June 26th, 2012, 06:51 PM
Eek! A wedding... Help!
So my sister-in-law has asked me to take pictures of their wedding day There will be an "official" photographer for the more ceremonial part of the evening, but it's an all-day affair with lounging by the pool and games on the grass during the day and then a short ceremony and dinner at night. Plus the rest of the weekend. She was clear that I was to enjoy myself first but since she likes my photos she asked if I could capture moments here and there.
However... I am not set up to shoot a wedding! I have sold off a bunch of stuff and I'm basically down to my Ricoh GRD4 and Ricoh GXR A12s and A16, none of which is well suited for wedding photography (for one thing, AF is slow - my own photography is more methodical and speed is not an issue). My question is, can you recommend the right camera/lens combinations for my needs? I can rent gear (and rent it long enough to practice with it first), but I may also take the opportunity to try the Olympus E-M5 if one can be had. I would prefer a serious compact but perhaps a smaller DSLR is the right choice? A zoom lens is probably the right approach with fast prime use here and there. Good higher ISO performance is probably a wise choice.
I'm more than happy to help take pictures at the event, but I want them to turn out good, plus I don't want to burden myself with too much gear. Your recommendations are appreciated! Thanks.
June 26th, 2012, 07:03 PM
Andrew, to date I have done 11 weddings with my GXR a 12 units. I have no issues other then you might need a flash. I use a Nikon SB22s and it does a great job.
I have also done many events at the Museum with the same cameras and so far, there's no lynch mob at my door.
Next time, I'm going with just the GRD4 because they just want B&W.
Relax, your a real good photographer. Just tune the BS out and go do what you do so well. No doubt you'll do a great job and all will be happy.
Remember something. You bought all this gear to make photos. Subject matter is subject matter. NOTHING can repeat the moment. Weddings, landscape, portraits, street...it's all about how you see and not what you see with.
Last edited by Streetshooter; June 26th, 2012 at 07:05 PM.
June 26th, 2012, 07:13 PM
Thanks Don, that gives me more confidence!
June 26th, 2012, 07:16 PM
The best part is that you are NOT the official photographer. You don't need to herd groups of people and or tell the bride to twist her head just so. Actually you won't need to tell anyone to do anything other than be natural. Usually the most valuable photos from a wedding are the casual and candid snaps. It actually sounds like the gear you've got could be just right.
Nic (Canonite, Olympian, Panasonian, Samsunite) ~flickr~
June 26th, 2012, 07:25 PM
Truth is, my favorite kind of "wedding photography" is documentary style. The kind a photographer with an M6 and Tri-X might capture.
Originally Posted by Luckypenguin
I'm not good at herding...
June 26th, 2012, 07:39 PM
I'm glad my wife and I never had a proper wedding and even more glad I never had to do all those awful posed shots. Get me good candids of the day and that's it. Have fun!
June 26th, 2012, 07:45 PM
Well my sister-in-law and soon-to-be husband had the kid first and now the wedding. Both planned, just not in the usual order. Thankfully, no one really cares.
Originally Posted by Luke
June 26th, 2012, 08:32 PM
I'm there with you, Andrew. I shot a wedding as a guest in documentary style while the official photographers did all the herding. You have the opportunity to get all the behind the scenes shots that the official guys don't capture. I know I did!
I would take the GRD and GXR with all modules. The 50 will be great for more intimate captures and the 28 is fine for groups. Mind you, I found that my most used focal lengths were 50 and 75, which I gained from the GXR-M and the Zeiss Sonnar 50/1.5.
GXR-M with Zeiss Sonnar:
It's a shame that you sold the M-module as I found it almost perfect for a non-paying wedding shoot! The shot to shot slowness annoyed me, though. There were many times when I lost an even better moment because the camera was busy processing the last image. This can be worked around if you use both the GRD and GXR at the same time, dropping one and shooting with the other while the buffer clears. I learned that trick from an article about Alex Majoli, who used to shoot Olympus compacts in that manner.
June 26th, 2012, 11:30 PM
Archiver, cool. Great shots! And I still have the Mount unit! As long as I have the Zeiss 50mm Sonnar I'll have something to stick to it.
June 27th, 2012, 12:08 AM
Andrew, since you still have the M-module and the Sonnar I think you are set. Just be mindful of the shot to shot time as you can lose shots if you don't have another camera ready.
If I was going to shoot a wedding with the GXR, I'd use the 28, 50 and M with Sonnar. I'd keep the GRD III in my pocket just in case. Swapping modules is a lot easier than changing lenses, IMO. Just treat the Sonnar and M like a separate prime module and you are set. I use Mode 1 focus peaking generally, and I find this adequate for most situations. As you would know, the longer focal length and wide aperture of the Sonnar make it easier to focus when there is a lot of detail in the scene.
I would not, however, shoot a paid gig with the GXR, no matter how much the bridal party loved my documentary style. It just won't capture fast enough between images for my liking. In that wedding I also used the M9, but I used the GXR just as much, hanging two bodies around my neck and moving from one focal length to the other as required.
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