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01-28-2020, 10:59 AM - 1 Like   #1
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PLEASE HELP this newbie!! Accessories needed for this Reception Hall


My sister has asked my teenaged kids and I to play photographer at her wedding reception . I have little experience with indoor photography on my Pentax K-S2. What accessories would be best forthis reception hall? It's out of town so I won't be able to visit ahead of time, but it's got a mix of brick and white walls, tall ceilings, and it looks like a wall of windows. The only lens I currently own is a Pentax-DA 1:2.4 35mm AL

(I've already told her that the pictures will turn out less than professional and she is okay with that. But I'm willing to invest some money in the camera to be able to get better indoor shots at the event and in the future.)

Thank you so much for any guidance!


01-28-2020, 11:11 AM   #2
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I'd suggest you get the DA 50mm f/1.8 for a tighter focal length and faster aperture.
I might also suggest getting a AF360FGZ flash off-camera with either a cable or cactus triggers.
Practice shooting portraits (single and group) before the event!
01-28-2020, 11:32 AM - 5 Likes   #3
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I get asked this from time to time. My answer is always no.
01-28-2020, 11:57 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by pschlute Quote
I get asked this from time to time. My answer is always no.
Ditto. In part because weddings are definitely NOT the sort of gig I enjoy. It is also in part because don't feel I have
the correct gear to do the gig well and/or as expected.

If you don't feel you can do this gig justice then I think you would be doing yourself and your sister a big service by
declining. BUT, if you are keen and anxious to give it a try, then I think you need to have a serious discussion with your
sister regarding what she expects from your photos. Take a few indoor photos with your current camera and show them
to your sister. Stress that >that< will be the quality of the photos and that they will >not< magically look like her friend's
photo album which was shot with a fast zoom and external flashes.

It is possible for you to do this wedding justice with a KS-2 and 35/2.4. It all comes down to how you express yourself with
the camera. But the results are likely to be very different than the bog standard wedding photos. If your sister understands
this then I'd say it's safe to move forward.

01-28-2020, 11:59 AM   #5
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good luck

if you want to, you could consider renting equipment for the occasion
Information on Businesses that offer cameras and lenses for rent
Read more at: Information on Businesses that offer cameras and lenses for rent - Page 2 -
01-28-2020, 12:38 PM - 1 Like   #6
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I'm in the refuse camp - but if you've got to do it there's no substitute for practising beforehand in a venue as similar to the event venue as possible.

An important role for your kids is to gather family members for the formal groups that your sister may want .
On the one occasion I did a wedding my wife had a full time job finding and placing all the aunts, grandparents while I had the relatively easy job of pressing the shutter.

Also be sure to find out what your sister wants. is it formal groups? Is it informal fly-on-the-wall pictures. Any thing before the ceremony as the bride/groom/bridesmaids/groomsmen prepare?
Anything during the ceremony? and will the pastor/vicar/celebrant be happy with you popping around?

See why we all run away

Good luck !!
01-28-2020, 12:44 PM   #7
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If it were me, I think I'd do my best to keep the wall of windows to my back, bump up the ISO, and shoot available light as much as possible. Maybe use a bit of fill flash if needed. If you don't have an extra battery or two, that's the main thing I'd buy before going into this. It won't matter what lenses or flashes you buy/rent if your camera dies mid-shoot.

01-28-2020, 12:59 PM   #8
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I assume the wedding is being done professionally so most important shots are set. You have a few things to document such as cake, decorations, relatives outside the party, first dance, garter and bouquet throw, and toasting.
You have a good normal lens, consider how you will frame these shots. A decent enough phone might be good enough for wide angle from one of your second shooters. You probably want at least some tight shots from a telephoto but not neccessary.
The light looks good for the day but a flash could help. White ceilings and walls there look reasonable for bounce.
01-28-2020, 01:05 PM   #9
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Based on what you've posted, I would want to know a little more information. First ask your sister if she has a proper wedding photographer lined up, If she doesn't, firmly suggest that she secure the services of an experienced wedding photographer. To me it sounds like she wants you and your teenagers to just take candid photos at the reception. I get asked to do this often when invited to weddings and actually enjoy doing it so the happy couple will have memories of the people who attended. I attempt to capture the joyous atmosphere. I like to keep my kit as simple and mobile as possible. I like to just use an all purpose zoom and an on camera flash (if needed). A lens like the DA 16-85mm, DA 18-135mm or DFA 28-105mm works very well. Keep your eyes open and move around. You'll be amazed at some of the wonderful moments you can capture that the official photographer will miss or not take the time to look for. It's a lot like wildlife photography. You have to be ready to capture a spontaneous, fleeting moment at any time.

