BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Amanda Chapman
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/10/2007
 

Wedding Photography: NO FLASH


Hey guys!
I'm NERVOUS as all get out!!! I have my FIRST wedding shoot this weekend.
My equipment includes: Canon 5D, lens: 24-105mm, 50mm 1.8, Canon Digital Rebel xti with the 18-55mm lens.
Why am I so nervous?? Obviously, my first wedding...but even more so...I do not have an external flash for my 5D and nor can I afford one. The 580ex Speedlite is $400!
Any advise on either another more affordable flash unit/speedlite or do you think my 24-105mm with the image stabilizer will be enough plus a high ISO???
I have ALWAYS been a natural light photographer but I feel I am in need of some lighting for this wedding.
Help!! Please :)
Thank you!


To love this question, log in above
4/14/2008 9:17:23 AM

 
Pete H
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/9/2005
  You're kidding; right? LMAO


To love this comment, log in above
4/14/2008 7:27:51 PM

 
Christy Freeberg
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/2/2005
  honestly, any lighting issues I may have- I correct with the photoshop.... I've gotten by without the external flash for some time now, maybe I've just been fortunate with the existing lighting in the churches I've worked with, there are ways around it.
That's just my opinion...... I'm sure you will get a variety of feedback here
Good Luck!


To love this comment, log in above
4/14/2008 7:34:39 PM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  No Pete, my guess is she's NOT kidding. IMHO, trying to shoot a wedding without a flash and fixing it in photoshop is like rearranging the deck chairs the Titanic.

This actually isn't funny at all. Amanda, I'd strongly recommend that you RUN and not walk to the nearest equipment rental house, rent a flash AND learn how to use it well and accurately before Thursday. That'll give you two days to find a photographer who's work MIGHT not be a crapshoot although finding a wedding shooter with two days notice IS in itself, I think, a crapshoot.

If you can't find someone, get a lawyer to write you a contract that will deny all liability for errors and omissions on your part and present it to the bride about an hour before the ceremony. Tell her it's just your standard contract. Otherwise mail the deposit back. Leave town !!! Declare a family emergency. RUN, FLEE, SCURRY HIDE !!!

There's nothing wrong with your questions per se, but I'd say you're asking them about a year short of the experience you need working with a real wedding photographer and that this is the stuff that litigation gets made of. Imagine if your clients saw this? YIKES ! I'm not laughing, I'm shaking my head in amazement.
Lotsa luck kiddo.
M.



To love this comment, log in above
4/14/2008 8:41:25 PM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  I might also add that someone who holds themselves out to the general public as a professional can't learn this aspect of the trade over the irreparably badly shot images of the most meaningful events in their clients lives.

BTW, I feel somewhat compelled to say to both of you, Christy and Amanda, that luck plays NO part in this whatsoever. This isn't like shooting a sunset and guessing at a plausible exposure. If you think wedding / event photography is based on luck you're in both in the wrong business. Get out now before one of your clients suffers from a lack of your own competence. And no, that ain't funny either. If it happens, it's genuinely tragic. Oh, and make absolutely no mistake that if you think you're somehow providing the community with a great low-priced service, you're wrong. You're providing them with a disservice and taking both an unnecessary and uncalculated risk strictly for your own personal enrichment. Nothing more or less than that. And please don't take shots at me, I'm just the messenger as I'm sure others here would stringly agree.
No kidding.
M.


To love this comment, log in above
4/14/2008 8:54:56 PM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  ok,even if they rent and i'm guessing no association with this shop,flash,the deposit has to cover the cost of the flash.
we didn't even know if the venue or church allows flash.
hey,i saw no clue as to natural light in your gallery.i saw dark and stoic.with some really great photos.
gee elmira you didn't say if you were charging or if it was for a friend.
i'm trying not to be as detrimental but what's up?
ok so amanda is not going to steal your business...........well.coupla brown stripes in her undies...she agreed she's screwed.not even a clue as to her access to the venue or an idea as to where she can position herself..
fill us in amanda.


To love this comment, log in above
4/14/2008 9:36:04 PM

 

BetterPhoto Member
  Hi Amanda;

First, check to see if you can use a flash. If you can, Promaster has a very good line of flashes. I personally use the Promaster 5750DX. It is a very good, very versatile unit that can be adapted to most cameras by changing the module. It can also be mounted off camera by adding a data cable between the flash and module. A complete unit (flash and module) cost me 170 usd for my Sony Alpha.

Have fun and keep shooting,
Mark H.


