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12-22-2010, 08:31 PM - 3 Likes   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
Then relax, and don't try to do everything.
This is sage advice.


Since my last post on wedding photography seemed popular, I'll do another on how I handle the time between the ceremony and reception, which generally is my time to document the day in portraits.

Rule 1: You are now "in charge". Your job is to get a series of pictures that show off whomever is in front of you camera in the most respectful and complimentary fashion possible.

Your subject is the bride. Never forget that. It's called "her day" for a reason.
Everything that day is an accessory, there at the bride's whim.
Having said that, it is the bride's mother that must be happy with the work. If she hates it, you are a goat.

If you are not in charge of the situation, it's unlikely anyone else will take it on either.
However, ask the B&G if they will provide someone to help herd cats. If they don't, choose one of the best men to assist.
People being what they are, they lose interest very quickly in these things, so keep moving things along. You have less time than you think, no matter how much time they give you.
Remember what weddings are about. First and foremost, they are about families. This does not mean one big family, this means two distinct families, with 2 people in common.
A nice big combined family group is nice, but don't let it kill your time allotment. What you really want is several small portrait sessions of family units and blood relations.
So, start with the picture that will use the biggest amount of people of one family. Shoot that group. Add the smaller of the two families.
Shoot the combined.
Release the family who you did first and shoot the second family group.
K, yer done the family groups.
Anyone who no longer needs to be there can leave, or step off to the side.
Shoot any small family groups as needed and let them go as they can be.
Your goal is to end up, very quickly, with just the wedding party, who have been worked a bit, unfortunately.

One trick I've used if I really need to pump out portraits is to park the bride in front of the background and then move everything around her, including the groom.
The bride will be in a large % of your shots.

Don't ever stop. If you have the wedding party and some family, but are missing important people, then move to bridal portraits or something.
You don't have time to waste.
You have no time to lose.
There are books full of pictures to look at, I'll leave you to your own on what needs to be shot.
You can not have too many shots of the bride.
Make the people do their traditional jobs.
What is a "bridesmaid"? Traditionally, they are responsible for primping the bride.
Unless you are a tailor, one of them will be able to adjust the brides gown better than you, and the bride's mom will probably do it best. Take help here where you find it, but make sure you find it.

And only do what you can. There is no point in getting into a panic. A little time management is all that is required. You will want perhaps 15 to 20 minutes with the bride. I'll sometimes do this all at once, sometimes in a few shorter sessions, especially if the shoot is outdoors and several nice backgrounds present themselves.
If I am awaiting some organizing to happen, then I'll grab a bridesmaid or groomsman and do a few portraits to get them done.
It's a good idea, as others have mentioned, to have a checklist.
I like to personalize the one I use to the names of the people in the party or people important to the party, such as parents, grand parents, etc.
That way as I need to I can call names.

If you keep a calm head and always work towards the goal of having as few people on set as possible as quickly as possible, then you'll do fine. The biggest time waster is the large groups. Get them out of the way and move them out. They are a distraction while there. Be polite, but don't hesitate to imply that perhaps they have some place else to be once you are done with them.
If there are old or infirm people there, accommodate them by shooting what they need to be in first. The 104 year old great, great grandmother who the bride wants pictures with get's her portraits as soon as it is possible to do.
Sometimes fate dictates what order you do things in.
I've had weddings where I've literally been able to add people almost as they arrive to make the family group shots, and have managed to get the entire group session done in less than half an hour.

As you can see, I don't have a set strategy, but I do have very clear cut goals. The strategy needs to be fluid, able to roll with the circumstances of the moment.
For example, if you need to start small, such as the aforementioned bride and elderly kin, then you are now working your way as quickly as possible to a full group picture as people present themselves because that is the shots you need to get out of the way quickly.
The last thing you want to be doing is arranging people unnecessarily. If they need to be in one picture and they are done, get that picture over with and get them out of there.
If they need to be in a lot of pictures, try to do as many of them as possible without moving them around too much.
The bride for example, as I mentioned earlier, can be parked in one spot for quite a while as group shots happen around her Be aware that she may need to sit from time to time. If you can provide a stool for her she will be very grateful to you.
If there is a nice spot where she can be sitting, and pictures can be formed around her, this can be an ideal situation.
Often a mark bench can make a nice set if the background is cooperative.

