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Old Apr 25, 2006, 5:28 PM   #11
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DorkUnderwater wrote:
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did you say will???
[/b]
I did. You can get a very strange reaction if you say "Hold on a sec, my camera has locked up" during a ceremony. - It was my warped sense of humor.

As for equipment: your DSLR with spare battery or two+ 28-85 for most of the shoot + your Tokina, medium or high power flashgun with diffuser, preferably on a flash bracket+ batteries for it, tripod for available light shots. For backup another flash with batteries, SLR + standard zoom. If you are not really familiar with afilm SLR it might be a better idea to borrow another DSLR body or even a good P&S that you are familiar with will do.

One more tip. The day before the wedding I took the bride and the groom to a farm and shot a series of romantic soft-focus B&W semi-nudes with a haystack for a background. I think these were the best pictures in the album. You can think of something along the lines.

Best wishes,

Alex


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Old Apr 25, 2006, 6:06 PM   #12
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ah, i can understand all of that.

except for the bracket, is that to get different angles of light on the subject?
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Old Apr 25, 2006, 6:29 PM   #13
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I found that in this days of everybody is a pro that owns a camera. The best way to do A wedding that the bride & Groom does not want to pay a lot of money for A professional Wedding Photographer is to just charge them $300.00 for four hours and give them a DVD of all the pictures you take. I just add $25.00 per hour after the first four hoursand if it is out of town I charge $100.00 added location fee if I have to go to far.

I will do prints after the wedding if they want me to but nobody ever seems to want to pay more then Walmart prices. I will let them order An Album from Me if they pay in full first. I have a Tap catalog for them to pick out whatever they want. They can then put the thing together as they want it to look.

Shooting the wedding and reception is the easy fun part. It is the picking out of photographs and the idea that they cost $$$$ is the bad part of doing weddings. I don't know why they will spend $2,000.00 on flowers that are dead by the end of the dayor just left in the church and do not want to spend more then a few hundred dollars on photographs that will last them a liftime and more.

I take A lot of Digital pictures and the DVD is crammed full of very good quality photo's at 300 DPI. I always make A couple of back-ups for my files and I do inspect every photo on the DVD and make very sure the pictures I give them are all usable.

I do put together A DVD slide show they can watch on their TV at home all set to Music which I will sell for anywhere from $25.00 to $45.00 depending on how much time I have to put into it. I have gone down to as low as $10.00 each for A couple that wanted 25 of them to give to their bridesmaids and groomsmen along with other guests.

Yep, Weddings can be Fun if you don't beat your self up trying to do it for a living.
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Old Apr 25, 2006, 7:59 PM   #14
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DorkUnderwater wrote:
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ah, i can understand all of that.

except for the bracket, is that to get different angles of light on the subject?

The Bracket, like those made by Stroboframe, move the strobe/flash up over the lens or off to one side. This makes the light look more natural and soft. Lumniquest makes great flashdiffusers.
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Old Apr 25, 2006, 8:52 PM   #15
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what kind of filters would you use for a wedding shoot?
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Old Apr 25, 2006, 9:05 PM   #16
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also, how long is a minimum amount of time in your opinion from between the ceremony to the reception for portraits?
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Old Apr 27, 2006, 7:55 AM   #17
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If anyone asked me to do the wedding photos 'on the cheap'. I would tell them I'd be happy to at 'cost' plus a little bit for my time. After all, they'd be helping me gain experience. I'd definatley make them aware that as a novice, the pictures may not be to pro standards (naturally!) especially if conditions are less than perfect and they musn't be dissapointed. If they think they might be, I'd politley decline.




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Old Apr 27, 2006, 8:42 AM   #18
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Idealtool for indoor photography if used properly for the traditionalgroup and individual wedding photos: http://store.garyfonginc.com/liiido.html Not too good for distant candids where you need direct flash .

You want to keep your speed up,focus sharp, and lighting adequate. Many neophytes wonder why their shots are blurred and too dark when, to their eyes (but not to the camera's sensor), the church lighting was good.
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Old Apr 27, 2006, 9:47 AM   #19
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Sigh.
Ok, you sound like you really want to do this. In fact, it sounds like you've already agreed to do it.

You have no idea what you are getting into.
You have to understand that no matter what they say, the couple takes it seriously. Historically, the bride cares about it more and you need to fully understand her wants. They might say they are casual about it, but they really aren't. They want good pictures, they just don't want to pay for them.

