charles Lowery

  16. #16
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    Re: Taking my camera to a Wedding

    I posted something up before - but it mysteriously disappeared... I think it's great that people that love to take photos bring their camera to a wedding. However, I also believe that you should respect the couple's choice in main photographer and only use a long lens. A lens shorter than 100mm on a full frame (a 50mm lens on a cropped sensor is not quite so bad) will require you to get close into the action and remove the flexibility the pro needs, to do what he is being paid to do. I have seen too many people getting in the way - either in front or behind the action. Respect goes both ways.

  17. #17
    Analog Photographer, Digital World Axle's Avatar
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    Re: Taking my camera to a Wedding

    Yes bring the camera! I did it with my cousin's wedding (I took my big "pro" kit with me). The professional hired for the wedding didn't mind, in fact, he loved it as he could sit back and enjoy the wedding at times as there was a second guy there.

    And on a side note, you've inspired me to bring my F3 to the wedding I'm shooting in October to get some b/w film shots. I just need to go and pick up some 35mm black and white at ISO-400 (I only have some Delta 100 which may not be fast enough!)
    Alex Luyckx | Photography
    Capturing Beauty in Everything

  18. #18
    project forum co-moderator Frog's Avatar
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    Re: Taking my camera to a Wedding

    Well, even though this post in 5 years old, I will say that often the casual shots taken by people at weddings can be some of the most memorable.
    I will also add that at some churches, photography is not allowed during the ceremony as it distracts from the sacramental nature of the service.
    Keep Shooting!

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  19. #19
    Moderator Skyman's Avatar
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    Re: Taking my camera to a Wedding

    depending on the wedding I take one body and a couple of lenses that will fit into a smallish bag. usually I take my 18-55 and 70-200, If I am feeling like I could spend more time playing then I will also take my 135mm soft focus and my 35-105 or 24 and 28mm primes. I usually also take one flash but not a bracket flash. I have taken my full kit and the photographer actually borrowed gear and started asking me a lot of questions about what I had and how I used it. I also try to take as few shots at the reception as possible as I want to enjoy myself (not that taking photos isn't) and try not to get in the way.
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  20. #20
    Design Slacker mattbikeboy's Avatar
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    Re: Taking my camera to a Wedding

    Holy old threads Batman!! ;)

  21. #21
    project forum co-moderator Frog's Avatar
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    Re: Taking my camera to a Wedding

    Quote Originally Posted by mattbikeboy
    Holy old threads Batman!! ;)
    Yeah, but judging by the responses its still relevant.
    I think a spammer got it up on top again but their post is gone.
    Keep Shooting!

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  22. #22
    AutoX Addict Mr Yuck's Avatar
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    Re: Taking my camera to a Wedding

    Some of my favorite pictures at my wedding were taken by my cousin rather than our official photographer (who did a great job as well)
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  23. #23
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    Re: Taking my camera to a Wedding

    I think taking photos at wedding is one of the challenging one but the experienced photography face that to capture everyone...

  24. #24
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    Re: Taking my camera to a Wedding

    thanks for info


  25. #25
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    Re: Taking my camera to a Wedding

    thanks fot the information. Knew a lot of useful.

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