Learning for Wedding photography : Gears

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Kaiser Doctor Computer, Jun 18, 2017.

  1. Kaiser Doctor Computer

    Kaiser Doctor Computer Mu-43 Rookie

    14
    Jun 17, 2017
    Malaysia
    Hello guys and dear masters/pro.

    I've recently switched to Olympus due to the fact of system and the capability to grow with it.

    Most of the time, I've noticed that for wedding most pro uses pro lenses and fast primes and also flash.

    Since I'm beginning to take this journey (previously I'm just a casual amateur photographer), what should i have to start a simple wedding/low cost photography?

    Currently, i only have kit lens 14-42mm, 40-150mm R, and a pancake 17mm f2.8. Can i use these set to start wedding photography? Or i still need to invest on fast primes, pro lenses, and flash?

    I'm also on a tight budget, and here at Malaysia, people demand good quality photos with adequate payment. So these option doesn't help me to invest on those gear.

    Hope that someone understand and willing to share their thoughts.

    Thank you.
     
  2. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    First I have to emphasize how much I strongly believe in a pro photographer (especially a pro wedding photographer) having professional level gear. So you statement about doing this cheap does bother me. If you are shooting weddings for money that puts you in the pro category by most people's thinking, especially non-photographers. Showing up with a consumer body and lenses is not what I would expect from any wedding photographer. Here in the states we have had several of these shows showing actual court cases and the one I want to mention is Judge Brown. There was one episode where this lady was suing her wedding photographer for a very botched photography job. The photographer started to defend herself but was ripped apart by Judge Brown. You see............he is an actual amateur photographer and was amazed that this lady (the photographer) would pass herself off as a pro wedding photographer when she was using a Canon Rebel with a kit lens and few other consumer grade lenses. I can't find any clips of that exchange anywhere now, use to be on several sites.

    With that understanding................................

    I recently shot my first wedding (it was for a friend and if you search you can find my thread asking questions) and like any typical wedding photographer I was using two bodies with different lenses. Now, you will hear people refer to that 2nd camera as a backup and I personally have always insisted that it is not and that you need a 3rd camera (possible a 4th) as true backups. My reasoning is this.................you use two cameras with different lenses so you don't miss anything if you have to change lenses, basically they are really both primary cameras. One of them is not a backup camera..............................After the ceremony was over we were shooting some portraits and other fun shots when my 2nd camera had a malfunction and put me down to one camera. This really drove home the point to me that you need a backup because for the next hour I was constantly changing lenses and missed a few shots because of it. So.......................................if you shoot with two cameras then one is not your backup camera and you need at least one true backup camera. If this happened during the ceremony it would have been terrible and I would have missed photos that I could only get with the lens on that camera.

    I personally would not a shoot weddings without a camera that had dual card slots. In my long time of shooting digital I have only had 3 cards die on me that lost photos. I don't care how remote that chance is, I would never trust one card to photos that could not be replaced. I worried about this shooting my one and only wedding and went thru 10 cards because I would swamp them out so if something happen I at least had some photos. Unfortunately Olympus (I only shoot Olympus) has yet to really solve this problem. Yes, the EM1mk2 has dual card slots but they are very limited in how they work and if you shoot RAW and use continuous shooting you are pretty much out of luck using the two slots without running into buffer issues.

    As for lenses I personally think you need good f2.8 zooms that cover 12mm to at least 100mm (talking actually focal length not focal length after crop factor). Then some fast primes for when the light is not so good, especially if it's in a place you can't use flash. The focal lengths you need in the fast primes is really personal as well as determined by location. I personally would get a good fast prime in the 12mm range, 17mm (I like that focal length), 25mm, 50ish, 75mm.

    I am sorry but this flood of people who think I have a digital camera and some lenses and all my friends rave about my photos on Facebook and Instagram so I can shoot weddings and charge stupid low prices because my consumer gear didn't cost much really grates on me. It has been a blight on the photography profession for years now and is only getting worse and making it harder for real pro wedding photographers to compete.

    Regards,

    Ronnie
     
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  3. Kaiser Doctor Computer

    Kaiser Doctor Computer Mu-43 Rookie

    14
    Jun 17, 2017
    Malaysia
    Dear sir, thank you for your insight.

    I understands that it is crucial to have pro gears and fast prime, but as I mentioned, i'm still learning and this is my beginning to start this journey.

    Before that, me and my friend will be working together in order to prevent missed shot. Sorry for not mentioning it beforehand.

