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milleniumdesigns Jan 22, 2004 5:04 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 5:28 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 10:06 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 5:21 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 1:01 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 5:19 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 6:33 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 6:47 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 7:19 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 9:58 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.

eric s Jan 26, 2004 12:19 PM

I've heard people say things like "the best photographer can take great pictures with a pinhole camera." And I'd agree to a certain extent. But they can't take any picture with a pinhole camera.

I agree that without skill, you won't take good pictures (I certainly fall into that catagory. I am learning, but I wouldn't say I have great skills.) But people also have to realize that you need the right tools for the job. And wedding photography is amazingly stressfull and exacting. To do it well.... really well (and wedding photography deserves to be done really well) you need some of the best equipment around.

Thanks again for the comment. I appreciate it when people like what I contribute. It makes the effort worth while, and keeps me coming back to give more.


milleniumdesigns Jan 26, 2004 12:39 PM

here its a sample image, it was taken with a Fuji Finepix 3800 3.24 MP. I replaced the background with that skyfall(?). It was printed at 16"x20" gimme some opinions on my style, besides equipment

dont know why but it lost sharpnesswhen i rezized it for posting here

BillDrew Jan 26, 2004 1:08 PM

It looks very odd to me with her face being lit from one side while the sun is setting on the other side.

milleniumdesigns Jan 26, 2004 1:12 PM

in print it dosent look that way, maybe i compressed to mush the image i used Superjpg instead of photoshop, maybe that has something to do with it

milleniumdesigns Jan 26, 2004 1:13 PM

any opinons on setting framing, etc?

ursa Jan 26, 2004 2:36 PM

I have to agree with Bill's point about the lighting in the foreground not matching the sunset. Try reversing the sunset so that it is on her left hand side, it may remove the odd lighting effect.

Otherwise the composition of her in the car is nice and you've done a nice job exposing the white dress.

Gandalf065 Jan 26, 2004 6:14 PM

eric s, i agree that you need the correct tools for the job. i was just making the point that a regular customer of mine uses disposable cameras and takes absolutely amazing pictures, and that it is his skill, not equipment that get results. i am sure that we will never see him taking pictures at a wedding :lol: :wink:

eric s Jan 27, 2004 5:40 AM


But amazing pictures of what? That is my point.


I generally like the picture. I agree with the other comment about exposure. From what I've read, exposing for a white dress in such a mixed color environment isn't easy.

I find her posture a little odd. Like she's leaning forwards a bit from the waist. It could just be an illusion from the angle it was shot.

Not only is the lighting on her face clearly from the left, her shadow is thrown on the back seat that way too. I think you did a good a fairly good job putting the sunset in, though. It does seem a bit odd that the background is a nice rich green, and then suddenly becomes faded and then the sky begins. Maybe I'm seeing it because you said the sky was edited?

If it were me, I'd not want you to put in the sunset... but then again, I don't know what the sky was really like, so maybe I would? :D


Gandalf065 Jan 27, 2004 10:28 AM

eric s,
he mostly takes landscape type pics, which work very well with disposables and the fixed lens they have. again i must clarify what i said! you are gonna make me think what i say before i say it lol...

milleniumdesigns Jan 27, 2004 10:32 AM

1. I find her posture a little odd. Like she's leaning forwards a bit from the waist. It could just be an illusion from the angle it was shot.

I cant help if she has back problems. She actually is leaning forward :(, she has a condition on her back.

2.It does seem a bit odd that the background is a nice rich green, and then suddenly becomes faded and then the sky begins.

Pay close attention to the picture, there are 2 images there, the car and the background(sky and green its all 1 picture) if it seems odd blame NATURE ,

any more positive or negative? If negative please provide what you will do for a solution

eric s Jan 27, 2004 10:54 AM


I cant help if she has back problems. She actually is leaning forward , she has a condition on her back.
Hey, you asked what I though! So I said it! :D

I could be a jerk and say "you're the 'professional' photographer, you're supposed to know how to pose her to get the best shot possible, with the limitations provided. Wedding photography costs a lot of money!" And that is part of what I mean about wedding photography being hard. I would expect a lot for the mount of money they usually charge. But I think you don't need me harping on that point any longer.


Pay close attention to the picture, there are 2 images there, the car and the background(sky and green its all 1 picture) if it seems odd blame NATURE
So the sky and field is from the same picture, and the car (and its contents) from the other? It looked to be like that odd color was the blending seam (top was one picture, bottom field+car the other.) It looked odd to me, so I commented... <shrug>

If I'm paying for a picture, I don't expect something odd in the background.... so pick your locations better. Or alter it in photoshop. But I have high standards. If you were just taking this picture for fun, the standards are different. But if you are taking it for money, the standards are much higher.


awikenheiser Jan 27, 2004 11:42 AM

I tend to agree with Eric. A 'professional' photographer should really be able to take stunning pics without having to replace the background. Good wedding photographers are spendy, but they will ensure good results.

PeterP Jan 27, 2004 12:07 PM

I mentioned this elsewhere and I guess I'll say it again.

