View Full Version : Need Help with Engagement Photos...

04-12-2005, 10:52 AM
Hello, I'm a new member here, but a long time member over at Steves-forums.com and shutterfreaks.com.

I am posting the same questions there hoping to get the best answers.

I am a new digital camera owner from Oct. 2004. I purchased a second hand Fuji s602z, and grew with it quickly including the TCON-17 telelphoto attachment.

I am now for a month a proud owner of a Canon Digital Rebel 300D, which I will be making payments on for a while. I am extremely happy with all the "hacked" functions.

I have been approached by friends inquiring about my involvment in taking some Wedding engagement photos, then possibly shooting their wedding.

The equipment I own currently isn't up to the task. The Rebel is awesome, but I've only got the Kit lens right now, and no external flash.

I am looking for recommendations, which I could look at reviews and sample images. I will post now, that I am unable to view pbase.com or deviantart.com image galleries, as my college censor's those sites due to some trasy content.

I already am looking at the Canon 50mm f1.8 Mark II lens. I know the Mark I is better, but I'm a young married man, with a 3 month old daughter. http://www.quantumdefect.com/tlmiller10/jordan/ That's her gallery. =o)

I am also looking for a telephoto zoom lens. I like the Canon 70-200mm F4L lens, but that will take a while before I can buy. Their wedding is a year from this May I believe, and the wedding photos must be taken this summer, which is quickly approaching.

I also need to give them a portfolio of my work!! ACK... I've never done that before. Should I take my best shots up to the "real" camera shop in town and have 8x10's printed? Or 4x6's? Or a mixture?

Thank you all for your time and efforts in this questionare. I appreciate your help tremedously!

Oh yeah! My name is Tim Miller, and it's nice to meet you all!!! Here's my website, sans html! Just links to graphics! http://www.quantumdefect.com/tlmiller10/

I used to make websites for a living, but with full time college load, part time work, and full time fatherly duties, that has to wait. Why oh why, did I get into photography! =o) *grins wildly*

-Tim Miller
tlmiller10@gmail.com (You may email me samples, or ideas)

04-12-2005, 11:37 AM
Hi Tim. Welcome to the forum!

Sounds like you have quite an adventure ahead of you, but don't worry, you already have most of the equipment you will need!

For the engagement shots, buy yourself the 50 f1.8 MkII (from what I can see the Mk 1's only real advantage is the metal mount), and pick a time/place where there is plenty of bright, soft light, and you are all set! I shot my first engagement session using this setup (with a few shots from the kit lens to boot), and the couple was very happy with the results. For engagement shoots, I susally give the couple about 50 shots on a CD, with prints of the 20 best. I have all of my prints made by Adorama, on borderless matte paper (they do a great job, have fast turnaround, and only cost $.19)

For the wedding, #1 on your list should be an external flash (and a bracket with an off-shoe cord). This too can be done on a budget. My first flash was the ETTL Sigma EF 500 DG Super. After much frustration with the flash exposure during my first three weddings, I devolved to a Sunpak 383 (actually a 433D - same thing). I find that the Sunpak gives much more consistent exposures, though you give up the automation of the TTL. With the manual flash, you do everything in "M" mode on your camera, so there's a bigger learning curve, but once you get it down you can be confident that your exposure will be correct every time. Another advantage of the Sunpak is that it only costs $75. A bracket will cost you $50, and an off-shoe cord another $50. After that, take a look at the $$$ you have left over and make a decision based on that. If you only have $150, take a look at the Canon 28 F2.8 for a little bit of a wider perspective, if you can swing $250, the Sigma 18-125 has been getting rave reviews (thought it's a bit slow), if you can swing $350, the Tamron 28-75 f2.8 is just about the perfect portrait/wedding lens - fast and sharp!

As for a zoom, my 80-200 is my least used lens at a wedding. I usually keep it on my second body for the "gotcha" candids, but I could certainly get by without it. Especially since you can crop a 6MP image down to 3MP's and still get a good 8x10 out of it. For personal use, I've had decent results from a Sigma 55-200 that I paid about $130 for.

When it comes to weddings your equipment (no matter what it is) will be up to the task if the photographer is up to the task. I shot my first wedding with the 300D, kit lens, 50 f1.8 mkII, Sigma 55-200, and Sigma EF 500 flash. About 1/3 of my shots were unusable...the other 2/3'rds were just fine, and the B&G were very happy with the results. As a matter of fact, all of the shots on my website were done with that combination...I need to update my website!

Good luck!

04-12-2005, 03:44 PM
Thank you sir for your help... =o) I will look into a lot of the things you mentioned when I get home from work tonight. For now, I gotta run!!