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Old Sep 25, 2005, 1:35 PM   #11
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Jim: I saw your post this morning and got another two friends who have vast experience and very nice gear. They're going to be doing some shooting too and arrive before the wedding to work out the situation according to lighting and environment.

I also just found out that they have hired a professional to do video and he is going to be shooting stills with his high end camera as well.


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You need to ask yourself:

1. Do you have backup equipment...at least one of everything from camera body, to batteries, speedlights, recording media etc. Failures tend to happen at the worst times.
I have extra batteries for both the camera and the speedlight. I currently have a 2gb microdrive and two 512mb compact flash Ultra II cards. I think I may bring my fathers old Pentex which has an assortment of good lenses and is film only. And just to be sure, i may grab my friends Canon S50 Powershot (ugh...)[/quote]

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2. Are you comfortable with how aperature/shutter speed/ISO affects the shot, and most importantly how to use these settings??
I feel pretty comfortable that i'll be able to adjust to the conditions using those settings, so yes.

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3. Do you have a list of poses or shots the Bride/Groom want and how to execute all of them.
I'm in the process of doing that right now by going over a ton of photos from another friends wedding where they had a professional photographer.... (and many of my own photographs turned out better)

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3. Will you provide prints or the photo's in digital form and are you comfortable in editing.
I've spent years doing photo editing for my father who is a graphic designer (two cleo awards) and art director. My Uncle is a professional photographer and will help me out as well when i do the editing since they share the same office.

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4. Can you be firm in handling people to get the shots you need??
No problem there

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My advice would be to help them find a pro to shoot the formals at the very least, and you just offer to shoot candids at the reception. This will still save the couple some money and get you off the hook for what are usually the most difficult pictures.
I wish they would hire a professional photographer, but i'm not going to turn them down. They do have a professional guy doing video and stills... so along with the two other friends of mine, i think we can pull this off well.


Wish me luck. :G
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Old Sep 25, 2005, 6:42 PM   #12
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Great, I'm glad to see you got some help (it sure doesn't hurt, and that also takes a little pressure off of you). Good luck, and let us know how it turns out.


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Old Sep 25, 2005, 7:46 PM   #13
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Most people have covered the issues fairly well, so I won't go into those.
And if you really want, you can search on the word "wedding" on this site and see my (many and long) posts on the subject. Wedding are a serious matter and really should be avoided if you are going to be the "primary" shoter. For all the reasons that JimC gave and more.

I like you idea of going through other people's wedding shots to build up a list of shots to get. That is great.

Here are my few comments that I didn't see made (I will admit to not having read all the posts. I gotta get to bed soon.)

1 - Go to the location head of time and learn what it will be like. Bring along someone involved in it and figure out what will happen where. The more you know ahead of time, the more comfortable you'll be and the more you can concentrate on getting the pictures.

2 - Go to the rehearsal dinner and learn who you must get shots of. Interview someone on from both families. You might never know that a long lost college roommate has flown in from a different country and you need to get pictures of them.

3 - Definitely bring backup gear. As much as you can (this was already said, but it needs repeating.)

4 - Many shots only happen in a split second. Get some practice at anticipating shots and try to be aware of what is going on around you. You get one shot at the ring going on the finger. You *have* to get that shot. Some times those unplanned shots are golden. When the groom kneels down to pin a flower to the niece/flower-girl's dress you want to catch that if you can.

Eric
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Old Sep 26, 2005, 5:59 AM   #14
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Well.... lucky for me they hired a professional photographer to take the portrait shots and to photograph the ceremony at the last moment. She had some pretty killer gear, but wasn't shooting digital. She had a large Canon film SLR camera which i'm pretty sure was an EOS-1V with a few top notch canon lenses and flashes. I got there an hour early and had a good discussion about wedding photography with her and how to shoot things properly and she was a great help since the ceremony was outdoors and overlooking the Queen Mary (WW2 era cruise ship), the harbor and downtown Long Beach skyline. I also got some good pointers from the guy doing the video work who was a friend of the groom. He also had some extremely nice video gear, a HD camcorder and two others along with wireless mics, etc. They both definately eased my stress over shooting such an important event.

I'll post up some of my shots tomorrow when i get some time. I took over 600 photos during the whole evening starting before the wedding till everyone left to go to the after party. They're downloading to my PC right now and i'm excited to go through them. About 80 of the shots were taken with my camera by my friend Monica who is a novice also but has a great artistic eye, being a successful painter who has her works in many galleries in California.

