Gear, Preparations and Practicing for wedding.

Discussion in 'Portrait' started by alaios, Aug 26, 2013.

  1. alaios

    alaios TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2013
    Dear all,
    three weeks from now some friends will be getting married in a church in cyprus. You can find how the church looks outside here (had problems to attach the shot here)


    and a bit on the inside. Nick cyprus also promised to dig out :p more photos on the indoor of the church.

    My friends told me that the audience would be sitting in a distance of 5 to 10 meters distant from them. I would like to ask your help so
    1. gather the right gear you think I will use. You can see my current gear on the signature of this post
    2. help me practice a bit before.

    1a. Regarding the lenses actually I wanted to have with me my 135mm to be able from a distance of 10 meters take some nice portraits of the couple. My fastest lens is 2.8 and give then 135mm focal length, I will need a minimum of 250 shutter speed to reduce the shaky shots. That would of course increase and get the iso from 1600 but most possibly to 3200. The good news is that there will be also video camera in the church, and if I know correctly these people install extra lighting which might reduce my iso.. but not sure how much that would be.

    1b. The 135 though is a bit too short and will not allow me to take a bit also of the settings... So then I would like to try my Minolta 50mm and if needed zoom I can of course crop bit later.

    1c. One more alternative I was thinking is to buy a tokina 100 2.8 and not use the 135mm at all. That would allow me to reduce the shutter speed and also reduce the total iso used. The 100mm might also allow me to keep using more this lens and not even swap to 50mm lens.

    1d. I was also thinking to use a bit the 16mm with the wide angle lens converter and try some outdoor wide shots (not sure how to avoid too much the people distortion)

    1e. I am also not sure and need recommendation with which lens I should try to shoot outdoors before the bride arrives and also her arrival. Probably the kit zoom lens 1855 might be good candidate here.

    1f. A lens bag would be handy so to make my lens swapping easier.

    2. I was thinking to go to the first church in my neighborhood and try some shots with both lenses and see how stable my hands can be, especially when lifting camera over shoulders.

    I would like to ask you to spend some time discussing the issue. I promise this time to not be kind :p and keep asking questions.
    This coffee round on me

  2. Mathieu Decodts

    Mathieu Decodts TalkEmount Veteran

    Aug 5, 2013
    The last wedding I shot professionally with my nex 5n was shot with a sigma 30mm f2.8 and sigma 60mm f2.8 and the kit lens. In my opinion the lenses you are thinking of are way to long because weddings are classic low light events. You will need all the light you can get. I always have a 1.4 50mm on hand too just in case and regularly use it at receptions when the disco and drinking kick off :) (attached pic at iso 400 or so is from a chrome nose canon fd 50mm f1.4) . You can go up and up in the iso but the problem with that is it extremely likely they will want some of the shots printed out big and anything over iso 800 will really show in big pictures. Don't get me wrong the Nex line is amazing in low light and you can get great photos at 1600 and even 3200 but the will look terrible printed bigger than A4 and you never know which shots the couple will really like, and therefore want to print big. Absolutely go to the venue and try your lenses out, you will get a good idea of what I mean about low light. Get a small shoulder bag to stick your lenses in and get used to swapping them out with your eyes closed! Any specific questions just ask away. I have encountered most problems in wedding shoots, the key thing is to know your camera and lenses. 1377555502314.jpg
  3. eno789

    eno789 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Jan 1, 2012
    NoCal, USA
    Before going further, you should be very clear what is the expectation of this wedding shoot.

    Have they booked other professional photographer as the main one, and you just go along and take shots as bonus?

    Or, do they depend on you as the main photographer to take this once-in-a-life-time job?

    If the latter, based on the questions you have asked, I'd suggest you to think twice - I don't think you're ready.
  4. alaios

    alaios TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2013
    Lol, of course they have their professional photographer booked.
    for me is a free training sessions :p and perhaps try some complimentary shots to what the professional will deliver :p

    So lets keep the discussion rolling.

    P.S A bit more text after editing. 'In the south Mediterranean countries weddings are considered major events and typically they might have 2-3 professional photographers. And it was important to write this down at my first post. Sorry for missing it.
  5. Deadbear77

    Deadbear77 TalkEmount Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Sep 14, 2012
    Northeast Ohio
    I am doing a wedding in mid September, my first one. I am the only photographer and no assistant.

    I will be wielding two nex, a 5n and 6


    I am scared sh:$less

    Lenses I am bringing...


