Help - I have to shoot a wedding.

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by eatmorepies, Jun 17, 2012.

  1. eatmorepies

    eatmorepies Guest

    My sister wants me to photograph my niece's wedding in 5 weeks time. I
    normally take pictures at carnivals, sports events, the street, pride
    marches, art and music festivals and local motorsport events. This formal
    stuff is outside my experience.

    The group photos will be in front of a church porch - probably in the
    shade - I expect the day to be overcast as we are in the UK summer period. I
    thought to use fill flash. I've seen proper wedding photographers use
    reflective umbrellas and as I was impressed with the results when I had a go
    with softboxes in a studio I thought I might buy an umbrella and give it a
    go. (Possibly 2 umbrellas?)

    Before starting down the wrong path I'd like advice from those in the know
    about formal stuff being shot out of doors.

    I have available a 5D2, a 1D mkIV, 24 - 70mm F2.8L, 24 - 105mm F4L, 16 -
    35mm f2.8L and a 70 - 200mm f2.8L. A mkI 580 EX, a mkII 580 EX and a mkII
    270 EX flashgun. Two decent Manfrotto tripods with heads and a cheap Jessops
    tripod.

    So, what advice have you? I'm ok to buy some more stuff - within limits.

    John
    eatmorepies, Jun 17, 2012
    #1
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  2. eatmorepies

    Nick Fotis Guest

    If you want peace of mind, DON'T do that!

    N.F.
    Nick Fotis, Jun 17, 2012
    #2
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  3. eatmorepies

    ray Guest

    On Sun, 17 Jun 2012 21:44:36 +0100, eatmorepies wrote:

    > My sister wants me to photograph my niece's wedding in 5 weeks time. I
    > normally take pictures at carnivals, sports events, the street, pride
    > marches, art and music festivals and local motorsport events. This
    > formal stuff is outside my experience.
    >
    > The group photos will be in front of a church porch - probably in the
    > shade - I expect the day to be overcast as we are in the UK summer
    > period. I thought to use fill flash. I've seen proper wedding
    > photographers use reflective umbrellas and as I was impressed with the
    > results when I had a go with softboxes in a studio I thought I might buy
    > an umbrella and give it a go. (Possibly 2 umbrellas?)
    >
    > Before starting down the wrong path I'd like advice from those in the
    > know about formal stuff being shot out of doors.
    >
    > I have available a 5D2, a 1D mkIV, 24 - 70mm F2.8L, 24 - 105mm F4L, 16 -
    > 35mm f2.8L and a 70 - 200mm f2.8L. A mkI 580 EX, a mkII 580 EX and a
    > mkII 270 EX flashgun. Two decent Manfrotto tripods with heads and a
    > cheap Jessops tripod.
    >
    > So, what advice have you? I'm ok to buy some more stuff - within limits.
    >
    > John


    I'm certainly no expert and I'd agree that a pro should do it. If you
    absolutely 'must' do it, here are some suggestions:

    1) do a 'dry run' a few days before - get people to stand in the places
    you'll shoot and do it - then learn from what you have.

    2) if there is another wedding at the same or very similar facility, go
    and talk with or at least observe the photographer (assuming (s)he's a
    pro).
    ray, Jun 17, 2012
    #3
  4. eatmorepies

    Robert Coe Guest

    On Sun, 17 Jun 2012 21:44:36 +0100, "eatmorepies" <>
    wrote:
    : My sister wants me to photograph my niece's wedding in 5 weeks time. I
    : normally take pictures at carnivals, sports events, the street, pride
    : marches, art and music festivals and local motorsport events. This formal
    : stuff is outside my experience.
    :
    : The group photos will be in front of a church porch - probably in the
    : shade - I expect the day to be overcast as we are in the UK summer period. I
    : thought to use fill flash. I've seen proper wedding photographers use
    : reflective umbrellas and as I was impressed with the results when I had a go
    : with softboxes in a studio I thought I might buy an umbrella and give it a
    : go. (Possibly 2 umbrellas?)
    :
    : Before starting down the wrong path I'd like advice from those in the know
    : about formal stuff being shot out of doors.
    :
    : I have available a 5D2, a 1D mkIV, 24 - 70mm F2.8L, 24 - 105mm F4L, 16 -
    : 35mm f2.8L and a 70 - 200mm f2.8L. A mkI 580 EX, a mkII 580 EX and a mkII
    : 270 EX flashgun. Two decent Manfrotto tripods with heads and a cheap Jessops
    : tripod.
    :
    : So, what advice have you?

