Upcoming Wedding, need suggestions!!

ashelton80December 4, 2007

I have been asked by a couple in my church to be their wedding photographer...

I fancy myself as pretty good at landscapes, animals, and things like that but im not a great "people" photographer....

Does anyone have any suggestions as to what good wedding pictures are?

What are the best moments to capture?

Should I try to get people together for portraits or just kinda of capture everyone in a natural setting having fun?

Any suggestions are GREATLY appreciated!

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You have said that you're not a great people photographer..If they expect more than just snap shots my suggestion would be not to do it.
A wedding is something that cannot be done again.

To answer your question here are Lord Lichfield's top wedding photo tips:

Shoot some photos in black and white: it helps capture the atmosphere of the Big Day

Appoint a project manager - the bride's mother is ideal. Don't expect the bride or groom to attend to the details on their day.

Visit the venue, do a "recce", plan every last detail in advance. walk through the events and timing or the day ( a similar rehearsal to that of the bride and groom) so he/she has a precise knowledge of the layout, expected details and location of the wedding event. Then, add time and a half to account for unforeseen circumstances on the actual day.

Make sure you know who the important family members are - otherwise you will find strangers creeping into your valuable photographs

Photograph the bride before she gets into the car to take her to the ceremony - if wearing a veil this is the only time you will find her with it in place over her face. Make sure when she gets out of the car you have the children in place.

Always start your post -ceremony photographs with the biggest group and then start to discard individuals, this means you will not be searching for people at the last minute. Expect to work right through to the last photograph of just the bride and groom.

Get the children in the first photograph - otherwise they will get their clothes messy, tired and emotional or even lost!

Be ready for the speeches and cake - the photographer must not be distracted by the prettiest bridesmaid!

Be aware of the time the bride and groom are likely to depart - shots of confetti and the car are important

A good photographer will know the most flattering angles but generally it is not standing square on to the lens. Most people look best three quarters facing the camera, with their shoulder towards it and the head turned.

Good Luck

    Bookmark   December 4, 2007 at 12:36PM
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Great advice above, just to piggy back.

Family pictures - find out (before) if parents are divorced, remarried, and what not. Aske the couple before what family pictures they want and make a list from that to ensure you get them.

Being your first time this is what I would suggest:

I would attend the wedding practice, so you get a feel of how it will go down. Also it gives a chance to see what type of lighting you have to work with.

Find out if there are any rules about photography from the church. Make sure the couple knows that you are green and this is a learning experience for you.

Do not talk to anyone, it will distract you and you will possibly miss some some great pictures.

Show up early and take decration shots before others are there and they are not in the way.

Here is a site that might serve as some insiration.

Here is a link that might be useful: Nice work here!

    Bookmark   December 4, 2007 at 3:38PM
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Don't do it.

If you must: Is the wedding outdoors during the day? If so avoid photos of people in direct sunlight: almost as ugly as on-camera flash photos. Photos of people in open shade are the best.

The wedding is indoors in a dark church and dark reception hall: Flash photos then: Use a good off camera flash that is at least 18 inches above the camera on a bracket. Flash is built into the camera? Don't do it. OK, then turn off any red-eye reduction feature: for group photos hold the camera in one hand and make a fist with the other. Hold the fist out to your side (90 degree angle with elbow) and tell everyone to look at your fist -- click.

Watch out for any flash photo that spans 3D space. Flash exposure is only correct at one distance from the camera. Anything behind or before that distance will be under and/or overexposed. Think about the wedding table at the reception. A photo of those seated at the table taken from front-center of the table will have the camera a similar distance from all. A photo taken from one end of the table will be a disaster as it will overexpose the person closest to the camera and underexpose the person farthest from the camera.

Don't try and learn anything new and don't buy any new equipment; you'll only distract yourself under pressure. Use the camera you're familiar with and do what you know how to do.

Don't read any of these suggestions; you're only going to get paranoid and upset and then you'll choke.

Take extra batteries, an extra camera and take lots of pictures. If there's a cash bar take plenty of cash.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2007 at 2:17AM
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These are all great suggestions, I too will be taking wedding photos next June, so I love all your suggestions. I have done 2 other weddings and have learned more every time.
Watch out for eye glass glare, if you have some people that are wearing glasses, either have them not wear them or tilt their glasses slightly downward, not their head, just their glasses. Glare on glasses is hard to touch up on. What out for shadows from harsh lighting from the ceilings.
An backup camera is a very good idea,we had one camera fail on us while shooting a wedding so it is good we had another camera.
Provide a list ahead of time for the bride and groom to fill out of what photos that they actually want, what people they want included in some of the photos, so nothing or no one is left out. There are lists you can print out on the internet of different photos to be taken for weddings.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2007 at 7:59AM
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Firewire800's comment: I agree to a point. Dont do it if you are having to buy new equipment. you will get flustered and distracted. You really need to be confident with you gear.

I was a groomsman two weeks ago that had a friend taking the pictures. I felt really bad for my cousin (groom) and the bride. I know the expectations they were having and I could tell the photographer was not confortable with his technique not did he know how to use his newly aquired gear. Twice I had to instruct him on how to use the camera. I ended up grabbing my flash from the care adn took many of the bridal shots.

If the do not have photog, or just cannot afford one. Then do it, just be up front with them. That is how my first wedding was. College couple that could not afford a photog. I did it for free, but I was confident in my technical knowledge and I was know how use my camera.


    Bookmark   December 5, 2007 at 9:22AM
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Thank ya'll for the advice...although now im more nervous..haha!!

due to budget constraints, they couldnt afford to hire anyone...so its me or nothing...They expect nothing more than snapshot style pictures....but I want to go beyond that if at all possible and get some good creative shots that will convey the emotions and "feel" of the day.

No, I do NOT have pro equipment...although if someone is giving something away, I'll take it...hehe!

Im using a Sony DSC-H7...

Im very confident with this camera and know its capabilities and limitations, so maybe with the suggestions here I will make out ok.

Much appreciated ya'll! :)


    Bookmark   December 6, 2007 at 1:33AM
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Here is another thought. Most pros have a list of set shots. Bride, groom, together at the alter, ring, this set of family, that, etc.

I'd suggest you surf the internet looking at wedding photos and make a list of set photos. Then YOU have to TELL people what you want and what they should do.

The website offered above has suggestions for some you might want to capture.

I haven't ever tried it, but my sister does it for a living. And it isn't as simple or easy as one would think.

Remember, if you are going to get shots that look like pros, you have to know what you want and tell people what they need to be doing. After prior consultation with the Bride and Groom, of course.

My only other advice would be to take lots of storage media presuming you have a digital camera. Extra shots allow any photog to get lucky! Rookies can use extra luck.

I bet you get lots of good ones. Good luck.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2007 at 9:41AM
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