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11-18-2010, 02:43 AM   #1
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Any Suggestions At All - Freestyle Wedding for My Work Colleague

Hello there,

I realise I may be going into the lion's den here!

Advice sorely needed

My colleague at work is getting married.

Pro stuff e.g. stills and video is taken care of.

They would like me to hover a bit and try to capture anything the pro's might miss e.g. candids etc. How good the Pro's are - I don't know.

I have been to the venue and asked the staff to give me the "reception" lighting, which they most kindly did - large space, very well lit.

These are the only lenses that I have available under F2.0 max.

FA 43mm F1.9
F 50 F1.7
"A" 50 F1.4
FA 77mm F1.8

I've played around at home trying to simulate the lighting I will experience and the lenses coped well

However, I want to travel light - My wife and I want to drink a few beers and mingle and enjoy the evening.

My preferred option is:

K20D - Pentax FA 43mm + Fa 77mm.

But I found in the freezer a roll of Kodak Gold ASA 400. I might just use that with my MZ-S and one of the Limiteds as a back up.

Photos will focus mainly on the happy couple, but I'm sure others will want to get in on the action when they are looser. Do I need wider?

Any suggestions about anything would be welcome. I'm stressed even though my friend asked me to do it as a favour.

Cheers.

Rod Worth.

11-18-2010, 03:53 AM   #2
Ash
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Well Rod, you're in a good position.
You have no obligation to perform, and there are no expectations.
Hang loose and enjoy the day - it's easier if you've practiced but with the homework you've done you should be reasonably prepared.
43mm on the K20D won't be wide enough for larger groups, but couple photos will be reasonably well catered for.
If you'll be shooting from far away, the 77 will be highly valuable.
Be weary of shooting too wide, blurring out important subject matter in the images.
Otherwise, go for broke...
11-18-2010, 06:53 AM   #3
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Thanks ASH!!!

Ash,

I know some people will think it's a bit strange - a beginner using an FA Limited, but although I have been around a while, I have never done (in any way, shape or form) a wedding before.

Hence the post in the Beginner's Forum.

Valuable experience I think.

However, success or failure I think will ultimately come down to (a) the skill to "capture the moment" or (B) my interpretation of the human psyche or (C) Right or wrong place, or right or wrong time.

Anyway, I must get up to Toowoomba one day, to see how it's done in style.

Cheers,

Rod Worth.
11-18-2010, 11:06 AM   #4
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If all else fails, drink heavily and hang out with the bride's maids.
After all, it was all their fault...

11-18-2010, 12:38 PM   #5
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I should correct myself above - I meant to say don't shoot too wide *open* to avoid unsharp subjects. But otherwise I'm sure you'll be fine. You'll be quite inconspicuous with your set up so you should get some good candids.

FA ltds rock.
11-18-2010, 01:34 PM   #6
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You're lucky...the candid shooter is the most fun gig in wedding shooting! Like Ash said, there'll be no obligation to perform and you'll have a lot of freedom to shoot fun stuff. A couple thoughts:

1) Throw a wide lens in your bag, even if it's just the 18-55 kit lens. I know it's slow, but you might come across a situation where it would be nice to have something wide. Weddings are a situation where groups of people congregate (co-workers, college buddies, distant relatives from out of state, etc.), and having a wide lens would be a plus for such occurences. Additionally, if you're a people person and can work your way into the groups, shooting a wide lens close up will seem far more personal than a long lens from farther away.

2) Watch the kids. They're usually adorably cute at weddings and are far less likely to get self conscious when you point a camera at them.

3)Look for details. For example, the pros will probably be trying to get a wider view of the couple cutting the cake. While they're doing that, you can put a longer lens on and get a shot of just the couples hands on the knife. Likewise, the pros will be shooting the first dance to no end. While they're doing that, you can watch for the reaction of the parents to that dance. And get some shots of flowers and candles, and such, too. It may not seem like much, but 20 years down the road, it will help the couple remember all the details of the day.

4) Don't be afraid to start talking to people. Find out their story. How do they know the couple? Do they have any good stories? Things like that. It will put the guests at ease and they'll open up to you more than if you were just bobbing around the reception pointing a camera at them.

5) Most of all, have fun! It really is a sweet gig. I've been lucky enough to be the candid shooter at a couple of weddings, and it's about the only time I like shooting at weddings. Taking care of the formals and getting all the traditional shots can be a daunting challenge. You'll be free to let your creativity flow without any of that burden.