    Leave the Jessops tripod at home.

    Bob
    Robert Coe, Jun 18, 2012
    #4
  5. My sister wants me to photograph my niece's wedding in 5 weeks time. I
    normally take pictures at carnivals, sports events, the street, pride
    marches, art and music festivals and local motorsport events. This formal
    stuff is outside my experience.
    []
    So, what advice have you? I'm ok to buy some more stuff - within limits.

    John
    =========================

    John, I think you will have got the message from the other replies. If you
    are forced into doing this, make it clear that you are doing only casual
    shots, and /not/ formal ones. If they must have formal, hire a pro!

    Cheers,
    David
    David J Taylor, Jun 18, 2012
    #5
  6. eatmorepies

    Martin Brown Guest

    On 17/06/2012 23:02, Savageduck wrote:
    > On 2012-06-17 13:44:36 -0700, "eatmorepies" <> said:
    >
    >> My sister wants me to photograph my niece's wedding in 5 weeks time. I
    >> normally take pictures at carnivals, sports events, the street, pride
    >> marches, art and music festivals and local motorsport events. This formal
    >> stuff is outside my experience.
    >>
    >> The group photos will be in front of a church porch - probably in the
    >> shade - I expect the day to be overcast as we are in the UK summer
    >> period. I
    >> thought to use fill flash. I've seen proper wedding photographers use
    >> reflective umbrellas and as I was impressed with the results when I
    >> had a go
    >> with softboxes in a studio I thought I might buy an umbrella and give
    >> it a
    >> go. (Possibly 2 umbrellas?)
    >>
    >> Before starting down the wrong path I'd like advice from those in the
    >> know
    >> about formal stuff being shot out of doors.
    >>
    >> I have available a 5D2, a 1D mkIV, 24 - 70mm F2.8L, 24 - 105mm F4L, 16 -
    >> 35mm f2.8L and a 70 - 200mm f2.8L. A mkI 580 EX, a mkII 580 EX and a mkII
    >> 270 EX flashgun. Two decent Manfrotto tripods with heads and a cheap
    >> Jessops
    >> tripod.
    >>
    >> So, what advice have you? I'm ok to buy some more stuff - within limits.
    >>
    >> John

    >
    > Your sister is setting you up for a classic family fall out. She has
    > probably seen the wedding planner's itemized estimate for a professional
    > wedding photographer at some $1000-$3000 for a decent package including
    > prints and/or albums. You might want to explore some wedding
    > photographer's web sites to get some idea of what the better ones offer,
    > and what mistakes the terrible ones make. You certainly don't want to
    > end up in this company.
    > < http://awkwardfamilyphotos.com/2011/10/02/heartbreak/ >
    >
    > For piece of mind don't take this on if you ever want to maintain ties
    > with your sister's side of the family.


    Indeed. It is surprisingly difficult sometimes even for pros to coral a
    largish crowd of somewhat merry people more interested in nibbling the
    canapes into some form of order in all the required permutations. And
    avoiding trees growing out of the vicars or brides head etc...

    Assuming that you get the technical stuff just right posing a bride and
    groom to both look good when highlights and to a lesser extent shadow
    detail are critical to the final result is not as easy as it sounds.

    Also this being the UK you have to plan for all possible weather up to
    and including monsoon conditions this year. My cousins wedding was
    memorable for one photograph of an avenue of colourful golfing umbrellas
    protecting the bride & groom as they left the church (in torrential rain).

    By all means shoot informal second camera with something compact and
    unobtrusive. But unless you are really into adrenalin sports don't do
    mainline wedding photography for friends and family unless they are
    absolutely destitute and have no other choice. If you absolutely have to
    stress how you have never done it before and cannot guarantee the
    results. Think shades of I,Claudius taking on the job of Roman emperor.

