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Thread: New to Wedding Photography - Looking for Advice

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    New to Wedding Photography - Looking for Advice

    Hello everybody
    I0'm here to receive some opinions about a wedding shooting because i'm quite new to it. my previous experiences as photographer are most of all in sport.
    here's my equipment: Nikon D700, sigma 28-70f2.8, nikkor 80-200 f2.8, 28mm f2.8, 35mm f2, 50mm f1.8 (all prime lenses are manual focus), nikon speedlight sb900, two lexar professioinal 300x, 4gb and 8gb. My father has a D80 with 18-135 f3.5-5.6 that i can take for the marriages as second body.
    All suggestions are welcome, about equipoment, about the behaviuor, the way of shooting, and the post-processing of files.
    thanks everybody
    Lorenzo, Italy

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    re: New to Wedding Photography - Looking for Advice

    Lorenzo

    I am sure that people will wish to provide comments to you. But, please also go to 'Discussion Categories' on the menu bar above and from the list that appears, choose 'weddings'. You will find a great many discussions on the subject of wedding photography which, I hope, will answer some of your questions.

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    re: New to Wedding Photography - Looking for Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    Lorenzo

    I am sure that people will wish to provide comments to you. But, please also go to 'Discussion Categories' on the menu bar above and from the list that appears, choose 'weddings'. You will find a great many discussions on the subject of wedding photography which, I hope, will answer some of your questions.
    Thak you donald, and forgive me to post in the wrong place.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    re: New to Wedding Photography - Looking for Advice

    Lorenzo. No problem. You did not post in the wrong place. Where you posted is correct.

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    re: New to Wedding Photography - Looking for Advice

    Lorenzo...

    Shooting a wedding comprises a lot more than just being able to effectively handle your equipment, alhough that is a basic requirement.

    Weddings also require that you can politely, yet firmly handle people so that you can direct your photographic efforts.

    Weddings aditionally require that the photographer be familiar with the current styles which are in vogue in the photographer's area. As an example, many weddings here in the USA are being shot in a photojournalistic format rather than in the more formal style of the past. I don't particulaly like weddings done in the photojournalistic style but, it seems like these are the money makers, at least here in the USA.

    If I were going to shoot weddings, I would do a lot of research regarding the styles of photography that are in vogue in my area. You need to please the customer, not just please yourself...

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    re: New to Wedding Photography - Looking for Advice

    Are there any cultural traditions in an Italian wedding? I would believe that portraits are more formal than in the U.S., although there are the typical parents of the bride and groom, wedding party, bride and groom at the altar. I also doubt that flash will be allowed in a cathedral.

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    re: New to Wedding Photography - Looking for Advice

    My advice is "if you haven't already done it as the primary photographer, then don't do it until you've shot quite a few weddings as a secondary shooter".

    It's a HUGE responsibility. It's a once-in-a-lifetime event - you can't redo it if you muck it up - it requires you to be a master of not only low-light photography - flash photography - harsh light photography, but also be comfortable working under extreme pressure whilst at the same time managing people who are bored and/or drunk who don't want their photo taken - bridal parties running late (so they cut back on the time for the photography) - and you're also competing against other amatuer photographers. You may also expose yourself legally.

    To get an idea, pop along to www.kelbytraining.com - sign up - and watch all of the videos from David Ziser.

    Many are introduced to wedding photography by "jumping in the deep end" ...

    ... many sink straight to the bottom.

    (yes, even though it's just for friends -- yes, even though they can't afford an experienced professional -- yes, even though they know you haven't shot them before).

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    Re: New to Wedding Photography - Looking for Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    bridal parties running late (so they cut back on the time for the photography)
    This was one of my greatest gripes when I shot weddings... The brides and her parents especiallythe mother of the bride (MOB) are often working under an extremely high stress level and are frequently strapped for time (usually because they have not given sufficient thought to the timing of the total wedding package).

    Photographers are sometimes considered as just another bump in the road which takes time away from the REAL EVENT! That is until the bride and the MOB are looking at the images after the wedding when they have time to sit back and critique the package.

    The absolutely easiest weddings, both for the wedding party and the photographer, are those which employ a wedding coordinator who acts like a traffic cop to keep things moving when necessary and to stop the action when required.

    I cannot believe it but, when I was younger, I loved shooting weddings because of the stress involved. I loved being able to organize my shooting so that there would be adequate coverage. This was really intense when shooting with mediumk format film equipment which had a 12 or 24 exposure capacity. When to reload the camera was always a very important decision. I had to balance the need for a full roll in order to shoot certain portions of the event against the cost of the film if I yanked a roll out of the camera to replace it with a fresh roll before I had completed shooting that roll.

    In a way, the digital photographer of today has it much easier by only having to replace a memory card which first off has an imense capacity and second can be replaced very quickly in comparison to rolls of film.

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    Re: New to Wedding Photography - Looking for Advice

    My advice is "if you haven't already done it as the primary photographer, then don't do it until you've shot quite a few weddings as a secondary shooter".
    +1. I did one many years ago. I will never do another one. I would not want the stress, and you have to make decisions very fast, faster than I often can. See if you can tag along and be a secondary photographer, so you can see what the pros do and try out the experience. This way, you can get a feel for it without having anyone pissed off if you make a mistake.

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    Re: New to Wedding Photography - Looking for Advice

    Hi everyone. I can't figure out how to post a new "thread" so i thought i'd try replying to this one! My query is about shooting a play in a theatre, but as it involves indoor shots, with not great lighting, i figured weddings was the nearest category on the list.

