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Author Topic: Emergency wedding, of sorts.  (Read 13741 times)

Old Shooter

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Re: Emergency wedding, of sorts.
« Reply #30 on: January 27, 2013, 04:25:02 AM »
...what you need is a metric fuckton of knowledge

Coffee shot out my nose when I read that... ;D
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Re: Emergency wedding, of sorts.
« Reply #30 on: January 27, 2013, 04:25:02 AM »

christianronnel

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Re: Emergency wedding, of sorts.
« Reply #31 on: January 27, 2013, 04:25:59 AM »
I've done a couple of weddings in the past few months.  The first one was nerve racking so I know how you feel.  I was more relaxed for the 2nd one.  So my first advice is to relax and be confident.

You're good with the lenses that you have.  Since you only have one camera body use the 28-75 during the ceremony and during the 1st dance (or till after the father-daughter dance if applicable).  Switch to the 17-40 to get wider shots during the reception.  You wouldn't have time to switch out your lens so don't bother bring too much.  It would be best if you can get a flash unit.  One 480EXII should be enough.  ETTL is your friend.  No need to get a diffuser they are useless outdoors and not necessary indoors.  Figure out how to do flash compensation with your camera body.  Learn about the angle of the light and bounce, bounce, bounce the flash

That's it for the equipment.  Now, you have to relax.  You'll do fine.  Chances are that they would also ask other friends to shoot for them. Be assertive and don't let other people distract your subjects. Take control of the scene and tell them "there's no other camera in the room but your camera."  When you're done with the subject, you can then tell the other photographers that it's their turn.  Relax some more.  Get close to the subject.  Get really close or get really wide.

Most churches will not allow flash during the ceremony.  Assume that you can't use flash inside the church so practice how to quickly change your ISO.  You are allowed to stand and walk around inside the church during the ceremony.  Put your 6D in silence mode and turn the beep off so you can get a lot of candid shots.  Don't be afraid to walk around but wear quiet pair of shoes.  Turn your cell phone off.  Get really close.  You can stand behind them if you have to.

There's usually an hour before the reception.  This is a lot of time for posed shots.  Use a tripod if you have one.  emember to bounce the flash up the ceiling or wall, or manually zoom it to 24mm if you can't bounce.  The altar shoot should not take more than 15 minutes.  Start with the bride and groom in front of the altar.  Add the best man and the brides maid.  Bring in the brides parents.  Add any siblings.  Bring in the grooms parents. Add any siblings.  Ask the bride and groom for any other relatives or friends to be on the shot.  Proceed with the outdoor shoot with the bride and groom.  Hopefully you've scouted the area beforehand.  Treat this like you would a landscape.  Slow down and compose your shots.  Remember to check your focus.  If you go outside remember to check your ISO.  Don't be afraid to overexposed a little.  After the formal shots you can breathe much easier because the hard part is over.  Have fun, have a glass of wine.  The reception is not such a big deal.  it's just like taking pictures at a club. Shoot something unique to the wedding such as name place, table settings, cake toppers, etc..

Good luck and remember to relax.
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Quasimodo

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Re: Emergency wedding, of sorts.
« Reply #32 on: January 27, 2013, 05:26:09 AM »
Like you've mentioned and like most people here say, try to be just a guest with a camera, and let someone else work :) However, I was in your shooes a year ago. A good friend of mine asked the same question (they hired a professional for the ceremony) and wanted to have me take the rest. I do paid jobs (portraits and stuff), but if I do something wrong (or the pictures turn out not as good as I want them, I always have the option of taking them again. Not so with a wedding...

Forget everything your friend says about you being a guest and that you should enjoy yourself. You will be so consumed in doing a good job for him that you will not hear a word in the speeches :)

I was so scared that I would not get this right, that when I gave them the pictures they received 1400 high resolution jpg's (all was shot in RAW), and I told them that they could pick 10 pictures that I would work on in lightroom and photoshop. The good thing is that according to them, my pictures were much better then the professional  (BTW. if they do get a professional after all, stay away from their working path...).

If you do this, the best advice I can offer is to follow the bride! She is your real constituent :) In addition to the required shots mentioned by others I would try make some context shots, like the food, flowers, the cake and such. People tend cherish these details.

