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TP: How to photograph weddings?

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wetapunga View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote wetapunga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 March 2010 at 00:21
Octupi- fortunately she's slim, average height. I've got some small lakes and trees to work with for backgrounds.

I appreciate though it's hard to offer insights on subjects that you're not familiar with, especially for something as visual and open to interpretation as wedding photography.

I've got to the point where I'm comfortable with a range of frontal perspective shots (full body up to portrait). A rear-view shot is not something I have enough experience with to 'wing it' on the day. With weddings I like to really have the shot-list nailed down in my mind before I start.

Fwiw, I've got a couple of ideas developing though- one say more demure and full body shot, and one with a low angle looking up and using a narrow DOF to blur the bride and emphasise the dress.


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PeteMag View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote PeteMag Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 March 2010 at 00:55
Two things spring to mind for this shot chthoniid.

1 - Mirror/s, if available to get the font and back in at the same time.
2 - Make a photo of the bride wearing the dress, not the dress.

Also, for an alternative (additional shot) get the dress photographed hanging up before she puts it on.
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wetapunga View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote wetapunga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 March 2010 at 01:20
Aaah, I like the mirror idea Pete. Not sure I can pull it off this time, but it's also a good idea worth filing away for the future.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Octupi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 March 2010 at 01:34
Good ideas.

Personally I don't use shot lists anymore. The standard shots are in my head, the rest I go by the seat of my pants based on the venue. Seems to have worked thus far.

I like the mirror idea as well. May if no mirror, have her facing a window to catch a soft reflection with your focus on the back of the dress.
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Octupi View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Octupi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 March 2010 at 01:35
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wetapunga View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote wetapunga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 March 2010 at 01:44
Originally posted by Octupi Octupi wrote:

Good ideas.

Personally I don't use shot lists anymore. The standard shots are in my head, the rest I go by the seat of my pants based on the venue. Seems to have worked thus far.


You're probably a lot better and more experienced than I am . I do find discussing the shot list first with the couple to be a good way of bringing expectations into line.

Nothing wrong with a bit of improvisation on the day of course.   

Oh, and that FredMiranda link is great value.
 



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Octupi View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Octupi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 March 2010 at 02:32
Originally posted by chthoniid chthoniid wrote:


You're probably a lot better and more experienced than I am . I do find discussing the shot list first with the couple to be a good way of bringing expectations into line.


Doubt it...although my ADD doesn't let me look at to many lists, that requires to much attention.   

I agree, I discuss what they want but my goal is a relaxed, PJ approach. Get the vital/standard ones and then just work the room.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dr Hotdog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 April 2010 at 06:23
Great stuff in this thread, just what I was looking for after being asked to be one of the photographers at my brother's wedding in late May. I've taken photos at family and friends' weddings before but there's always been a professional photographer or at least several other DSLR wielding enthusiasts present so there's been no pressure and I've been able to concentrate mainly on candids and informal portaits of individuals and small groups rather than having to capture all the key moments and formal group shots. I'm not sure who the other photographers will be on this occasion so I am a bit nervous. One of the main issues that concerns me is my lack of suitable gear for indoor photography.

My current lineup is in my signature, and I think the lack of a fast standard zoom is likely to be a problem for photographing the ceremony as I'm expecting low light, I won't want to use flash and I'm unlikely to be able to move around enough to effectively frame shots with a prime. The Tamron 17-50 or 28-75 mm f/2.8 zooms look like decent, good value options here but I'm not sure which would be the most useful focal length range on my A100 for this sort of work.

The other obvious missing item is an external flash, it may be time I bit the bullet and got myself a proper flash gun and started practising with bounce flash and diffusers. I mostly photograph scenery and wildlife so haven't really done much with flash before.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JeffB95 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 April 2010 at 11:38
@Dr Hotdog
I found that my Tamron 17-50 was perfect at the wedding I shot (equates to approx 24-70 on full frame - which is the recommended size. You'll need something like your 18-250 for candids, but might struggle with low light.
I found that my 42 flash with diffuser was great and about a third to half my shots were taken with this.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dr Hotdog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 April 2010 at 09:01
Thanks JeffB95, good to hear about your good experiences with the 17-50 for shooting a wedding. I think the combination of a new 17-50 f/2.8 (indoors, ceremony and reception) the 18-250 (outside, long end for candids, wide angle for groups) and maybe the the 50/1.8 (when I can move around freely enough to use a prime) should cover things reasonable well. Ideally I'd have a longer fast zoom too but then we'd be talking $$$'s for something I might not need that often, so I'll hold off on that this time.