    We only need information regarding lenses and gears that will be crucial for this type of photography, and suggestions if the kit/cheap lenses can be use for doing it.
    And i thank you for mentioning some of those. However, we need to know the specific lens/gear crucial for it and i mean not all the professional ones as we/i still cannot afford it. What is the first lens/gear that we do really need?

    For your info also, we are unlike those people that you've mentioned that getting cocky by being complimented by friends with their photos.

    We decided to go wedding in order to improve our skills and not by being complimented as a good photographer and suddenly want to start getting wedding photography job.

    We also don't do high demanding customers as to avoid getting screwed and we only look for customers that does not want to spend more on their wedding photography (friends and colleagues) ; and also, as we know, we are still in the learning process.

    Therefore again, we wish to know if the kit/cheap lens can be used to start doing wedding and what is the foremost lens/gear we need to start doing it, without have to further invest on pro gears which is a cost that currently we cannot afford. Thank you.

    Fyi I'm using Em10 mark 2 for starters.
     
  4. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    So you are the typical I have a camera and want to do wedding photography.................I don't know what I am doing so I will practice via paid gigs? I highly suggest you apprentice under an experienced pro and learn the trade as well as make some money to buy professional level gear.

    Two shooters is pretty much the norm for wedding photographers now, if not a third. That is not the solution for not missing shots because you both should be photographing different things. If your camera goes down just before the putting on of the rings or other such thing, then what are you going to do? Interrupt the ceremony to get your friend over there to cover the shot? Sorry, two shooters each with one camera is just a disaster waiting to happen. Both of you should be shooting two cameras with at least 1 (if not 2) backup cameras close at hand.


    Improving your skills on what many people believe is the most important day of their lives? Seriously, you should have the skill to pull it off before every getting paid to do your first wedding..................unless you are working as an assistant for a pro.

    LOL, no it will be you screwing the customer with shoddy work and not having backup gear for when (not if, as it will happen eventually) it's needed. Once again...........you are exactly the reason people have such a bad taste in their mouths when it comes to "Professional wedding photographers". You are putting yourself out there as pro's but have not a clue what you are doing or really the gear to pull it off and no backup plan if a piece of gear fails other then my friend has a camera to cover if mine goes down. You are being paid to cover a wedding with two photographers, so better be prepared to provide two photographers when a camera goes down or you are only providing one photographer or 1/2 of what you are being paid for. You going to return 1/2 the money if that happens?

    I said it before...............work as an assistant and make the money to get the gear to do it properly..................

    But here is my list if I was going to shoot weddings...........................

    Olympus OMD EM1mk2 x3
    Olympus ZD 14-35mm f2.0
    Olympus ZD 35-100 f2.0
    Olympus ZD 150mm f2.0
    Olympus MZ 8mm f1.8 fisheye
    Olympus MZ 7-14mm f2.8
    Olympus MZ 12-40mm f2.8
    Olympus MZ 40-150mm f2.8
    Olympus MZ 12-100mm f4.0 (for outdoor use only)
    Olympus MZ 12mm f2.0
    Olympus MZ 17mm f1.8
    Olympus MZ 25mm f1.2 Pro
    Olympus MZ 45mm f1.8
    Olympus MZ 75mm f1.8
    Olympus FL-900R x5 (one on each camera and a spare)

    The first three lenses are because I still think they are amazing lenses with IQ that is unmatched by any m4/3 lens. You can also use them in dimmer situations over switching to prime lenses. For me personally, the fast primes would only be for when the f2.0 zooms still caused me to go to high in ISO.

    I know you will not like what I said but I have never been one to sugarcoat anything. I also have a huge problem with people passing themselves off as pro photographers when in actuality they are amateurs. When you do things for pay you are acting in the capacity of a pro and I have a huge problem with that. The glut of "wedding photographers" in the digital age is almost laughable because 80% of them are hacks looking to make a buck off of unsuspecting people. There was a reason for apprenticing under an established pro and personally I feel that for wedding and portrait photography there is still a need for it. Just my 2 cents...........take it or leave.............no skin of my nose.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017
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  5. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    "Professional" gear does not make one a wedding photographer. Your questions alone tell me you may not have the mastery of skills to be a successful wedding photographer as these are not the type of questions that would normally be asked. Might I suggest starting off a bit more simply by working as a second stringer or by shooting engagement photos? I don't meant to be so skeptical, but these threads pop up all of the time in photo forums, and there is a lot more to being a reputable professional that just having expensive gear, especially if you say that your potential customer base demands good quality photos. You only really get one chance to make a first impression so you may want to let this idea bake a bit more before bringing it to life. I strongly recommend reading some of the other similar threads here. You may learn a bit from them.

