Accidental Wedding Photographer - Canon 80d + Canon 18-135mm USM

Started Jul 20, 2016 | Discussions
stixclgi
stixclgi Forum Member • Posts: 78
Accidental Wedding Photographer - Canon 80d + Canon 18-135mm USM

MODS PLEASE MOVE IF THIS IS THE WRONG FORUM

What's up DP!

TL: DR - Annoying videographers shoot good friend's wedding, say they're pulling stills from video. Set up cameras in the middle of the room with 24-70mm zoom lenses. I pull out gear to get pics of moments after bride and groom turn backs to said cameras. Need help editing, and advice for using 80d, and advice for shooting weddings.

This post serves two purposes. 1) I honestly just wanted to show some shots I've taken since purchasing my 80d and 18-135 USM. 2) Get tips from you all on how to better utilize my kit's functions. 3) Get any advice on last minute wedding photography.

So last week saw a very good friend of mine marrying her boyfriend  and she asked me to be the musical director for the event. What I didn't know is that I would end up being an unofficial photographer. Long story condensed: The hired photogs were first and foremost videographers, and their idea of wedding photography was to (in their words) shoot high quality, 1080p, 30fps video and pull images from the video to make the pictures. I'm not a pro, and I know it's possible, but pulling stills from video for wedding photos is not the same as actually composing or capturing a scene with gear set up for stills shooting right? Their two Canon T4i's w/Tamron 24-70mm glass were set up in the middle of the room, one on the right side angled towards the front, the other in the middle aisle to record the processional and recessional. No camera at the front, you know, actually facing the bride and groom once they turn their backs to the audience....

Again, I've only ever shot one wedding, only as an aux photog, only as practice. But I know these guys missed a ton of moments that can't be recreated. The placing of the rings, the first kiss, unity sand, lighting the candles etc...all happened with the bride and groom's backs to the cameras. Needless to say, I was pretty annoyed with these guys

Anyways, I brought my gear with me after talking to the photogs at the rehearsal, I had a feeling they would miss things...they did.  The room had floor to ceiling windows in the front and right sides, and was extremely back lit. I was literally right behind the bridesmaids, as in my knees where hitting the backs of their legs! I had extremely limited space to work with, and I was semi-afraid to move (what's okay to do as a photog during a wedding???). I also don't have a flash yet...a lot of my shots are really bad lol. I tried. But the few I captured that are decent I need some editing help on. A lot of the shots will be cropped to remove stay elbows and vine branches lol.  I'm going to make a photo book as a gift to my friend and her husband from the pics that are usable. Also, any tips from you pros as to how I can be better prepared for events like these would be GREATLY appreciated. Tell me where I can improve! Unedited sample pics below:

-- hide signature --

Your mind is a canvas. Your emotions are the brushes; and your memories paint the picture...

 stixclgi's gear list:stixclgi's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Mark III Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Tamron SP 70-200 F2.8 G2 Tamron SP 24-70mm F2.8 G2 Samsung Galaxy Note 5 +3 more
Canon EF-S 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 IS USM Canon EOS 80D
If you believe there are incorrect tags, please send us this post using our feedback form.
BAK Forum Pro • Posts: 24,856
...(what's okay to do as a photog during a wedding???)

Depends on the religion.

Let's gather ome examples.

BAK

stixclgi
OP stixclgi Forum Member • Posts: 78
Re: ...(what's okay to do as a photog during a wedding???)

BAK wrote:

Depends on the religion.

Let's gather ome examples.

BAK

Not sure what you meant to type here? Gotta love auto-correct right:-)

Understood. This was a Christian (Pentecostal) Wedding, with a few Surinamese cultural things added. No one looked especially surprised by my little bit of moving, and the bride actually smiled at the camera in one of the example pics.

-- hide signature --

Your mind is a canvas. Your memories paint the picture

 stixclgi's gear list:stixclgi's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Mark III Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Tamron SP 70-200 F2.8 G2 Tamron SP 24-70mm F2.8 G2 Samsung Galaxy Note 5 +3 more
Kaso Veteran Member • Posts: 4,480
Re: Accidental Wedding Photographer - Canon 80d + Canon 18-135mm USM

Tell me where I can improve!

  • I would not use the 18-135mm IS nano-USM for stills on this occasion.
  • I would pay more attention to the strategic focus point.
  • I would pay more attention to proper exposure (including the use of fill-flash).
  • I would do Post Processing on CR2 files.

Good luck. (I do use an 80D.)

Kaso Veteran Member • Posts: 4,480
Re: ...(what's okay to do as a photog during a wedding???)

stixclgi wrote:

BAK wrote:

Depends on the religion.

Let's gather ome examples.

Not sure what you meant to type here?

Most likely: "some."

(I don't know how long it will take to gather some examples in different contexts.)

stixclgi
OP stixclgi Forum Member • Posts: 78
Re: Accidental Wedding Photographer - Canon 80d + Canon 18-135mm USM

Kaso wrote:

Tell me where I can improve!

  • I would not use the 18-135mm IS nano-USM for stills on this occasion.
  • I would pay more attention to the strategic focus point.
  • I would pay more attention to proper exposure (including the use of fill-flash).
  • I would do Post Processing on CR2 files.

Good luck. (I do use an 80D.)

