Wedding photography- how to cope in church when flash is prohibited

JamesGarfield 11 915 4 United Kingdom
27 Jun 2011 7:59AM

Quote:Get yourself down to the church (Any church) with your camera and find out for yourself.

That's good advice and you'll also get a chance to practice at the rehearsal then you can make a decision either to go for it or pull out.

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PaulSR 14 511 England
27 Jun 2011 9:07AM

Quote:and church of england are probably the strictest.

the church is a Free C 0f E, so thats just cheered me up, not.

Quote:visit the actual church and experiment but do it on dull days

some good tips there to be thinking about. there is 2 months to go so plenty of time to try them out.
trivets12 16 1.3k
27 Jun 2011 9:20AM
Using flash in the church tends to kill any atmosphere.
I also think it is a bit of a cheek that just because someone is family, that they can expect you to do it for free so that they don't have to pay someone!! Either that, or they really don't value the photography part of it.
PaulSR 14 511 England
27 Jun 2011 9:21AM

Quote:Yesterday we shot a ceremony handheld at 1/60th at f2.8 at ISO 12,800

im sure you did, but is it possible to have pics free of noise at such a high iso setting. i find it hard to believe
roxpix 16 2.2k 11 Scotland
27 Jun 2011 9:22AM

Quote:how to cope in church when flash is prohibited

This one has cropped up several times before & I think itís workable using alternative shots, just consider what shot youíre trying to get & understand the limitations, eliminate the impractical & instead work on more viable shots

Make sure another relative is cajoled into shooting video during the service for the first kiss and couple close-ups, get yourself a 50mm 1.8 for 70 quid and find somewhere in the church to shoot from (Iím sure the subjects will be fairly static during the service & light levels will remain pretty constant) & since these were never going to be perfectly lit frontal portrait shots anyway just shift the expectation, if it exists, & go for wider event type shots that include more of the atmosphere & setting of the ceremony

Edit for effect (and factor noise as part of the effect if required)

After all this is a favour for family & if you tell them what can be done then thatís all you need to do, if you allow them to think theyíll get great close up shots then its pampers time Wink

User_Removed 16 3.3k 4 United Kingdom
27 Jun 2011 10:02AM
Get a 1.8 nifty fifty and practice shooting with it wide open and nail your focus techniqe. Shoot in full manual and shoot raw and underexpose slightly (in post-processing correcting underexposure is easier than fixing blur). To get better shutter speeds use high ISO and get familiar with the noise reduction facilities in DPP and third party solutions like Noise Ninja, (or factor it in as Roxpix suggests). Go down to the church explain the situation and get some practice shots inside.

If you can upgrade the body to the likes of a 5D Mk II that would allow you to get very acceptable results at crazy ISO speeds.

You should be able to get photos that look fine on Facebook, that's all a lot of modern couples really want these days; something that their family and friends can actually see on their iPads rather than an old-fashioned album that gathers dust underneath the wardrobe.
trivets12 16 1.3k
27 Jun 2011 10:07AM
You also need to consider that the vicar may not allow ANY shots in church at all, flash or not. This does happen and you need to find this out first.
trivets12 16 1.3k
27 Jun 2011 10:09AM
Are you upgrading your camera just for their wedding? If so, shouldn't they contribute? Or you could suggest to them that your camera may struggle in low light and therefore perhaps they'd like to pay for you to rent one for the weekend?
adrian_w Plus
13 3.8k 4 England
27 Jun 2011 10:36AM
I would take issue on the comments a bout ISO & noise. The 400D can go up to 1600ISO and even at that level I have never seen noticable noise.
ade_mcfade 16 15.2k 216 England
27 Jun 2011 11:07AM
you can use a tripod and take longer exposures than hand holding - for a lot of the ceremony, the couple are pretty still, so you can get away with longer shutters - though take lots, as if they blink, you can get some wierd looking effects

even in a bright looking church last week, I was at the limits of my 5D for hand holding , ISO1600, F2.8 and 1/100th - its got IS so 1/100th was fine.

