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Photography Question 
Tammy L. Odell
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/7/2004
 

Wedding Photography: Digital Shooting


I know, we've seen this kind of question several times, but just hoping to get some great last-minute wedding photography advice! My main question is, does anyone have any advice on digital wedding photography? I have my first wedding this weekend. I have assisted on other weddings and feel as prepared as can be. I have an idea and a list of all the shots I want to take and what kind of shots I want. I am taking a very talented assistant with me as well! I read that setting the white balance is a must for shooting a wedding with digital. I usually shot in auto white balance with my Digital Rebel, but wonder if maybe I need to custom set it. Also, I just wonder how intrusive to be during the ceremony. The photographer who I assisted with took a lot of shots during the wedding (with flash) and I don't want to be annoying. I know I need to ask the minister about the flash. I hope to use available light as much as possible, but I do know the church is dark with no windows!! Just want to see if anyone has some advice on these matters! Thanks in advance!!


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2/28/2005 8:30:55 AM

 

BetterPhoto Member
  Hi, Tammy,
I would advise you to shoot Raw. I know it takes up a lot of space. If you can't, then just shoot the romantics Raw, because later you can change the AWB to whatever you want. Underexposing a little can also help, because you can turn up the light in Photoshop. If you overexpose too much, detail is lost and you can do nothing about it. Make sure your shutter speed is over your focal length, or you'll have to use a tripod and that's hard when time is limited. Try to have them do all the romantic shots - or, at least, half - before the ceremony, because time flies after the ceremony and the guests try to congratulate them constantly. Have the bride make a list of the family shots, so there is no time wasted.
The Canon 20D does very well in low-light situations.


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2/28/2005 10:09:45 AM

 
Tammy L. Odell
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/7/2004
  Thanks Steve ... I appreciate your great advice!! I have the Digital Rebel, but I am confident in its abilities. I hope to take some of the shots in Raw, but I may decide to do more and buy another CF card. I really appreciate your help!! Thanks!


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2/28/2005 10:52:56 AM

 

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  I just looked at your gallery. You have no problem shooting people. You have nothing to worry about. You should definitely get the Mark2 when you have the chance. Let me know when you have some shots from the wedding.


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2/28/2005 11:09:23 AM

 
Tammy L. Odell
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/7/2004
  WOW!! Thanks for the wonderful compliment Steve!! I'll be sure to show this thread to my hubby, maybe he'll let me make that big purchase!!! Ha!!Ha!!Maybe I'll make enough cash from this hobby that I love to upgrade soon! But for now I will continue to love my rebel!! As for the wedding, I just hope I don't get lost in the fast pace and forget to do some shots I have in my mind!! There are so many I want to try with the bride and groom!! Thanks for the vote of confidence Steve!!And for the advice!!


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2/28/2005 12:16:42 PM

 

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this is my favorite dress shot


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2/28/2005 5:30:15 PM

 

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oppps, here it is


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2/28/2005 6:08:09 PM

 

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oppps, here it is


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2/28/2005 6:08:49 PM

 
Tammy L. Odell
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/7/2004
  That's a beautiful shot Steve!! How did you do that?? Looks like you used a flashlight or something?? Very romantic shot of the dress!!


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2/28/2005 8:04:01 PM

 
Donna Johnson   Hi Tammy,
Briefly, a couple of suggestions - try to go to the church beforehand - bring a friend to model for you wearing white (or go to the rehearsal)and take some test shots. And remember that if you set custom white balance it will change as you move from the inside of the church to outside to the reception, etc.
Good luck, I know you'll do great!


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3/1/2005 9:30:37 AM

 
Tammy L. Odell
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/7/2004
  That's great advice. Donna, but the wedding is at least an hour and a half drive for me!! So I plan to go early and try some test shots a few hours before the wedding or so!! Haven't decided on setting custom white balance or not yet! Thanks for the advice!!


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3/1/2005 10:05:55 AM

 

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  yes, its a 1,000,000 candlewatt lamp(used for spot fishing at night) with rice paper on the lid to difuse


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3/1/2005 10:40:44 AM

 
Gregg    I have 27 years of wedding photography experience and the past 4 years shooting weddings digitally with the Fuji S2.

My advice:
Use the default white balance settings (auto). Custom settings have to be metered in each different lighting situation and you don't have the time if you recording images at a fast pace. Should you use a custom setting and the lighting changes, there could be problems. Keep checking that histogram!!!

Shoot in JPEG at the highest setting on your camera before jumping up to a TIFF. Your work flow will be a lot faster.

Do not use the pop-up flash on that Digital Rebel. Get a stroboframe bracket with a dedicated cord for your flash.

Shoot at default settings for ISO from the factory (usually 200). Use flash up to the ceremony when Dad hands her off to the Groom. The rest of the ceremony - up to the kiss - should be no flash. You may have to increase the ISO to 400, but not 800 as you'll get noise. Use a tripod!!!

Have the bride tell the minister at the rehearsal dinner that her photographer will not use flash during the ceremony. During the ceremony, be that quiet little mouse in the back that nobody notices.

Make plenty of backup copies on CD or DVD of the RAW files (at least 4) when you get home and go to bed.


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3/1/2005 3:13:55 PM

 
Tammy L. Odell
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/7/2004
  Thanks for all the great info, Gregg!! I have been using the strobo with my Sigma ef 500 super for quite sometime now, so that's covered.
So you're saying don't shoot any in RAW, just the highest JPEG I can?? And I should only use flash during the ceremony when they do the KISS?
I plan to use a tripod and a cable release and work from the back as much as possible. I just wasn't sure of what the "must have" shots of the ceremony. I was worried about shooting the KISS in available light, but wondered if my shutter would be too slow to freeze it. I guess it depends on how long they kiss!!
I always save my images to CD the moment I get home from a shoot!! Even before I open them in PS. I have a fear of losing a file or something. I have heard horror stories that people have had files corrupted and the like. It scares me to death!!

I have gotten some great advice .... thanks to all of you!! Wish me luck and I hope to have some great images to post next week!


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3/1/2005 3:27:39 PM

 

BetterPhoto Member
  I guess you could shoot at the highest JPEG, but I've noticed that when I shoot, so that I record a RAW image and a JPEG my Raw image is cleaner. But I have the M2 and that shoots faster in RAW then most. All I can say is practice it out, that's the good thing about digital. You can practice all day and alls it cost is time.


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3/1/2005 3:51:25 PM

 

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  got some pics up at your request, these were shot with my first 2.0 fuji fine pix. Can't wait to shoot my first wedding with my dm2


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3/1/2005 4:01:24 PM

 
Maria Melnyk   Hi, Tammy!
If it's OK to use flash, use it. Here's some general good advice. Don't photograph or move around during any prayers. Take pictures from different angles. Set your camera on a tripod to get a wide-angle shot from the back. Get close-ups of the ring exchange. Capture emotions (laughter, tears, etc.). If there is a videographer, try not to get into any of his shots. Important: If you have longer hair, you'll get more respect if you tie it back. Older folks don't like to see photographers in churches with their hair flopping around (for real). Do you have your altar pictures all planned out to make them go smoothly? Make sure you pose everyone properly. Have fun and good luck!


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3/1/2005 6:37:32 PM

 
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