If you are shooting outdoors, be aware of what is happening in the background. People walking through your background can spoil an otherwise nice picture. It's easy to miss that sort of stuff, so stay aware.

Geeze, if your still reading, congratulations. I didn't mean for this to be such a long post.

12-23-2010, 01:46 AM   #32
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Now you've got less than 5 days - PRACTICE!
Many good advices already.

You need to be ahead, it is important to know wedding schedule and talk with the couple what to do in order to get the pictures. Don't be afraid to get closer or going infront in the church.

It seems that you may have too much to remember. You need a flash. During practice, try to keep the settings simple; my 'safe mode' is shoot raw, iso800, f5.6, flash with small softbox (lumiquest), manual at 1/8 power, distance to camera 4-10 feet, speed may vary 1/30-1/100 to add ambient.

Be cool. enjoy.
Best regards.
12-27-2010, 02:32 PM   #33
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To the OP - let us know how things went. Sure hope it went well!!
12-31-2010, 03:26 AM   #34
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hey post some photo here for us to share your joy please.

12-31-2010, 06:40 AM   #35
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I'm getting nervous.
01-01-2011, 07:54 AM   #36
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Hope it went well. Post a few photos or at least let us know. Thanks.
01-06-2011, 02:57 PM   #37
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i love this post. it helped me out alot as well :]
01-06-2011, 04:14 PM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by ashleyfatality Quote
i love this post. it helped me out alot as well :]
I hope it helped the OP, but it's really nerve-wracking that he hasn't posted back yet.

I have a bad feeling about this.

01-06-2011, 04:24 PM   #39
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I think Elvis has left the building.
01-06-2011, 05:46 PM   #40
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I think he has...but for what its worth , your adivice was very valuable to me..and now sits in my do not delete folder on my PC in a "Word" document

One day I will do a wedding..and I will reread your notes..so thanks for that ..
01-07-2011, 11:52 AM   #41
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Maybe the Bride smashed his camera... Or killed him...
01-07-2011, 12:44 PM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tommot1965 Quote

One day I will do a wedding..and I will reread your notes..so thanks for that ..
I bookmarked the page.

I was supposed to do a friend's small, not extravagant wedding in March. (A bar friend--not a real close friend.) He mentioned it to me last month, never really mentioned it again, but I think he's going to "mention" it two weeks before the wedding.

Bar friends are those kind of people.

Anyway, I ain't doing anyone any favors because of the stress involved with this, not to mention Wheatfield's thesis which I'm going to have to study. Plus, the only way I could do it is with the new 18-135, which I ain't got yet.

So I'll pay with the grey hairs, and he'll pay with his wallet so I can afford that lens.
01-07-2011, 07:35 PM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
I bookmarked the page.

I was supposed to do a friend's small, not extravagant wedding in March. (A bar friend--not a real close friend.) He mentioned it to me last month, never really mentioned it again, but I think he's going to "mention" it two weeks before the wedding.

Bar friends are those kind of people.

Anyway, I ain't doing anyone any favors because of the stress involved with this, not to mention Wheatfield's thesis which I'm going to have to study. Plus, the only way I could do it is with the new 18-135, which I ain't got yet.

So I'll pay with the grey hairs, and he'll pay with his wallet so I can afford that lens.
its a good way to get new gear...go spank that wedding till it hurts....and if its a cock up..buy the bar friend a few beers...by his third he will have forgotten all about it
01-07-2011, 10:39 PM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tommot1965 Quote
by his third
(insert) wife
QuoteOriginally posted by Tommot1965 Quote
he will have forgotten all about it
01-07-2011, 11:29 PM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by DaveHolmes Quote
(insert) wife
LOL..good one Dave
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