Tips for wedding shots

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by webmonkey8, Jul 9, 2012.

  1. webmonkey8

    webmonkey8 Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 17, 2012

    I'm still relatively new to the :43: world, so I still have a lot to learn. I have an EPM1 with the Oly 45mm and Panny 25mm lenses and I've been asked to take part in shooting some photos for a wedding.

    Can anybody offer any useful tips for taking optimal photos for this kind of event with this camera and lenses? What are your settings on the camera, like, focusing area, auto-focus, etc.

    I usually shoot in aperture mode with the lowest f-stop number (eg., 1.4 or 1.8), but a lot of times, the iAuto works great, too. Also, a lot of times when shooting with such a large aperture, people's faces get out of focus when they are in slight varying distances, such as group shots. That's why I use the iAuto mode. If I want to concentrate on one person's face or a couple, then I shoot in larger aperture, as it seems to be more flattering in portraiture mode.

    I know this may be a bit general as to what I'm asking, but if anyone has shot wedding photography using your :43: camera, it would be great to get some tips!
  2. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    If you're already in Aperture Priority and you go to a group shot where greater Depth of Field is required, then why go to iAuto instead of simply stopping down to a smaller aperture (bigger f-number) to increase your DOF? That's what Aperture Priority is for - control of aperture and the resulting DOF. By dialing in a smaller aperture you're telling the camera that you need more in focus, and the camera will calculate the rest to give you proper exposure.
  3. Jorg.S

    Jorg.S Mu-43 Regular

    Well you have nice gear to pull this off.
    When shooting in A mode you don't need to stay at the lowest f-stop.
    The larger the number the more depth of field you will get i.e. have more of the face in focus.
    Naturally all this also depends on light availability and what shutter speed you will need.

    Not to sound mean or anything but if you are the main photographer for the wedding, decline to do it and have them hire a pro.
    Many people have lost many friends because the pictures did not come out on that special day.
    And you will not have a chance to redo them if they don't come out.
    There are just to many variables and problems that can happen.
  4. webmonkey8

    webmonkey8 Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 17, 2012
    Thanks, Ned and Jorg S.

    Actually, it's the main photographer (who's a pro) is asking me to be the "assistant" so it'll be a learning experience for me (thank goodness!). I would have definitely declined if I was the only person for the job! :smile:
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Jorg.S

    Jorg.S Mu-43 Regular

    Well that is awesome that he will take you under his wing.
    I used to shoot weddings back in the film days and trust me I have never worked so hard in my live before or since then :big grin:
    Enjoy your experience and try to find a book on basic photography to learn more about light and such, it is well worth the effort.
  6. 0dBm

    0dBm Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 30, 2011
    Western United States
    Are you shooting the ceremony? Are your shooting the reception? Are you shooting the rehearsal dinner? Are you shooting the bride and entourage just before the ceremony? Are you shooting the bride and groom leaving the chapel withe the rice flying?

    If so, get a flash unit. Olympus FL-600R should do fine. Get some Eneloop AA batteries. Find a plant about 6-feet tall and practice until your get the exposure and color balance correct. Get a bounce reflector that you can mount to your flash.

    Determine the time of the day that each of these events take place and whether indoors or outdoors. Determine type of room lights used. Go to teach of these places and set your color balance.

    Use the 25mm for group shots. Use the 45 for 1-3 people.

    Bring a spare battery for your camera and place it in your pocket. Carry spare AAs. Lose the bag. Lose the neck/shoulder strap or you'll look like a geek. Get a wrist strap to enable you to grip the camera snugly.

    Ask who is paying for the wedding. Person will want some memories, too. Ask who is paying for the photos (but NOT bride or groom) what their expectations are.

    Dress like you are part of the guest list and NOT the hired pro that shows-up in inappropriate attire and end-up looking out-of-place.

    Shoot in A Mode. Find a compromise between ISO and flash output that allows good IQ and fast cycle time.

    Bring at least two fast HC SD cards and never shoot past 75% of capacity.

    Shoot the kids at their eye level. Use the 45mm so as to not be too close. Shoot the elders only if they want you and be as nice to them as you are humanly able for they don't have much time left (do this anyway-wedding or not).

    Get a neoprene blanket to cover your camera when you take a break.

    NEVER photograph the bride head-on always 3/4 view. NEVER photograph the bride in anything lower than HER eye level. Shooting up shows her nostrils.

    Use soft focus if the bride is older than 30.

    DO NOT shoot at the bride's feet.

    If the bride's mom orders a group shot, DO IT. SHE IS THE RAMROD!

    Don't gorge on the food. Avoid the alcohol.

    Do drink the punch if you are wearing a light-colored shirt. Get a decent haircut and shave before the event.

    If you are second shooter, 1st shooter has the pick of the shots.

    NEVER, EVER wear socks that are lighter color than either your slacks or shoes.
    • Like Like x 5
  7. webmonkey8

    webmonkey8 Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 17, 2012
    0dBm - thanks for all the tips! I'll be sure to take a note of them. :)

    I've also always have the "Natural" setting on my EPM1, however I've read somewhere that the "i-enhance" mode in A priority mode seems to look better. I do like the idea of Soft Focus, as you've also suggested for the bride who's over 30 years old!:thumbup:
  8. pheaukus

    pheaukus Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 22, 2012
    0dBm, please write a book! Lots of sound advice and funny too because true.
  9. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Real Name:
    :rofl: Good stuff OdBm.... I laugh only because I am reminded of the first few weddings I photographed decades ago... I was so freaked out over the enormity of the task.

    Those who think wedding photography is a casual, easy-money affair need to try being the key, paid photographer at a decent sized wedding just to have their perspective properly rearranged.

    As you only briefly illuminated, photographing a wedding really well is a significant task requiring a vast set of skills and knowledge not only of the technical aspects of cameras, lenses, & lighting, but of etiquette, good taste, decorum, psychology, charm, and a complete understanding of the norms, practices, and psychology of a wedding event... to say the least. Add a significant element of visual artistry to that list, as well.

    Weddings are a photographic specialty best left to well-seasoned wedding photographers.

    webmonkey8... its a good thing you are under the wing of a seasoned pro. Meet with him well in advance of the wedding to discuss in full all of what is expected of you. Ask every question that comes to your mind and be sure you fully understand what you are expected to do... and be well prepared to do it well. Beyond that, find and study some of the better wedding albums to understand the story-telling nature of the task of wedding photography. Strive to be unobtrusive and yet capture the emotion, beauty, and humanity of the event. Wedding photography can be some of the most rewarding work a photographer can do... if it's done magnificently well. It can also be some of the most difficult and challenging work a photographer can do.