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AquaStudent 06-26-2012 08:47 PM

Need Suggestions - Wedding Photography
 
Hello guys...My cousin is getting married next week. Him and his fiance were looking at photographers (the one they liked was $2500, a bit far out of their budget) and decided not to go with a professional. They are turning to the families for photos. My name also got volunteered to take photos in place of a pro. Woohoo! (They picked me because I have one of the best cameras in the fam).

Anyway my equipment is a Nikon D5000 with the standard lens and a .5x Wide Angle Attachment. Also, I have a sturdy tripod and one of those rubbery mini tripods.

Do you have any suggestions on techniques I should implement and ways I can practice before next Friday?

I'm going to google search after my soccer match tonight to see what I can dig up.

Any personal experiences would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

For your entertainment, here's a few shots I've taken over the past few months.

http://i469.photobucket.com/albums/r...k/DSC_0676.jpg

http://i469.photobucket.com/albums/r...k/DSC_0660.jpg

http://i469.photobucket.com/albums/r...k/DSC_0687.jpg

http://i469.photobucket.com/albums/r...k/DSC_0008.jpg

The Roman Forums, Rome Street (and Moon) and Baltimore Inner Harbor were taken free hand and the Colosseum was taken on the rubber tripod thingy.

jreich 06-26-2012 08:51 PM

People now a days are more into action shots @ weddings rather than the traditional posed shots. Thats what my fiance told me. Lol
Also take lots and lots of pix, i mean thousands. My photographer said she will take over 2k pix @ our wedding. Better odds of having an awsome pic if u take enough.
Good luck!

Sent from my HTC Inspire 4G using Tapatalk 2

etane 06-26-2012 09:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jreich (Post 1918343)
People now a days are more into action shots @ weddings rather than the traditional posed shots. Thats what my fiance told me. Lol
Also take lots and lots of pix, i mean thousands. My photographer said she will take over 2k pix @ our wedding. Better odds of having an awsome pic if u take enough.
Good luck!

Sent from my HTC Inspire 4G using Tapatalk 2

I think being able to load up on memory cards allows you to snap snap and snap away. It's not like the ole days where you have to wait for the photographer to load in a roll of film. And, Posing for photographer was probably more of a necessity when film exposures were less of a commodity.

Ulupica 06-26-2012 10:05 PM

The techniques involved in wedding photography are completely different from the shots you posted above, as good as they are.

The question you need to ask the happy couple is...

If you were to get NO good pictures from your wedding would you be upset?

I'm not saying it would happen in this case but I have a cousin who relied upon several family members to shoot their wedding. The "professional" photographer in the family had a camera breakdown and nothing turned out usable. The other "helper" photographers shot a couple pics and then got bored (and drunk) and kind of forgot to get any more.

I highly recommend hiring a professional, even if just for the ceremony and a few group shots immediately afterwards. That way someone can be held responsible for problems and screwups and not lose a friendship or family member over it.

I am not a professional photographer and yes I have shot family weddings and luckily things worked out well but I wouldn't do it again no matter how good my equipment is.

Just my 2 cents worth.

Ulupica 06-26-2012 10:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jreich (Post 1918343)
Also take lots and lots of pix, i mean thousands. My photographer said she will take over 2k pix @ our wedding. Better odds of having an awsome pic if u take enough.

Makes you think about how much better photographers used to be, getting all the key shots and portraits with one or two exposures at a time on film.

Like in sports, facial expressions, at least the good ones, tend to happen in the brief spaces between exposures when "shotgunning" at multiple frames per second.

Photographers get paid for their ability to anticipate what's going to happen next and to react quickly when the unexpected happens.

OK, I'm up to 4 cents worth now ;)

jreich 06-26-2012 11:31 PM

Even back in the day of 35mm i was at weddings where the photog took close to a thousand pix. U cant just take 2 pix and walk away. You can he the best photog on earth but you should still take as many as possible reguardless of skill level or confidence level.

Sent from my HTC Inspire 4G using Tapatalk 2

Ulupica 06-26-2012 11:49 PM

Try the days of Hasselblads and 2 1/4 x 2 1/4... Nobody shot hundreds of photos then. And some of the classics of all time came out of that era.

Eldachleich 06-26-2012 11:51 PM

Hardest part of wedding photography (for me at least) is getting both the bride and groom to look decent. The all white bride and all black groom next to each other tends to freak out alot of cameras.
Though you seem like you know what your doing.
I guess my best advice would be that when in doubt focus on the bride.

It's something I heard and old wedding photographer telling her intern one time.

AquaStudent 06-27-2012 01:22 AM

haha there's not much pressure on me for this one. They will be happy with whatever they get. I think that's great advice "when in doubt focus on the bride".

