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  #1  
Old 4th April 2014
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System for weddings and other work?

I've just accepted a request to cover a wedding for a friend of my daughter.
I've had a first meeting and we've agreed to plan properly and she wants full coverage from getting ready at home through to the evening.
The wedding is not until September 2015 so lots of time to plan ahead.
I'm also considering developing more photographic work and reducing my current Management System work - I'd do babies, portraits, commercial, pets and weddings.

My question is what system set up would be best....I'm concerned that the OM-Ds don't have the luxury of two card slots and so back up has to be by using two bodies or more (which almost makes me consider investing in a dSLR again...but I'm a big convert to m43 and I just don't want the bulk).

What would you choose for a set up, bodies, lenses, flash?
I know its a big question but I need opinions please......
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Old 4th April 2014
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Re: System for weddings and other work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by brianvickers View Post
I've just accepted a request to cover a wedding for a friend of my daughter.
I've had a first meeting and we've agreed to plan properly and she wants full coverage from getting ready at home through to the evening.
The wedding is not until September 2015 so lots of time to plan ahead.
I'm also considering developing more photographic work and reducing my current Management System work - I'd do babies, portraits, commercial, pets and weddings.

My question is what system set up would be best....I'm concerned that the OM-Ds don't have the luxury of two card slots and so back up has to be by using two bodies or more (which almost makes me consider investing in a dSLR again...but I'm a big convert to m43 and I just don't want the bulk).

What would you choose for a set up, bodies, lenses, flash?
I know its a big question but I need opinions please......

Hi Brian,

If you don't want the bulk of a dSLR system and as you say are "a big convert to m43" then go with the m43 you have. I would not worry too much about 'twin card slots", as you say just have two bodies with you on the day. Of FAR MORE importance/concern will be ensuring you have correct and adequate insurance in place, I cannot stress this enough.

Whilst the insurance does not take away the Bride & Grooms heartache in the unlikely event of things going wrong it will make sure that you are not left high and dry and that the Bride & Groom can be adequately compensated .

So, two bodies and two each of the lenses you plan to use, even if this means hiring some of those off for example this forums hire service. Several SD cards, already formatted and ready to go plus several fully charged batteries and you should be fine, just don't forget that insurance cover

Have fun.

Simon
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Old 4th April 2014
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Re: System for weddings and other work?

Two card slots won't help if you have body or lens issues.
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Old 4th April 2014
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Re: System for weddings and other work?

Agree with the above regarding two of everything I'd be inclined to have 3 bodies just in case if one fails many fully charged batteries and lots of fast SD cards. You might find the help of an assistant on the day invaluable as they can pass equipment to you ready primed to go. Oh most important pay a visit to the venue in advance so you know the layout etc.
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Old 5th April 2014
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Re: System for weddings and other work?

Hi Brian... as you've seen I recently did my first wedding for a close friend... it was definitely an experience!

You've certainly started on the right foot by discussing everything with them now... you can never tell what is going to happen on the day (for instance the place where I was planning to do the formal shots was blocked off with bollards and fences! ). Even though I had the list I still missed some ideas and added some new ones in as I went.

Have you spoken to the vicar as to how much photography is allowed within the church (assuming it's a church service!)... where you can stand might influence your choice of focal length...

I picked up my GX1 specifically to use as a backup and they're pretty cheap for what they offer (plus I wanted to try out a Lumix camera as I've never had one before).

I took my EP3, GX1 (both with spare batteries and chargers... the venue allowed me to recharge batteries while we were there) and left the E1 in the car... I primarily used the 20mm 1.7 and 45mm 1.8 but I also have the 14-54mm which acted as a backup just-in-case either lens failed. I also swapped the lenses from one body to the other part way through the ceremony, again just-in-case either camera or card failed.

Obviously an UWA lens is useful for large groups and remember some sort of macro for shots of the rings...

I've just recently started playing with LED lights instead of a flash, not a dedicated photography one but I picked one up at ASDA for 6 which I used as a bit of a fill in.

Have you considered shooting JPG+RAW, then if the RAW file is corrupt you might get access to the JPG and vice-versa... I know it's not like having 2 cards but all redundancy helps.