Different countries have different customs. In Norway it is not uncommen for the bride and groom to hold a speech for each other. Some of my best shots that evening was them looking at each other (and the following laughter, crying ect) when they spoke to each other.

As for lighting I agree with the previous comments. Stay away from it, but there is one instance where you cannot avoid it - the waltz. I if I were you would make sure that the flash is in ETTL mode, and switch to the green button to let the camera do the whole job for you. That is a picture you will not feel comfortable screwing up, lol.

Good luck :)

Enclosing a shot I took of the food that night.

PS. I bought a 85 after that wedding as I saw that my 135 was too long (to many people who move between you and the subject) for many of the guest shots.
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Re: Emergency wedding, of sorts.
« Reply #33 on: January 27, 2013, 06:45:21 AM »
...what you need is a metric fuckton of knowledge
So it seems :o Friend of mine asked me to be second photographer at his wedding, which I've never done before, but I'm getting lots of excellent advice here. Thanks and keep it coming, please :)
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docholliday

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Re: Emergency wedding, of sorts.
« Reply #34 on: January 27, 2013, 08:49:58 AM »

...If you do this, the best advice I can offer is to follow the bride! She is your real constituent :)


Wrong, wrong, wrong...done too many weddings and this will get you in trouble. Quickly. Follow whoever is PAYING for the wedding / who is asking you to do it / who is paying for anything involving you (even if they just give you gas money). I don't care if it's the second-cousin's grandfather's sister - if they pay, they are who I listen to. If the B&G want something, they need to clear it with the "sponsor". If the paying person says to do what the B&G says, then that's fine.

Next, get it in writing. Even for friends who I give them the gift of my services, there's still a agreement. In your case, I'd be sure to get it in writing that you aren't a pro, but will do so as a gift to them or whatever. Any expectations, any specifics, etc. should be in that. No sense in losing a friend because they assume you said something (and trust me, there's a lot of things that are said and forgotten during a wedding). It's not worth the headache to end up in a life long fight over something stupid that should have been a fun experience for you and a great experience for them.

I shot my first with a C330 and ONE lens, as well as a Metz 45 that was loaned to me. Had a friend who was an old veteran (over 30 years of shooting and retired) tag along to shoot/give me tips. That was a long time ago. Never would have realized how fast things go. It was nice to have somebody say "now, quickly, go over there and get ready for the xxxxx shot". One of the first things he taught me was that "an agreement is only as good as the paper it's written on" (never call it a contract - it's an agreement in the marketing world).

Nowadays, I don't shoot people - I prefer product, macro and other commercial work. Less headaches, contracts always, and much more relaxing to do! Well, maybe one or two weddings a year just for the rush again.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2013, 08:51:51 AM by docholliday »

digital paradise

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Re: Emergency wedding, of sorts.
« Reply #35 on: January 27, 2013, 10:31:40 AM »

After reading your comments I've now been considering is talking to him into hiring a photographer, and then I'll just bring my 6d, and pancake lens just for some candid photos to give to them.

If he insists on me, I'll then tell him to at least hire someone for the ceremony and I'll shoot the reception.

If he really insists on not hiring a pro, then screw it, I'll just take my stuff and he'll get what he gets!

I'd much rather see them with quality photos than meh photos, from their friend who just does it as a hobby.


Sounds like you're thinking clearly about it.  I'll add a few more items in case you end up shooting.  I'm an amateur who's done a few wedding gigs as a second shooter , so this is from someone closer to your level. (apologies if others have covered this ground, I haven't carefully read the entire thread)

* Talk to the bride, in person, and make sure she understands the expectations.  The fact that your friend says it's OK is not good enough.  Her needs/wants/expectations may be different from his.

* Weddings move fast, so simplify as much as you can.  Don't expect to have lots of time to change gear.

* Better to know a few items of gear well, than take a lot of stuff and lose track.  Take one good low/medium zoom, and one long zoom.  No other lenses are needed.

* using bounce flash in the reception (or at the ceremony, with the agreement of the couple and officiant) is not that hard.  You can spend 30 minutes with a couple friends in a dimly lit room to figure out the settings you need.  (hint: use manual with flash)  Don't get creative with flash until you know what you're doing.

* Get the "script" of the wedding in advance.  You'll need to anticipate the action to be in position.