I'm shooting a family wedding in 3 weeks (just back from seeing them all this weekend) - always a bit scary, especially when they've spent over £1000 on the cake and the bells and whistles are costing a fortune, but you've just got to draw on that experience and get on with it... but if you've got no experience.... good luck. Just take a lot of shots, sure you'll have a lot to work through in processing, but better that way than dodgy shots Wink
thewilliam 12 6.1k
27 Jun 2011 11:11AM
These days, cameras can give good results by moonlight, so the level of lighting in a church won't be a problem. A Nikon D3S or the equivalent Canon would do the trick.

The QUALITY of light is a different matter - some people can see it and some can't. She-who-must-be-obeyed is a natural at seeing light and produced brilliant pix at her very first wedding, whereas I had to work at it.

The best kit can be hired and you can get it delivered a few days before the wedding so you have a chance to "make friends with it".
ade_mcfade 16 15.2k 216 England
27 Jun 2011 11:16AM
hiring is a good option - not cheap though, a 5F2 is around £95 / day from the Flash Centre.

Also, be careful if you get a really fast F1.2 lens, you may get sharp ears and blurry faces if they move slightly when you take the pic Wink

Weddings are ace - people are dressed up, willing to be photographed, you have a free reign to do what you want, you drive the day a bit like a conductor, bellowing orders across the room, getting the ushers and best man on side (buy them a pint, they'll do anything for you then).... you can get the wedding car driver to put the car where you like etc. etc. etc.

Just takes a bit of balls at first....
justin c 16 5.1k 36 England
27 Jun 2011 11:27AM
I wouldn't get too hung up about the noise issue and the advice that you need to spend a small fortune on the very latest camera is a load of nonsense. Yes, there are advantages in having the latest and greatest, but someone who's doing a friend a favour by photographing their wedding is hardly likely to go out and spend thousands of pounds just for the occasion.
As mentioned earlier, people have got by absolutely fine for years without having the most cutting edge technology.
Noise, is most objectionable to other photographers because they tend to examine every pixel at silly resolutions on high quality monitors. In the real world, and assuming of course that you have the required skills to get the best from your equipment, there's no reason why the results wouldn't be absolutely fine. You give the happy couple their 7" x 5" prints or 9" x 6" prints or whatever they have these days and the couple will either think, that's a nice photo or that's not so good. No one is going to say, "yes well I do like that photo and it captures the moment perfectly, however would you mind if I just get a 10X loupe because I think I may possibly detect the merest hint of a little luminance noise under the far edge of the tablecloth, also, could that be a slight bit of colour noise in the shadow of the wine glass in the middle distance." GrinGrin
Carabosse 17 41.4k 270 England
27 Jun 2011 11:48AM
I might be doing some wedding togging with my little Olympus Pen next year! Smile

(That should cause ructions. Lol! Grin)
samfurlong 14 2.5k United Kingdom
27 Jun 2011 12:24PM
As has been said, get down to the church and try some shots and see if you are happy. You could just hire a better body / faster lens combination if you wanted.

A 50d WILL be better than a 400d noise wise. Okay so it's not a FF pro body which would be the weapon of choice for a pro but the electronics and software algorithms are a full 2 years newer than a 400d so you will see a substantial increase in low light performance.

As long as they know the risks of getting you to do it, I would carry on, do your best and if you can stretch to a 50d and possibly a faster lens or two (even hiring them) then your job will be so much easier.
You could get a 50mm 1.8 and a 24mm 2.8 for less than £300 for the pair if you look around.. Coupled with a 50d that would do you just fine.

Flash in church as the primary source of illumination would look horrible anyway - it kills any atmosphere and then you end up with overly flashed people and an underexposed background as the light falls off.. If you are allowed flash then restrict it's use to a bit of fill which can be useful to clean up the colours at close range.

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