Also really useful is getting one of the ushers on-board who knows everyone and can get people lined up for the next shot while take the current one... people can get bored pretty quickly so you need to work through the formal shots quickly! My wife was also invaluable acting as assistant as she did some group shots while I was shooting some arty-farty ones of the venue, she also shot the first dance as I was playing guitar for that...

Also make sure you copy the files onto multiple drives when you get home too!
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  #6  
Old 5th April 2014
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Re: System for weddings and other work?

An E-PL5 is a great second body. It can work very well in situations where you don't want to stand out as "The Photographer" but still produce excellent results.
At the moment they are very good Value for Money.

As wedding photography is a fairly slow shot rate, the transfer of images via WiFi can work just as well for "backup". I can typically download a RAW file in 25 seconds, with jpgs being virtually instant.
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Last edited by Graham_of_Rainham; 5th April 2014 at 02:38 PM. Reason: WiFi thought added
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Old 5th April 2014
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Re: System for weddings and other work?

Take "stage manager" with you to arrange the group shots, arrange clothing ensuring that straps etc do not show, control the crowds etc.
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Old 6th April 2014
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Re: System for weddings and other work?

I have been shooting weddings for a lot of years now - I added the OMD EM5 last year to see how it would work - was fine once you learn controls and have switched fully to just M43 for the last couple of weddings - Yesterdays was shot with the 17mm 25 1.4 panasonic and 12-40 only on 2 omd e-m1

There are situations you have to be prepared for - I need to learn more of the flash system and need to make my own set of function key mappings but can deliver a perfectly good set of results.

Regarding the wedding - Taking pictures is the easy part - The job you must do is ensure the day runs to schedule

You must speak to registrars or vicar to find out what is allowed (If registrars will probably not be allowed to photograph actual signing - don't even try - will also be asked to stand in one spot) try to stand on grooms side so you can see brides face if at front.

You MUST - get the couple to be ready for the meal at the time agreed with venue -- If you are behind you may have to cut short your plans and get pictures later - have taken the couple out after dessert before coffee in the past to do the couple shots where timings have gone wrong.

Tim
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Old 6th April 2014
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Re: System for weddings and other work?

Be sure you can do bounce flash well. Cutting the cake and signing the register look much better providing there is a white ceiling or wall.

If you can do the "photography" blindfolded, it leaves you free to concentrate on the main task. Which getting the right people into each shot and posing them nicely.
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Old 18th June 2015
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Re: System for weddings and other work?

Hi Brian, I did a wedding with an EM5 and EM1 last year and had no problem with 80% of the day. I did the getting ready, ceremony, toasting the bride and groom, reception and a disco on the night. It was the latter that was the challenge as there was very little light.

I used the 17mm f1.8, 75mm f1.8, 12-40mm f2.8 at different points and a pair of FL600r flash units on and off camera.

I had fast 32gbite SD cards in each camera a spare and two extra batteries. I took about 1500 images and drilled these down to 200 best images that formed a narrative of the day. I had them printed into apple books with copies of the speeches and the odd bit of poetry.

To say I was nervous would be an understatement, thankfully every one was happy. Would I do it again, probably not. I think wedding photographers earn their keep!

Best wishes
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Old 19th June 2015
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Re: System for weddings and other work?

I'm due to shoot a 'family' wedding on the 1st August; not being a 'people' photographer I've tried to do as much prep as possible. I have met with the vicar, had a walk through where I can stand, checked the lighting etc.

I would advocate looking at insurance...although to be fair I hadn't checked this out after being asked to to shoot their wedding. Four weeks ago I caught my shoelace on a branch whilst doing bluebell photography, fell and broke my arm. I have just had the plaster removed two weeks early because I need to use my arm however it is weak, painful and I have no flexibility in my wrist. I'm hoping with physio I will have overcome this by the wedding and using two cameras will not be an issue but the Dr's who have treated me so far do not think I will be driving by then. I never in a million years thought this would happen to me and it is stressful as I still have to do this wedding and not ruin their day. I'm not sure whether having insurance as a non professional would have been possible but if it had and I had taken it out, I wouldn't be stressing now!

