Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
08-13-2009, 09:27 PM   #31
Pentaxian
aleonx3's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Brampton, Ontario
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,979
QuoteOriginally posted by MJB DIGITAL Quote
Aleon that has to be the coolest cake table I have seen. Is that right in front of the head table?
Yes, that is right in front of the head table... the lighting effect was pretty good with the moving spot light and color pattern.

Not being the official photog is actually a good thing, since one can get creative. I just learned later that I was the only photog getting these shots. I did use flash to gain better control of the lighting on the champagne glasses. Here is another one from a different angle.


Last edited by aleonx3; 02-23-2011 at 03:16 PM.
08-14-2009, 04:01 AM   #32
Pentaxian
Moderator Emeritus




Join Date: May 2007
Location: Edmonton Alberta, Canada
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 10,644
QuoteOriginally posted by K-9 Quote


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.
Well we differ here. On average I have them for 2.5 hours, sometimes shorter and not often longer. But this can be covered in the planning for the day. If the bride is willing to pay my fee and spend $7000 + for the day (often well over $10,000). EDIT. Sorry I didn't mean my fee was $7000 or $10,000 but her other costs. The how much does it cost to have a room set up at the hotel or reception venue for the guests to go and get a drink or some finger foods? Overall not much. So we discuss this months in advance. Have some arrangement for the guests to be entertained. One couple I did paid for a place that had Mini golf, another for go carts. Sure all the guests can't participate but they enjoyed watching those that did.

The first 30 minutes involve many of the guests anyway and then we have at least 2 hours to get the shots she wants.

My way of doing this is different I guess. Once the personal photography starts, I'm in charge of what's going to happen and where. I'll know in advance of any shots she wants. We'll do her shots/locations and then it's follow me to locations I've scouted out. If you let them control the time and the locations, you will not get the quality of work you are capable of. If a bride has a shot list at the beginning and wants that followed, I don't take the job. I've turned down a few for this reason. Taking those jobs isn't doing you or her any favours.

The point is, if she's been planning this for a year or 2 and you have to rush through the time available, then why bother? She'll get a few nice shots in a single park and then you're done. People don't have the opportunity to hire a photographer many times in their lives. The experience and results had better show that it was worth the time and effort. Frankly the photography is the most important memento of the day. Trumps the video by a long shot (pun intended) and beats the 3 toasters. You have to get it right and take some time to do that.

Consider that a photographer and model in the studio might (just ask Ben) take 12 hours to get a portfolio of 12 shots for a project. They don't have to drive anywhere and can fire away all day. You want to create a portfolio for her that will last a lifetime and you can't (I don't care how good you are) do that in 60 minutes which also includes driving to a location or 2.

Btw. I've never ever once had a guest tell me that the time was an issue. I asked brides and guests a number of times and they didn't mind. it was planned out and in the invitations or programs. With proper planning, it's a non-issue.

Last edited by Peter Zack; 08-14-2009 at 11:08 AM.
08-14-2009, 06:39 AM   #33
Veteran Member




Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Edmonton, AB, Canada
Posts: 408
My wedding planned for next summer starts at 4:00pm (Ceremony) cocktails at 4:30pm and reception at 6:30pm. I think this is acceptable because the wedding and reception is all at one venue.

HOWEVER, the last 8 weddings I've been to have ceremonies around 10-11pm and cocktails starting at 5:30pm. After the first 4, I started attending the reception only. Otherwise, I was driving home to have a nap so that I wouldn't be bagged before the fun stuff at the reception started.

I also agree with short pull aways!!! But doesn't seem like a popular idea.
08-14-2009, 09:56 AM   #34
K-9
Veteran Member
K-9's Avatar

Join Date: May 2009
Location: USA
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,972
QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
Well we differ here. On average I have them for 2.5 hours, sometimes shorter and not often longer. But this can be covered in the planning for the day. If the bride is willing to pay my fee and spend $7000 + for the day (often well over $10,000). The how much does it cost to have a room set up at the hotel or reception venue for the guests to go and get a drink or some finger foods? Overall not much. So we discuss this months in advance. Have some arrangement for the guests to be entertained. One couple I did paid for a place that had Mini golf, another for go carts. Sure all the guests can't participate but they enjoyed watching those that did.

The first 30 minutes involve many of the guests anyway and then we have at least 2 hours to get the shots she wants.

My way of doing this is different I guess. Once the personal photography starts, I'm in charge of what's going to happen and where. I'll know in advance of any shots she wants. We'll do her shots/locations and then it's follow me to locations I've scouted out. If you let them control the time and the locations, you will not get the quality of work you are capable of. If a bride has a shot list at the beginning and wants that followed, I don't take the job. I've turned down a few for this reason. Taking those jobs isn't doing you or her any favours.

