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Thread: Wedding photography

  1. #1

    Wedding photography

    I was just curious what is a good go to lens for church weddings? I have a Nikon D7000 and usually do mainly outdoor photography but have been asked to do a wedding and want to make sure I am properly equipped. I am new to weddings and am learning so any helpful advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Wedding photography

    Quote Originally Posted by kbohanan View Post
    I was just curious what is a good go to lens for church weddings? I have a Nikon D7000 and usually do mainly outdoor photography but have been asked to do a wedding and want to make sure I am properly equipped. I am new to weddings and am learning so any helpful advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
    If you click on 'Discussion Categories' in the menu bar above you'll see a category entitled 'Weddings'. Click on that and you'll find lots and lots of views and comments about taking on doing weddings. And if you decide to do it, some helpful advice about what you need to think about.

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    Re: Wedding photography

    I just bought the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G and found it to be a really nice lens for less than $250US. It is pretty good in low light which you may well need. There are a ton of variables here. I would certanly consider getting a good speedlight. There are some on flash diffusers and soft boxes that work fairly well in the absence of a more robust lighting set up.

    Like Donald mentioned... Read, read, research and then read some more. There is plenty of info out there and with some good prep you'll be just fine.
    Last edited by epmi314; 29th December 2011 at 01:29 AM.

  4. #4

    Re: Wedding photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    If you click on 'Discussion Categories' in the menu bar above you'll see a category entitled 'Weddings'. Click on that and you'll find lots and lots of views and comments about taking on doing weddings. And if you decide to do it, some helpful advice about what you need to think about.
    Thank you

  5. #5

    Re: Wedding photography

    ok, thank you.

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    Tringa's Avatar
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    Re: Wedding photography

    I have not read every post in the Weddings section of the Discussion Categories so this may be covered somewhere there.

    Kbohanan, I don't know your level of photographic skill, so I may be speaking out of turn and if so, I apologise and please don't take offence at my reply here.

    A wedding is one of the most important days, if not the most important day, in the lives of those getting married (and a few other too) and it is a huge responsibility to be the one producing the definitive visual record of the day.

    A few of the things to think about -

    the venue(s) -
    how much room is there, how much light?, can you use flash?, will you have time to visit the venues before the wedding to see the layout?

    the couple -
    do those getting married want photos before the big day(if so, where and when), do they want photos before the ceremony (if so, how easy is that to organise), what sort of photographs do they want - traditional or more informal?

    the guests -
    almost all of them will have a camera of some sort and some may think they can take photos whenever they want, including walking right in front of you. There could be some delicate management needed for you to get the photos you want without offending someone.

    the photographer -
    are you the only "official" photographer? If not, then none of this really applies and you can go an enjoy yourself, if so, what will be the arrangement with the couple - are you going to charge for your time and photographs or are they friends and are you doing it for free? Will you have insurance? What happens if a guest who is a bit worse for drink trips over you or your tripod, blames you and wants to sue?


    Do you have time to develop your skills? Do you know anyone who does weddings who would be willing for you to join them at another wedding to get a feel for the event and the photography?

    Sorry if this sounds very negative and I don't want to put you off (and everyone has to start somewhere) but I think these (and other) things need to be considered.

    Dave

  7. #7

    Re: Wedding photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Tringa View Post
    I have not read every post in the Weddings section of the Discussion Categories so this may be covered somewhere there.

    Kbohanan, I don't know your level of photographic skill, so I may be speaking out of turn and if so, I apologise and please don't take offence at my reply here.

    A wedding is one of the most important days, if not the most important day, in the lives of those getting married (and a few other too) and it is a huge responsibility to be the one producing the definitive visual record of the day.

    A few of the things to think about -

    the venue(s) -
    how much room is there, how much light?, can you use flash?, will you have time to visit the venues before the wedding to see the layout?

    the couple -
    do those getting married want photos before the big day(if so, where and when), do they want photos before the ceremony (if so, how easy is that to organise), what sort of photographs do they want - traditional or more informal?

    the guests -
    almost all of them will have a camera of some sort and some may think they can take photos whenever they want, including walking right in front of you. There could be some delicate management needed for you to get the photos you want without offending someone.

    the photographer -
    are you the only "official" photographer? If not, then none of this really applies and you can go an enjoy yourself, if so, what will be the arrangement with the couple - are you going to charge for your time and photographs or are they friends and are you doing it for free? Will you have insurance? What happens if a guest who is a bit worse for drink trips over you or your tripod, blames you and wants to sue?


