My teacher getting married.. Need pointers!


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nickmak

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#1
Hi,

My teacher is getting married in two weeks time on the 23-24 October and he asked me if I wanted to shoot for him. I agreed but declined any payment because I said that this was going to be my first time shooting weddings and I won't want to accept money if I did a bad job. :embrass:

This is the on-the-day shoot. My teacher had already hired a photographer from New York to come to shoot too so I'm going to be the second photographer for them and will watch how this photographer works.

Are there any pointers that anybody can give me on shooting weddings before I have to go? I really need help here. I plan to take two cameras, my good ol' 300D with a 17-40 f4L and my 1DMKII with a 70-200 f2.8L. A 50mm f1.8 will be in my pocket and comes out when needed.

Need help on what to look for, like subjects etc.

Cheers,
Nick
 

Adam Goi

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#2
Since you're going to be a 2nd/backup, I doubt you'll either need to use a second body or the bulky 70-200. Use the 17-40 and another zoom, preferrably mid-zoom, say a 28-135 or better still a 24/28-70 ... carrying the 50mm will be helpful ... by the way, you have not described where it'll take place ... indoors, outdoors or some exotic places?
 

Stoned

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#3
hmm i disagree. The 70-200 might be a good idea to pick up shots that won't likely be picked up by the main photog. I doubt he would be shooting at the 260mm focal length
 

nightwolf75

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#4
during my own wedding, my photog had an assistant too. so, wat i saw was the main photog concentrated on the couple (urs truely). the assistant got more latitude to shoot other people, while also shooting the couple. mebbe u can complement the main photog by shooting wats happening ard the couple? dats just a thot.

have a look at people like iamsaint, jOhO, and canturn's shots. they have a good mix of couple, and the peripheral events. esp iamsaint. i love his way of taking the most mundane object, shoot it and it becomes a work of art. :D
 

MooEy

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#5
i wouldn't take the 70-200 unless u wan to be a stealth sniper during the wedding. simple reason, there isn't alot of chance to get that 1.5m of minimun focusing distance. take a nice wide angle and maybe another really fast lens to handle low light without the flash.

~MooEy~
 

nickmak

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#6
AdamGoi said:
Since you're going to be a 2nd/backup, I doubt you'll either need to use a second body or the bulky 70-200. Use the 17-40 and another zoom, preferrably mid-zoom, say a 28-135 or better still a 24/28-70 ... carrying the 50mm will be helpful ... by the way, you have not described where it'll take place ... indoors, outdoors or some exotic places?
Thanks guys for the input... Problem is, now there are people on both sides of the fence and I'm getting more and more confused about it. Could someone tell me what the 2nd photographer does at a wedding? I mean besides taking shots of people as well as the couple. :think:

Also I don't have a mid-zoom... its 17-40 then 50 then 70-200.... hmmm.... :think:

Thanks bro nightwolf for the advice too. Will look at those guys' works! :)

Oh by the way AdamGoi, I only know that the wedding will take place on an island Ko Samet in the east (i think) of Thailand. It will be a resort definitely and I think some outdoor and indoor activities so yea... that's it... :)
 

2100

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#7
Shot 2 nites dinner at 500mm. :bsmilie:

Just ignore me. Kidding....
 

nickmak

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2100 said:
Shot 2 nites dinner at 500mm. :bsmilie:

Just ignore me. Kidding....
Haha!!! :bsmilie:

If like that it would mean I was UNINVITED to the wedding and had to shoot from far away! :bsmilie:



But seriously,
Anyone can give me advice because I don't want to do a bad job of this wedding and besides, he's my teacher too! :bigeyes:
 

2100

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#9
Well, you will probably need to have attended a couple of dinners/actual days before you will get the hang of it. Having shot similar stuff like D&Ds will help too (it's going to be really dark) in getting the moment. This is because the main photog would have gotten all the need-to-get shots anyway.