Last edited by DWS1; 01-28-2020 at 01:25 PM.
01-28-2020, 01:37 PM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by roberrl Quote
there's no substitute for practising beforehand in a venue as similar to the event venue as possible
Back in my film days I did half a dozen 'shoestring' weddings for friends, friends of friends, co-workers, etc. I ALWAYS went to the wedding rehearsal to pre-plan where to stand and when. Ask the pastor if he minds if you use flash during the ceremony; some do mind. [EDIT] I re-read that you are only shooting the reception.
I used a Vivitar 283 flash mounted on a bracket to get it above and to the side of the lens axis. That way, no red eye. Does your KS-2 have a red eye reduction setting on the built-in flash?

QuoteOriginally posted by FozzFoster Quote
I might also suggest getting a AF360FGZ flash off-camera with either a cable or cactus triggers.
Excellent idea if you can afford it. I've read that there are some decent, similar off-brand units that are more economical.

QuoteOriginally posted by FozzFoster Quote
Practice shooting portraits (single and group) before the event!
Absolutely essential. You can work out any bugs in your setup or technique in a low-stress non-critical scenario and develop confidence in what you're doing. Show your sister the results and see if she approves.

Besides an extra battery or two I'd get an extra SD card or two. If one fills up or conks out you have a backup.

I quit doing weddings because it was too stressful. Of course with film, I was on pins and needles until the pictures came back from the processors. With digital that's not a problem; you know immediately if you messed up. It CAN be fun, and your sister's 'something borrowed' can be you!

Last edited by Apet-Sure; 01-28-2020 at 01:55 PM. Reason: I'm dumb
01-28-2020, 04:42 PM   #11

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Not knowing what your really getting into a flash could save the day. If you get a flash you can bounce the flash off the white walls when possible, this helps soften the light and you can still use it in the P-TTL auto mode. Just remember when you bounce the flash you increase the distance it needs to travel, you will need to use the flash exposure compensation to dial in more or less flash as needed. The 50 F/1.8 is also a good idea for the fast aperture and longer focal length.
01-28-2020, 06:05 PM   #12
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The last wedding I was at, the main reception room was similar shape as the one you posted. It also had tall ceilings and windows along both long walls.

I noticed that the photographers had position 6 flashes, one in each corner, and one Midway on each long wall. 1 of the 4 photographers worked this room with a zoom, but I don't remember the lens. A black color Canon zoom, so probably the 24-70mm.
01-28-2020, 06:30 PM   #13
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flash whether af360 or 540 (you may find some reasonably priced used) and a bounce card would be great assets...….if looking for a lens prolly whatever one you were intending on getting next......batteries and sd card for back up.....happy shooting and it's all about the fun!!
01-28-2020, 08:58 PM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by pschlute Quote
I get asked this from time to time. My answer is always no.
ditto....nothing good can come of this !
01-28-2020, 11:13 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by VSTAR Quote
ditto....nothing good can come of this !
I both agree and disagree with this statement. If you are being asked to photograph the event as the "wedding photographer" then I agree. On the other hand, if you are being asked to bring your camera and shoot whatever you want at the reception, as I believe is the case here, then I disagree. There are no expectations placed upon you because you are not the official photographer. You are a member of the bride's and/or groom's inner circle or you wouldn't be there in the first place, and they admire your photographic ability. If you don't get anything specific or noteworthy it's not a problem or concern to anyone. The fact that you tried will be appreciated. If you do capture something really great, they will be eternally grateful. Also, a large, framed print of it would make a nice wedding present.

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