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View Full Version : So I went and shot a wedding...Christ its hard!



herc182
08-12-2008, 08:48 AM
So this wedding I have been bashing on about for a while finally happened last Friday. My experience is as follows:

Stress. This was the first wedding I ever did and boy was it stressful. I was nervous as hell to start with because I didnt know
what i was doing and also I was only supposed to be supporting a friend. Turns out I did a lot of the photos and they came out
very well in most circumstances. What i was very very surprised to learn is that my 55-200 was the most used lens and it also
produced the best quality photos. I used three lenses, the sigma 10-20, sigma 18-50 and the nikon 55-200. The 55-200 was consistently
sharper and had better contrast than the other two put together. The least impressive was the 10-20 wide open (at F4). The images looked
dull by comparison. However, from f8 onwards it was much better (but I needed a tripod).

I also used the flash quite a lot which was also stunning. My friend had the 400D with the 430EX flash unit. I think the canon approach
of defaulting to fill in flash is really good, but i think the flash system in general is better with Nikon. Also used it off camera a few times
which was invaluable (and also impressed the couple!).

My last observation, and one which was in a word, invaluable, was the "auto iso" feature. I didnt want shutter speeds slower than 1/30 and
this feature is quite frankly a God send. No faffing about with changing aperture / iso. Its all done for you and saves you so much time.

But in general, I found the day exhausting mentally and physically (also strangely emotional given that I had no connections to the couple!),
and I am now processing the pics...I include a few for some C&C but the best ones are still to be processed. This is a new flickr account for the happy couple
so you will not find them (yet) on my stream.

herc182
08-12-2008, 09:03 AM
1
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3054/2754178412_e64ddef46b_b.jpg

2
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3240/2754244647_12a5ac6b4e_b.jpg

3
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3261/2752855475_f46895dfeb_b.jpg

4
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3284/2753257503_b5ac562fff_b.jpg

5
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3213/2753690158_6fcb0e3a66_b.jpg

anco85
08-12-2008, 09:20 AM
I love #4. T

he rest are also very cool, but number 4 is a stunner

ColColt
08-12-2008, 10:34 AM
It looks like you did good for a first time event. I love that B/W shot. You should try carring two 600 w/s lights, reflectors, portable backdrops, a 60 inch Halo light modifier a 50 inch umbrella, light stands, extension cords, two five pound camera bodies, three lens...you get the picture. Had it not been for my assistant, I never would have made it. The hardest wedding I ever did was a Catholic wedding that went on from 5:00pm till past 11:00 that evening. When we got there for pre-wedding sots of the bride and groom with their groomsmen and bridesmaids, we couldn't use the santuary as mass was still going on so, we had to go downstairs, set up, take photos, tear down equiptment and store it all in the cry room while the wedding was going on. I continiued to shoot from the balcony (time exposures), came back down very quietly and did some from the far back of the church.

I didn't think the service would ever end. After it was over, I had to set up equiptment again and do the bride/groom, thier parents, bridesmaids, groomsmen, etc., tear down the equiptment again and proceed to the reception that went on and on. I thought I had entered the Hotel California and was never going to be able leave!! You had an easy wedding.:D

Camerajunkie
08-12-2008, 12:05 PM
Gee, thanks you guys. My wedding shoot is Friday. I would have preferred you all saying how it wasn't as bad as you thought. :(

I too loved #4. It's exquisite.

And I'm glad that you said you used your 55-200 mm a lot. I'll be using that one and the 85 mm f/1.8 that is being more than graciously loaned me for most of the wedding. Though once I hit indoors for the reception I may change out the 55-200 mm and go with either my kit lens or the 50 mm.

And I do have a light stand, extra flash, bounce board, etc to carry around. But I'm paying my oldest to help me out some.

herc182
08-13-2008, 03:39 AM
It looks like you did good for a first time event. I love that B/W shot. You should try carring two 600 w/s lights, reflectors, portable backdrops, a 60 inch Halo light modifier a 50 inch umbrella, light stands, extension cords, two five pound camera bodies, three lens...you get the picture. Had it not been for my assistant, I never would have made it. The hardest wedding I ever did was a Catholic wedding that went on from 5:00pm till past 11:00 that evening. When we got there for pre-wedding sots of the bride and groom with their groomsmen and bridesmaids, we couldn't use the santuary as mass was still going on so, we had to go downstairs, set up, take photos, tear down equiptment and store it all in the cry room while the wedding was going on. I continiued to shoot from the balcony (time exposures), came back down very quietly and did some from the far back of the church.

