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Old Jul 27, 2010, 9:56 PM   #11
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An idea...look at some wedding albums! Especially if you can find ones shot professionally at the church and reception hall your couple is using. See what shots a pro took and how they were framed.

I would prepare a set of cheat sheets with a page of ideas for each stage of the day. Maybe with thumbnails of some of the best ideas you've found. There are a lot of combinations that people will want...eg bride and mother, bride and father, bride and grandparents, bride and flower girl, ...

OTOH, a wedding photographer has to be sufficiently in control so as to get all the 'standard shots' and yet not so in control as to be the most hated person at the wedding!

Good luck!

Craig
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Old Jul 27, 2010, 11:42 PM   #12
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I am probably the least experienced person to reply but here goes.

I got stuck at a nephews wedding when the hired photographer was a no show. (Kodak P-880 with external flash) My wife came to my rescue with great suggestions and help getting people staged. You might think about buying a double handful of disposable cameras for the tables at the reception/rehearsal for the extra shots. You may get something good but as candid shots done by friends and family most everything will be usable somehow. My family is pretty twisted so the candid shots were hysterical.

Ask for help. A girlfriend/wife/mother anyone you can think of that is not directly involved in the wedding party. Explain the situation and I bet you find someone that would not only be willing but happy to be an assistant.

Go to a bridal store and tell them the deal and ask for suggestions and they should be willing to spend time with you and probably have example albums to show you or maybe even loan you one.

With a couple of weeks notice go look at pro wedding photographers sites for ideas. There are several great wedding photographers here and the web sites can be a great help and give you some idea of the staging for the basic shots.

Try not to stress. Remember your fundamentals and you will do fine. Good luck

Steve
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Old Jul 28, 2010, 2:32 AM   #13
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This project went from 'yeah, no problem' to 'omg what have I done'.

I guess I'm in over my head...hopefully with some help from the surroundings i should have some decent photos.

Thanks again guys, this is really a great forum.
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Old Jul 28, 2010, 2:33 AM   #14
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I think you've done well for advice here so my first thing to say is relax, if you are stressed out you won't think well and you will miss shots. Weddings are a blast, along with shooting sports they are my favorite thing to do (and unlike sports they make me most money), there is a great atmosphere, generally everyone is happy, it's a big celebration so go with the flow and capture this joy. Look for times when they will share a smile with one another, also look at other people smiling, being happy etc. You don't need to go crazy with shots of them sitting or standing in the church, depending on where they are and where you are able to be there are only a certain number of shots of their backs and the ministers face that you need

Get detail shots before they arrive and while there is nothing happening in the service where you won't get interaction then look at other things happening in the church, they will love seeing who was there. Ensure you get parents, bridesmaids, groomsmen, grandparents, siblings etc as well as some other guests.

Try to find out well in advance if you can use flash during the service...... if not then investing in one won't help until later in the day where it will be invaluable. If flash can't be used in the service then consider renting the flash and a Canon 17-55mm f2.8 IS lens, this will allow you go shoot in the lower light of the church and also then get better flash results in the reception.

With the T1i, try to keep the ISO to below 1600 if possible, however if you can't get the shutter speed you want in the church then you can get away with 3200. Please shoot RAW (or RAW and jpg) as this will allow you a bit more room to correct exposure problems, but as mentioned you will want a large card. I use 16gb cards for a wedding as I shoot RAW and jpg (then almost never use the RAW but they are nice to have just in case).

Please feel free to ask anything else prior to the day.
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Old Jul 28, 2010, 8:53 AM   #15
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My advice is be prepared so here are somethings I did for weddings when I first started.
write down the pictures you need to take there are some set shots for all weddings bride arriving,brides maids, bride and groom then build up your groups include both family sides then a last big group not sure where you are from so at the wedding you need pictures bride arriving and walking down the aisle after the wedding, signing the register and cutting the cake. You need to ask the minister what resrictions there are in the church. I can only say take 2-3 of each of these if you can look confident be polite but in control remember you will have people around you taking the shots you setup
Next find out if there are any shots they want ie with certain friends or relatives, and also if there are any suprises that are going to happen.
Last of all Good Luck
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Old Jul 28, 2010, 3:24 PM   #16
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As several folks have said: Get help, lots of help. Both with other folks taking pictures and help in getting things set up for the group photos (who is going to drag Uncle Fred back from the bar?).

Of course there is still the option of running off to an obscure Greek island and joining a monastery.
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Old Jul 28, 2010, 4:28 PM   #17
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If you need a good flash for a low price Nissin DI622 is a good flash allot less then the canon ex430II for about 140 dollars, but get a sto fen defuse or something along that line or you can make one with a old bike bottle.

You may want to add the nifty fifty ef 50mm 1.8. About 100 dollars, not the best prime out there but can do a decent job for shallow dof work.

Good luck. It is not the easiest thing to pick up in a short time.
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Old Jul 28, 2010, 4:48 PM   #18
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I really wouldn't suggest adding the 50 in as it is too long for a lot of things so you would need to keep changing lenses and will just add confusion to the already busy day.

Stick with the kit lens and use flash (assuming you are allowed). If not renting a 17-55mm f2.8 is the best route gaining you up to 2 stops at the long end.
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Old Aug 18, 2010, 3:09 PM   #19
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Hey, I'm bringing this thread back from the almost dead because the big day is tomorrow!

I've gotten myself a Metz 58AF-1 for 250$, second hand, almost new.

But...I got it yesterday, and I have no idea how to use it. I wish I had the time to learn how to use it, but for now i'll stick to the 'recommended' settings.

That brings up another question. What are the recommended settings? Should I put the head at an angle? Should I just put it on Auto and pray to god?

Any advices about how should I use the flash to get the best results I can with the circumstances?

Thanks again!
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Old Aug 18, 2010, 4:10 PM   #20
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I can't help with the flash, personally, i would just take a few shots around a big room today of family or what-ever, check them on the computer and that'd be it. but i have found a nice list of to-dos that i took with me to a recent wedding. thank goodness the b&g had taken care of everything but i wanted to not be a total loser if they needed help. see attached pdf. it's from about.com and may not be perfect but it certainly organizes things well.
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