Wedding Photos Tips... Need-Need!!

ntt_houMarch 17, 2008

I just upgraded my camera equipments to a Canon 40D. I'm what you may call a "serious amateur" photographer.

Although, I'm still slowly grasping the relationship between aperture, shutter speed and depth of field settings.

I only got the camera for a couple of weeks and haven't had much time to learn it all. I also purchased a Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 IS USM lens.

My niece's wedding is this weekend. It's going to be held outdoor. The ceremony is under a gazebo and reception follows indoor. The wedding starts in the late afternoon (4:30pm) 'til evening.

Here are my questions:

1- It's a small wedding (about 100 people), do I need to bring the 70-200mm zoom lens? Would it be overkill for this big event but small setting?

2- Would the 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens that came with the camera good enough?

3- I also have a fixed 50mm f/1.8 lens. Should I just bring this one?

4- Any tips on taking photos at sunset (aperture settings, etc.) at the wedding?

5- Any other tips for taking wedding photos with the Canon 40D?

Hope these questions do not make you woozy. Thanks all in advance.


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cant give much advice, except regarding the 50mm 1.8....bring it. I dont own it yet but have used one some, and its a great lens to get good bokeh if you want your subject isolated, not to mention that a fast lens will come in handy as the natural light goes bye bye...the less you have to use the flash the better.

I would personally bring the 70-200 as well...probably wont need the longer focal lengths, but I could see between 70 and 100 being useful...

I would spend as much time as you can experimenting with the camera and getting as close to totally familiar with it as you can...

Besides that, there are much more qualified people here than myself!! Good luck to ya!


p.s. Bring more memory cards than you will ever use, and extra batteries if you have them available.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2008 at 2:25AM
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Thanks. Your advices make alot of sense.

I have a battery grip that would allow less battery change times. I also have a portable photo storage unit (40GB) that saves me from having to bring & purchase too many memory cards. I'll be bringing these since they all fit in my purse =)

I've been with Canon SLR for many years. Just not familiar with all the features from the 40D. Its basic, I can do but don't know if it has any good feature to use for the wedding.

I also purchased some books and have lots to read in a week. Any tips would really help to be a bit more ready for the wedding.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2008 at 2:04PM
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Take an extra camera....

    Bookmark   March 17, 2008 at 2:18PM
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Ditto on the extra camera, we once took some wedding photos and one of our cameras was not jiving with the flash right, luckily we had another camera with.
Watch for shadows, I would use a flash outdoors also so as not to get dark circles by the eyes, but also becareful of glass glare.
good luck!

    Bookmark   March 18, 2008 at 7:37AM
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Yes, I will be bringing my point-n-shoot also. I'm sure there'll be plenty of cameras that family will be bringing them too.

Fortunately, there will be 2 main Pro-photographers for the wedding. I'm just the main-photographer for the family. Basically, I'd be taking photos of family & guests that most likely the main photographers would miss. Sort of like: "behind the camera person".

With my portable photo storage unit, I can download other people's photos too and will have a good collection of the event. I did the same at my brother's wedding and we found many photos that the main photographers and video guys have missed. There're just too many things going on and it's hard for them to cover all.

I appreciate the tips on the flash and lens cover. The 70-200mm zoom has a lens cover and I'm sure to use it. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2008 at 4:43PM
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I meant to post some photo result of my niece's wedding awhile back but have been super busy.

Love the Canon 40d. It is a bit bigger and heavier than the Rebel XT which is great 'cause it adds stability. I really couldn't use a tripod at the wedding. All photos were taken hand-held.

I have a neurological disability and was afraid that the extra weight of the camera would tired me out. Nope, it didn't at all.

Thanks Ashelton80 for suggesting to bring the 50mm f/1.8 lens. Batteries ran out on my flash and I didn't even think of checking on it. With the 50mm f/1.8 for indoor reception, photos came out crispy clear and enough lighting.
Here are some indoor photos with that lens & no flash:

I also took the same advise read from "Digital Photography" book (Scott Kelby) as that of Minrose gave about using the flash for outdoor to fill in the shadows.

Here's a photo without the flash:

And here's one right before with the flash:

Broken rule with beautiful result: Sunlight behind the subject...

