27th April 2004, 09:41 AM
i've covered weddings both as main and backup, and i think there are some advantages a backup usually has over the main guy:
- Backup does NOT need to be in a 'documentary' frame of mind. Unlike the pro, he does not need to adequately cover all events and faces. For starters, as backup i just ignore most of the tea ceremony, and guzzle away while the main photog does the table shots at the dinner. (Denis, since this your first time, i do recommend you tag a little closer to the main guy. You will learn a lot observing him for the day. Just don't get in his way.)
- Backup shoots for a different delivery. Main covers the whole event, backup can practice fisheye angles, candids, new flash technique, etc. Backup can go for '12 good shots' for the day (instead of 300).
- Backup has much less pressure.
- Backup carries (and thus keeps his mind on) less logistics. Main guy has to dump his bag somewhere. Backup can carry small(er) bag or waistpouch. It does add a bit to the stress of the day, looking after your stuff.
- Backup typically is a fren's of the couple, and usually has a much closer relationship with them than the main photog. If there's any leverage that a backup can use to get superior photos to the main, it is this one. You are more likely to get the couple's and frens' cooperation if you are in the mood for creative or silly pictures. Use your imagination on this one.
27th April 2004, 09:47 AM
27th April 2004, 10:09 AM
The checklist is useful but don't stress yourself by trying to memorise them. Some of the things are ke3 yu4 bu4 ke3 qiu2 - for eg like bride or groom pinning the corsages for parents
Just be observant and attentive to things happening around you, look out for small little details and always ready to shoot. You can take some happy faces (close-up) of parent, relatives or friends, and capture some shots where the couple are not around, those are the things they missed out.
As a back up photographer, you don't have to worry about organising the tea ceremony or family photography session since the main photographer is paid to do the job Just take the opportunity to see how he/she run the show. As someone has mentioned earlier not to duplicate his shots, you may however want to take some family pictures and table photos too, just to practise and try out the different setting for your equipment, especially the flash light. However, take note that while the main photographer is taking pose photos (family photo etc) try not to stand beside him and point your camera at the subjest too as this can be quite distracting and people will not know where to look at. Worst still is to press the shutter the same time as the main photographer and both photos may end up over-expose due to double flash
Good luck to you and enjoy your role as the back up photographer, it is definitely more fun and less stressful compared to the main photographer
28th April 2004, 12:17 AM