The point is, if she's been planning this for a year or 2 and you have to rush through the time available, then why bother? She'll get a few nice shots in a single park and then you're done. People don't have the opportunity to hire a photographer many times in their lives. The experience and results had better show that it was worth the time and effort. Frankly the photography is the most important memento of the day. Trumps the video by a long shot (pun intended) and beats the 3 toasters. You have to get it right and take some time to do that.

Consider that a photographer and model in the studio might (just ask Ben) take 12 hours to get a portfolio of 12 shots for a project. They don't have to drive anywhere and can fire away all day. You want to create a portfolio for her that will last a lifetime and you can't (I don't care how good you are) do that in 60 minutes which also includes driving to a location or 2.

Btw. I've never ever once had a guest tell me that the time was an issue. I asked brides and guests a number of times and they didn't mind. it was planned out and in the invitations or programs. With proper planning, it's a non-issue.
You will hear more complaints when you're at a wedding you're not photographing. That's where all the chatter is about the long layoff between events. If you ask them directly, I'm sure people will say they don't mind, but that may not be the case.

My photography experience started in surveillance/investigative work, so I guess I'm just a super fast shooter. I don't need a lot of time to get the shots I want, so 3 hours seems extreme to me. I'd be done in half that time and I would feel the other half would be just corralling or babysitting misbehaving groomsmen and bridesmaids. I say shoot 'em quick and get them back to the reception!

08-14-2009, 10:03 AM   #35
Pentaxian
Moderator Emeritus




Join Date: May 2007
Location: Edmonton Alberta, Canada
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 10,644
I'm assuming you meant 10-11AM. Crap that's way too long.

I offer something a little different with one of my packages now (but it will cost you!) and I've had 3 this year take it. Hold the service, then take the family/group and bridal party shots after that. Then 20-30 minutes with the B&G alone at one location. Then straight to the reception. So the service is usually at 4 and the reception at 6. This way it's a nice tight schedule. Then the B&G meet me the next day. We take our time and do all the private shooting they want. I like it even if it's more work but in the end, they get what they want, I don't have to rush, the guests don't have to wait. Everyone wins. The only downside for the B&G is they are paying for extra time. But if it's well planned they don't mind at all.

Guess you're just a better shooter than I am.
08-14-2009, 10:35 AM   #36
Veteran Member
MJB DIGITAL's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: st. louis
Posts: 1,170
RWHEELER....

I'm thinking for a 5pm ceremony and a 6pm reception, I would want to get as many of the 'formal' shots done before the ceremony i.e. :

Groom
Groom with each individual groomsman
Groom with all groomsmen

Bride
Bride with each individual bridesmaid
Bride with all bridesmaids

Brothers, sisters, as much family as I can squeeze

If the couple are willing to see each other before hand, you can do a 'first look' sequence, and then finish even more of the formals.

Otherwise, you might have a very tight schedule between the ceremony and reception; you might then have to shoot some formal at the reception venue, which can be difficult as you will be in the dark not knowing very well how to use your light. Also, family will want to party at that time...

Sorry if I'm behind with keeping up with this thread and this has already been covered.
08-16-2009, 09:09 AM   #37
Veteran Member
alohadave's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Quincy, MA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,024
QuoteOriginally posted by aleonx3 Quote
Not being the official photog is actually a good thing, since one can get creative. I just learned later that I was the only photog getting these shots. I did use flash to gain better control of the lighting on the champagne glasses. Here is another one from a different angle.
There is no reason that the hired pro can't be getting these shots.

And there is certainly nothing wrong with direct flash at a reception. If you know what you are doing, you can get great shots that balance flash and ambient that looks great. The problem is that many reception places are dark/lights low, so you need to light the people you are shooting.
08-19-2009, 12:54 PM   #38
Veteran Member
MJB DIGITAL's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: st. louis
Posts: 1,170
So did this thing go down yet?

