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Photography Question 

Wedding Photography: First Reception

This will be my first assignment, and I do not have a portfolio. My sister's friend is getting married on New Years Eve 2005 and asked me to take picture at the reception. She said she has a professional photographer for the ceremony and for some of the reception. I have a Nikon N80 and Nikon 28-205, and I am going to purchase a Nikon 70-300mm D lens and a Speed light sb-80.I am going to use Fuji Supair 200 speed film. I am going to college and majoring in photography. I need some advice. I have a few questions:
1. Will the speed light be enough light for the reception? Are there any accessories I should get for my speed light?
2. What kind of package should I create? Should just have a package with just all of the proofs?

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4/14/2005 11:00:09 PM

Kerry L. Walker   1. The SB-80 should do well at the reception. I would suggest a flip bracket to mount it on, a sync cord to hook it to the camera, and a softbox to mount on the flash. The bracket will eliminate any chance of red-eye and will allow you to keep the flash above the lens when you turn the camera vertical, thereby eliminating side shadows. The softbox will soften and diffuse the light, eliminating most hot spots.
2. I wouldn't try to create any special packages - just the proofs.

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4/15/2005 6:58:46 AM

Christopher A. Vedros
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/14/2005
  Jennifer, since the bride is also going to have a professional photographer on site, it would be a good idea to discuss with her exactly what she is expecting of you.
Is the pro going to get all the posed shots that she wants, and you will handle candids of guests, people dancing, etc.?
Is the pro going to be there for only a set amount of time, and then anything else is up to you? This might leave you with the responsibility of getting shots like throwing the bouquet, throwing the garter, etc.
A little planning ahead of time can avoid important shots getting missed, or even worse, two photographers stepping on each other's toes.

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4/15/2005 7:54:16 AM

Gregg    Don't stress out. Brides normally don't order alot of reception shots. The pro will fill the majority of the order. The sp80 has a diffusion dome, that should be enoufg. Use it close in but not over 10 feet away. Forget the softbox. Yoir shots will be more candid and Brides really like that. just show up and go with the flow. You'll be fine.

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4/19/2005 6:26:18 PM

Jennifer    I made a type-o I ment to say I am going to purchuse a Nikon sb-800.In my question. thank you for the advice-Jen

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4/19/2005 8:20:16 PM

BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/7/2005
  Id go for ISO400 considering you are doing night shots, you could lower your shutter speed a little to get some more background ambient light in some of the shots but with ISO200 it will be too hard. But if you do this, follow each shot up with a normal "flash" shot, just in case your hand shakes too much.

I use Fuji Superia 400 and find it great, although it is horrible to scan. I have started using Fuji Press 400 which is a pro film specifically designed for press photographers etc, it has a wide latitude so if you over or underexpose a shot a little it is savable. I am actually liking the quality too, although I am sure NPH etc is far better, but that is $15 a roll and Fuji Press is only $8 a roll! So a big difference in price. Also better then Superia and will scan beautifully too.

Also, maybe just give her all the 6x4's that turn out, keep the negs tell her that the 6x4's are "large proofs" and if she has any orders etc, those orders can be make in B&W, Sepia etc

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4/19/2005 8:49:54 PM

Maria Melnyk   Natalie - where do you get your Fuji film from? You're getting ripped off. I pay $3.65 per roll for NPH, $2.75 for Press 400, and $2.09 for Superia 400. I mail-order from B&H Photo or Adorama from New York, and so do all the other photographers I work with. Pick up a photo magazine like Popular Photgraphy or Shutterbug; the ads are in the back. Stay away from the other camera companies; these are really the best two. Great service with both; B&H just has a smaller shipping charge. Both companies have USA-made film and imported film. The above are import prices (same film, just made overseas. No difference.) Please don't pay more than this. If you want the USA-made film, it's only about a dollar more per roll.
Now, about the Press vs. Superia issue, Fuji themselves have stated that Press and Superia are exactly the same film emulsions, just packaged differently. So with Press, you're paying for a box with different words on it. I didn't know this either until recently. Use NPS, NPH, and NPZ. NPS is now "New and Improved", and will be available in about a month. It's new name is Pro-160S. NPH & NPZ will just be re-named and re-packaged, but not changed.
Hope this will help you save lots of money.
OK - now Jennifer. Follow the above advice from the others. However, no one mentioned that professional photographers usually do not allow other photographers to shoot, and don't allow anyone else to photograph their posed shots. But if you're just doing candids as a guest, you should be fine.
If you want your photos to be as good as the pro's, don't use Superia film. Use Professional Fuji NPH, or Kodak Portra 400 for the reception. There is a big difference in quality. Make sure you know how to expose properly; don't use all-auto; it just won't do. And make sure that a professional lab both developes and prints your film.

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4/19/2005 11:16:47 PM

BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/7/2005

I live in Australia, film is expensive!!! Bugger, I just bought 10 rolls of Fuji press for a wedding cause the clients have a tight budget so I couldn't afford NPH or Portra.

Oh well, if it is the same emolusion, then why do you have to refrigerate the Press film?

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4/19/2005 11:20:44 PM

Maria Melnyk   Hi, Natalie! Wow, Australia! That's terrific, except for your film prices! Just for kicks, I checked B&H's shipping charge to Australia for 10 rolls of film - it's $26.25 US-Dollars. That's only $5.28 total per roll. (

I think the refrigeration is necessary because the Press film ships already "ripe", whereas Superia, even though it's the same emulsion, ships so that it ripens in the stores. This is done because professionals tend to use their film right away, whereas amateurs might have a roll in a drawer or inside a camera for a year before it's taken to be developed.
(P.S. I'd love to visit & photograph Australia; never really had a chance.)

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4/20/2005 12:17:10 AM

Kerry L. Walker   Greg, you said "Forget the softbox. Yoir shots will be more candid and Brides really like that." Why do you say forget the softbox? I use a mini softbox on my flash all the time and it does not interfere with making candid shots in the least.

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4/20/2005 6:19:05 AM

Judy    Don't use 200 speed film! Use Portra 400--I have shot around 200 weddings with it, and it is the BEST! Good luck!

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4/20/2005 7:53:42 PM

Maria Melnyk   Jennifer - adding to Judy's comment (and she is correct, although NPH is excellent as well), the reason for using 400 over 200-speed is that you get an extra stop in there to bring out the background more. Otherwise, if the reception is in a darkened banquet hall as usual, with lower speed film it will look like you're photographing in a black hole. But don't switch to Superia 400; use professional Portra or NPH. Professional film also has an extra layer on it to help prevent scratches.

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4/21/2005 9:50:36 AM

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