What to do about taking pictures at a wedding? Suggestions?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by mushroomtip, Jul 27, 2013.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2012
    #1
    Im going to my nephews wedding today and my niece was suppose to be his photographer . long story short she possibly broke her ankle today and he is asking me to give it a whirl . Im not a photagrapher by any stretch of the imagination although photography has always been of interest to me. i bought a Nikon D5200 about 2 weeks ago with the intentions of taking some classes in the near future . should I take a pass or should I set it and forget in auto mode ?
     
  2. macrumors demi-god

    Doylem

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    Dec 30, 2006
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    Wherever I hang my hat...
    #2
    Pass...
     
  3. macrumors demi-god

    oblomow

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    Apr 14, 2005
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #3
    Pass, enjoy the wedding and keep the family peace.
     
  4. macrumors 6502a

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    usa
  5. macrumors 65816

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  6. macrumors G3

    Apple fanboy

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    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    Behind the lens, UK
    #6
    Wow, what a lot of pressure! I have had my D3200 a little longer than you but would not feel anywhere near enough to do an event like this.
    If the bride doesn't like the shots, she will hold it against you. When I got married the lab lost our film for a few days, and I remember how angry my wife was about it all. Found them in the end and we got some nice prints free of charge as an apology.
     
  7. macrumors demi-god

    firedept

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere!
    #7
    I have been asked to do this at my wife's suggestion. My first thought was NO WAY! I am not a photographer by any stretch of the imagination and would never claim to be. I told my wife that it is an important day for the bride & groom, and that no way was I going to lose some friends because I messed it up.

    This kind of photography is for professionals and even they can miss getting it right on occasions. Hence the big price tag for photographers doing weddings. They are worth every penny.

    When I got married we hired a pro, then purchased all the negatives and proofs so we could have albums done for everyone we wanted to give one too. Was worth every penny and we can still to this day reproduce anything we want due to having the negs.

    Keep your friendship with the bride and groom happy, SAY NO Thank You!
     
  8. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2013
    Location:
    Scotland, UK
    #8
    This sums it up nicely. I wish more people considered this to be the case, but unfortunately it's becoming common belief that all it takes to shoot a wedding is a DSLR. I'm not saying the OP falls into this camp - I'm sure you just want to help out your family; however I am confident that you will not want to agree to do it, then find out the hard way just how much is involved in successfully shooting a wedding.

    Things happen FAST and what you're really paying your professional for is the experience to know when things will happen and the understanding of where he/she needs to be at that time. For many shots you will only get one chance (the kiss, for example) and you cannot screw that chance up. Professional photographers also have the experience to round up and manage the 100+ guests to get really great group shots.

    Wedding photography can be really enjoyable, but you absolutely owe it to the Bride and Groom to study and practice thoroughly beforehand so you can deliver shots that you know they'll treasure for the rest of their lives.

    Hope that helps.
     
  9. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2007
    #9
    They obviously never intended to hire a pro, I would guess for economic reasons. As long as you manage their expectations, explaining that you are by no means a competent photographer, if they can't get anyone else, do it.

    Some years ago, before camera phones were available, I attended a wedding and the couple had disposable film cameras placed on every table for the guests to shoot pictures. As crappy as those cameras were, I took a few shots that were better than what the pro took. Recommend to the couple that they encourage the attendees take their own photographs using whatever cameras they brought with them. This way they'll have more photos than what you take. They can create a Facebook page or choose some photo upload site where everyone should upload their photos.

    Although I ordinarily do not recommend that people use auto, in this case, because you're inexperienced, you should set it Auto. If you want a little bit of flexibility, use Programmed Auto.

    Do not use the camera's flash. Set the ISO high enough that you can shoot without it. The pictures will be noisy, but they won't have the harsh, amateur look of direct flash. If you're shooting the wedding ceremony, get a tripod, because they'll probably be little light.

    If you're young and can hold a camera very steady, you can shoot as slow as 1/30th of a second. If you can't, don't shoot slower than 1/60th of a second. If you have only the "kit" lens, it's a slow lens, so you're probably going to have difficulty even being able to shoot at those slow speeds. You'll be shooting "wide open", but there's an advantage to that: backgrounds will be out of focus. Because of that, when you shoot, make sure everyone is in the same plane. If someone is standing behind someone else, they're going to be out of focus. Also remember that when shooting at slow speeds, you can (hopefully) stop your own movement, but you can't stop the subjects from moving. This is what amateurs don't realize about the Vibration Reduction lenses: they help stabilize only your movement.