I'm going to get a large SD card and just snap the night away. I just was hoping for some techniques when taking photos so I can make the best of the shots. My current plan is to just use portrait mode and see how far that takes me. If the situation changes I'm confident enough with changing settings on the camera and using manual mode. I may not be as quick or as accurate as a pro but I know you press the button on the top and make sure your fingers aren't infront of the aperture. :D

Can someone explain to me how opening/closing the aperture, that is making it larger/smaller, effects the depth of the image and how the background focuses? I feel like this would be a good portrait technique and possibly adaptable to some more action shots.

Ulupica 06-27-2012 01:36 AM

Opening the aperture (a smaller f number) will result in a smaller depth of field, making anything in front and back of the object you focus on out of focus. A higher f number (8, 11, 16, etc) will result in more things in front and behind being in focus (more room for focus error).

kroner19 06-27-2012 02:07 AM

Don't forget......by taking on this responsibility you're pretty much excluding yourself from the wedding. I would much rather spend the time celebrating with my family than being responsible for capturing 100's of memories (the ONLY memories they will have) for the bride and groom. I would strongly reconsider and higher a pro. Like someone else said.....what if you DONT get ANY good pics?

GraphicGr8s 06-27-2012 04:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AquaStudent (Post 1918337)
Hello guys...My cousin is getting married next week. Him and his fiance were looking at photographers (the one they liked was $2500, a bit far out of their budget) and decided not to go with a professional. They are turning to the families for photos. My name also got volunteered to take photos in place of a pro. Woohoo! (They picked me because I have one of the best cameras in the fam).

Anyway my equipment is a Nikon D5000 with the standard lens and a .5x Wide Angle Attachment. Also, I have a sturdy tripod and one of those rubbery mini tripods.

That's all that counts. You have the best camera. You don't need talent at all.

I've done weddings where I charged 2500 and shot it with the best equipment I owned at the time. I've also shot weddings where I charged over 25 grand and did it with all manual, backup gear. The best gear doesn't make a photographer. That's like telling Mario Batalli he's a great cook because he has the best cookware. And yeah, Whatever I charged with whatever equipment I used it all looked professional. I've also been to weddings where I was not the photographer and was asked by the bride to "dumb down" my gear. I still got shots that rivaled the hired hand.

Best advice I can give you though is to talk to your cousin and his bride to be. Get them to work out a shot list with you. Most of the shots are standard. Mothers fathers etc. Find out if there are people that are special to them and they want shots with. And write it down and follow it. Assign someone who knows the people to gather them up for the shots.

As for the difference in the clothing colors between the bride and the groom Give the bride the best exposure. Don't blow out the dress. The hardest wedding I ever did was a gift for my wife's friend. It was the only time I ever did a shoot as a gift. She is fair to olive skinned Puerto Rican. He is a dark Trinidad man. Now that took a lot of bracketing and a lot of PP. There was no possible way to get them both in one shot without serious lighting. The studio shots I did of them with their kids was a lot easier.

TickleMyElmo 06-27-2012 07:17 AM

It's a shame their budget is so low, or I'd do it :red_mouth (My packages range from $3500 to $7500) But I am a professional wedding/engagement photographer, so I would listen carefully to what I say...

I don't intend this to be mean/rude, but I don't think you have any idea just how far in over your head you are.

You're capturing a once in a lifetime event, with no chance for do-overs. A lot of people say they don't care about their pictures, and then the bride is in tears days later when they see the amateur pictures and realized they messed up by not hiring a pro. It upsets me when people do this kind of thing, because they'll spend $3k on catering and $1K on flowers that will be gone and wilted by the end of the night, but they wont spend $3k on pictures that will last a lifetime, to show to their grandchildren, etc...

Your only hope is that the wedding is outside in good light, and even then, your pictures will not be near the level of a professional. You truly need experience to shoot a wedding successfully (and I mean really successfully, not OMG this pic is teh bestest! that you'll think are good) If the reception is at night or in any kind of hall, you're in so far over your head nothing will save you now. I have over $2k in lighting equipment just to take pictures in reception halls, plus the know how to use it properly.

You can use "portrait mode", but no auto mode is a substitute for manual mode. A wedding is too dynamic and changing to use anything but manual mode and you have to be fast, and you really need the full control over lighting, setting flashes manually, etc.

Kroner19 gave an excellent point about not enjoying the wedding, you're going to be so busy taking pictures that you won't get to enjoy the wedding, which you may not care about, but still.

I can guarantee it is going to be 10x harder than you think it is. There's a reason we charge such high rates, and there's a reason people pay it.

