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So here comes the tiniest one, asking the good old uncle.... would you please shoot my wedding?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Alf, Nov 15, 2014.

  1. Alf

    Alf Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 23, 2010
    Northeastern Tuscany
    So here comes the tiniest one, asking the dear old uncle.... would you please shoot my wedding?
    Just like your vacation pics.... we like it that way

    Of course the dear old uncle is just ten years older, but that's enough.
    I'll rely on the social smarts of my dearest for picture list organization, and good style, but after that?

    I have ten months to prepare for a northeastern country wedding, and don't even know how to use a flash.
    I don't have one, actually.
    Let's ask the good people of the forum...

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    The innocents by alfrjw, on Flickr
    • Like Like x 1
  2. MAubrey

    MAubrey Photographer

    Jul 9, 2012
    Bellingham, WA
    Mike Aubrey
    Assuming you're able to scout out actual locations for the formal stuff and spend some extra time preparing for that, here's my advice on the rest:

    When it come to the reception & ceremony go documentary style. Find two or three places with great lighting and stick to them and wait for the action to come to those spots. If you're not using a flash, It's better to have a few solidly lit images than dozens or hundreds with bad lighting.
    • Like Like x 2
  3. Aegon

    Aegon Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 3, 2011
    Portland, OR
    From what I've seen of your work, you will probably do a great job.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. ThereAndBackAgain

    ThereAndBackAgain Fighting GAS

    May 26, 2014
    North Devon, England
    Yes, agreed. What Aegon said. But one small piece of advice - it's just a trick - take a referee's whistle with you. A short blast makes everyone turn and look. Trust me. It works.
    • Like Like x 3
  5. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    I shot a family wedding this summer with an E-M1 and flash. After years of trying many light modifiers, I chose to use a LumiQuest Quik Bounce and a LumiQuest Mini Softbox. With the flash in A mode and the camera in Manual, I was pleased with the results. Getting to that point prior to the wedding, however, was quite time consuming.

    Good luck,

    • Like Like x 1
  6. fransglans

    fransglans Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 12, 2012
    get a second body if u are using a lot of primes...

    oh wait I just got a brilliant idea for my self, I got to shoot a wedding soon so my wife alouds a second one... EM1:) 
    • Like Like x 1
  7. bacil

    bacil Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 24, 2012
    It will be fun. Second body, flash, and I really like the whistle idea. Is it going to be day wedding in Tuscany? How fun.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. edmsnap

    edmsnap Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 20, 2011
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Bridezillas can be very frightening when they don't get perfection in every part of their wedding plans; making them cry isn't what anyone wants. While being nice is always nice, it can often be better to say, "I'd love to share all of the photos that I take at your wedding with you and you can have any of them that you like, but please don't rely on me to be your professional wedding photographer because your special day doesn't need the mistakes that I'm bound to make." I've seen so many people recruit friends for their wedding because the friend happens to own a camera that they don't make phone calls on. It just never ends well.

    Alternatively, make sure that you buy a very nice flash! :wink: Many parts of a wedding happen where the light absolutely sucks and just about everything outdoors will need a fill-flash. And a second body is absolutely essential - it doesn't have to be as good as your main camera, but you need to be able to shoot with something if you have problems with the main kit. And if you're shooting µ4/3 then probably 4 extra batteries and 3 or 4 extra SD cards will be needed to shoot the whole day. A nice 5-in-1 reflector and a 2nd pair of hands to use it wouldn't hurt. Perhaps most of all, read as many books on wedding photography as you can while you prepare. Knowledge bests equipment all the time.
    • Like Like x 9
  9. dogs100

    dogs100 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 12, 2011
    N Devon UK
    Dave, it doesn't work for your dogs ... Geoff :sorry::redface:
    • Like Like x 1
  10. tosvus

    tosvus Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 4, 2014
    I agree. We did have a pro photographer for a pro session, but my brother was asked to take pictures during dinner and church, and my wife is complaining about those pictures 10 years later.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Do not use a flash.
    Buy a flash and the accessories to make it useful at a wedding : diffuser, snood thingies, remotes? : then make someone else use it.

