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wedding photographers (and everyone else)- a plea

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angora View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote angora Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: wedding photographers (and everyone else)- a plea
    Posted: 01 December 2019 at 22:59
a plea for help? -is what I wrote-

CRY for help?
at least a question, if I may?

in short: what gear do you generally drag along while shooting a wedding? fave FLs and in particular- which flash equipment?
and what would be your setup? on/off camera? TTL and/or M? and which -favourite- modifiers?
for the ceremony? and for the average bridal shoot?

longer story:
I'm about to be fed to the lions.
i.e. the lions have asked me to take their wedding shots.
as I'm sure, a familiar question to all of us. and my answer is always rather short: a very big NO (way)!
I would be perfectly happy to shoot along, but won't take that responsibility. I wouldn't dare.

in this case however, these people, acquaintances, can't afford a 'real' photographer!
it's either me or a family member, who already offered to shoot the wedding. with her phone.
(sincerely hope she'll shoot along? ;-)).

camera will be 2 x A99. compatible flashguns are: (Minolta) 5600hs, (Sony) hvl58 and -hvl60.
I happen to have a flash bracket and so far only one (TTL) flash cord -that is still working- and 1 set of hot shoe adapters.
(the other 'curly' cord died prematurely, a sudden death. and therefore wondering if I should get a spare one.
btw- 'Sony' flash cords were (and are?) only compatible with the 'old' hot shoe, thus need two adapters with hvl60).
(still trying to wrap my head around the rocket science of trigger sets, that do support HSS. hints w/b welcome?).

it's the light that bothers me, or rather the lack of it. wedding will be at 2 pm and the A99 is not an ISO monster.
and as much as I like off camera flash, I don't think prestigious plans are doable inside a wedding hall.
hence my Q?

a very big THANK you for a possible answer in advance?

 



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LAbernethy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote LAbernethy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 December 2019 at 03:33
Not my day job but I do the odd wedding.
I'm shying away from them because of "Hollywood expectations" and increasing permit and insurance requirements. I'm a "stills guy", I don't do video, pyrotechnics or choreography. That said my current line up is A99(a850) main camera with a Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 ; Second camera is A77 with a Tamron 70-200mm F2.8 in the bag is a Minolta AF 24mm f2.8(almost never use),35mm F1.4, 50mm F1.4 or 85mm f1.4 (for ceremony depending on restrictions). Everything gets worked out at the rehearsal. Lights and triggers Sony HVL-F43M, HVL-F58AM and 2 X HVL-F42AM plus a HVL-20AM(M)depending : I like the Sony/Minolta wireless flash system simple and effective (as long as you don't use a soft box). I do have a SMDV FlashWave-III Wireless Remote Flash Triggers & Transmitter but I usually leave it in the car. I bring 3 umbrellas - 40 inch white/black reversible, S-Type Bracket Holder with Bowens Mount (holds the flash units better), stands and sand bags (technically they're Weider ankle weights). I use 2 with one as back up for the formal stuff, plus one 40 inch 5-IN-1 reflector. For informal event style shooting I like a TTL cable with an Olympus flash bracket (FL-BK01) with a cold shoe, I like a larger separation of camera and flash.

P.S. If you're using the F60M and a99 just use a generic TTL cable. The "M" shoe is a newer wrinkle for me (it was easier with one for all), I was surprised and happy my Olympus cables and flashes will work with the A99 (the full extent TBD).

Edited by LAbernethy - 02 December 2019 at 04:53
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addy landzaat View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote addy landzaat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 December 2019 at 07:13
When you say "wedding hall" what do you mean? What is the venue?

I assume you need to take pictures during the ceremony. I did three weddings with my A900 and the HVL-F58AM on top. ISO set to 320, aperture at f/5.6 and shutterspeed at 1/80s and let the flash fill in the rest. I do not think a complicated flash system is a good idea, as you want to keep it simple to catch the moment and the more stuff you use the more stuff can go wrong. (Multiple flashes are fine for the formals of course).

ISO 320: sweet spot of the A900, the A99 is probably a little better.
f/5.6: to me a sweet spot, some DoF and some bokeh.
1/80s: to keep enough ambient light going through and stop most motion.
The flash makes sure there is enough light and the settings allow for enough ambient light to ensure a natural feel.

