Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
03-23-2007, 12:11 PM   #1
New Member




Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Rocklin,Ca
Posts: 8
Shooting a wedding (need advice)

So basicly, my sisters friend came to me and asked if I could shoot her wedding for her. Of course I said yes and will not charge. I need to get a portfolio going so this will be a good step towards that. (Note to Self) "What was I thinking". Anyway, I am pretty new to potography and would like to know what all I need to have a successfull shoot.The only thing I have is my K10d, Kit lens and tripod. I know I need alot more. Can I get away with only one camera? So any info would help me alot. I have until june to get ready.

Thanks, Scott

03-23-2007, 12:42 PM   #2
Veteran Member
khardur's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: NW Massachusetts
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,505
I've done a few weddings. They're not my favorite, but it wasn't hard for me, since I have a few years background in news photography, so the pressure that comes with having only one shot to get it right wasn't there.

You can do it with one camera. I would think it's more of a memory card issue when it comes to digital photography. I had two when I did a few weddings, but that was with 35mm and I needed to have insurance in case the film ran out at a key moment! (and if that happens with a memory card, you can replace it much quicker than you can a 35mm film canister I guarantee, because you won't have to wait for the entire thing to wind back up!


From my limited experience, a few things come to mind:
- you're probably only going to have time to use the tripod for the "group" pictures, and maybe if you set up the tripod at a good angle to where the bride and groom will be when reciting their vows/"the kiss"

- go to the rehearsal the night before, scope the place out before the big show. It's best to have the angles you want in mind before you get there - afterwards you may think later "gee I want to scoot over there and get that shot..."

- shoot RAW. You'll want every bit of data intact, just as a failsafe.

as far as other things, lighting and stuff, that depends on the location, and other people on here would be much more knowledgeable about flashes and things. I preferred natural light when available, + a flash to help fill in if necessary.

- get a list from the bride about what formal group shots she wants - her family, his family, all together, just the two of them, the wedding party , etc. etc... In all the excitement, she or you will forget, and it will be handy to have. (Try to get the BIGGEST group first, so the people who aren't in the other group shots can mosey on to the reception and get the party started)

Oh, and try to get some decent shots during the reception at the various tables, so the bride/groom have a nice record of who was there.


-Dan
03-23-2007, 12:59 PM   #3
Inactive Account




Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Folsom, CA
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 322
I would do a couple things:

Do a search over @ dpreview on this topic - I've seen it a few times (not in the Pentax forums, but some of the more general ones) - see what others have said - from what I read, here are some summary statements -

Don't do it

Make sure these people realize that you are not a professional, and without getting paid, there are no gaurentees you are going to produce the professional shots they are looking for. Shooting weddings is harder than it seems, you don't want to make an enemy in the process!

Research the facility. Understand the lighting.

Don't do it!
03-23-2007, 01:17 PM   #4
Veteran Member
vievetrick's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Easthampton - Massachusetts - USA
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 5,175
Run Away

03-23-2007, 01:26 PM   #5
Inactive Account




Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Lancaster, PA.
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,041
QuoteOriginally posted by ccallana Quote
I would do a couple things:

Do a search over @ dpreview on this topic - I've seen it a few times (not in the Pentax forums, but some of the more general ones) - see what others have said - from what I read, here are some summary statements -

Don't do it

Make sure these people realize that you are not a professional, and without getting paid, there are no gaurentees you are going to produce the professional shots they are looking for. Shooting weddings is harder than it seems, you don't want to make an enemy in the process!

Research the facility. Understand the lighting.

Don't do it!
Also what Pat said. RUN AWAY FAST and don't look back. I could think of many other places I would rather be shooting then a wedding. (funerials come to mind as being more fun)
03-23-2007, 01:37 PM   #6
Ed in GA
Guest




Do you get the impression that they're trying to tell you...

