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A First Wedding Shoot

Discussion in 'People' started by PAReams, May 23, 2007.

  1. PAReams


    Apr 4, 2007
    San Diego, CA
    I shot a friend's wedding for fun and practice this weekend. There was a pro there who seemed competent, so I tried to stay out of the way and enjoy the wedding, but still get some shots. These are 5 of the ones that I like best from the wedding, but I'd love feedback from the forum. So many of you are amazing and I've got so much to learn. Please, fire away. What can I improve?





    This father/daughter picture is so grainy because I was a total fool and forgot to change my ISO as the evening went on and the space became darker. I kept thinking to myself, "I'm shooting with a 2.8 lens, why can't I get more light?" Um, an ISO of 200 might have something to do with that. Totally embarrassing. Oh well. Live and learn.
  2. I like the 1st two even though the subjects eyes were looking at the other photograher. The 3rd is my favorite from these.

    I made the same mistake that you did on the last one, except I was showing my sister-in-law how easy it was to change my ISO vs changing it on her Sony A100. I bumped mine up to 1800 and forgot to change it back for the remainder of the wedding reception!!

    I don't think we ever did figure out how to change the ISO setting on the Sony.
  3. PAReams


    Apr 4, 2007
    San Diego, CA
    Thanks so much, Fred. I was really nervous that I had over-exposed #3 (I'm still getting used to using a manual lens--and on my D70 the 105/2.5 is all manual)). I think I'd like it better if the shutter speed had been one stop faster, but that'll teach me to keep on checking my histogram.

    For one and two the pro had the bridal party, so I thought that some "formal candids" could be fun.
  4. I hope to have either a 70-200 f/2.8 or a 85 f/1.4 in my bag before I try to take wedding photos again.

    Let me ask you something. Did the pro that they hired say anything to you while you were there?
  5. PAReams


    Apr 4, 2007
    San Diego, CA
    I got a couple of almost dirty looks while I was shooting candids while she shot formals. I would have stopped if she had asked me to, but I was actually a little nervous that the bride wouldn't get enough shots from the formal portraits. My wife and I really treasure some of the "formal candids" that were taken during our wedding and the second shooter for this pro was just standing there while the pro directed traffic.

    I also got a look from the second shooter when I went up to the balcony to shoot the light on the wall. Neither of them said anything to me. I thought about approaching them, but I wasn't really sure what to say--she was shooting with Canon gear, so I didn't feel like I had a natural opening like, "What's your NikonCafe ID?" :) 
  6. You mean something like this:


    Good one!!
  7. That's because you were stealing the pro's setups, which is a no-no. Bystanders can draw the bride and groom's attention away from the prime shooter, slowing or even ruining their work. The pro only has 30-45 mnutes to shoot the formals before the bride and groom have to leave for the reception. That's why they try to choose a spot away from the crowd, and it's understood that casual shooters should wait until the pro finishes their work before they take boutique shots.

    It was your place to ask for permission, and from your narrative, it's clear that you understood she was annoyed by your intrusion into her work, but chose to ignore it. The lady photographer was apparently too polite to express her displeasure in a direct manner.

    White balance and etiquette.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 23, 2007
  8. Paul, I meant to ask if anyone from the wedding party asked you to bring your camera but forgot to.
  9. bob swanson

    bob swanson Guest

    :cool: Good points Uncle Frank. I can relate my past weekend. I had a beach wedding and was hired for only 2 hours and tried to get in as much as I could in that time frame. There was no prior communication with the bride as she was the high strung bride and didn't answer my calls. I would have mentioned to her that other photographers although thinking they are doing you a favor and getting you additional shots really are delaying the set-up. As Uncle Frank mentioned, diverting eyes and heads, stopping for the "wait, I didn't get that shot", etc.
    One of the guests with a fairly professional camera with flash mounted on the hot-shoe did come up a tell me what he was doing and for me not to worry as he would always be behind me and off to the side to as not to conflict with what I was doing. I told him not to worry that I would tell him if he were in the way. He showed concern for the person that was actually getting paid to get results. On the other hand there was a women opposite me with a fairly good camera that was copying my shots but from 180 degrees. In other words, if I had the B&G in my frame she was always in the picture. I didn't have time to walk over to her and ask her to move. I considered that rather inconsiderate.
    The considerate photographer mentioned to me that he wasted his first few indoor shots because he forgot to turn on his flash. I mentioned to him that when you get paid to photograph you have to think of these things and be prepared. I then told him that I was staging a cake cutting and told him where I was going to stand. He cautioned me about the mirror behing the cake and I told him that's why I chose the angle that I was shooting from.
    I know I've been long winded but thought I'd add my 2 cents. www.bsvirginian.smugmug.com
  10. PAReams


    Apr 4, 2007
    San Diego, CA
    Thanks for the info Uncle Frank-
    During the formal portraits I never made any verbal contact with any member of the wedding party and I used the longest lens that I had to make sure that I was well out of the way. I also intentionally didn't duplicate any of the shots--in all of the photos I captured the eyes of the bridal party are looking directly at the photographer, which is just what they should have been doing.
    Next time I will speak with the photographer as Bob describes. Do you have recommendations about how to start such a conversation or what to say?

    Fred-the bride did ask me to bring the camera to the wedding-I can see why that would be an important question.
  11. You must have intruded noticeably, or the pro wouldn't have been looking daggers at you.

    I went to a friend's son's wedding last year, and sought out the pro before the ceremony. Told him I was a friend of the groom's family, and was going to be taking some boutique shots. Said I'd make it a point to stay out of his setups and shooting lanes, but to kick me in the butt if I screwed up and got in the way of his work. He laughed, and thanked me for my consideration. And later on, while he was doing the hard work of harvesting hundreds of shots, I was able to concentrate on getting a few special ones, like this.

  12. PAReams


    Apr 4, 2007
    San Diego, CA
    Thanks Frank

    That's exactly what I should have said to the photographer who was there. I'll make sure to bookmark this so I can look at it next time.

    Incidentally, I think that the daggers were more for coming over to the portrait session at all. When she saw that I was behind her and out of her hair I think that she was fine. I also did not go with her when she went off with the bride and groom for their portraits. I stayed with the rest of the wedding party and took some pictures of them together. I'm pretty sure that I have some etiquette...I'm not so sure about the white balance issues :smile:
  13. At the last wedding I was out I took some photos during ceremony then lent the pro a reflector disc I had with me. He ended up having me hold it for him while he took some portraits.

    A co-worker asked me to bring my camera with me to a wedding in August and I told him only if I could speak to the pro beforehand. They guy he hired ended up being the same photographer who did my wedding so we already spoke everything should work out OK. I just hope I can afford to pick up a cream machine or a 70-200 by then.

    I might be wrong but I think the white balance issue has to do with the 1st two photos being a little too much on the warm side. Let me guess, did you have the WB set to "Shade"?
  14. Firelarz


    Feb 26, 2006
    Chandler, AZ
    The first one would have been nice if they were all in focus, and the third one I like except for the white light sticking out of her head. Heed the advice here, there is alot of good info to be had.
  15. BigPixel

    BigPixel Guest

    fantabulous. A step away from the norm...well done!
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