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08-11-2009, 05:23 PM   #16
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One tip for portraits that may help you (without flash though), step back and use the 50-135 at the long end, that will help you separate the subject from the background.

08-11-2009, 05:37 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by creoleart Quote
Hey!!! I was wondering ... Can I use direct flash at the reception?!!! LOL!!!!

Ok now, seriously, could you elaborate a little on this? Is it because it is just so bright it is annoying and disctracting? Do people get mad? I have heard about not to use a flash during the ceremony, but I am glad I have read your warning for the reception as well!
Its primarily the shadows.

- Shadows on the wall
- shadows on the floor
- shadows from their nose - cast across their face

Any shadow that is cast from the camera looks bad. If you get the flash off the camera by a couple of feet with a pocket wizard it will help but generally you try to bounce the flash off a nice white wall or ceiling which will eliminate the shadow all together. Ironically a P&S camera will look better with direct flash because the flash is SO close to the lens. An SLR with an attached flash has just enough distance between light source and lens that a bad shadow will be cast.

A diffuser (i.e. stofen or fong) works in this way by re-directing much of your light to the walls, ceiling and floor, all of which bounces and creates a very large and diffuse light source.

If the reception is outdoors and it is dark (or getting dark) you at least need a flash bracket to keep the flash "Above" the camera even when taking vertical portraits. With the flash above the camera the shadow will be much less obvious
08-12-2009, 12:59 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by creoleart Quote
Hey!!! I was wondering ... Can I use direct flash at the reception?!!! LOL!!!!

Ok now, seriously, could you elaborate a little on this? Is it because it is just so bright it is annoying and disctracting? Do people get mad? I have heard about not to use a flash during the ceremony, but I am glad I have read your warning for the reception as well!
During an outdoor ceremony, I would use flash for fill. I usually do. But first, before EVERY ceremony, I make it a point to find the officiant (priest, minister whatever) and go over his rules or lack of. Normally, in a church you can't use flash unless you have a cool officiant...which doesnt apply to you on this one. But for an outdoor ceremony they usually say you can. Still, I would make sure and meet the minister before the ceremony on the day of and go over the ceremony, what is going to go on, and what the rules are. Usually the officiant is a very nice person and can give you some tips on where to be during the ceremony.

Now, about not using direct flash at the reception (direct flash, is to point your flash directly a :
This is assuming that the reception venue is an indoor thing. With direct flash, you are probably going to have a properly exposed subject, and somewhat of a black background with a terrible harsh shadow outlining them. Its gross and very unprofessional.

The reason I was suggesting that you get the 540 rather than the 360 is because you will never catch me using direct flash. The 540 swivels more articulately, and can enable me to bounce off of walls really anytime. I don't like to bounce off of ceilings because it creates shadows in the eyes...

Anyway, if you bouce off of a wall, you are creating directional light that hits the subject from an angle. The light fills the eyes and get into the neck and generally light the subject well.
Flash that hits the subject in a straight line from the camera to the subject is not only very harsh, creating hotspots on the face and clothing, but also casts a dark shadow directly behind the subject and creates a terrible outline.

Here are a couple of examples:

Below, you can see that the flash is pointed directly at the subject. The light does not spread very far, and you can see the shadows behind the subject


first person view (of a different shot) :




Below is the same composition with the flash pointed up. You can see that the light is filling much more of the area, and the shadows behind the subject are decrease or eliminated, because the light can bounce down and fill the area behind the subject. Also, the light isnt directly pointed at the subject, so those harsh shadows are not cast back there.


first person view (of a different shot) :


These arent the greatest examples, but I think you might get the point.

Also, I googled: example of direct flash, and a couple of examples and tutorials popped up. Try that too.

Mitch
08-12-2009, 01:15 PM   #19
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Now check this out:

Now here is what you can do when you get the flash off of the camera:









Your camera can control a wireless flash. If you pick up a cheap lightstand and practice, you can do this too...

08-12-2009, 11:03 PM   #20
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You can take a look at the magazine Amateur Photographer July 2009. It's probably not in stores anymore, but search for it at ebookshare.net - it's all about weddings
08-13-2009, 12:53 AM   #21
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Loads of good advice here, on the day stay cool, enjoy and good luck.
08-13-2009, 05:45 AM   #22
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.

Thank you all so much! This has been a great help. I am planning on getting the flash first thing on friday when I get paid and will post some photos to let you all know how it goes (unless I really bomb )
08-13-2009, 07:55 AM   #23
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if you bomb then you should really post up to get some critique

08-13-2009, 08:10 AM   #24
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rwheeler,
When I shot my first wedding I have very little "People" photography experience.
However I knew my equipment, and how to use it. So I was very confident going into it.

I didn't do a perfect job, however I nailed several Key Shots.

My only advice would be to ensure all your equipment is working 3 days in advance. Then pack everything in a box, ready for the shoot.

If at all possible bring along extra everything.

Don't hesitate buying a cheap film camera and load it with B&W film.
Also buy a few rolls of Pro Grade film, it'll make a nice backup camera in needed.