Good luck!
11-18-2010, 03:26 PM   #7
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GhoSStrider - Great Stuff - Wide Angle?

Thnks GhoSStrider,

You have been really helpful .

Especially in making me feel a little calmer. The prospect doesn't seem so daunting now.

The only wide angle I have is the Tamron SP 17mm F3.5, the next widest is the Sigma Super Wide 24mm F2.8. Do you think these lenses will be up to the job?

Although more introverted, I am often more open with strangers, so I should mingle well.

Again, thanks for the informative post. I think I am suffering from information overload from my research, so I'll take your advice - chuill out - and just go with the flow.

Rod.
11-18-2010, 03:37 PM   #8
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Your 17 and 24 could both come in handy, being considerable gap-fillers, but if you're mainly focusing on intimate portraits, keep the 43 on and carry the 17 for those wide shots you may be faced with.

Practice and you'll feel a lot more relaxed.

11-18-2010, 03:41 PM   #9
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Opfor - Plan B

Opfor,

You nailed my "Plan B" perfectly.

Yeeehaah!
11-18-2010, 04:05 PM   #10
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As everyone else has said, you're in an ideal spot where you can shoot a wedding for fun!

Since your main "job" will be to get some candids, I would definitely recommend the 43 and 77. I personally would use the 77 more. I just reviewed the last wedding I shot, and virtually all of my candids were above 50mm, and all of my posed shots were 43mm or less. I think you'll find that after a few minutes you'll naturally gravitate toward one lens or the other as you see what shots you are taking.

As long as there is *some* light, I also agree that a wide zoom with some fill flash is very useful, even if it's not your fastest lens.

I would also recommend taking a few minutes to talk with the "pro" photographers when you get there, and make sure they know what you're doing and how they want to interact with you. Good pros will acknowledge that they can't be everywhere at once, and encourage you to stick close and take as many photos as you want, but they may also have a few requests, particularly when it comes to your use of flash and taking pictures at the same time. Being on their good side may yield you some good tips, tricks, and ideas, as well as keeping you close to the action.
11-18-2010, 04:54 PM   #11
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I agree. Since you want to be out of the way of the pro and getting candids, you might do well with just the K20D and FA77. That would be my choice, with the FA43 in the bag just in case. I wouldn't care so much about group shots -- they are boring and anyway the pro will have those covered.
11-18-2010, 05:30 PM   #12
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rparmar - Discretion Assured!

rparmar,

Thanks for your reply.

I agree. I would rather be discreet and further from the action.

I was even toying with the idea of taking the Tamron SP 180mm F2.5 to be even futher away as it is a large venue.

I really don't want to be in the thick of things. I might observe the Pro's, but I don't want to tag along, or do anything remotely like that.

I'm all for "out of sight, out of mind".

Between the sevice and reception, we are going to the groom's house for "refreshments". So, this will provide an opportunity for fun, intimat shots.

Thnks.

Rod.
11-18-2010, 06:35 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Thorolf Quote
I was even toying with the idea of taking the Tamron SP 180mm F2.5 to be even futher away as it is a large venue.
Unless you can physically stabilise your shot that will be difficult to use. Tracking a moving target... I can only imagine! Also DOF will be even thinner.

Speaking of which, don't go for too open an aperture. f/2.8 is a good place to start, and the FA77 is great there. Otherwise you will miss focus too often. Crank up the ISO instead.

Or break down and use a flash. It's really the best way for these events. Bounce off a nearby wall or ceiling, use an automatic mode and dial down the flash intensity 1 or 1.5 EV. Instant goodness!
11-18-2010, 10:52 PM   #14
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Nailed It

QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
Or break down and use a flash. It's really the best way for these events. Bounce off a nearby wall or ceiling, use an automatic mode and dial down the flash intensity 1 or 1.5 EV. Instant goodness!

I agree.
11-19-2010, 05:50 AM   #15
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If your goal is good candids, just use the FA 77. I am of two minds when it comes to flash. It definitely can give you sharper photos, but it also tends to get people turned in your direction and suddenly you lose some of the spontaneity. Whichever you feel more comfortable with...

Kid photos are always fun. People absorbed in conversation.

You should have a great time! The pressure is on someone else and you'll get what you get.
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