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05-20-2011, 02:20 PM   #1
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Last minute outdoor midday totally unprepared and over my head wedding tips please...

Ok... amateur photographer... I wouldn't say serious amateur, but perhaps very interested amateur... I read photo mags like crazy.. lurk in the blogs... buy way too may books etc.. but don't shoot enough

Never shot a wedding.. barely know flash, but I've got a Pentax K5 with the 18-135 lens, a manual 50 mm 1.2, and a cheap 100-300 zoom. My flash is a Metz 50 AF-1

I've primarily been shooting landscapes and a teeny bit of marco-ish stuff...

So my brother is getting married tomorrow... He has no photographer.. at all... (They're not into pictures too much he says...)

So I'm going to do what I can for him... (as I'm not in the wedding - we're very close [sarcasm])

The wedding is on the waterfront, at 2pm... outdoors... I'll be arriving about 11am-ish and do my best...

I don't exactly feel too much pressure, but I'd like to do as best I can and throw him a little wedding book together... (I'm better at that part of the job)

So blitz me with some tips... I understand the basics of photography and I know how to use my equipment.. but I have very little experience with portrait photography and none with weddings....

Any tips, hints, etc, etc will be greatly appreciated...

Thanks,

Ken Knott


Last edited by Javaslinger; 05-20-2011 at 03:12 PM.
05-20-2011, 03:01 PM   #2
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Start getting sick right now.

Honestly, this is not a good situation. You are getting there early that helps so you can scout around the venue.

Talk to your brother about what they want and when to do the formal shots and where. Got a tripod? Might be worth having one for the formal poses. Be sure you brother understands 1) this is no notice, 2) you aren't a pro, and 3) you'll do your best but what they get is what the get. Given that this is a family relation, look for special shots that would mean something to them later, parent and child. Also find out the schedule of events. Wedding, reception, cake, first dance, speeches, whatever. The best thing you can do is know what's coming and be there, in the right spot at the right time.

Between now and then learn your flash, charge your batteries, have extra SD cards and if you have an extra camera bring it.

I'm not a wedding photographer either but I've been to weddings (and you must have too). Knowing what's going to happen and catching important moments is important.

Shots of the bride and groom dressing may be of interest.

Again, talk to your brother and fiance about what they want in pictures and be sure to get those. Seriously good luck. Learn your flash.

Edit: also tell them how long they may be waiting for the product of your shots.
05-20-2011, 03:26 PM   #3
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Think "documentary". Try to get these shots:

Father and bride walking down the aisle.

B&G at altar with the priest or whoever is doing the ceremony.

Ring exchange.

The kiss.

Full length of bride with a nice background.

Bride and bridesmaids.

Groom and those guys.

Rings on invitation showing names and date - or other cliche - they really do want these shots.

The cake.

Cutting the cake.

Bouquet toss.

Garter toss.

Go home and sleep it off.

Good luck!
05-20-2011, 03:43 PM   #4
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Special K covered most if not all of the scenes that need to be shot but beyond that the only advice I can give is to shoot as many photos as possible, 100s if not 1000s. You can always and will throw away a lot of those but for a wedding that is to be expected. Out of 100-1000 photos it's the handful of beautiful ones that will make an impact on the bride and groom. Good Luck!

05-20-2011, 04:46 PM   #5
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Leave the long zoom at home, bring extra cards and batteries. Don't panic. FInd a rudimentary shot list online somewhere, and try and organize a little about the eight hundred people who'll have point and shoots blaring away.

Relax. Don't overextend yourself on technique, and don't show fear.

You're not being a pro, you're standing in. So do what you *can* do well: this is someone else's day and it's not about you screwing up at what you *can't* do yet. Bring what you got and be there. Rule One is Get The Shot. It's a feast, you're not alone.

Play to your strengths: If you're not professional, you can be *casual.* Be that. Be relaxed. Be playful. And fer Gossakes don't pick then to be *shy*. Shoot more.

