Hi all. This is my first post on this forum.
I bought a Canon 40D a little while ago and am starting to feel like I am understanding my way around the camera etc. I have now started offering my time for free to any couples who want wedding day shots taken and am very nervous.
I have alot to learn but figure photography is one of those things where you just have to learn on the job, it is a technical skill and if I don't throw myself into it I will not get anywhere!
So anyway enough waffle. my question is if I have to have 1 or 2 lenses at the wedding what would they be?
I have the standard kit lens but also got a EFS 55-250. Would either of these be ok to use? I have read that a macro lens, which allow low light shooting would be a good option.
What equipment would you recommend?
I have yet to buy an off camera flash unit and know I will need that too but what would you recommend here?
There is so much information out there, even seeing that a wireless transmitter and a stand for the flash would help alot.
In your opinion what equipment is a must?
Thanks in advance
[QUOTE=EOS40D;37947]I have now started offering my time for free to any couples who want wedding day shots taken and am very nervous.[/QUOTE]
Hi EOS40D and welcome to the forum.
You are right to be nervous. I get the impression from your post that you are fairly new to the world of DSLRs and associated photographic equipment. It even makes [I]me[/I] nervous that you are contemplating wedding photography at this stage :eek: Hopefully what you are offering is to take informal shots to [I]complement[/I] the work of a pro wedding photographer engaged by the couple. You only get one chance at a wedding and if you blow it you are in big trouble. It might seem simple but there is a [I]lot[/I] to learn.
You could start by getting yourself a good guide book (have a look [URL="http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_25?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=wedding+photography+books&sprefix=wedding+photography+books"]here[/URL]) or better still enrol yourself onto a wedding photography course.
I will let others suggest suitable lenses, etc but I would just advise you to learn your subject well and practice a lot before attempting a wedding :)
I really do think you should get to know your camera / photography a lot more before even offering free wedding services to the happy couples. Even doing it for free you will find people will have expectations and at the end of the day there is a chance of ruining that big day if you are not ready for it. It`s OK doing fun shots / guest shots with kit lenses and the like but to shoot a full wedding including service etc you need to have excellent fast pro level lenses and a camera body that copes well with low light to stand a chance of getting acceptable results. Flashes are often banned during services and unless you know what your camera and lenses are capable of it can be a nightmare. Your post gives it away that you are new in the game. You cannot confuse macro lenses - some of which might be F2.8 and excellent primes with fast general lenses that you need for weddings. I`d say you need a 24/28- 70 2.8 lemns, a 70-200 2.8 lens and maybe a prime 50/85 mm 1.8 lens backed up by a flash for those occasions when you can use it with facility for off camera use with diffusers or bounce facilities. I`d also expect you`d need back up body / lenses/ flashes to cover accidents/ breakdown or you would be doing any couple having the biggest day of their lives a disservice.
If you do get someone so desperate to take a free photographer with limited experience make sure you get soemthing written down in contract / by email that is agreed that lays down your levels of expertise and a commitment to do your best whilst recognising it is a free service so you can not be sued for ruining the big day!
Don`t underestimate how hard the day can be. I`ve done a handful and enjoyed them but was amazed how tiring it all was and how there is no break. Mine turned out ok but assisting on my first, where the main photographer had no expectations from me but was giving me experience, I was mortified when my D80 struggled in the darkest venue I`ve been in to cope with lighting conditions and though pleased with what I had got I was in awe with what the other guy shot with a top range camera and better lenses more suited to the setting. He used my shots to supplement his but I could not have given a full spread of the day with what I had available to me at that time even as an experienced photographer as my camera could not shoot cleanly above 1200 ISO
talk about jumping in at the deep end :D
there's not much more to add really i think the above posts says it all
wedding photography is probably one of the hardest subjects to get into and really is a craft to be learnt
i wouldn't be put off by the replies but i do urge you to learn the craft before commiting yourself
My best advice, is learn the basics of photography first and be comfortable in your skill and abilities using the camera before you tackle doing wedding shoots. You have to be really on the ball, so a lot of planning needs to be undertaken so you can be in the right place at the right time with your camera already set ready for the next shot.
