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12-21-2010, 11:50 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Rule 1: Stay out of the way.
Rule 2: If it moves, shoot it.
Seriously.

Before the ceremony I, if I can, get a few shots of the groom and his handlers, candids of them being boys in suits. Take a few shots of the entire congregation. This is a good time to try that panoramic stitching program if the church is wide enough.

At the ceremony, the only people who will be moving will be the people involved in the wedding.
Position yourself near the back third of the congregation. I position myself on the right side usually.
Everyone who comes past you once the music starts needs to be photographed coming up the aisle. Don't overdo it, it isn't necessary to shoot more than a couple of each. More than that makes you visible (Rule 1) and may deplete your flash to the point that you don't have a flash when you need it.
Any activity at the front of the church needs to be photographed. The bride may be handed off to the groom, amid some quiet hugs and tears.
This is a must have shot if it happens.
You can get a couple of shots of the priest doing his preamble, but you will probably violate Rule 1.
Don't risk it.
Fade to the back of the church. Put on your telephoto zoom if you have one and mount the camera on a tripod.
I like to have a second camera for this.
Photograph the ceremony from the back of the church using available light.
Don't violate rule 1. I'll push it by positioning myself right behind the last row of spectators.
Any speakers are important.
The priest is important. I like to get several with his hands gesticulating as I think they are more dynamic.
The blessing of the rings is very important.
The exchange of rings is very important.
The blessing of the new couple is very important.
The KISS is important.

Now move. You have to get the tripod out of the way (put it on the pew beside you and retrieve it later), and get up to the front of the church with flash on camera, ready to go.
Don't worry, you actually have a fair amount of time.
The signing of the register is important. Sometimes nice pictures happen depending on where people are standing beside the signing table.
Be aware, but don't get too far out of position. You can't let anyone get between you and the aisle as the singing winds down.
You'll be given a chance to photograph the entire party at the front of the church, most likely. Take advantage of it, and then position yourself towards the middle back of the congregation.
As the B&G come down the aisle towards you, you get to play paparazzi running backwards as they make their escape. Don't fall down or into a baptism tub or anything silly (Rule 1).
When the B&G make it out of the chapel, I take advantage of the situation to congratulate them for a job well done, shake his hand, give her a little hug and then photograph the rest of the party coming out.

That's it.
Yer done.
What great advice Wheatfield! It's obvious that some of that positioning and instinct comes only after years of experience, something I unfortunately don't have the chance for this Sunday. But the knowledge is worth pure gold. Thank you!

12-22-2010, 07:33 AM   #17
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Try to relax and have a good time. I know that's easier said than done because you want to do a good job, but it's just as important for the bride and groom, and the guests, to have fun with you there--and not where you're getting in the way of the event/party.

I recently shot a party that I was ill equipped to shoot, but I did a lot of candids.

Were the shots technically fantastic to start with? No--but the content was. And the computer turned mediocre shots into very good ones:

No one noticed that the flash was a little harsh, but instead smiled at the candid shots of couples dancing on the dance floor and gazing lovingly into each other's eyes.

Good luck! You'll be fine--but shoot TONS!!!
12-22-2010, 08:13 AM   #18
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I shot a couple of weddings many years ago with a film camera and a single 35mm lens. I saw the photos from one of these weddings a few days ago, and they were damned good if I do say so. (My sister-in-law handled the tough part, she set them up, I shot them). My point is, you don't need a ton of fancy gear to do this. Your K10D and kit lens are sufficient if that's all you have. Of course you will have better results if you add a long fast prime for the ceremony. A 100mm or 135mm f/2.8 for example would get you some tele and could double as a portrait lens. I shot a wedding recently with only a 16-45 and 100mm. There was a second shooter, but I covered everything including the formals and mostly my photos were used in the album.