    Keep your own skills and use them how you always do, pass all the flash responsibility to some horny cousin grateful for a country drive, free booze and bridesmaids.
    • Like Like x 3
  12. Lisandra

    Lisandra Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 16, 2010
    you already have the natural light stuff down alf, so get a cheap flash like the yonguo 560 III (70$ amazon) and practice till your fingers fall off. Practice at different powers, different ISOs, and bouncing it off walls, the ceiling and even looking back. Practice practice practice!!!!!!
    • Like Like x 1
  13. fransglans

    fransglans Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 12, 2012
    thanks for the tip. been looking into flashes lately. im a 100% newbie though.will i need anything more to shoot and trigger this flash with my em5?
    • Like Like x 1
  14. AlanU

    AlanU Mu-43 Veteran

    May 2, 2012
    Do yourself a favor...... read this maybe 2-5 x


    right column in blue. Learn from a master of light.

    IMO your second camera should be virtually equal to your primary. Buy two flashes... YOU MUST have a spare flash as a backup especially if your shooting in challenging light. I know my em-5 is not good enough to shoot in low light at a reception with acceptable available light. Motion blurr that is not intentional is an extreme no no. For run and gun shooting you need to use a flash for low light situations. Remember you do NOT have a luxury of time when the brides father shakes hands with the groom down the aisle, catching the happy cries, throwing of the bouquet etc etc. Wedding photography isn't an easy job of documenting a pivotal moment in someones/couples lives.

    em-5 battery capacity is not enough for an entire day's shoot especially if your always looking at the preview of your photos. You need plenty of spare SD cards and I dont suggest higher than 32gb. 16 gb maybe safer cause if a card fails you will only loose 16gb NOT the entire wedding or good portion on a larger card.

    Lenses fast enough to shoot using available light during the reception can be killer beautiful or you can hammer with flash and kill the entire mood. If you can I'd suggest having a second shooter for angles you will miss as a solo shooter. Lots of gaps can be created if your solo.

    so much more to mention........
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Lisandra

    Lisandra Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 16, 2010
    itll fit on the hot shoe and fire just fine. But this is a manual flash, you have to set the intensity yourself, which I actually prefer in a wedding. I dont trust TTL flashes
    • Like Like x 1
  16. fransglans

    fransglans Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 12, 2012
    thanks. will look into it. sorry alf for using your thread here :) 
    • Like Like x 1
  17. AlanU

    AlanU Mu-43 Veteran

    May 2, 2012
    Lisandra, for a newbie using flash TTL would be the most logical for run/gun situations. As the subject distance changes the flash can zoom its head to send the appropriate amount of light to compensate in an "automatic" manner. For running and gunning its easier to adjust flash exposure compensation vs using manual flash where you can severely under or over expose the subject.

    Lisandra for your posed studio like photo shoots its a 100% no brainer to use manual flash for consistent exposure. This is where its easy to fine tune and worry more about "posed" subject matter's composition. For all of my run and gunning experience I honestly do not know any modern wedding/events shooter using manual flash for fast paced events especially weddings. On the same note I do not know any studio shooter using TTL for that slow paced studio session.

    OP, do not take your casual photography as a means of building confidence in shooting a wedding. Use your creativity for slower paced events like "bride's preparation" or when you shoot the post ceremony photos. During the ceremony this is where the bride/groom relies on your skills in documenting everything as well as adding your style as a photog. Be it being a boring stand erect and shooting away or selecting lenses to create the exact perspective you want and working the camera shooting low/high and creative angles.

    Shooting for family can be a good thing or a curse. If you do a fantastic job thats awesome. If you flub the walk down the isle, miss the kiss, miss the ring placement on the finger, miss the beautiful exiting of the "new couple" thats alot of responsibility with consequence.

    Even though there's a wedding coordinator and a well organized bride (sometimes groom) usually the couple still seeks direction from the wedding photog for meeting the agenda so that the photos be taken in a timely manner. You should also try to step out of the reception and get some posed photos. Alot of time management is equally as important since you must follow the agenda. That can be stressful.