* For the reception, couple pictures, and other photos for which you have time, don't be afraid to take a little time to set up a shot, or do a little directing of the action.  Yes, it's their wedding, but they'll be happy to let you guide them to a better shot, for example to get a better background, nicer lighting, etc.

* If it's a big "family and friends" wedding, try to get photos of everyone, especially older relatives and close friends.  No one knows how much time great-Aunt Helen has left, and they will appreciate photos of her dressed well and with a big smile.

* Take a few cute photos of kids.

* If the wedding is on Sunday, see if there's a local wedding on Saturday, then offer the pro photographer to be his/her free assistant for that gig.  Seeing behind the scenes just once can make  a difference.

* Take your time with the group photos.  Use a tripod, live view and check your depth-of-field charts (in advance) to make sure you do your best.  Don't use flash here unless you can bounce off a high ceiling or back wall.  Be willing to turn the flash off and make do if needed.

When in doubt, turn off the flash, set to P, and go for composition rather than technique.  Your 6D will do well in low light compare to all the P&S in the crowd.

Good points particularly the one about weddings moving fast. Often you have zero time to think and you don't get a second chance. Also knowing your gear. That was reason I suggested to pass on the 85. It is only a lens but you have not worked with it and is different. If you do this and get a flash you will have enough on your plate.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2013, 05:30:48 PM by digital paradise »

michi

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Re: Emergency wedding, of sorts.
« Reply #36 on: January 27, 2013, 12:44:49 PM »
I have taken two weddings for friends.  I'm no pro.  I am pretty decent technically, I can usually get a well exposed and properly focused shot in most situations.  And that's how my pictures were, good quality, but nothing spectacular.  I can't imagine doing a wedding without a flash.  The bride and groom walking down the aisle in a dark church in the winter, good luck getting that without motion blur with no flash.  Dancing at the reception if it's inside and poorly lit, that will be tough too, unless you're just looking for artistic blur.
I survived those two weddings somehow, and probably wouldn't do it again unless the couple was so poor that they couldn't afford a photographer at all.
And like others have mentioned, you need to make it perfectly clear that they will not get amazing pictures like we all have seen from some pro's.  Maybe even print out an amazing picture, and then a average one, and show it to them to make it clear where your level of expertise lies.  Believe me, the couple will expect more than you can offer.  Good luck!

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Re: Emergency wedding, of sorts.
« Reply #36 on: January 27, 2013, 12:44:49 PM »

digital paradise

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Re: Emergency wedding, of sorts.
« Reply #37 on: January 27, 2013, 12:52:17 PM »
You know what I find the hardest part? Directing people for poses during group shots. Even tougher the informal's before and. People are looking at you for guidance and you need to look like you know what you are doing.  You can look at hundreds of wedding shots and sites that suggest poses but when your are on the spot trying to remember them.     
That comes with time and shooting often.

Fortunately they asked the OP just to take some candids.     
« Last Edit: January 27, 2013, 05:31:05 PM by digital paradise »

docholliday

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Re: Emergency wedding, of sorts.
« Reply #38 on: January 27, 2013, 01:13:46 PM »
You know what I find the hardest part? Directing people for poses during group shots. Even tougher the informal's before and. People are looking at you for guidance and you need to look like you know what you are doing.  You can look at hundreds of wedding shots and sites that suggest poses but when your are on the spot trying to remember them.     
That comes with time and shooting often.

Fortunately they asked the OP just to take some candidas.   

Directing people isn't actually that hard...you just have to be very clear, and concise. Don't beat around the bush - it's not "could you give me a pouty lip", rather it's "ok, bring your chin up and head to the left just a bit. Good. right there. Now I want you to push those lips out. Good. Stop right there. Look right here (point at lens)."

The hardest part of any portrait type shoot is being the director. I loved my infrared Hasselblad remote. I could hold the puck in my hand, stand next to the camera, duck down to the sitter's level - making eye contact, and drag them to where I wanted. Then, I'd just talk to them until I got the right look and hit the remote shutter button without every blinking.

Almost every wedding I've shot has involved the B/G telling me to grab them when it was time and tell them where to stand, what to do, etc. Remember that you are technically the only person who is spending the WHOLE day with them. And, as a pro, they would expect you to know what to do (since you would've done tons of weddings). In your case, I would get with them and run through the schedule of events. Then, be the person to step up and keep everything on time and flowing along - the B/G and family have too many other things to think about on that day!

