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Old Aug 10, 2009, 9:55 AM   #1
conor
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Default Wedding photography - HELP!!! :)

Alright, I swore I'd never do this to myself, but a desperate friend (and his wife to be) have convinced me to shoot their wedding reception.

I met them yesterday on location, at the same time of day (the bride walks down the aisle at 4:15 local time) so I could get a feel for the light. The bride will be wearing black/silver, the groom black. Unfortunately I forgot to ask about the bridesmaids dresses.

The wedding party is 12 (bride, groom, 4 groomsmen, 4 bridesmaids) plus all four parents will be there.... So, a lot of pictures to be taken... and I can't remember the last time I was this nervous about anything...

Ok, these are a few shots of the location, simply resized, they're all ISO200, between f3.5 and f8, 1/125s and 1/500s, no flash....


This is the 'aisle', that's the couple, roughly where they'll be standing:


These are shots to the left and right respectively:
http://www.burningdeep.com/~phreak/d...on/02.left.JPG
http://www.burningdeep.com/~phreak/d...n/03.right.JPG

two shots of the seating area:
http://www.burningdeep.com/~phreak/d.../04.inside.JPG
http://www.burningdeep.com/~phreak/d.../05.inside.JPG

two of a small seating area (picture location?)

http://www.burningdeep.com/~phreak/d...on/11.left.JPG

and a handful of the garden

http://www.burningdeep.com/~phreak/d.../21.garden.JPG
http://www.burningdeep.com/~phreak/d.../22.garden.JPG
http://www.burningdeep.com/~phreak/d.../23.garden.JPG
http://www.burningdeep.com/~phreak/d.../24.garden.JPG
http://www.burningdeep.com/~phreak/d.../25.garden.JPG


To avoid huge load-times on this page, i tried to keep embedded images to a minimum, the images are all numbered if you want to refer to any of them.

Anyone got any hints? any suggestions on poses? do's and dont's? I want to keep this as simple as possible so I have a hope at getting decent results.

Should I shoot raw?
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Old Aug 10, 2009, 2:48 PM   #2
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For the outdoor shots, do you plan on using a circular polarizing filter?

Maybe one of the advanced shooters will chime in on how appropriate or inappropriate it might be to use that kind of filter.

My question is about getting the background in the photographs not to appear hazy.

Were these test shots done with a CPF or not?

Thanks!

FP
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Old Aug 10, 2009, 3:07 PM   #3
conor
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These were shot with only a UV(0) filter. (I do have a CPL filter for this lens available if I need it)
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Old Aug 10, 2009, 8:47 PM   #4
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In your first shot, there is a distinct shadow across the groom's face. You will have to watch for things like this (to add to to your anxiety). If the weather is good, yyou will also be dealing (as in your photos here) with a lot of contrast, which makes it pretty easy to blow highlights (black and white clothing and outdoor weddings, were designed to frustrate photographers - pray for clouds). I would recommend shooting Raw, and bracketing (for the belt and suspenders effect).
A polarizing filter is going to increase contrast, and lose you about a stop of light, so if you have bright sunshine, you may want to skip it.
Good luck, and if your friends are good friends, they will understand if all is not perfect.

brian
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Old Aug 10, 2009, 9:20 PM   #5
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That's a nice location you have there...

In the 1st picture as VTPhotog said, you have to watch out for the shadows.. This thing is an impromptu thing as even though you'll be shooting at the same time at the same position on the actual day, the lighting situation can be very different.. So you'll have to be on your toes for that..

Are you allowed to use flash for this kind of ceremony. In my country (Malaysia) and the type of weddings I shoot (Malay Community weddings), we are allowed to use flash or even go in close to the couple being married.. As I recall in your country, most of the time you are not allowed to use flash for "Church Ceremonies" but this being outdoors maybe it's different?? Try asking the person marrying the couple on that day for what are his preferred DO's and DON'Ts...

If it's allowed, use flash to fill in the shadows..

The sitting area and the garden area can be used for the informals / poses /etc..

About the background and such.. Try to keep it less cluttered as possible but being a wedding, for the formal parts, you practically have no say in the positioning of the couple so that's a compromise you'll have to make and accept...

Also, remember that the couple is the most important thing / persons of the event.. Don't keep on thinking about keeping the background colours / lighting / exposure in check that you forget about the couple.. In certain cases, it's better to have a blown out background than to lose "the moment", the details in the faces of the couple or have them in shadow...

Oh BTW, keep the shooting mode to continuous (you can still single shoot the frame by a short press) so you can get those sudden facial expressions which are more priceless than the posed shots..