Ask the lady with the phone to do video, then you can focus on the pictures.

My weddings:
December wedding
February wedding
June wedding
I found the one in February the most difficult due to the harsh outside light.
Why not follow me on Instagram? @Addy_101
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onsplekkie View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote onsplekkie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 December 2019 at 08:16
If the happy couple is not paying you a premium price, I would say that they (can) not expect the highest possible result.

I've done a few weddings in the last years. Never used a flash. I prefer high ISO (and noise) images over flash "freeze" images.

A fast prime lens (one wide(r)-angle & one portrait) on each A99 and you'll be fine.

During the ceremony I prefer to use manual focus; compose - focus - wait patiently for the right moment - shoot
After the works all done I rather have 5 great images, that captured the happy couple's "spirit of the day", as a 500 so-so pics.

Succes & have fun!
"take life as it is, not as you want it to be"
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Anita View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Anita Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 December 2019 at 08:32
Ine, the best advice I can give you is to take things as simple as possible. Two camera's with a flash on both is great, not sure about your lenses, but I always work with a 24-70 on one and a 70-200 on the other. And normally I bring a marcolens (for the ring shot) and a lensbaby for the fun.

I work with totally different settings (and they all depend on the light on the particular day, that is why I don't visit venue's before the wedding), but you are not stupid, work your way through it and you will be just fine.

Bring as much memory as you have. Place a new card for every part of the day and if you to go for double safe, with the A99 you can write the file to two cards.

One thing though ... please please please ask the couple to tell their guests NOT to take photo's with any mobile devices during the ceremony. It will spoil your photographs, it will spoil your light.

Have fun!

Winter! That's the season to be young, catching snowflakes on your tongue!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Jozioau Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 December 2019 at 10:51
Like other responders, I'm not a wedding photographer but have been asked to photograph weddings for family and friends on several occasions, and captured those to the complete satisfaction of all.
Using a99 and a99ii cameras and 24-70mm f2.8 and 70-200mm f2.8 lenses and HVL-F60AM hotshoe mounted flash fitted with the clip on diffuser for after dark shots. Mostly using natural/available light when that was sufficient.
Freshly formatted memory cards, and freshly charged (plus spare) camera batteries, and replacement flash AA batteries on standby.
Perhaps worth having a set of light folding steps as well?
Hope it all goes well.


Edited by Jozioau - 02 December 2019 at 11:58
"Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst" - Henri Cartier-Bresson
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angora View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote angora Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 December 2019 at 12:30
TYallSM for your time, trouble AND hints, GREATLY appreciated! really and seriously grateful!
and TY, having 'fun' already!

more Qs? what are your most common -flash- settings inside a wedding hall? TTL? M? do you adjust?
on camera flash? or bracket? (hand held off camera?). bouncing? obscured light? what MODIFIERS?
the average clip-on diffuser? or a small 'roof' on top?
napkin? ;-) or even a small softbox? should I get a Rogue flash bender? (while it's still cybermonday). the smallest one on camera? any experience with Gary Fong stuff?

in a former life, Minolta 5200i + a small carton (! 40 guilders) 'roof' (+ white, gold, silver pieces of paper) worked like a charm. ON (M.) camera.
nowadays there are so many options? would they work even better?   
I also have a (handy!) mag mod set. sphere + grid. in the 1st test shot however- thinking that thick sphere would spread/reduce the light tremendously, I managed to generate red eyes for the 1st time in my life!
thinking 'bounce!' now.
still eternally grateful for your eneloop hint, Anita! (and the 'rest'!!). (you Saved.My.Soul!).
and yes, thought about generating light simultaneously. phones can produce shocking amounts of light?


do you adjust settings to prevent blown out white dresses? -while measuring an entire scene? (I presume?) -.


