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03-05-2012, 01:48 PM   #1
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Wedding Photography

So I have a friend who's trying to get married on a pretty small budget. She wants me to shoot at here wedding. Currently, I have a K-x, kit 18-55 and 55-300 lenses, and an old nifty fifty. I know lensborrow (or something like that) has Pentax stuff for rent which might be helpful. I plan to start looking up guides and tutorial/techniques on shooting weddings but do you guys have any recommendations (on technique or gear)?

03-05-2012, 01:49 PM   #2
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I highly suggest, that as a friend, you make it extremely clear to your friend that you are not a professional, do not have the gear for a professional, and are shooting as a friend and not as a professional.

Unless you are a professional, then disregard me.
03-05-2012, 02:12 PM   #3
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I second the above, it's wonderful to help a friend like this, but photos are incredibly important for a wedding, and whilst you're capable of getting fantastic shots, you're not going to get them the photographs they need unless you are a very good wedding photographer. I'm sure you want the best for your friend, and the best thing would be to find them a photographer they can afford who can deliver the goods.

And who knows, if they're nice they might let you take some shots whilst you're there too. Probably not though.
03-05-2012, 02:21 PM   #4
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Then again, if you're dead set on doing this with your current lens set up, I'd recommend buying a flash and learning how to use it. f/3.5-5/6 and whatever the 55-300 is is a bit too slow for a lot of wedding work indoors. You should be fine outside with them though, as long as it's a nice day. Get a second body too, and a backup of every single thing you can possibly backup. If your nifty fifty is autofocus you might be alright, I wouldn't suggest trying it with a manual focus lens though.

If you can, pick up a cheap reflector off eBay or something, you can use it as a cheap continuous fill light for portraits in strong sunlight, and practice with it to make sure you can get good lighting for quick shots. You might need an assistant.

Talk with your friend about what shots they want, and find out what the standard shots for a wedding are, and write them all down in a list. Think about how you'll get these shots, and if you can, go to the venue to check for good scenery and things beforehand, note it all down and make notes of where you can get each individual photo.

Find out the exact running order of the day, and make sure you're where you're needed when you're needed. bring as many memory cards and batteries as possible. Cram your bag with batteries, and any pockets you have. You can never have too many batteries on a wedding.

For indoor work you might have to consider using a flash. During the ceremony most places won't allow the use of a flash, so if your 50 is AF, then get what you can, if not then beg and plead for the ability to use flash, because you need fantastic shots of that moment, and you probably won't get that indoors with the 55-300. If you need to crank the ISO up, do so. A grainy shot is better than a blurry shot.

There're lots of good websites with information like this, look around forums and get books from the library. Shooting a wedding is a VERY demanding task, so make sure you prepare in every way you can. Consider renting bodies or lenses if you have the money.

03-05-2012, 02:28 PM - 1 Like   #5
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Agree with first 3 posts

If you decide to go ahead
1. Don't accept any payment
2. Sit down with both of them and make a list of what they want
3. have a female assistant that holds the list and keeps track of where things are at - her other jobs are to help with composition and fuss over the wedding dress.
4. check the place out and have some options if the weather turns crap
5. Just be very very careful about background particularly poles
6. I hope you have spare camera batteries and borrowing a spare camera would be useful
7. if it is a church wedding then pray or otherwise may the force be with you
03-05-2012, 02:44 PM   #6
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use some of these wisdom

68 ESSENTIAL Wedding Photography Tips
03-05-2012, 04:37 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by JinDesu Quote
I highly suggest, that as a friend, you make it extremely clear to your friend that you are not a professional, do not have the gear for a professional, and are shooting as a friend and not as a professional.

Unless you are a professional, then disregard me.
Oh, I have. I originally told her no because of that. But it's been a couple months and they still would like me to so.

Also, it won't be a church wedding. They are having it at a friend's house. Should I look to get any lenses from http://www.borrowlenses.com/category/Pentax ? My 50mm is manual so I would prefer not to use it and I don't think my kit lenses will be up to the task.
03-05-2012, 05:11 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by mojoe_24 Quote
Oh, I have. I originally told her no because of that. But it's been a couple months and they still would like me to so.

