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07-25-2009, 09:31 AM   #31
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It has turned into a fascinating discussion indeed!!! Thank you!! I am learning so much!!
Thanks Peter on all your feedback!!!! Practice and understanding your gear is definitely key!!!

I was lucky on these weddings because they are for friends of friends' who realize that I have never really shot weddings as the main photographer, but they do like my style and my work and are grateful that I am willing to do theirs for just a couple hundred bucks instead of forking out the thousands of dollars that most photographers are asking them! So I am basically using their weddings as practice, which I desperately need considering the fact that I have not been lucky enough to be taken along as a second photographer at any weddings so far.

And I feel more comfortable with them now that I have done their engagement photos and will do their bridals soon too. By their wedding day, I will know them pretty well, which makes me feel a little less nervous. And I try to keep in touch with them and get ot know them as much as possible.

I have done my homework, scouting the location at the time the wedding will take place, asked them questions about their likes and dislikes. I am actually trying to put together a questionnaire about the shots they would like for me to get, specific moments, which members will be in what photos etc... I thought if I had that printed out I would be on track the day of the wedding and make sure to take those shots first.

Anyway, now I have to practice and I only have a month to do it! I need to take out my AF540 flash more and shoot indoors with it. I have to admit that I don't like using it. I will look for posts in here on how to use this particular one. Any links on that particular subjects that you know of?

You guys are awesome!! I have learned soooooooo much just in one day!! Thanks again!

07-25-2009, 09:39 AM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by Urkeldaedalus Quote
Finally, I mostly shoot in the 16-77 mm range, but for a wedding in September I am considering renting a high quality telephoto lens so I can be more discrete during the ceremony. Finding places that rent out lenses isn't as easy for Pentax as it is for the big two, but I've heard positive feedback about this site:

CameraLensRentals.com - Camera Lens Rental for Canon, Nikon, and PENTAX Cameras

You could also use renting to try out some of the more expensive lenses before taking the plunge.

I hope that helps. Good luck to you.
I have a 70-300 lens but I hardly use it! I really don't like it that much. But like you said it might be a good idea to get a good quality telephoto lens for when you need to stay out of the way. I was considering renting from those guys. Which telephoto were you looking at renting?
Or any of you guys out there that have used telephoto which one do you use?

I might be able to get by with mine but I hate how heavy it is, I would probably have to put my camera on a tripod to get it steady!
07-25-2009, 10:44 AM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by Urkeldaedalus Quote
.....snip.... Finding places that rent out lenses isn't as easy for Pentax as it is for the big two, but I've heard positive feedback about this site:

CameraLensRentals.com - Camera Lens Rental for Canon, Nikon, and PENTAX Cameras

You could also use renting to try out some of the more expensive lenses before taking the plunge.

I hope that helps. Good luck to you.
This was one of the reasons I ended up with Hassy and Nikon to do weddings. I would typically rent (either Samy's, PRS, Calument ore ProPhoto Connection in OC) a 2nd body with lens/back, + an 80-200 f2.8 for the Nikon - its somewhat difficult to find a place locally that rents out Pentax, back then it was nonexistent, now at least you have online sources.
07-25-2009, 11:29 AM   #34
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Done a few weddings, used the DA* 16-50 and 50-135 exclusivly. Both are extreemly usefull general purpose lenses and will cover almost anything you want to do at a wedding.

07-25-2009, 12:26 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by creoleart Quote
I have a 70-300 lens but I hardly use it! I really don't like it that much. But like you said it might be a good idea to get a good quality telephoto lens for when you need to stay out of the way. I was considering renting from those guys. Which telephoto were you looking at renting?
Or any of you guys out there that have used telephoto which one do you use?

I might be able to get by with mine but I hate how heavy it is, I would probably have to put my camera on a tripod to get it steady!
Yeah, I'm trying to factor in the heavy/steadiness factor in, since I prefer not to use tripods, especially during a freeflowing event like a wedding.

I'm considering a lot of different lenses, but to be honest it will probably depend a lot on what is available when I am going to rent mine. The DA* 200 f/2.8 probably tops my list, as it is supposed to be faster focusing than the DA* 50-135 and it is smaller than either the Sigma or the Tamron 70 - 200 f/2.8 lenses. The DA* 60-250 is an intriguing option, with its primary weaknesses being that it is an f/4 lens and larger than the 50-135 , but since it is so sharp wide open I think I can work around that.

