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Wedding advice (eek!)

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by quezra, Jan 20, 2015.

  1. quezra

    quezra TalkEmount Top Veteran

    916
    Aug 22, 2012
    Ok, so against my better judgment, I accepted to do a wedding for an acquaintance of mine, for a nominal fee. They know I'm not a professional, and they know they're not paying professional rates. They also have seen a portfolio of mine, so I am pretty sure the expectations are roughly within my capability. That said, once you make the commitment to deliver, preparation gets scary!

    The setup is going to be in beautiful, classical Oxford, with a small ceremony (they call it an "elopement", and say there won't be more than 4 people) as well as some outdoors pictures around some classic Oxford buildings like the Radcliffe Camera, Sheldonian theater, and so on. So I am planning to shoot this with only the FE 16-35 and 55/1.8. Indoors completely with the 55/1.8 + Nissin i40 (I've shot paid gigs with just that before, and am pretty comfortable with that), and one cannot do without the ultrawide for things like the Radcliffe. Would that be risky to be limited to only those two lenses though? I would also have my old 5N as backup for video with 35/1.8 and SEL 18-200LE for tele in a pinch, but probably would not be relying on that very much. Would I also need to bring the FE 28-70?
     
  2. José De Bardi

    José De Bardi Assistant in Virtue

    Aug 31, 2013
    Dorset, UK
    José
    I did similar for a friend last year.

    Just scanning through my pics, I used the 1650 on the A6000 the most - mainly for ease of AF and versatility of some zoom.
    My Nex-5 had my OM50 on it all day, which was very handy for not having to change lenses - just grab the other body (I got a double sling so both were very accessible).

    I also used the 55-210 a fair bit outside (it was a nice sunny day), it made for some nice candid/unawares shots of guest as I was at a distance they would not notice me taking pics.

    Evening, I used my SB700, again mainly with the 1650 on the A6000.

    I don't think I had my SEL35 at the time, but for sure that would have been very useful during the indoor ceremony (where I used the Nex5/OM50 mainly as it was my fastest glass), but it was a bit tight, the 35 (which is going to be pretty close to the 55 on the A7 FoV), would have been good. I was stood 6 ft from the action.

    I think you have the right idea, A7+55 most of the time for sure, sadly the 5N with the 35 is going to be similar FoV so no real bonus to having it there to swap to, but I can't imagine wanting to keep it mounted with the 18200 all the time attached to you, would get heavy! Maybe put the Sigma19 on the 5N most of the time so you have a quick option for wider shots without changing lenses?
     
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  3. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
    Best of luck, no pressure.
     
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  4. quezra

    quezra TalkEmount Top Veteran

    916
    Aug 22, 2012
    Thanks!

    Unfortunately I don't have the Sigma with me at the moment, and so I'm kind of thinking of putting the 28-70 on the 5N as I don't think I'll need longer than 105mm and the 18-200 is larger. But I think I need the 35/1.8 for video in the indoors portion as 28/3.5 might be too slow and 5N of course has no video light possibility.

    If I segment the use to 16-35 purely outdoors and 55/1.8 indoors, there should be no swapping inconveniences, but obviously that won't exactly work for all photos and some will need both. I don't think I'll use my 85/1.2 at all (too large, too fiddly for a wedding)
     
  5. SpaceManSpiff

    SpaceManSpiff TalkEmount Top Veteran

    547
    Dec 13, 2013
    Tucson, AZ
    Eric
    Hi Quezra,

    It is totally scary! At first you think oh sure, that will be fun...and then it hits you --what if I miss the 'big' moment?

    I recently did a small wedding (15 guests at the ceremony) for some friends (as their wedding present). For my NEX6 I used the SEL50f1.8 for 75% of the shots and Sigma30 for 20% of the shots and an OM135 for only a few candid shots (and honestly didn't really need it, I could have used the SEL50 for those also). I am not sure my 70-200 2.8-4 ever left the back pocket of my vest. I felt like there was a lot going on and I didn't need the extra challenge of manual focusing at the time (even though I am pretty comfortable with MF).

    Indoor I struggled with a Canon flash (430EX ii) as I had to adjust it manually -- I would not do an event again without a TTL flash. In retrospect, for the indoor shots I should have used a lower ISO (I will try ISO 800 next time) --I was a little too concerned with trying to preserve the ambient light of the restaurant and the dance floor. I did use a Gary Fong Lightsphere (not the collapsible one as it gives off slightly warmer light and is more durable) that worked well.

