Chinese wedding banquet photography?


Ming1388

New Member
Jul 30, 2013
161
0
0
Singapore, Orchard
#1
Hi all,

As the title suggests, I have a friend’s wedding which I’m looking to help take some pictures at the Chinese restaurant banquet hall. I have search all over and can’t seem to see too many pictures or advice/tips and things to look out for during these events. Mostly the pictures I see for weddings are related to Churches, hotels and large halls but very rarely about the traditional Chinese restaurant style ones where there is a lot of red and round tables about.

This is my first time in such type of event and I’m really just looking for some times or guidance/reading pages which can help me on things I should be prepared with etc.

Any help is much appreciated and apologies if I put this in the wrong section.
 

Aug 30, 2013
1,310
3
0
#2
Hey,

you may want to indicate:
1) would you be the main photographerv
2) gear you are using
3) number of tables

Some advice
1) you may want to do a recee to understand the environment
2) speak to your friend to understand their expectations
3) consider whether u need a backup photographer
 

Blur Shadow

Senior Member
Sep 17, 2005
4,886
4
0
#4
General setting

Auto ISO

F/5.6
1/160s
With flash
 

Ming1388

New Member
Jul 30, 2013
161
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0
Singapore, Orchard
#6
Hi guys, thanks for the quick tips and responses.

My friends are doing this on a budget so haven't hired a photographer for the restaurant section. Therefore it will just be a few close friends helping take pictures. Usually I do landscape so not done anything like this before.

Are there any tips of framing or capture key moments at these Chinese type weddings as I can't seem to find many threads or pictures around.

Do people tend to take from a higher angle for the cup raises etc?

Also any tips when they do the family group pictures on a small stage?

Apologies for so many questions but feeling relatively nervous on this. I get the impression a flash is very important. I currently have a sb700 do you think this is powerful enough for bouncing? Do you think I need an sb910?
 

Ming1388

New Member
Jul 30, 2013
161
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0
Singapore, Orchard
#7
Sorry I forgot to mention some points.

There is around 30 tables.
My gear will be d600, SB400, sb700, 24-70 2.8, 50 1.8, 85 1.8 and possible 70-200 2.8

There are one or two friends helping too but again they are ameretures and no means professional photographers. I don't think our friends expect professional pictures but we want to help make it special as much as we can.
 

dracoid4

Senior Member
Feb 6, 2011
760
1
18
#8
My opinion is to first understand the whole Chinese restaurant program? Will there be march in, yum seng, groom and bride with families go around table to toast and take group photos etc.

With the detailed wedding programme, split the tasks between the 3 of us. Since there are 3, one can follow the groom and bride, one use zoom to take the from another angle and the last one take the guests. The lens uses depends what you assigned to.

As for settings, go early and try the setting to get the correct exposure with flash. For group shot, don't go wide open especially on full frame.
 

huatman

Senior Member
Nov 27, 2010
2,540
3
38
East
phleephoto.com
#9
If the ceiling is too high or of dark colour, bouncing of flash not advisable. U can use a bounce card instead.

Most of time general setting around f/5.6, speed 1/60s.
Adjust them according depend on situation and lighting at that moment. Eg table/ group shot use higher f-stop nos (eg f/8), may need to increase ISO too get the correct exposure. Request to have lighting on if possible during table shot, so the place will be brighter.
If ur camera has custom setting function, u can pre-set few combination first.

Try have the program time table before that so can plan and get ready in advance. eg Yum Seng part normally has 3 times, so plan what u want to take at each time.
Packed earlier with spares. Spare battery (for camera & flash), spare memory card, spare camera/lenses. Be at the place earlier to familiar and can take some shot 1st. Shot RAW (so will need many memory cards)

Feel sometime the hardest part is to deal with people, arranging them for shoot, some dun want to move etc. Lot times that no fix way to do it and things may happen against what u had planned, keep calm so ur mind will work faster.
 

Dec 13, 2010
35
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Central
#10
Did you inform your groom friend this is your first time shooting a wedding ?

I suggest you might want to communicate with your friend first, to manage his expectation on the end product that you can deliver, you dun wany him or his wife to remember you as the friend who ruin the show later on.

Shooting landscape and shooting in ballroom, managing the tungsten lighting is totally a different scenario. To be very safe, use small aperture and low iso, dun let too much environment light creep into the photo, or human will appear very orange in color.
 

Ming1388

New Member
Jul 30, 2013
161
0
0
Singapore, Orchard
#11
Hi Guys,

Thank you very much for the suggestions. My friend already knows that we are not professionals wedding photographers so the expectation isn't too high. Hopefully we can capture some great moments on camera for them phone.

I definitely take the advice on board and it seems planning is the key here. I will go to the venture a few days prior to test out the settings and make sure I go early to prepare. I'm guessing I should mainly be operating in the 5.6 to F8 region of the F stops to ensure relatively good DOF and sharp imagines.

Can I ask when using the flash for bounce if the ceiling is white. Do you guys recommend any flash defuse or bouncer card etc? I know the SB-700 has a small catch light card which I can pull out, do you think this is sufficient or should I be buying the large attachments to defuse the light forward too? any recommendations?

Also what typical white balance modes do you tend to use for these indoor restaurant shots with flash? is it mainly auto or do you manually adjust. I know raw should be able to fix this but just want to ensure I can be more prepared.
 

