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Author Topic: Wedding Photography  (Read 6460 times)

Offline rksmith51

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Wedding Photography
« on: August 31, 2010, 01:41:50 PM »
I have rather reluctantly agreed to shoot my niece's wedding in May next year, I'm no portrate photographer and I know this is a big ask with answers that will be many and varied. If you were doing it, what kit would you use and what basic configuration would you have.

I have a Nikon D3s and a D300 so both will be taken, I have a 14-24 f2.8 for wide shots and a 70-200 f2.8 but feel that may be too long for the Bride and groom and other group shots, my flash is an SB800 and a http://www.garyfongestore.com/flash-accessories/lightsphere-universal-cloud.html Gary Fong lightsphere

I will take RAW & Jpg Should I stick to ISO 200 and f2.8 or what ?

Bob


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Offline Jonathan

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Re: Wedding Photography
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2010, 01:45:39 PM »
Hey Bob - got your email and was hoping to reply this afternoon.  Do you mind if I answer here instead?
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Offline rksmith51

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Re: Wedding Photography
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2010, 03:13:49 PM »
Hi Jonathan, I didn't want to bother you as I know you must be busy  :), a reply here would be much more beneficial to everyone, so please respond here.

Bob
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Offline Jonathan

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Re: Wedding Photography
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2010, 04:22:57 PM »
Right.

I'm going to preface this with a warning not to take my word on anything.  There are many opinions on this and lots of people will have a view.  I can only give you one view because I only do things one way (plus I make most of this up as I go).  And seriously play it safe.  People will advise you of all kinds of crazy off camera flash.  While you're sweating about that you'll miss something.  I guarantee it.

I would normally never advise people to buy kit for a wedding - just use whatever they have.  But there's a massive gaping hole in your lineup.  You don't have an in room weapon ;)  The 14-24 is a great lens but I hardly use it at weddings.  Some people use it to stunning effect but I've never got the hang of it.  With the 70-200 you have to be at lest 8 feet away to focus and a LOT further away if you want to shoot a group.  You could benefit from something in the 24-70 (D3) or 18-50 (D300) range.  If you think you can justify the 24-70 then go for it :D but the 35-70 or Sigma 18-50 are both good choices (Siggy on the 300 naturally).  If I could only take one lens to a wedding it would be the 24-70.

70-200 is a GREAT lens for B&G as long as you have the confidence.  You'll be some distance away and some people find directing couples by shouting a little difficult (FWIW my favourite is now the 150 on the 'blad - for full length shots I have to yell)

Here's the 70-200 at about 90mm to give a nice soft b/g.



SB800 with Gary Fong?  Excellent choice indoors.  Not too bad outdoors either.  It gives boring safe light.  And boring and safe is what you want.  Some people put black tape on various bits of it to dram it up a bit and you could have a play with that at a practise session.  But it will get you in the ballpark more often than not.  Plus people will naturally smile when they see it.  OK, they will laugh.

>> I will take RAW & Jpg Should I stick to ISO 200 and f2.8 or what ?

Personally I think f4 is a better go to aperture.  You'll want to change it according to the subject but f4 is safeish for anything apart from groups of more than 2.  On full frame 2.8 will kill you unless you are good ;)

Personally I shoot the majority of the day on matrix metering (plus or minus - usually plus....), single centre focus point, AF-S, aperture priority and adjust ISO to taste.  On the D3s 800 is a really nice place to be.  3,200 with flash when it gets dark is kind of nice too ;)

And if I were using those 2 lenses and those 2 cameras....then I'd put the wide on the D3S and the long on the D300 because then you play to the strength of each sensor.  But I'd really want something in the middle.  Even a 50/1.8 would be a lot safer than super wide + an outdoor lens.
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picsfor

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Re: Wedding Photography
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2010, 06:36:16 PM »
Last time i done a wedding - i don't think i moved off the 24-105 very much, and that was using a 2 body set up.
Not sure i would now either.

However, i rather see me telling JR how to do weddings in the same bracket as JR telling me how to drive a train...

Offline rksmith51

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Re: Wedding Photography
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2010, 06:48:07 PM »
Thanks Jonathan, you have confirmed my main concerns that my best lenses ( Nikon ) are all just outside the most suitable range. I have a Sigy 18-200 but TBH I don't rate it and am reluctant to use it. Interesting your choice of + on the metering as I have often to brighten up lots of images to my liking.

The Gary Fong Lightsphere always get comments, I just tell people to put some drink in the top and it will keep me going for a while  :D it does however work very well for me.

I'm off to search for a lens, let me know if you can think of anything else that will get me set up.

Best regards, Bob.
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Offline Eileen

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Re: Wedding Photography
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2010, 08:38:19 PM »
Jonathan has pretty much said it all. One other source of advice and inspiration for me is Neil Van Neikerk's flash/wedding photography blog. http://neilvn.com/tangents/

One of the great things Neil does is explain flash and related issues very simply and clearly. There's lots of good advice in there about using one on-camera flash. If you're anything like me at these events it will be hard to think clearly when under pressure and 'Keep it Simple, Stupid' is one of the best pieces of advice I've had on this subject.

