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Thread: Help needed:1st wedding job!

  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Default Help needed:1st wedding job!

    hi everyone!=)

    i've just been offered a job to cover my teacher's wedding at the end of the year! while im extremely excited, im also feeling rather inadequate.. i mostly shoot macro's, nature, school events and some street photography with very limited experience shooting portraits. plus im not sure wad it takes to do a wedding. so tot would post some of my questions here to see if yr can help=) very much THANX in advance=)

    firstly, what are the parts of the wedding? im only aware of the portraits part where we take only the bride and groom, the dinner and the actual wedding ceremony and teh church. is there anything else? a studio shoot perhaps?

    secondly, for the portraiture part, is it the couple that decides where the shoot will be help or the photographer?

    thirdly, what are the services i have to offer? other than covering the event, im sure i have to do a photo album for them as well as other misc. stuff. how does this go?

    lastly, would like to ask about equipment. im using a D200 with batt grip now.
    my lenses are: tokina 28-80 f/2.8, tokina 100mm f/2.8, vivitar series one 105mm f/2.5. have an SB-800 as well. i seem to be lacking in both the long and short tele range and the wide angle.
    hmm, to the wedding/portrait photographers out there, is there a prefered focal length? thinking of adding a tamron 17-50 or tokina 12-24. will also get a 50mm f/1.4. and, is one flash enough?

    well, just wanna clear up some of my doubts. if yr have any other tips tt would be very greatly appreciated. o, forgot to add, i might borrow another d200/d80 as a second body.

    once again, thank you all very much=)
    Benjamin.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Help needed:1st wedding job!

    Are you paid? If not then just any how shoot will do.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Help needed:1st wedding job!

    i'm paid. and wanting to put in my best effort.

  4. #4
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help needed:1st wedding job!

    Stick to your 28-80, you may need a wider angle lens for indoor shots or the table shots during the dinner.

    Bring spare memory cards and batteries, and make sure you can handle the equipment well (if you are renting any new gear)
    Michael Lim
    My Flickr Site

  5. #5
    Member/Tangshooter
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    Default Re: Help needed:1st wedding job!

    28-80 maybe not wide enuff..17-50 will be good, especially if there is a wedding dinner for the tables shots..if possible bring along a spare body and use it with ur 105 for some candid shots in the church..
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  6. #6

    Default Re: Help needed:1st wedding job!

    i agree with the rest.... with the crop factor a 17 seems about right on the wide side...especially for group shots...

  7. #7

    Default Re: Help needed:1st wedding job!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Ang View Post
    hi everyone!=)

    i've just been offered a job to cover my teacher's wedding at the end of the year! while im extremely excited, im also feeling rather inadequate.. i mostly shoot macro's, nature, school events and some street photography with very limited experience shooting portraits. plus im not sure wad it takes to do a wedding. so tot would post some of my questions here to see if yr can help=) very much THANX in advance=)

    firstly, what are the parts of the wedding? im only aware of the portraits part where we take only the bride and groom, the dinner and the actual wedding ceremony and teh church. is there anything else? a studio shoot perhaps?

    secondly, for the portraiture part, is it the couple that decides where the shoot will be help or the photographer?

    thirdly, what are the services i have to offer? other than covering the event, im sure i have to do a photo album for them as well as other misc. stuff. how does this go?

    lastly, would like to ask about equipment. im using a D200 with batt grip now.
    my lenses are: tokina 28-80 f/2.8, tokina 100mm f/2.8, vivitar series one 105mm f/2.5. have an SB-800 as well. i seem to be lacking in both the long and short tele range and the wide angle.
    hmm, to the wedding/portrait photographers out there, is there a prefered focal length? thinking of adding a tamron 17-50 or tokina 12-24. will also get a 50mm f/1.4. and, is one flash enough?

    well, just wanna clear up some of my doubts. if yr have any other tips tt would be very greatly appreciated. o, forgot to add, i might borrow another d200/d80 as a second body.

    once again, thank you all very much=)
    Benjamin.
    Need to know what the program outline for that day... what type of wedding, eg Chinese customary or Church wedding, check with the elderly ones or married couples on the processes..different race, dialect group may have different requirements, for some - the set up can also be unique...

