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My first wedding coming up...need advice!

Discussion in 'People' started by D300fan, Jul 5, 2008.

  1. D300fan


    Mar 30, 2008
    Hello all! I am shooting my first wedding on July 12th, and am very nervous! Can the experienced wedding photographers on this site give me basic settings you use. Examples would be outside sunny/cloudy days, flash settings for inside/out, and any ideas of some creative shots. All my paid jobs have been for sports, so this is all new to me. I am not the lead photographer, just an assistant. I have been hired by a photography company with the hopes of becoming a lead in about a year. I will be shooting with a D3 / 24-70 2.8 and a D300 / 70-200 2.8. I guess throughout the day I will be switching between the two. Any advice that one could share would be greatly appreciated...I want to make a good first impression!

  2. Goodness, that's quite a big question framed in a small paragraph.

    It made me smile because I shot, as the only photographer, my brothers wedding about 18 hours after I bought my D2H. That takes stupid to a new level, eh? He got what he paid for....ie something for nothing.

    I suspect that if you've been paid to shoot sports you know your very good gear well enough to bump up the ISO a titch to shoot a wedding indoors.

    Good luck. I'm an amateur so I'll let the pros give you pointers.
    You maybe could but a cup of coffee at a Barnes and Nobles and sit and peruse the photo section and glean pearls from the wedding books.
  3. Best advice, watch the histogram and make sure you are shooting as far to the right as you can, WITHOUT blowing the highlights (especially in the dress).

    Shoot the same scene from several perspectives.

    Watch the eyes for light (catchlights).

    Be respectful of the lead photog. Don't try and get them to look at you if the other photog is trying to get a shot.

    Spot meter - off the dress, then open up 1 or 1.3.

    Shooting outside, shoot in open shade. Don't get dappled light on the faces. Make sure they can open eyes without squinting. (remember to change ISO when you step out or in - unless you use auto ISO)

    Shoot some serious, and some fun images (if the couple are up for that) - guys in shades, girls wearing guy's jackets over their dresses, etc.

    hmmm, that's all that pops into mind at the moment.

    Good luck!
  4. Seneca


    Dec 4, 2006
    You've never done a wedding solo? Just take lots of images...about 300 or so.
  5. George,

    Check your personal messages.... I hope that helps!

  6. Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  7. Zee71


    Apr 1, 2007
    Queens, NY
    I'm not an expert, but extra batteries and CF cards for you camera. Don't forget to get pictures of the cake. Don't get in the way of the lead photo and maybe the videographer (if there is one), it's a lot of work shooting a wedding, it's not as easy as some people think. I shot my nieces sweet 16 (although she hired a photographer.....I feel as if I were an outside assistant), I was exhausted.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 24, 2008

  8. Good luck, be polite to the guests too, unless you need them to do something!
  9. The number one complaint that couples have about wedding photogs is that they focus so heavily on the wedding party that there are seldom photos of guests and family - they've been relegated to the disposable camera shots that are so common these days. If you're a back-up shooter, find some interesting guests to shoot, and I'll guess that you'll supplement the main shooter's work very nicely.

  10. APandya


    Jul 2, 2008
    don't be afraid to approach folk and take their photo!
  11. Taylor


    May 21, 2007
    Toronto, ON
    I just shot my first wedding last weekend, with the D3 and D2Xs. Try to stick with your style of shooting, don't try anything new because likely you'll screw it up. What you're comfortable with is what you're going to do the best.

    I covered most of the wedding with the D3/24-70 combo, and I used an SU-800 and SB-800 handheld for the dancing shots. Bring a reflector for posed shots if you can, since natural lighting looks a lot better than flash.
  12. Shoot, check your settings and shoot some more - ALOT more. :)  Even as 2nd shooter, I shoot like I'm the primary in the event that the primary has image loss or some other mishap. I don't think 300 is nearly enough, unless EVERY shot in that bunch is perfect...

    I would also look into a wide angle alternative to the 24-70, maybe 14-24...I'm sure others have mentioned spare batteries and extra memory.
  13. Hence the saying Quality not quantity. In wedding photography, every shot has to be perfect.
  14. As a 2nd shooter that's much more possible. On another forum, there was a guy that took like 6600 shots in 8-10 hours shooting with 3 bodies. While I think that's waaaaaay too much - in 8-10 hours, anywhere from 500-2000 shots would be an acceptable number.

    300 total shots may work if you shoot traditional style, simple one shot captures, but edgy/pj style you have to shoot much more than that, IMO of course...Now if you're talking what you actually present to the primary photographer - 300 is more than acceptable.
  15. If I can give one piece of advice it's to shoot with context. Try and avoid lots of headshots with a long lens and get in amongst people. Try and make a shot tell a story where you can.

    Other than that - know the cameras inside out and be able to operate them blind. Smile at the guests and don't be afraid to control them when needed.
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