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09-02-2008, 07:57 AM   #1
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I said yes to shooting this wedding . . .

As a favour to my daughter in-law's family I said yes when they asked me to shoot her brother's wedding. I'm not a pro by any means but I have shot weddings for my two sons and a nephew. Always with a qualifying, "I'm not a professional and I'm doing this as a favour. So don't expect too much . . ."

Anyway, this is the first time I shot a wedding for what felt like strangers. I was nervous but with everyone understanding my limitations I proceeded with shooting about 550 pictures.

With my K20, 16-45 and 55-300, I think I had all I needed. I did use my 360 Flash as fill in and during the reception.

Overall I'm pretty pleased with the results. I'm hoping the bride and groom feel the same.

Since this was the closest I've come to shooting pictures for non immediate family I'll share these thoughts:

1) I Give clear notice that I was not a professional and doing this simply as a gift. I stressed this numerous times and everyone seemed to understand.

2) I had to be assertive during the actual formal picture taking. With everyone giving advice on who to take pictures of, where to take pictures, it's important to have a plan and stick with it. And if time allows for optional shooting, ask the bride and groom what "they" want.

3) Since everyone understood that I was not a professional, I tried my best to have fun and relax.

4) Finally, I'll never say yes again. While the intent may be good in a "gift giving" spirit, and the recipients understand the inexperience of the volunteer photographer, it's way too stressful. So many things can go wrong and so many things missed. The "I should have done that" gets no second chance. Next time, if asked, I will say no, but will gladly be a side kick to a professional. Then my imagination can really let loose through my lens . . .


55-300 Lens @ 260mm | 400 ISO | F9.5


16-45 Lens @ 24mm | 400 ISO | F 4.5


16-45 Lens @ 16mm | 800 ISO | F 8.0


16-45 Lens @ 45mm | 400 ISO | F 6.7


16-45 Lens @ 40mm | 400 ISO | F 11


Peter

09-02-2008, 08:15 AM   #2
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great job!!!!! doing something similar this fall as well. I will b stealing some of your set ups ?
09-02-2008, 09:03 AM   #3
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that 3rd photo..

"Hey hey, we're the Monkees!!"

sorry, couldnt resist!

Nice shooting there.

Jason
09-02-2008, 09:17 AM   #4
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Let me first say that for a non-professional you did an excellent job with the picutures. I really liked the couple walking down the road.

I've also been in the position of "doing the favor" as well as doing weddings for money, in both cases I have used some to all of your points. The one thing that I make sure to do though is keep a shot list of specific poses that I go over with the bride and make sure that they meet with her desires, this helps me to make sure I don't miss the shot with the favorite nephew or special friend. If you don't know aobut what the bride/groom want it's hard to make sure to cover it.

There are a few other things I'd suggest to add to your list.
  • Go to the church and reception site BEFORE the wedding so you can get an idea of what type of enviroment and lighting you will have to deal with.
  • Bring LOTS of batteries, nothing is worse than a dead flash right when you need it
  • If you don't have or think you don't have a sufficient number of memory cards, bring a laptop to download to. I also bring a second hard drive to copy to so I have at least two copeis of all the images.
  • Wear comfortable shoes, you are on your feet for hours

Thanks for sharing your excellent pictures.

Shawn

09-02-2008, 09:29 AM   #5
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Very nice, I think that they'll be happy with them
09-02-2008, 11:13 AM   #6
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Excellent photos!

I was at a wedding recently where the couple didn't hire or designate a official photographer, but every other guest had some kind of a digital camera. It didn't take too long before I felt the vibe that everyone thought that I was the official photographer, probably because I had the "fanciest" looking piece of equipment, and I was moving around a lot and standing in strange places to get my shots. My photos aren't as good as yours, though.

Alex
09-02-2008, 12:48 PM   #7
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Petermgr, from those posted photos, you did a fine job and i'm sure they're very happy if not, disown your son LOL
09-02-2008, 01:23 PM   #8
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well done Petermgr

09-02-2008, 01:43 PM   #9
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really lovely photo's - making me want to enjoy b&w more and more -something timeless with b&w pics.

