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The wedding photographer

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  • The wedding photographer

    I've been asked by someone in my family if I would do their wedding photos for them, as they have been struggling to find a photographer. They know I've never done a wedding before, but they like my work. I've already said that as I've not done a wedding, they wont get a full traditional set of photos if I were to do it and they are fine with that, they just want some photos of their special day.

    Now, do I say yes, and do you good people have any advice as to what photos to take, and what especially to look out for, and is it worth me sticking the camera on Auto and letting the camera work everything out for me.

    So please whatdoido?
    Tracey Jones

    Its a shame that humans dont come with autofocus, like cameras do!

  • #2
    Re: The wedding photographer

    I was in the same position myself last year and in the end I said yes. I was very nervous beforehand but when it came to it I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I was not entirely happy with the shots I took but the couple were delighted with them - remember you're taking the shots for them, not to put in Looking For Perfection on here.

    I wouldn't just put your camera on auto but if you do, keep checking your shots for exposure problems. It also helped me that the couple gave me a list of the photos they wanted and my partner took over the organisation and got everybody ready for the next shot while I was photographing. Lastly, I learned it's a good idea to put the camera on drive mode and take three or four of each photo - then you can ditch the ones where someone blinks/looks away/etc. Oh, and watch for the light changing as the sun moves - that caught me out on a few where I wasn't paying attention and people were half in and half out of the shade.

    Hope this helps
    Paul

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: The wedding photographer

      If you say yes,then you have to be confident enough in your skills to do the job properly. I disagree with Meach in putting the drive in continous,ther is no need for that if you have the confidence. Your aim is to make every shot count,so make sure what you see in the viewfinder is what you actually want.

      What you will need to do is take CONTROL ( in the nicest possible sense of the word ) of the wedding party from start to finish - by that I mean you must see yourself as the pro the day and not someone taking a friends wedding pics as a favour - dud photographs are never forgotten,and also remember guests won't know what you want,they are out to have a good time as they should - so you need to ORGANISE them.

      As for the type of shots, well there are all the standard ones but there are a plethera of books out there on wedding photography. Don't make the mistake of going for 'fancy' shots on a first shoot - stick to the list you are going to prepare in readiness for the day,and take with you - aren't you !! If you have time then look for other shots.

      Sorry if I seem a bit harsh ( I have the bride & groom's interest at heart here ),but take it from someone who has done in excess of 250 weddings.

      Plenty of cards,plenty of batteries, an umbrella( if it rains ),etc,etc. Yip the boot of my car held everything I might need.

      Good Luck. ( you are going to need that G&T by the end of the day )

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: The wedding photographer

        Ah. The dreaded wedding photographs! I have done four (I think) as a favour for friends and family, but never commercially (and never again I might add)

        Yes, for the formal pictures you do need to stay in control, you need a list of the pictures the couple want, ideally you need an assistant who knows the family to help locate missing people. You also need to be a bit pushy to get it all done. I took a spare cards, batteries, a second camera and even a second flash just in case.

        IMHO you don't get good pictures of people when they are eating, so you need to get as many guest pictures as you can between the wedding and the reception. Bear in mind the reception venue want to keep things moving, so they will wheel out drinks and nibbles quite quickly when people arrive, so you need to be quite brisk at that point.

        On two occasions I managed to get to the reception just before the couple arrived (fast car??) so you can grab a shot of the happy couple relaxing on their own ;-)

        Phew. I have come over all nervous just thinking about it... Good luck!

        Pete
        Look, I'm an old man. I shouldn't be expected to put up with this.


        Pete's photoblog Misleading the public since 2010.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: The wedding photographer

          Like Pete I have done 4, and after the last one (1982 OM1/OM2n) I said never again.

          Then I get told I am doing my son's in June this year (how I tried to get out of that) and have now agreed to do another in April as my son is best man and I know the couple are broke.

