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Weddings HELP

Nick_w Plus
14 4.3k 99 England
10 Aug 2012 9:04AM
My sisters just phoned me in a panic, her photographer has let her down for her wedding ....tomorrow.

I've agreed to step into the breach (against my better judgement) I've never done a wedding before ( never really wanted to do weddings) is there any do / donts with the formal shots ( who stands where etc) does anyone use crib sheets (if so what do you include).

Would you use off camera flash on any (or am I asking for problems). I really would appreciate guidance.

And no I won't be doing this on a regular basis!
Lucian 11 562
10 Aug 2012 9:08AM
There is time for her to get another photographer between now and then. If you let everyone know what area in england you are in and what sort of money your sister has to spend then maybe someone on here could photograph it for her. I can do anything for you as im in scotland and already have a wedding to photograph tommorow.
Nick_w Plus
14 4.3k 99 England
10 Aug 2012 9:12AM
Thanks for the offer. I've agreed now to do it. I just want to ensure I can deliver the images she wants, I know I have the right kit to do a satisfactory job, and I think I can do an Ok job re the photography and processing, it's just the little nuances I need help with. I must stress I've tried to manage her expectations.
Pete 20 18.8k 97 England
10 Aug 2012 9:27AM
Nick there are books written on the subject so quite a lot to discuss. Basically the original approach was often the same format...and then people started to push boundaries, and then reportage style became big where there was no set order etc. A good coverage seems to be a blend of both the formal shots with specific key members of the wedding / family and natural shots throughout the day.
Some start with bride / groom and build up the pictures ending on the large group, other prefer to get the large group photo done first so they don't have to go finding missing people later.

Best thing to do is get a list of the group shots you need to take and then tick them off as you do it. It's a bit regimental but at least it will take that process off your mind so you can concentrate on getting the poses / technicalities right. There's a huge list here Wedding Photo List. Maybe see what the couple would like and make a shorter list from this?
Also take some one with you who can help arrange people / shout people to get in line and hold reflectors / flash if you're using extra lighting help.
779HOB 9 1.2k United Kingdom
10 Aug 2012 9:35AM
I did a couple of weddings last year, family and my boss. I told them I would do it but it would be done in my way, or "style" as I couldn't just become a wedding photographer, I hate wedding photography almost as much as I hate weddings.

For the painfully posed group shots I told them that they needed to make the list of shots they wanted and that maybe it would be a good job for the best man to get everyone in front of the camera for them, after all I didn't know who anyone was. Seemed to work well and the best men didn't mind doing it. Lucky for me I guess is that they didn't really want a traditional formal set of photos which was fine with me.
Nick_w Plus
14 4.3k 99 England
10 Aug 2012 9:54AM
A big big thanks for that. Pete I've just sent the list to her I really appreciate that. I hate doing anything without planning (well work/ photography anyway ) as I like to be professional.

What I've agreed is to put them on a CD and make one large print. I will be using a 24-120 maybe a 50mm prime and possibly a 100-300, but don't really fancy carrying that about all day. Will this be sufficient? I think I will only use Lightroom for ease of processing the RAWs, would that be sufficient?
Pete 20 18.8k 97 England
10 Aug 2012 10:08AM
In the old days wedding photographers used to use Rolleiflex's with fixed lenses equivalent to 50mm it was only when Hasselblad and Mamiyaflex with interchangeable lenses appeared that wide angle started to get used. I'd say the 24-120mm should cover everything. The 50mm would give more interesting out of focus backgrounds for the reportage style work. Not sure that you'd need the 100-300mm.
Yes I'd use Lightroom, and batch process and then bang out a set of JPGs on CD for the couple.

BTW I haven't done wedding for 20 years! I used to use a Hasselblad with 50mm, 80mm, (80 with 2x converter)and 200mm. That's a range of about 35mm to 135mm in 35mm terms.
ade_mcfade 17 15.2k 216 England
10 Aug 2012 10:19AM
Should be a fun experience for you mate Wink

Best tip I can give for the formals....

