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09-10-2011, 08:21 PM   #1
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Wedding Shooting - What should I work on?

I'm doing a friends wedding in April, my first and an ideal opportunity to improve my skills.

Now details are very small at this stage but its looking to be a pretty small to med (< 300 people) and non-church so not extremely formal. But will be meeting with the couple closer the time to go over expectations etc.
What I want to know is what skills should I be working on before then?
A big one I will need to do is Flash use, I dont yet have an off camera strobe so I'm guessing this is a must.
Another is general portraiture, I'm more of a still life kind of guy so need to practise that too.
I'm thinking of getting a 28-75 Tamron as they are pretty affordable and will aid with my K7 in low light. Was thinking of using my A 70-200 (4) with my Kx for candid stuff (better ISO should help with slower lens I'm guessing) maybe a fast 50 1.4 and the above flash any other gear recommeneded looking at my gear list in my signature?
Looking to get Lightroom shortly to aid in my workflow which is probably my biggest weakness I really need to nail, getting lightroom just as it has everything I need in one box as well as good noise reduction.
What post processing elements are good to work on.
When I look at what I am asking it sounds like I have alot to do but I feel if I plan ahead and make sure if I am working toward these things when I am out shooting then I think I am in good shape.
Thanks in advance for your suggestions

09-10-2011, 09:58 PM   #2
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Ok I am not in any way a professional, and I am sure there are those on here way more qualified to answer this than me, However I have done a couple of weddings only because they were family friends and for whatever reason wouldnt or couldnt hire a professional. From your post you seem to have alot to do and probably a short amount of time to do it in. I strongly urge that you talk to them about hiring someone because this is a once in a lifetime event there are no do overs for this couple. If you dont know what lenses you need or are choosing them because they are "affordable" and guessing that your Kx will work with a slower lens because of ISO ability. These are not things to figure out after you are at your desk cracking open lightroom and processing your work. Some things to think about.

1. What is your back up plan if your main body fails?
2. Lighting Is flash allowed what time of day is the ceremony?
3. Are you gonna do the Bride and groom shots before the ceremony or after?
4. Do you have an assistant to go with the bride and do candid shots while they are getting ready? (Some women want pictures covering the whole day not just the altar) Same for the groom. Do you have a good low light lens for tight spaces?
5. What equipment are you taking with you aside from camera gear? Laptop? cables, cords, hard drives, external monitor for viewing pictures during the reception?
6. How noisy is your equipment alot of people dont want the whir and clicking going on during important parts of the service. Which usually is the most important pictures they want.Which also means you may need a lens with good reach to stay back from the wedding party, Also maybe a 2nd body in a remote location
The list goes on and on but if you are serious about this and you have the time I suggest you get with reputable "Wedding Photographers" in your area and tag along with them on several Weddings to get a REAL idea of what you are getting into.

JJ
09-10-2011, 10:09 PM   #3
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I would suggest you read this very carefully then if you have more questions please ask, to send you this link is much easier than typing it all out!!
Equipment for Wedding Photographers - photo.net
09-10-2011, 10:58 PM   #4
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Thanks adwb for the link will check it out.

Heres some of my answers for you Jerry thanks for the analysis.
1. What is your back up plan if your main body fails?
I have the Kx and K7, will take My Bridge camera aswell, Just incase.
2. Lighting Is flash allowed what time of day is the ceremony?
To be advised, if no flash I'm going to grab a 85 1.4
3. Are you gonna do the Bride and groom shots before the ceremony or after?
Probably right after but something I need to go over with Couple.
4. Do you have an assistant to go with the bride and do candid shots while they are getting ready? (Some women want pictures covering the whole day not just the altar) Same for the groom. Do you have a good low light lens for tight spaces?
My wife will probably do the candids with the bride as she is good with her Kx and she is in the wedding party too, will pair with FA31 and my Sigma 17-70, will have a point and shoot as backup.
5. What equipment are you taking with you aside from camera gear? Laptop? cables, cords, hard drives, external monitor for viewing pictures during the reception?
Laptop - external drive - chargers + heaps of batteries precharged and some Lithum AAs.
6. How noisy is your equipment alot of people dont want the whir and clicking going on during important parts of the service. Which usually is the most important pictures they want.Which also means you may need a lens with good reach to stay back from the wedding party, Also maybe a 2nd body in a remote location.
I dont really see myself mucking with the laptop during the service, more a back in my room deal, the Kx is noisy so I'll use that with the longer lenses. K7 is nice and quiet so will do the shorter/wider stuff with that.

Using my own wedding as abit of a blueprint on what worked/what didn't work in regards to our photographer - the key thing is getting down with the couple to go over what their expectations are and letting them know what my plan of attack is - Your comment in #2 has got me thinking I really need to do this sooner rather than later as it will directly impact how I plan the shoot in regards to both gear and technique.

09-10-2011, 11:16 PM   #5
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Well i Will offer this input if it will help at all. I am doing my sisters wedding next weekend. This will be my 2nd wedding to do. This is the gear I will be using.

K5 with Battery Grip
K7 with Battery Grip
AF540FGZ Flash
Tamron 17-50 F2.8
DA* 50-135

I will be using the K5 w/ Flash and Tamron 17-50 2.8 for pre wedding pictures of the bride and groom getting ready. I think this will provide plenty of light and great shot for all the indoor stuff.

The wedding itself will be out door at Robin's Nest in Colorado. I have a couple of ideas in mind. I am thinking of putting the Tamron 17-50 with the K7 on a tripod behind the person doing the ceremony to get video. And then walking around with the DA* 50-135 during the ceremony getting pictures. Also if there is a place to set up my GO Pro HD, i am thinking of trying something new and getting an above view of the ceremony and trying some time lapse of everything.

For family, bridal party pictures I will be using probably the K5 with Tamron combo, or have both going as well. I will do the same for the reception. The wedding itself is at 11am, so im thinking the weather will be really nice and should get some great shots.

I may also try to throw the fisheye lens on when i get a chance, to get some really interesting shots of either the reception or the ceremony.

Also, i will be bringing, PLENTY of ultimate lithum batteries I will be able to use in the battery grips as back up. I will post pictures next weekend after the wedding and hopefully it will give you an idea of things worked out.

Also the best advice i think i can give, is since it is in April. Get to know your equipment. The more you know it the better you are with it. get to where you can snap a shot, do a quick view to see how well it its and then be able to make dial adjustments to shutter speed/aperature/iso without having to look at it. The last thing you want to be doing is fumbling around with the camera and missing some great shots.

Last edited by 68wSteve; 09-10-2011 at 11:19 PM. Reason: add more info
09-11-2011, 12:36 AM   #6
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Thanks Steve, some good stuff there, really comfortable with my K7, not as much with the Kx so Ill spend some time with that - Im along the lines of hitting my focus and make sure my histogram is ok when Im shooting on the fly, I can make subtle changes after with crops, different treatments of shots.
I find I manual focus alot so I make sit down and make sure all my lenses are properly AF adjusted to the K7, I know one lens is abit off.
I also need to send my camera off to be looked at as the front e-dial has been playing up.
My main concern is I dont have anything wider than 17 after hearing from you I'm a little more relieved. Battery Grip may be good to get as extra backup for K7 as I dont currently have one.
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