I didn't think the service would ever end. After it was over, I had to set up equiptment again and do the bride/groom, thier parents, bridesmaids, groomsmen, etc., tear down the equiptment again and proceed to the reception that went on and on. I thought I had entered the Hotel California and was never going to be able leave!! You had an easy wedding.:D

:eek: Sounds like you should have taken an SUV around with you!

Rooz
08-13-2008, 03:53 AM
wow, how good is #4 ? sheesh.
great job phil.

ColColt
08-13-2008, 04:01 AM
wow, how good is #4 ? sheesh.
great job phil.

Ditto



Sounds like you should have taken an SUV around with you!


I went to seminars and saw the big boys did it that way (Ed Pierce, Monte Zucker, etc) and wanted to emulate them and the success they had. What a job it was!

Daubs
08-13-2008, 10:15 AM
Nice work! I'm still too chicken to dive into wedding photog. Still feeling like I need a few more things for my camera bag and, above all, more experience.

herc182
08-14-2008, 12:28 AM
Nice work! I'm still too chicken to dive into wedding photog. Still feeling like I need a few more things for my camera bag and, above all, more experience.

MORE things for your camera bag!!:eek: Your kit is way better than mine for shooting a wedding. I wish I had your 70-200 f2.8!

erichlund
08-14-2008, 12:39 PM
Let me throw a little rain. I hope you take this in the make you better way it's intended. I love your landscapes, but this is something of a departure for you.

OK - I liked number 3, but you could have made it just a little better by realizing you are working with people and not your usual unmoveable objects (IIRC - Most of what you post here are landscapes). In this case, the movement would be no more than a shift of weight onto the gentleman's left foot (leaning imperceptibly, slightly right in the photo). Why? If you look at the photo and just look at him, he appears slightly unbalanced left. This shift of weight would have the added bonus of having both individuals toward each other, usually a good thing in a wedding photo, as we hope they like each other.

As for the other photos, the grotto/vault/whatever is good. The cuff links are a standard wedding type shot, so OK there as well. I didn't like the other two.

The lady in the "rose petals"??? shot is going to want to beat you about the head and shoulders for the nicely framed shot of her bum in the basket, not to mention getting cut in half by the handle...and, not even belonging in the photo. This is a perfect example of where you must look past your subject for unwanted distractions.

As for the landscape, wrong time of day. You don't have to shoot static lanscapes at the event. You can shoot them prior or after, to get better light on your subject. Good framing. Probably, the guy you were "helping" should have gotten this shot when he surveyed the site for the event, or at least had it on his todo list. He did go to the site prior to the event to set up his shots, right?

imagesbyjudd
08-16-2008, 11:22 AM
I'm not sure where the stress comes in, other than you are often working with a range of people who don't really want to be in front of your camera, but expect that they look beautiful when they see themselves.

Otherwise I find weddings about 80% formula. Prep time, ceremony, departure, fomals, party, and then look for the unique shots for the couple.

I'm currently shooting about 3 weddings a month. Most are contract for another studio. They send me a shot sheet with what the bride wants, you make sure you get those then throw in the specialty shots for good measure and your done.

Unless it is a friend and you know the location well, I always get there about 45 minutes ahead of time to scout the area, meet the players and get them comfortable till the fun begins.

I should say I don't shoot many high dollar weddings most are budget so they don't expect to see a truck load of gear. I carry a d300 and a d200, I have several 800's and a backup 600, I just added the Nikon 18-200 and I also use a 50 1.4 for some available light work. If I have time I may set up stands and umbrellas, but rarely. The wedding may be in a storefront church with the reception next door, or the church may be in the middle of an asphalt parking lot with business all around and the reception in the basement.

As important as the pictures are, I find if I can quickly develop a relationship with the bride and groom, I get a lot better shots and a lot more cooperation.

But you always want to be in control, they expect that, and it gives them a comfort level, always have a plan, and leave room for adjustment. You'll get what you want and more than likely exceed what they want. Better yet you'll get paid and maybe even have some fun. I do. Here are two last shots of the day from two different weddings.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3258/2750349667_ee6b87b994.jpg

and

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3019/2668768256_22c87519f7.jpg

herc182
08-17-2008, 12:54 PM
Thanks for the comments Erichlund. I wil take those on board.

The rest of the shots are in:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/29461169@N03/

only just getting round to uploading them!