Also, it won't be a church wedding. They are having it at a friend's house. Should I look to get any lenses from Rent professional cameras or camera lenses for Canon, Nikon, Sony, Olympus, Leica and Pentax ? My 50mm is manual so I would prefer not to use it and I don't think my kit lenses will be up to the task.
I did this for a God-daughter a few years ago. I used my K10D (new at the time), my Sigma 17-70 (also new and my "Kit lens"), an AF360FGZ set to P-TTL and 1 big reflector disc. The wedding was outside on a beach near Pensacola, Fl. and the reception was in a tent on the beach. I kept telling her that I'm not a pro and tried very hard to convince her to call one. However, based on her sister's wedding photos where there was a pro and i was using my trusty Pentax WR33 point and shoot, she still wanted me. The photo albums are here - weddings photographs | wedding images,wedding photos The bride was happy. Good luck!

03-05-2012, 05:19 PM   #9
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Thanks. I haven't had time to shoot much the last few months so I'm gonna be spending the next couple months shooting like crazy just to find out things that work and don't work. Would it be smarter to pickup a new lens or a flash? I was thinking about maybe trying to find a ~$300 lens and buying that nad then renting a flash.
03-05-2012, 05:21 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Barbarosa Quote
8 ESSENTIAL Wedding Photography Tips
Good but dated. Suggestion two is to nudge uncle Bob out of the way with his $50 camera. But now it's all these dingbats with ipones at arms length that get in their phones and arms into the shots. So instead of giving uncle Bob an elbow in the ribs to get him out of the way, step very hard on Sally's toes.
03-05-2012, 05:23 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by mojoe_24 Quote
300 lens and buying that nad then renting a flash.
Might have more issues getting a handle on the flash especially if you using it as a bounce flash.
03-05-2012, 05:34 PM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by mojoe_24 Quote
So I have a friend who's trying to get married on a pretty small budget. She wants me to shoot at here wedding. Currently, I have a K-x, kit 18-55 and 55-300 lenses, and an old nifty fifty. I know lensborrow (or something like that) has Pentax stuff for rent which might be helpful. I plan to start looking up guides and tutorial/techniques on shooting weddings but do you guys have any recommendations (on technique or gear)?
The best gear you could buy would be a pair of Nike's. A good technique is a long loping stride that will take you as far away from this proposed lunacy as possible.
03-05-2012, 06:08 PM   #13
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If you rent lenses, the DA* or FA Ltd lenses are your best bet (no surprise there). In particular, DA*50-135 will give nice results as wide as f/3.2 or 3.5, and DA*16-50 around f/3.5, but DA*55 is the only current lens that can give you excellent results at f/1.6 (or f/1.8 if you like).

However, I see that barrowlenses.com doesn't rent the DA*55. From their selection, the two DA* zooms and the FA77 (which can be shot wide-open if desired) will yield excellent results. If you stick to the 50-135 and FA77 whenever the shot allows it, you'll get nice subject isolation and impressive results.


If you rent or buy a flash, make sure you get some time to practice with it before the wedding! A typical setting is to place the exposure of the flash itself to between -0.5EV and -1.5EV, but you'll have to try it with your camera and lenses first to make sure you're getting results you like! (Really, there's a lot more to it with the flash, but no space to elaborate on it here).

If you can only rent/get one lens, get the 50-135 - for some events it's the only lens I use.

For wider angles, the DA15, DA21, DA35/2.4, and DA10-17 are all worthy of consideration.

Last edited by DSims; 03-05-2012 at 06:22 PM.
03-05-2012, 06:08 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by mojoe_24 Quote
Thanks. I haven't had time to shoot much the last few months so I'm gonna be spending the next couple months shooting like crazy just to find out things that work and don't work. Would it be smarter to pickup a new lens or a flash? I was thinking about maybe trying to find a ~$300 lens and buying that nad then renting a flash.
I would say go for the Flash. Also you need to evaluate what Focal length you'll need. If it's going to be at a friend's house, do you mean in the BIG back yard or an intimate setting in the dining room? You may want something more like a DA21ltd or a good 24/28mm as opposed to that "Portrait" 85mm. How well does your kit lens control the distortions at the wide end? You may want to stay away from 18mm. Experiment and decide. (It's not that bad, so long as you do your best and the bride isn't expecting more than you can deliver)
03-05-2012, 06:11 PM   #15
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I did a wedding once, I had great lenses (unfortuantely you don't, just saying it how it is) and a flash but it was still a nightmare as I didn't have a second body so too many shots lost with lens changes. Don't do it without fast lenses, a flash, knowledge how to use them and another body. You must also be a naturally assertive personality, I can't stress enough how important this is.
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