    Good luck,

    --Ken
     
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  6. JamesD172

    JamesD172 Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    449
    Aug 18, 2016
    James Dolezal
    While I think @Phocal@Phocal 's tone may have been a bit harsh, I mostly agree.

    I’m an amateur whose only experience shooting weddings was as a backup photographer in my sister’s wedding, but I’ve been a part of a lot of weddings recently (6 in the last 6 months) and have been watching the photographers and their results. Other wedding photographers will be able to offer better insights than me.

    My recommendation: if you are offering to do this for free for family/friends who would otherwise not be able to afford a photographer, then by all means, use whatever you have. Use an Olympus body cap lens, even. But if they are paying you anything – they have expectations of some sort, regardless of how well those expectations are communicated. And IMO, you shouldn’t be shooting a wedding for money without a well-thought-out plan and using professional-level equipment.

    Photographic opportunities in weddings come and go so fast and are easily missed. If you’re busy switching lenses all the time on a single body – or worse, still figuring out how to use what’s already on the body – you will miss important moments. That quiver of emotion that fleets across the groom’s face when he sees his bride, tears shed by a father as he dances with his daughter, the laughter of a bridesmaid as she catches the bouquet.

    The best way to learn a genre of photography is to work with people who do it – e.g. as Phocal recommended, joining another photographer as a backup photog for a wedding. Not by experimenting during someone else’s special moments and potentially depriving them of something they would cherish.

    The best way to learn new gear is to shoot with it – but not by diving head first into a once-in-a-lifetime and photographically challenging scenario like a wedding. Start off with some portrait shoots, where time is not critical and you have control over everything. You’ll get to know your equipment better and will feel comfortable with it when time is critical.

    My sister hired a family friend to be a videographer for her wedding because she couldn’t afford a professional service. The family friend showed up with a Canon Rebel with a kit lens and was still figuring out how to focus during the ceremony. Needless to say, the video was awful and half of the time was out of focus. My sister was pretty bummed, but what did she expect? She had an amateur friend shoot the video, and got amateur results.

    Again, I’ve not been in charge of shooting a wedding, but my assumption for weddings is that you’ll want something along these lines with regard to equipment (for one photographer):
    • 2 x body
    • 12-40 2.8 PRO (or the Panasonic version)
    • 17 f1.8 (or 15 f1.7)
    • 25 1.4
    • 45 f1.8 and/or 75 f1.8
    • Off-camera flash
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2017
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  7. Debbie.Cato

    Debbie.Cato Mu-43 Regular

    99
    Feb 23, 2016
    Shooting a wedding is not all about gear, though multiple bodies are important. I had a brand new Canon 5D2 fail at the reception after performing beautifully during preceremony and ceremony. Fortunately I did have backup and was able to continue without delay. I photographed my first 3 weddings no charge as a guest of the videographer to figure out what settings to use. I shoot low light weddings exclusively in manual mode. If you will be in low light environments at all you will need faster glass than the kit lenses.
     
  8. ionian

    ionian Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    806
    May 20, 2016
    Kent, UK
    Simon
    Couldn't agree more with the sentiments above. I'm just starting in wedding photography myself, and I have a whole summer booked up with unpaid gigs shadowing other photographers. Weddings are not the place to learn photography. Think of it as a long-term aim, but you are asking for trouble by jumping into it unprepared.

    There is a flippant saying that I saw on the Internet which I don't agree with entirely, but your initial post brought it to my mind:

    Amateurs worry about gear, pros worry about money, masters worry about light.

    Or in the words of yoda: you must complete your training!
     
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  9. chonbhoy

    chonbhoy Mu-43 Veteran

    495
    Apr 23, 2013
    Scottish Highlands
    I've been asked to take photos at family events (not my own family) and although they expect nice photos for free I don't mind because i am not a pro and I'm also going to enjoy the company of my friends. This has given me an insight into how demanding it would be to be a pro doing a paid job. The fast glass and the off camera flash is a must and knowing how to use the flash would take a long time to gain the required experience plus all the accessories for it like diffusers/tripods remote release etc. Now if i had a card malfunction or camera malfunction there would of been no more photos and the ones i had taken would be lost (possibly) so another body is a must.
    Are you comfortable with commanding groups of people and constantly moving into spaces without being too obtrusive? Anyway those are my thoughts on taking your first steps to becoming a wedding photographer, i understand the comments above.....good luck.
    Im not sure if the faster electronic shutter on the EM1 mk2 is good enough to not pack an ND filter for bright outdoor work?