    I did a shoot at a theatre production last night using my canon 5d MkII, and my 24-105 lens, which is all i have for now (except for a 50mm 1.8). I got some nice pics, but struggled to capture fast movements sharply...i have my ISO at anywhere from 2000 to 4000, aperture at 4.0 (widest on my 24-105 lens) and only manage 1/60-1/160 of a second shutter speed...i tried a few with the flash gun but they get a little washed out. any advice? there are some great action moments i would love to capture, but can't manage it....do i need a better lens?

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    William W's Avatar
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    Re: New to Wedding Photography - Looking for Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by bryanpj View Post
    Hi everyone. I can't figure out how to post a new "thread"
    Go to the “FORUM” section main page
    Open up one of the subheadings, in this case “General Photography Discussion”
    At the top left there is the option “+ Post New Thread”

    ***

    Quote Originally Posted by bryanpj View Post
    My query is about shooting a play in a theatre . . . using my canon 5d MkII, and my 24-105 lens, which is all i have for now (except for a 50mm 1.8). I got some nice pics, but struggled to capture fast movements sharply...i have my ISO at anywhere from 2000 to 4000, aperture at 4.0 (widest on my 24-105 lens) and only manage 1/60-1/160 of a second shutter speed...i tried a few with the flash gun but they get a little washed out. any advice? there are some great action moments i would love to capture, but can't manage it....do i need a better lens?
    If the light levels are typically that low in the theatre in which you are shooting, you need to use a faster lens and you need to use an higher ISO.
    Position is very important, so I suggest organizing yourself into a position where the 50mm lens can be used.
    The 5MkII can be used at ISO6400.
    It is important to get the exposure accurate (for skin tones), when one is using high ISO.

    As an example, using the 50/1.8 at F/2 and the 5DMkII at ISO6400, and the same EV (Light Levels) as you have mentioned, you would typically be shooting at shutter speeds of around 1/250s to 1/800s.
    Obviously those shutter speeds now give you a better working range to arrest Subject Movement and the ISO could be dropped or the Aperture could be stopped down as the Theatre Lighting increases intensity throughout the performance.

    If one is forced to shoot at very slow Shutter Speeds, then releasing the shutter at the point of LEAST motion is a good technique. Actors with have various movements but will momentarily “stop” at points and developing the skill of anticipating those points in time would serve well.

    Here is an example of a very low EV theatre scene where the Subject Motion has been frozen by a combination of:
    • High ISO
    • Fast Lens
    • Anticipation of the ”stop” in actor’s Movement

    – even though there is still blur at the fingertips and the feet, the shot is acceptable and the ators are 'frozen':

    New to Wedding Photography - Looking for Advice
    Tech -5D + EF85/1.8
    Shooting – F/1.8 @ 1/60s @ ISO3200

    WW

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    Re: New to Wedding Photography - Looking for Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    This was one of my greatest gripes when I shot weddings... The brides and her parents especiallythe mother of the bride (MOB) are often working under an extremely high stress level and are frequently strapped for time (usually because they have not given sufficient thought to the timing of the total wedding package).
    This is the biggest concern I have seen. They never schedule correctly and things are always rushed. Then, after all is said and done, they can't figure out why "that one photo" is missing and I am forced to tell them: "You told me to skip it due to time constraints".

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    William W's Avatar
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    Re: New to Wedding Photography - Looking for Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by lorenzobix View Post
    I'm here to receive some opinions about a wedding shooting . . .
    my equipment: Nikon D700, sigma 28-70f2.8, nikkor 80-200 f2.8, 28mm f2.8, 35mm f2, 50mm f1.8 (all prime lenses are manual focus), nikon speedlight sb900, two lexar professioinal 300x, 4gb and 8gb. My father has a D80 with 18-135 f3.5-5.6 that i can take for the marriages as second body.
    All suggestions are welcome . . .
    Comments on the equipment only:

    Manual Focus:
    I would not be very keen on using the manual focus lenses on DIGITAL BODIES. Not because they are manual lenses, but because the Digital Bodies (focussing screens) are / can be quite difficult to manage in manual focus mode in low light and also under the pressure of time. The point is AF technology is there to be used and Weddings (and Sports) are shooting scenarios where AF is useful.

    Wide Angle Lenses / System Redundancy:
    If the D700 goes down and you need to use the D80 you are very limited at the Wide Angle Focal Lengths. Certainly you have the 18 to 135, but that lens is quite slow and the IQ is not as good as the Primes (the 28 and 35) on the D700.

    Flash /System Redundancy:
    If your one flash unit goes down – basically you are professional history: that means (maybe) law-suits.

    Focal Lengths and Building a Lens Cache as to be a Lens System:
    There is little point (apart from Lens Redundancy) in having manual focus Primes 28/2.8 and a 35/2 and the 50/1.8 whilst you have a F/2.8 zoom covering those FL. None of the Prime Lenses you have really give you any advantage over the Zoom: the 35/2 provides only one stop but at the cost of the Auto Focus and the 50/1.8 is much the same: the 28/2.8 is superfluous.

    A fast 24 and a fast 50 (both being Auto Focus Lenses) would be a better pair of Primes to use with a Dual Format System – ‘Dual Format’ means I am assuming that you keep the D80 as your second camera.

    (For example). If you choose to get another D700 as the second camera: then a fast 35 and a fast 85 (both Auto Focus) would be a better pair of Primes to match with your 28 to 70F/2.8 zoom.

    But, it is my opinion that THREE camera bodies and THREE Flash units are the MINIMUM requirement regarding Gear Redundancy, for the Professional Coverage of a Wedding.

    Working as a second shooter is an invaluable experience.

    WW
    Last edited by William W; 13th July 2012 at 05:44 AM.

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