    --
    Regards,
    Martin Brown
    Martin Brown, Jun 18, 2012
    #6
  7. eatmorepies

    Bruce Guest

    "eatmorepies" <> wrote:
    >My sister wants me to photograph my niece's wedding in 5 weeks time. I
    >normally take pictures at carnivals, sports events, the street, pride
    >marches, art and music festivals and local motorsport events. This formal
    >stuff is outside my experience.
    >
    >The group photos will be in front of a church porch - probably in the
    >shade - I expect the day to be overcast as we are in the UK summer period. I
    >thought to use fill flash. I've seen proper wedding photographers use
    >reflective umbrellas and as I was impressed with the results when I had a go
    >with softboxes in a studio I thought I might buy an umbrella and give it a
    >go. (Possibly 2 umbrellas?)
    >
    >Before starting down the wrong path I'd like advice from those in the know
    >about formal stuff being shot out of doors.
    >
    >I have available a 5D2, a 1D mkIV, 24 - 70mm F2.8L, 24 - 105mm F4L, 16 -
    >35mm f2.8L and a 70 - 200mm f2.8L. A mkI 580 EX, a mkII 580 EX and a mkII
    >270 EX flashgun. Two decent Manfrotto tripods with heads and a cheap Jessops
    >tripod.
    >
    >So, what advice have you? I'm ok to buy some more stuff - within limits.



    Don't you think you already bought enough "stuff"? With all that pro
    gear you have, it is no wonder your sister thought you were the ideal
    person to shoot your niece's wedding.

    It seems to me that you have two options.

    Option 1. Be honest with your sister and admit that you don't have a
    clue about shooting a wedding. It will be embarrassing because she
    (presumably) knows that your gear cost you many thousands of pounds.
    Your equipment may have given her an impression of competence that is
    not supported by your ability.

    You could help her choose a suitable professional and even make a
    contribution to the cost as a wedding gift. You could also offer to
    supplement the professional's work by taking candid and informal shots
    that the pro won't have time to catch.

    Option 2. You have five weeks to learn how to shoot a wedding.

    Either way, I wish you luck.
    Bruce, Jun 18, 2012
    #7
  8. eatmorepies

    DanP Guest

    On Monday, 18 June 2012 11:10:01 UTC+1, Bruce wrote:
    > "eatmorepies" <> wrote:
    > >My sister wants me to photograph my niece's wedding in 5 weeks time. I
    > >normally take pictures at carnivals, sports events, the street, pride
    > >marches, art and music festivals and local motorsport events. This formal
    > >stuff is outside my experience.
    > >
    > >The group photos will be in front of a church porch - probably in the
    > >shade - I expect the day to be overcast as we are in the UK summer period. I
    > >thought to use fill flash. I've seen proper wedding photographers use
    > >reflective umbrellas and as I was impressed with the results when I had a go
    > >with softboxes in a studio I thought I might buy an umbrella and give it a
    > >go. (Possibly 2 umbrellas?)
    > >
    > >Before starting down the wrong path I'd like advice from those in the know
    > >about formal stuff being shot out of doors.
    > >
    > >I have available a 5D2, a 1D mkIV, 24 - 70mm F2.8L, 24 - 105mm F4L, 16 -
    > >35mm f2.8L and a 70 - 200mm f2.8L. A mkI 580 EX, a mkII 580 EX and a mkII
    > >270 EX flashgun. Two decent Manfrotto tripods with heads and a cheap Jessops
    > >tripod.
    > >
    > >So, what advice have you? I'm ok to buy some more stuff - within limits.

    >
    >
    > Don't you think you already bought enough "stuff"? With all that pro
    > gear you have, it is no wonder your sister thought you were the ideal
    > person to shoot your niece's wedding.
    >
    > It seems to me that you have two options.
    >
    > Option 1. Be honest with your sister and admit that you don't have a
    > clue about shooting a wedding.


    Has he ever pretended he knows something about wedding photography? And why do you defend the ignorant here, namely his wife?

