Recommended kit for weddings?
I have a 400D, my first DSLR, and love it to death.
I currently have the two kit lenses - the 18-55mm (sadly not the new version) and the Tamrom 70-300mm, and also treated myself to a Sigma macro f/2.8 105mm late last year.
I've been asked to do a friend's wedding next year, so apart from feeling very flattered I'm also panicking a bit: what other kit do I need?
I've got a tripod (Manfrotto something or other, it's in the car so I can't go and have a look) and an infrared remote is already on my shopping list, but was wondering what other kit I'm going to need - apart from more cards and spare batteries!
Due to the crop factor, I was thinking about some kind of wide angle - perhaps the Sigma 10-200mm, but apart from freaking out at the prices, are there any other suggestions for me?
The only suggestion I can make is, politely, refuse the request. If you get it wrong would you be able to live with the fact?
I would suggest you need a shorter focal length prime, somewhere in the 35-60mm region with a nice large aperture of f/1.8 or so for low light shots.
You're also going to need a decent flash gun and, more importantly, you're going to need to know how to use it properly and subtly.
Don't bother with a tripod. I've shot a couple of weddings and never used one. It ties you down too much (IMO). You also won't need a remote release if you're shooting hand held.
A wideangle lens like the 10-20 might be useful. It really depends on how much lens changing you want to do. Most pro's have 2 bodies with a "normal" zoom on one and a longer zoom on the other as it's easier than changing lenses.
The only other thing to consider is upgrading your 18-55 to a better quality or slightly longer lens. I don't know the Canon range that well but you could consider the 17-55 f/2.8 IS which would be a regular wedding photographers general purpose lens. It's not cheap though (£800 ish)!
I've shot most of my wedding shots with either my 35mm f/1.8 or my 18-105. Once the main bits are over I sometimes switch to a 10-20 or 70-300 but not very often.
Weddings are very expensive, and it's easy to see why a couple would look at the cost of a wedding photographer as something they could cut out, but the issue here seems to be that they have pushed the cost and responsibility on to you!
If you do decide to do this for them remember that organising all the people will be largely down to you. If it's a formal set of pictures there can be a lot of people to gather togther, and what's going to happen when Auntie Maureen has gone missing or is gossiping with a friend and doesn't want to be drawn away?
Then there's the weather, what are you going to do if the wedding day is wet & windy, and if it's the months of May to August which we laughingly call summer? Do you have enough lighting for a group of 20+ inside a darkened church? Studio flash gear is available for hire quite cheap, but do you know how to use it, and who is going to help you set it all up? Even in daylight you're going to need a flash with you for fill.
Then after you come home with a camera full of shots, you have somewhere around two days of post processing work seperating the wheat from the chaff, and putting together a set of shots which tell the story of the day, which you feel happy with and you feel others will too.
What about printing and albums? Because you can end up with an administrative nightmare when you get 20+ orders for prints, have you thought about where you'll get them from, how long it will take, and what you will charge ? (chance to make some profit here).
The happy couple are going to want an album with all their pics in, have you mounted prints before? Do you know where to get the albums and how much they will cost?
The lenses which you have at the moment are the basic kits ones nothing wrong with that, but you would get far better results from upgrading the standard zoom to something like a Sigma 17 - 70mm or an 18 - 50mm f/2.8. None of the lenses you mention are very fast, and on a crop sensor, it will be difficult to develop a good bokeh (background blur). It would take a minimum of f/2.8 so you will also need a faster lens, and Canon have a nice cheap option for you, the 50mm f/1.8 which you can buy brand new for just £80
But when I think about it, I have to agree with Norman, I think it's a terrible impositon by people who probably have no concept of whats involved. I wouldn't do it for less that £1000 probably an average cost, but there's good reason why it costs that much - the amount of work involved to do it properly.
Dont do it unless you are very confidant about the results you are likely to produce, I made the mistake of offering my services and it ended up a right HORROR SHOW, even though I was doing them a favour and not charging for the pictures.
The first problem I had was that I used a cheap memory card and it turned out to be corrupt and even though there is all sorts of image recovery out there NOTHING managed to get them back!
With the shots that did not become corrupt, the next problem I had was with fill flash it was my own fault to much power leading to over exposure. so spent two weeks in front of the pc with Mr Photoshop.
I now keep my mouth tightly shut if anyone needs pictures taking.
try the 24-70mm f2.8L, or the nifty fifty f1.8 II
Thank you to those who have been supportive.
I wouldn't have agreed to take this on if I didn't have the confidence that I'd do a pretty good job. I was actually over with their family at the weekend taking a disc of photos I'd taken at her mother's wedding last month. It was because of these that the daughter had asked if I could do hers. They've seen my work, and are happy with it. However, that said, this will be the first full wedding I've done for many years - my last was nearly 20 years ago, and that was done on an old Pentax SLR with about 2 lenses, from memory.
I'll be looking into the lenses suggested - I already have a Nissin flash, which seems to work pretty well and I'm confident using it. I've had no complaints from the bands who are using my shots for promos, anyway. I realise that the majority of people on here (since I'm new) won't have seen my work which has, so far, been mostly uploaded to flickr.
I had been going to use photobox for my prints, but will now be looking elsewhere...
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