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Old 7th November 2010
j.baker j.baker is offline
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Advice needed: Sisters Wedding

HELP.

I have been asked to photo my sisters upcoming wedding and I need some advice other than donít do it

I mean how could I say NO to my little sister.

Itís a registry office in Salford and they only allow one person to take photos during specific point during the ceremony. Afterwards is not a problem.

She, and her future husband, do not have any idea on what photos they want. She said that she was not "bothered" on the shots.

Can anyone help me on what shots to get.

My kit list is in my signature below, although I should have the E5 by then.
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Old 7th November 2010
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Re: Advice needed: Sisters Wedding

Sounds like E30, 12-60 and FL50 bounced from ceiling for the indoors shots. I guess that is the signing of register really. Do they do exchange of rings at a Registry Office? I guess they do, so that would look good as well.

Outside, maybe the same gear but it will be a scrum of other camera wielding guests :-) Later - usual family group shots, pictures of guests with drinks (not much to be shot once they start eating), pictures of speeches, cutting the cake. Try to get the "girls all looking at the ring finger" shot.

Take a laptop and do an instant slide show on a side tabe at the reception, therefore shoot in raw+jpeg so you can show the jpegs as roughs....

There... that's my 2p :-)

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Old 7th November 2010
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Re: Advice needed: Sisters Wedding

Great news John, well done. You are certainly not going to have any problem with the kit

I'd use the 35-100mm and 14-35mm for the shots inside (which I think are the ones you are asking about??). Try shots wide open for better bokeh and separation of the B&G from their surroundings. I'd try to get the usual formal ones such as a few of them both signing the (false) register, hubby stood up over shoulder of bride etc. Try for some candid ones of them looking at each other lovingly during the ceremony. When they are holding hands perhaps...?

You may even get away without flash.

Outside is easier as it's the usual suite of wedding shots.
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Old 7th November 2010
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Re: Advice needed: Sisters Wedding

Re the outside shots. For the full group shot, start with that one then peel away guests til you get down to the bride and groom. And bear in mind it might piddle down so the outside shots may become inside shots.

Oh and rather you than me
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Old 7th November 2010
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Re: Advice needed: Sisters Wedding

This one is genious if the ceiling isn't too high!!
http://www.morrisphoto.co.uk/Product...oryid~266.html
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Old 7th November 2010
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Re: Advice needed: Sisters Wedding

As the bride is usually the last to arrive and if the others arrive earlier shots to try and get before the ceremony ...groom and best man, bridesmaids (if any), if not possible do them after the ceremony.

Shot of bride getting out of car/limo and walking to registry office with her father.

Inside whatever is allowed, signing register,exchanging rings etc.

After and outside B&G exiting the Registry Office building and the confetti throwing, bride portraits, bride and groom, bride & groom and bridesmaids (watch your backgrounds for these ones. Then the obligratory family shots B & G her parents, B&G his parents, both parents, group shots and has many candid moments as you can manage, that should about cover it and good luck.
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Old 7th November 2010
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Re: Advice needed: Sisters Wedding

I did my first wedding in September.
The bride & groom wanted 'informal'.
The ceremony was humanist.
Very hard going for 2 hours.
I used my E-3 with 12-60 and FL50R.
Took just over 200 Raw+jpeg from which I selected 80 to work on.
They are happy with the results. They didn't want an album but I did do 7x5 prints as they always look far better than a screen shot. I also gave them a CD with adjusted jpegs & 3 CDs with Tiffs.

Generally try to shoot slight telephoto (70mm equiv.) as wide can make people look weird.
Get in close, cut out extraneous but make sure you don't cut off the tops of heads, the sides of people. You can shoot people down to the waist or knees but a full body shot also permits comments on the shoes.
Keep looking for fun shots, lapses of attention, etc. Children always work well.
Make sure you get the flowers, posies, dresses, rings, holding hands, looking lovingly into each others eyes, signing the register, drinks, dance and so on.

Charge all your batteries.
Have all your cards empty & working.
Take a spare camera and flash. (I had an E-500 and FL50, I needed the FL50)
Spare batteries for the flash.

I checked out the venue beforehand and sussed out a couple of possible nearby (important) locations for a set of outdoor pictures. (weather permitting) Also look at the venues for things on walls that 'grow' out of the back of people's heads.

It may be worth agreeing with the couple a time when you go 'off duty' as otherwise you will have no fun.

Download and backup as soon as possible. Try to set aside a day within 3 days to select and work on what you take & present something within a week. (unless they are away on honeymoon for a fortnight when you get a bit more time.