    DanP
    DanP, Jun 18, 2012
    #8
  9. eatmorepies

    Mr. Strat Guest

    In article <>, eatmorepies
    <> wrote:

    > My sister wants me to photograph my niece's wedding in 5 weeks time. I
    > normally take pictures at carnivals, sports events, the street, pride
    > marches, art and music festivals and local motorsport events. This formal
    > stuff is outside my experience.
    >
    > The group photos will be in front of a church porch - probably in the
    > shade - I expect the day to be overcast as we are in the UK summer period. I
    > thought to use fill flash. I've seen proper wedding photographers use
    > reflective umbrellas and as I was impressed with the results when I had a go
    > with softboxes in a studio I thought I might buy an umbrella and give it a
    > go. (Possibly 2 umbrellas?)
    >
    > Before starting down the wrong path I'd like advice from those in the know
    > about formal stuff being shot out of doors.
    >
    > I have available a 5D2, a 1D mkIV, 24 - 70mm F2.8L, 24 - 105mm F4L, 16 -
    > 35mm f2.8L and a 70 - 200mm f2.8L. A mkI 580 EX, a mkII 580 EX and a mkII
    > 270 EX flashgun. Two decent Manfrotto tripods with heads and a cheap Jessops
    > tripod.
    >
    > So, what advice have you? I'm ok to buy some more stuff - within limits.


    Have them hire a professional. You're obviously in over your head just
    by asking the questions.
    Mr. Strat, Jun 18, 2012
    #9
  10. eatmorepies

    otter Guest

    On Jun 17, 3:44 pm, "eatmorepies" <> wrote:

    > So, what advice have you? I'm ok to buy some more stuff - within limits.
    >


    I see everyone stole my thunder. My initial thought was to run as
    fast as you can away from this.

    However, not everyone wants or needs to spend big bucks on wedding
    pictures. If the alternative is no pics at all, or perhaps some snaps
    from Aunt Alice, having you in the mix probably doesn't hurt. Make it
    clear to your sister that you will only be providing casual, not
    formal shots. If she wants more than that, make it clear she needs to
    hire a pro, and you can be the second shooter.
    otter, Jun 18, 2012
    #10
  11. On 18/06/2012 09:22, Martin Brown wrote:
    > Also this being the UK you have to plan for all possible weather up to
    > and including monsoon conditions this year. My cousins wedding was
    > memorable for one photograph of an avenue of colourful golfing umbrellas
    > protecting the bride & groom as they left the church (in torrential rain).


    This would be the easier conditions!

    Having a crude sun without any clouds in june at 11:00 am will produce
    horrible results. You won't have a flash powerful enough to save that
    situation.

    If you get this meteo, avoid the direct sun, go to a forest, keep
    inside, try to use white walls lit by the sun, while your subjects are
    at the opposite.

    Laszlo
    Laszlo Lebrun, Jun 18, 2012
    #11
  12. eatmorepies

    Robert Coe Guest

    On Mon, 18 Jun 2012 07:45:44 +0100, "David J Taylor"
    <> wrote:
    : My sister wants me to photograph my niece's wedding in 5 weeks time. I
    : normally take pictures at carnivals, sports events, the street, pride
    : marches, art and music festivals and local motorsport events. This formal
    : stuff is outside my experience.
    : []
    : So, what advice have you? I'm ok to buy some more stuff - within limits.
    :
    : John
    : =========================
    :
    : John, I think you will have got the message from the other replies. If you
    : are forced into doing this, make it clear that you are doing only casual
    : shots, and /not/ formal ones. If they must have formal, hire a pro!

    Actually, the formals are no more difficult than the candids. The trick with
    formals is to take lots of them (to guard against bad expressions) and to
    banish any snapshooters, because they distract the principals and get them to
    look in wrong directions. Watch any pro: they follow those two rules with
    absolute precision.

    And, of course, wear black, to avoid projecting colors onto the bride's dress!
    (You may laugh, but almost all wedding photographers wear black for that
    reason.)