RustyTheGeek

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Re: Emergency wedding, of sorts.
« Reply #39 on: January 27, 2013, 03:00:13 PM »
...what you need is a metric fuckton of knowledge

Coffee shot out my nose when I read that... ;D

Meeee toooo!!!   ;D
Yes, but what would  surapon  say ??  :D

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Re: Emergency wedding, of sorts.
« Reply #40 on: January 27, 2013, 05:01:30 PM »
Well, I'm sure the OP's head is spinning by now.  If he's still with us, I'm not going to attempt to add more advice on top of all the stellar if not somewhat conflicting advice that's already been offered.  Of course, then I still end up writing way more than I intended below.  Well, anyway, read on if you like...

A situation just like this is what got me back into serious amateur photography.  Good friend, casual home wedding and just a borrowed 30D, one zoom lens, flash on a bracket and my own Digital Rebel.  Me and my wife took a bunch of pictures and I was hooked again.  (That was almost 4 years ago and I'm not sure I want to look at those pictures now.  Guess I should though just to see how I did compared to my current knowledge level since then.)

My point is that all the advice so far falls into two camps, run away or do your best along with details to support both.  Only you can decide what is best based on your relationship with your friends and your comfort/courage/knowledge level.  Sounds like you made a wise decision.

My vote would be to go for it as you outlined and learn from it, enjoy it and see what you can do.  I also own a 6D and from what you listed, you have a great collection of gear for your needs.  If you don't want to buy a big flash, don't.  However, you might consider a small SunPak RD2000 tilted up with a StoFen diffuser to use as fill.  Turn it off or on depending on what you think at the time.  Let ETTL do its magic and use the Flash Compensation setting to dial it down.  (I set Flash Compensation as the SET Button function for easy access on the 6D.)  Maybe set the Flash Function in Av Mode to Auto so the ambient light will balance with the flash more evenly (but with a much slower shutter speed).  Keep it simple.  Don't take every lens.  Put the 17-40 or 28-75 on your camera and get all the pictures you can.  Move around a lot.  Encourage people to get together, smile and wish the couple the best.  Shoot what's comfortable.  Push your limits but don't get a migraine doing it.  You can fix a lot with Lightroom.  Use available light if you are comfortable with that.

Bottom Line, don't try to be a "Pro Wedding Photographer" because you aren't.  Neither am I.  But you can perhaps be an amateur journalistic photographer with some practice and prep.  Be that.  Before the wedding, try to surf the web and look at all the images you can of wedding receptions, party events, etc.  Get posing ideas.  Get composition ideas.  Practice in the days leading up to the big day to help put yourself at ease.  My advice is to take what you can from BOTH camps of advice in this forum thread.  Just be you and prepare however you think works for you.  There's a ton of advice here, use what you can and let us know how it goes, maybe even post a few pics!

Good Luck and May The Force be with you!!   ;)
Yes, but what would  surapon  say ??  :D

LewisShermer

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Re: Emergency wedding, of sorts.
« Reply #41 on: January 27, 2013, 08:08:07 PM »
I'm kind of in your shoes but 10 weddings down the line and my next one is on saturday.

The best advice I can give you is to stay focussed on the task at hand. Get all your timings written down and know exactly where you want to be and why.

Get a bunch of books, pick out all your favourite shots and make a moodboard for each scenario that you're going to be in. break it down into mini shoots and know exactly what you want from each shoot.

the hardest part is the groups. get the bride and groom to write down the groups they want. you will have to think about organising lots of people that are generally bored of waiting around, keeping them entertained as well as the creative side of things.

I used to use a 7D with a 17-85mm and a 60D with a 28mm. a second body goes a long way. I'm shitting it a little as I've just got hold of a 5Diii & 5Dii and getting used to the full frame game. 24-105mm on the 5Diii for the high iso and a 50mm 1.4 on the 5Dii I'm guessing at. I'm going to take all my lenses though just in case.

as for flash... I'm very much expose for the ambient and use the flash for the "pop". you can get creative with this out doors if you get to a point where you're confident with balancing the 2. that's all it is. balance. ettl is your friend for the most part but get an ettl chord and don't be afraid to hold it at arms length with some pluses or minuses to get your ratios correct.

