Dang, sorry for not checking back on this thread. My answers are probably too late now but here goes.
Jim Lowell wrote:
But I'll ask PeterF a few questions too...
What mode do you use most? (AV, Manual, Auto...?)
Well, I use a variety of modes depending on the situation but primarily I set my ISO (800 for indoor shots because I try to stay away from flash and 100 for outdoor) and then use whatever mode makes sense. My most used mode is P (Auto)
What format do you use? (Raw, Jpg?)
Raw. Always RAW! I've saved a ton of pics over the years because I shoot in RAW.
What flash do you use? (onboard or dedicated or other?)
I'm an 'available light' kind of guy so I use flash very sparingly. Of course there are sometimes when you just have to use it. If I have to use flash; indoors I typically use a hot shoe mounted flash and bounce it off the ceiling. Here's an example of taking shots at a wedding dance where the hall was quite dark. Direct flash would have been awful but bounce turned out not bad:
Outdoors if I need fill light, I typically just use the on board flash. But the problem with fill flash is that it has to be subtle. If it's obvious that you are using fill flash then I think it spoils the picture. Here's an example of a picture with natural light:
And one with fill flash:
It's a matter of opinion which one is better but I personally like the first one. (In this example, I think I had too much fill flash so that might be part of the problem.)
But like I said, I use very little flash.
Whats your fave wedding lens most used?
Sigma 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM, almost exclusively.
How do you stay sane?
Wedding photography is not for the faint of heart. There are so many shots that you only get one chance at and you have to be ready!
My approach is what many call wedding photo journalism. I cover a wedding like I'm covering a news event. I travel very light (usually just my DSLR strapped around my neck with my Sigma lens and a hotshoe flash mounted with a spare battery in my pocket). The rest of my equipment is in the bag not too far away. I do posed portraits because people want them but it not my favourite part of taking wedding pics (more equipment and you have to 'pose' people and come up with interesting ideas for pictures, etc., etc.).
When I do 'portraits' I work very fast. People run out of steam pretty fast when it comes to portraits, especially at a wedding because it's such a big day, so I snap away very quickly. If they want studio pics, I tell them to book that with somebody else, I don't do studio portraits.
Anyway, like I said, I'd rather just cover the wedding as it unfolds and just be a journalist, looking for interesting, story-telling, shots. Like this:
If you have another questions, just ask away. I'll check back a bit better this time!