    In a perfect world I would have liked to have had two camera bodies so I wouldn't have to keep switching lenses so often.

    For a wedding that small (where you are going to be close to the action), I am liking the FE16-35 and FE55 idea for the outdoor portion, coupled with the A7 and the 5N.

    On the A7 that gives you UWA -- Normal, and on the 5N WA -- Portrait FLs.

    Good luck!
     
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  6. serhan

    serhan TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2011
    NYC
    I only shot my newphews boyhood ceremony in addition to the hotels own photographers. They were more taking general group shots. I shot with a small e-p1+20mm f1.7(~40mm) lens with slow af and no flash (since the flash was in a guest room that I didn't have access). Mostly my shots were candid shots at high ISO at night but they printed good on 5x7's. I got closer knowing half of the people plus the small camera.

    Full wedding is a big challenge. I recommend that you can check some online sources, eg what shots need to be shot etc to make a list. Other side is the candids and creative shots. Here are some award winning shots from last year:
    http://121clicks.com/inspirations/best-award-winning-wedding-photos-of-2014

    Also a good free magazine to check is Rangefinder which has a wedding issue:
    http://digitalmag.rangefinderonline.com/rangefinder/january_2015#pg1

    Here are also a library with free photo books, some of them are on the wedding photography:
    https://archive.org/search.php?quer...hy) AND -mediatype:collection&sort=-downloads
     
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  7. OldNoob

    OldNoob TalkEmount Veteran

    223
    Oct 30, 2014
    I just went though this. in retrospect, i wish that i had done the following:
    #1 Wish i had used a wide angle prime such as a 20 to 30mm (shallow depth of field can be created in post processing,, sharpness for enlargements is a lot trickier)
    #2 Exert yourself during the rehearsal , let the wedding party know for sure where you want them to pause as they are coming down the aisle. (if applicable)
    #3 if you have special poses in mind for after the wedding between the reception,, don't let someone else distract the bride and groom, exert yourself.
    #4 Joke with the wedding party get the smiles to be more fluid and less forced.
    #5 don't let the audience and family make you step off your desired position, YOU are the appointed photographer, stand your ground. Also let them know not to take flash shots when you do, for the formal shots.
    #6 if the bride is OK with the groom seeing her dress before the wedding, get full dress photos of the bride and groom before the wedding where you have more time to pose and be creative.
    OH and GET AN ASSISTANT who knows how to use digital cameras! And if female, she can get nice close ups of the bride and her maids readying their makeup, putting on ear rings etc. where you can not go in.
    There are other things i wish i had done , but that just a few
    I am so thankful i was able to rent a good powerfull TTL flash. it was a photo saver. i could bounce it off very high ceilings during the reception, even if i didnt use it to its full potential.
     
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  8. quezra

    quezra TalkEmount Top Veteran

    916
    Aug 22, 2012
    Thanks again for more links and tips. I guess the nice thing is that it is an opportunity to learn a lot (under relatively little pressure) and also reflect on what I've been doing. They paid me a very nice compliment about a characteristic of my photos I had never noticed before (and also the alleged reason they picked me over an actual professional they had looked into) which is that I captured "flow" really well. I don't know if that's the case but anyway I will take the compliment!

    With only 4 people and maybe less (in the actual photos), it seems ideal for portraiture and I am much more comfortable shooting off the A7 than I am with the 5N (the menus still give me nightmares), so I will have to go out and practice with the 55/1.8 on 5N just for a bit to get back into the knack of it. I don't know why it didn't occur to me, but SpacemanSpiff's suggestion of 16-35 on A7 and 55 on 5N outdoors makes complete sense...
     
  9. quezra

    quezra TalkEmount Top Veteran

    916
    Aug 22, 2012
    Well I survived my first wedding! Wow, I am glad I have done it but I think I need a good recovery time after that... much respect to actual pros who do this every day.

    I ended up with 1,200 images (discovered my 32GB SD card gets full from RAW+JPEG after 1,000 shots!), of which I couldn't bring myself to delete nearly 750... I'm actually amazed at that for a keeper rate.

