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06-20-2018, 02:56 AM - 1 Like   #16
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Just make clear to them what your skills are and make sure their expectations are at that level. Weddings aren't the end of the world, but they are stressful for photographer and if the couple getting married doesn't get the results they want, even if they aren't paying a lot, that's problematic.

To me, from a gear standpoint, it would be helpful to have a couple of faster lenses. The DA *50-135 is probably one that would really stand out and maybe a Tamron 17-50 f2.8 (you could probably make the 28-75 f2.8 work too, but obviously it doesn't go as wide). Having an external flash that you can bounce is really handy too.

Preparation is important as well. Reading books/looking at posing guides/looking at photos to know how to arrange things. Having lists of poses and photos that you need/want to get drawn up ahead of time so hopefully you don't miss anything and a rough time line that you will want to stick to. This sort of stuff is probably just as important as the gear to making your (and their) day go smoothly and get the best results.

06-20-2018, 07:15 AM   #17
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I did this for my brother last week (like you I've lurked here for a while and been looking for an excuse to post). I'll tell you what I did and why. Tl;dr: I had a great time, made lots of mistakes, the couple are happy and don't see half the errors I see.

I used a K50 and K3ii. For the ceremony (indoors, small room with 12 guests, lots of light coming in from one window behind the registrar) I used a sigma 18-35 on the K3ii and the DA*55mm on the K50. All stages of the wedding were indoors so I went for wide apertures. I put them that way round because it took me a week of repeatedly tweaking the calibration with the sigma dock to get the autofocus right on the K3ii, so those two are mated for life. No flash, so I'm really having to work the tone curve to bring the bride and groom out of the shadows. I could have shot with the light and got the back of the bride's head over and over, so that was the compromise. Sigma and Pentax glass give slightly different colours, I'm currently trying to balance the temp and hue in Lightroom. Joy.

For the formals I put the K3ii and 18-35 on my cheap bonfoto tripod and used a flash bounced off a white umbrella off to the right to match the direction of the light from the windows above, behind and to the right. My Yongnuo 585 had failed when I tested it the day before so I used a little Voltrox I had. I didn't have any experience doing these kinds of shoots and made some basic mistakes - should have turned the flash down another stop, used a polariser (mother of bride wore glasses) and policed the focal plane - I lost a couple of otherwise nice shots when the couple moved a step towards me.

At the reception (again indoors with window light from one direction) I put the DA*55 on the K3ii and just pottered around aiming to get one nice photo of each guest and several of the bride, groom, mother of the bride. The walls were a deep pink but I had a 18% grey card and just took a pic of that on the table and cracked on. In fact in post I'm liking the pink tones and only dialling them down a little. I also brought the 70 Limited in case I needed a bit more reach, but didn't use it.

I took around 800 photos over the day and I'm going to end up giving the couple about 100, which feels about right. I wanted to get some outdoor shots of the bride and groom but it didn't really fit with the flow of the day. I felt a bit burned-out afterwards and I haven't taken a photo for a week.

The wedding was all done but around 6:30, which in June in the UK is still bright, so I didn't have any evening shooting to do, which would have really tested the high ISO performance or forced me to get my flash skills right. Other top tips: save money on glass through eBay, make use of University of YouTube, but most importantly make a plan. I knew I needed fast glass not long, I knew where the formals were going to be so I could plan my lighting setup, and I had scoped some outdoor locations which we didn't use but could have. I knew what the couple wanted and also what the bride's family wanted from the photos and worked to their requests. If you have any questions then message me. I'm absolutely not an expert, but it sounds like you are in the position I was in three months ago.
06-20-2018, 08:08 AM   #18
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Thank you all for the advice and encouragement (whether it is on how to undertake the task or run RUN for the hills!). Very good stuff here and will be helpful when I meet with them in a few days. Have lots of notes and suggestions and may be able to guide them to an outcome that gets the results they would like and keeps our friendship (and my marriage) intact. Conducting all this research as been an eye-opener on what truly goes on to make a good wedding album. Bravo to those who can pull that off and to those who are willing to share their hard-gained information. Thanks again to all! Cheers and happy light painting!
06-20-2018, 12:50 PM - 1 Like   #19
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For those pro pictures with out of focus backgrounds and/or foregrounds, you really need an 85mm f/1.4. The Rokinon/Samyang is spectacular value for money but you have focus yourself.

Sigma made an autofocus 85mm f/1.4 but it has been discontinued. They are available on the used market but not cheap. Then there is the Pentax F85, long out of production and highly sought after.

For the ne plus ultra in K mount 85mm lenses, you will want the manual focus A* - the stuff of legend.

You might be able to rent one in K mount. Or just rent one in Canon EF mount. And practice with it before the big day. Big glass needs care and respect to get good results.




