Inexpensive way to start pro wedding photography

Started Jul 13, 2008 | Discussions thread
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Inexpensive way to start pro wedding photography
Jul 13, 2008

I've photographed weddings since 1971. I've always taken more than 200 pictures and done so in a candid, photojournalistic style. Here are my suggestions for starting wedding photography inexpensively.

Purchase a Sigma SD14 body for $600 new on Ebay from Cameta Camera. This will give you the quality of a Canon 5d body, but far cheaper new. Some say the Canon focuses quicker, but realize that photographers have photographed weddings with slow manual focus since the 4x5 Graphic camera was invented. If they did it without speedy auto focus, you can too with a kinda, sorta fast auto focus Sigma SD14. Go to the Sigma Forum and learn about the Foveon sensor and read the comments there.

Purchase Sigma 28mm f1.8 lens. About $380. You do not need anything more than a normal lens for wedding photography. Anything more is a luxury. A normal lens will not distort people's faces much in photojournalism.

Purchase 2 Sigma digital auto flashes. You will need a back up, and the extra one can be used as a slave unit with a slave eye. For cheaper flashes used which should be used only as slave units, try Vivitar 285's. Remember that these flashes have a high sync voltage and they should not be attached to digital cameras in general directly, but they can be attached to film cameras like Nikon.

Purchase a tripod, a Tilt-all for about $100, used on the auctions. This will do the job.

Purchase 4gb compact flash cards, preferably Sandisk IV Extreme. It comes with software to retrieve corrupted files.

Purchase a silver/white light disc for use in portraits out of doors. And also have a white bed sheet for the same purpose.

Purchase a green cloth for the Bride and Groom to sit down on out of doors.

For back up equipment, stay with Sigma and try to get another SD14 as soon as possible.

For candid natural light photos during the ceremony or out of doors, you could use a Casio EX-z1080 $170. Sure, this is a point and shoot, but the quality is like an SLR see my gallery of photos if you have the slightest doubts about this camera:


The Casio is alittle slow to use it as a candid flash unit, but in a pinch, it works. You need a back up camera. It has a very sharp lens. It is very quiet in churches.

This is the film world: If you wish to use film, then purchase a Norman 200b flash unit with a camera bracket. You could use a Nikon FM2. And for a 2 1/4 camera, well, these become expensive, but I recommend a Rollei 2001 or a Hasselblad.

You will not be selling enlargements larger than 8x10, and mostly you will be selling 4x5 and 5x7.


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