08-20-2009, 07:06 AM   #39
Junior Member




Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Posts: 36
Original Poster
.

it's coming up on the 29th, so pretty quick. I ordered the AF540FGZ and it just got here yesterday so i'm excited to get out and use it! I was able to get a friend to agree to come out with me to where the wedding is being held this Saturday so that I can play around with the flash and see how things are looking. I will post some of those when I have them and hopefully get some cc so I can figure out what i'm doing wrong.
08-20-2009, 10:24 AM   #40
Veteran Member
MJB DIGITAL's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: st. louis
Posts: 1,170
perfect. also, you might want to try the wireless stuff....

where has codiac been? he had a tutorial about hand holding your wireless flash.
08-20-2009, 10:28 AM   #41
Veteran Member
MJB DIGITAL's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: st. louis
Posts: 1,170
29th I'll be an a wedding too, right there with ya! 8) also shooting with K10D/540fgz
08-22-2009, 05:08 PM   #42
Veteran Member
WMBP's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Dallas, Texas
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,482
QuoteOriginally posted by rwheeler Quote
So i kinda fell into being the photographer for a friends wedding. It's going to be outdoors and pretty informal. My problem is I have no experience shooting weddings and very little in shooting portraits . Right now I have a K10d with the kit lens as well as a da* 50-135. I have gathered that I will need some kind of a flash... Does anyone have any suggestions on good ones to look at? Im trying to keep the flash around the 200 dollar mark but would be willing to put out a little more if it would be worth it. Also is there any suggestions on how to shoot the event, other equipment that I will need, or things that I will need to keep an eye out for? Any help would be amazing! I'm pretty sure this topic has been beaten to death somewhere on the net but I wasn't able to find it. Thanks ahead of time!

You didn't say WHEN your wedding will be. I'm hoping it hasn't happened and you still have time to think and practice. You're new to weddings, obviously, and apparently also new to flash. I'm going to recommend that you make things as SIMPLE AS POSSIBLE. Trying to get fancy in a hurry - trying to prep for an intermediate or advanced exam without having ever taken the elementary course - is a sure-fire recipe for failure. You're a beginner. Approach this like a beginner and you will have a chance of doing a half decent job. Or to put it a bit more positively, if you set your technical aims realistically, you will be able to focus on just getting the shots, and your bride and groom may end up being delighted by your photos.


Camera and lenses

You're equipment is basically okay. If you were trying to be a pro about this - even a wanna-be pro shooting a wedding for the first time - you would have to have a second camera as a backup. If you're willing to risk it with just one, well, let's hope nothing goes wrong with your camera.

The 50-135 is a good lens for the ceremony. It's the lens I use most during the ceremony in church or elsewhere. As someone else said, it seems made for weddings. Fine lens.

For your candids at the reception however, in my opinion, anyway, I think you're going to want to switch to the kit lens. It's not a fast lens but you'll be using your flash and that will make up for everything. You won't want to open up wider than f/4 or f/5.6 anyway. And you'll really need something wider than 50mm!


Flash

As others have noted, the Pentax 540 FGZ is more powerful than the 360 model AND its head is more flexible for bouncing. THe Metz 58 AF-1 is more powerful still and in my opinion also much better built. HOWEVER, you said you're on a tight budget (I can understand) and I don't think you should be worrying about getting the best of everything, especially when you're not really in a position to take advantage of it. Many people (like me) like the 560 or the Metz 58 because we bounce a lot. But I don't think you need to worry about bouncing.

So I would suggest that you get the Pentax 360, or one of the Sigma model flash units that are in your price range. The Sigmas seem to be well thought of here by folks who have used 'em.


Tripod etc?

Are you going to take formal group photos? This can be the hardest part of the job for first-timers. It was anyway for me. It can be done without a tripod but a tripod REALLY helps, especially if you have a remote (either cable - my preference - or IR) because with a tripod, you can set things up, do a few test shots to confirm exposure, and after that, pay attention to the people you're photographing, which is really important.