I don't have them available to post directly, but check out my website, and scroll down a little to the latest blog post with the dancing pictures. That takes years of experience and $$$ in lighting equipment to achieve. It was actually pitch black in the room, except for the LED lights on the walls. Your D5000 and tripod are woefully inadequate to get good images in a reception hall, and you don't have the experience or talent to get great wedding pictures (and running and gunning won't help either)

Again, I don't intend to be rude or condescending, I just don't think you realize the magnitude of the situation, and I think you're grossly underestimating how easy it is to get good pictures at a wedding...

Trying to instruct an amateur on wedding photography a week before a wedding is like trying to teach someone to perform surgery a week before an operation. Wedding Photographers are artists, people pay for their artistic interpretation...it's not something you get by buying a $500 camera at BestBuy, you either have it, or you don't. Hence the reason we can charge what we do.

Kai808 06-27-2012 10:53 AM

I'm sorry but I have to agree with everyone advising to hire a professional photographer...

But, just in case you are still doing it, can you provide some specifics(i.e. indoor ceremony, morning, afternoon, evening, church, restaurant, hall)? I can only suggest that you may want to rent a lens with better range than a 18-55. Maybe rent an 18-200mm(or 18-300 if available) and a flash. The 18-55 doesn't have the range and you'll most likely be in the way of the other guest trying to get the shot.

You'll also want to write a list of the shots you want to get. You can google that part. I hope they will also have a rehearsal prior to the wedding. You can take notes of the angles of those shots and what poses you want to do for the ceremony. This is the only advantage of being part of the family that a professional photographer doesn't have. But professionals can adapt to different situations and still create a great product.

You also said that you will have a large SD card. I suggest getting several smaller ones. You don't want to put all the eggs in one basket if that card fails.

Another tip would be to quickly learn how to use an on camera speedlite. I learned a lot from this guy but it also takes a whole lot of practice to get it. http://neilvn.com/ or http://neilvn.com/tangents/

Just remember that your job will be to tell a story (with pictures) of the whole event(Big no HUGE responsibility). Take a picture of whatever the bride and groom paid for. The little details can provide filler for the photo book.

Good luck!

GraphicGr8s 06-27-2012 02:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TickleMyElmo (Post 1919088)

I don't intend this to be mean/rude, but I don't think you have any idea just how far in over your head you are.

You're capturing a once in a lifetime event, with no chance for do-overs. A lot of people say they don't care about their pictures, and then the bride is in tears days later when they see the amateur pictures and realized they messed up by not hiring a pro. It upsets me when people do this kind of thing, because they'll spend $3k on catering and $1K on flowers that will be gone and wilted by the end of the night, but they wont spend $3k on pictures that will last a lifetime, to show to their grandchildren, etc...

Your only hope is that the wedding is outside in good light, and even then, your pictures will not be near the level of a professional. You truly need experience to shoot a wedding successfully (and I mean really successfully, not OMG this pic is teh bestest! that you'll think are good) If the reception is at night or in any kind of hall, you're in so far over your head nothing will save you now. I have over $2k in lighting equipment just to take pictures in reception halls, plus the know how to use it properly.

You can use "portrait mode", but no auto mode is a substitute for manual mode. A wedding is too dynamic and changing to use anything but manual mode and you have to be fast, and you really need the full control over lighting, setting flashes manually, etc.



I can guarantee it is going to be 10x harder than you think it is. There's a reason we charge such high rates, and there's a reason people pay it.

I don't have them available to post directly, but check out my website, www.ErickJosephPhotography.com and scroll down a little to the latest blog post with the dancing pictures. That takes years of experience and $$$ in lighting equipment to achieve. It was actually pitch black in the room, except for the LED lights on the walls. Your D5000 and tripod are woefully inadequate to get good images in a reception hall, and you don't have the experience or talent to get great wedding pictures (and running and gunning won't help either)

Again, I don't intend to be rude or condescending, I just don't think you realize the magnitude of the situation, and I think you're grossly underestimating how easy it is to get good pictures at a wedding...

Trying to instruct an amateur on wedding photography a week before a wedding is like trying to teach someone to perform surgery a week before an operation. Wedding Photographers are artists, people pay for their artistic interpretation...it's not something you get by buying a $500 camera at BestBuy, you either have it, or you don't. Hence the reason we can charge what we do.

Erick mark this day. I think this may be the first time we agree. At least for the most part.
I was at my cousin's wedding years ago. She did hire a "professional". The day she got the photos back I got a phone call. "Do you have any shots you can send me? The guy I hired had all yellow pictures."
Another reason why when I was shooting anything professionally I always split shots among at least 2 cameras that I was using. Most times I had at least a second shooter with another two cameras. And a really high end event got 3 or 4 shooters plus me.
Any photography is an art. But like all art mediums it can be taught if you have an eye. Look at all the photography schools out there.


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