          I am hoping that the years will have given me the organisation and presence rather than the photographic skills. The single most difficult thing seemed to be crowd control from the occasional nightmare that returns to haunt my slumber In fact I may set up a couple of FL50Rs on stands just to create a control area for the formals!

          Good luck and I look forward to comparing notes...
          E, Pen and OM-D bodies
          43 m43 and legacy glass
          loads of flashes and accessories from all the systems

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: The wedding photographer

            I'm in the same boat as well. My Sister-in-law has asked me to do their photos as they are broke and reluncantly agreed.

            This will be the first time for me and I have given them the appropriate cavets which they understand.

            I've read a few books now and as highlighted above I think preparation, taking control on the day and ensuring you have spares are the key.

            In forums like this and with people who are passionate about their photography we end up being highly critical about our hobby/work. To the common person they do not always know what to look for in a good/bad image. That is not to say you should try your best!

            Simon

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: The wedding photographer

              Simon - if you want to borrow any gear let me know. I'm a bit closer than Brian.
              E, Pen and OM-D bodies
              43 m43 and legacy glass
              loads of flashes and accessories from all the systems

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: The wedding photographer

                Could be the ideal time to rent the FL50 heavy duty battery pack from Ian's "Oly rentals R Us" - get it a few days early to ensure that you can get familiar with it.

                A populist avtivity is to take a printer and laptop along to the wedding and print out a few A4 images, stick them on some mounts and get the youngsters to go round the guests collecting signatures and good will messages.

                If you use a simple sticky tape to stick the print to the mount you can always remove the quick and dirty print with a super version of the print later.

                An even more populist thing to do is if there is to be follow on activities where a few hundred of the couple's closest friends are invited along to celebrate, you use a projector to project from the lap top to show the events of the day.

                You could also rent a dye sub printer and sell prints at the "post event celebration" of the day - however you will need some skilled support.
                This space for rent

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: The wedding photographer

                  Originally posted by photo_owl View Post
                  Like Pete I have done 4, and after the last one (1982 OM1/OM2n) I said never again.

                  Then I get told I am doing my son's in June this year (how I tried to get out of that) and have now agreed to do another in April as my son is best man and I know the couple are broke.

                  I am hoping that the years will have given me the organisation and presence rather than the photographic skills. The single most difficult thing seemed to be crowd control from the occasional nightmare that returns to haunt my slumber In fact I may set up a couple of FL50Rs on stands just to create a control area for the formals!

                  Good luck and I look forward to comparing notes...
                  I was at a wedding (another photojournalist!) just before Christmas and his photographer used a room at the venue as a temporary indoor studio, with a couple of softboxes on tall stands. I haven't seen the results yet, but the set up looked good. I can imaging a couple of FL50Rs with brollies doing a decent job.

                  Ian
                  Founder and editor of:
                  Olympus UK E-System User Group (http://e-group.uk.net)
                  Four Thirds User (http://fourthirds-user.com)
                  Digital Photography Now (http://dpnow.com)
                  Olympus camera, lens, and accessory hire (http://e-group.uk.net/hire)

                  Twitter: www.twitter.com/ian_burley
                  Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/dpnow/
                  Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/ianburley/
                  NEW: My personal BLOG ianburley.com
                  sigpic

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: The wedding photographer

                    Photo owl, thanks for the kind offer I may take you up on it, although I have a fairly extensive collection of kit now, including a spare body.

                    It would be interesting to get some views on the best lenses to use. Obviously space and conditions of the exact location will have an impact, but I was generally thinking of using 50mm f2 where possible on one body and the 14-54mm on the other. Maybe switching to the 50-200mm for the cermony if I can't get that close.

                    I did think about renting the 35-100 f2 from Ian, but it's a huge beast and maybe a little OTT, although an ideal range.


                    Derek, I like the idea of getting everyone to sign/good wishes a photo. It these little bite of wisdom that will hopefully make the day really special for them.