How to shoot the wedding

My advice, again, is KEEP IT SIMPLE, as simple as you can. That means
  • Shoot either in P mode or Av mode on your K10D.
  • Set the camera's ISO to auto ISO and give it a range from 200-800 or 200-600 or something like that and then forget about it. (I gather the ceremony's outside and you'll have natural light and won't need to shoot at ISO 1600 as you might if you were inside a dark church.)
  • Set the camera's metering mode either to center-weighted or matrix. Set focus mode to center spot.
  • MAKE SURE that you have shake reduction enabled!
  • SHOOT RAW!
  • Set white balance to AUTO
  • As I said, use the 50-135 for the ceremony. It will enable you to stand off to the side a bit. Be sure you've discussed the do's and don't's with the wedding coordinator and/or preacher or rabbi or judge to make sure your behavior stays within expected boundaries.
  • Use the 18-55 lens for everything else, including the groups.
  • Use the hoods for your lenses. This is especially important if you're shooting outdoors.
  • ON the back of the camera (Fn button, then down), set the flash to the normal 'flash on' setting. On your flash unit on the hot shoe, set to P-TTL. POINT THE FLASH STRAIGHT FORWARD. Don't worry about bouncing. I'll return to this topic later.
  • Have a list of formal group shots to work from. KEEP THIS LIST AS SHORT AS POSSIBLE. You can get more group shots at the reception.
  • For the formal shots, don't use an aperture wider than f/5.6 - f/6.7 may be even better. Stand about 10-12 ft from your group. Further back and your flash won't be powerful enough; closer, and it will be TOO powerful.
  • Shoot at least 2 of each formal shot to make sure everybody's eyes are open.
  • In the day or two before the wedding, make sure you have recharged ALL of your batteries. Be sure you have spare batteries for the flash and that you know how to change the batteries in the flash quickly and then to turn the flash back on and get it back to the P-TTL setting.
  • Take LOTS of storage. I'd suggest that 8-10 GB would probably be okay, but more would be better. I start the day with an 8 GB card in both of the two cameras that I shoot with. Whatever size card you use, you need to learn to pay attention constantly to the number of shots remaining. Think about what's going on and what's coming up, and change cards when it's convenient. Don't wait until the card is full to change it. If you do, you might miss The Kiss.
  • Learn to hit the Info button and review everything on that screen intelligently, so you can confirm fairly often that you haven't accidentally moved the camera into B mode, or switched out of raw or something like that. Remember, I urge you to use the settings I'm suggesting or something very similar and NOT to change during the shoot- but you need to be aware of your settings anyway, because it's possible to change things accidentally.
  • Take your time while you're shooting. Breathe deeply. Take your time. Think. Take your time. Don't worry about taking LOTS of pictures. Put your attention into trying to anticipate what's happening and frame your shots well so you can take fewer, BETTER photos.
  • SHOOT RAW. Yeah, I know I said that already. :-)


Dealing with competition

Make sure with your friends that you are THE "official" photographer for the event, and if you are, then take that role by the horns and assert yourself. You'll need to do this to do a good job with the formals, the cake cutting, etc. Be prepared for the fact that many guests will have cameras and will be shooting. That's the way it is. It's still your job to photograph everything, so you can't be too timid about it.

During the formals, others will try to take pictures. I make an announcement asking people to hold their shots while I take mine, then after I take my 2-3 shots of each pose, I turn to the guests and say "okay" and let them take a shot or two. Then quickly on to the next pose.



Last note about flash

Now, a comment on my recommendation about flash. I suggested that you forget about bouncing and forget about being fancy. Flash photography is really difficult. Shooting available like is like VFR (visual flight rules) flying; shooting flash is kind of like flying with instruments - a whole 'nother ballgame. Well, I managed to mix up the ol' metaphors pretty good there.

Anyway, unless the wedding's in summer 2010, you don't have time to start learning to use the flash in a more advanced way. Some aspects of good flash photography aren't that hard to understand as concepts. But it's not concepts that matter, it's practice.

So I'm suggesting that you forget all that, get your $200 flash (Pentax 360, Sigma, whatever), learn how to put it on the camera and turn it on and set it to P-TTL - and then point it forward and start practicing with it. If you want, you can buy a Sto-Fen Omnibounce. (You have to buy one that fits the specific flash model you purchase, so buy the flash first.) The Sto-Fen will help a little. But keep the flash pointed forward at the subject. Yes, this will mean that the lighting in your pictures may be a tad harsh. THAT IS BETTER than the very real alternative, which is that, if you try to get fancy, you may blow the photos altogether.


Practice

Do everything you can between now and the wedding to practice with your camera and flash and get to know them well. Get a friend, child, parent, to pose for you while you pretend to be at a wedding and take some photos. Practice in afternoon light outside, practice in early evening light similar to that you expect at the reception. Go to the rehearsal and take LOTS of shots there and review them quickly at least for exposure.

The goal of practice isn't just to get better. It's to anticipate as many problems as you can and solve them before they actually occur. It's to minimize the chance of surprises. And if something DOES surprise you - like your flash suddenly doesn't seem to be working - stop, take a deep breath, ignore the people around you and think.


Take some encouragement from the fact that wedding photography isn't the most difficult type of photography in the world. War photography is.


Good luck and God help you. :-)

Will
08-22-2009, 06:30 PM   #43
Veteran Member
MJB DIGITAL's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: st. louis
Posts: 1,170
Will the wedding is next weekend and the OP got the 540fgz a few days ago. I want to see some shots with it so we can critique you! Hook it up!

....and Will is bouncing the flash really that complicated? Just point it over there and do a bank-shot to get the light to fill the eyes .....

ya know?
08-23-2009, 08:26 AM   #44
Veteran Member
WMBP's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Dallas, Texas
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,482
QuoteOriginally posted by MJB DIGITAL Quote
Will the wedding is next weekend and the OP got the 540fgz a few days ago. I want to see some shots with it so we can critique you! Hook it up!
Sorry, didn't realize I was too late on that issue.


