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So here comes the tiniest one, asking the good old uncle.... would you please shoot my wedding?

Discussion in 'Photography Techniques' started by Alf, Nov 15, 2014.

  1. Alf

    Alf SC Top Veteran

    651
    Oct 11, 2010
    Northeastern Tuscany
    So here comes the tiniest one, asking the dear old uncle.... would you please shoot my wedding?
    Just like your vacation pics.... we like it that way


    Of course the dear old uncle is just ten years older, but that's enough.
    I'll rely on the social smarts of my dearest for picture list organization, and good style, but after that?

    I have ten months to prepare for a northeastern country wedding, and don't even know how to use a flash.
    I don't have one, actually.
    Let's ask the good people of the forum...


    15768496226_ffb132e4b1_b.
    The innocents by alfrjw, on Flickr
     
    • Like Like x 3
  2. Ripleysbaby

    Ripleysbaby supernatural anesthetist

    Sep 9, 2011
    Cumbria UK
    Garry
    Sorry Alf, I know nothing about flash. Ten months give a bit of time to save for very fast lenses . Or perhaps LED's ?
    I'm sure you will do well with anything you use .
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. kyteflyer

    kyteflyer ~@¿@~

    Jan 31, 2011
    Newcastle, Australia
    Sue
    I can't help either, Alf. Like you, I don't own one. Guess I won't be shooting any weddings :)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. MoonMind

    MoonMind SC Top Veteran

    578
    Dec 29, 2013
    Switzerland
    Matt
    Your portraits look fine - I can relate to what your relatives expect from you :smile:

    Still, I wouldn't bet on just going there and trying to get it right. People expect lasting memories from wedding photography. And this means thoughtfully done portraits and group shots (arranged or not - I'm leaning towards the spontaneous and immidiate, but that's even harder to do). It also means shooting a *lot*!

    I don't own a flash for mFT myself, but if I had to do a wedding, I'd not go without one, and I'd also take along a small (i.e. directly attachable) softbox or a diffusor. Additionally, I'd carry a small and light tripod, preferrably one that has a shoulder strap (or can be carried in an unobstrusive pouch or bag). Finally, I'd try to keep things reasonably light, especially since you'll obviously also be a guest at the wedding.

    I can't personally recommend a specific product when it comes to mFT flashes - though I read good things about the Metz and Nissin offerings and will probably get one of those myself if I ever need one (I do own flashes for my Nikon system).

    Lenses: You've got the ones you'll need, I think, even though I'd suggest getting a fast zoom for that kind of occasion. I swear by the Olympus 12-40mm - it's a great lens for people photography, it's very sharp and contrasty without being harsh, and it's very quick to focus on the E-M10. But the small, fast primes are great lenses - if you're comfortable with changing lenses regularily and quickly, why bother with a bigger, heavier one that's quite expensive?

    Other stuff? Well, since you don't know which of the pictures they will want to print big (well, big enough to hang on walls, anyway), I'd suggest not going beyond ISO 1600 on the E-M10 (or ISO 800 on the older 12Mp sensors). As nice as the high ISO shots might look on screen, colour prints will probably start to look ugly at around that value, post processing notwithstanding.

    Oh, and carry enough memory cards and spare batteries!

    M.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Plaatje

    Plaatje SC Regular

    54
    Oct 20, 2014
    Alf,
    Robin Wong writes about this on his blog. Might be interesting. From my own experience (long ago) I would say always take a backup with you, that's a backup for the camera's, for the lenses, batteries, and so on . . .
    So take at least two camera's and maybe one left in the car. Did I ever need it, no, only once! Once in many years, but I still remember my worries when everything went wrong and what was I happy with that old camera . . .
    And you wouldn't want to be remembered as " the uncle who should take care for my wedding photo's but made a mess out of it".
    Don't want to make you scared but taking weddingphoto's is a great responsibility even more when it's your family. So till then, practise, practise, practise so that you can use your camera's with your eyes closed . . .
    Good luck!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator

    Aug 13, 2011
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
    Advice #1 - Don't do it. talk them out of it. Scare them off. If this does not work, then...
    Advice #2 - Charge. This may sound harsh, but something that is provided for free is perceived as being of no value.
    Advice #3 - If they want your style, shoot it your way. If you do not use flash, do not use flash. You cannot distill years of experience in a few fleeting months.
    Advice #4. Be organised. This means prepping an agreed shoot list, visiting the venues at the appropriate times as day, making copious notes, talking to the organisers and officials, working out where to stand, etc
    Advice #5. If you are naturally a diffident person, stop at 1. You are going to have to marshal prople who a) Don't like it b) Don't see why c) disappear for a smoke at the wrong time d) are drunk and e) think they know better. If you cannot assert you authority, you are dead in the water.