    Rokinon 85.1.4
    Canon 55.1.2

    Sent from my iPhone using TalkNEX mobile app
  6. alaios

    alaios TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2013
    good luck. I guess you will do just great. How do you plan to have the lenses with you and how are you gonna swap those fast?
  7. Mathieu Decodts

    Mathieu Decodts TalkEmount Veteran

    Aug 5, 2013
    A free training session is great! Best way to learn without the pressure! Be sure and read up about the key shots. I kinda know them without thinking now, but read around. Something like: nervous groom waiting, bride arriving in car, bride and groom seeing each other for first time, exchanging vows, best man with rings, exchanging rings, "you may kiss the bride", leaving church, arriving at reception, meal, cutting cake, speeches, first dance. You have to get these because that is what everyone expects. I ensure I get these then concentrate on what I do best, candid photos, like the one above, a tender moment between bride and sister. If you are the primary shooter you have another job. You need to keep things moving along, time and people management are almost the most important skills. Do not underestimate this!
  8. alaios

    alaios TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2013
    Hi, as said already I am not the primary photography I am not even the second or the third:p I am one getting free practice..

    1. What would be a reasonable focal length to capture faces and a bit of body from 5-10 meters away?
    2.The typical camera setups (as I said there would be a video camera, again from professional, also taking video) brings also extra light into the church. Do you know how much I can get in iso with this lighting?
    3. How I should try to change fast lenses during the wedding? Yes a small bag will do, but I think that most bags are mostly made for storing items and not for fast lenses swap. I would like to have extra three lenses on a very small "something" that would allow me to change my lenses fast.

  9. Mathieu Decodts

    Mathieu Decodts TalkEmount Veteran

    Aug 5, 2013
    Primary shooter comments were for deadbear sorry! As for your questions can't comment on video light they could have any one of hundreds of different set ups, but you should be able to drop iso substantially from ambient. For lens I would say a nifty 50 on nex (75mm equivalent) would be great, good range and 1.8 or faster will give you bokeh and low light options. As for a bag I use a small acme made messenger bag. Big enough for Nex and 3 small lenses
  10. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Hey Alex,

    Unfortunately I wasn't able to find more pics of the church on the web :(
    If the church was at my town I would gladly visited and take some shots for you but unfortunately it isn't

    Regarding your comment: "In the south Mediterranean countries weddings are considered major events and typically they might have 2-3 professional photographers" this is not completely true - yes they are considered major events but usually there's only 1 pro photographer hired and 1 videographer ;)

    I've attended thousands of wedding here and I would also advice on using a fast lens. The light on some churches can be really bad (dark inside) and this applies especially on historic churches like the one you're attending (on modern build churches light is sufficient).

    I've also used an MD 50 1.7 a few months ago on a wedding - the trick here is to stand up from your seat and go close to the couple for photos - this is common and approved practise here, as long as you don't stay in front of other attendants for a long time obstructing them from watching the ceremony ;)
  11. alaios

    alaios TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2013
    Both great tips to walk a bit..
    1. I still want to use a 85mm, or 100 mm lens from some distance. In that case I guess I need to lift the camera over the heads.
    2. How have you been swapping lenses?
    3. Did not the videographers extra lamps gave you the needed light on the scene or not?

  12. dsiglin

    dsiglin TalkEmount Veteran

    Apr 23, 2013
    Greenville, SC
    If you are a "complimentary" photographer I have some experience doing this and I will say the best shots you can give them are going to be intimate close up shots. The nex line are small cameras and so you can weave your way around the groups of people busily readying for the day without drawing attention. I wouldn't worry about capturing photos of the actual ceremony as the wedding photographer will get these and the posed shots. Candids and personal moments are where the bride and groom will really appreciate your help. Again speaking from experience. If you want to do some ceremony shots I'd get a 150mm or so lens (legacy) with a legacy to Nex adapter that has a tripod mount built in. This was shot two weekends ago with an Olympus 150mm lens. It was extreme low light so I had to tripod mount and shoot at 1/13.


    I think your best bet for a good "intimate portrait" lens is a Canon FD 50mm 1.4. You can shoot it wide open at 1.4 and get good results. For wider angle lens I'd go with the 30mm 2.8 though it is a bit slower obviously.

    One trick to shooting low light, set your shutter to 1/60 or 1/80, so at least you won't have blurry shots (or less of them). For online posting, ISO 3200 color looks fine. Convert to B&W and ISO 6400 is even usable. Obviously shoot Raw and underexpose a little bit to gain lower ISO if you want.

    The rest of the photos I took at that wedding were shot with a 58mm f2 lens. You can see them here. Best of luck, gorgeous location. I'm envious. :)
  13. HabsFan

    HabsFan TalkEmount Veteran

    Apr 10, 2013
    Ontario, CAN
    If you are using legacy glass, I don't think you will be able to lift up the camera over your head without getting blurry shots. You will probably need a shutter speed of at least 1/80 if you are pretty steady. I'd say ramp up the ISO and hope for the best. You might be able to get some B & W conversions out of it.

    You could try testing this in a somewhat dark room and see what you get with the camera lifted up above your head. Bump up your shutter speed until you hit one that you can get most of your images acceptably sharp. On the day you are shooting, you can use the burst mode and fire off 3-5 images for every shot and take the sharpest one.
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