A good flash is a necessity for a wedding. A shoe-mounted flash with a diffusor is far, far superior to the pop-up. I use the Sigma EF-530 Super and Omni-bounce and I can recommend both as great value. The 530 Super is much better than the ST version because it allows wireless and High-speed synch, both of which are great features for a wedding. You will need to practice with the flash. One secret, DO NOT USE AUTO ISO WITH FLASH. If you're using the diffusor, bump the ISO one stop. If you bounce, bump it another stop. In dim light, push the ISO up to allow some ambient light and prevent a flashed look. These simple rules will save you a lot of aggravation and spoiled photos.

Technical difficulties are always a possibility. I would strongly suggest you bring a back-up camera, even if it's only a compact. Mediocre photos are a hell of a lot better than no photos.

Best of luck! Make sure to let us know how it went.
12-22-2010, 08:17 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
I would strongly suggest you bring a back-up camera, even if it's only a compact. Mediocre photos are a hell of a lot better than no photos.
Great advice here!

It doesn't have to be a complicated DSLR.

12-22-2010, 08:21 AM   #20
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As for renting maybe a Pentax DA* 16-50 1:2.8 (and possibly a DA* 50-135 1:2.8 too).

Last edited by jolepp; 12-22-2010 at 01:57 PM.
12-22-2010, 08:31 AM   #21
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Erudite's link has good info.

HAVE A LIST!!

Have the bride make a list, incorporate it into your list, & have her review it. Refer to it often & check items off as you progress or else you'll miss something important.

Be a Drill Sargent! Herd them as needed. They will obey.

Have a backup of everything (including a helper in case you pass out.)

Take many, many photos; you will not notice the groom's closed eyes just as the shutter activates.

Practice in the venue the day before....just before the wedding is far too late to figure out your positions, sequential moves, and camera parameters needed.

Good luck! We are all pulling for you!

Dave
12-22-2010, 12:33 PM   #22
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Drexvil: I feel your pain. I, too, have been cornered into photographing my brother's wedding on December 31. I have exactly as much experience as you do, and, frankly, I would rather eat nails. So, I am glad for your timely question and for all the great responses.
12-22-2010, 12:57 PM   #23
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The best advice I can give, rent fast lenses and when you use flash bounce it. But, in my opinion, the most important thing about flash photography is learning to shoot in TV mode and dragging the shutter. It seems counter intuitive but slowing the shutter to between 1/30 and 1/15th will give you very good results in an indoor environment. It will stop any motion and still allow ambient light in to fill the background.

You're a good friend, good luck.

12-22-2010, 12:59 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
My sister-in-law handled the tough part, she set them up, I shot them.
I think this is a great idea. It's a good job for an assistant.
12-22-2010, 01:28 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
I think this is a great idea. It's a good job for an assistant.
My SIL was great. She knew what shots to get. She was in charge of the setup, and there was no doubt about it in anyone's mind. She's five foot nothing, but she knows what she wants and she speaks up about it.

When I shot my son's wedding, there were quite a few of their friends with compacts, and one with a video camera. I made sure that they all knew I wasn't just Dad with a camera, I had a job to do. I let them snap only after I got my shots.
12-22-2010, 01:33 PM   #26
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You've received lots of good advice already - of course the best outcome is for them to get a more experienced photographer, but in your case, you'll just have to practice, get used to your gear (that should be suitable for low-light captures) and do dry runs for yourself to think more about what's happening and be quick to the mark rather than having to worry about settings on the camera and flash. All the best.
12-22-2010, 02:22 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by drexvil Quote
...I have less than a week to get ready, but I haven't touched this camera in months!
If you're going to be renting lenses, and your budget allows, get the DA* 16-50 and 50-135. If it's been a while since you've used your camera I'd suggest you check your firmware version by holding down the menu button on the back of your camera as you turn it on. The version will appear on the screen as the camera starts up. If you don't have 1.3 or 1.31 you may want to upgrade to allow SDM focusing ability with those lenses mentioned above.