Start BIG and work down...

as soon as they come out of the ceremony, you have them at your disposal... do the big group shot then. As soon as they go to the bar you're screwed!

Then whittle them down - I find that doing "friends" next is good, they can then bugger off to the bar.

How to pose.... well I don't use a formula, people "tend" to gather themselves where they are comfortable, then a bit of moving people can help - there's always a few who hide. You need the bridal party in the middle-front really, just so it looks good. Height order can be pleasing...

Smaller groups... well just straight line-ups are fair enough, you get to see all their clothes that way Wink You can of course start making diamond shapes with their heads, and all that kinda thing.... not sure they'd be too happy if you're faffing around organising that for ages though

You'll be able to do most of the day with the 24-120 easily enough - take the long one and keep it for candids when not a lot's happening - will be invaluable in church too.

Off camera flash - well i use it now, it certainly adds to the excitement! I'd definitely NOT recommend using it outside if you've no assistant and it's your first wedding.... that sun goes behind a cloud and everything changes! Not a problem with 1 model, but 70 thirsty guests.... Wink If you';re shooting indoors though, set 2-3 flashes up around the room (where people won't fall over the stands) and shoot candids - adds a bit of magic if everyone has a little rim light Wink

What else...

Yeah - lightroom will be fine - remember that it's a wedding where you're producing 500 shots to tell the story of the day, rather than a fine art piece. Maybe pick a few of the best and go to town editing those:?

Fun... yeah - have fun with them. Be a swan, cool on top, pedalling like a maniac below the water

Get them doing stuff... think on your feet, improvise, be aware of your surroundings and react. I've had whole line ups jumping as high as they can... they loved it, photo looks really cool too!
thewilliam 13 6.1k
10 Aug 2012 10:31AM
I'd urge you to use your own kit and not feel tempted to buy or borrow any extra. I started doing weddings with a Pentax Spotmatic and just the standard lens.

When we're stressed we can make mistakes and this is far more likely if we have to think about operating our cameras. If you're not completely familiar with your camera, use the notice period to practice. Then your mind is free to think about creativity.

Try to go to a wedding fair if you can find one at this time of year or at least take a look at albums that other wedding photographers have made.

Then follow Ade's advice!
ade_mcfade 17 15.2k 216 England
10 Aug 2012 10:38AM
get the bride and brides maids on side too... Wink

I met Claire about 20 minutes before taking this shot.... just had a brolly set up in their room, got her against a white wall and got her to drink out of the bottle.... only thing missing was a fag in the other hand Wink

I didn't use this for a flyer in the end... but it came close!

keithh 17 25.8k 33 Wallis And Futuna
10 Aug 2012 11:10AM

Quote:got her against a white wall and got her to drink out of the bottle..

Sounds like a night out in Leeds
Nick_w Plus
14 4.3k 99 England
10 Aug 2012 11:15AM
That's brilliant Ade thanks for that. I will drop you a PM later, to pick your brains on a couple of things. I've decided to do what I always do, go with two aims - the basic shots (safe) but a few more left field things just for those that make it different. Good thing about it, there will be no pictures of me !!!
big fella 18 485 England
10 Aug 2012 11:57AM
Don't forget to try and shoot some of the little details; table decorations etc. The little things that someone has taken the time to make; the small details that the bride (and groom) have spent time in getting right. They may not make the album, but preserve the memory of the day.

Nick_w Plus
14 4.3k 99 England
10 Aug 2012 12:24PM
Thanks Andy
newy17 15 273 United Kingdom
10 Aug 2012 1:03PM
Think Ades spot on really Wink I've got a wedding tomorrow with 11 bridesmaids and 150 guests which is my biggest wedding so far lol..and I won't be letting anyone into the reception till I've got that large group shot done's the only way really Grin
And as luck would have it there's a big square and monument behind the town hall were its shaded so no worrys on those squinting eyes lol..and I'll be using my trusty step ladder to shoot down onto the group Wink

I think you will find once you have the formal stuff done you will enjoy the rest of day watching things unfold and capturing those moments's just a big Papafon lol ..Tongue
You'll be fine Nick and good luck..

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