If you take cash for shooting a wedding and come up with a blowen shoot you are open to some major expenses like re-renting cloths & locations for a reshoot and are even open to law suites.
If you do it for free for some friends or relatives and blow it, there is a good chance they will not be friends afterward(this may not be a bad thing :) ).

Pro wedding shooters take in backups for everything, multiple bodies, multiple strobes, etc., and use multiple backs to make sure if one roll film gets wiped in processing there will be another available, and film gets processed in multiple seperate batches. (of course this dosen't apply to digital) Well maybe use multiple storage cards.
Depending on which studio, they also rairly work alone usually there is an assiatant there to reload backs, fetch & setup equipment and take candid shots.

You also need the lighting & backgrounds for doing the formal portraits, The pre church shots at brides house, the ceremony itself, location shots afterwards, and candids at the reception if it is in the contract. Pricewise for a full wedding shoot with a large porrtrait, the assembeled birdes album & a couple of parents albums 2000$-2500$ is not out of the question. It also takes a lot of time in post productuction to assemble the final package.

Very hectic and high preasure, not for the faint of heart. I burned out and quit that particular segment of the market. But there are others that just love the work.

Having said all that, could it be done with a single Drebel, yes.
Would I risk it, NO.

BillDrew Jan 27, 2004 1:49 PM


Originally Posted by milleniumdesigns
... Pay close attention to the picture, there are 2 images there, the car and the background(sky and green its all 1 picture) if it seems odd blame NATURE ,

It is nature, but you chose that particular bit of nature to stick in behind her.


Originally Posted by milleniumdesigns
any more positive or negative? If negative please provide what you will do for a solution

Use something a great deal more subdued - you really don't want the background competing with the bride. You should also get the light patern in the background to match the foreground, i.e., soft and from the left.

milleniumdesigns Jan 27, 2004 3:56 PM

subdued ? what that means(im not totally bilingual)

got your point bill,

besides that whats else is wrong or ok with the picture

-jb Jan 27, 2004 11:19 PM


Originally Posted by eric s
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.)

I agree. Good, thoughtful post...

When you start shooting pictures professionally (for pay) things change. When you shoot events that can not be repeated, the pressure increases. When you shoot once in a lifetime events that can not be repeated, and that have tremendous importance to the parties involved, the pressure increases exponentially.

Years ago friends came to me and said that they couldn't afford a wedding photographer. If I couldn't take their wedding pictures they wouldn't have any. So I took them. Unfortunatelt they turned out great... They were very happy with the pictures and I had a great time taking them.

Through time, more people asked me to take their wedding pictures, so I did. Shooting bigger weddings added more pressure... weddings that were referred to me were even more pressure... sometimes I didn't know anyone in the entire wedding party, so I'd get lists of the important people and the important shots... and I'd have someone designated to point these people out to me...

I was fortunate that people were always pleased with the wedding pictures I took. I stopped while I was ahead. I have never regretted that decision...


aladyforty Jan 28, 2004 4:02 AM

the photo does not look like one from a pro but I like it, she could have smiled is all :) I wish i could have had someone take some decent photos at my wedding, all I have are snapshots from a small 110 film compact camera so popular back in the late 1970s.

milleniumdesigns Jan 28, 2004 5:25 AM

No where i said in a PRO :) :)

i tried to make her smile all nigth long, she just dont smile, shes like that, hard to make smile :( :shock:

eric s Jan 28, 2004 8:22 AM


Just to be clear, I actually like the picture. But as others point out, if I'm paying $2,000+ for the pictures my standards suddenly become very high.

I certainly couldn't have blended in that background as well as you did (my PS skills are now what I'd like them to be.) And I've never taken portrates, so I wouldn't know how to get the exposure right of tricky clothing. So, although I'm being critical, it's only because of the way the picture is going to be used (as part of a wedding album, I presume) and not because its a "bad picture". I've seen those before (and taken some) and this isn't one of them.


No where i said in a PRO
but you're putting up your picture for review like it was taken by one (I believe the implication here is "is this picture good enough for wedding photography?") I think it's good, but not good enough. The reasons are not with the camera, though. In this case the only camera limitation is if it will blow up big enough and retain detail. It/you got the exposure, focus & DOF right. But most cameras can do this shot, it's the ones that are split second candids or with complex flash lighting off white & black cloths that are harder for cameras (just a guess, it sounds like -jb could say much more on that subject.)


Great point on the background. Hadn't thought of it... probably because I like sunset. :D


If you do it for free for some friends or relatives and blow it, there is a good chance they will not be friends afterward(this may not be a bad thing :D).
I haven't laughed that hard in a while. I needed that.

BTW, the wedding photographers who can afford an assistant use a few cards and swap them out so the assistant can download them and check them over. If something is missed then he can try to retake the shot (if possible!) It also improve the chance that they won't be lost due to a CF card crash.


PeterP Jan 28, 2004 8:44 AM

Interesting side note I was with a wedding shooter last night who was getting his display ready for the upcomming wedding trade shows.

