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Wedding preparation advice


tdc 13 39 United Kingdom
17 Sep 2008 4:32PM
I know these are probably the most common questions on here but I could really do with some advice.

A work colleague and friend of mine has asked me to photograph his wedding next year, obviously this gives me a bit of time to prepare so I'm looking at courses. Has anyone been on the BIPP Wedding photography course and if so would you recommend it?

Also what is the ideal 'kit' for a wedding service and reception (lenses, flash, reflectors etc...) just the essentials for now, he's not expecting me to take out a mortgage for the kit of a 20-year professional.

The last thing I want to do is ruin their day and our friendship, I can't exactly ask them to come back the next week to do it all again so any other advice will be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

Trevor
User_Removed 14 1.5k 1
17 Sep 2008 4:44PM
Dont go on a BIPP wedding course. I did and thought it was the biggest rip off ever. Most of the day consisted of the lecturer going on about himself instead of actually demonstrating the practical things like how to use light e.t.c. You will learn a lot more from asking questions on here as there are a lot of good photographers here who give good advice. james
User_Removed 19 7.3k 6 United Kingdom
17 Sep 2008 4:47PM
I personally wouldn't go on a course.

You cannot be taught how to be a photographer only how to use a camera (not the same thing as I am sure we all know) and if you need teaching how to use a camera (as I'm sure you don't) then frankly you shouldn't be doing the wedding Smile

The 'what kit' question has been asked umpteen times (just do a search on the forums for loads of advice, most of it contrary Smile) It must be at least 2 days since somebody asked Smile

Upshot is, wide angle zoom and long zoom with as wide a maximum aperture as you can afford and a reliable flash. Preferably two bodies, spare batteries...job done!
doug_7 15 482 England
17 Sep 2008 5:22PM

Quote:
Upshot is, wide angle zoom and long zoom with as wide a maximum aperture as you can afford and a reliable flash. Preferably two bodies, spare batteries...job done!



you left off the toilet roll Smile
User_Removed 19 7.3k 6 United Kingdom
17 Sep 2008 5:26PM
That's only needed if you find out after the wedding you've left the CF cards in the car Wink
CRAIGR2 14 23 United Kingdom
17 Sep 2008 6:11PM
Theres one thing i never go to a wedding shoot without and thats a roll of black bin bags! No really ! Ok its saturday afternoon the wedding is over youve got the bride looking great but it was raining an hour ago and that amazing old bench you want the bride to lay across is now like drift wood and is going to ruin the 2000.00 dress, not if you have bin bags it wont! theyve saved my bacon loads!
mikebrowne 12 19 United Kingdom
17 Sep 2008 6:31PM

Quote:Upshot is, wide angle zoom and long zoom with as wide a maximum aperture as you can afford and a reliable flash. Preferably two bodies, spare batteries...job done!


You'll need two of everything because accidents sometimes happen and you can't just not shoot it because something got broken. Since 1993 I've managed to break two cameras, one flash and a lens at weddings!

The biggest thing I think most people miss out on is planning. Make sure you spend loads of time with the couple and find out what they want, what time everything happens so you know how long you have to do it in, where they're going and when, will anyone important be leaving right after the service to go set up a car park or something? etc etc.

I once had a brides mum go walk the dog for an hour between the service and reception!!!

Talk it all through with them and stick with things you're comfortable with and know, rather than be too ambitious which could lead to you getting rushed and flustered on the day.

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Either way - good luck and enjoy the experience.

Mike
User_Removed 19 7.3k 6 United Kingdom
17 Sep 2008 6:34PM
My post was intended to illustrate that people tend to make this wedding malarkey far more complex than it really needs to be Smile

I've done H-zillions of weddings so does that make me better than you Wink

Any advance on 'H'? Grin
Anthony 19 5.6k 17 United Kingdom
17 Sep 2008 7:26PM
the few i have done for family and friends, i used my canon 30d as main body, with my 17 - 85 is usm lens, canon flash, plenty of cf cards, spare batteries for the camer and the flash, and took a spare body (just in case). i have found that covers what i needed it to cover. i have a longer lens, but it never usually comes out, and i take a reminder list, to browse in those few moments between shots.

