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Photography Question 
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/19/2005

First Time Shooting A Wedding

Hello everyone,
My name is Jen and I have been asked to shoot a co-workers wedding. I work with both the bride and groom. They asked me to shoot their wedding because I know them and they know me.
I have alot of time until their wedding as they are to be married in may of 2006.
When I do the bridal party portraits before hand, should I use what is around me for backdrops, or should I bring some backdrops? What about bride and groom seeing each other before the ceramony?
Any advice, hints, and suggestions are welcomed.

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9/19/2005 8:47:50 AM

Kerry L. Walker   It really depends on what is avbailable for a background. I prefer to do outside portraits so if you can find a beautiful site to shoot at, by all means use that. The same goes for indoor shots. Many times you can find a really nice location like a church or residence to shoot at. Ask the clients if they have any preferences.

As for the B&G seeing each other before the ceremony, that is a personal preference. That tradition got started when most marriages were arranged. There was a fear that, if one of the two were to see the other before the ceremony, they might not be too happy and flee. These days, some people adhere to that custom and some don't. Just check with the B&G for their preferences.

I see you don't have any contact information under your name. If you would post that info, I would be glad to send you a suggested list of shots for a wedding. You don't have to be worried about someone getting your email address. The would have to go through BP to contact you and won't have your email address unless you respond to them.

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9/19/2005 9:13:34 AM

BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/19/2005
  Hi Kerry,

I have now put my contact information under my name. Sorry about that as I am new to this website/forum. Thanks for all of your help. Jen

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9/19/2005 9:52:16 AM

Lars A. Mascera   Hi Jen,
I just started browsing this website and came across your concerns fro your friends wedding. To be honest, a wedding photo is not something(In my opinion alone) that should be backdropped. Where the wedding is taking place is avery important part of peoples memories. Even if it not a glamorous resort wth a breath taking view, all places on this earth have their own special spot. Go to the place where they have their wedding and reception and look around. photograph a few spots and see what the lighting is like or how vibrant the colors are and composition. You'd be surprised as to what doesn't look very intriguing from the naked eye, looks spectacular on film. Try it and see.

Also remember, composition is key to weddings. the technical fumbles are what hurt these photos. Remember the keys for the bride:
Hair, Make-up, Dress and Eyes
For the Groom:
Hair, Tux, Hands, and Posture.

Watch the shadows and the mergers (Nothing is worse than seeing a branch sticking out from the brides head to make her look like the devil!)

Enjoy the experience.


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9/19/2005 10:29:52 AM

John P. Sandstedt
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/8/2001
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  Lars is right on! When and if you shoot the bride at home, the point is to show her "getting ready" for the big day. Anything in the way of a backdrop would defeat that objective.

Pictures of the B&G before the ceremony would, generally, violate the rules of superstition. So, unless they don't care, I'd avoid these. However, pictures after the ceremony and before the reception are a must and, Kerry's right, shooting outside [at a park or shoreside setting] would be great.

Kerry's list will probably include all the "standard shots," like 1) Every table and its occupants, 2) B&G cutting the cake, 3) Bride feeding cake to Groom, 4) Vice versa, 5) Wedding Party, B&G and her family, B&G and his family, etc., 6)Bouquet/Garter toss, and so forth. I've also found, in the weddings I've shot, that by using my telephoto [210 mm or 28-200 mm zoom]I got candid portraits of folks enjoying themselves at the reception. And, believe or not, these have been the most well received because these protraits wern't posed.

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9/21/2005 6:32:14 AM

Kerry L. Walker   John is correct. The list I will send you shortly does include all the standard posed shots you need to take. However, John is also correct that the BEST shots are the unposed ones, especially of the B&G enjoying their new status as man and wife. There is just something about that pronouncement that brings out the emotion in people.

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9/21/2005 7:32:13 AM

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