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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    SoCal
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    638

    First Wedding as 2nd Photog (sort of)

    I apologize in advance for the lengthy post, but I had to share Included are some of the pictures I liked best.

    About a month ago, a friend of a friend of mine asked me if I'd be interested in shooting a wedding with her. Since wedding photography is something I'm interested in, I jumped at the opportunity and told her YES!! I wasn't to be paid. In fact, she wasn't going to be paid either. She was shooting this wedding for her friend, since she has access to some pretty pimp equipment (Canon 1D Mark II, 580 EX II, Mr. Fong Lightsphere, 16-30? f2.8, 24-70? f2.8, and 70-200 IS f2.8 lenses).

    I wasn't really under too much pressure, due to me being the second photographer. But, Friday night I recieved a frantic call from her, "Danny, I have a confession to make. I don't really know what I'm doing and the flash isn't working. All my pictures are overexposing!!"

    lol. This isn't really her equipment. She works for a photographer, so most of her experience is assisting him on shoots. But, she does use the equipment at times. She just doesn't fully grasp the technical side of things (aperture, shutter, ISO), so she shoots in Program mode. Add a flash to the mix (which has a whole learning curve in itself) and it pretty much overwhelmed her.

    I'm not the greatest wedding photographer myself (I think I've done about...oh...0 weddings so far) and certainly can't claim to know the finer points in the Canon system. But, we did discuss things and I started getting worried myself, as it seemed the wedding was going to be a standard (big deal) wedding and I was going to be the one with all the know-how.

    Bottom line, we were not prepared! lol

    When we got there, she stepped into the brides room and I got snatched up by the groomsmen's parents and hauled over to the groom's room. From that point on, I did not see my friend until the Ceremony started...which is another issue, because I had no idea what was going to happen. I just knew I wasn't allowed to use flash and was prohibited from going onto the altar area.


    1/60, f1.8, ISO800, 85mm (M)

    This left me and my measly 85mm range wanting. She decided to start up in the balcony area and left me to do all the dirty work as the wedding party walked in.

    I had 2 camera's in hand. My D80 w/ Sigma 18-50 f2.8 lens and another D80 w/ a Nikon 85mm f1.8 lens. The f1.8 lens proved to be my savior, because it allowed me to pull in enough light to actually shoot without having to use ISO800, and gave me a bit more range than 50mm.

    I really wish I had a 70-200 f2.8 VR lens!!

    Anyways, the lighting was bad enough that I ended up having lots of problems with both hand shake, as well as misfocuses. I did not want to hit ISO1600 with the D80.


    1/60, f1.8, ISO320, 85mm (M)

    My friend was told to use ISO400 and not higher because "it reduces image quality".

    OK, now...I admit I do not know Canon's systems that well. But, isn't the 1D Mark II pretty good at higher ISO's? Certainly better than the D80?!??

    I told her F#%$ what she was told. ISO 400 is simply not going to cut it with an f2.8 lens. So, she was sitting at ISO800 for the ceremony.


    1/400, f2.8, ISO100, 85mm (A)

    When we got outside, she was a bit more comfortable...plenty of light and no flash to worry about! Though, later that day I found out she was still shooting at ISO800 (f13+)!! lol

    I haven't had a chance to see her pictures outside of that 1 inch screen on the 1D...they all look great there. Heck all my shots looked great on my D80. But, when I got home I realized how many didn't turn out as good as I had wished.


    1/100, f2.8, ISO100, 31mm (A)

    Anyways...for the reception pictures, I decided to do something different. I don't have a flash bracket, so I corded my SB-800 to the D80 and held it in my left hand. Not exactly the most ideal shooting solution, but it allowed me to put the flash well overhead when shooting vertical.

    My arms got tired quick.


    1/1250, f4.5, ISO100, 34mm (A)

    This forced me to use manual settings for both the camera, as well as the flash. Not something I had done before. But, I found settings that worked and made sure to keep my distance.

    The rest of the night went well. Though, I fear most of my shots are more of the "snapshot" variety, than the "creative" type. Oh well, this is what they get for free haha I probably shouldn't be laughing...I certainly wouldn't be if I weren't satisfied with the pictures. But, that isn't to say they could have gotten much better...


    1/60, f4, ISO200, 22mm (M) (M flash)

    I'm still waiting to hear back from my friend on how her pictures came out. Hopefully good, because she took 400+ pictures. I took about 300+.

    Now another friend is asking me if I'm interested in shooting one of his cousin's weddings in October, but they want to see how my pictures came out at this wedding first lol

    We'll see how that goes...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    London
    Posts
    1,887
    You deserve all the credit you can get.

    That is amazing improvisation, great leadership (in helping out your mate) good balls and great photos.

