Shooting wedding with primes only

Started Aug 7, 2011 | Discussions thread
RJNedimyer Veteran Member • Posts: 5,797
Re: Shooting wedding with primes only

leecamera wrote:

I think one of the main factors that influences the use of primes is how many photographers are covering the wedding. Shooting a $10k wedding there's no question but a sole shooter doing a $2k wedding is another proposition.

I think there is a misconception that price of photographer = number of primes used. Certainly if there are 2 photographers then there's greater possibility for shots / angles.

My last 2 big parties had a photography budget of £12,000 - £14,000 each and I've a regular client whose parties demand a £6,000 - £8,000 stills budget. These are all shot with 95% zooms.

BUT, it depends on style of coverage.

There will be components to any wedding / party that have a predictable formula, and we can argue that a good photographer will place themselves in the right position.

But what if that right position demands different coverages / angles / content? We can carry multiple lenses and change. or carry multiple cameras and change less... But the reality is that unless the photographer's style dictates, I for one would want the flexibility for a range of focal lengths.

The less I'm changing lenses, the more I'm concentrating on the action. A look, a smile, a tear... these last but seconds and I'd hate to rely on a crop to make it right.

Coverage is more predictable, but capturing the nuances of a day is less so. I carry two bodies with 24-70 and 70-200 lenses on a twin strap. I'm fast, and there are times that something I want to capture happens and is over before I can drop one camera and swing the 2nd to my eye. Switching a lens... then I'd never get these moments. If my coverage is a little less intense, then yes I'd have more time to shoot with primes.

And of course with primes, we'd be aiming to be in the right place at the right time. Easier when the action is more predictable, but less so with other moments. I tend to cover guests as much as the main subject, so the "right place" can be almost anywhere. That long lens gets me across the room very quickly, (and with lovely foreground action), and I don't have to worry about the lens being too long if they're not so far away.

When I do swap to primes I enjoy the challenge of shooting wide open. But f1.4 is a dangerous thing with moving targets and although low light is always a challenge, I'll often raise the ISO rather than pushing my lens past f2.8 (I'll go there, but only when I feel I've got decent coverage or when I've time to get lots of shots - like in preparations or with more static happenings).

I like to disappear when I'm shooting, which means I don't always want to move around so much. I've shot some intimate things where I've almost needed to plant myself in one spot and pick a wide variety of shots / frames off from that position. Primes aren't going to work so well in that scenario.

Some of my favourite images have been at f1.4 with a prime and when I've been shooting more dangerously - pushing my luck sometimes with an impossible shot.

Primes are great and they produce great images. I'd venture their advantage these days is when shooting wide open rather than optical purity because some of the new zooms are just sooo good at f2.8

Zooms allow me to shoot my style, which is very much captured moments and fleeting interactions. I shoot more parties than weddings but the artistry is still the same, and the lighting I deal with... it would make your head spin...!

It's an interesting discussion. Reminds me of chats I've had with the merits of long lens shooting vs getting in there with a wider lens - but that's a whole new discussion. We've all got our styles.

Leecamera, you said you said what I was trying to say a little over 2 years ago; however, you said it about 10 times better.

Well done!

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