That and getting lots of practice in in taking pictures indoors in low light. Nerves will get to you on the day - you want as much as possible to be able to operate on auto pilot, without needing to spend ages trying to work out how to do things. I love my 70-200 and if I had to do a whole wedding with just one lens that'd be it. But a mid-range zoom is much more practical really...
« Last Edit: September 01, 2010, 05:17:46 AM by Eileen »

Offline irv_b

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Re: Wedding Photography
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2010, 10:20:03 PM »
^^^ couldn't agree more  :tup: - I am an avid reader of his blog and it has me trying things that I wouldn't have thought of (with varying degrees of success ;D ;D)
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Offline rksmith51

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Re: Wedding Photography
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2010, 11:01:51 PM »
Thanks Eileen, that's a great link with loads of info, it echos a lot of Jonathan's advice and advises getting out and practicing with the setup before the big day.

Bob
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skellum

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Re: Wedding Photography
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2010, 01:13:16 AM »
Well here is my input from a Football tog that now does weddings.  I use my 70-200 on one body and 24-105 on the other plus a 50mm 1.8 and  17-40 to hand just in case plus the tripod for the boring formal family shots with the happy couple ( My wife Jenny is involved here getting everyone into place and adjusting the Brides dress, flowers and all the rest )

If it is a Church wedding go to the rehearsal that way you will get to see what will happen on the day and hopefully plan were you should be. Introduce yourself to the Vicar / Priest ( or whoever is in charge ) they like that. Find out what they will allow you to do or can't do on the day ( plus what you can get away with ) Everyone has their own way of covering weddings but in my experience the client seems to be more impressed with the candid or movement shots as apposed to all the usual shots that must be taken to keep the families happy. I allways try to include the couple saying their vows and other parts of the ceremony but that all depends on who is in charge of the proceedings on the day. The last wedding I did the vicar was more than helpfull but some can be a real pain. After the ceremony try and get the couple away to a private area to take some shots.

I have attached some shots from the last wedding I did which were all planed with the couple after the rehearsal.

The first one I told them to hold back at the church door way and then to walk towards me as all the guests showered them with confetti. ( like a football shot of players runing towards you )

The second picture was the Bride, Father & Bridesmaids walking towards me and the Church. ( This is quite a boring shot but without the movement it would of been worse)

The third shot is part of the ceremony ( During the ceremony, if allowed to cover it I focus on whoever is speaking at the time )

Forgot to say... Tell the guests with their cameras to hold back until you give them permission to take shots. Remember you are in charge of photography on the day.

I hope this is of some help,

Regards, Dave.


PS. As a Rugby Tog you should be ok with movement... :tup:
« Last Edit: September 01, 2010, 02:10:01 AM by Dave »

Offline rksmith51

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Re: Wedding Photography
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2010, 10:04:42 AM »
Thanks all, having read the reviews on the 24-70 I have been given permission to order it as an early Christmas present  :dance: , I can see that with that and my existing kit I should be fairly well placed to cover most situations. I'll see if there are any weddings locally that want free cover to get some practice in. Metering and flash in indoors then going outside will be interesting and I think using other weddings is the only way to be confident and learn some technique.

Great advice from all and thanks for the encouragement.

Bob
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Offline Jonathan

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Re: Wedding Photography
« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2010, 03:46:26 PM »
Thanks all, having read the reviews on the 24-70 I have been given permission to order it as an early Christmas present

Oooooooo good call :D.  By no means a cheap lens.  But I've never met anybody who's been disappointed in it.  Mine's just been in for its 100K service and it's good as new.
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Offline Sarasocke

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Re: Wedding Photography
« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2010, 06:50:46 PM »
cooo - interesting!

I just did my first wedding 10 days ago - that's why I've been so quiet on here lately.

I TOLD her I mainly did dogs, but she wouldn't have it. So there I was weekend before last on a farm just outside of Zurich.
I realised that it's really difficult when you're on your own. I did have someone stand over me with an umbrella to avoid lense flare, but that was it. It was REALLY sunny, 30°C and there was something happening all the time. It wasn't a church wedding "just" registry office (small and cramped and nowhere for me to stand), but she did wear white, super in the brilliant sunshine  ::) After the reg office one tree and otherwise no shadow whatsoever.

It really is best to have a look beforehand, even if you can't alter anything. I did have my D80, but it stayed, together with my tripods (yes Andrew, I now have one that doesn't topple over with the D700 on it :)), in the car. My lense for the whole day was a 28-75mm 2.8 (Tamron), so I did get that right  ;)

I take off my hat to everyone who does this all the time!
Carol aka Sarasocke 
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Offline rksmith51

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Re: Wedding Photography
« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2010, 07:10:12 PM »
Well done Carol, how about a few shots for us to see.

Bob
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Offline Sarasocke

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Re: Wedding Photography
« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2010, 10:01:27 PM »
I've loaded one up into the gallery, have to put in a few more :)
Carol aka Sarasocke 
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