The location was absolutely beautiful... and the sun got a tiny bit of cloud cover just before the ceremony began which was perfect due to the 5pm sun being extremely bright and right in the faces of the bride, groom, minister, and wedding party. It made for perfect lighting.

Anyways... time for some much needed sleep and to stop my rambling. I had a few too many toasts toward the end of the night and at the afterparty.. *hic*

Quote:
4 - Many shots only happen in a split second.
You were definately right my friend. I cannot tell you how many split second shots had to be made this evening. I got a good portion of them, and the ones i missed were picked up by the guy doing the video.

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Old Sep 26, 2005, 8:17 AM   #15
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Ok.... can't sleep..... must go over these photos. hehe.

Out of the 600+ i shot this evening, i'm amazed how well they turned out.

Here is just a sample untouched photographs which have received no post-processing.

Btw.... if you guys have dial up.... don't even think about downloading these.

http://www.kalionzes.com/photography...g%20Favorites/

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Old Sep 26, 2005, 8:44 AM   #16
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Andrew LB wrote:
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The location was absolutely beautiful... and the sun got a tiny bit of cloud cover just before the ceremony began which was perfect due to the 5pm sun being extremely bright and right in the faces of the bride, groom, minister, and wedding party. It made for perfect lighting.
I'm glad everything worked out.

But,since I noticed your "perfect lighting" comment, I thought I'd mention that something you don't want is direct sunlight in faces. This tends to be overly harsh lighting (for example, blown highlights/"hot spots" when trying to get everything else exposed well), as well as causing everyone to squint their eyes (something you'll probably see in some of the photos if sun was too bright in the faces).

That's why it's usually better to have cloudy conditions (which acts like one big soft box to diffuse the light) when taking portraits. A shady area can serve the same purpose.

Unfortunately, unlike planned poses, this is the type of thing you don't have any control over during a wedding ceremony. So, you have to take it as it comes, and try to make the best of it.

It sounds like you had lots of fun (even though I'm sure you were working hard). I hope the bride, groom and family appreciate your efforts!

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Old Sep 26, 2005, 10:02 AM   #17
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P.S.

A fewmore comments (before you start looking for things like squinting eyes and hotspots in photos where direct sunlight was hitting faces).... :-)

As we all try to improve our photography skills,it's good to look at howconditions can cause technical issues in the images, so that we are aware of potential problems when shooting in similar conditions again.

In a rapid paced event like a wedding ceremony, you have no control over that type of thing (it's not like you can stop the ceremony and try to arrange the couple so that the lighting is more diffused and even, and you want to be as unabtrusive as posible for the candids). ;-) That's one thing that makeswedding photography so difficult.

One thing I've learnedwith my very limited experience, is that capturing the importantshots in the ceremony, the smiles and tears, the photos of Uncle Bill and Aunt Suzy,a long lost cousin hugging the bride; the bride and groom's loving expressions, etc., are of far greater importance that any technical details.

That's where the "real skill" comes in (for example, my wife knows virtually nothing about cameras, yet her skill at getting good photos, capturing the "soul" of the subjects involved, far exceeds mine).

We as learning photographers (and it's a never ending process) tend to notice tiny details that others wouldn't pay any attention to at all.I was only making the comments on sunlight so that you'd be aware of the effect it can have, since I noticed your "pefect lighting" comment about the "sun being extremely bright and right in the faces" of the wedding party.

When you get all of the images processed, please let us see the results (and I'll try to look through the oneyou've already got posted, too).

Not everyone would have gone to the trouble to try and understand the difficulty of this type of photgraphy ahead of time, and it sounds like you did everything possible to insure a good outcome.

Again, you have no control over conditions during something like a wedding ceremony, and I'm sure you did an outstanding job (which will be well rewarded seeing the happy smiles and tears from your friend when she sees the photos).

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Old Sep 26, 2005, 11:28 AM   #18
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I was just browsing through the photos you've posted so far, and you've got some very, very nice captures

Your friend will love them!
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Old Sep 26, 2005, 11:29 AM   #19
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resize those photos! Ack... I'm NOT on dialup and they're still taking a long time. =o)

-tlmiller10
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Old Sep 26, 2005, 12:02 PM   #20
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I'd also like to say - damn good pictures! Well done!
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