06-20-2018, 01:27 PM   #20
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Welcome to the forum, I usually say to questions like this... if you wish to keep these folk as friends, bow out now as gracefully as possible, while there's still time to organise things.
06-20-2018, 08:14 PM   #21
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G'day mate and welcome to the forum
06-20-2018, 09:43 PM   #22
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Like I said, better for them to get a second shooter, no need to back out but its risky relying on just one shooter for the day, anything can happen!
06-23-2018, 04:49 AM   #23
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Somebody I know did a wedding as a favor for a friend. She took exactly one camera body with one battery. Nothing went horribly wrong, but she had a big moment when the battery started to die. Luckily the service was still on and she was able to charge enough juice back into the battery to continue shooting after the service. It could have gone very pear shaped, that was a a lucky escape.

06-23-2018, 04:56 AM   #24
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I don't know how much time you have before the wedding

my suggestion is to decide what lenses/camera you want to use, even if you don't own them/it now.

if necessary arrange to rent what you need in advance and rent them twice

once to practice and once for the event

can you access the location of the wedding.

practicing there under the same or similar conditions might be invaluable to you


there are a couple of companies which do this in the US

I have had good experience with lensrentals.com

be prepared to take multiple exposures if you can, you never know when " Uncle Joe's " flash might go off and affect the exposure of your photo


good luck
06-23-2018, 06:24 AM   #25
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And yes, the wedding is the worst place to test out new equipment and techniques for the first time 🙂

Better to be competent and comfortable with what you have than unfamiliar with something brand new...

Practice can be fun. Take your wife to the place where the ceremony will be held if you can. She can play ‘bride’, you can play ‘groom’, and you can both practice shooting in the right environment...

-Eric
06-23-2018, 06:51 AM - 2 Likes   #26
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I was in a similar position a few months ago. Asked by family to do a wedding. Th bride is a newly finical adviser and the groom a still in school accountant. So I warned them in advance, i hadn't shot a wedding in 25 years, didn't have any flash equipment, and couldn't afford to buy equipment just for the wedding. I shot the whole wedding with my Sigma 70 macro 2.8 (rings, bouquets and some ceremony images), my FA 50 1.7 was the workhorse, and a few 200mm images from the balcony, and by a few I mean, not really worth bringing a lens for. I needed my DA 35 2.4 for a few images and didn't have them and shot almost everything with the K-1. So maybe a 35 and the 21 and 50 macro if shooting APS_c .

What I did was I get there a day early so I could go to the rehearsal, took 20 or 30 test shots, so I was comfortable in the nvenue. Even though the lighting was the worst I've ever shot in, things went well.

As for getting in t he way, I did it constantly. The only time I floated around the outside was during the ceremony itself.I moved into the isle as the parties came down and held up my hand to stop them in place, then gave them a thumbs up when I finished.

Here I am,
06-23-2018, 06:58 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
I was in a similar position a few months ago. Asked by family to do a wedding. Th bride is a newly finical adviser and the groom a still in school accountant. So I warned them in advance, i hadn't shot a wedding in 25 years, didn't have any flash equipment, and couldn't afford to buy equipment just for the wedding. I shot the whole wedding with my Sigma 70 macro 2.8 (rings, bouquets and some ceremony images), my FA 50 1.7 was the workhorse, and a few 200mm images from the balcony, and by a few I mean, not really worth bringing a lens for. I needed my DA 35 2.4 for a few images and didn't have them and shot almost everything with the K-1. So maybe a 35 and the 21 and 50 macro if shooting APS_c .

What I did was I get there a day early so I could go to the rehearsal, took 20 or 30 test shots, so I was comfortable in the nvenue. Even though the lighting was the worst I've ever shot in, things went well.

As for getting in t he way, I did it constantly. The only time I floated around the outside was during the ceremony itself.I moved into the isle as the parties came down and held up my hand to stop them in place, then gave them a thumbs up when I finished.

Here I am,
Lighting looks awful exactly as you describe it... it mustn't have been easy... so good job2
06-23-2018, 07:03 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by LensBeginner Quote
Lighting looks awful exactly as you describe it... it mustn't have been easy... so good job2
The family is really happy with the photos, because of the really odd lighting, fluorescent suspended 15 feet high with sporadic daylight from the oddest window placement and baffling I've ever seen, white balance took an age. My conclusion after the day was, I'm way to old for this stuff. After two days spend on white balance and other corrections I burned out and Tess finished it up for me.
06-23-2018, 07:09 AM - 1 Like   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
The family is really happy with the photos, because of the really odd lighting, fluorescent suspended 15 feet high with sporadic daylight from the oddest window placement and baffling I've ever seen, white balance took an age. My conclusion after the day was, I'm way to old for this stuff. After two days spend on white balance and other corrections I burned out and Tess finished it up for me.
Hahaha! good job to her as well!
06-23-2018, 07:33 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by LensBeginner Quote
Hahaha! good job to her as well!
Well technically, it was her niece...

Or as I said to the limo driver when every one was getting drunk and stupid... "I'm not related to these people."

It was hard work, but I really did enjoy the day. I would have been bored sitting in a seat watching everything drag on.

By 8 o'clock I was toast and headed back to the hotel, so I missed the bash. I started at 9 at the bride's house, and finished at 8 during the reception, after the first dance. That'a long day for an old guy.

Last edited by normhead; 06-23-2018 at 07:43 AM.
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