All this said, the DA* 50-135 is probably the smartest option, especially paired with a 17-70 or 16-50 lens. On a crop sensor it gives you that great 70-200 range that film photographers loved, I've heard it's great for portraits, and it is smaller than most of the other options. The only weakness that I've heard about it so far is it doesn't necessarily focus that fast, but if I'm trying to catch a quickly moving married couple I'm probably going to be in trouble no matter what
07-25-2009, 07:17 PM   #36
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Lens weight for a long fast zoom is a tough one. You will have to find a way to get used to it and learn to like it. I carry both camera setups all day an one body almost always has the Sigma 70-200 f2.8 on it with an AF400T and waist battery. It's probably 10Lbs alone. Easily hand held but will build up your wrists.

now that's not something everyone needs. You could easily shoot and entire wedding with the 17-70 on one body and a pait of primes for the other. The DFA 100mm and a wider lens. Add the FA50mm as the fast and sharp low light lens and you have a very good lightweight kit. You will just shoot quicker.

As for the trolley shot, I'd like to clarify my comments. As an artistic shot. It's great as it is. As a wedding shot, it would have been better if the sun were not so prominent. With wedding shots, I feel that the bride, groom or couple have to be the focus of the shot most of the time. But Alan is correct. You have to develop your own style. Figure out what you want to achieve in any shot and create that style while balancing that with the needs and wants of the client.
07-25-2009, 08:16 PM   #37
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Read Peter's first post several times - it has absolutely everything that you are going to need in it. When you are done reading it - read it again.

c[_]
07-25-2009, 10:40 PM   #38
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Peter, I did understand your point on the trolley photo and I agree with you.
I don't know how you carry all this weight on your camera all day!! Those are things you do have to get used to I guess!! Gotta get some workout somehow right?!!

Unfortunately, I am going to have to get by with just one body for that wedding, unless I can rent another one for the occasion. But they said they would only need me there for 2 to 3 hours at the most. So I am hoping that I will manage with the one body and another set of batteries!! If I could get my hands on a second body though that would be perfect!!! Can't have it all I guess!!

07-26-2009, 07:08 PM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by creoleart Quote
Unfortunately, I am going to have to get by with just one body for that wedding, unless I can rent another one for the occasion. But they said they would only need me there for 2 to 3 hours at the most. So I am hoping that I will manage with the one body and another set of batteries!! If I could get my hands on a second body though that would be perfect!!! Can't have it all I guess!!
I'm afraid that's just not good enough. You are charging people for a service, which you must provide come what may. Having a second body is not optional, it's mandatory. You don't have to use it for shooting if you don't want to, you can just have it in a bag on your shoulders, but you must have it. If halfway through the ceremony your camera stops working, what are you going to do if you don't have a replacement at hand?

The same goes for lenses. You don't necessarily need two of each lens, but you can't show up with just one lens, because if it stops working...you get the picture! If your 17-70mm breaks, be prepared to shoot the rest of the wedding with your 50mm.

Pentax equipment can be rented online from CameraLensRentals.

I apologise if I sound blunt, but I am trying to avoid you pain down the road. I know a few married couples whose photographers screwed up, and I will not print here what they say about them. This is understandable because they have been robbed of a wedding photo book because their photographers were incompetent.
07-26-2009, 09:54 PM   #40
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Yes better safe than sorry I guess. I am going to look into that rental.
Definitely would not want to screw up someone's special day! It sure is going to be an experience! Can't wait to see what that is going to be like!!
Oh and I am bringing all my lenses with me, that is for sure, I just wanted to have one that I can do a lot with. I am sure I will switch lens depending on the shots I want to get.
07-26-2009, 10:46 PM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by creoleart Quote
Axl those are pretty good shots you got!!! Great job!!!

Man that 31 mm 1.8 must be a darn good lens for how much they are asking for it!!! From the reviews that I have read it is worth every penny! I also looked for a 35 mm 2.0 and those are out of stock or backordered in most places.
You should take this into SERIOUS consideration. The 35mm range on APS-C sensored bodies is my absolute FAVORITE range (28mm or 40mm might be better or worse)

PENTAX-DA SMC 40mm F2.8 LIMITED Mint - eBay (item 140335730935 end time Aug-02-09 04:16:59 PDT)

Samsung GX Pentax DSLR D-XENOGON F/2 35mm Lens - eBay (item 130315284934 end time Jul-26-09 21:36:50 PDT)

Hope this helps!

*Just FYI, the Samsung is the exact same copy of the FA-35mm f/2. (just from looking at it I don't think I need to tell you ) I think all they did was remove the sticker inside and change it into Samsung.

Last edited by GLXLR; 07-26-2009 at 10:48 PM. Reason: Adding
07-27-2009, 04:09 AM   #42
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Good luck & enjoy!!! I love your enthusiasm

On the other hand I was absolutely petrified at my first for pay wedding which I started doing at the tender age of 25, spanning an intensive 5 years - remember we were shooting film - zero histograms, preview and a few rolls of film;-).