    Do you have time to develop your skills? Do you know anyone who does weddings who would be willing for you to join them at another wedding to get a feel for the event and the photography?

    Sorry if this sounds very negative and I don't want to put you off (and everyone has to start somewhere) but I think these (and other) things need to be considered.

    Dave
    Thanks Dave,

    Thank you for you advice. I don't take offense to anything unless someone is just plain mean. I understand I am starting off and people want to know information and are trying to help and thats what I want. I will be gettting paid. I hadn't planned on venturing out of portrait photography but I photographed the surprise proposal and then they wanted me to do engagement pictures and asked me to give them a quote on the wedding itself. I will be having an assistant that is newer like me but love her candid shots and I will also have a seasoned veteren photographer by my side that has been sorta mentoring me. I have been the second photographer at two outdoor weddings but this will be my first solo. I understand wedding photographer is stressful and thats why I am still not sure if I will want to pursue it fully. I just felt like I really wanted to be there for my couple from start to finish. I would feel fine if it was all outdoors but its inside a church which I haven't done before. Thanks again for the advice.

  8. #8
    Tringa's Avatar
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    Re: Wedding photography

    Sounds as if you have a good bit of experience already, K.

    All the best for the day.

    Dave

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    Re: Wedding photography


  10. #10
    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Wedding photography

    Quote Originally Posted by kbohanan View Post
    I was just curious what is a good go to lens for church weddings? I have a Nikon D7000 . . .
    If Flash is allowed:
    A fast (F/2.8) NON - varying maximum aperture 17 to 50ish zoom.

    If Flash is not allowed:
    A fast (F/1.4) 24mm and a Fast (F/1.4) 50mm Prime.

    WW

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    Re: Wedding photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Tringa View Post
    I have not read every post in the Weddings section of the Discussion Categories so this may be covered somewhere there.

    Kbohanan, I don't know your level of photographic skill, so I may be speaking out of turn and if so, I apologise and please don't take offence at my reply here.

    A wedding is one of the most important days, if not the most important day, in the lives of those getting married (and a few other too) and it is a huge responsibility to be the one producing the definitive visual record of the day.

    A few of the things to think about -

    the venue(s) -
    how much room is there, how much light?, can you use flash?, will you have time to visit the venues before the wedding to see the layout?

    the couple -
    do those getting married want photos before the big day(if so, where and when), do they want photos before the ceremony (if so, how easy is that to organise), what sort of photographs do they want - traditional or more informal?

    the guests -
    almost all of them will have a camera of some sort and some may think they can take photos whenever they want, including walking right in front of you. There could be some delicate management needed for you to get the photos you want without offending someone.

    the photographer -
    are you the only "official" photographer? If not, then none of this really applies and you can go an enjoy yourself, if so, what will be the arrangement with the couple - are you going to charge for your time and photographs or are they friends and are you doing it for free? Will you have insurance? What happens if a guest who is a bit worse for drink trips over you or your tripod, blames you and wants to sue?


    Do you have time to develop your skills? Do you know anyone who does weddings who would be willing for you to join them at another wedding to get a feel for the event and the photography?

    Sorry if this sounds very negative and I don't want to put you off (and everyone has to start somewhere) but I think these (and other) things need to be considered.

    Dave
    Damn good summary Dave,

    I might add that if one is getting paid, then legally, one enters a whole new realm - even to the point of being able to be sued for non-performance or for not following best practice (eg how much spare equipment are you taking). I don't want to appear negative, but it really can be lambs to the slaughter if you're not throughly familiar with shooting in a wide variety of difficult environments - under extreme pressure - with everyone practically going out of their way to make your day difficult. Also - to be honest - looking at the 3 images above, although they're not bad, I can see areas for significant improvement - however - the point I REALLY want to hammer home is that in a wedding shoot environment, it's NOT acceptable if you can only produce a handful of keepers from a days shooting - you MUST be able to shoot to a consistantly high standard throughout the day.