    The main problem was the wedding registry office was TINY and I was lucky I had the 16-35 because it was absolutely essential... 24-70 wouldn't have been wide enough.

    Unfortunately I didn't get to use the 5N outdoors as it was drizzling and I didn't want to bring it out. So swapping 55 and 16-35 worked ok, except during the ceremony which was unusually short (no sermon, no speeches, just one poem and the official stuff...), so I tended to use the 16-35 more because the room was so tiny, and actually had the wrong lens on for the exchange of rings (55 was too long, hard to get both in the frame because of the horribly tiny room!).

    One battery change (second one had about 40% left over, so whatever the CIPA rating states, I was way over the expected limit), and one SD card change. Overall I'm happy with that... but my next SD card is going to be 128GB!

    I also discovered the Nissin i40 can't shoot for long without getting hot. Outdoors was fine (it was 5-7C), but indoors it heated up a little quick for my liking. If I do another wedding it will be with the Sony flashguns I think.

    The biggest problem was that they set up a DSLR to film the whole event and with the tiny room, I had to step around it way too much. It screwed up the most number of shots. Got to put that one down to experience...

    I've already sent them a Dropbox preview of SOOC JPEGs and they are very happy with those. I've PP'd 50 for them giving them an entire sequence through the day.

    I wish I could put some photos up here, but since this was technically an "elopement" and they haven't even told 90% of their friends yet, I just have to sit on them (it's excruciating!!).
     
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  10. José De Bardi

    José De Bardi Assistant in Virtue

    Aug 31, 2013
    Dorset, UK
    José
    Well done mate :)
    I look forward to seeing some of the results once you are allowed to share!
     
  11. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
    Agreed, way to go
     
  12. SpaceManSpiff

    SpaceManSpiff TalkEmount Top Veteran

    547
    Dec 13, 2013
    Tucson, AZ
    Eric
    Glad that it went well! I would love to see some photos when it is "official".

    Interesting about the Nissin i40 overheating...I guess that the Sony HVL-F60M has overheating issues as well. (Eventually, I think I am going to go with the Phottix Mitros+)
     
  13. quezra

    quezra TalkEmount Top Veteran

    916
    Aug 22, 2012
    Thank you all! I guess if there is one thing I know is missing from my skill set is knowledge of poses, and communicating it to the couple in a friendly and unassuming way. Luckily I'd told the bride to practice some poses beforehand and she was great. My own repertoire only extended a little further than "cheese" and "give us a kiss" :(
     
  14. Lisandra

    Lisandra TalkEmount Veteran

    216
    Jan 28, 2015
    Well, im only seeing this for the first time now, but essentially I would have scared you more. After hundreds of weddings by now, i still get rattled and scared. But its definitely a learning experience, at least you had a few people only, its the 500 people events that make you sweat. What camera did you use?? Weddings are more about efficiency than anything else, so zooms that cover the 24-200 range are a must. Primes are better left to when you have time to slow down, like after ceremony/before reception, where you can get all sorts of artsy. And still I wouldnt push it. SO in short, 2 bodies, a 24-70, a 70-200, a fast 50, maaaaybe a fast portrait, and if you know the place an UWA. Then flashes, flashes and flashes. Shoot raw, jpgs be damned, and bring at least 4 cards 16 gigs each
     
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  15. quezra

    quezra TalkEmount Top Veteran

    916
    Aug 22, 2012
    Oh yeah, there is NO WAY I would have dared to take a bigger wedding! 4 people only was stressful enough (6 including the registrars, 8 with me and driver... phew!)

    I shot with the A7 and mostly used the 16-35/4. I definitely appreciated this length afterwards, 35mm was probably the most useful length, but 18-24 was necessary during the signing of the register because the desk was practically next to the window. 55/1.8 worked really well after the ceremony when we had as much time as necessary, but as you say, in the ceremony itself it wasn't a great lens.
     
  16. Lisandra

    Lisandra TalkEmount Veteran

    216
    Jan 28, 2015
    It also depends entirely on your style of shooting too. Some people can NOT live without the 16-35 range, me on the other hand i couldnt do it without a 24-70.
    Im a bit of a cropper as some call it, Im trying to get away from it but the clients dig it so why?
    this is 60mm at f6.3 with a 24-70

    15650762327_8bb5fbb36e_b.
     
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