I also found that absolute sharpness not always an advantage with the bride and trust me absolute knowledge of subtle fill in/bounce with whatever flash you use is necessary for flattering bridal shots (the prevailing light is not always your friend).

Re your equipment & enthusiasm - I was the same - went into my first wedding with a Minolta, 50mm,28mm lens, 1.7 tc & 70-200 Tamron, Sigma flash, x2 big pieces of cardboard, one covered with silver tinfoil & the other gold - my girlfriend, the assistant - that was it - as they say ignorance is bliss:-)

My biggest blunders - When opening back of camera to change film, found out it had not wound on - so lost 36 exposures - which basically was the church ceremony lost - the other blunder was

losing my way to a wedding and only getting there after the registry had been signed!!

Luckily it was a house wedding with the reception at the same location so I managed to to get everybody to go through it again!!

Am sure you will have your own stories one day!!

Cheers

Dylan
07-27-2009, 05:08 AM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by dylansalt Quote
Good luck & enjoy!!! I love your enthusiasm

On the other hand I was absolutely petrified at my first for pay wedding which I started doing at the tender age of 25, spanning an intensive 5 years - remember we were shooting film - zero histograms, preview and a few rolls of film;-).

I also found that absolute sharpness not always an advantage with the bride and trust me absolute knowledge of subtle fill in/bounce with whatever flash you use is necessary for flattering bridal shots (the prevailing light is not always your friend).

Re your equipment & enthusiasm - I was the same - went into my first wedding with a Minolta, 50mm,28mm lens, 1.7 tc & 70-200 Tamron, Sigma flash, x2 big pieces of cardboard, one covered with silver tinfoil & the other gold - my girlfriend, the assistant - that was it - as they say ignorance is bliss:-)

My biggest blunders - When opening back of camera to change film, found out it had not wound on - so lost 36 exposures - which basically was the church ceremony lost - the other blunder was

losing my way to a wedding and only getting there after the registry had been signed!!

Luckily it was a house wedding with the reception at the same location so I managed to to get everybody to go through it again!!

Am sure you will have your own stories one day!!

Cheers

Dylan
WOW! Good on you for keeping at it.

To the OP....some of these messages may seem harsh and may sound to you that you must have the best gear possible in order to succeed. While normally this irritates the heck out of me (no you don't have to have the FA31, no you don't have to process on a mac powerbook, no you don't have to have the most up to date camera body, etc.), there is some truth to this information when doing weddings (for money).

Wedding photography is a very specialized field. Shooting weddings are 1 shot deals and if you don't capture the moment you will face the wrath of the now unhappy couple. It's stressful, extremely busy, difficult to shoot (tuxedo's = black, dress = white), and the occasion is often built up to be on a pedestal and MUST be perfect. That being said, they are also a blast to shoot - everyone is keen on getting their picture taken, everyone looks their best, etc. I'm sure your energy will carry you through and you will have splendid results.

The messages denoting caution are just that - cautions. The absolute last thing you want to do is halt your paid photography career right in it's tracks (and have to start over). That's what you don't want, and what the folks here don't want for you either. In the photography world - word of mouth is King. Make sure you are able to continue taking shots no matter what happens.

Go and have fun (avoid booze - another caution), do what you do (shoot only with lenses you are comfortable using - and that will give you predictable results), bring your enthusiasm (check!), and most importantly have back-up gear available so that NOTHING will stop you.

Good luck!

c[_]
07-27-2009, 05:14 AM   #44
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Your website shows you're a very talented artist Sandrine, I'm sure you'll be fine. I agree with these guys haranging you about the extra body though. That's the first thing I noted with your setup. Shooting a wedding is a huge responsibility. The results will be proudly displayed for decades afterward. It just wouldn't be fair to the couple to risk their memories on a single fragile device.
07-27-2009, 08:00 AM   #45
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Thank you for the compliment Audiobomber!!

And some of these messages are harsh indeed but I do inderstand that it is the harsh reality of wedding photography!! YOU HAVE TO BE PREPARED!!! So I am glad that you guys take the time to educate me, whether it is harsh to hear or not. At least I will know what to expect!
My hung up is that I can't spend any more money on equipment!! Got into an argument with the hubby about it this weekend. I am not making money right now, I am spending the money I make back into equipment that I think will better the quality of my photography! I should start a new thread on this! Would be interesting to see.

Those clients did tell me not to worry too much about it and just have fun, so I hope I can do just that!
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