Above all have fun.
Duncan
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Old 7th November 2010
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Re: Advice needed: Sisters Wedding

Hi John, I was the nominated photographer for a friends wedding, never done it before so was a bit worried re: "the responsibility" despite being assured all they wanted were some snaps.
I would suggest: work out the shots you want to take, some suggestions have been made here in this thread. I researched the internet.
Secondly, go to the registry office and scan were the wedding will take place. See if you can meet the registrar or other official, they can guide you to what other photographers have done i.e positions they took in the room for different shots. The registrar even advised that after the ceremony all guests leave the room and congregate outside waiting for the happy couple to come out through the main doors, at which the doors are closed for a backdrop to taking pics of the couple. I also found that the guests realised I was the photographer and had priority so to speak and whilst they took pics, they tried to keep out my way.
I also took pics of guests as they arrived at the reg. office.
Above all relax and enjoy the day
Hope this helps
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Old 7th November 2010
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Re: Advice needed: Sisters Wedding

One thing I simply must add here, and it might cause you to raise an eyebrow... but take it or leave it, is up to you, John.

Though I haven't done many weddings... I've seen and heard it discussed countless times - enough to know that regardless of family or friend asking you to do a wedding and them making comments before the wedding such as, 'aaah, don't worry, we only want a few general pics' in an attempt to cajole you into doing it for them... it can (or is highly probable) to turn around and bite you very hard in the bum if you're not careful.

OK, it's family I appreciate that, but it is always after the wedding, when the food has gone, the guests have gone, the honeymoon has been and gone, that a husband and wife are sat at home thinking about the day... and perhaps regretting... they didn't get a photographer in for their wedding, or... that they didn't ask their brother/uncle/aunt who did as instructed, to get more shots than they originally requested. Apart from themselves, and their memories... photographs and video are the only record of the day, and for any couple who says... "oh, we're not bothered, we only want a few snaps, don't worry", or "we don't want a pro" is then that they would have reconsidered their pre-wedding request.

Now in your case John, I know you are fine with your sister, you will be fine with the kit you have, and will be equally fine with getting the shots' but I'd strongly advise getting more than just a few shots, and significantly over-compensating for the "we're not bothered" comment, because your Sister WILL regret saying that... but only after the fact. And then it sometimes becomes a problem.

If you're going to do it, take it as seriously as if you were the pro on the day of another persons wedding who you don't know - which knowing you as I do, I know you will. Get all the shots generally taken at weddings, plus some.

Plus some.

Plus some.

Get my drift?
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Old 7th November 2010
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Re: Advice needed: Sisters Wedding

I agree with all of the comments above

my 2p is as follows

When you are taking formal groups everyone will be looking at you. Getting someone else standing 45 degrees from the group and you and looking for 3/4 profiles can get some really nice pictures esp with things like bride and bridesmades (head shots if they are similar height if not go for full length.

Once the formal is our of the way ditch the wider lens for a while and put on something longer and try for some unspotted closeups - you can get really great ( and awful - you will need to be selective ) expressions which people using the P&S compacts struggle to get.

I agree to shooting Raw+JPG both from the ability to get a show out fast (we had full AV slideshow ready the morning after when we last did one ... beat the pro by 2 weeks !) and having RAW allowed be to be very selective on the processing of the Brides dress (not wanting any burned out detail) and Grooms Grey suit when we came to present some final prints.

I think that was 3p... one last thought.. You probably have loads of embarrasing pics of little sis from over the years.... how a nice montage of them to hand around at the wedding It happened to me at mine and caused a massive amount of laughter

Regards
Andy
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Old 7th November 2010
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Re: Advice needed: Sisters Wedding

Have a designated assistant who will round up all the people who are supposed to be in group shots and make sure they don't head for the bar/pub/cars (depending on the situation!) and will look after your kit!

And as has been said earlier, do the group shots first...
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Old 7th November 2010
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Re: Advice needed: Sisters Wedding

Quote:
OK, it's family I appreciate that, but it is always after the wedding, when the food has gone, the guests have gone, the honeymoon has been and gone, that a husband and wife are sat at home thinking about the day... and perhaps regretting... they didn't get a photographer in for their wedding, or... that they didn't ask their brother/uncle/aunt who did as instructed, to get more shots than they originally requested. Apart from themselves, and their memories... photographs and video are the only record of the day, and for any couple who says... "oh, we're not bothered, we only want a few snaps, don't worry", or "we don't want a pro" is then that they would have reconsidered their pre-wedding request.
I agree. Figure out a battle plan which covers everything to satisfy you. Charge them for the job and make it enough to make it worthwhile for you and make them think that its not 'just a few snaps'. Its not a few snaps, its you putting your skills to a hard test. The fact that most people think that it is a 'few snaps' is testament to the the skills and dedication of photographers generally in trying to do their best.

I think that is enough ranting for one evening. Didn't realise I was so passionate about it.

Duncan
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Old 8th November 2010
j.baker j.baker is offline
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Re: Advice needed: Sisters Wedding

A Big thanks for all the responses.

