Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > General Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old May 21, 2009, 2:14 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 3
Default Serious Amateur shooting first wedding

Earlier this year, I picked up a Sony A700 during a certain electronics mega store's liquidation and love it! Recently a good friend approached me about shooting her sister's wedding. I have experience shooting concerts and academic debates for a student run periodical back in college, but I've never done a wedding.

I've got nothing in the way of accessories: no flash (other than the built in flash on the A700), no tripod, no filters... nothing. I need to put together a kit for this wedding (and future shoots as well), but I need it on the cheap. I've got until October to get money saved up and buy everything I need... but I have no idea what I need.

HELP!
hleumas is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old May 21, 2009, 2:24 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 628
Default

This isn't gear advice, but maybe it would be helpful to look thru some books at a Barnes & Nobel of wedding photos in order to get in your head possible compositions for photos.

Also, I have found a couple of photographers on line that post some of their work from recent weddings. You might get some ideas from those shots as well.
FaithfulPastor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 21, 2009, 2:37 PM   #3
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,529
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by hleumas View Post
Recently a good friend approached me about shooting her sister's wedding. I have experience shooting concerts and academic debates for a student run periodical back in college, but I've never done a wedding.

I've got nothing in the way of accessories: no flash (other than the built in flash on the A700), no tripod, no filters... nothing. I need to put together a kit for this wedding (and future shoots as well), but I need it on the cheap. HELP!
Here's the advice - you won't like it, but here it is anyway. You don't have the equipment you need. You don't have the money - because not only do you need new lenses / flashes etc, you need BACKUPS of everything. And 'concerts and academic debates' isn't good prep for wedding work. If you value your friendship more than your ego tell your friend you're not up to the challenge. You'll be more than happy to take some additional photos in addition to the pro but you don't have the experience / equipment to be the primary shooter. The answer would be different if you had experience doing portrait work, more flash experience etc and some additional event experience (i.e. coordinating the flow of a shoot with multiple participants) my answer would be different.

Again, the advice is to put your ego asside (it's a great thrill to be asked to do this I know) - and do your best to help out. That way you're not risking your friendship.
JohnG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 21, 2009, 2:57 PM   #4
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 3
Default

I did manage to snag a great book from B & N (link), so I know what kind of shots I should expect to take. Any other books or websites you might recommend?
hleumas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 21, 2009, 3:00 PM   #5
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 3
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnG View Post
Here's the advice - you won't like it, but here it is anyway. You don't have the equipment you need. You don't have the money - because not only do you need new lenses / flashes etc, you need BACKUPS of everything. And 'concerts and academic debates' isn't good prep for wedding work. If you value your friendship more than your ego tell your friend you're not up to the challenge. You'll be more than happy to take some additional photos in addition to the pro but you don't have the experience / equipment to be the primary shooter. The answer would be different if you had experience doing portrait work, more flash experience etc and some additional event experience (i.e. coordinating the flow of a shoot with multiple participants) my answer would be different.

Again, the advice is to put your ego asside (it's a great thrill to be asked to do this I know) - and do your best to help out. That way you're not risking your friendship.
I know you're right, and I know what I have to do... but I really want the experience. *sigh*
hleumas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 21, 2009, 3:15 PM   #6
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,529
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by hleumas View Post
I know you're right, and I know what I have to do... but I really want the experience. *sigh*
If you want to get experience as a wedding photographer do so as a guest or if you really are serious, inquire at local photography studios about a job as an assistant. Trust me, when you take photos as a guest at your first wedding and apply a critical eye you'll be glad you weren't the official photog.

The downside here is just too much. When I started as a sports photographer there was no downside to me getting crappy results at the first few games I shot. When you introduce the complexity of flash shots, low light shots (ceremony without flash), posing people, difficult outdoor lighting and balancing flash / sun etc... there's a lot to know and little time to get it right. Something as simple as - the couple has an idea of where they want to take formals - it's 1:00 pm and the sun is bright and coming from the side - what are you going to do? Couple wants a shot with the whole family or friends and there are 24 people in the shot - are you going to be able to organize such a shot outside? What if it's inside? Do you have the necessary lighting? Hint - a single shoe-mounted flash won't cut it. Someone's kid knocks your A700 to the ground and it breaks - what is your backup body?

DONT underestimate how difficult flash photography can be to get quality results.

The point is - learn the 'how' by either practice or apprenticeship and build up your equipment / experience before you're the primary.