Never had any complaints, plenty of compliments, and the job has got done.

i agree, keep it simple, its easier.

Anthony
doug_7 15 482 England
17 Sep 2008 8:44PM
Food for thought............on my Sunday wedding a tog + video lady went to the brides house and stayed until the bride left for the church. This is usually a mad scrabble to get the job done and then race off to the church for the arrivals.
After the ceremony I took a few family group shots at the church but at the reception I stood the couple in a biggish area and invited guests to stand alongside the couple for photographs. They arranged their own little groups and we just clicked away. 320 pics now on the website and have already received my first order Smile
Never seen so many DSLRs at a wedding, click, click, click......click, one even had his monopod.
d.
User_Removed 19 7.3k 6 United Kingdom
17 Sep 2008 9:10PM
Know what you mean Doug. Don't you find as well that you become the magnet for every other person (it seems) who wants to talk about their gear or want advice what to buy etc etc.

We also seem to be attracting photographers wanting us to photograph their weddings (4 this year as far as I know)! I know it's flattering and it shouldn't (hopefully doesn't) alter the way we work but I wish they wouldn't tell us this beforehand Smile
PatriciaWilson 17 617 58 Greece
17 Sep 2008 9:53PM
I think you have to start at the beginning. Friend or not - a contract, a shot list, and a deposit.
Study all the wedding photographs you can find on the web and make notes of what you like and your own ideas.
Practice exposure until you're really confident.
Have a friend of the bride to organize the guests, brides family, grooms... etc
Have a back up camera and flash and take a compact.
Get a decorators sheet from B&Q in case of rain, and buy a white umbrella.
Find out if you can/can't use flash at the ceremony.
Check the church (?) at least a week before, at the same time of day as the wedding, and sort out where you want to be for the best shots and light and which lenses you need.
Take shots of both inside and outside the church and check where the light is coming from and which way you will want your groups to face.
Check the reception area, take shots of everything so that on the day you are completely familiar with everything.
If you have the slightest doubt about exposure, bracket!
Make notes on everything and read them!
Be early. Take a helper who knows a bit about photography to deal with tripods and carry lenses and clobber.
Have a flash card law: top pocket=empty, back=pocket full.
Eat before you go as although you will be placed at the wedding feast, your plate will be whisked away while you are busy taking candids.
Back everything up as soon as you get home and come hell or high water have the images delivered on time.
Never-ever say pay me later. Newly weds are usually broke.
Leave lots of business cards.
Good luck!
User_Removed 19 7.3k 6 United Kingdom
17 Sep 2008 10:05PM

Quote:
Never-ever say pay me later. Newly weds are usually broke.


Oh yes !
agoreira 17 6.0k Wales
17 Sep 2008 10:07PM

Quote:I think you have to start at the beginning. Friend or not - a contract, a shot list, and a deposit.



The OP has not said whether he will be charging, or not, but I know if I was doing it for a friend, there would be no charge. And to be honest, I couldn't see me going through that extensive list. I did one a few weeks ago, and they were delighted, and I shall be doing another the weekend after next, and I won't have anywhere near the time available to meet all the things on that list. If I was charging a four figure number, it might be different. Agree with Barry, quite a lot seem intent on making this wedding malarkey sound a lot more complicated than it really is.
PatriciaWilson 17 617 58 Greece
17 Sep 2008 10:15PM
anyone who is thinking about taking a course before doing the job obviously wants to be professional and do it properly, as he said, no second chance.

I know the list sounds like a big deal, but I could put it another way:

Find out what they want
Check out the location
Be punctual with everything.
Smile
women just like to talk a lot, LOL!

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