    Bob
    Robert Coe, Jun 19, 2012
    #12
  13. eatmorepies

    MC Guest

    eatmorepies wrote:

    > My sister wants me to photograph my niece's wedding in 5 weeks time.
    > I normally take pictures at carnivals, sports events, the street,
    > pride marches, art and music festivals and local motorsport events.
    > This formal stuff is outside my experience.
    >
    > The group photos will be in front of a church porch - probably in the
    > shade - I expect the day to be overcast as we are in the UK summer
    > period. I thought to use fill flash. I've seen proper wedding
    > photographers use reflective umbrellas and as I was impressed with
    > the results when I had a go with softboxes in a studio I thought I
    > might buy an umbrella and give it a go. (Possibly 2 umbrellas?)
    >
    > Before starting down the wrong path I'd like advice from those in the
    > know about formal stuff being shot out of doors.
    >
    > I have available a 5D2, a 1D mkIV, 24 - 70mm F2.8L, 24 - 105mm F4L,
    > 16 - 35mm f2.8L and a 70 - 200mm f2.8L. A mkI 580 EX, a mkII 580 EX
    > and a mkII 270 EX flashgun. Two decent Manfrotto tripods with heads
    > and a cheap Jessops tripod.
    >
    > So, what advice have you? I'm ok to buy some more stuff - within
    > limits.
    >
    > John


    Unless it a casual affair and there are only a handful of guests, and
    your neice is not going to expect a "pro standard" package then fine.
    However, if it is going to be any more than this, I would run a mile.
    Even the most experienced, hardened wedding photographers can get it
    wrong so using someone who is not experienced the couple will be making
    a big gamble. Remember, you only get one chance. Mess it up and it
    may be hard for the wedding party to forgive you for quite a while,
    especially if it is family.

    I used to do the odd wedding years ago but I point blank refuse these
    days. To much hassle for very little gain.

    MC
    MC, Jun 19, 2012
    #13
  14. eatmorepies

    NotMe Guest

    "eatmorepies" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > My sister wants me to photograph my niece's wedding in 5 weeks time. I
    > normally take pictures at carnivals, sports events, the street, pride
    > marches, art and music festivals and local motorsport events. This formal
    > stuff is outside my experience.
    >
    > The group photos will be in front of a church porch - probably in the
    > shade - I expect the day to be overcast as we are in the UK summer period.
    > I thought to use fill flash. I've seen proper wedding photographers use
    > reflective umbrellas and as I was impressed with the results when I had a
    > go with softboxes in a studio I thought I might buy an umbrella and give
    > it a go. (Possibly 2 umbrellas?)
    >
    > Before starting down the wrong path I'd like advice from those in the know
    > about formal stuff being shot out of doors.
    >
    > I have available a 5D2, a 1D mkIV, 24 - 70mm F2.8L, 24 - 105mm F4L, 16 -
    > 35mm f2.8L and a 70 - 200mm f2.8L. A mkI 580 EX, a mkII 580 EX and a mkII
    > 270 EX flashgun. Two decent Manfrotto tripods with heads and a cheap
    > Jessops tripod.
    >
    > So, what advice have you? I'm ok to buy some more stuff - within limits.
    >
    > John


    My daughter will do family and close friends 'do-s' but with the
    qualification that they hire another professional for pay.

    In a few cases were money is tight she will make her gift the cost of the
    outside professionals fees. Saves a lot of hurt and keeps family unity
    solid.
    NotMe, Jun 19, 2012
    #14
  15. eatmorepies