    I'll chuck in my lens recommendations but I'm not experienced enough to know whats best.
    12mm f2 for tight indoor work (maybe you know the location and know that there isn't any tight locations you want to use)
    17mm f1.8 for large groups and wide indoor scenes
    25mm f1.2 over the f1.4 because of faster focus (f1.8 budget choice) environmental portrait/small group
    42.5mm f1.2 tighter space portrait (45mm f1.8 budget choice)
    75mm f1.8 large space or outside portrait

    Other lens options with higher ISO or Flash always (flash unless well thought out will spoil a photo big time)
    8-18mm f2-4 (9-18mm budget choice)
    12-100mm f4 if you really need to be more stealthy and not getting in the way of the videographer or in full view of the event)
    12-40mm f2.8 (this removes the need for wide to normal primes in the list above)
    40-150 f2.8 for stealth but faster than the 12-100
    I'd still keep the portrait primes in there which are the 45 & 75 in this more budget conscious list

    Bonus round/wildcard/break the rules lens options
    Voigtlander 25mm f0.95 on one camera body
    Voigtlander 42.5mm f0.95 on another camera body
    and Voigtlander 17mm f0.95 in your bag for when you need it
    No flash!

    P.S. PLENTY of high speed 32gb memory cards (4) and spare batteries, probably 5 or 6!
     
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  10. Kaiser Doctor Computer

    Kaiser Doctor Computer Mu-43 Rookie

    14
    Jun 17, 2017
    Malaysia
    Thank you dear masters with all of your suggestions. Who would thought what will happened if we were continue to start this journey?

    From most of the comments above, I've learned a lot now. I thank all of you Senior members to point out the crucial parts of being a wedding photographer and doing wedding. Seems light years ahead of us.

    I really agreed with JamesD172 setup, and will look forward in getting these gears and learning them.

    We thank you again as these comments does gives us the big picture of being a wedding photographer.

    We will head out there either being an assistant with our current gears or someone which offers free pre/mock wedding photography services in order to learn.

    Man, seems photography does waste lots of money and time before getting paid.
     
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  11. Kaiser Doctor Computer

    Kaiser Doctor Computer Mu-43 Rookie

    14
    Jun 17, 2017
    Malaysia
    Thank you sir, for me no hard feelings and i think this is one of the answers I should be looking. Though you should point it out in the first place.

    Thank you for being as honest as possible.
     
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  12. Kaiser Doctor Computer

    Kaiser Doctor Computer Mu-43 Rookie

    14
    Jun 17, 2017
    Malaysia
    For most answers/comments above, your answer is the one that leaving a smile in our faces.

    But, another question, could you point out for what each lens is used for?
     
  13. ionian

    ionian Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    806
    May 20, 2016
    Kent, UK
    Simon
    Alright peeps, funs over, let's let this guy climb back under his bridge...
     
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  14. chonbhoy

    chonbhoy Mu-43 Veteran

    495
    Apr 23, 2013
    Scottish Highlands
    Yeah THAT comment lol.
     
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  15. Kaiser Doctor Computer

    Kaiser Doctor Computer Mu-43 Rookie

    14
    Jun 17, 2017
    Malaysia
    Thank you @ionian@ionian. We do appreciate if any masters/veteran which will point us the right way.
     
  16. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    I am going to take this question at face value and assume you have no intentions of trolling. Having said that, if you are asking this question, you have an awfully long ways to go before you should be asking for money for providing any photographic services. If you have not the remotest idea of what situations each lens is best suited for, what led you to believe that you could do this as a "professional"? :hmmm:

    --Ken
     
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  17. Gerard

    Gerard Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    May 12, 2015
    Vleuten, Utrecht
    Just point the lens in the direction of a subject and click.
    Works with any lens.
     
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  18. chonbhoy

    chonbhoy Mu-43 Veteran

    495
    Apr 23, 2013
    Scottish Highlands
    And top tip for portraits, smear vaseline all over the glass on the lens ;)
     
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  19. Kaiser Doctor Computer

    Kaiser Doctor Computer Mu-43 Rookie

    14
    Jun 17, 2017
    Malaysia
    I'd do that for old lens. But for d pricey ones i won't and will not be doing that. Hahaha
     
  20. Kaiser Doctor Computer

    Kaiser Doctor Computer Mu-43 Rookie

    14
    Jun 17, 2017
    Malaysia
    As i've said, seems wedding is light years for us. We do know 45mm does great with portraits.. But for the rest? Why do we need them?

    Pardon myself, never get the idea having too much expensive lens. And here at my place, those lens doesn't come cheap.