Wedding photography IS very demanding and stressful for sure.

At least today you can quickly chimp and do a quick retake if needed.

In the days of film there was no such luxury so it increased the stress factor by 100%.
09-02-2008, 01:47 PM   #10
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You did great Peter and I'm sure your comments on how it went down will be useful to others.
09-03-2008, 07:28 PM   #11
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Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by vievetrick Quote
great job!!!!! doing something similar this fall as well. I will b stealing some of your set ups ?
Thanks . . . and steal away . . . lol. I hope you have fun with with it. I wish I had more time to spend with the bride and groom for more interesting shots, closeups, etc. Be sure to set aside some time for fun stuff :-)


QuoteOriginally posted by Jasvox Quote
that 3rd photo.. "Hey hey, we're the Monkees!!" sorry, couldnt resist! Nice shooting there. Jason
Thanks Jason. Guess I'm showing my age by agreeing with you on your observation " . . . Monkees!!". And even in black and white!


QuoteOriginally posted by MShawn63 Quote
Let me first say that for a non-professional you did an excellent job with the picutures. I really liked the couple walking down the road. I've also been in the position of "doing the favor" as well as doing weddings for money, in both cases I have used some to all of your points. The one thing that I make sure to do though is keep a shot list of specific poses that I go over with the bride and make sure that they meet with her desires, this helps me to make sure I don't miss the shot with the favorite nephew or special friend. If you don't know aobut what the bride/groom want it's hard to make sure to cover it.

There are a few other things I'd suggest to add to your list.
  • Go to the church and reception site BEFORE the wedding so you can get an idea of what type of enviroment and lighting you will have to deal with.
  • Bring LOTS of batteries, nothing is worse than a dead flash right when you need it
  • If you don't have or think you don't have a sufficient number of memory cards, bring a laptop to download to. I also bring a second hard drive to copy to so I have at least two copeis of all the images.
  • Wear comfortable shoes, you are on your feet for hours

Thanks for sharing your excellent pictures.

Shawn
Thanks for your kind words Shawn. Those are great tips as well. Aside from wearing comfortable shows I also wore comfortable clothing. I didn't wear a suit but dressed well enough to be comfortable and able to move around without feeling confined and hot.


QuoteOriginally posted by little laker Quote
Very nice, I think that they'll be happy with them
Thanks :-) . . . I'm hoping they will be . . .

QuoteOriginally posted by gerbilbox Quote
Excellent photos! I was at a wedding recently where the couple didn't hire or designate a official photographer, but every other guest had some kind of a digital camera. It didn't take too long before I felt the vibe that everyone thought that I was the official photographer, probably because I had the "fanciest" looking piece of equipment, and I was moving around a lot and standing in strange places to get my shots. My photos aren't as good as yours, though. Alex
Thanks Alex. I know what you mean with the fancy equipment. It makes people move over . . . lol. There was someone in the crowd with what looked like a good camera, and for awhile he looked like the official photographer. Wonder how his pictures turned out? Anyway, I was very lucky with my photos since the setting was outdoors and the weather was great.

Peter
09-04-2008, 02:19 AM   #12
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Modesty is rare quality these days....I think that any pro would be satisfied with those photos and I certainly know that many can only dream about getting to that level - wedding photography around here is generaly unimaginative and boring - I have yet to see some local "wow" wedding photos like yours.

(Hmmmm, business oportunity maybe?)
09-04-2008, 03:15 AM   #13
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Your shots are fine. Great compositions & subject matter.

Jock
09-04-2008, 04:20 AM   #14
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Peter, not only should you say YES, you should do it more often.
These are excellent and with no apologies to the "pros", they're equivelant or better.
09-04-2008, 06:59 AM   #15
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wedding

love your pictures, doing similar next july with a friend. your information is spot on. thanks
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