Some other favorite shots...

Though, I'm not at all a pros, I was quite satisfied with the photos. I learned alot about lighting and aperture.

Most of all.... my niece was such a beautiful bride and I was such a proud aunt to be asked to photograph her wedding! =o)

    Bookmark   April 19, 2008 at 4:05AM
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great job for the first go.

Two things that do stand out to me WB and focus. The first three are great shoot but the might could use a WB adjustment. Work on your focus points. If some of the photos it's off a tad. The 2nd to last is really off. Did you rely on the auto-focus of did you manual focus?

Again, great job and I am sure they will love them!


    Bookmark   April 19, 2008 at 11:28AM
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Good shots, and a beautiful niece!! Glad everything turned out for you!!


    Bookmark   April 19, 2008 at 11:50AM
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Yes I agree about adjusting the WB. Actually, I did a WB adjustment and didn't like it. So, I left them with the warmth tone of the evening indoor. Don't know if that's wrong or not but adjusting the WB made it look flat somehow. Overdoing it maybe or maybe just didn't used the right tool.

I thought of taking the photos in RAW format so I could do the adjustment in Photo Shop but knew that I wouldn't have time with 2500 photos. Instead, I took in JPGs and quickly adjusted with MS Office Picture Manager. Everyones were after me for the photos. Family can be a bit more pushier than guests ;o)

As for the focus, it's more from my hand/arm shake and not due to focusing it wrong. If you really look at it, it's not focus throughout the whole photo. Wish I could use a tripod/monopod but it's not that simple when you're sitting on a wheelchair.

Eventually, I will need to come up with a monopod that can be mounted on the arms of the wheelchair.

Here's another one that I like how it turned out. I read in the same book how to set this so it showed guests are dancing rather than being motionless. Again, wish I had a monopod to show the bride more in focus.

I want to learn to do better photography but I doubt that this hobby would turn professionally. Weddings and events as such aren't always set up for wheelchair photographers. Sitting down makes the height less desireable too. Too many disadvantages. But that doesn't mean I should avoid learning it =)

Thanks for the feedback!

    Bookmark   April 20, 2008 at 1:00AM
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I like your enthusiasm I would convert that dance photo to BW and darken the corners, might turn out pretty nice.

I don't think there is anything wrong the WB in the first three it just didn't match the WB of the others. That is only my opinion and preference.

You have good eye so far. You will only get better ( by your own standards) the more you shoot. The more you practice, the faster your personal technique develops.


    Bookmark   April 20, 2008 at 2:15AM
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Thanks again Zjoe. Sorry, what do you mean by "darken the corners"? Do you mean like vignetting?

I had done some B/W of a few photos of the bride and love how it turned out. I will definetely give this one a try.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2008 at 8:25PM
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Great photos, and what a gorgeous bride!!

    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 12:01AM
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Take along several sets of freshly charged batteries.

At least one or two weeks before the wedding, go out to a park with a flower garden and practice shooting. Take pics in as many different kinds of lighting situations as you can. Practive! Practice! Practice! After all, its a digtal camera. The only cost for experimentation is charging the batteries. It costs nothing to toss away the practive shots.

Its an outdoor weeding - be prepared for a range of sky conditions from bright sun to dark clouds. Give some thought to the background before which you will pose the bride and groom (and others).

Will the bride and groom be leaving in their own car, or be driven by someone else? Get into position just before the happy couple enters their carriage and record this moment - It happens only once and will not be posed. Take shots of the vehicle departing. These are good pics to end the photo album.

After the ceremony, arrange to pose the wedding crew (clergyman, bridesmaids, and flower children) on the spot where the wedding took place. Do many pairs and group shots. The bad shots can be tosssed, but a missed shot can not be recovered after the event, so make many exposures.

Must-have grab shots:
o cutting the cake
o Bride and groom feeding each other cake
o Dance shots.
o Bride and groom with friends at the reception.
o The gift table
o Sample shots of the couple opening gifts (if done).
Some couples do not open the gifts anymore to avoid embarrasement, but do send thankyou acknowlegements to each giver.
o parents of the bride and groom

    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 3:24AM
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