To download the update go here and select your camera. The site will walk you through the rest. Official PENTAX Imaging Web Site

Good luck.
12-22-2010, 03:12 PM   #28
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I'd say, rather than worrying about the quality of your digital glass at your level, get a big card (Well, more memory. Smaller cards and plenty of them can be better up to a point) and more batteries. What you know well, do that. A lot. Make up cards that you can hand out directing people to like a Flickr album to post what they get. (And go ahead and dedicate it to the grandma, that does good honor, ) . Everyone out there has point and shoots, these days, (And unlike when I was in the business, they tend to work a lot more often) so make a place to compile them online.

Make it participatory instead of putting it all on yourself. It'll add to it all rather than make you worry if you pass muster.

I'm sure we'll all try and coach you as we can. In general, try and stay in the middle of your kit lens' zoom range and a moderate aperture. (A smaller external flash made for Pentax would help you there, )


Just the kind of case I might be tempted to take on, if I were in range, though. Not something I do anymore for money.
12-22-2010, 03:40 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Rule 1: Stay out of the way.
Rule 2: If it moves, shoot it.
Seriously.

Before the ceremony I, if I can, get a few shots of the groom and his handlers, candids of them being boys in suits. Take a few shots of the entire congregation. This is a good time to try that panoramic stitching program if the church is wide enough.

At the ceremony, the only people who will be moving will be the people involved in the wedding.
Position yourself near the back third of the congregation. I position myself on the right side usually.
Everyone who comes past you once the music starts needs to be photographed coming up the aisle. Don't overdo it, it isn't necessary to shoot more than a couple of each. More than that makes you visible (Rule 1) and may deplete your flash to the point that you don't have a flash when you need it.
Any activity at the front of the church needs to be photographed. The bride may be handed off to the groom, amid some quiet hugs and tears.
This is a must have shot if it happens.
You can get a couple of shots of the priest doing his preamble, but you will probably violate Rule 1.
Don't risk it.
Fade to the back of the church. Put on your telephoto zoom if you have one and mount the camera on a tripod.
I like to have a second camera for this.
Photograph the ceremony from the back of the church using available light.
Don't violate rule 1. I'll push it by positioning myself right behind the last row of spectators.
Any speakers are important.
The priest is important. I like to get several with his hands gesticulating as I think they are more dynamic.
The blessing of the rings is very important.
The exchange of rings is very important.
The blessing of the new couple is very important.
The KISS is important.

Now move. You have to get the tripod out of the way (put it on the pew beside you and retrieve it later), and get up to the front of the church with flash on camera, ready to go.
Don't worry, you actually have a fair amount of time.
The signing of the register is important. Sometimes nice pictures happen depending on where people are standing beside the signing table.
Be aware, but don't get too far out of position. You can't let anyone get between you and the aisle as the singing winds down.
You'll be given a chance to photograph the entire party at the front of the church, most likely. Take advantage of it, and then position yourself towards the middle back of the congregation.
As the B&G come down the aisle towards you, you get to play paparazzi running backwards as they make their escape. Don't fall down or into a baptism tub or anything silly (Rule 1).
When the B&G make it out of the chapel, I take advantage of the situation to congratulate them for a job well done, shake his hand, give her a little hug and then photograph the rest of the party coming out.

That's it.
Yer done.
thats a great post mate, really good advice for the poor old fella .....rep added




to the OP

best of luck with it all mate..dont stress out too much, sounds like you and the B&G are on the same page regarding photographic outcome, and your mate will probally be happy with wedding snaps...but if you can pull of something better than that all the better for you and them, and seeing as your doing a fair bit of prep now, Id say its highly likely your do well

as others have said..plenty batteries and another SD card if your able too.

make sure you fill the frame when taking the B&G images. get in tight with your composures ...try and have some fun


All the best with it ole son, I sincerely mean that ...
12-22-2010, 03:56 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by drexvil Quote
Believe me, I wish I could. I'm extremely busy at work, and have no time to practice.
It's going to be a small affair, in a small church with no reception. More to fulfill his mother's last wishes.
Then relax, and don't try to do everything.
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