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Thread: Chance to shoot second camera at a wedding

  1. #1

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    Chance to shoot second camera at a wedding

    Hey Gang,
    I have had the honor of being asked to second shoot a wedding for a friend. The problem is I have no real experience shooting people. I am more of a nature/architecture shooter. Does anyone have any suggestions for reading (blogs/websites/etc) or what I can do to help prepare myself to be the best I can be for this opportunity?

    I have taken classes on the basics up through lighting and shooting models. I have also assisted on a graduation shoot.. which was no different than the model shoot. Yet I still do not feel prepared for this. This will require me to tap into my creative side.. to work with spontaneous events that you get one shot at.

    I'm not planning on making this a profession, but I have fun helping out my friend (we took some of the classes together). So any suggestions on how I can learn and prepare for this would be most helpful.


    -Dave

    ==============================
    Nikon D7000
    Sb700
    16-85 and 70-300. I will be borrowing her 18-200 for the event.

  2. #2
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Chance to shoot second camera at a wedding

    Dave - First place to start is by clicking on the 'Discussion Categories' on the menu bar above and then choose Weddings. Lots of discussion in the threads tagged in there.

  3. #3

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    Re: Chance to shoot second camera at a wedding

    wow I didn't even know that was there. This site rocks!

    -Dave

  4. #4
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Chance to shoot second camera at a wedding

    Dave...

    IMO, one of the most important things for a people photographer is to be totally familiar with the camera/lens with which he or she is shooting. Nature (some wildlife excepted) and architecture is a slower and more forgiving form of photography than shooting people. When you see the shot and raise your camera you don't have very much time to capture the image. Your subject will either move off or see you attempting to shoot and change his or her demeanor. Being able to raise the camera, nail the focus and exposure and grab capture the image, all in the blink of an eye, is IMO, critical.

    Being the second photographer, I would recommend that you don't try to duplicate the first shooters shots and to ensure that you are not in the frame when the first shooter is attempting to capture the image.

    IMO, a longer than average focal length lens is a great weapon for the second shooter because it can get the shooter up close and personal without getting in peoples faces.

    As with all people photography, backgrounds are critical. Ensure you don't have "things" growing out of your subjects heads and try to ensure that the background doesn't compete with your principle subject for attention.

    One final thing... If there are cute kids at the wedding, they make great subjects.

    A wedding is a great event to get over any fears of shooting people because virtually no one minds their picture being shot at a wedding...

  5. #5
    drjuice's Avatar
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    Re: Chance to shoot second camera at a wedding

    Hi, Dave -

    I second rpcrowe's comments to become EXTREMELY familiar with what your camera is able to do (lens/flash -- but NO FLASH IN THE CEREMONY AT ALLLLLL EVER! and NOT if the couple or first photographer objects in other environments. The weddings subject here is also good.

    If you need some test subjects, you might could find a retirement community with people of the racial/ethnic groups you'll be photographing because skin tones vary hugely and is often one of the reasons that photographing people becomes difficult. You'll need some young folks, so their teenage grandchildren will often be willing subjects. When I work on people, I always send them several prints afterwards. When I do this kind of event, I almost always start with my chuch and once even did it for the Seniors' Sunday School class when they were doing an oral history project. The oral history recording distracted them from the photography, so people were quite relaxed. Two of the best people pictures I've ever taken were taken that day.

    I asked for everybody to bring along the top-half of their Sunday best and it worked well. The ladies alllll had very cool hats -- almost as good as fascinators (this was back in the 1960s). All the men had fedoras in addition to their very conservative white shirts, suit jackets, and neckties, no rep ties in this crowd, only single colors with woven patterns.

    v
    Last edited by drjuice; 1st April 2012 at 04:36 AM.

  6. #6

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    Re: Chance to shoot second camera at a wedding

    Quote Originally Posted by drjuice View Post
    NO FLASH IN THE CEREMONY AT ALLLLLL EVER!
    Unfortunately, the inside of churches are notorious for low light levels -- to the point where it can become a real problem. Flash can be a god-send - but obviously (and especially as a 2nd shooter), it's use needs to come with quite a few qualifiers ...

    - If the ceremony official says "no flash" then no flash it is.

    - If the B&G say "no flash" then no flash it is (in this case it's the primary shooter's job to explain that he can't get any good shots without it -- if that's the case

    - If the Primary shooter says "no flash" then no flash it is

    But other than that, it can be a life-saver - but it still needs to be used responsibly (ie don't annoy guest by using excessively).

    So my suggestion would be to not rule it out immediately (although chances are this'll end up being the case anyway), but make a point of asking what the "rules of engagement" are before the day.

    One things for sure though - you really need to practice your shooting in both low light and full sun environments -- at the actual locations if possible.

    I think you're going to find it being like strapped to the back of a Formula 1 car ....

  7. #7
    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Chance to shoot second camera at a wedding

    Quote Originally Posted by devoh View Post
    I have had the honor of being asked to second shoot a wedding for a friend. The problem is I have no real experience shooting people. I am more of a nature/architecture shooter. Does anyone have any suggestions for reading (blogs/websites/etc) or what I can do to help prepare myself to be the best I can be for this opportunity . . . any suggestions on how I can learn and prepare for this would be most helpful . . . [I will be using] Nikon D7000 Sb700 16-85 and 70-300. I will be borrowing her 18-200 for the event.
    There are three elements which you should get squared away before you do anything else, in order they are:

    1. You need to understand fully what the Lead Photographer wants you to cover; and how it is to be covered, at all the different stages of the Wedding – the key chapters being: the Home; the Arrival; the Processional; the Ceremony Proper; (the Signing); the Recessional; the Formals; the Wedding Breakfast and its Subparts.

    2. You (almost certainly) need to know how to use Flash as Fill for both INDOOR and also OUTDOOR shooting.

    3. You must know the flow / arrangement of a Wedding Coverage.

    The first you must get from the lead; the second you must practice; the third if you are unsure, you must go to a couple of Weddings and watch (at the same Church/Venue, would be a good idea).

    ***

    Why, specifiaclly, will you be borrowing the 18 to 200 for this event?

    WW

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