To love this comment, log in above
4/14/2008 10:45:04 PM

 
Bernard    Hello everyone
Since the subject here is weddings, if a venue requires no flash, would it sometimes include a "no auto focus assist illumination" ?


To love this comment, log in above
4/15/2008 8:08:56 AM

 
Oliver Anderson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/16/2004
  Most rental houses will require the full deposit of the lens...but you need a flash for sure. Make sure you've got a solid contract because if the bride isn't happy with the results you'll never hear the end of it and could be looking at a lawsuit.


To love this comment, log in above
4/15/2008 9:13:03 AM

 
Jerry Frazier   I don't think I've ever shot an entire wedding without flash. They always spill over into the night, and at some point you need flash. Just last week in fact was a wonderful outdoor wedding, but at night, there were absolutely no lights anywhere. Had I not had flash, I would have been screwed.

How are you going to shoot the first dance, when they dim the lights and start moving?


To love this comment, log in above
4/15/2008 9:49:43 AM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  "Since the subject here is weddings, if a venue requires no flash, would it sometimes include a "no auto focus assist illumination" ?"

Hack!


To love this comment, log in above
4/15/2008 11:59:49 AM

 
Amanda Chapman
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/10/2007
  I was able to rent a 580ex Speedlite!
I appreciate your response!


To love this comment, log in above
4/15/2008 3:01:57 PM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  saved eh.


To love this comment, log in above
4/15/2008 7:49:43 PM

 
Bernard    Hi Amanda
The responses to your question were so subtle I'm surprised you got the message. NO METAL CLOTH'S HANGERS, Oops, I mean you must use flash.


To love this comment, log in above
4/15/2008 10:41:15 PM

 
Anonymous    I didn't know there was someone more full of kaka then me. Maybe you should go out and rent a real wedding photographer as backup.


To love this comment, log in above
4/16/2008 2:34:26 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  Oh Goodness,
No one is more full of "KAKA" then you!
LOL.

Usually, I am the first to encourge young Photographers to take steps to getting where their intrest take them.
Frustrating Mark more then a few times!
LOL,LOL Huh Mark?
How ever, I agre with him ,Pete,Oliver and Jerry!
and want to add, Wedding Photography isn't something you do just because you own the camera.
It also takes a love for Portraiture,Traitional and Modern.
A Style that shows commen sence and intellagance for the importance of a Wedding and /or a Traditional Shoot.
This is one of those times in life where that couple REALLY will want what thier parents had in thier wedding Shots.
Your Gallery is very nice, But not really showing the diversity a wedding needs.
You have a wonerful eye for the artsy Modern! Wonderful!
But,looking at the only style showing and this Question, I would question the muturaty in your profession when taking on such a task as a Wedding.
This is REALLY not said to discourage, but in hopes that you can focus on the NEEDS of someones wedding, before the date of the task.
Maybe taking some time to look at what other photographers offer in thier Wedding shots and reading or talking to your local Phototrium about equipment NEEDED for such a event.
This is one of those try to "Shoot to Print" events not Shoot to Photo shop.
if you do the later I think we would all agree and tell you. you will be CHAINED to a computer for 2-3 weeks at the least.
We all shot into the hundreds an thousands for a Wedding.

Sincerly,
Debby Tabb


To love this comment, log in above
4/16/2008 9:41:11 AM

 
Jessica Jenney
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/2/2005
  Debbie...do you have spell check???


To love this comment, log in above
4/16/2008 9:59:40 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  No, not on here,also have something wrong with my keys right now.
But as anyone can tell you my spelling sucks anyway!
Thanks,
Debby


To love this comment, log in above
4/16/2008 10:01:49 AM

 
Amanda Chapman
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/10/2007
  Every photographer out there who has done weddings had to start with their very first. I am very aware of how important this day is, I experienced it first hand on my wedding day. Also, I realize my gallery is more on the "artsy" side as Debby T. suggested. This is what attracted the bride and groom to my photography in the first place. They too are "artsy" and edgy and wanted something more creative out of their wedding photos. They don't want the traditional type wedding shots even though I will throw a few of those in there.
I'll be the first to say, I'm not a "pro photographer" with my own studio...ten or more wedding gigs under my belt plus a feature in a top photography magazine but what I am is a photographer with passion! I'm confident in my abilities, and realize I must start somewhere.
Thanks again for all your responses! I'll post some of the wedding shots next week!