    Check also do they have time slot for outdoor shoots?

    The photographer should be the one to call the shots on the poses, unless the couples want to give some preference... but remember - too many cooks spoiled the soup... many years ago, I took for a couple and the bride's sister who worked in photo developing studio commanded the poses based on what she saw at work.... which is out-dated shots....

    Nowadays with digital print, you can do much more.... you can include a photo album, or a photo magazine... depending how you want to do it .. as a gift or as a delivery of service..

    You seem to be short of a ultra wide angle lens.... will need that for dinner or church ceremony.. carrying too many lenses with one camera may not be the solution.. borrowing one more camera which one for wide angle shots and the other for portraits... some moments can't afford to wait for you to change lens.... 105 mm is good for portrait.

    other suggestions:
    1) Get some professional magazines / sites to see what are the pose and composition
    2) Do a site recce at the dinning hall / house / church and etc before the wedding if you are new to this so that you can plan where to take the photos.
    3) Plan for wet weather.... what if there is outdoor shoot? alternative locations?
    4) Get one more pax to help you if you are the only photographer so that you dont miss any shots.. you can be caught in many surprises along the way if you are not ready
    5) Since this is an important moment, take some shots on that day and make sure your equipment is in working conditions. Do not put all photos in one memory card..... what if that card fails? Also make sure you keep the cards properly - don't lost it.
    6) Suggest you look or ask around for upcoming weddings where you can go and see, though not as an invited guest...so that you are aware of the processes and what the photographers are carrying...
    7) Photos capture every moment in life - remember this.

    will email you if I can remember - not feeling well today..

  8. #8

    Default Re: Help needed:1st wedding job!

    I did a wedding once and because of it, I rush to get myself a 24-105mm lens. It turned out to be my best decision for the event. Was using film at that time so there is no cropping involved. The wide part happened just nice to take family portraits inside HDB units where there isn't much space to move back for the photographer. And the 105 side is quite adequate for zooming in although some occasions a 135 might be better. But over all 24-105 is quite adequate for the job. Btw, if possible, have a second body so that one set covers 17-55 while the other set covers 70-200 will be perfect as there isn't much time to do lens changing while the events proceeds.
    Oh yeah, one important event during the wedding is the tea ceremony if the couple are traditional chinese family. Do recce in advance where the tea ceremony will take place for both the male and female families and plan where you would want to stand to get the best angle. I missed that recceing part and find myself scrambling for position to get a good shot at the last minute. Did manage to get the shots but I was taking it barely balancing on one leg because of space constraints.
    As I had only did one wedding before, other more experience members may like to correct what I had said and I would be happy to learn from more experience members.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Help needed:1st wedding job!

    Agree with the rest for the selection of lenses.
    17-50 f2.8 would be the best cos as the main photographer, you will have to do all the group shots. Always have it ready cos guests will want to take shots with the couple. For me, I also have a 50 1.4 which works very well for me to capture the candid shots on a 1.6x crop. It's low light capabilities is also a big plus, especially during the dinner.
    I don't think there is a need for a 70-200 unless the church is very big and u want to catch candid shots of guests. My suggestion is to focus on the important parts first. You could use your 100mm lens to cover this area if u want.
    I also second the requirement for a 2nd body. There really is no time to change lenses and not having the correct setup at hand can be very restrictive. Also, there is no room for equipment failure, so it will also act as a backup should anything happen.

    As for the things to take note, do some research and write down the list of events. You could also ask the couple to pass you a copy of the day's plans.

    Take a look at how the pros take their shots.
    For me, I like to view other photographers' works at www.wpja.com. For a start, look at the singapore ones cos they have all the traditional stuff like tea ceremony and all.

