Yes: Asked To Do A Wedding, Those Make me Nervous

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larrytusaz Senior Member • Posts: 2,448
Yes: Asked To Do A Wedding, Those Make me Nervous

A friend at church is getting married and wants me to take photos. I've explained that weddings make me feel nervous, I'm not at all a pro with those, but I'll do my best that is all I can promise. They seem OK with that.

I'm not a beginner, insomuch that I've done photography as a hobby off & on since the 1980s, but where it regards weddings, I'm a mess. I've done them before for friends maybe 4 times, they have always seemed to like the results, but I'm nonetheless someone who has always said that weddings aren't something I feel confident doing. I have no comfort AT ALL with "taking charge" and directing people to the needed shots etc, heck I don't even know what the needed shots are beyond things such as the bride entering the room, the ceremony, the "kiss," that's it. I know that there are probably shots you'd take of each family in the church right after the wedding is over. Plus, when I've gone back and looked at the photos I'd taken, my response is "they're AWFUL."

My comfort level is HUGELY dependent on two things mainly: (a) do I know & feel comfortable with the people AND the family etc and (b) are the expectations low, as in "as long as they look better than if my 7 year old took them with his toy camera than I'm happy."

Well this situation: both apply. I know the person, know much of their friends, and they seem totally OK with the idea that although my photos are apt to be better than if their 7 year old took them, they certainly will not match a bona fida professional at all.

My equipment? A Nikon D3300 kit and the 50mm 1.8 AF-S G. I also have a Sunpak RD2000 flash, which is a very small & entry-level flash with a guide number of 66 in feet at ISO 100 and 32mm. (So, in other words, at f/2 and ISO 100, you're only getting 30 feet, you could get 93 feet at f/2 and ISO 800 if I've got my math right with this calculator .) It has bounce but not tilt, uses 2 AA batteries. For software I have Adobe Lightroom 5.7 and Photoshop CS2.

I have found these pages Pop Photo (25 tips) and Photo Aspects (table of contents) and I'm reading them. I DO know to (a) make sure batteries are full (b) shoot in RAW (c) make sure of plenty of memory (my 32G SD can hold about 650 shots) (d) have a second body (D3100) and (e) scope out the area beforehand. Other than that, I'm a puddle of an un-confident mess.

Questions.

(A) Will that flash be enough if I crank up the ISO to 800 or 1600 and shoot at f/2 with the 50mm? (Is that a good lens anyway? No, I can't rent a 24-70 f/2.8 unfortunately.) Should I "diffuse" the flash with white tissue for more soft results? Should I use NiMH batteries vs alkalines for faster recycling times? Should I use "slow sync" flash or shoot in manual mode and select a shutter speed of around 1/45 second vs the 1/125 or so it normally uses in aperture-priority mode?

(b) The family portraits, should that be outside instead of inside if I can find a good spot? (The church's interior isn't awful, but it isn't beautiful either like a cathedral type of church, it's extremely "plain Jane.") They should be right after the ceremony, correct?

(c) One page I read gives a check-list of about 100 different types of shots you're supposed to take, but that Pop Photo page said to not worry about a "check list" and just "feel it out," I can appreciate that in terms of not (say) remembering to get a photo of the place-setting, bride & daughter getting ready etc all of that, but I'd hate to forget something OBVIOUS. (I'm thinking shots of groom & his relatives, shots of bride & her relatives, but nothing else jumps out at me.)

Tips?

 larrytusaz's gear list:larrytusaz's gear list
Nikon D3100 Nikon D3300 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II
Nikon D3300
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