    For what it's worth, I shoot models out doors - I shoot them in the studio - I shoot concerts - and people tell me I do OK with a camera and lighting - and I have no desire to shoot weddings what so ever - I just don't need that kind of responsibility and stress in my life. But that's what you take on when you shoot a wedding.

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    Re: Wedding photography

    kbohanan,

    Don't let Dave and Colin scare ya! There are a ton of wedding photogs that should not be wedding photogs and based upon the three photos you posted you're on you're way to being a good one. Weddings can be fun so long as you continue to enjoy what you are doing. The entire wedding party will feed off your demeanor.

    Scope the venues beforehand, make a list of "necessity shots", and bring two of everything. You will need it when you least expect it. It also really helps when you are the "second shooter" to a seasoned pro. Experience can not be under valued. I've just recently been in touch with a nationally acclaimed wedding pro and basically offered my assistance for free since the knowledge I gain is way more valuable than he could ever pay me.

    Good luck and look forward to seeing more pics,
    Chris

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    Re: Wedding photography

    Quote Originally Posted by hoffstriker View Post
    kbohanan,

    Don't let Dave and Colin scare ya! There are a ton of wedding photogs that should not be wedding photogs and based upon the three photos you posted you're on you're way to being a good one. Weddings can be fun so long as you continue to enjoy what you are doing.
    Hi Chris,

    The problem is, it's not about being "on ones way to being a good one" or even about "weddings being fun". If one is being paid - as the primary shooter - to record a non-repeatable once-in-a-lifetime event then they need to be 100% confident and competant in delivering a solid professional result - theres no "wiggle" room. Is working as a 2nd shooter a great way to gain experience - absolutely - but that's not the scenario here.

    Have a look at where a substandard result landed one 'tog http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RjBSIvg3pjc (and this was probably a good result considering what might have happened). Does the OP have experience delivering a quality result in low-light? Harsh sun? With groups? Does he have legal contracts to protect his butt? Assistants? Backup equipment? Even sufficient primary equipment?

    It's a HUGE responsibility. If we were heading to hospital for emergency heart surgery, would you be comforted by having a surgeon who was "well on his way to being a good surgeon" and who was hoping to one day find surgery "enjoyable"? Heck no - we'd want one who we knew was qualified - experienced - in charge - and could handle any eventuality.

    Sorry, I don't want to ruffle any feathers here, but this is serious stuff.

  14. #14
    Tringa's Avatar
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    Re: Wedding photography

    Colin has put it better than I could have done.

    I note, Kbohanan, that you said you will have a more experienced photographer with you on the day and that you did engagement photos for the couple, so they know your work. These will help on the day and if you feel happy about going ahead, I wish you well.

    In very many photographic situations if the customer is unhappy, the photographer can try to make amends. With weddings a re-shoot is not an option. There is one chance to get it absolutely spot on and therein lies the problem. However, if everyone steered clear of weddings there would be no wedding photographers.

    As you feel concerned about the interior shots is there time to be a second photographer at another wedding where you can get some experience at indoor shots.

    I have never photographed a wedding and therefore I'm speaking from ignorance, but I'd guess you need to be confident in all the things a wedding can, photographically speaking, throw at you and be able to say that the shots you have produced as a second photographer at a wedding are as good as those the couple accepted from their main photographer.

    Dave

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    Re: Wedding photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Tringa View Post
    However, if everyone steered clear of weddings there would be no wedding photographers.
    No need for everyone to steer clear IMO - I just think that folks need to serve their "apprenticeship" in other far less demanding situations first, and then go into it with eyes open and throughly prepared. Those who give it a go and don't find it to be a big deal probably aren't taking shots that are anywhere close to being a professional standard on a consistent basis (although many think that their work is just fine).

    If in doubt, pop along to www.kelbytraining.com - sign up for a day - and take a look at the videos from David Ziser. I'd encourage all budding wedding togs to do that - and see what they know about working off-camera flash - ambient/flash light zones - working around the limitation of x-sync speeds - handing correct illumination of guests near and far (at the same time) - working around P&S snappers - trying to keep on schedule - handling equipment malfunctions - all of which needs to be 2nd nature.

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