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Author Topic: Wedding Photography Tips  (Read 1601 times)

Offline Matthew

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Wedding Photography Tips
« on: April 05, 2013, 06:51:15 PM »
I have just been asked by my Sister to do the photography for her wedding  :o I naturally agreed, but now I am in a bit of tiz-was about how to go about it.

The wedding is in September and it will be a small gathering of 20 guests. The wedding is to be a low key affair, so not so much pressure. There are no children, so an all adult do.

Now, I don't have the funds for a Dslr, so I will be taking my trusty workhorse, the Fuji S200EXR.

What sort of kit would I need to take? I gather a flash, so any tips on models/set ups will be greatly appreciated. I will be taking a tripod as back-up, but the venue will be small, so hand held might fair better. Any particular filters needed too?

Sorry if I seem a bit abrupt and particular, only my nerves are jangling. As many of you have seen, I dont do a lot (if any) people shots.

Again, any tips and advice will be greatly appreciated and put to good use  :)


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Offline Reinardina

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Re: Wedding Photography Tips
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2013, 07:31:07 PM »
I don't 'do' people either, at least not often, so I cannot give any practical help, but ...
 I would say, make sure there is someone else also taking photographs, as a back up. Just in case.

And, if the venue is not too far away, see if you can do a few 'practice runs' with some friends, to find out about light, angles, space etc.

These were my very first thoughts, but now I leave you to the experts!
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Offline Hinfrance

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Re: Wedding Photography Tips
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2013, 07:47:49 PM »
Our best friends didn't bother with a professional wedding photographer. They got all of their friends they knew who were enthusiatic amateurs and we all just snapped away at anything that took our fancy - result very few formal group shots but a cornucopia of amazing candids that really captured the day.

So, don't sweat it, enjoy yourself and get everyone else with a camera involved and it'll be brilliant.
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Offline Matthew

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Re: Wedding Photography Tips
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2013, 09:06:40 PM »
Cheers guys. I was going to go along the lines of the candid shots. I had that at my wedding as well as the posed ones, but the candids looked so much authentic.
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Offline Graham

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Re: Wedding Photography Tips
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2013, 07:08:56 AM »
  I think the most common advice is to have a plan...have a plan B...and be prepared to use plan C!
  Other than that I would suggest making a list of the shots you want (or will be expected to take.)
  Most first timers seem to fear the group shots, but they'er really not that difficult and needn't take much time at all, and some of the guests will like/expect to see them. Also doing group shots ensures that you have everyone "in the can". Talk to the B&G as to who they want in the groups. Oh, and if you can, use a tripod, someone WILL blink/look away from the camera, and if you take 3 or 4 shots of each group in quick succession it will be so much easyer to fix in "post".  :tup:
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Offline jinky

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Re: Wedding Photography Tips
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2013, 07:36:42 AM »
The important thing is to keep relaxed and steady. Make sure you manage their expectations in advance and tell them you will get the best shots you can. I only ever use a tripod on the group and dark church interiors with my back up camera on it with a fast lens and prefer to hand hold and roam. Given the nature of the event and relationship why not do a dress rehearsal and pre-shoot. Gives you an opportunity to work with them on poses and get them used to being in front of the camera with you working it. As for what to cover
- the little touches on tables / craft work / detail
-  make sure you start with the big group and lose the people until you are left with bride and groom and one bridesmaid / usher helper to spirit them away for as long as they`ll allow to get some couple shots.
- Don`t stress on the groups. Most boring element for me that the grans and mums want but are of little worth. With smaller groups try and break them out so that they are not the standard "in a line" shots though sometimes needs must. Get up above the group if you can - balcony, ladder or stairs and they all look up at you giving better chance of seeing all of them and they all lose their double chins too. I walk around permanently looking up  :D
- Canids are great but some people really want to ham it up for the camera or prefer to pose so do ask people to get together  for some headshots
- know how high up you can crank the iso and do what you must. You can lose noise / turn it black and white and grainy but you can do nothing with movement blur so don't be scared by high isos
- make your shots look different to the phone / compact brigate - shoot shallow dof (except for groups) and shoot wide when needed
- bounce your flash wherever you can and avoid the white faced ghosts
- shoot in raw to give yourself latitude if you can.
- don`t worry about filters, you`ll have enough to worry about without adding to it  ;)

and did I say - manage their expectations ;).
Remember the workings of your camera and if something seems to fail go through it logically. First wedding I did was low key and running late from start. Nightmare lighting led to me using spot metering ( not often I need it ). After another pause for delays I needed to use flash bounced off back wall and a few test fires got strange results and made me think my flash wasn`t working as the balanced / fill flash feature was all over the place. Of course it was because I was in spot metering mode but as I initially panicked I nearly missed it. Much calmer now.

Oh last thing for now - allow time to check with the registrar / celebrant what their rules are for use of flash / shooting during the ceremony. They can be bug***s! Some might say no flash allowed, other might say yes within reason but not state what is within reason (no problem there then  ;) ) and others might even say without flash that they do not want you clicking throughout or in continuous burst mode. The celebrate is the person doing the service and the registrar is the one doing the written records who has say. I once had the registrar tell me no more than 6 shots in the service and not to move from the spot given (common ask) only to have the celebrant see my dismay and tell me "keep to his left and behind, he`s deaf in that ear s won`t hear a few more shots going off" - worked too! :)

Lie Graham says re: plan A,B and C having visited the venue in advance to scout sun positions at that time, shelter  and alternatives for rain and where the sun sets for any strobist stuff if you are doing it

Offline Matthew

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Re: Wedding Photography Tips
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2013, 10:55:38 AM »
Many thanks for your comprehensive reply  Jinky, very much appreciated  :tup: After reading through, it has picked off a lot of my concerns, so feel less anxious now. Thanks Graham, I am thinking up plan A,B,C'S as we speak....although I may go right through to Z for good measure!  ;D

I have never done flash photography before, so I am going to have a practice and look at a few tutorials. I have roughly 6 months to practice, so lots of time.

Again, thank you all for your tips and advice. I will definately be putting them into practice.. :tup:
Never argue with a stupid person, they'll drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

Offline Simple

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Re: Wedding Photography Tips
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2013, 01:21:52 PM »
I don't know if it works, but I have attached a Wedding pose checklist. Can't remember where I got it from, probably the web at some time.
It always helps me to discuss this list with the Bride and Groom to find out how many "formal" shots they want.

Offline jinky

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Re: Wedding Photography Tips
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2013, 05:10:06 PM »
Wow - some long list! Mine is a much briefer selection - when I use it. I try not to but always say any list is notional that i`ll do my best for  With low guest numbers you`ll be fine anyway.

Offline Simple

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Re: Wedding Photography Tips
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2013, 06:24:15 PM »
I do very much agree Jinky, I hardly ever use it during the wedding itself. But talking through the list with the "happy couple" it brings to light all sorts of possible scenario's I rather know beforehand. With the list I discovered, tension (actually outright hatred) between some of the two to be united families. A family loss only weeks before the wedding, sister and brother of the groom are gay etc.
On the negative side I had them arguing about the list once that I thought they would cancel the wedding ;D , So I agree it is not for everybody but it is certainly a nice aid to cover the family formal pictures. 
   

 

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