To love this comment, log in above
4/16/2008 11:04:00 AM

 
Jessica Jenney
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/2/2005
  Can't wait to see them Amanda! :-)


To love this comment, log in above
4/16/2008 11:34:47 AM

 
A C
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/6/2004
  WOW ... um, and that's not directed at Amanda.

When I do get into wedding photography (once I'm ready, no rush), I hope people choose me as their photographer because they like my style ... not because I'm traditional enough.

You'll do a great job Amanda. I'm also excited to see 'em.

And btw, this tutorial helped me a lot with flash photography:

http://planetneil.com/tangents/flash-photography-techniques/

It's easy to follow with several great examples.


To love this comment, log in above
4/16/2008 2:06:11 PM

 
W.   
I wish spelling was the only problem. Alas, grammar, syntax, and punctuation also suck more often than not.


To love this comment, log in above
4/16/2008 2:40:28 PM

 
  I've been waiting for you to notice there, Deb.


To love this comment, log in above
4/16/2008 2:51:40 PM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Extremely well-said Debby, and even more balid from your perspective as a wedding shooter. Very well put. Thanks ! ;>)
Mark


To love this comment, log in above
4/16/2008 4:04:58 PM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  What are you talking about,lol!
I've always known!
But I'm not here to teach spelling or grammar.
I share alot of valuable info, and I usually do so while answering many questions or researching for others.
Besides, according to a lot of those emails going around most people are able to read poorly spelled or jumbled words.
This isn't a spelling/grammar improvement website and I'm not an English professor. This is a photography board and I am *gasp* a photographer. If you want to pick a part my comment feel free to on the basis that a photographer would.
** And just a note, petty picking like this is why more and more Pros are not here answering as much.
and no one said traditional enough...
But you have to be able to give verity,
Modern,Traditional,Candid and Posed.
and really know what is and could be required by clients of this nature(because they are not mess'n around) and the equipment it takes.
Most of us invest hundreds to thousands to accomplish certain events.
I tried to be kind and diplomatic, but Maybe Mark used to do it better, by just being out and out truthful:
If you don't know the equipment, or the needs of the event = don't do it!
If you've never done one at all and have doubts about what you may need to do a event = don't do one!
because if you go through the Wedding threads here,You'll find a few that did Weddings for free - Got into hot water!
Did them for "Friends" and Lost them.
Just adding thought in hopes some of you don't end up in a tough spot.
Because I to Have Never done a Wedding where I did not need or use a flash.
(Usually events of the day take you indoors and out. Day to Night.)

Professional Photographer,
Debby Tabb


To love this comment, log in above
4/16/2008 4:17:36 PM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  Thank You Mark,
I was Typing while you posted, I am so glad your not a english Professor too!LoL!
Understanding you more & more,
Debby


To love this comment, log in above
4/16/2008 4:25:20 PM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  good luck amanda.confidence is the key.
on a side note I have always loved spell check with cookie.
so some might want to avoid holy water?
took a requested iq test the other day at work,ummmmmm,i'm smarter than my boss. aren't we all,but to vacuum a dairy aire and the investment in chapstick.
push or pull?


To love this comment, log in above
4/16/2008 8:53:37 PM

 
Anonymous    Well you're quite good at PS, but wait till you have to do it to 1000 photos get that artsy look you like.


To love this comment, log in above
4/17/2008 6:56:24 PM

 
Amanda Chapman
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/10/2007
  Batch processing in PS is my key :)
Thanks Anonymous!


To love this comment, log in above
4/17/2008 8:45:04 PM

 
Jerry Frazier   You can't batch process a wedding.


To love this comment, log in above
4/18/2008 8:05:43 AM

 
Oliver Anderson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/16/2004
  When I saw that last night I laughed....I've only shot at 2 weddings but I've photoshopped up 10 at least and 2 had over 4,000 photos. You can batch about 5 photos at a time max and I'm VERY skilled photoshop speaking. Those weddings are a Pain in the Booty. You need to make a quick 1st edit on your own (color corrected) then you print out a proof book for the client and let them decide which photos they want. Meanwhile I photoshop up about 10 photos I know they'll want for them to see the difference...no Bride can ever say NO to a photo she looks great in.


