?s for wedding photogs
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Old 08-20-2010   #1
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Default ?s for wedding photogs

Ok wedding photogs I have a couple questions for you. First let me explain my situation. Next summer my sister in law wants me to shoot her wedding. I don't think I'm quite where I should be yet, but at least I have a year to learn. I know there are different ways to shoot a wedding, but I'm looking for general ideas of how people are setup when they start shooting.

My first question is what is your lighting setup for reception pictures/pictures of the rings, flowers? What kind of light modifiers etc?

Second question is more of an observation, but for posed shots of the bride/groom I think I typically see one light source to the right or left, what are you using as far as strobes/light modifiers?

I'll be using part of our tax return to get what I need ie backup body, battery packs, and lighting equipment. My wife will let me use ~$2000 for a budget to get started.

Thanks in advance.

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Old 08-22-2010   #2
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Default Re: ?s for wedding photogs

i use on camera TTL flash, camera in Manual mode during Ceremony and reception.
usally Stofen/Omnibounce, but recently bought a Lightsphere.
www.planetneil.com

formal/creative shots i'm using all off camera flash (manual power settings)
www.strobist.com
i have a 45" softbox on the top and thats all carried around by an assistant.
for group shots i use two strobes off camera (each in its own softbox)

i hope they are payong you for this.. if you shoot one wedding and you hate it (its not for everyone) thats a huge investment at your own cost.

advise?
shoot for a local pro/semipro and get experience.. even do portraits in the park and practice lighting.

all the best, i hope it goes well.

........still trying to find where to add a sgnature..
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Old 08-23-2010   #3
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Default Re: ?s for wedding photogs

It depends. Sorry, I know that is not the answer you want, but it is the truth.
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Old 08-25-2010   #4
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Default Re: ?s for wedding photogs

I have to agree with littlegal, it really does depend. The venue and believe it or not the time of day (for me anyway). Most times with rings,flowers anything like that i try and use natural light from a window but if not it will be my flash with a flip.

For ceremony, most i have shot dont allow flash but the one that did allow flash was with a 430ex and a flip.

For the formals, i always carry an AB400and an AB800 one softbox and one umbrella and depending on the size of the group, where and/or if there is natural light coming into the venue determines if i use just one or both and where i place them.

For reception, a camera,flash and my flip.
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Old 08-25-2010   #5
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Default Re: ?s for wedding photogs

The equipment requirements vary with the style of wedding as much as the shooting style and methodology. If no flash at all, period, is allowed in the sanctuary then all the lights and modifiers are moot. If the shooter's style is purely PJ then elaborate light set-ups are not a likelihood. Time of day and time of year factor as well. Used to be that there were two basic times for a wedding, afternoon and evening. Afternoon weddings were never formal and evening weddings were seldom casual. That's not adhered to so much today. But a PM wedding in November will not be so brightly sun lit as a 5pm one in June. Even that is a consideration for outdoor ceremonies or receptions.

A bracket mounted flash is a stellar idea. A flash that has the right amount of output is another consideration. It is possible to have a flash too powerful just as it is to have one without enough power. The size of the venue and the scope of the event fall into the "depends" area when considering part of the equipment.

Lenses are pretty dang important. I think this is the one area where aspiring photographers and especially those wanting to get into the wedding market fall apart. Fast is the name of the game. You need lenses that will focus fast and you'll need to change focal lengths fast. Wide apertures not only make for depth of field control but for faster focus. Most wedding ceremonies are held in dimly lit venues. Wider aperture lenses not only let in more light for exposing but for composition as well. Fixed focal length lenses with wide apertures are less expensive than zoom lenses with wide constant maximum apertures. The fixed focal length lenses generally offer up a bit wider max. aperture. We're talking f1.4 to 1.8 opposed to 2.8. The trade-off comes with the convenience to lens crop, rather than foot zoom. There's also the changing lenses part; so, speed being the name of the game, zooms are the answer. I'm in the Nikon camp and a 24-70 2.8 would chew a large chunk of that $2K budget and a 70-200 2.8 would swallow it whole. That doesn't touch the necessity for a very wide angle lens, and a telephoto with macro ability for the really close quarter group shots and the close-ups of rings, announcements and detail items. Just as the right kind and power of light can be important so can the right lens. Think your way thought it. Do you want a telephoto lens so great that you and your bracket mounted flash are yards from your subject, when the flash is good only for feet? Exactly.

