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Wedding photography - recommended kit?

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chelle
chelle  877 forum posts
18 Jun 2011 - 2:45 PM

Hello all!

I am thinking of getting into wedding photography, portraits shoots, etc. I just wondered what kind of kit you would recommend for this kind of business? Which camera/lenses/flashgun, etc? I currently have Canon low end camera and lenses, but I do really want to swap over to a more professional Nikon kit.

What do any pro wedding togs on here use kit-wise?

I know that wedding photography can be an emotive subject on the forums Smile so thought I should let you know that I am not jumping into it. I plan on assisting pro togs on wedding shoots where possible, I have been reading many wedding photography books, have attended wedding photography courses (and plan to attend more in the future), and I have studied photography to a high level of education.

Any help or advice would be appreciated.

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Carabosse
Carabosse e2 Member 1139395 forum postsCarabosse vcard England269 Constructive Critique Points
18 Jun 2011 - 2:48 PM


Quote: I currently have Canon low end camera and lenses, but I do really want to swap over to a more professional Nikon kit.


Quote: I know that wedding photography can be an emotive subject on the forums

Well you first statment, above, is pretty emotive. Lol! Grin

Overread
Overread  63746 forum posts England18 Constructive Critique Points
18 Jun 2011 - 2:55 PM

What's wrong with canon? I mean you're used to the interface and such already so why swap?


24-70mm f2.8 L + 70-200mm f2.8 IS L M2 + 5DM2 + 580EX2 and you've a good bread winning start to a wedding setup. Variations upon that exist, taking primes instead of/in addition to the 24-70mm (there will be churches were you can't use flash indoors); wider lenses for group shots; additional lighting gear; to say nothing of backup bodies incase one has an error on the day.

chelle
chelle  877 forum posts
18 Jun 2011 - 3:02 PM


Quote: I currently have Canon low end camera and lenses, but I do really want to swap over to a more professional Nikon kit.

I know that wedding photography can be an emotive subject on the forums

Well you first statment, above, is pretty emotive. Lol! Grin

Well as I was previously a photography student I had what kit I could afford at the time.
It got me through college and University fine, but now as I want to become more professional I know I obviously need a better kit which is why I was asking for advice from other photographers.
I want to assist firstly, but I still want a professional kit for that as I know it's important.

I am used to Canon Overread, but I have also used Nikons at University and am comfortable with them too. I prefer the Nikon brand but I suppose I would consider sticking with Canon too if prices and reviews were better.

User_Removed
18 Jun 2011 - 3:03 PM

First of all, find the differences between the top end cameras. (You won't find many)
But MORE IMPORTANTLY learn about photography, light effects, controling people (Both sober and not so sober) but most importantly, how to photograph a wedding i.e. order of events, which side of the groom does the bride stands on, mock cutting of the cake, grouping the guests in order without upsetting them.....etc. etc.
Although the camera equipment is useful as it helps you capture the day's celebrations, there are many, many more pressing isues to consider when shooting an event which is very important to those people concerned.
Once you have all that under your belt, you can compare the different equipment available and your equipment needs1
So many "Low end" snappers think the answer to a successful wedding shoot is the equipment used. Very, very wrong!

Oh and er.......good luck. Wink

Last Modified By User_Removed at 18 Jun 2011 - 3:10 PM Helpful Post! This post was flagged as helpful
User_Removed
18 Jun 2011 - 3:12 PM


Quote: Well as I was previously a photography student

Oh and by the way.........we are all students of photography and always will be.

Last Modified By User_Removed at 18 Jun 2011 - 3:13 PM
chelle
chelle  877 forum posts
18 Jun 2011 - 3:34 PM


Quote: First of all, find the differences between the top end cameras. (You won't find many)
But MORE IMPORTANTLY learn about photography, light effects, controling people (Both sober and not so sober) but most importantly, how to photograph a wedding i.e. order of events, which side of the groom does the bride stands on, mock cutting of the cake, grouping the guests in order without upsetting them.....etc. etc.
Although the camera equipment is useful as it helps you capture the day's celebrations, there are many, many more pressing isues to consider when shooting an event which is very important to those people concerned.
Once you have all that under your belt, you can compare the different equipment available and your equipment needs1
So many "Low end" snappers think the answer to a successful wedding shoot is the equipment used. Very, very wrong!

Oh and er.......good luck. Wink

Thanks for the advice. I understand all of the points you've mentioned which is why I've attended wedding photography courses, read up on the subject, and want to assist a pro wedding photographer first before jumping into it. I think assisting will really help me see what the whole process is like and give me invaluable experience.

Plus, I'm always learning new things by research and practice! I've been doing portrait shoots for a while now (location and studio) so have learnt tips on how to pose and deal with people in those situations, but not in the wedding environment yet.

I got married recently too and it was interesting to see how the wedding photographer organised people, and how the course of the day goes and what is expected from the photographer, his lighting techniques, etc.

thewilliam
18 Jun 2011 - 3:55 PM

The OP is very wise to consider Nikon kit because many MPA colleagues who have been using Canon are in the process of changing. Some good wedding photographers prefer Hasselblad H series.

It's vital to have the very best kit so that you look truly professional. You'd lose all credibility if one of the guests turned up with kit better than yours. Look into the motives of anyone who says otherwise!