                    Ian, the idea of having a mini studio may just work for me, the location of the wedding is at a venue that in my oppinion is not very attractive (just a plain hotel with no real grounds), if I could find a corner of area to setup something it could turn the photos around (also give the opportunity for other family photos at the time, as they don't all get together often).

                    Simon

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: The wedding photographer

                      Good luck Tracey!.................................that`s all i`m going to say....

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: The wedding photographer

                        Originally posted by photo_owl View Post
                        Like Pete I have done 4, and after the last one (1982 OM1/OM2n) I said never again.

                        Then I get told I am doing my son's in June this year (how I tried to get out of that) and have now agreed to do another in April as my son is best man and I know the couple are broke.

                        I am hoping that the years will have given me the organisation and presence rather than the photographic skills. The single most difficult thing seemed to be crowd control from the occasional nightmare that returns to haunt my slumber In fact I may set up a couple of FL50Rs on stands just to create a control area for the formals!

                        Good luck and I look forward to comparing notes...
                        How you gonna do that? Your son's.
                        Seriously, will you not be required in quite a few shots?
                        I have a portable studio if you want to borrow it, let me know.
                        sigpicDave

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: The wedding photographer

                          I have done a few weddings in a past life. Did two last year and it was scary. Digital don't make it any easier.
                          When I used film I would take around 45-60 (15 on 120) shots and produce an album of 30 prints say. These days couples are bombarded with 100's of images to choose from. I provided 75 images for each wedding I did last year and both couples were happy.
                          So, obviously speak to the couple beforehand. Ask what pics they want, make a list, you will forget if not. Ask about the best man, does he know everyone, he is the person supposed to help with the group shots. If he doesn't ask who does and use them to help. Take an assistant if you can, I used my wife, but tell them what is expected of them, to be alert, to be a gofer.
                          Don't go overboard with shots, you will only make work for yourself weeding out the duplicates.
                          Check out the venue beforehand for locations, check sun position if outside, have sun behind the couple when shooting.
                          Use a reflector when shooting white dress/ dark suit to help control contrast. Remember, it is only photographers who know about burnt out highlights:-)
                          Re kit, a spar body and lens, could be W/A or tele for the spare. I used 12-60 for most of my shots, 7-14 for some. Two flashes, although I used flash rarely, use the light available and a tripod. It may seem old fashioned but the results are far superior unless you are a whizz with flash, I'm not. Tripod, lots of cards, batteries Etc.
                          A small pair of steps from B & Q, invaluable for gaining a bit of height for the large group shot.
                          Do that first, big group, and work down to bride & groom. That way you will get most of the guests. If you start with B & G you will find that a lot of the guests will be missing for the group shot.
                          Jack mentioned umbrellas, take at least two. I got one couple to hold a white flash brolly as they were sitting on a park bench, sun behind, the brolly helped to diffuse the harsh light. It was a close up.
                          That's all for now, more to come if I think it important enough.
                          Lastly, if you are doing for a relative, much more fun, so enjoy it!
                          sigpicDave

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: The wedding photographer

                            I have only done two weddings. My sister in law in 1978 with my OM10, and my son's last year.

                            OK, I cheated with my son's wedding - I paid for a professional photographer, but did all the informal shots myself (E510+FL36+Sigma 18-50EX). As it turned out, I have ended up having about 400 prints made of my shots, the 'Pro' produced the official album and only two 6x8s that I know of. Most people seemed to prefer the informal ones.

                            However I did not pick the best locations, like avoiding full sun - a lot of the guests were blessed with bald heads and a beautiful burnt out reflection of the sun thereon!
                            Camera shake became an increasing problem as the day wore on - hic!*







                            Hope everything goes flawlessly.

                            Ken

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: The wedding photographer

                              in addition to the 'Wedding Photographer" a friend of ours, a news photographer who did it as a favor, we gathered a few P&Ss and placed them in the hands of nieces and nephews, some of the "through a childs eyes" shots were brilliant

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