DON'T DO IT
03-23-2007, 02:05 PM   #7
Veteran Member




Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Posts: 371
QuoteOriginally posted by BigSpender Quote
So basicly, my sisters friend came to me and asked if I could shoot her wedding for her. Of course I said yes and will not charge. I need to get a portfolio going so this will be a good step towards that. (Note to Self) "What was I thinking". Anyway, I am pretty new to potography and would like to know what all I need to have a successfull shoot.The only thing I have is my K10d, Kit lens and tripod. I know I need alot more. Can I get away with only one camera? So any info would help me alot. I have until june to get ready.

Thanks, Scott

I'll repeat what others have said, "don't do it!"

Thing is, if you don't have a flash and/or a couple of large aperture lenses, *don't do it.* It's very easy to get nice results with a 2.8 zoom or two and a flash, but with just the kit lens and no flash, I think this will be very difficult, and I'm not saying that you don't have the required skill, it's the fact that you simply don't have time at a wedding to try and get it right if the shot doesn't look good on the first try, and I imagine that will happen when using a pretty slow kit zoom. And even if it's all out in bright sun, just the kit lens alone simply won't cut it, IMHO.

Like ccallena said above, don't make enemies if there's doubts, many people are fairly serious about their wedding photos; not just that, it's a lot of work, for no pay, all that post processing, re-touching etc. (I've done it, it can be a pain)

Politely decline while they still have time to get someone else, is what I'd do if I were you.

Cheers,
-Asad
03-23-2007, 02:06 PM   #8
Veteran Member
benjikan's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Paris, France
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 4,312
Weddings. A different approach, perhaps.

QuoteOriginally posted by BigSpender Quote
So basicly, my sisters friend came to me and asked if I could shoot her wedding for her. Of course I said yes and will not charge. I need to get a portfolio going so this will be a good step towards that. (Note to Self) "What was I thinking". Anyway, I am pretty new to potography and would like to know what all I need to have a successfull shoot.The only thing I have is my K10d, Kit lens and tripod. I know I need alot more. Can I get away with only one camera? So any info would help me alot. I have until june to get ready.

Thanks, Scott
Hello Scott;

I have never shot a wedding. But as it is an important event you might consider it as a kind of documentary. Capturing moments that are not necessarily posed or static. You may consider it a bit voyeuristic, but if I were shooting a wedding I would prepare a storyboard before hand. By that I mean, that you know you will shoot the standard images like the bride and groom the family, the children etc. But I would try to move around the guests and capture moments from a distance when those your capturing in images aren't aware of you shooting them. I would try to be as transparent as possible and would certainly not use a tripod. Treat it as a kind of a "backstage, behind the scenes" documentary. Make sure you have enough memory cards ready for the shoot. Don't worry about being technically perfect. Raw looking images are very cool at times. Convert some of the images in to B&W. Mix up the presentation between the classic wedding images and the documentary style ones. Don't be afraid to capture images that are not perfect. It is when you think that it won't work that it does.

Ben

03-23-2007, 02:31 PM   #9
Veteran Member
WMBP's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Dallas, Texas
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,496
QuoteOriginally posted by BigSpender Quote
So basicly, my sisters friend came to me and asked if I could shoot her wedding for her. Of course I said yes and will not charge. I need to get a portfolio going so this will be a good step towards that. (Note to Self) "What was I thinking". Anyway, I am pretty new to potography and would like to know what all I need to have a successfull shoot.
Oh, dear. ;-)


QuoteQuote:
The only thing I have is my K10d, Kit lens and tripod. I know I need alot more. Can I get away with only one camera? So any info would help me alot. I have until june to get ready.
Scott,

I've never shot a wedding. So don't take anything I say as gospel; take my advice only if it makes good sense to you on your own terms. For what it's worth, I have shot formal events, including graduations, receptions for VIPs and fancy-dress parties. And over the years I've read a lot about wedding photography in particular and talked with a number of friends who did weddings for a living. Here are a few tips from my own experience and from what I've learned from others. This is the advice I would give myself if I were about to shoot my first wedding.