The easiest way i guess to pick things up is to examine other's good shots. Can go to www.singaporebrides.com and look under each and every photog's portfolio. Like they said, a picture speaks a thousand words. ;)
 

2100

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#10
And there is no need to rack your brains and get too abstract. Maciam go shoot at 85/1.2 for that paper thin DOF for a face through 100 glasses. Wow! Sometimes the photos are too good that i also cannot even appreciate. :) Just get the happy moments that the usual relatives and friends can appreciate, that means they gotta be in the pic.
 

reachme2003

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Oct 6, 2003
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#11
nickmak said:
Haha!!! :bsmilie:

If like that it would mean I was UNINVITED to the wedding and had to shoot from far away! :bsmilie:



But seriously,
Anyone can give me advice because I don't want to do a bad job of this wedding and besides, he's my teacher too! :bigeyes:
there is no reason to feel the stress to 'deliver' results. let your teacher know that it will be your first time doing it, so not to expect professional results. very few of here has the experience of shooting a wedding on a Thai resort island. phew! big time, a photographer from NY brought in! wow, it is an opportunity not to miss for you.
 

nightwolf75

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#12
reachme2003 said:
there is no reason to feel the stress to 'deliver' results. let your teacher know that it will be your first time doing it, so not to expect professional results. very few of here has the experience of shooting a wedding on a Thai resort island. phew! big time, a photographer from NY brought in! wow, it is an opportunity not to miss for you.
Amen to dat! wah lau... ur teacher really loaded! fly in a photog all the way from NY to shoot his wedding! :eek: must use the opportunity to learn, nick!

reachme2003 has a good point. becos u are the 2nd photog, in a sense, there's no stress to deliver good pics. so, IMO, be creative and have fun! as mentioned earlier, i always admire iamsaint, canturn, jOho ...etc all the pro wedding shooters, how they can capture the most 'insignificant' objects and moments and make them special.

as for using 500mm... erm... u dun want to scare the guests carrying that bazooka, rite? :D
 

nickmak

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#13
nightwolf75 said:
Amen to dat! wah lau... ur teacher really loaded! fly in a photog all the way from NY to shoot his wedding! :eek: must use the opportunity to learn, nick!

reachme2003 has a good point. becos u are the 2nd photog, in a sense, there's no stress to deliver good pics. so, IMO, be creative and have fun! as mentioned earlier, i always admire iamsaint, canturn, jOho ...etc all the pro wedding shooters, how they can capture the most 'insignificant' objects and moments and make them special.

as for using 500mm... erm... u dun want to scare the guests carrying that bazooka, rite? :D
Wai... I just got the cost for the photographer... US$1700! :bigeyes: That's a lot of money to me... Dunno about you guys...

I'm gonna have a chat with that NY photographer to get some tips from him.

It's true I shouldn't be stressed out about this but its just that I made a really nice portrait of one of my other teachers and her son and I printed a 12x18 photo for her. She cried with happiness! I was shocked. So now everybody seems to say that I can do this wedding very well so its not really the pressure from my teacher (a bit of it would be a better choice of words) but from my friends... :sweat: The whole school knows about it and they seem to be expecting lots from me...

Talk about peer pressure... :bsmilie:
 

espn

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#14
Frankly, since he's already hired a PAID photographer, why not you just assume the role of an invited guest and enjoy the ceremony than wondering what to shoot? The backup/2nd photog should be charge/worry of the main PAID photographer.