Ming1388

New Member
Jul 30, 2013
161
0
0
Singapore, Orchard
#12
Zeisser - Your imagine is great for explaining bounce flash, thank you. I see that there is a remote flash in the background. Do you tend to have the flash on camera and one off? or just the on camera one?
 

catchlights

Moderator
Staff member
Sep 27, 2004
21,903
46
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Punggol, Singapore
www.foto-u.com
#13
For table group photos, just let one photographer shoot, don't waste time let a few photographers shoot so many frames, else even only 30 tables also not able to finish in time, if all the photographers have no confidence, than that really too bad lor.
 

dracoid4

Senior Member
Feb 6, 2011
760
1
18
#14
Yes set it to auto and shoot raw and make the wb adjustment later.
 

Zeisser

Senior Member
Jul 12, 2008
2,654
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Tampines
www.flickr.com
#15
Zeisser - Your imagine is great for explaining bounce flash, thank you. I see that there is a remote flash in the background. Do you tend to have the flash on camera and one off? or just the on camera one?
Ah good question.The background's mounted flash belongs to the main photographer covering the
wedding actually my son's wedding :) I just kaypoh with some shots but just thought of sharing with you
an example. The main photographer actually trigger these flashes remotely via cam hot shoe as he has about 3 placed around the restaurant
giving bounced even lighting.

As for myself I always use manual adjusting the ISO as I go along. I particularly like flashes with a fill light built in
in this case the Nissin 866 but my main staple is still the good old Metz 60CT4 it packs power. Hope this will help you along
just my 2 cts.
 

catchlights

Moderator
Staff member
Sep 27, 2004
21,903
46
48
Punggol, Singapore
www.foto-u.com
#16
Ah good question.The background's mounted flash belongs to the main photographer covering the
wedding actually my son's wedding :) I just kaypoh with some shots but just thought of sharing with you
an example. The main photographer actually trigger these flashes remotely via cam hot shoe as he has about 3 placed around the restaurant
giving bounced even lighting.

As for myself I always use manual adjusting the ISO as I go along. I particularly like flashes with a fill light built in
in this case the Nissin 866 but my main staple is still the good old Metz 60CT4 it packs power. Hope this will help you along
just my 2 cts.

Looks like the ceiling is not white.
 

kandinsky

Moderator
Staff member
Apr 26, 2008
3,014
24
38
#17
Ask your friends and relatives who've been married in the last 2-3 years if you can take a look at their dinner banquet photos for reference. If you don't know anyone, ask your friends (whom you're helping) to ask their friends/relatives.

Feel sometime the hardest part is to deal with people, arranging them for shoot, some dun want to move etc. Lot times that no fix way to do it and things may happen against what u had planned, keep calm so ur mind will work faster.
+1

@TS, the 2-3 people who will go around and prepare the folks at each table for the table shots are your best friends during that time. Haha. Friends and colleagues are usually quite accommodating, but relatives sometimes refuse to budge. Keep your cool, crack jokes, etc. Ideally, if these 'handlers' are relatives (e.g., younger cousins that the older relatives know), they may be more inclined to give face.

For group shots, take multiple shots, because there will always be that person with closed eyes in one frame.

Have a blast! ;p
 

huatman

Senior Member
Nov 27, 2010
2,540
3
38
East
phleephoto.com
#19
+1

@TS, the 2-3 people who will go around and prepare the folks at each table for the table shots are your best friends during that time. Haha. Friends and colleagues are usually quite accommodating, but relatives sometimes refuse to budge. Keep your cool, crack jokes, etc. Ideally, if these 'handlers' are relatives (e.g., younger cousins that the older relatives know), they may be more inclined to give face.

For group shots, take multiple shots, because there will always be that person with closed eyes in one frame.

Have a blast! ;p
And agree some people in group shot tend to close their eyes or look away just nice when u click the shutter button.

If lucky, the friends (or "brothers") going around helping arrange table are the more experience type who know how to help you gather and arrange, else often you may have to arrange in a shortest time possible while still getting them to smile. Some older relative (not old, just that he/she the oldest or most senior in that table) may reluctant to move as most cases the elder will sit and younger move back and stand, but behind him/her had no space.
During "free" time in between while walking around taking candid shot, start planning how you can arrange them.


Few years back one of my friend also asked me to help take photos during wedding. As I often the one with camera during birthday celebration etc and just got my 7D. That time I only started to know what is aperture/shutter speed etc. Posted in fb seeking advise and stating "need to turn pro withing 1 week" etc. They also dun have high expectation, but still worry that won't be able help them capture anything.

Few days later my friend hired someone to do it while I happily downgraded to 2nd photographer.
 

huatman

Senior Member
Nov 27, 2010
2,540
3
38
East
phleephoto.com
#20
Hi Guys,


Can I ask when using the flash for bounce if the ceiling is white. Do you guys recommend any flash defuse or bouncer card etc? I know the SB-700 has a small catch light card which I can pull out, do you think this is sufficient or should I be buying the large attachments to defuse the light forward too? any recommendations?

Also what typical white balance modes do you tend to use for these indoor restaurant shots with flash? is it mainly auto or do you manually adjust. I know raw should be able to fix this but just want to ensure I can be more prepared.

I got the Rogue FlashBender Bounce Card free when I bought the Spyder4 sometime back at Cathay photo. Been using it and so far so good.
 

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