First thing I'd do is start pretending that they were paying me $1000 and treat them in every way as clients. Don't mean to lay the pressure on too heavy, but they're counting on you. Neither the fact that you aren't charging nor the fact that it's your sister's friend is going to get you off the hook if - to speak plainly - you screw up. My wife asked her brother to take photos of our wedding. I was skeptical about that at the time, but didn't object; I wasn't the one planning the wedding. I'm still not sure what happened but somehow most of the photos got lost, and the ones that were saved weren't too great. The good news is that we're still married thirty-one years later. But it would have been nice to have those photos, if only so that our daughters could see how thin we were once.

Now to the more technical details.

Yes, you can do it with one camera. Unless that camera breaks. I would notdare to do something like this without a backup camera at least in the car. Not a bad idea to have a decent point and shoot to take photos during the service, because the point and shoot can be used noiselessly; the digital SLR cannot. Not having a backup camera is like driving without a spare tire or insurance. Sure the odds of disaster are really, really low. But they aren't zero. And if you drop your camera and it breaks, you can't ask them to wait while you run to a camera store and buy a replacement. See my story above about my brother-in-law losing most of the photos from my wedding. Disasters DO happen.

On the same theme: be sure you have a fresh battery in the K10D and a freshly charged spare in your kit bag. Batteries behave unexpectedly from time to time. I'd want a spare for sure.

Be sure you have LOTS of storage. If you shoot highest-quality, lowest-compression JPEG, you can of course get more photos, but you'll have less opportunity to correct exposure and other mistakes in post-processing, so I agree with the suggestion to shoot Raw. Try to estimate how many shots you're going to take. I'd guess that it would be hard even at a small wedding to take fewer than 200 photos, and not at all difficult to take as many as 500. Thinking about exposure bracketing those formal shots? THen you're looking at 3x as many photos right there. So think about how many cards that will require and be sure you have that many and more. Shooting Pentax Raw with my K10D, I can get about 120 photos on a 2 GB card. I usually have five and a half gigs of storage with me (two 2 GB cards, one 1 GB card, and one 512 MB card). That gets me slightly fewer than 350 photos. When I expect to run out of storage (like on vacation without a computer) I take a portable, battery-operated hard drive/view. I use the Epson P-2000. But it takes time to copy photos to the viewer, and I would think it wouldn't be such a great idea at a wedding, especially if you're on your own.

Addendum: If you've never shot Raw before and don't have Raw processing software, well, perhaps this assignment isn't the best place to change. I've you have only ever shot JPEG, then shoot JPEG.

What lens or lenses will you use, for which shots? Plan this in advance.

Do you need an external flash? Answer is probably yes for at least some of the photography unless everything is outside, the weather is great, and the lighting is perfect. Don't count on it.

I agree with the suggestion that you try to go to the rehearsal and case out the church; if possible, visit the reception hall, too, beforehand. For the formal shots, I would think carefully about the required shots, type up a nicely formatted list, and show it to the bride as soon as possible, for her approval. Then shoot from the list. The last thing you want to have to be doing while you're shooting the formal shots especially is THINKING about what shots you want.

Shoot the big group shots first, so you can let the less important family members and friends leave and go to the reception. You can finish up with the bride and groom alone. To do this properly, you need to know ahead of time who's who, who needs to be in each shot, and to have your list carefully organized by persons required.

Don't forget the organist, the pianist or band at the reception, the buffet, the flowers, the priest, rabbi, minister, judge or presiding witch doctor. If possible, I'd try to find out from the presiding official (especially if it's in a church or synagogue) if there are some rules of etiquette that you should be familiar with. I always get a good response when I ask this question, in churches, museums, etc.

It's mostly about people, but not entirely. I'd want to take a good shot of the church, outside and inside, ditto the reception hall.

Talk the arrangements over with the bride (or the wedding planner) as far in advance as possible in order to figure out where and WHEN you're going to be able to do your thing. You will want to be "authorized" to act - and when it's time to act, then you're going to need to ACT, take charge, and politely tell folks where to stand, etc. There's a time to be invisible, and a time to take charge. Know when for each.

When you're shooting - in the formal shots, but also in the candids - keep it simple and conventional. When you have more experience, you can start going for award-winning photos that use original angles, capture unexpected moments, etc. But I suspect you'll have your hands full just getting ordinary shots. And if you do a good job at that, your client will be happy and so will you.