I guess those are a few considerations for preparing to step into the wedding market. On the up side: If you make investments in appropriate equipment and in honing your skill, you can continue making an income with wedding photography.

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Old 08-25-2010   #6
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Default Re: ?s for wedding photogs

1. Get a camera which is good in low light!
2. Get a fast lens. 2.8 at least!
The biggest challenge of wedding photography is to deliver images in total darkness. You can even get away without using any flash. Flash can be ugly on the bride's face.
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Old 08-25-2010   #7
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Getting ready....ambient light sometimes, on-camera fill flash sometimes, off-camera flash sometimes. Gel to match predominating ambient light if it's tungsten. I will frequently limit the number/type of light sources on in the environment if the white balance differs. Placement of an off-camera flash is usually intended to give side or loop lighting.

Ceremony....if dark church, f/1.4 primes and ISO1600 or higher, shutter speeds of 1/250+ for the processional. Exception is made if flash is allowed, in which case I may slightly drop my ISO or stop down and have a flash offset to the side for the processional. During slow times of the ceremony, my primes (35 and 85 mostly) and possibly 70-200 f/2.8 IS, plus one fisheye shot for environment. I will not use on-camera flash for the ceremony because, IMO, it's completely unacceptable and makes my photos hard to distinguish from a snapshot.

If bright ceremony outdoors with bad shadows, I may put flashes out to brighten the darker face.

If bright outdoor ceremony with plenty of good light, use whatever lens gets you fast enough shutter speeds and good enough subject isolation. I am not for deep DoF because it looks like a snapshot taken by someone with a compact camera.

Reception lighting varies by size, shape, wall color, dance floor, and the type of light I want. I put anywhere from 1 to 4 flashes out, with variation between brolly boxes, umbrellas, bare flash, or bouncing off walls/ceiling. More often than not I will put a bare, bounced or diffused flash to one side of the head table and have it rake everyone seated. I have on-camera flash bouncing, usually off the ceiling, for fill light (often set to eTTL -2/3 to -2 FEC, but occasionally +2/3 when it's my main light source). This all assumes that there is not enough ambient light (nighttime, completely enclosed, etc.).

For important dances, I will often put 1-3 lights around the dance floor, one or two bare and possibly one diffused, and set them on different radio channels so I can point myself in the direction of any one of them and get a good rim or side light without interference from the other (or include them both/all at my discretion).

For detail shots, almost always an umbrella/brolly to the side or slightly/somewhat behind the object, and sometimes on-camera fill. For ring shots, I usually end up having an umbrella/brolly to the side and above the rings, and use extension tubes on some lens that handles them well (used to be Canon 50 f/1.4, now it's 135L or 70-200).

Bouquet and garter - usually bare flash angled to hit the subject on the side of the face opposite me, plus 1-2 additional bare flashes on the subjects behind for the tosses, and my on-camera fill.

I'm shooting 90% of the time with 35L and 85L, with another 8% of the time 24L and the other 2% of the time with fisheye, ultrawide or (during ceremony only) 70-200.


My ideal kit: 2x or 3x 5D II, possibly 1x 1ds III, 1x 7D, 6-7x 580EX, 16-35L or Tokina 11-16 (actually a Nikon 14-24 would be much better), 15mm FE, 24L, 35L, 50 f/1.4 or 50L, 85L, 100L macro, 135L, 200 f/2L IS or 300 f/2.8L IS.
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Old 08-25-2010   #8
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Default Re: ?s for wedding photogs

To be honest
If you don't know what pics you want and/or how to light. Back off.
Sorry
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Old 08-25-2010   #9
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Default Re: ?s for wedding photogs

Quote:
Originally Posted by pop View Post
To be honest
If you don't know what pics you want and/or how to light. Back off.
Sorry
I do know both. If you re-read the original post you might notice that I said nothing of not knowing how to light or what pics to take. I said I'm not where I want to be, which means I still want to improve before I become comfortable. I was curious what the majority prefer to do. I plan on getting strobes for portrait work anyway. Perhaps your reading comprehension needs some work?
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Old 08-26-2010   #10
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Default Re: ?s for wedding photogs

There is no majority rule for handling these things.

Strobes are not practical for a solo wedding shooter because they are too big.

How to light does not mean how to properly expose, it means how to produce a type of light that best suits the situation, subjects, etc.

If you're "getting strobes," it means you don't have any. If you don't have any, you probably haven't experimented with different lighting angles and styles like loop lighting, frontal, short, broad, etc.


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