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milleniumdesigns Jan 22, 2004 6:04 PM

Eos Rebel and weddings
im planing on getting a digital rebel and using it to shoot small weddings, social events, schools.

Is it a good camera for that?
What lenses are good?

Mr_Saginaw Jan 22, 2004 6:28 PM

In one word.... DEPENDS :wink:

How experienced are you? Have you ever shot weddings before?

Might want to seach the forums... recently a similar question:

eric s Jan 22, 2004 11:06 PM

Yes, please read that thread and the others that are linked from it. And the other forums that are listed in it as well.

I would be stronger than Mr_Saginaw and saw no, but that is my bias. I'm generally a careful person. I wouldn't want to risk screwing up someone's wedding because I purchased a consumer grade SLR instead of a professional grade SLR. I would feel so bad... I'm not sure I have the words to say how bad I'd feel.


Boy, do we both jump on questions like this. :D


milleniumdesigns Jan 23, 2004 6:21 PM

Hmmm i read here alot that its 90% photographer 10% equipment

but o well its opinion opinions, ill post here tomorrow some pics i took with a low end fuji fine pix 3800 so you can rate :)

i see some photographers using $$$$$ cameras and they just dont use a 25% of the options, so why expend the $$$$$ in thinngs you wont use or never learn how to use ?

My point is, iand im sure alot will think the same, that you dont need a $,$$$,$$ to get pro results.

On the other hand if my post wasI got a $,$$$.00 camera you will say that i will be getting great pictures(my experience wont be questioned).

But im %100 sure that many started using cheap cameras and then went upgrading little by little,

:twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

eric s Jan 24, 2004 2:01 AM

You have missed my point in my posts. Did you really read that link that I posted? Including the links in those posts to previous questions like this? I'll say some of it over again, and see if I can't make it clearer. Now, my comments apply to weddings. Social events are another matter. Schools... well, that can be as important as a wedding to a degree (once-in-a-lifetime event) or it can be a school play or sporting event. I don't know what type you mean.)
  • It's about reliability. Both yours and the equipment.
  • Large, very sharp, no distortion, no noise, picture. There is a reason some people shoot weddings with medium format or 6-by-7 equipment. Medium format blows away your 3800 (and my 10D.) Some argue the 1Ds ($7,300) matches it... they might be right.
  • It's about getting the picture the first time.
  • It's about not getting in the way of the ceremony while you work.
  • It's about perfect flash exposures, using multiple flashes if necessary.
  • It's about getting the picture in low light, with light filtering through stain glass windows. And you only get one shot.
  • It's about having several metering modes and knowing how to use them (what situations require which, and how you'll have to adjust the camera because it will still be off by a 1/2 stop.)
  • It's about not saying "oops, the camera battery is low, let me put in another one." Because this is their day.
Your camera MUST work. You are taking pictures of an event that will (hopefully) only happen once in two people's life time. You have to take it very seriously. Your memory card can't go on the fritz and get corrupted. Your flash must work, because you are holding up how many people? Hundreds? And you're interfering with their day. Making it worse.

You must have backup equipment... for everything. You must know how to get to the location of the wedding... and that means driving your route the day before to make sure you know how long it will take.

Many cameras take good pictures, but they should not be relied upon to take wedding pictures. This is a different class of work. My Mazda sedan gets me to work. It's a fine car. But if I my profession was to deliver packages I wouldn't drive it. I'd drive something where reliability was paramount. I'd drive something that was comfortable enough I could sit in it for many hours every day. I'd be looking for a different class of car that something that just gets me to work and back.

I've heard many people (much better photographers than I, some who did wedding for a living in the past) who say that wedding photography is the second hardest type of photography to do (photojournalism/war correspondent is the hardest.)

If you do wedding for a living, you will learn every feature of your camera. You will know when to use them. You will have to, because to get the best results you owe it to your clients to do your best (including using your equipment to it's best potential.) And you can expect that the other photographers in your area will and they will steal business from you because of it (skill being equal.)

What you will post will not be good enough to rate it's usability for a wedding. They won't be big enough. It will show your skill, which certainly matters... and matters more than the equipment to a degree. But the best race car driver in the world will not compete in my Mazda. Because they certainly will not win in it.

