Pre-wedding questions

Started Mar 17, 2014 | Discussions thread
John Motts Veteran Member • Posts: 5,553
Re: Pre-wedding questions

Flyinmotion wrote:

ryan2007 wrote:

Flyinmotion wrote:


My friend asked me to shoot her pre-wedding photo. She knows I'm not a pro, but she wants us to have some fun and this is a cool project for me.

For my gear, I just got XT1 with 23mm and 2 batteries. I plan to get the 56mm lens late April. We plan to shoot their photo in second week of May.

Now, I need your help what I should buy or need for this shooting. Do I need off camera flash with softbox? On camera flash with Gary Fong diffuser is good enough? Any nice locations in the Bay Area for this type of event?

Thank you so much for your input!


Before the camera and lens you need to know ahead of time the location, and have at least One if not Two back-up locations with one being inside in case of rain. You should consider time of day, Golden Hour which is the hour after sunrise and the hour before sunset. Mid-Day Sunny or will it be Cloudy which you will not know for sure to a day or two ahead of time. This will factor how you use flash or light.

You also need to learn fast how to use and set up lighting. Whether actual mono-lights, pack with heads or little off camera flash you need at least or should have two light sources for Key light and Fill light. One source can be the Sun with some way to diffuse it. This may involve light stands to support the flash AND diffusion material. Talking about light is as in depth as just talking about a camera and lens focal length and aperture is SO minor to the lighting. No light no photo.

Now back to the location, you should scout the location (s) ASAP. Take a camera with you and think where you will place the subject (s). Take some pictures so when you return you will remember your ideas. Be aware of the background and what is ugly behind the subject ahead of time.

Be sure to know if you need a permit to shoot at the location.

You also need to see what access to A/C power you will have if needed.

I would invest in a tripod, 3 way pan/tilt head with quick release and cable release. In some spots a tripod may not be allowed and you need to go handheld or with a mono-pod.

FUJI Does NOT use Image Stabilization in their lenses so again after a long day, a tripod will help settle you and remove any vibration from the camera reducing out of focus issues.

So this can be a very novice experience or something a bit better.

*I love Fuji X, but I would not use this to shoot a wedding mainly because of lighting and TTL flash needs. Nikon or Canon DSLR has more lighting accessories from power packs to TTL cords etc..

*I am of the firm belief never do business with family or friends and I am an experienced photographer. The reason is you not only have to answer to the bride and groom, but the rest of the family that may not like some aspect OR worse keep asking and abusing the privilege by having you do re-shoots and multiple fixes and making copies and if gets complicated. With that I go to the wedding with my camera and just take pictures along side the paid event photographer here and there and that works.

You need to find a book on wedding photography, lighting for weddings or the engagement photo etc.

In essence if the couple is ok with it great, but again this can look professional and polished or not.

Wow, a lot to take notes here, but they're great stuffs. Thank you so much.

You think that's a lot? I have a whole bookcase full of information on wedding photography. I've been doing it for 20 years and I'm still learning, so a few paragraphs is hardly a lot to take note of. There's a whole lot more to it than you obviously think.

A couple of things - you say you prefer not to use Photoshop. Wedding photographers use Photoshop.

I personally wouldn't want to do a wedding with nothing wider than the 23mm, but you are doing this as a favour so you have to balance that.

If you really insist on doing this, don't make it complicated for yourself - forget off-camera flash and just learn to bounce. Oh and throw that Gary Fong thing in the bin.

You'll need more than two batteries with an XT1.

I never use a tripod - not many wedding photographers do these days. You're dealing with people here, so slow shutter speeds are to be avoided anyway.

I can't tell you everything I know in a few paragraphs, but buy books, look at websites, find work that you like and analyse it, but above all, at this level don't be a gearhead because wedding photography is more about people and getting the best out of them, not the gear.

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