    You should be very proud!

    well done
    Nikon D700
    Sigma 70-200 F2.8
    Sigma 85mm F1.4
    Sigma 15-30 F3.5 - 4.5



    http://www.philipduartephotography.com

    "It's better to be hurt by the truth than comforted by a lie"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Clarence Center, New York
    Posts
    29
    nice job under the pressure. sounds like you kept it together...it's nerve racking, isn't it?
    Nikon D3, Nikon D300, Hasselblad 501c, Canon SD550, Canon G10

    20 f2.8 AF-D, 28 f/2.8 AI-S,35 f2 AI-S, 50 f/1.4 AIS, 50 f1.4 Sigma HSM, 24-120 AF-D, 24-70 F2.8 AF-S G, 12-24 F4 ATX Tokina, 70-200 F2.8 Sigma HSM II, 80-400 F4.5-5.6 AF-D VR

    Nikon SB-900, Lowepro Slingshot 100, Tons of lighting and metering equipment

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    London, England
    Posts
    264
    You did excellent mate! 3, 4 and 5 are stunners that im sure any couple would be thrilled to have!
    Nikon D90 | 18-105mm VR | Sigma 10-20mm | Nikon 35mm 1.8G | SB-600/900 | Crumpler Backpack & Shoulderbag

    flickr

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    326
    I think 3 and 4 are great as well. I think you did great with the pressure you were on. Now you got one under the belt, I am sure there will be more

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    SoCal
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    638
    Thanks everyone. I was actually ok until the groom's parents found me in the hall and dragged me away into the grooms room. Then I was like ah wtf is going on!?! haha

    Quote Originally Posted by craigyc View Post
    You did excellent mate! 3, 4 and 5 are stunners that im sure any couple would be thrilled to have!
    The cool thing about my friend is that she's very creative. We were outside the reception hall waiting for things to kick off and we started playing around with the shadows we were making and suddenly she ran off the find the bride!! haha

    Here's a picture of my shooting partner...haha



    In any case...I had a lot of fun and I learned a LOT. Especially when using the flash in manual mode. I have never used the flash in manual mode before, so I had my share of over and undersaturated images. Thankfully, I only made the mistake once before I remembered to test before I shoot!

    I also used the SB-800's plastic diffuser, but it's no Gary Fong device

    After our wedding ceremony ended, there was another wedding party getting ready to go in and I spied their photographer (I always like seeing how other photographers shoot and what with). He had some wierd triangle type contraption on his flash. I wonder if it wasn't another one of Mr. Fong's devices...*shrug*

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia
    Posts
    3,650
    Great job for an impromptu shoot, 2, 4, & 6 are really nice, snap shot or not 6 captures a moment good timing.
    I thought about who I am... and realized I was an
    unformed, unreconciled imagery, without "GOD"


    NikonD?
    and some other Nikon stuff

    0.0%

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Richmond VA
    Posts
    98
    Very nice shots, and of course it doesn't hurt when the location is great, and the bride looks good. Beautiful light.

    Just remember the challenge comes if you decide to shoot weddings for money. When it's held in the basement of the local VFW, metal chairs and crepe paper, and bride looks like Flip Wilson's alter ego Geraldine. The brides hair melts in the humidity, the groom is an hour late, the flowers didn't show, the maid of honor was rushed to the hospital (the baby came early) and the bride is having a panic attack. Ask any long time wedding photographer about some of the more interesting experiences, you'll probably get an earfull.

    The opportunities to make great pictures do exist, but along with that goes the challenge to provide a product that will yeild good memories to the client no matter the circumstances.
    Nikon d300 / d200 / d70
    18-55 18-70 70-300vr 18-200vr 50 1.4 85 1.8 sigma 10-20
    sb600 3 sb800's
    misc tripods, nodal head for virtual tours, light stands umbrellas
    film - Nikon and Bronica misc lenses
    www.imagesbyjudd.com
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/ez1inva

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    SoCal
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    638
    Quote Originally Posted by imagesbyjudd View Post
    Just remember the challenge comes if you decide to shoot weddings for money. When it's held in the basement of the local VFW, metal chairs and crepe paper, and bride looks like Flip Wilson's alter ego Geraldine. The brides hair melts in the humidity, the groom is an hour late, the flowers didn't show, the maid of honor was rushed to the hospital (the baby came early) and the bride is having a panic attack.
    haha...that's pretty damn funny. But, only because I can see it being true! :\ Maybe I should quit while I'm ahead

    Thanks.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Richmond VA
    Posts
    98
    I wouldn't say don't do it, like anything in photography and of course any service business, once you stat taking payment, it is work. When your doing it as a freebe, the worst that happens they get what they paid, nothing. You might feel bad for a moment or two, but then life goes on.

    When your getting paid the client has certain expectations in some cases unrealistic, but they exist just the same. It's no different with any job you accept, you want to be paid and your employer expects something in return.

    Shooting weddings can be a lot of fun or very booring depending on your attitude. I don't like shooting kids or pets unless the kids are pros. Models actors, dancers, etc. But I do weddings, (pay isn't bad) and number of other jobs from time to time.

    So go as a second shooter a few more times, learn the formula, and go for it.
    Nikon d300 / d200 / d70
    18-55 18-70 70-300vr 18-200vr 50 1.4 85 1.8 sigma 10-20
    sb600 3 sb800's
    misc tripods, nodal head for virtual tours, light stands umbrellas
    film - Nikon and Bronica misc lenses
    www.imagesbyjudd.com
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/ez1inva

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