    Most of all, you must be able to enjoy the wedding, be part of it and feel the mood to capture the essence of the day.
    All the best for your shoot!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Help needed:1st wedding job!

    wow.. im overwhelmed by the response, a BIG thank you to everyone out there=)

    i've managed to secure another d200 as second body from my friend. now wondering about lenses. thinking of either

    #1)17-50 f/2.8 and 105f/2.5
    or
    #2)12-24 and 28-80 f/2.8
    or
    #3)17-50 and 12-24

    have access to all those lenses exp the 12-24(which im planning to get) and will probably borrow a 50f/1.4 from my school. will have sb800, sb600. thinking of #2 more for the prospect of distortion free group shots and for the indoor shots. but then the 28-80 is rather soft at 80 till stopped down to 4.5. so thinking of number #1 or #3. does #3 have enough reach? a 70-200 is way out of my budget.

    once again thanx for all you replies!!=)

  11. #11

    Default Re: Help needed:1st wedding job!

    go for setup #1. it offers you the most flexibility in range/reach. no need to be overly concerned about distortion as they are usually not very visible. if you are really irked by it, they can still be corrected digitally. good luck!

  12. #12

    Default Re: Help needed:1st wedding job!

    I think you better go get a book quick and read it 3x from cover to cover. Maybe also see if any of the pros here will let you tag along as an assistant for one of their wedding shoots.

    Things like focal length, choice of equipment, etc are really minor concerns. Look-- three good zooms will cover your asss all the way, eg. 17-40, 24-70 and 70-200 (although whether you need as far as 200 mm is debatable, if not a 24-105 is enough). Plus maybe a 50/1.4 if you want to do low light. You definitely need more than one camera, one flash and spare battery packs as no wedding photographer can take the chance of equipment malfunction halfway through the shoot.

    What's more worrisome is you don't seem to know how weddings run. I'd venture that you've not been married yourself. That is the real worry. If you feel inadequate you'll certainly be inadequate and that would not be a good thing to do to your teacher.


    Wai Leong

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Ang View Post
    hi everyone!=)

    i've just been offered a job to cover my teacher's wedding at the end of the year! while im extremely excited, im also feeling rather inadequate.. i mostly shoot macro's, nature, school events and some street photography with very limited experience shooting portraits. plus im not sure wad it takes to do a wedding. so tot would post some of my questions here to see if yr can help=) very much THANX in advance=)

    firstly, what are the parts of the wedding? im only aware of the portraits part where we take only the bride and groom, the dinner and the actual wedding ceremony and teh church. is there anything else? a studio shoot perhaps?

    secondly, for the portraiture part, is it the couple that decides where the shoot will be help or the photographer?

    thirdly, what are the services i have to offer? other than covering the event, im sure i have to do a photo album for them as well as other misc. stuff. how does this go?

    lastly, would like to ask about equipment. im using a D200 with batt grip now.
    my lenses are: tokina 28-80 f/2.8, tokina 100mm f/2.8, vivitar series one 105mm f/2.5. have an SB-800 as well. i seem to be lacking in both the long and short tele range and the wide angle.
    hmm, to the wedding/portrait photographers out there, is there a prefered focal length? thinking of adding a tamron 17-50 or tokina 12-24. will also get a 50mm f/1.4. and, is one flash enough?

    well, just wanna clear up some of my doubts. if yr have any other tips tt would be very greatly appreciated. o, forgot to add, i might borrow another d200/d80 as a second body.

    once again, thank you all very much=)
    Benjamin.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Help needed:1st wedding job!

    I just finished one for my friends last week. Wide Angle Lens is a must. You may not have enough time to change lens during the day. Try to set the camera to auto-mode to let camera do for you as much as possible. Furthermore, I suggest to capture all motions surrounding the couple as well. I agree to understand what type of wedding and where selection of outdoor photos earlier. During outdoor photos, I also suggest you can give your opinion of posting to help the couple as well.

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