Since you said you're new to photography, I would really recommend that you practice beforehand. Beg some friends to clean up, come over, and let you take some photos of them in situations that resemble those you'll face at the wedding - a few formal shots, a number of candids while your friends are drinking and eating.

If you can follow the bride and groom back to the reception, you might be able to set yourself up by the receiving line and get photos of guests there.

There's a TON of info on this subject available. As it happens, there's a good short article in this month's (April 2007) issue of Popular Photography & Imaging, starting on page 58, by a successful wedding photographer. The author has a number of good tips and I recommend the article to you - it's brief, but worth a look. I will repeat only one of her suggestions that I've never had the luxury of taking: get a helper.

Good luck!

Will

Last edited by WMBP; 03-23-2007 at 02:58 PM.
03-23-2007, 02:51 PM   #10
Veteran Member
WMBP's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Dallas, Texas
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,496
Couple extra thoughts.

Ben's right that the tripod won't help you at the reception. But I expect that you WILL want to use it for the formal shots. If you do, remember that you probably should turn shake reduction OFF. And it's a good idea when doing this kind of photography to have a remote shutter release. Really helps if you can be looking the subjects in the eye and smiling yourself while you shoot.

Can't remember where I picked up this tip - might have been in this forum - but I've used it recently shooting some group shots and it worked well. Ask your subjects to close their eyes, while you count down: 3-2-1-open-smile-CLICK! Whether you use that trick or not, it's a good idea to worry about whether folks' eyes are open.

Will
03-23-2007, 02:55 PM   #11
Veteran Member
jfdavis58's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: 13 S 0357397-3884316
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 876
The Wedding Photographer

You're a newbie photographer and you think you can shoot a wedding? Wow, you must have some set of stones! Do you jump tall buildings in a single bound too?

Seriously, what's your address? We'll all need it to know where to send flowers, for your funeral.

Hope you got a big insurance policy on yourself for your wife and kids; on second thought, that won't do any good: suicide is generally excluded.

Surely you know that pro wedding photographers are called 'weekend warriors'? And that sweet little [insert brides name] in her pretty white dress is actually some fire breathing flesh eating beastly thing called Bridezilla. And Bridezilla's mother is worse.

You need to save face graciously and quickly. Get the phone book; turn to wedding photographers. Pick three randomly. Call the bride to be and recommend that she use one of these three "personal friends of your's".

She may scream or cry or beg, but be a man: pass the buck.

Otherwise, your stone's will be the second pair she nails to the wall by the fireplace, right after the ceremony.
03-23-2007, 03:11 PM   #12
New Member




Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Rocklin,Ca
Posts: 8
Original Poster
Thanks guys for all the input. I forgot to tell you guys this will be her fourth marriage and there is going to only be 30 people or so, so that takes a little pressure off of me. I made it a point to tell her that I am just starting in photography,She understood and was fine with that. And the thing about not doing it, well, I think it will be good for me. As far as her getting a pro photographer, its out of the question. (her words not mine) Plus i have to start somewhere right?

Last edited by BigSpender; 03-23-2007 at 03:17 PM.
03-23-2007, 03:12 PM   #13
Senior Member
matix's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Posts: 239
Shooting a Wedding (Need advice)

QuoteOriginally posted by benjikan Quote
Hello Scott;

But as it is an important event you might consider it as a kind of documentary. Capturing moments that are not necessarily posed or static. You may consider it a bit voyeuristic......
Ben
I agree with Ben totally, IMHO this is the right approach, there are two kinds of photographs at weddings, the obligatory groups and 'send to the relatives' shots, but I have shot several weddings and found that what the families really liked the best were the candid, relaxed and happy images.

Advice? Get involved, go to the rehearsals, talk to the minister at the church if that is the venue, or the celebrant etc to find out their rules and guidelines, meet the family to develop a relationship so at least they recognize you and do not freeze up when you poke a camera in their face. Hang out with the family a bit and tell them what you would like to do and when.