I know I should be able to come up with acceptable results, at least, IF I stay focused and remain zen.
and instead of running after people (resulting in pics of their b*ms? ;-)), need to claim my place for once.
but can't run the show, of course. and will have to act rather fast?

groom said, they'll pay me 'of course' (not a clue how much. or little?). I said I won't accept $$$$$$$.
it will be an act of 'kindness' ...hopefully?
I won't be stealing someone else's bread AND butter. so far the wedding has costed approx. E 2,000 , no budget left for a photog.
someone else, present, said: "well, I had a REAL PHOTOGRAPHER!" (and mentioned the name of a pro who, for some undefined reason, takes incr. lousy pics most of the time -MHO, don't get why-).
they have never seen a single one of my pics btw- only know I happen to have a CAMERA. (and we know how most people think, don't we? ;-)).
better- they haven't seen the light yet, they know ... about picture taking, by looking at their phone shots + ideas.
suppose they will be perfectly happy with bad phone shots, as long as they are somewhere in the pic and look nice?
but will for sure, like everybody, recognize and appreciate a 'great pic'?
and what is even more important than the dress, the car- in the end? the photographs...   

venue?
wedding hall, Addy, trouwzaal inside the city hall. (if it's still the same as where we got married, lots of windows on the left side. during one of the darkest days of the year. have a hunch they won't postpone it! ;-)).
lovely shots btw!!

more responses later, if that's okay? (appointment in a few)
again, a huge THANK YOU to all of you!


Edited by angora - 02 December 2019 at 12:40
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Anita View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Anita Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 December 2019 at 12:39
Ine, go the website of Neil van Niekerk. He explains it ... he doesn't use any fancy stuff on his flash, but what he calls: the black foamie thingie ...

https://neilvn.com/tangents/flash-photography-techniques/

https://neilvn.com/tangents/materials-for-the-black-foamie-thing/

Don't buy stuff you are not going to use, such a waste of money.

If you like the black foamnie thingie, it's just soft material, which can be bought at the DIY store and you put it on your flash with an elastic hearband.
Winter! That's the season to be young, catching snowflakes on your tongue!
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angora View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote angora Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 December 2019 at 12:44
Anita, THANK YOU!!!
so very much appreciated!
and hairband! great idea! (I collected elastic post bands ;-)).
(rushing off now. later? a.gator)
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Anita View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Anita Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 December 2019 at 13:06
hairband ofcourse ....
Winter! That's the season to be young, catching snowflakes on your tongue!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ricardovaste Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 December 2019 at 13:29
Originally posted by onsplekkie onsplekkie wrote:

If the happy couple is not paying you a premium price, I would say that they (can) not expect the highest possible result.


You really don't know what people are expecting unless you have a detailed and in person conversation about the whole thing.

In my experience, we tend to perceive a whole bunch of different things about value, wealth, class, and a lot of times they can be very limiting and often quite damaging.

My word of advice:

Make sure you talk to them thoroughly. Have a two way conversation. Make sure they know you have next to no experience and to expect very little from you.

If that conversation is done, properly and your expectations are set, my second piece of advice (which isn't valid unless the first conversation takes place), is to simply shoot it how you shoot most of the other every day type subjects you shoot. Use the same gear, equipment, techniques. It's no time to experiment. Have fun.
I photograph the moments in people's lives that mean the most to them: Richard Harris Photography
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Jozioau Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 December 2019 at 13:40
One other tip. Ask the couple to draw up a list of photo groupings they want you to take, and ensure someone is given the list and responsibility to round those people up for you to photograph. You have enough on your plate getting the good shots without being bothered with the task of “herding cats”!!
"Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst" - Henri Cartier-Bresson
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angora View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote angora Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 December 2019 at 19:10
oops, completely missed the hearband! (lol).
(guess that makes me one of those people who just see what they want to see? ;-)).
are you in the habit of using a black thingie, Anita? (it looks very good! THX again!).