There's a lot of people out there that think it's 'just pushing a button,' and there's a lot of people out there that think it's all the technical stuff you will not be arriving with, and they may not have the social skills, but you know a lot of these people. Forget expectations, Interact, and get on the shutter. Best you can do right now. If you're having a good time, it will probably be OK. Not 'pro,' but OK.

Also, go photograph some strangers *right now.* Someone else's day is no time to work out said shyness.

Last edited by Ratmagiclady; 05-20-2011 at 04:52 PM.
05-20-2011, 06:00 PM   #6
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I'd buy a plane ticket to California myself.
But, on such short notice, do and use what you know.
If you don't know flash, don't use flash.
You have a camera with a long range sensor, you might need to do some funky post processing (I'll show you how), but seriously, if you don't know fill flash, don't try.
If you can spend the morning figuring it out, more power to you.

If it moves, shoot it.
And shoot raw, not jpeg, even if you aren't any good at raw conversions.
05-20-2011, 07:33 PM   #7
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Talk to the bride. Because if this was one of my brothers, he has told her, "Oh, yes, my sweet, my brother has a great camera and takes fabulous photos, they will be exactly what you want!"
05-20-2011, 07:54 PM   #8
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Looks like you'll just have to make do with what you have (gear and abilities). If you're serious about doing a good job, though, you'll be getting experience now by practicing posing people, then framing, lighting and shooting them with acceptable results that your couple will be happy with. Good advice here already so far. The bride is your main point of contact for this; your brother may be disinterested in having photos to remember his big day, but I can assure you the bride isn't (even if she says it doesn't matter to her).

05-22-2011, 09:10 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
Talk to the bride. Because if this was one of my brothers, he has told her, "Oh, yes, my sweet, my brother has a great camera and takes fabulous photos, they will be exactly what you want!"
This. Expectation management is the most important thing.
05-23-2011, 12:16 AM   #10
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Poor B*st*rd... is the first thing that came to mind.

Take scenery shots (like the empty place before guests arrive). Macro some flowers (which are part of the wedding, not just flowers). Then SpecialK's points. Then Kx's points.

Create different user settings on the camera, depending on where the light is and where you're taking your photo from. That'll help relieve you of having to check after every photo you take.

Think of a nice spot for bride-and-groom photos after the actual ceremony.

Bring backups of memory cards, batteries.
05-23-2011, 11:16 AM   #11
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Too late now...

I would have gone to PK's and had some wings & beer. As I say this I'm contemplating doing the same for a friend. It's the second marriage for both and they don't want any ceremony pictures just some family portraits after the wedding. I'm still considering finding a pub that day..

So how did it go?
05-23-2011, 10:34 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ratmagiclady Quote
Leave the long zoom at home, bring extra cards and batteries. Don't panic. FInd a rudimentary shot list online somewhere, and try and organize a little about the eight hundred people who'll have point and shoots blaring away.

Relax. Don't overextend yourself on technique, and don't show fear.

You're not being a pro, you're standing in. So do what you *can* do well: this is someone else's day and it's not about you screwing up at what you *can't* do yet. Bring what you got and be there. Rule One is Get The Shot. It's a feast, you're not alone.

Play to your strengths: If you're not professional, you can be *casual.* Be that. Be relaxed. Be playful. And fer Gossakes don't pick then to be *shy*. Shoot more.

There's a lot of people out there that think it's 'just pushing a button,' and there's a lot of people out there that think it's all the technical stuff you will not be arriving with, and they may not have the social skills, but you know a lot of these people. Forget expectations, Interact, and get on the shutter. Best you can do right now. If you're having a good time, it will probably be OK. Not 'pro,' but OK.

Also, go photograph some strangers *right now.* Someone else's day is no time to work out said shyness.
Good advice. As you mention, you're not a pro so don't put unnecessary pressure on yourself. Take a lot of shots, look at them, check the histogram, and re-shoot if you need to. Most of the posts have covered everything else.
05-23-2011, 10:58 PM   #13
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http://www.break.com/index/wedding-photographer-fail.html

Last edited by Francis; 05-23-2011 at 11:05 PM.
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