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Wedding Photog\'s
Old 07-09-2005, 04:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Im going to be shooting a large Wedding for some friends in a couple of months (Yes for free) and need some idea about how much light I'm going to need to shoot the whole wedding party in the church. I am going to the church and take some readings but I know im going to have to light it up. there will be 15 people plus the Bride and Groom. Do you think 2 320 ws heads (Alien Bee 800s) will do the trick? Any ideas befor I go out and do a look see?
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Re: Wedding Photog\'s
Old 07-09-2005, 05:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I've shot many weddings with no more than that. I usually use 2 Novatron heads and 1 440ws power pack, which makes each head 220ws which is less than what you're using. I bounce each into a 40" square silver umbrella which I place on either side of the subject area. I place then rather high and angled down which seems to work well for evenly lighting a whole group. That will work perfectly for all the formals.

The other thing is to have a good solid tripod for shooting candid shots during the ceremony because usually those will be without flash. With a nice zoom lens in the 70-200 range you can get some great shots at about ISO 400 (although with the Canon 20D, I go to ISO 800, because it still gives exceptional shots at that ISO).

If you shoot the reception, then a camera mounted flash bounced on a ceiling works well for most candids, although a bracket will help so you can shoot landscape as well as portrait and still bounce off the ceiling. I find the ceiling bouce generally works better han the little gimacs that people put on the flashes.

Cheers,
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Re: Wedding Photog\'s
Old 07-09-2005, 05:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
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DON'T DO IT. I did the same for some friends, and well they're not my friends anymore. I worked my ass off at that wedding, took 3 days for post processing, and they just turned their nose up at them. Everyone else that saw them ooohed and aaahhhed. Your results may differ, but for me, NADA MAS!
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Wedding Photog\'s
Old 07-09-2005, 05:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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My Suggestion:

Shooting weddings is fast and furious. You, as the photographer, have to be doing a lot of shooting in a very short amount of time with many folks that may not be very patient. Keep it simple, unless you have trained assistants to work your lights.

Go with fast film (ASA400) and use your high powered camera flash.

Here is my shot with Nikon D70 with Nikon 800 flash.

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RUN!
Old 07-09-2005, 06:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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If its a really good friend, DO NOT, i repeat, DO NOT shoot the wedding. Shoot the wedding if you feel compelled on the side and "here are some pictures I took of your wedding" make it a gift a nice album, but if your a friend there is no way to enjoy and celebrate the wedding of your friend while effectively working the wedding.

Just my $0.02. Don't be the guy the family hounds after the fact for images or during for images and ends up flipping the high bill of printing in the end.

Best of luck, and I would suggest as much lighting as possible if you do this, you really only need 3 lights for good portraits inside a church, most of the time your shooting ambient, but for the sittings 3 lights should do it. Don't forget reflectors and some assistants if you can grab em


JasonNJ
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Re: RUN!
Old 07-09-2005, 06:53 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Made the same mistake everyone else did a few years back. Shot a family wedding and basically got my a$$ handed to me.

Remember a couple of things:

People are very tense at weddings, particualry female relatives and friends of the bride. In a real street fight, a coked out serial killer with two knives and an uzi loses to a pissed off maid of honor every single time.

You think I'm kidding? Shoot this, screw it up, and see what happens.

Try to remember, too, you're giving prints or CD's and what not to your friend for nothing, which means you will also be giving them to every single family member on both sides of the family (more if there are a couple of divorces thrown in at the grandparent level) and all of those people are going to want this crop or that shot a little lighter or whatever because they know they're NOT PAYING FOR IT.

Seriously, run.

Shannon
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...or at least walk very fast.
Old 07-09-2005, 08:52 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I have to agree with Jason and Shannon. Wedding photography is one of the more high-pressure photography gigs you can get. Things go wrong, within your control and beyond. If you don't have provisions in place to mitigate the problems, you will have a very unhappy freind. People remember stuff like that for a long time.

If they want good photography at their wedding, they need to hire a wedding pro. Yes, it's expensive but worth it if they take those memories seriously. Those guys do more than shoot pictures, they design albums, make reprints and coordinate the various shots. They know what might go wrong and have backup plans.

No slam on you or your ability... it's just there's no wiggle room. You will be distracted by your friends, curious relatives, and nervous members of the wedding party. You can't make a mistake. Your freinds may be very forgiving but their parents may not... it's just not worth the risk.

Ask most any professional photographer who had a big wedding... most will tell you they hired a pro.
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Re: Wedding Photog\'s
Old 07-09-2005, 08:58 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Tommy

Sounds like you've never done this before. Keep your record spotless - DON'T DO THIS. Everyone else has pointed out the idea that you'll have your ass handed to you after this - and forever you'll be known as the guy that screwed up the wedding pictures. However, think about the photographer that actually wants to shoot this wedding. Even if your friends don't have a lot of money - there are photographers for all price ranges.

Bob
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Re: Wedding Photog\'s
Old 07-09-2005, 11:01 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Well he has been a friend of many years and he loves my work. Its true he does'nt have a lot of money. Ive shot probably a dozen or so weddings large and small and have had very good experiences with them. The questions I was asking was bringing in strobs into the church and shooting the formal pics with them shooting a large group shot I've been Shooting with existing light and now I'm fixing to buy a set of lights and I didn't want to under buy. I always do my homework on any project I get into. I feel vary comfortable with my camera and skills. Just adding new lighting and I want to be as prepaired as I can. I always check out the location way ahead of time to make all my shooting notes. My time is vary limited so I try to get everything together as I can. And far as my record goes, I do the best I can and I can live with that. The People I usally shoot for already know me and my work. I don't do this for a living. I make vary good money with a construction company I own. I love photography with a passion but in this market and this late in life I'd better stick to what I can make a living at. I don't think I would want to be a wedding photog anyway. Way to much stress. LOL I'd have to shoot a 2-3 thousand dollar wedding every week and I don't believe I would want to keep up that kind of pace.
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Re: ...or at least walk very fast.
Old 07-09-2005, 11:30 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Well, let me put it this way. When my daughter got married a few years back I couldn't shoot it of course. I dropped about 2 thousand dollars on one of the best Wedding Photog's I knew of and it was screwed up from the time he got there till we got the proofs back. Under expossed (soft lighting) LOL and soft focus (out of focus) .The only pic that made it to her album was the few shoots I fire off and when I handed my camera to my to my nephew. Things can go wrong if your not perpaired. Back up cameras flashes and a complete list pic by pic list of who and where. I have a complete understanding of what is to be expected and far as the album design or layout. I'll its a no brainer They will have a copy of all the files and can select any or all and print what they want to put in it. I've been shooting for over 30 years and shot several large weddings before and many small ones. This is not my first day on the job. LOL I wouldn't run from this if you paid me to. (Well I take that back, how much?) Shooting these weddings for friends I enjoy doing and I give My work as a gift.They are vary thankful and understand what I'm doing for them. I would not want to do weddings for a living though. There a real pain in the butt.
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