Have a plan for the day and discuss it with key people not necessarily the bride and groom or immediate family as they will be out of it on the day. Make sure you know the wedding plans so you can get the key shots. The groom at the front, the bride walking towards the groom, from behind the groom, the faces as they say their vows, the rings, the first kiss, walking down the aisle, etc.

A good idea is to take a look at some friends wedding albums, get ideas on the shots you would like to take and discuss them beforehand, you will likely have to be organised and in control now and then to get the shot. You only have one chance, this is NOT a rehearsal on the day.

Remember, you will have to contend with dozens of snap happy guests and family, and they will get in your way at all times. If possible take a friend, spouse or helper to clear the way for your shots to move the family picture takers for a second or two.. you will be too busy to do that.

Take lots of shots, some will be lousy, some ok, and some fantastic.

Relax, have fun, and enjoy the experience.. if you are having fun, the subjects will relax too and you will get more great shots.

Tripod? Not a chance.. not necessary in my opinion, but a good flash is.. I use fill flash all the time for weddings, external flash is mandatory in dim or sunny lighting situations.

Lots of memory cards, and an extra battery set.

My two cents worth.. go for it!!

Last edited by matix; 03-23-2007 at 04:52 PM.
03-23-2007, 03:50 PM   #14
Veteran Member
WMBP's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Dallas, Texas
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,496
This actually turns out to be an amusing thread. Reminds me of why the majority of soldiers that crossed the channel on D-Day had never faced hostile file. The guys who had - the guys who had a clue what they were being sent to do - would have refused to get into the landing craft.

It's a big world and there are lots of types of weddings. Not everybody gets married in Westminster Cathedral with the Archbishop of Canterbury presiding while the Queen sits in the first row. Not every wedding photographer expects one of his photos to make the cover of Newsweek.

My mother and father got married before a justice of the peace. There were exactly two guests: the best man and his wife. The best man also acted as wedding photographer. I would guess that the budget for the wedding was about $10, mainly for the cake and paper plates.

At my own wedding, there were only 30-40 guests. It was "catered" by my wife's sisters-in-law. We had ham sandwiches. It was a nice affair, but small and very low budget. I think the entire wedding cost well under $1000, and that included the fee for the harpsichordist, an honorarium for the priest, and the cost of my wife's wedding dress. There was no money for a photographer in my wife's budget. That's why her brother was asked to take the pictures. Well, that and the fact that, aside from me, he was only person she knew who owned a camera.

I assume that Scott's sister's friend's wedding is on that scale. No offense to Scott, but if they HAD a budget for a professional wedding photographer, they would not have asked Scott. Of course, if Scott had any sense, when asked, he would have said no. But personally, I'm inclined to think that anybody who shoots weddings must be out of his mind.

Scott, none of us know whether you know how to take a photo. We're a bit scared about that comment in your post that you're "new to photography." You need to figure out - fast - how high the client's (bride's) expectations are, and whether you can meet those expectations. I assume that you think the expectations are low and that you can meet them. If you're pretty confident about that, then heck, go for it. If the bride's choice is between you and Uncle Lazlo, who's blind but also owns a camera, well, you might be doing them a favor by shooting the wedding.

Again, good luck and may God help you. ;-)

Will
03-23-2007, 04:06 PM   #15
Veteran Member
jfdavis58's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: 13 S 0357397-3884316
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 876
Scott,

What Will said "good luck and Gods help"; I'll throw-in a couple prayers myself. And a here's-to-ya type toast: "Here's to Scott; hope he's still around in July!"
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
alot, camera, dslr, photography, wedding
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
HELP! shooting film for a wedding shoey Pentax Film SLR Discussion 3 03-25-2010 05:31 PM
First wedding: Looking for Advice ismaelg Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 3 11-14-2009 09:05 AM
I said yes to shooting this wedding . . . Petermgr Pentax DSLR Discussion 25 09-05-2008 07:21 PM
Shooting first wedding...need some advice DanLoc78 Photographic Technique 17 07-05-2008 08:13 AM
Advice......wedding?! seymop Photographic Technique 7 06-18-2008 01:23 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:19 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top