Many might have started with cheap equipment... I don't know. But I can say that I wouldn't hire them. But I also wouldn't hire a person with a good camera and no skill. I'd look at their portfolio (which will be stacked with only their best, so if I'm not blown away they are in trouble) and I'll call references. Several. But if the person says they are using a Nikon 5700 (no slouch of a camera) I would have to be truly blown away and stunned by their work.... because there will be shots at the wedding that they won't get because of that camera.

Please, go to a forum with professional wedding photographers and read their discussions. See what it's about, understand the issues they face. I gave links to several in that other thread. I know people who absolutely hate their wedding photos. They don't display them, they hide them. They never want to talk about them or the wedding. Because their photographer did a bad job. Do you want to risk cause people that much pain?

Ok, it's 2am here, so I'm going to bed. But I'll loose sleep to write this up... to make sure you understand what I'm trying to say.


ps. To respond to your 2nd to last paragraph... I wouldn't say what you say I'd say. If you said "I have 1 thousand dollars, what should I buy to start a wedding/event photography business" I'll tell you to get a loan. Event photography, maybe. I wouldn't say "buy X and you will get wedding great pictures."

When people around here say "you'll get great pictures" they are being polite. People are usually very enthusiastic about their new camera they just spend "$,$$$" on. We're a nice bunch, so we encourage them. There is a world of difference between great pictures and great wedding pictures. I have taken a few pictures that I would consider great, but I wouldn't do wedding photography with my camera & lenses.

The way people start cheap is they buy a 35-mm film camera. Good film cameras are much cheaper than a DSLR. And then, eventually, you upgrade to a digital. Then you save on film costs, but pay more for the body and more on post-processing ('cause you're doing it yourself.)

voxmagna Jan 24, 2004 6:19 AM

Although fashions are changing, a wedding and its memories are for life and you only get one chance to get it right. I'd pay for reputation and 'insurance' in the competence of the photographer rather than somebody who just bought the best camera they could afford.

Even an experienced wedding photographer would seriously consider a transition phase from and including film slr using both to digicam. PS I'm not a wedding photographer, but I understand and go with what eric s is saying.

I'd like to think that owning and using digicams is still new and needs more time to become mature and established as a total replacement for slr film. In the meantime, there are plenty of opportunities for people to try their hand at serious commercial photography and get digital a bad name. VOX

PlatinumWeaver Jan 25, 2004 7:33 PM

Although I didn't post the question, I would like to thank Eric S for his extremely detailed and honest post. The issue is one that I think probably needed someone to post exactly what the problems are, what peoples expectations are, without the usual good-natured encouragement that makes this forum so much more pleasant than others.

As an added bonus, you've scared me away from doing Wedding Photography... ever...

Please ignore my mostly pointless post if such is your desire.

BillDrew Jan 25, 2004 7:47 PM

Having shot a couple of weddings, I will never do it again. Ever.

Beyond Eric's advice, one of the best bits I've seen says that if you are ever backed into a corner by a close relative or friend who really wants you to shoot their wedding, and you have no way out, there is only one rational thing you can do: run away to Tibet and join a monastery.

eric s Jan 25, 2004 8:19 PM


Thanks for taking the time to read it and comment. I appreciate it.

I'd say "My pleasure to write it"... but it wasn't. It was work to write and edit a post that long, but it's something I care about. When researching digital cameras I read forums all over, including some wedding forums. Wow, did I get an education fast. Someone had a "horror stories" thread that scared me away really fast. I never considered it as something I wanted to do before... now I respect the job and am even more amazed by the quality some produce.


Gandalf065 Jan 26, 2004 10:58 AM

I must say Eric s, thank you for that post. Definitely agree with many of the things that you stated. I have been exposed to many many different people with different skill levels through working at a camera shop, and i have seen people that "just want the best" spend way too much money on a camera setup, dont know anything about photography, and then complain when they dont get perfect pictures with their cameras. On the other hand, I have a regular customer that shoots all his pictures with Fuji Quicksnap 400 disposable cameras, and he has shown me some of the greatest pictures that he has taken. Like a lot of people say, its 90% user, 10% camera. The nice thing about these forums is that everyone seems very willing (and able!) to help you get up to that level.

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