The day will absolutely fly by. it's crazy how fast they go when you're shooting compared to being a kid and totally bored out of your brains all day.

like the dude above says, practice practice practice. you've got a few days. practice balancing flash and ambient and getting the flash off the camera.

have fun :)
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Re: Emergency wedding, of sorts.
« Reply #42 on: January 28, 2013, 03:17:50 AM »
Well, I've done a couple of wedding shoots as an unpaid amateur and so far I am still friends with all the couples. so it can be done, but never the less it WILL be stressful.

I've written a small journal about doing wedding photography as a non-pro:
http://christophmaier.deviantart.com/journal/Wedding-Photography-243847778
(If you are a deviantArt member comments are highly welcome) For all those not being part of deviantArt here is the journal:


1) Expectations of the couple:
Does the couple want professional pictures without paying the price? There is a reason why pro wedding photographers are expensive. You don't get any do-overs, no 'smile-agains' and certainly no 'lets-say-our-vows-agains'. If you miss a special event it's gone, period. Being a non-pro will most likely mean you'll miss on some things, or wont be able to capture some perfectly, that's why you do it for free (or at least much less than any pro would). If they know this and you feel that they truly understand this you are good to proceed. Now a lot of folks will tell you differently, but I have done 6 weddings now and all of them were satisfied with my work even though it was far from professional. They all knew what they were getting into when choosing me and I believed them when they said so. (Note, there are some weddings that I would not do because I know those folks just have different standards) Also, make sure you get a list from them of all the must-have events and people. Carry that list with you and cross things off as you go.
2) Equipment:
Make sure you have plenty of backup. Two bodies are an absolute must. You do not want to show up on a wedding and have your gear fail halfway through the show. Plus it's always good to have two bodies with different lenses available. The less you change lenses the more pictures you'll be able to take. (And the less danger of breaking something while juggling two lenses and a body without any place to put anything down) also, multiple memory cards are a must and it goes without saying that each body should have at least one spare battery. (And all of them should be charged the night before) You should also have at least one flash with plenty of batteries as well. I would also recommend to have a tripod ready and to make use of a second flash. Depending on the location and shooting you want to do you might want to consider a spare set of clothes as well. Sometimes you'll have to work in a field, kneel or lay down in order to get a good shot. Always good to have something else to change into then.
3) Location:
Check it out beforehand. Where is it exactly, where can you park your car and how far do you have to carry around your gear. Will there be lot's of indoor or more outdoor shooting. Where would be a good place for a group shot (make sure you know how many guests are expected) Where are some good spots for family photos (bride and groom plus parents, plus brides maids, only parents, only brides maids, etc) And where are some good locations to have some special photos taken of just the couple. (Made a lovely shot with a couple walking away from me through a wine-field and then running towards me for example) If possible try to find at least some time where you and the couple is alone. (Either before the ceremony or maybe between the ceremony and the reception)
4) Guest list:
Get a guest list beforehand and make sure you know who are the important people besides the couple. (Family, extended family, special guests) Try to get at least one shot of every guest. (See 'Guest book' for some advice on that) Have a long lens to make 'sneaky' pictures of people. The best portraits on events like that are done when people do not see you taking the picture.
5) Special Events:
Contact the best man and maid of honor to see if and what special events are planned. (Fireworks, surprise band, letting go balloons, etc) The couple will not necessarily know all the events that will need to be photographed and you might need to do some special preparations as well.
6) Guest book:
This is something I've done a couple of times and that has been very well received. It also helps immensely with keeping track of who has already been photographed as well. Get a small picture printer (Canon Selphy is my choice) and set it up somewhere on the main location. Get an empty picture frame and photograph everybody while they hold the frame. (Do try to do small groups like couples, work colleagues, families etc) Print out the photo and hand it to them together with the guest book. Idea is that they stick the photo into the book and write their wishes to the couple. Have the guest list ready and make sure people mark it when they've done it. Be aware though that you can't do this alone! You'll be busy photographing everything else, but since those pics don't need to be of the best quality it can be handed down to someone else. A good bet would be some close friends of the couple or maybe some relatives. (Cousins are a good choice as well) Do make sure that they know how to use a camera though. (Ask around in advance, but there's a good bet you'll find plenty of people glad to help and there's no need that only one person does it) This is a wonderful present to give the couple right after the wedding to take to the honeymoon.
7) Work:
Don't take the job lightly. Photographing a wedding is a lot of work. Not only is it stressful but it's also physically demanding. You will carry around a lot of gear throughout the day and you will do a lot or running around as well. Once I did a shoot outside for several hours in 38°C (100.4 ºF) Since I had to take pictures of all the folks standing in the shade I ended up standing in the sun a lot. (Luckily I had a hotel room there so I was able to change and shower during the day) So be prepared for that. Also make sure you get some food before everything start because chances are that you will not have a lot of time to eat during the event. And last but not least there will be the post-processing. Simply sifting through your images to see what is good and what is bad might take a while and then editing whatever picture you want to use will take an even longer time. Make sure you either have some free days right after the event or prepare the couple that they might need to wait a while until they see the final product. (Once I shot a wedding in both RAW and JPG and transferred all JPGs to the grooms laptop after the wedding to give them an idea of what to expect once I was done) If you regularly do a lot of pictures you might also look into something like Adobe Lightroom (or Aperture if you are a Mac user). It will let you mass edit and process photos very easily. I don't personally use it, but then I don't shoot weddings that often. It can be a real time saver though!
8) Church wedding
Should there be a religious ceremony involved make sure you know how much is allowed inside the church or wherever it is being performed. In one of my wedding shoots the priest forbid all photography during the actual ceremony. (The couple wasn't too happy about it but his house, his rules.) Also, not all couples want pictures of this moment because it can be distracting. (In order to get a good view you would have to either set up a remote camera or run around in plain view. Often also in areas that are 'off-limits' to regular folks) Talk to them about this a couple of days before the wedding so that they also have time to ask the priest what is acceptable and what is not. If you are allowed to take pictures but cannot use a flash make sure you have some fast glass available. Canon's 50mm 1.8 is a cheap but good lens to do that. Everything else will cost you a lot of money, so consider renting equipment for shoots like this. Canon's 50mm 1.4 or Sigma's 85mm 1.4 would come to mind. Else there's an amazing 50mm 1.2 from Canon, but be sure to rent them beforehand so you can actually work with them first. Shooting with such wide apertures will result in a very slim depth-of-field and it's not as easy to use! (Especially when all you normally use is an aperture of 2.8 or smaller)
9) Be the photographer
Should you be the main photographer you should have the couple announce this and set some ground rules. A lot of folks tend to be there doing photos themselves but everybody should know that you come first when it comes to the important shots. Also helps for group shots when everybody knows who to look at and who to listen to. (Had that problem recently where I was nearly drowned in other 'photographers' and everybody was looking at a different camera) The couple might also want to limit some events to be photographed just by you and ask everybody else to refrain from taking pictures. (Especially during any ceremonies things can get very distracting and noisy if a lot of people try to get some pictures) Also, especially when doing group shots do not be afraid to yell. Lot's of people make lot's of noise and the bigger the group the farther away you'll end up as well. Tell the people what you want. If some huge wrestler stands in front of the brides maids it's not going to be a good picture. Tell him to get behind the people where he can still be seen. Speaking of being seen, tell the people the simple rule, they can't see you? Then they wont be in the picture! (Amazing how many people appear to not grasp that concept)
10) Don't take one, take two!
... or more pictures. Things mess up, people look stupid and lighting might not be the best. Last wedding I did a lot of shooting with my flash, but I tried to do two shots of each photograph in quick succession so that the second shot was without the flash. (Sometimes had to do three for that) Some photos look better with flash, some without and I for once can never tell in advance what it will be. If I do portraits I very often do two shots in quick succession as well, a small change of expression sometimes makes all the difference between an average and wonderful shot. Does certainly add a whole lot of work to it though. (See point 7 ;) ) And do check your work often, you don't want to realize the day after that you had a bad setting on your camera. (Once did a whole shoot with ISO 1600 without noticing, thankfully it was just some outdoor work I did for myself, pretty much threw all of those out...)
11) Contract and model release form
Now, while this is mostly geared towards the non-pro who does it for free this should still be mentioned. A contract is never a bad thing, and as soon as money starts changing hands it's an absolute must. As the laws differ from country to country (and then even from state to state) I wont go into detail here, but only state a few points. See if there is a photography club somewhere in your are and ask them for advice on contracts. What is needed by law, what should and should not be included. Either way be sure to have a very clear description of what is expected of you. Things like pre-wedding shoots, engagement shoots, additional portraits, etc should all be written into the contract if you are expected to do them. It should also be clear if you provide full-res digital pictures or if you will provide the prints for a fee. (Something that is very often done by wedding photographers) Also the question how much editing is expected from you and if there are any must-have moments that need to be photographed in order to be paid. (And I would certainly rule out any penalty payments should something not work out) If you wish to publish the photographs you did during the wedding be sure to also get a model release form from the couple. Again, laws differ extremely so be sure to ask someone who knows the rules and regulations when it comes to release forms. In Germany for example it would not be enough to simply get the couples agreement but you would absolutely need a model release form from everybody who's picture will be published. (Minus group shots, but the definition is somewhat unclear in Germany) As a rule of thumb I simply do not publish photographs from weddings.
12) Assist in a wedding shoot (Okay, obviously not happening in this case)
Now again, as a non-pro who plans to do only a single shoot this might not be suitable. But if you plan on doing this as a pro you should absolutely try and find a pro wedding photographer who will let you tag along on a few weddings. This will certainly be the best preparation possible and depending on the deal you make with the photographer might even make you some cash.