Now - here's my last advice on the subject and I'll get off my soap box. For those on this forum that would encourage you to do this shoot without experience because they jumped in and did a wedding with the same amount of experience you have and it worked fine - ask them for a alink to the gallery of photos from THAT wedding they did. Then ask yourself if you'd be happy providing that level of quality to a good friend's sister for her wedding.

Best of luck in your decision
JohnG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 21, 2009, 4:27 PM   #7
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

Here's a 6 page article on the subject that seems to be better than most:

Wedding Photography 101 by Antony Hands
JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 21, 2009, 7:21 PM   #8
Super Moderator
 
Mark1616's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 7,452
Default

As someone who does shoot weddings I thought I would share a little of my experience. Before I shot a single wedding on my own I worked with a pro as assistant/2nd shooter to get a feel of the flow as well as shot ideas. A lot of the job is about people management, the ability to pose (if doing posed shots) quickly, set the camera settings quickly so that you can get everything that is desired in the least time. Clients want good memories but they have better things to do than have their photos taken so it is quality and speed that are key.

I work with 3 cameras, my style is to shoot with 2 cameras so I have wide/medium range on the main camera and then telephoto on the other. The spare is set ready to go in case the main goes down so I can keep shooting with only a few seconds delay. Unlike a portrait shoot you can't stop the proceedings to sort out a problem.

Every wedding I shoot is still a learning experience and I try to bring something new to each one and learn something from the current one.

I agree with John that with your current kit and experience you should run away, however you have about 5 months so if you are willing to put in the work you might be able to get enough experience to do it (and purchase the kit). You will need to find a friendly pro and get out to as many weddings as possible, look at the flow, the posing, the people control. Next you need to practise, practise and practise with models (family/friends) to pose single, pairs, small and large groups, as well as doing the posing you need to work out the settings to get everything in focus or for getting selective focus, expose correctly, fill with flash etc. This is essential as you need to be able to think of the pose, set it, set the camera and shoot. If you can sort all of this before Oct, pull all the kit together (minimum 2 of everything), be confident in your shooting and people management skills then and only then go for it otherwise leave it for another time.




















Last edited by Mark1616; May 21, 2009 at 7:33 PM.
Mark1616 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 21, 2009, 9:24 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 324
Default

I think there was a horror movie named "Bridezilla versus the Photographer".

I believe the Photographer was disembowled and handed his nutz in a camera bag.

Don't think your friend is capable of becoming Bridezilla? Surprise. Her work friends, her cousins, her mother, her best friend since 2nd grade are all lining up to encourage Bridezilla behavior. Let the hormones kick in, a dose of Oprah and the free subscription to Bride-From-Hell magazine and she will be gone over the edge.

What does this mean? Preparation and experience are more important than equipment. You have neither.

(I don't either and won't do "pro" photography. I like my nutz.)

Oh, and the fact that she is a "friend" only serves to make the preparation and experience even more important. She, potentially, will be even more critical of a friend than an unrelated/unknown professional, especially with regards to "you should have known what I wanted".

Want to give her a present of photography? Offer to do some special or unique photos. Go to the Bridal Shop and take pics of her trying on dresses. Go to the bridal shower and take pics of the friends and fun. Mess one of these pics up and she might never know and maybe even might forgive you.
StevieDgpt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 21, 2009, 9:45 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Decatur, GA
Posts: 2,053
Default

Mark those pictures are really really really good.

My advice is from personal experience. I have done a couple of weddings for family members. The first one I did was because the pro backed out at the last minutes 7 days till wedding. Reason the bride didn;t want all the extras he was trying to sell so he found someone else to shoot for who would pay for that stuff.

Personally for the first wedding or more I would shoot on my own in addition to the pro or work with a pro.

The first wedding and I had been shooting for local fire and rescue and some newspaper stuff prior to that. I ran out of memory and had to off load to a slow wolverine device so I lost time in that..... but I learned from the first wedding but as the mother of the bride said at least she got photos..... so that means I wasn't up to par. Since then I have done 3 other wedding all of which they begged me to do and wouldn't take no for any answer.

From my experience you need a hit list if photos that the mother of the bride and couple want shot. Also get the best man to help find the people needed for the pictures when the time comes.

Also take twice as many memory cards as you think you will need. Also make sure you have plenty of fully charged batteries so you can shoot for hours.

From my last weeding which was over an 8 hour period, pre wedding pictures, wedding and reception I took over 1,000 images and saved about 800 of them. Don't delete as you go, keep shooting and delete afterwards.

One other thing you may not think of is can you hold the camera up for that long, you should build up your arms and wrists by shooting a lot between now and then for long periods of time.

David Stemple
[email protected]
Photo 5 is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 8:12 PM.