To love this comment, log in above
4/18/2008 9:01:12 AM

 
Amanda Chapman
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/10/2007
  I would never dare batch process EVERY single shot. I, of course, would take "the chosen ones" and apply my custom Photoshop actions just to start. That is what I was implying to as batch processing the creative shots. There will also be some images that I will spend ample time editing as needed.
Look friends...I completely understand I have taken on one MONSTER of a responsibility and I have much respect for wedding photographers now. I am approaching this special day with my eye for emotion and detail, my two canon digital slr cameras...4 lenses, speedlite, my "a better bounce card" (yes I made one) TONS of batteries, four memory cards and the knowledge I have acquired from reading forums like this one and www.planetneil.com...If I completely screw up...it will be a very hard lesson learned plus the mortgage to my house as I will be forever in debt to the bride and groom! Ok…that's a bit extreme...or is it? It's probably about right!

That's great advice, Oliver! I am also going to put their proofs on my website in their private gallery.

Thanks again guys :)


To love this comment, log in above
4/18/2008 3:08:01 PM

 
Anonymous    I remember my first wedding for $500. They wanted everything. They had a list of shots a mile long, which I didn't even get a quarter of. They wanted a DVD copy, printed pictures and a mini album for free. They questioned if I would show up since they had to pay me up front. Shooting in the Church was the hardest part for me because all eyes were on me as I moved around and took shots of the ceremony. I did blow a few shots being so nervous. They did ask me about certain shots they didnt see on the DVD, I just told them they weren't very flattering.


To love this comment, log in above
4/20/2008 4:21:59 AM

 
Anonymous    Funny thing happened yesterday. Met a photo nut at a BBQ and she was telling me that she was shooting her brothers wedding with her digital canon 30D and was used to shooting film. Her flash was off so during the rehearsal she called canon ( they had a toll free number at the end of her manual for her flash). And told her how to reset her custom function. After that , no problem.


To love this comment, log in above
4/21/2008 2:21:28 AM

 
Michelle M. Peters
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/29/2006
Contact Michelle
Michelle's Gallery
michellepetersphotography.com
  I shoot weddings....never without an external flash though...in your case it would be a wise investment BEFORE taking someone's money an being sued for not delivering quality product in the end...JMHO...Good Luck!


To love this comment, log in above
4/21/2008 10:43:21 AM

 
Oliver Anderson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/16/2004
  She got the flash, thankfully because you know the bride would freak and you stated that you were improperly prepared for the wedding at the start of the post....if it didn't go well your bride would be able to print your question out and win any lawsuit.


To love this comment, log in above
4/21/2008 11:24:02 AM

 
Amanda Chapman
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/10/2007
 
 
 
Well the wedding came and went and I'm still recovering! I can say I have been to photography bootcamp, ladies and gents! As expected, it was constant non-stop action with a high stress level. But then I begin to have fun!! From the bridal prep...to group shots with the brides...the grooms...grandmas...you name it...to the ceremony and finally the reception where I could have turned up an entire bottle of wine but chose not to have a single drink! Even with the bride offering me a glass! I stayed professional :)
I wanted to share a hand full of my photos with you guys. I know you will be brutally honest! I welcome that :)


To love this comment, log in above
4/21/2008 4:35:52 PM

 
Amanda Chapman
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/10/2007
 
 
 
More.....


To love this comment, log in above
4/21/2008 4:41:47 PM

 
Amanda Chapman
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/10/2007
 
 
  Under The Veil
Under The Veil
© Amanda Chapman
Canon EOS 5D Digit...
 
  Forever
Forever
© Amanda Chapman
Canon EOS 5D Digit...
 
  The Bride
The Bride
© Amanda Chapman
Canon EOS 5D Digit...
 
  Father Of The Bride
Father Of The Bride
© Amanda Chapman
Canon EOS 5D Digit...
 
  White Wedding
White Wedding
© Amanda Chapman
Canon EOS 5D Digit...
 
 
and more (i promise I won't upload all 1000 pics!)


To love this comment, log in above
4/21/2008 4:48:50 PM

 
Amanda Chapman
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/10/2007
 
 
  Brides Maids
Brides Maids
© Amanda Chapman
Canon EOS 5D Digit...
 
  Let The Ceremony Begin
Let The Ceremony Begin
© Amanda Chapman
Canon EOS 5D Digit...
 
  Wedding Vows 1
Wedding Vows 1
© Amanda Chapman
Canon EOS 5D Digit...
 
  Wedding Vows 2
Wedding Vows 2
© Amanda Chapman
Canon EOS 5D Digit...
 
 
more more more.....


To love this comment, log in above
4/21/2008 4:55:16 PM

 
Amanda Chapman
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/10/2007
 
 
 
last ones...