I'd be tempted to use two lenses, but have two cameras so you can put one lens on one camera and the other on your spare. I would also recommend having fast lenses, ie. lenses that can open up to a very wide aperture to give you more control and be able to use faster shutter speeds without having to force your ISO right up past the point where it really effects your image quality.
I've recently completed my first wedding shoot of my niece's wedding and I am so pleased I spent a good six months training and preparing myself for it, as I managed to make a half decent job of it. Not perfect, but good enough, though I was very aware of how easily it could have gone so horribly wrong all the way through it from start to finish. It can be a very stressfull experience trying to keep ahead of everyone else, because no couple wants their big day ruining by a photographer who keeps holding up proceedings.
My suggestion would be to practice photographing some other family get togethers, parties with friends and other social gatherings to bring your skills up to speed to start with before you launch yourself into doing wedding shoots. Once you feel your skills are polished by this practice then you can look at weddings. In fact, if you want to break yourself in more gently, why not be a professional wedding photographer's assistant as I think you'll learn more about what an undertaking it is and you'll see how an expert copes doing it through the preparation they do beforehand.
I have been taking free portraits for friends and family over the last year or so - to get some experience but ultimately to build a portfolio and to aspire to one day getting paid for it. I thought it would be easy and achievable in a short space of time.
The reality has been very different, I can only echo all of the comments from above. Particularily that people will still have expectations even after you have explained to them your limits.Also weddings are a huge responsability - you only get one chance.
There is lots you can be doing in the meantime - read, go online, practise, join a club, definately don't be put off - and above all else take your time, get comfortable, and build your skills. All the best!!
[QUOTE=EOS40D;37947]Hi all. This is my first post on this forum.
I bought a Canon 40D a little while ago and am starting to feel like I am understanding my way around the camera etc. I have now started offering my time for free to any couples who want wedding day shots taken and am very nervous.[/QUOTE]
Oh dear! :rolleyes:
My suggestion would be to practice photographing some other family get togethers, parties with friends and other social gatherings to bring your skills up to speed to start with before you launch yourself into doing wedding shoots. [/QUOTE]
I think that this is particularly good and pertinent advice!
This is a no risk, no pressure environment perfect to learn in. What's that you say 'no gatherings coming up'? Then go out and do some street photography. If you can combine these two then you will learn so much by reviewing your shots after each session and working out what went wrong and what went right and how you can improve.
For example, you will lean:
not to forget to switch your ISO back down from 24,000 from the previous evening shoot, to make sure you have recharged all your camera batteries, which lens you need for which shot, how flash works and when you need it and when you don't, how to control the available light inside and outside, how to quickly pose people to get the shots you want and so on and so forth.
If you want you can then take it to the next stage by putting pressure on yourself and make a list of shots you 'must' get at one of these function, and see how you do.
If you take this advice I can pretty much assure you that in a few months time you will be thanking your lucky stars that you did, and did not just rush off and shoot the first wedding that 'came along'.
You have a wealth of very good advice here. I would make two recomendations; Do not offer your services, even for free, until you have the skill and confidence to do the job. Offer to do some 'informal' shots, then shadow the professional. Watch how he manages the groups. Watch what equipment he uses and how he uses it. If there's anything you don't understand, wait for a quiet moment and ask the Pro., most of them will be very helpful as long as you don't get in the way of him doing his job.
The last time I did a wedding was 40 years ago and a fixed focus standard lens Rollei with a Braun EF3 flash and a good tripod was all the gear we needed. I think you'll find your kit lens is adequate for the task and an off-camera flash is absolutely essential. Get the most powerful flash you can afford and a pocket full of rechargeable batteries. Nissin make a pretty good unit for a very reasonable price.
Thanks so much to you all for your kind words of support and vital advice.
The wedding I had committed to is just the evening do and they have paid for a professional photographer for the day so there would be limited pressure. I have been careful, very, to manage expectations.
I am a perfectionist so will still want to churn out a good product but I am concerned about the lens I have and lack of off camera flash which I will look for. Does anyone know where you can pickup a 580 ex II for a good price? Are those copy units available from ebay any good? Has anyone ever bought one? They are selling for around £50.
Another friend has said she could let me cover for full wedding but now I have had these comments I must admit it has made me think twice. Will have a think and see whats what.
Thanks again all
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