TYSM, Richard and also a big TY, Joe! again! really appreciate!

we've talked and I've given them 'homework'. after that we'll have to talk some more?
asked what they would do if I said: "NO" (way)? + "why me?" -couldn't resist.
well, then they'd just settle for the phone shots. that w/b fine.
I know them rather well and think I can sense what they have in mind. and what they'd like?
(and therefore shown them fun-, funny- and hilarious shots. plenty ideas of my own, but an abundance to 'borrow' from the internet? ;-) (! cool stuff). they were ROFL. (thought they would? ). and said they had no idea those options 'existed' (hint!). when the light is not nice at all, those could save the day? IMHO it would help tremendously if they'd choose their favourites/know what we are trying to capture? as I could use all the help... and what props we think we'll need?).
already planned 1 or 2 'miniature' shots as well. apart from the pretty stuff, yes! *sigh*
+ some shots with the dog. perhaps + 2 hands and a huge white paw, joined in 'holy matrimony', or as in: pact!
they have 2 -beloved- chickens as well!

but I know HOW they think. they've seen my camera and it looks quite serious, resembles a 'real camera'? ;-)
and, as you know, a real camera can take good pics!
they just want me to bring that camera?

and I've seen their phone shots, featuring the dog. one amazingly good. perfect distance, pose, expression + gorgeous light.
another one from the other side of the living room, nm what's tilted, in sight or happening along that distance- they were equally proud of both. (capice? :-S). proud of their dog, in the pics. all I can think of is to show them pics and pay attention to find out what they like most and what expectations they have? (and up goes the bar! ).

correct me if I'm wrong (pls do?!!), but they wouldn't understand a word we are saying here. can't talk about what they'd like as long as they don't know what they are talking about? pretty sure they are not picturing glamorous shots. so far? glamorous dress, yes, and it has to be in the pic.
(they don't dream glamorous dreams, like so many kids these days. in the past youngsters would have said: fire fighter, teacher or ? when asked what they want to be when grown up. nowadays I only hear "famous!" ). bride is 59 years of age, groom 50. (been together for decades). I'm sure the dress will be white. know the veil will be short. (bummer?).   


scenario: groom 1st sleeps elsewhere. groom shows up at their house to pick up his bride. in a vintage Mercedes.
the car is important. (from 'experience' -hearhear- I think 28mm will be a neat FL for car shots?). I'll try to shoot some details + the obvious with car window and mirror(s)?
family members from Den Haag/The Hague and Westland will show up. wedding party will be transported to the city hall.
asked if they can point out the family, so I won't end up with many a shot of the neighbours and only a few of the family? ;-) city hall has impressive stairs for the odd group shot?
hopefully they will mess up the place with rice (lol) or confetti. (what slower shutter speed will 'work'?).
talked about 'the dressing of-' once. not sure if I'll bring it up again?

after the ceremony there will be a get together. everybody will be crammed inside their (rather small) living room.
at 2 long tables. luckily there are rather large windows? ? don't think there will be a reception or dance?
hoping for festive (X-mas) lights for bubbly- or -shaped bokeh. anyone done sparklers?
+ not to mention a 'photo shoot'. dusk approaches early these days!
   

so far I have come up with plan A (shooting the rings prior to the wedding day, they agreed), plan B (what if- it rains? ??
and who has a transparent, see-through umbrella? or a white one with a flashgun hidden inside. or just a light?
(whatever weather they'll order- all of these flashguns may have been 'flagships' once, but don't intend to sacrifice any of them. how waterproof are they anyway? don't think they are). plan C: no more than a few shots + the fresh flowers of course and postpone the shoot to the very next- or a better day in the near future, hoping the flowers will survive.
at plan D now, but forgot what it was.

bootcamp for the next less than a fortnight! to practice every worst-case scenario. + volunteer (voluntarely or not ;-)).
I learned modern flash guns are very unforgiving. when the head is only 1 mm tilted, HSS vanishes from the menu! and I can't change flash settings within a split sec, like I can on the camera? on the other hand used them with wide apertures without HSS, if I recall corr., (and captured bubbly bokeh).
didn't mention the date yet? ...of all dates. a wedding on a friday.

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LAbernethy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote LAbernethy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 December 2019 at 16:10
First, the black foam thing is a snoot.
Go to the venue, this sounds municipal, pay attention to the ceilings, sight lines and GLASS both windows and partitions. Attend a ceremony if possible, From Elvis impersonators to orthodox clergy they all have a different comfort zone for photography.
On the Gary Fong stuff, don't bother. It works and has its uses, trade shows in arenas and the like. If you were to invest in a bit of kit I would suggest a stand, bracket and a shoot through umbrella. For bounce lighting.
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