And the most important part. Just relax, Weddings aren't that hard
08-13-2009, 08:25 AM   #25
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Don't forget to take pictures like this as it is very much a part of the big event as people. Most of all, just have fun.... and you will do good.

Last edited by aleonx3; 02-23-2011 at 03:16 PM.
08-13-2009, 10:20 AM   #26
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Aleon that has to be the coolest cake table I have seen. Is that right in front of the head table?
08-13-2009, 10:36 AM   #27
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Also remember to not lose the limo if you go off and shoot at a location away from the reception or ceremony areas. I got behind a tractor trailer once, and got off at an exit that the limo didn't. As I was going around the curve of the exit, I noticed the limo proceeding on up the highway. Mind you, this was a "follow the limo" deal where the bride couldn't make up her mind where she wanted her outdoor shots done, and insisted I just follow them. I did not know the bride's cell phone number (not that she was even carrying it) or the limo driver's, so I had to fly down a parallel road, head in that direction, and hope for the best.

I had just about given up hope and pulled into someone's driveway to turn around and head back to the reception area, when the limo drove past me! I drove after it and they never knew I wasn't behind them the whole time!

Might be a good idea to get the limo driver's cell number for possible use throughout the day.

QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
People don't realize it takes time to go to a location with the couple and take some of those "signature" shots everyone wants in their albums. You can't do that in 36 minutes. I usually ask for 3 hours. trying to pull them away from the reception is nearly impossible most of the time.
Pulling them out for 3 hours is very disrespectful to guests and I wouldn't recommend it. I went to a wedding last fall and it was well out of town where most guests were not from that area. They bride had a 2 hours "pull out" for outdoor portraits. Even just that 2 hour time frame made everyone quite perturbed because they either had to find something to do in an area they weren't familiar with, or drive 10 minutes away to the reception and wait 1 hour and 50 minutes for the couple to return.

I always suggest a 1-1.5 hour pull out and locations somewhere nearby. I think 2 hours or longer can be disruptive, and I think 3 hours is well too long.

Last edited by K-9; 08-13-2009 at 10:42 AM.
08-13-2009, 10:52 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by K-9 Quote
Also remember to not lose the limo if you go off and shoot at a location away from the reception or ceremony areas. I got behind a tractor trailer once, and got off at an exit that the limo didn't. As I was going around the curve of the exit, I noticed the limo proceeding on up the highway. Mind you, this was a "follow the limo" deal where the bride couldn't make up her mind where she wanted her outdoor shots done, and insisted I just follow them. I did not know the bride's cell phone number (not that she was even carrying it) or the limo driver's, so I had to fly down a parallel road, head in that direction, and hope for the best.

I had just about given up hope and pulled into someone's driveway to turn around and head back to the reception area, when the limo drove past me! I drove after it and they never knew I wasn't behind them the whole time!

Might be a good idea to get the limo driver's cell number for possible use throughout the day.



Pulling them out for 3 hours is very disrespectful to guests and I wouldn't recommend it. I went to a wedding last fall and it was well out of town where most guests were not from that area. They bride had a 2 hours "pull out" for outdoor portraits. Even just that 2 hour time frame made everyone quite perturbed because they either had to find something to do in an area they weren't familiar with, or drive 10 minutes away to the reception and wait 1 hour and 50 minutes for the couple to return.

I always suggest a 1-1.5 hour pull out and locations somewhere nearby. I think 2 hours or longer can be disruptive, and I think 3 hours is well too long.


Hooking up with the limo driver is a good idea. I generally try to connect with every vendor I meet on a wedding; not only to network, but rather so that the wedding can run more smoothly when everyone is working together.

The 'pullout' time for the bride, I'm going to have to say, just varies from bride to bride. I've had a six hour time slot before, and I loved it. It was a packed wedding and there were tons of out-of-towners. I didn't tell her to give me six hours, but we got to hit three different parks, and I had extra time to excersize creativity and busted a lot of cool shots.

Next wedding, I have a four hour time slot. Again, it was set up by the bride.

Also, I have had weddings where there was virtually no time in between and the 'park/romance' shots were outside of the church, then jet to the reception venue and do a couple outside of there before the introductions.

Weddings are a game where you have to roll with it. That's why I think the most important thing is to play it cool and roll with the punches. And...know your gear.
08-13-2009, 04:10 PM   #29
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With longer time slots in between ceremony and reception, they will have less guests who attend both, with most just showing up at the reception. This can be a good or a bad thing. Some might prefer only closer friends and family at the ceremony, but on the other hand, you could end up with a lot of moochers who just attend the reception for the food and booze.

I guess I just like to work fast, and I hate doing weddings, so I just like to get them over with. Not that I stinge on the shots, as I get all the usual picks the next guy would get. Also, when I'm attending them and not shooting them, I can't stand long layovers between the end of the ceremony and the start of the reception. It kind of ruins your day.
08-13-2009, 04:20 PM   #30
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As far as flash, all you need is a flash that can point upward, and then attach this:



You can also get silver and gold inserts for it for a few bucks and the bouncer itself is under $30.
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