QuoteQuote:
....and Will is bouncing the flash really that complicated? Just point it over there and do a bank-shot to get the light to fill the eyes .....

ya know?
You're kidding, right? "Point it over there"?? Over where? Yes, bouncing IS difficult.

You have to worry about the angle of your bounce. In many situations, if you take the time to look, you'll see that you may have a number of different choices about where to point the flash - that is, where to aim your bounce. There's the cieling. There's the wall. If you're near a corner of the room, that may be a terrific option (where two walls meet the ceiling). Shooting a portrait with all the time in the world, you can think about this carefully, take a few test shots and decide what's best. Shooting a wedding reception, you're on the move, have very little time to think, and have to make decisions very quickly.

I've now shot several wedding receptions in barns - where the ceiling was high, there were rafters and wires and other equipment up there, like big air conditioning units. The ceiling was not flat, it was angled, so if I was shooting in one direction and standing in one part of the room, the bounce might work well, but if I turned 45 to the right or left, suddenly the bounce didn't work at all - or it got lost in the A/C unit or the rafters. I was using P-TTL, but because of the crazy variations in the result of the bounce from one spot in the room to the next, I had constantly to adjust my FEC values. Unfortunately, the ceiling was black and a terrible bounce material so I was usually shooting close to +3 already much of the time.

At one of these barn weddings, the barn wasn't big enough for all the guests, so they had built a large tent and attached it to one end of the barn. Inside the barn, I was bouncing at full strength off a high, very dark wood ceiling. When I stepped just a few feet into the tent, I had to remember to quickly change my settings, because the tent was all white tent material, very reflective, and generally low.

Since the decision about your bounce point is often made so quickly, bouncing may produce unpredictable results. Even when you're NOT in a hurry, bouncing is like doing a bank shot on a pool table: getting the angles even a little bit wrong may cause you to miss the shot. Bit more leeway with a flash than with a pool shot, but the fact remains, if you get it right for one shot, then step 3 ft to the right for the next shot without reconsidering your bounce, there's at least some chance that your next shot will be a failure. Like with anything else, you can get good at bouncing with lots of practice.

And I should mention that you don't always have anything to bounce off. I've shot a number of outdoors (open air) receptions. Nothing to bounce off there.

I could go on. Bouncing can be a great technique, because a well calculated bounce may indeed disperse the light in a very satisfying way. But gosh, it ain't easy. Not only is every venue different, every spot on the floor may be different. That's precisely why the flexibility of the 540 FGZ or the Metz 58 AF-1 is so important. When I'm bouncing, I'm fiddling with my flash head all the time.

In short, bouncing the flash is a bit like shooting in full manual mode. When you get good at it, it can produce better results that you would getting shooting in an auto mode. But consistent success requires lots of experience and the ability to think about what you're doing constantly.

I'm sorry my advice about the flash unit itself was too late to save the OP some money. But I stand by my recommendation that the OP point the flash straight forward and let P-TTL do as much of the work for him as possible. Even this approach will require some practice and does require some adjustments on the spot (to the flash exposure compensation setting). But it's the easiest option and the one most likely to produce consistently acceptable results.

One last point: Because bouncing is so tricky, I - like a lot of photographers - hedge my bets by using a flash modifier as well. I use a Demb Flip-It more than anything else, but I suggested the OP pick up a Sto-Fen Omnibounce, since it's easy to use and hard to misuse.

Again, good luck to the OP.

Will
08-23-2009, 05:47 PM   #45
Junior Member




Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Posts: 36
Original Poster
.

Here are some of the first attempts. I just had a friend come up with me to where the wedding is going to be held so I could try everything out. The results were pretty hit and miss, it seemed like when I had the flash pointed straight at the subject her face would look really blown out and the background would be dark. For these ones that turned out ok I had the flash pointed up higher with the little white card on the flash pulled up and the camera set to P. If the flash is pointed straight at the subject what are the ways that I can avoid them looking like casper? Also thank you all so much for the feedback so far! it's been great!
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
camera, photography, suggestions
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
People K7 does a Wedding Falcons Post Your Photos! 10 03-27-2010 04:30 AM
Before The Wedding IowaBoy Monthly Photo Contests 0 11-13-2009 10:45 AM
Wedding!! MJB DIGITAL Photographic Industry and Professionals 22 08-09-2009 09:03 PM
A few from a wedding Taff Post Your Photos! 18 12-08-2008 06:02 AM
My first wedding!!! dudlew Post Your Photos! 11 12-20-2007 06:41 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:23 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top