    The battery capacity of your m43 is quite low so I'd assume for safety you'd need bare minimum of 3 in total and you charge the battery as you swap to a fresh one.

    Flash diffusers are plentiful on the market. I use my joe demb flipit and spinlight 360. Lately I seem to use the spinlight 360 for dinner/bday events. Joe demb works well for directional bouncing and throwing fill light.

    Of course end of the day you'll be culling and editing equal to more time you were shooting.

    Learning flash is only a tiny portion of the skill set you must "shine" during the event. I encourage you to read Neil's website and practice till you turn green. Just remember that your lighting conditions can be totally different to what you were practicing in.

    severe steep learning curve but you'll get there.........
    • Like Like x 2
  18. Lisandra

    Lisandra Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 16, 2010
    first of all genius link, been there a lot. Ill use it in another post. A snippet from that:
    Sometimes … actually, very often … you just need to add additional lighting to the mix to get the results you and your clients want. Simple as that. Then it is up to you to figure out a way that best serves that need – good lighting while retaining the look and feel of the place.

    Thats why I suggested he try out different ISO settings and so, heck if he (alf) has access to where its gonna be I suggest he goes practice there!!! Start out with ISO 1600 and fill flash at 1/50 or 1/60 shutter (let the flash freeze the action) and then turn down the ISO until things start to look too dark. Ive been at places with magical low ceilings that have allowed me to stay at ISO 400 all night bouncing the light from it and not so photographically magical (but more beautiful) places that have made me push the ISO to ISO 800 and fill. Bouncing from walls will give you often beautiful two dimensional results, but its tricky to pull of without practice.

    Bounce on a wall camera right, ISO 400 1/50 of a sec f2.8
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    I agree on the extra flashes, buy three, heck buy four. Ive had flashes burn out, or fall mid event and be completely useless afterwards. and for every flash, buy two sets of batteries for each. charge them the same day if you have the time. Let them cool and test them on the flash. Even if theyre new.
    You do need extra batteries for the cams. Also charge them the same day if time permits, day before at the least. If we're talking GH3/4 then you can get away with 2 easy, that thing will go on forever, but em5 or any other pana/oly you need 3 at the least. If you can get the battery grip (em5,em1,gh3/4) thats a great help too, you dont have to run to change the battery when it runs out. You can wait until you have a break and change it. You can also bring a charger despite the extra batteries, and when one runs out leave it charging. Ask they guy at the bar or the DJ. Its a bit neurotic but better safe than sorry.
    I dont carry a lot of cards. loosing a card is easier with the more you bring. a better bet is to bring 2 or 3 cards per cam 8-16 gigs each, and a small laptop or tablet. In between stuff after a while, change the card you have for an empty one and leave the other one uploading to your computer or tab. If you can bring someone with you to help, that could be his/her job. If you know what to look for you can fit an entire wedding in 16 gigs. More is not always better. If you got it, move to something different, dont shoot 20 shots of the same thing in sliiiightly different positions. youll end up discarding 19 frames, loosing space and time you simply dont have.
    If you know some one who knows his stuff indeed bring him/her along, teach him/her not to be where you are, but to look for the same things you do.
    Flash is a must in my book.
    • Like Like x 3
  19. Lisandra

    Lisandra Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 16, 2010
    I use manual flash for all weddings and sweet 16s.
    On the other hand I know very very few weddings pros that use TTL flash. TTL can be fooled by a great number of things, a strobing light from the DJ can fool it into thinking its too bright and give you poor output. The zoom setting matters little cause I never use flash head on, and when i want something specific i change the zoom.
    Consistency is the name of the game in fast paced weddings, I cant have anything on my gear make their own decisions.
    • Like Like x 2
  20. RobWatson

    RobWatson Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Having just shot a friends wedding as a guest (there were 2 pros + videographer) I can say lighting is tough. B&W process saved some otherwise total lost causes.

    Without flash the entire event (save a small handfull of shots) would have been a disaster. All the pros were using manual flash - no TTL.

    Honestly there was so much going on that nobody was distracted by the relentless and endless flashes except me.
    • Like Like x 1
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