That said I'm planning on using the 12-40 on my EM-5 and the 50-200 on my EM-1. I will also have the FL50r as a back up, a reflector, 6 batteries and the 45mm and 25mm with me as they are small and lightweight. That's the plan anyway!

I already know that the church is small and fairly dark but it has a balcony which gives me a great overview of the inside. I know where I can move, the spots the vicar thinks are good...or at least where I will be out of his way! I know he doesn't mind flash although I don't plan to use it except in the poky little room where they sign the register, he doesn't mind confetti and to make sure I keep him out of the photos I'm also lucky in that I can do a lot of the reportage photography the day before; the ring, shoes, dress, flowers, reception venue etc so I have less to worry about on the day itself.

So I would reiterate getting insurance, speaking to the vicar, checking out all the venues and getting the best man on board to help you organise various shots. Oh and good luck!
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Old 19th June 2015
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Re: System for weddings and other work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anne View Post
I'm due to shoot a 'family' wedding on the 1st August; not being a 'people' photographer I've tried to do as much prep as possible. I have met with the vicar, had a walk through where I can stand, checked the lighting etc.

I would advocate looking at insurance...although to be fair I hadn't checked this out after being asked to to shoot their wedding. Four weeks ago I caught my shoelace on a branch whilst doing bluebell photography, fell and broke my arm. I have just had the plaster removed two weeks early because I need to use my arm however it is weak, painful and I have no flexibility in my wrist. I'm hoping with physio I will have overcome this by the wedding and using two cameras will not be an issue but the Dr's who have treated me so far do not think I will be driving by then. I never in a million years thought this would happen to me and it is stressful as I still have to do this wedding and not ruin their day. I'm not sure whether having insurance as a non professional would have been possible but if it had and I had taken it out, I wouldn't be stressing now!

That said I'm planning on using the 12-40 on my EM-5 and the 50-200 on my EM-1. I will also have the FL50r as a back up, a reflector, 6 batteries and the 45mm and 25mm with me as they are small and lightweight. That's the plan anyway!

I already know that the church is small and fairly dark but it has a balcony which gives me a great overview of the inside. I know where I can move, the spots the vicar thinks are good...or at least where I will be out of his way! I know he doesn't mind flash although I don't plan to use it except in the poky little room where they sign the register, he doesn't mind confetti and to make sure I keep him out of the photos I'm also lucky in that I can do a lot of the reportage photography the day before; the ring, shoes, dress, flowers, reception venue etc so I have less to worry about on the day itself.

So I would reiterate getting insurance, speaking to the vicar, checking out all the venues and getting the best man on board to help you organise various shots. Oh and good luck!
Sorry to hear this, Anne, your accident could hardly have happened at a worse time. Have you considered enlisting the help of a second shooter as your "insurance," possibly a keen amateur who would be glad of the experience? But hopefully you will make a good recovery by 1st August. Good luck!
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Old 20th June 2015
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Re: System for weddings and other work?

Thanks John; unfortunately it's not a paid job so I can hardly call anyone else in to help out. Hopefully my daughter will come up for the day and drive me between venues as the bride lives an hour away from my sister, the church is 1/2 hour from her and the reception another 1/2 hour from there! It is a logistical nightmare to be in all three places but it's me or nothing...so no pressure there

Anyway, I am doing lots of physio myself to get some flexibility back into the wrist and I've still got over a month until I need to drive up there...I just wish it was local and not a three hour drive.
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Old 20th June 2015
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Re: System for weddings and other work?

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Originally Posted by Anne View Post
Thanks John; unfortunately it's not a paid job so I can hardly call anyone else in to help out. Hopefully my daughter will come up for the day and drive me between venues as the bride lives an hour away from my sister, the church is 1/2 hour from her and the reception another 1/2 hour from there! It is a logistical nightmare to be in all three places but it's me or nothing...so no pressure there

Anyway, I am doing lots of physio myself to get some flexibility back into the wrist and I've still got over a month until I need to drive up there...I just wish it was local and not a three hour drive.
I'm sure that having your daughter to drive you between locations will be a big help and your arm may heal better than you expect during the next month. Good luck!
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