    The last time I did a wedding, it lasted three days, interiors, exteriors including on a beach. It was in Basque (Northern) Spain. I speak neither language. I took 2500 shots over the three days, to arrive at a 40-picture album.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  7. kyteflyer

    kyteflyer ~@¿@~

    Jan 31, 2011
    Newcastle, Australia
    Sue
    I love Bill's #5. Thats me, and why I dont do it. I *have* done it, but never again. Same for website management.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  8. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    take up a collection amongst your friends. And hire a photographer. I always love your photos, Alf. But shooting weddings is NOT fun. But you can still shoot it as well.... in your own style. You will have the great candid shots. And the hired photographer will get all the boring ones. Good luck...whatever you do.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  9. Boid

    Boid SC All-Pro

    Dec 15, 2011
    Bangalore, India
    Rajiv
    Ask them to hire a professional and have fun shooting at the wedding as a second shooter. No special preparations needed, shoot in natural light.

    If they expect you to be the only shooter at the wedding, that comes with a bunch of responsibility and expectations.

    I wouldn't do it.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Alf

    Alf SC Top Veteran

    651
    Oct 11, 2010
    Northeastern Tuscany
    Dear Sane People,

    thank you all.
    Any more advice is welcome,
    and let's hope for the best.
    :)
     
  11. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator

    Aug 13, 2011
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
    Oh Alf...

    Hope is not a strategy.

    PLEASE go into this with your eyes open, and don't do it if you have the slightest doubt.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. KillRamsey

    KillRamsey SC Hall of Famer

    Jun 20, 2012
    Cambridge, MA
    Kyle
    Oh boy. I did this, just this summer, for my best friends. They did indeed hire a guy (another friend, but one who was attempting to make a go of it as a pro photog), along with me for free as "extra." My shots were deemed to be all they could ever ask for a wedding gift. Here's how it went, and what advice I'd give you. Here are most of my shots, if you want to see how it turned out first: https://www.flickr.com/photos/16872339@N05/sets/72157645658472169/

    1. As Luke said, the pro guy took all the boring shots, and did a passable job at it. I think I out-gunned him in the casuals department, from what I saw afterwards. That says more about him being inexperienced than it does about me being awesome! Plus I could concentrate on casuals, and he couldn't. I was VERY happy he did the posed, formal part, because it is the least like "your" shooting of all the shots they need, and they NEED them, so the price for failure is high here. If you had to wing this one alone, I would find the smartest, ballsiest woman you can, and enlist her as your "wrangler." Have her sort people, position them, and generally bully them into staying in position. No one will argue with a smart, forceful woman.

    2. Forget flash. You don't have time to figure out all that mess. Your mission will now become Stopping Motion. In all the kinds of light you'll be facing, do you have the glass and the sensor to comfortably shoot at 1/60th, only dipping down to 1/30 when in DIRE need? None of my shots in that album used flash. With the fuji 56 f1.2 lens, it's a non-issue. With the 35 f1.4, same thing - I had plenty of light. But at night, when people were dancing in near-dark, the only wide lens I had was the 14 f2.8, and I IMMEDIATELY felt the loss of 2 stops. Where the 56mm was at 1.2, 1/60, and ISO2500, the 14mm would've been at ISO 10,000. That's uncomfortably high for anything but an artsy b&w, in my book. So of course you're stuck going down to around 1/20, at which point you ain't stopping much motion. What I'm saying is this -- if you are shooting M4/3, and you don't own FAST glass in wide / mid / portrait lengths, rent it. Side benefit: Everyone viewing those shots will think that bokeh = "pro photography" anyway.
     
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  13. KillRamsey

    KillRamsey SC Hall of Famer

    Jun 20, 2012
    Cambridge, MA
    Kyle
    And when I HAD to use the 14 in dim light, I tried to find people doing something interesting AND stationary... people who weren't moving much. Like these two, who didn't even know I took the shot, by the way...

    14607812397_35573aaaa0_c. KBRX7843RT by gordopuggy, on Flickr
     
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  14. Alf

    Alf SC Top Veteran

    651
    Oct 11, 2010
    Northeastern Tuscany
    EPL35271. EM106155.

    Done.
     
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  15. marlof

    marlof Trying to focus

    Dec 25, 2010
    The Netherlands
    Marlof
    I bet they're proud of the cool uncle too. Well done, man!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  16. Alf

    Alf SC Top Veteran

    651
    Oct 11, 2010
    Northeastern Tuscany
  17. kyteflyer

    kyteflyer ~@¿@~

    Jan 31, 2011
    Newcastle, Australia
    Sue
    Well done, Alf, I just love that second one. They looks so relaxed and happy. Brilliant job. :)
     
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  18. bilzmale

    bilzmale Super Moderator Emeritus

    Jul 17, 2010
    Perth, Western Australia
    Bill Shinnick
    You have captured a lovely moment.
     
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  19. Fun shots
     
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  20. bluzcity

    bluzcity SC Veteran

    311
    Jul 30, 2013
    Memphis, TN
    Brent
    This is a fun set. Seems you made everyone feel comfortable.
     
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