To love this comment, log in above
4/21/2008 5:05:06 PM

 
Amanda Chapman
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/10/2007
  I will however post a few of the ones I put more creative edit into when completed...I haven't had time yet. The wedding was just this past Saturday :)


To love this comment, log in above
4/21/2008 5:43:44 PM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  now in your little book.did you note some missed shots,could your skills with dealing with people be improved?
not to offend but I think you could photograph death.by your posts I think you were committed.
you don't have to please us,just the wedding party.the advice here is like a mid-summers breeze,for some cooling and others a bit chilling.
devote more of your time to furnishing your clients with their product,then,let us know you are ok.and then proud and tickled sh..less,you pulled it off.
einstein was bored with school,sam


To love this comment, log in above
4/21/2008 7:24:41 PM

 
Anonymous    First Wedding, yeah and I was born yesterday. What you think Jerry? Is some pulling our leg?


To love this comment, log in above
4/21/2008 7:28:47 PM

 
Amanda Chapman
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/10/2007
  WOW! Anonymous, for you to think I'm fibbing is very very flattering! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!

Thanks Samuel for the advice!!! I do need to improve how I deal with clients! I was shaking in my shoes :)


To love this comment, log in above
4/21/2008 7:34:55 PM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  the shaking is a good sign of honour.that spelling goes back a ways.
I agree it's possible it's you slick.
but not one tick..we'll see,sam


To love this comment, log in above
4/21/2008 8:47:16 PM

 
Anonymous    Not too many comments, I guess its average for most here.


To love this comment, log in above
4/26/2008 6:06:19 PM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  even if you had been trained by the best,cough,each situation presents it's own problems.
an errant mum in-law.
our take means nothing if your customer is happy with your end result. comments illicit truth and opinion.i think the question of spell check was a friendly one.even though I chuckle myself,i believe my friend knows I respect her great knowledge.
hope your all fine tonight,sam


To love this comment, log in above
4/26/2008 9:44:16 PM

 
Bernard    average is not bad. but then after being bombarded with pop photos ten best wedding photographers this week, of which four out of fifty I thought were outstanding, my expectations may have become to high. even though I myself don't measure up. but then I never said I did. but I do know a good photo.


To love this comment, log in above
4/27/2008 2:02:55 AM

 
  Amanda, I think you did very well if this was your first wedding. good luck with many, many more. Deb, I was just giving you a hard time. We alll abuse guddr inglisch sumtyms.


To love this comment, log in above
4/27/2008 12:42:56 PM

 
W.   
Well done, Amanda!
See? That didn't hurt at all, now did it?


To love this comment, log in above
4/30/2008 7:06:32 AM

 
James Scott Stone   Scott Stone, All I can say is shoot a wedding with a flash. Need to get there early, and ckeck out lighting situtain you many need flash at all. Some turn willalso let loan and might be try out for the I,have done that before.


To love this comment, log in above
5/2/2008 8:20:55 PM

 
lindsay king
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/13/2007
  Amanda! Great Job! I stumbled upon this thread by accident, but I'm glad I did. You did a really nice job, and I don't mean "a really nice job for your first wedding" either! Much better than my first time! I've only done a few and I have a few more booked, but I'll tell you that the first is the hardest because you have to get your feet wet, and you only get more relaxed from there. Not too relaxed, I still get super nervous, but not like the first time! Anyway, way to go!

Lindsay

PS: EVERYONE NEEDS TO RELAX ON THE DEBBY'S SPELLING ISSUE, SHE'S AN ARTIST, SHE DOESN'T NEED TO SPELL PERFECTLY!


To love this comment, log in above
5/4/2008 7:21:32 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  Yes, shift the focus to Scott Stone's spelling.


To love this comment, log in above
5/4/2008 8:23:25 PM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  oh scott stone..
oh well.
I have teased debbie,cookie,and yeah maybe unfairly,about the spelling.
she knows who means harm and who doesen't.
take a break lindsay.the indifference to the spelling breaks the ice,a way for some to,well,negotiate a friendship.
ya missed the reciepe for pork steak.
by the way,scott stone is jimmy hoffa,or tammy faye after a shower or a crying spree...
phoenetics or linguistics?
quit posting my photo greg!!!


To love this comment, log in above
5/5/2008 8:34:38 PM

 
Oliver Anderson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/16/2004
  Samuel looks HOTTT in the pink lingerie...coulda fooled me and I'm from San Fran....you two must be close


To love this comment, log in above
5/5/2008 8:45:05 PM

 
Bernard    Oliver
I think the court jester looks sexier.

I hope it's a female.


To love this comment, log in above
5/5/2008 9:39:04 PM

 
Log in to respond or ask your own question.