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Photography Question 
Julie A. Freeman

Assisting my first wedding

Just invited to assist-photo a wedding this weekend with a good friend who does portrait photography professionally & freelance. She's asked me to tag along for the experience. Portraits are new to me as an emphasis, but I did a private portrait/artsy shoot of this friend last summer (my first) and she was very happy with it. She said have fun with it & enjoy the practice as the pressure of posed shots is all on her, though if any of my shots are useable, I will get a small portion of the fee.

ANYWAY, here's the scenario and my gear. I'd appreciate comments, tips, bring it, leave it; ANYthing to allow me to get the most I can from this AND be an asset to her. All outdoor ceremony/reception in a farm/garden setting, mid afternoon, sunny. One concern is the bride wears very thick, dark-rimmed glasses; this was a challenge for my friend during her bridal portraits (lots of post-editing correction). My gear:

Canon 20D
Canon EF-S 17-85mm IS f/4-5.6
Canon EF 70-200mm IS f/2.8 (the husband's that he's letting me borrow)
Lens hood
Macro lens set 1x-4x
Graduated ND Filter
Polarizing Filter (circle)

Planning to wear lightweight black ruffled blouse with black khakis and ballet flats so I can be put-together but not worry about getting on the ground as I like to when shooting! I will be assisting everything from the posed shots through the ceremony and reception. My friend wants me to (a) be opposite of wherever she is but not in her shot for max of varied angles, (b) get the macros (which I LOVE) & small details that she often has to forgo for the "Big Picture" stuff, like eyelashes, flowers, or tiara details, (c) shoot "around the posed shots", meaning get the grandmas crying off to the side or the groomsmen laughing & making faces, (d) catch anything integral while she's changing a battery, etc.

I think I'm ready but I'm just nervous.

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5/23/2008 7:31:45 AM

Hi Julie,

it looks like you know what you're doing, and you've got the gear, so I'm sure you will be fine on the big day.

One thing I didn't see mentioned is SPARES. Spares for EVERYTHING. Cam, flash gun, battery sets, lenses, tripod, etc. etc. Because if Murphy's Law sets in you'd be up that creek without a paddle... A pro always carries checked, tested, and fully charged spares for everything. Just in case.

It's the old boy scout motto: "BE PREPARED"!

Have fun!

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5/23/2008 11:12:21 AM

Jerry Frazier   Your good to go. You don't need spares as a 2nd. If something goes wrong with your equipment, it doesn't matter, the main can just take over.

Remember this, do not shadow the main. Go get alternative stuff. The main will want nice creative and different and unusual images to add to the main stuff they capture. With main photographers, they are usually so busy getting all the main stuff, that they often don't have time to be really creative.

The new craze now is for the main to hire a primary photog, and the main then fades into the background and becomes the 2nd so they can shoot more creatively. It works out pretty well. But, it has to be understood by the client that this is what will happen. Cients will freak out if they hired you, but you're not shooting the formals and such.

Anyway, I got off-topic a little. Your equipment is fine. Just enjoy and have fun, get alternate stuff that the main can't get to, and enjoy it all.

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5/24/2008 11:37:58 AM

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