Wedding photography is really, really hard to do well. Unless you've done it, you can't understand it (and I haven't done it as the primary, only some "just to be nice" backup.) And it isn't just taking the photos that is hard:
- This is a once-in-a-lifetime event. Up there with the birth of your first child. It will (in theory) NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN IN THEIR LIVES. You have to take it that seriously.
- Your equipment can't fail. There are no excuses. You need backs of everything. Lenses, camera bodies, flashes, batteries... everything.
- You have to be prepared. You can't be late - you should probably learn how to get there some time before the event. Go at the same time of day and use that opportunity to plan shots. You can't be thinking "where should I be next?" You should know where you need to be.
- Go to the wedding rehearsal. Learn who you need to get pictures of - including the long lost college roommate, the relatives from out of town... you need to talk to people from both families and get this info. You can't know it without their input.
- Talk to people about how the wedding will be run. What will happen where. You have to think about where you will need to be and plan to get there head of time to be ready.
- You need to know which images to get. You need to plan things out, so you get the walking into the room with the dress... maybe you want one of the flower being pinned on the groom by the best man.
- But you also need to be ready for the spontaneous shots too.

Notice I haven't even talked about the taking of the actual pictures? That is hard too.
- On many of the shots, you get one and only one chance to get it right. You can't say "could you please do that "first kiss" again? I still had exposure comp on and it wasn't properly exposed."
- Exposing for the black tux next to the white dress is very hard. You will need to practice this so you won't be fumbling during the event. Digital cameras don't have much latitude on the bright end, if you don't get it right the white dress will be a white blob.

And you have to do all this without getting in the way. You should float around, getting the images without intruding on the event. You won't be "at" the wedding (assuming you know the people involved.) You will be working it.

Have I scared you yet? I hope so, because from that fear you will either not do it or you will *take it very seriously* and prepare. (it sounds like you're doing this already.)

And I'll end with this story.
Humans forget things over time, but the photos reinforce the memories. Eventually, it will be those photos which become the memories. I've heard stories from people about how they hide their wedding photos. That the photos are so bad, that it actually ruins a part of the joy of the event. Stories about wedding photographers who suddenly seem taken with a bridesmaid and the majority of the photos part way through follow her and not the bride/groom. All kinds of bad things.

No matter what they say about how casual they are about it, don't believe them. They say they understand this is your first time... deep down in side, they are just trying to save money. A good wedding photographer is invisible. Their claim about not wanting to make it "complicated" is bogus. Except for posed shots with friends and visitors, they would never know the good photographer was there. In fact, hiring a good pro would make it "less complicated". They are just trying to save money. But their expectations/hopes are the same - they want good pictures. And they will blame *you* if you fail. I've heard too many stories about friendships ending over bad wedding photos.

You have been warned.

I would suggest you poke around the internet for a forum dedicated to wedding photography and sign up. Read what they have to day. Don't post right away, learn the "temperament" of the site... asking newbe questions might just get you flamed or ignored. Go to good wedding photographer's web sites and look at the images.... decompose them. Understand what makes them good. Learn from the poses & the types of shots they get. Yours won't be that complex, this is your first time, but you can learn from them.

Eric

ps. Good luck!

pps. If you're really ambitious, you might consider finding a local photographer and offering to help on a wedding for free in trade for learning. Some do this, many do not. But if you could do it, it would help a lot. Even free help editing images would help. The trick is you might have to do it some distance from your area, so they aren't "training the future competition."

ppps. You should search for "wedding eric" on this site and read some of my past posts on this topic. I have strong opinions about it (if you haven't guessed. And no, I wasn't involved in a wedding where the photographer sucked), and I've have posted a lot on this subject in the past. I gotta write something up for my web page. I really do. Saying this over and over is a waste of time.
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Old Apr 27, 2006, 12:01 PM   #20
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thanks that was very helpful. I have started to prepare. I got a package with official forms, checklists. I talk with the bride online and meeting next week,they have 100+ guest. She seems very friendly, just hope the groom isn't an ass.

This is a lot of work! I have also found a forum online and am looking through amazon for a book too or maybe the library has one.

Thankfully I have enough time until August. I still find it tricky though doing white shots, for instance white birds, swans, and doves, sometimes have that blue vignetting, not sure how else to fix this besides lowering exposure comp.

and what is a general minimum aperture for lenses inside a church? 2.8? 1.7? would a prime work (but that might require cropping?).)
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