The minimum standard kit seems to be: 2x D3S plus 16mm fisheye, 14-14, 24-70 and 70-200 zooms. It's also useful to have a couple of fast primes such as the 85mm f1.4 and the 135mm f2DC. A couple of SB900 flashguns and a Gitzo monopod will complete the kit

If you already know how to pose people and fully understand the business side, all you need is proper kit!

Overread
Overread  63746 forum posts England18 Constructive Critique Points
18 Jun 2011 - 4:27 PM

If you are going to assist a pro you might consider investigating before you purchase your system. That you are fluent in both Canon and Nikon gear gives you a little advantage and chances are if you want to properly 2nd shoot for a time you might well simply wish to adopt the system that "your pro" is using (to help with workflow and the like). Of course some might also have the position open and spare "company" gear to use instead. (though if assisting check the contract details as some will try to inhibit people working for them and then setting up a similar business within a radius of their own).

And yes do find the differences and the actual reasons for people shifting brands - also remember a lot of brand shifting happens at the body level - the problem with this approach is that whilst you can chase after the latest and the greatest give it a year or two and the whole system of who is top for what can turn head over heels.

I do note that a lot of people shifting are in the "Got everything I need" camp and I do sometimes wonder if its a little bit of wanting new gear and not having anything to get that partly drives the "need" to change.

User_Removed
18 Jun 2011 - 5:25 PM

(With an apology to CB for nicking his image...)


Quote: I just wondered what kind of kit you would recommend for this kind of business?

Get one of these:

rolleiflex.jpg

After you spent a fortune on film and processing whilst you take heed of Laurel's advice and perfect the baseline photography technicalities, you might be ready to do your first wedding.

Paul Morgan
Paul Morgan e2 Member 1315157 forum postsPaul Morgan vcard England6 Constructive Critique Points
18 Jun 2011 - 5:43 PM


Quote: What do any pro wedding togs on here use kit-wise?

What ever your most comfortable with, use the kit you already have.

People skills will be far more important on the day.

monkeygrip
18 Jun 2011 - 6:32 PM


Quote: It's vital to have the very best kit so that you look truly professional. You'd lose all credibility if one of the guests turned up with kit better than yours. Look into the motives of anyone who says otherwise!

I hope this is sarcasm if not I have never heard such guano in all my life.

If this where true my advice would be forget photography and go out and buy a more expensive and up to date set of golf clubs than Tiger Woods there is much more money to be earned and loads of fresh air every day.

My advice use the best kit you can afford and 2 of them but the most important thing has nothing to do with equipment it is the ability to connect with the couple and their guests most of them are hell bent on not liking the wedding photographer win them over and you will become the puppet master.

User_Removed
18 Jun 2011 - 6:57 PM


Quote: It's vital to have the very best kit so that you look truly professional. You'd lose all credibility if one of the guests turned up with kit better than yours. Look into the motives of anyone who says otherwise!



You beat me to it Monkeygrip.
What complete rubbish lol.

Hi Michelle,
Sounds like you are on the right road with the experience you're going to get and have already gained.
Good luck.

peterjones
peterjones e2 Member 123901 forum postspeterjones vcard United Kingdom1 Constructive Critique Points
18 Jun 2011 - 7:42 PM

to answer the OP's question both Nikon and Canon give superlative results in the right hands at weddings so the choice of a system is based purely on personal preference; it doesn't matter that a wedding guest turns up with a "better" camera than you so long as your pictures are better than the guest's otherwise you have a very serious problem indeed; what does matter is that you can operate your camera professionally, giving your clients confidence in you.

I would choose cameras that write to two cards simultaneously; a brace of D7000s or D300Ss or D3Ss depending on your budget; perhaps consider the 24/120 (MkII version) as a do most things lens backed up by a fast prime lens maybe the 50mm f/1.8; you will need flashguns again a pair; I use SB 900s.


Whatever kit you choose learn to use it so well and in all conditions so that you can use it if necessary on auto pilot; you can then search for threads on epz for wedding photography ignoring the more emotional content; books to consider are by Messrs Cleghorn and Lovegrove amongst others.

Remember a wedding is an unrepeatable event not to be taken lightly as the couple's photographs are their memories for the rest of their lives; all the pictures must be good under any adverse conditions you find and you have to get on with people - all sorts of people.

The above is very short I know; good luck!

Peter.

Last Modified By peterjones at 18 Jun 2011 - 7:45 PM Helpful Post! This post was flagged as helpful
thewilliam
18 Jun 2011 - 11:06 PM

Quote:It's vital to have the very best kit so that you look truly professional. You'd lose all credibility if one of the guests turned up with kit better than yours. Look into the motives of anyone who says otherwise!

Although that was written with my tongue very firmly in my cheek, there's a grain of truth in it. The official photographer must have obvious mastery of his/her kit and its use. Also to be in firm but gentle control of the proceedings whenever people are being photographed.

A couple of years ago, when I was helping She-who-must-be-obeyed at a wedding, an Uncle Bob admitted that he always looked at the kit the official photographer was using. He stayed out of our way and even offered to help because he saw us as top-end photographers, wielding top-end kit.

But if he saw the official snapper was using entry-level kit, it was open-season. If Uncle Bob needed to stand directly in front of the poor snapper to get his shot, that's where he stood. No mercy was shown!.

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