You don't need to assume any responsibilities nor take any shots, just enjoy :)
 

jOhO

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#15
i agree that you SHOULD bring the 70-200. man i would love to shoot back up with THAT lens only... how's that for a challenge! ;p

but no, dun do that, ahha i would bring the 70-200, but i'd also bring my 17-35 (for your case is the 17-40) becos u never know when someone wants a group shot and u're the nearest photographer to them and u have to shoot it. even tho it might be a little delayed that you have to change from your 70-200 to ur 17-40 b4 u can shoot them, it's better than saying "er i can't shoot for you, please get the other photographer".

someone mentioned that the 70-200 isn't suitable becos u are likely not to be able to get that 1.5m min focus distance. well my opinion is that, i do NOT want to be within 1.5m of the couple (and the main photog) if i'm the back up! of course there are times when u can mount the 17-40 and shoot complementing, but not blocking, the main.

one example is during the tea ceremony (if any). the main is likely to shoot from the side most of the time. you can go behind the couple, or behind the pple drinking tea (if there's space) but NEVER on the other side of the main photog (you'll be in the frame of his cam this way, could be very "photojournalistic" since it's a true record of wat happened but still...) mind you the main can also change his position quickly and move to the back of the couple and take shots of say, the grandparents giving "advice" to the couple, so u have to be mindful of his movements and where he wants to go in case you are blocking his intended angle. the main has RIGHT OF WAY.

the first march in is where u can really whack a few nice shots of the couple, and u can be using a 17-40 but be far and well away from the main. how? i can just imagine a shot of the couple marching in, and there is a following spotlight on them, shoot them at one of the thirds of the frame from a higher vantage point (the stage perhaps), but keep it wide so the rest of the guests are standing and clapping in semi underexposed areas. since the spot light automatically highlights the couple as a main subject, you don't have to be worried about the rest of the people in your frame.

of course this is just an example or imagination, but my point is, no main photog is gonna stand at the stage and wait for this shot. the first march in is too important to shoot from far as a main. so how to get this shot? it has to be from the back up!

just some food for thought. honestly i miss shooting back up man... *sigh* ;p
 

jOhO

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#16
oh btw... i decline to comment about whether u are paid or free or watever, i was commenting about wat i'd do as a back up photog. :)
 

espn

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#17
jOhO said:
oh btw... i decline to comment about whether u are paid or free or watever, i was commenting about wat i'd do as a back up photog. :)
jOhO: When can I be urs? I'm serious, let me know ;)
 

nickmak

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#18
jOhO said:
oh btw... i decline to comment about whether u are paid or free or watever, i was commenting about wat i'd do as a back up photog. :)
Thanks man, I really need these kinda things to help me.

By the way, both the bride and groom are British so its mainly those western type weddings... (Last wedding I attended I was the pianist, not the photographer so I know nothing about it... ;p )

This is the first time I get to do these kind of things.

As far as monetary benefits are concerned, my teacher actually did tell me he would give me money for it but I declined, saying that its the experience that I wanted, not the money. Until I get better and see how things work, I'd take the back seat - help and watch and learn. ;)
 

jOhO

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#20
nickmak said:
Thanks man, I really need these kinda things to help me.

By the way, both the bride and groom are British so its mainly those western type weddings... (Last wedding I attended I was the pianist, not the photographer so I know nothing about it... ;p )

This is the first time I get to do these kind of things.

As far as monetary benefits are concerned, my teacher actually did tell me he would give me money for it but I declined, saying that its the experience that I wanted, not the money. Until I get better and see how things work, I'd take the back seat - help and watch and learn. ;)
well since u've declined, i guess then let it be. but honestly i would take it. perhaps let me be a little "controvertial" here.

since u've mentioned that they are caucasians, there's GENERALLY one thing about them is that they will pay for things they use, or get or watever. i lived in australia for 10+ years, and even things like PARKING they want to split with me when i drive. sometimes they even go to the extent of saying when i offer them a lift home "hey let's put in some gas, i would have used the money to pay for a cab anyway".

it's just their culture! perhaps if they are really "staunch" caucasians with regard to this culture, then it could even make them feel uncomfortable if they dun pay you, so make it very very clear that this is a GIFT to them.

of course, there are singaporeans who are like that too, but honestly, anyone will admit it isn't the CULTURE of singapore to act this way. i dun need to give u examples here do i? :bsmilie:
 

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