    Do not attempt to take portraits. You won't be able to pose people properly and you don't have the lighting. Instead, do "event" photography and take candids. Think of it as telling the story of the wedding.

    Make sure you have enough memory cards to shoot a lot. Go buy more if you have to. By the way, don't just shoot JPEG. Set the camera to shoot both RAW and JPEG. That way, they can turn the RAW images over to someone who knows how to use Photoshop where they can be vastly improved, especially as to color balance, which you'll probably get wrong. They can also "airbrush" the bride to make her look more like she thinks she looks.

    That will take up much more room on the memory cards, but it's worth it.

    There's one more thing you might consider and that's renting a better lens. Renting a faster lens (like a 2.8 zoom) will gain you 1 to 3 stops, which can make a big difference in low light conditions. I recommend renting the 70-200 2.8. It's heavy, but you'll get some beautiful images, especially great closeups, which the camera phone users and point and shoot users won't get. Just don't break it because it's a $2400 lens. (In fact if the rental company offers insurance, buy it.)

    Whether you rent the lens or not, before the wedding, practice shooting indoors. Get really comfortable with the camera. Don't just shoot - upload the images and look at them full size to see where the problems are.

    Good luck.
     
  10. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2011
    #10
    If need to debate whether you should do it or not, then don't. Keep in mind that there are long time professional photographers that won't touch weddings because of the pressure and responsibility. That being said, if it's something you're interested in maybe partner with somebody experienced and be their second shooter.
     
  11. macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #11
    First off what kind os a "professional" is this guy that he can't find a replacement. I would expect the photographer to have agreements with others to cover for each other when things like this happen. What about this guys Assistant? Can't he make it, he can bring some one else to assist..

    Why would they ask YOU to do the photos? If you want to help offer to make the 1,000 phone calls to get some one who has done this a few times.

    OK if you are forced to because there is no other person to do it. The very best thing to do is study other people's wedding photos and learn what kind you like. Make copies and bring them with you then try and do your own just like the sample pics you brought.

    Take 100 practice shots every day untill the wedding. Make eachshot an attempt to duplicate a photo you like. At the end of the day edit and process them and keep the best 10.

    Remember to backup everything. Each files needs to be on THREE DIFFERENT physical media and at TWO different locations

    Just offer to help find a pro.
     
  12. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
    #12
    LOL, you might want to read the first sentence in the original post.
     
  13. thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Oct 27, 2012
    #13
    Thanks for the replies ! at the last minute I decided to just do it . I made it abundantly clear to them That Im not a photographer and they said they understood . that understanding coupled with fact that I did it for free will leave me feeling guiltless . I believe you get what you pay for ! Im sure they will get quite a few good pictures out of more that 1600 snapshots I took. I told them that Im gonna put them on a SD card and give it them to do what they want . my niece has her own photography buisness she started in the last year. I myself did not understand why she didnt have a back up plan. I could only guess it was because of the economics of it and the couple are young with not alot of financial resources . I just felt in the end that something is better than nothing especially when its such an important day in their lives.

    Thanks Again

    Al
     
  14. macrumors demi-god

    oblomow

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2005
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #14
    Good luck. Have fun. Now you have decided to do it, make sure you're close to the action. Since you're the photographer, you're entitled to watch and shoot the ceremony up close. ( and I agree with the other remark, use high ISO instead of flash if you're not really familiar with it).
     
  15. macrumors G3

    Apple fanboy

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
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    #15
    He says above he has already done it!
     
  16. macrumors demi-god

    Parkin Pig

  17. macrumors demi-god

    oblomow

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2005
    Location:
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    #17
    Oops. I must have skipped half of his message.
     
  18. macrumors 68000

    Outrigger

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    #18
    Because the date of the OP was yesterday (date of wedding)
     
  19. macrumors demi-god

    Parkin Pig

    #19
    No - what I meant was, the majority of advice said to avoid like the plague, and he went and did it anyway.
     
  20. macrumors 68000

    Outrigger

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    #20
    Because I'm sure OP made the decision already and just wanted to get feedback.
     
  21. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2012
    #21
    Curious minds would like to know how they turned out?
     

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