Sorry for my long winded suggestions... I seem to have this problem of talking a lot.. Good luck for your shoot.. hopefully all goes well for you...
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Old Aug 11, 2009, 9:05 AM   #6
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First, thanks everyone for their suggestions so far. I've got a lot to think about (including how on earth I got convinced to do this)

Yes, I am welcome to use a flash, though at the actual ceremony I likely won't be able to get within 35 feet.

Does anyone have any more suggestions?
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Old Aug 12, 2009, 9:41 AM   #7
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Never done a wedding myself (purely amateur here), but I do know one thing for sure (besides what everyone above mentioned) and that is the pictures which the couple will probably cherrish the most are the natural ones. The ones where they are naturally smiling and being themselves. Yes they will still want the standard posing pics always done at weddings, but it's the others that they will laugh and smile about when showing their friends. One such example would be the bride feeding the groom a piece of their wedding cake. I've seen some wedding photographers ask the couple to pose while they feed each other a piece of the wedding cake. This actually will make most people (couple being married) feel self conscious while they feed each other and they end up a lot of the time with fake smiles and expressions. If you have to ask them to pose while doing this, wait unitl they do it the first time and then ask them to pose for a pic. I wouldn't even tell them I want them to pose for such a shot until after they actually fed each other the piece of cake the first time. This was just purely an example that's all (coming from an amateur too. So take that into account).

Last edited by Bayoublaster400; Aug 12, 2009 at 10:05 AM.
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Old Aug 12, 2009, 10:43 AM   #8
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Bayoublaster: Thanks for your input. I believe the groom's father is shooting the reception, he's a retired pro. I got dragged into doing the ceremony because he has to take part in the actual wedding in some way. I'm responsible for pictures during the ceremony, and group shots in the garden immediately afterwards.

when you said "yes they will still want the standard posing pics always done at weddings", unfortunately, I've never seen wedding pictures of more than the bride and groom so I'm not even sure what these "standard" pictures are...
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Old Aug 12, 2009, 9:05 PM   #9
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Here'a a quick list. You'll probably recognize most of them. Found this on a web search. I can't take credit for it by no means. Just trying to help out. Good luck.

Posed group portraits
_ Bride alone
_ Bride and groom
_ Bride and bridesmaids
_ Entire wedding party
_ Groom and groomsmen
_ Couple and minister
_ Couple and her parents
_ Couple and her family
_ Couple and his family
_ Couple and his parents
Others
_ Close-up of bridal bouquet with rings on hands
_ Couple silhouetted by stained glass windows or
candles
_ Portrait of couple illuminated by light from
stained glass windows


Before ceremony
_ Bride & attendants in dressing room
_ Bride adjusting garter
_ Bride and her mother
_ Bride and flower girl
_ Groom and groomsmen
The ceremony
_ Bridesmaids walking up the aisle
_ Ring boy and girl walking up the aisle
_ Bride and her father walking up the aisle
_ Father lifting the brides veil up
_ Placing of rings on fingers
_ Couple kissing
_ Bride and groom walking down aisle
Reception
_A few shots of the receiving line
_ Cutting of the cake
_ Sharing the first piece of cake
_ Couple toasting
_ A few shot of the couple greeting guests
_ Throwing of the bouquet
_ Guests throwing rice as couple leaves
_ Couple in the decorated car



Last edited by Bayoublaster400; Aug 12, 2009 at 9:15 PM.
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Old Aug 12, 2009, 9:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by conor View Post
Bayoublaster: Thanks for your input. I believe the groom's father is shooting the reception, he's a retired pro. I got dragged into doing the ceremony because he has to take part in the actual wedding in some way. I'm responsible for pictures during the ceremony, and group shots in the garden immediately afterwards.

when you said "yes they will still want the standard posing pics always done at weddings", unfortunately, I've never seen wedding pictures of more than the bride and groom so I'm not even sure what these "standard" pictures are...
Talk to the bride. Ask her what she wants for photos. Usually, the posed shots are of bride alone, groom alone, B&G with bouquet,(portrait shots) Bride and bridesmaids, Groom and groomsmen, bride with her parents, groom with his, B&G with both sets of parents, whole wedding party. These would be the minimum, usually done just before or just after the ceremony.
During the ceremony, you need to have the bride at the beginning of walk down the aisle, walking with father (or whoever is giving her away) ((I love that phrase- )), groom placing ring (and vice-versa if it's a double ring ceremony) on hand, and of course, the kiss. Again, these are minimum. But remember, first and foremost, it is her day, and you should have a definite list of what she wants, and make that your priority. Since you are sharing duties with the groom's father, coordinate with him as to which of the formal type pictures each of you will shoot.

brian
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