Does anyone have any advice for a 'novice' wedding photographer? I think that in my mind I have everything under control, but I can't help thinking that I am headed for disaster! Does anyone have any horror stories to share?
We have folks here who shoot weddings professionally, so I'll offer a horror story to get us started. I tried to shoot my sister's wedding with an excellent SLR and 50-mm, and my flash offset on a bracket to prevent red-eye. So far so good. When I took the group photo of the bride and bridesmaids, I foolishly let the flash's auto setting determine my aperture. I forgot that all the white dresses would bounce a lot of that light right back and cause my flash to cut it's flash time short. My shots were so underexposed, even the negative film's latitude didn't help.
I've shot a couple of weddings since then. I just set the flash at full power, set the f-stop according to the scale on the flash, and carry a lot of extra batteries, because I know full power eats them up. This is NOT the way pros do it, but it's easier. Practice first, doing it this way, and modifying your settings as others here and as books advise.
Pose people in light clothing for some practice rolls and make sure you're getting what you want. Write down your exposures for each shot.
One tip I'm firm on: use Kodak Portra 160NC film. Another: use the 50 for nearly everything. For a group shot in close quarters, use a 35 or 28 prime lens, but don't put people near the edges of the frame. Most wide angles distort at least a little at the edges. The wide ends of zooms distort even more.
I don't have any prime lenses for my Canon EOS 500's (two). I have two 35-80, one 18-35, one 75-310. I have a great flash, but I have had problems with blow out in the past when relying on my in camera metering, so I am thinking I might teach myself how to use a hand held meter befor I start. I was going to use Fuji NPS 160 or NPH 400. Also black and white. I'm not charging any money for these weddings, it's all free! That way there wont be anyone wanting to brek my legs at the end of it...
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