He is now using the Canon EOS 1ds as his primary body and a d-rebel as a backup. So I guess the D-rebel IS being used in pro weddings :)
He is also awating the arrival of the new Epson 4000 to do most of his output this year.
He sais he has hung up his MF kit.

Apart from cameras, lenses, and portable lighting, he now brings a laptop and as Eric said the images are transfered and examined during breaks to see if anything needs to be reshot on the spot.

milleniumdesigns Jan 28, 2004 12:56 PM

Actually that photo was made to make a 16" x 20" Frame it came out really good at. This was not a wedding it was a Sweet 15,her mom liked the Photo so much that she asked me for 2 of them :)

Maybe her standard were not that high as i let her know that my experience level was not much. After she got her album I have had 3 calls from another parents to take pics on hers kids Celebration.

I know im not a pro(what defines a pro in photography?) but i consider that with the limited amount of experience im getting better. Im actually looking to attend to some seminars and/or college, but i cant find anyhere in Puerto Rico that specializes in Digital cameras, i contacted the local prowedding photographers organization and the president said(between lines) that i needed i Expensive cameras to be part of the of the organization, i think that guy its a lost of was even almost rude whn i told im into digital(no digital is good, he said ).

For the events i shoot i always have my assistant(my GF), a laptop
i take like 600 pics to make sure i have good ones(not perfect ones :) )

Eric im not hating you itsa just that im not 100% bilingual and some times i dont use the correct words.

About the composition, dont you combine picturesto make a image diferent or just because u dint choose a good location?

more coments positives or negatives are welcome, we al learn from our errors... so keep your opinions coming

eric s Jan 28, 2004 4:38 PM

I really didn't think you were annoyed at me, but I wanted to be sure that you knew I didn't truly dislike the picture. I find that I can focus so much on the negative (because people usually want to know whatís wrong to learn and fix it) that I don't always say that I like the picture. It's something I'm working on.

I can see why more would call you. I bet you were cheap (or free) and the quality is quite high. As a parent, I'd love that!

I would agree with you, that club president is clearly not up with the times. Depending on the type of photography you do, even the cheap digital cameras can do a very good job. Almost makes you want to send him a few of your pictures and have him guess which are film and which are digital (when, of course, all are digital. :D) Assuming you donít claim a film type (people who really know their films can identify what film was used by looking at the picture.)


Strictly speaking, I wouldn't say that DRebel is being used "in pro weddings". It's a cheap backup so he isn't dragged into court for breach of contract (if the 1Ds fails.) The deprecation of this type of equipment is brutal, so having a 1Ds not earning income (acting as a backup) is a luxury most can afford. But if youíre shooting $5,000+ weddings, you probably do it anyways because your clients will be rich enough that the law suite would be expensive! :D

But it is interesting that he doesnít choose the 10D. That, to me, is the more logical choice. Its metering modes (basically) match the 1Ds (unlike the DRebel, that has those weird fixed metering modes. That would drive me nuts.)


PeterP Jan 28, 2004 5:29 PM

Me too, I'm guessing he cheeped out gettng the most inexpensive body available and hoping it never has to be used. :)

Cameraman Jan 28, 2004 8:09 PM

Personally I like the picture. I also think it demonstrates creativity to put that together. It works. I don't believe when people look at a picture that they wonder how a photographer was able to light the subjects (well, maybe some photographers), which can be done by fill lighting. I also think that most digital cameras if provided a well-lit subject will give you a nice picture that most prospective clients will buy. IMHO it is more important how you market and sell yourself rather than which camera you own. My advice is not too spend all your money on the camera. Budget in lighting. Photoflex makes some really good products for digital photography like the Starlite kits. Consider softboxes for portraiture which help soften the lighting.

milleniumdesigns Jan 28, 2004 9:09 PM


Originally Posted by eric s
Almost makes you want to send him a few of your pictures and have him guess which are film and which are digital (when, of course, all are digital. :D)


Actually something comparable happened, when i went to the lab to pick the photos, i always look at them there. there was a Pro Photograper (hes been in bussinnes for like 15-20 years). He dint beleive it was digital. That made me feel good :)

eric s Jan 28, 2004 11:28 PM


So very true. Lighting is very important, espeically with the lack of flexability you have when shooting weddings. Sure, the before/after stuff can be taken where you pick (this is why you scout out beforehand) but often the best place for the background won't have good lighting.

Save some money and get a few flashes that you can trigger either wirelessly or by flash-sync.


PKchopper Jan 28, 2004 11:42 PM

If you ask for opinions you should be ready to handle the good with the bad especially with such a confrontational tone to your message. I will say I like this picture as an individual picture even with the lighting glitch. Her positioning seems a bit uncomfortable but if one knows her then Iím sure you captured her essence.

However, I must assume that you choose one of your best if not your best picture to post and I must totally agree that if I were paying you to capture my wedding memories I would not be happy if this is the best picture. As a secondary shot to be displayed in a photo album it is perfect, but this is not the shot I would have framed and displayed on the mantel to symbolize my wedding night.

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