    Bigguy2011 Guest

    On 17/06/2012 21:44, eatmorepies wrote:
    > My sister wants me to photograph my niece's wedding in 5 weeks time. I
    > normally take pictures at carnivals, sports events, the street, pride
    > marches, art and music festivals and local motorsport events. This formal
    > stuff is outside my experience.
    >
    > The group photos will be in front of a church porch - probably in the
    > shade - I expect the day to be overcast as we are in the UK summer period. I
    > thought to use fill flash. I've seen proper wedding photographers use
    > reflective umbrellas and as I was impressed with the results when I had a go
    > with softboxes in a studio I thought I might buy an umbrella and give it a
    > go. (Possibly 2 umbrellas?)
    >
    > Before starting down the wrong path I'd like advice from those in the know
    > about formal stuff being shot out of doors.
    >
    > I have available a 5D2, a 1D mkIV, 24 - 70mm F2.8L, 24 - 105mm F4L, 16 -
    > 35mm f2.8L and a 70 - 200mm f2.8L. A mkI 580 EX, a mkII 580 EX and a mkII
    > 270 EX flashgun. Two decent Manfrotto tripods with heads and a cheap Jessops
    > tripod.
    >
    > So, what advice have you? I'm ok to buy some more stuff - within limits.
    >
    > John
    >
    >

    Don't do it!

    The photography part is not too challenging, it's the logistics part
    that's the problem.

    If requires an advanced skill-set to marshall lots of drunken people,
    intent on ignoring you.
    You will have only the one chance to get it right and will have a long
    list of 'must have' shots.
    You will have to deliver multiple sets to multiple people and it will
    all cost you more than you thought or quoted for.

    Leave it to an experienced professional - there's a reason it cost $$$$
    to get a good job done.

    What I have done in the past is 'photojournalist' and candid 'character'
    shots as a free extra while leaving the real thing to a pro.
    This can work well, and will also demonstrate why you may not want to do
    wedding work.... :)

    IMHO

    Guy
    Bigguy2011, Jun 21, 2012
    #15
  16. Bigguy2011 <> wrote:
    > On 17/06/2012 21:44, eatmorepies wrote:


    >> My sister wants me to photograph my niece's wedding in 5 weeks time. I
    >> normally take pictures at carnivals, sports events, the street, pride
    >> marches, art and music festivals and local motorsport events. This formal
    >> stuff is outside my experience.
    >>
    >> The group photos will be in front of a church porch - probably in the
    >> shade - I expect the day to be overcast as we are in the UK summer period. I
    >> thought to use fill flash. I've seen proper wedding photographers use
    >> reflective umbrellas and as I was impressed with the results when I had a go
    >> with softboxes in a studio I thought I might buy an umbrella and give it a
    >> go. (Possibly 2 umbrellas?)
    >>
    >> Before starting down the wrong path I'd like advice from those in the know
    >> about formal stuff being shot out of doors.
    >>
    >> I have available a 5D2, a 1D mkIV, 24 - 70mm F2.8L, 24 - 105mm F4L, 16 -
    >> 35mm f2.8L and a 70 - 200mm f2.8L. A mkI 580 EX, a mkII 580 EX and a mkII
    >> 270 EX flashgun. Two decent Manfrotto tripods with heads and a cheap Jessops
    >> tripod.
    >>
    >> So, what advice have you? I'm ok to buy some more stuff - within limits.
    >>
    >> John


    > Don't do it!


    > The photography part is not too challenging, it's the logistics part
    > that's the problem.


    > If requires an advanced skill-set to marshall lots of drunken people,
    > intent on ignoring you.
    > You will have only the one chance to get it right and will have a long
    > list of 'must have' shots.
    > You will have to deliver multiple sets to multiple people and it will
    > all cost you more than you thought or quoted for.


    I sometimes wander past one of my city's scenic locations to discover
    a wedding photographer with a pile of wedding guests trying to arrange
    them into a nice group shot against the famously iconic scenic
    background. While children run around, quarrel, and their mothers keep
    running after them, while people blow their noses, try to get over
    coughing fits, borrow combs and mirrors from each other, decide while
    everyone's waiting to dash out of the group to take a quick snap with
    their phone, the deaf and slightly sozzled guest has to keep being
    retrieved and turned round to face the camera, the slightly demented
    grandmother keeps bending over to pick up something shiny on the
    ground, passing tourists have to be shooed away, the big hat gets
    blown off again, the photographer is getting hoarse from shouting,
    struggling hard and not entirely successfully to continue sounding
    friendly.

    The photography is a doddle compared to the crowd control skills!

    --
    Chris Malcolm
    Chris Malcolm, Jun 25, 2012
    #16
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