I'll definitely be investing in a flash though, I've been reading a lot of the articles about flash use and wedding photography on Niel Van Niekerk's website (starting here: http://neilvn.com/tangents/flash-photography-techniques/flash-photography-tips/) and I'm keen to try out some of his bounce flash techniques.



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Post Options Post Options   Quote wetapunga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 April 2010 at 09:51
@Dr Hotdog-

I used flash- a lot. Even in an outdoor wedding, it can be a good way to fill-in the shadows on faces that would otherwise mar the photo.

a7R, a77ii, QX100 | Minolta 17-35mm G, 20mm, 35-105mm O, 50mm M, 70-210 beercan, 85mm G, 100mm M, 300mm G | Sony 16-50mm, CZ16-80mm, 70-200mm G, 135mm f2.8 STF | Tokina 11-16mm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dr Hotdog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 April 2010 at 12:36
Thanks chthoniid, I'm already sold on the importance of an external flash and have in fact just ordered an F58AM.

I'm still not certain on what to do about lenses, I know I could do with a fast zoom but the question is which. Conventional wisdom says standard zoom, and based on reviews and price I'm seriously considering the Tamron 17-50 mm (25.5-75mm full frame equivalent).   But... perhaps it's just because I'm used to the reach my superzoom gives me but I can't help worrying that a limit of 50mm might just turn out to be a little too short in practice, if I find myself going for many 'head and shoulders' type shots. This gets me thinking that maybe I don't really need the wide end, and I might be better off with, say, the Tamron 28-75 mm (42-112.5 mm full frame equivalent) which spans a focal length range from just short of normal to the sort of focal lengths generally associated with portait photography. The 28-70 would also be a useful full frame lens if I ever go down that route and the extra reach might stop me thinking about the Sigma 50-150 when I've already spent far too much on camera equipment this year...

Edited by Dr Hotdog - 12 April 2010 at 13:18
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Mark L Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 April 2010 at 14:23
If it's any help, the two lenses that I use the most at weddings are my 24-70 and 70-200, both of which are constant f/2.8. Having said that there are occasions when a wider angle is very useful -- for example when shooting a large wedding group or an overview of the reception, at which point I change to my trusty KM 17-35. My Minolta 100mm f/2.8, gets a look in when doing head and shoulder portraits, not because its essential, but just because it has always been my favourite portrait lens. I also carry a 50 mm 1.4, but rarely get round to using it .

I use flash more or less all of the time. As has been said, outside it can be used to fill shadows in sunshine -- and on a dull day it helps to brighten up and add depth to what would otherwise be rather flat images. Indoors, I use it with a StoFen diffuser and try to balance what ambient light there is with the flash.

During a church ceremony, however, I turn the flash off and do the best I can with the available light.

Edited by Mark L - 12 April 2010 at 14:24
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dr Hotdog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 April 2010 at 15:14
Hi Mark L,

You didn't say whether you're using a full frame or APS-C body with those lenses, I'm guessing the former? For full frame the classic 28-70mm & 70-200mm fast zoom pair covers the vast majority of shots, but it's not so clear cut in my case with an APS-C body and a desire to get by with just one fast zoom for now.

One thing I find slightly surprising about the Sony Alpha system is the relative shortage of DT lenses corresponding to traditionally popular film / full frame lenses.   There's no f/2.8 standard zoom for APS-C from Sony, only the Tamron 17-50mm and the Sigma 18-50mm, the only f/2.8 70-200mm equivalent is the Sigma 50-150mm, and for a fast standard prime you've got the overkill of the full frame G series Sony 35mm or again you have to go third party.
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