I have an assistant, my wife.....its just that she does not know it yet....not until after she pays for my E5 will I tell her. Plus she has just got herself a Pen

I was put in an awkward situation. I had already said to my sister that I did not want to do it which was fine, but then she ask could someone else use my kit to take photos of the wedding..........Well that was a big "NO", but said in a polite (well for me) way. So I had to step up.

I am not charging my sister in any way. She is my favourite member of my family. Plus she is stapped for cash (just as everyone is).

I think I have enough kit.

I will have an E5 and E30. I though about leaving a lens on each camera. 14-35 and the 35-100 for general shots, with the 7-14 and 50-200 when needed. I generally shoot in RAW, but I see the advantage of use RAW+JPG. Plus I belive that Adobe do not have E5 RAW support yet.

In my mind the more I plan and think the day though the less chance I have of missing any important shots. The 5 P's come to mind.

I will compile a list of shots she has said that she "Would" like, and some that I think along with what has been suggested here. I will post this later on.
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Old 8th November 2010
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Re: Advice needed: Sisters Wedding

John

I had exactly the same issue this summer. My sister-in-law was having a small ceremony and basically had no money so asked if I could do the photography. Again I initially declined, but then another friend of hers pulled out of doing the photography.

One thing I can say was it was a very stressful day! (not helped by the fact that my FL-50 decided to pack up!)

Preparation is the key and the following I found helped greatly: -

1. Understand the time table for the day (whats happening and when)

2. Put a list "want to get" photos from the day and cross them off thoughout the day so nothing vital is missed.

3. Get to the venue early/get some fill in images in advance. I got around the sister-in-laws early in the morning, got the photos of the rings, boquets, etc while she was having breakfast, I then left my better half with a camera to get some pictures of the bride getting ready. I headed down to the reception venue to get some photos of the flowers in the room, tables decorations, cake, before anyone was there to disturb them.

4. Think about where you will need to be and how you get to different places in the venue, for example how to get from the front of the registry room for the arrival to the back for the departure.

5. Be ready for the unexpected! In my case, a number of key people where late arriving to set up the venue, the reception venue asked that I draw the formal photos out and the bride asked not to do any images of her and the groom alone, only during the formal group photos (and I had found such a nice location to get some images!)

In terms kit for the day, take double of everything! I found having two bodies each with a different lense really helps (I had the 14-35mm on one body and 50mm on the other), I kept away from using the 35-100 due to it's size (the venue was very small). I tried to keep away from using flash during the ceremony not to put the couple off.

Recy the location for the outdoor photos and have an indoor plan as well, just in case the weather is inclement. Take a step or something similar for the group shots if you can't get an elevated position or elevate the guests at the rear of the group shots. Take an umberella (for the bride and groom) if it does take a turn for the worse while your out, or to provide some shading. Think about the location of the sun at the time of the day and the background in preplanning, as in the busle of the day these type of thinks can be easily forgetten.

One thing I found worked really well that I couldn't predict was one of the paige boys took a great interest in my camera and with supervision I got him to take some photos during the day (using my old E510 and kit lens, so not the expensive stuff), people were happy to pose for him (didn't take it too serious) and got some fun images.

Last point, be prepared for things to go very quickly! The ceremony was over in what felt like a flash.

Simon
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Old 8th November 2010
DerekW DerekW is offline
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Re: Advice needed: Sisters Wedding

The role of the assistant - tell her that she is to work with you and to not chat with friends and family. That she is responsible for ensuring that all articles of clothing are neat and not embarrassing. - esp the bride check for straps, wrinkles, dress not hanging correctly - also check for grooms neck tie (if worn), flies done up, pants outside of shirt etc Agree on a set of hand signs as to what youu want her to do - communicating from aprox 15 foot away (for the big group shots) in a noisy area can be a problem. Take a squeaky toy to get peoples attention when you are doing the group shots - it works quite well with dogs as well.

I use a Lumiflash Pocket type bounce device - it gives a nice soft light and ensures a constant reflection independant of the ceiling height.

Take scene setting picures eg place settings on table and glasses and food etc useful if you choose to do a photo book to act as fillers or end papers.

If you can - take a printer and print out a few A4 or larger prints stick them on a mount so that they can be removed and then send the mount and print around using a trusted youngster to get the guests to sign the mount around the print and then present the signed mount and print to the couple. At a later date you can reprint the image after it has been tarted up (levels, curves, removing wrinkles etc etc) and mount it correctly on the mount and give to the happy couple.

Put all the photos on a self print for money web site eg Photobox and get a few bob back for your efforts. Do this very promptly so that people are still feeling good about the event.

By accepting the task you are removing yourself from the wedding as a family member - your are a skilled worker doing a job.
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