I hope that helps. Be very, very sure about the expectations from the couple however! There are some friends of mine where I would never be the photographer because I know they would expect the full pro package. (And I know I am nowhere near good enough for that) But if their expectations match up with your skill I see no reason not to do it. (Other than the fact that it will be a lot of work and you'll pretty much miss the wedding even though you are there all the time)
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Re: Emergency wedding, of sorts.
« Reply #42 on: January 28, 2013, 03:17:50 AM »

wickidwombat

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Re: Emergency wedding, of sorts.
« Reply #43 on: January 28, 2013, 07:14:50 PM »
So, long story short, a friend of mine is moving his wedding to a week from now (it was suppose to be 6 months away).  And he knows that I do some photography as a hobby and said he'd want me to photograph it.

I am in no way a professional photographer.

my gear: Just upgraded to the 6d, canon 17-40, Tamron 28-75 2.8, 40mm 2.8, 50mm 1.8, and a nifty lowelpro bag, so i don't mind carrying all my lenses. I also have a rode mic and a led light that I use for video sometimes, but i didn't plan on any video. So I don't exactly have professional gear. I mostly just do some landscapes, or some walkaround stuff when I travel. I'm a casual photographer, as I like to put it.

He says relax, have fun, take some candid photos. But I don't want to disappoint. Should I spring for an 85mm? or a speelight? I don't know when else I would use it, so I don't want to buy it for one day. Should I rent one?  Anything else i should keep in mind? Or specific photos I should remember to get? Not sure how I should approach this.

Thanks!
Anything helps!

Definately get an 85 the canon f1.8 is a great price, in your situation i would shoot mostly the 40mm the 84mm and the 17-40 for those wider shots (the old tamron wont come close to the IQ from the shorty forty at f2.8)

also definately get a flash even a cheap yongnuo one, make sure whatever you get has ETTL and preferably High speed sync,
get a cheap umbrella and stand and even a cheap radio trigger for some off camera flash for the posed shots
i've used the cheap ebay triggers and they are ok, you get a few miss fires but they work well enough and with the posed shots if the flash miss fires its not a big deal, for the run and gun stuff you will have the flash on camera anyway

good luck!
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LewisShermer

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Re: Emergency wedding, of sorts.
« Reply #44 on: February 02, 2013, 04:03:04 PM »
Was this wedding today????? how did it go????!!!?!?!?!?!!!!???!!!!!!!one111!!!!
5Diii, 60D, 500D, EX580, loads of crappy flash guns... 28mm 1.8, Sigma 35mm 1.4 Art, 50mm 1.4, 100mm macro 2.8, 24-105mm 4L, 70-200mm 2.8L, lensbaby composer...

www.lewismaxwell.co.uk

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Re: Emergency wedding, of sorts.
« Reply #44 on: February 02, 2013, 04:03:04 PM »