  • Is there a particular reason you would not use the 18-135mm? Also, the other lenses I have are a Tamron 70-300 and a Canon 50mm f1.8. I'm guessing the 70-300 would have been a better choice?
  • I was definitely having problems focusing, I assume because of all of the backlighting. I kept switching between zone and the single middle focusing point.
  • I was afraid to use the on-camera flash as the light always seems really harsh, and I can't angle the flash any direction but forward. Any ideas on fill-flash with the on-camera flash? Hopefully soon I'll be getting a Yongnuo YN‑600EX‑RT soon.
  • I will be using Lightroom and Photoshop CC to edit the RAW files. I think I'll use a few presets as starting points...but this next week is going to be a crash course in Adobe editing lol

Thank you for your advice, I look forward to hearing more constructive criticism!:-)

-- hide signature --

Your mind is a canvas. Your emotions are the brushes; and your memories paint the picture...

 stixclgi's gear list:stixclgi's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Mark III Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Tamron SP 70-200 F2.8 G2 Tamron SP 24-70mm F2.8 G2 Samsung Galaxy Note 5 +3 more
stixclgi
OP stixclgi Forum Member • Posts: 78
Re: ...(what's okay to do as a photog during a wedding???)

Kaso wrote:

stixclgi wrote:

BAK wrote:

Depends on the religion.

Let's gather ome examples.

Not sure what you meant to type here?

Most likely: "some."

(I don't know how long it will take to gather some examples in different contexts.)

Oh duh...lol

I hope we can get some examples, it will be interesting to see the different "rules" per religion/culture.

-- hide signature --

Your mind is a canvas. Your emotions are the brushes; and your memories paint the picture...

 stixclgi's gear list:stixclgi's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Mark III Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Tamron SP 70-200 F2.8 G2 Tamron SP 24-70mm F2.8 G2 Samsung Galaxy Note 5 +3 more
BAK Forum Pro • Posts: 24,856
Re: ...(what's okay to do as a photog during a wedding???)

All my examples are Canadian.

Evangelical Christian. I photographed my son's wedding, and I could move anywhere I wanted, even on the stage behine the wedding party. I gently took the pastor's shoulders, and twisted him so I could see his face, plus the bride and groom.

French Canadian Roman Catholic. We could go anywhere during the wedding ceremony, but not supposed to climb over the alter rail. No pictures during the regular church service that was incorporated into the ceremony. At one wedding, only the bride was catholic, so service was skipped -- good thing we were paying attention.

Anglican -- at least back when I was a wedding photographer. No flash - Shoot from the back when bride and father entered. Shoot from the balcony during ceremony.  Flash OK from this point on. Shoot in the office when the register is signed. Shoot when bride and groom come down aisle to leave.

Receptions have their own rules.

BAK

BAK Forum Pro • Posts: 24,856
Uncles

One Roman Catholic French Canadian wedding.

Bride had three uncles. One was the officiating priest. One was also a priest, who was up from with me, taking pictures while in his robes.

One was not a priest, was wearing a suit, was along the wall standing up so he could see. Had a movie camera.

And as the bride arrived at the front of the church, movie-uncle turned on his movie lights, and the priest photographer starts digging for his light meter. Mine was easier to get, I took my new readings, and passed the info on to the priest beside me.

BAK

Kaso Veteran Member • Posts: 4,480
Re: Accidental Wedding Photographer - Canon 80d + Canon 18-135mm USM

Is there a particular reason you would not use the 18-135mm?

Too slow. (I use a Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 "C" and appreciate it.)

Also, the other lenses I have are a Tamron 70-300 and a Canon 50mm f1.8. I'm guessing the 70-300 would have been a better choice?

That Tamron would be too long for a wedding ceremony venue. That Canon is fast but might not be versatile enough in a dynamic environment.

(Edit... Your profile says "Aspiring landscape and portrait photographer." You should pay more attention -- and more money -- on the appropriate lenses. )

I was definitely having problems focusing, I assume because of all of the backlighting. I kept switching between zone and the single middle focusing point.

Practice, practice, practice. Don't wait until some important event and (try to) practice on the spot. I have about 50 typical "use cases" that I always walk through (intensively) in order to feel confident about using any camera/lens combo. My first 1000 shots with my 80D (as with any newly acquired camera) were practice shots -- I went through the complete workflow with about 1/3 of them in order to LEARN. (I am not inexperienced with DSLRs, both crop and full-frame. The newer cameras make it more convenient for me, but no cameras do all the work for me. In particular, I find 80D's OOC JPG images doing injustice to the new sensor's capabilities. They look soft and dull -- and, yes, I did try different Profile settings, not that I care much about OOC JPGs anyway.)

stixclgi
OP stixclgi Forum Member • Posts: 78
Re: Accidental Wedding Photographer - Canon 80d + Canon 18-135mm USM

Kaso wrote:

Is there a particular reason you would not use the 18-135mm?

Too slow. (I use a Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 "C" and appreciate it.)

I understand. Eventually I will have the funds for new lenses, and the goal is to eventually have a collection of faster lenses. I shot with a 70-200 f2.8 and was amazed at where I could set my shutter speed to and still have great exposure without increasing the ISO! And you feel that the 70mm max range is close enough for most weddings? I was zoomed in almost all the way on some of those tighter shots.

Also, the other lenses I have are a Tamron 70-300 and a Canon 50mm f1.8. I'm guessing the 70-300 would have been a better choice?

That Tamron would be too long for a wedding ceremony venue. That Canon is fast but might not be versatile enough in a dynamic environment.

Yeah, that's what I figured, I didn't even attempt to use the Tamron. I knew I would need to zoom pretty close for certain shots.

(Edit... Your profile says "Aspiring landscape and portrait photographer." You should pay more attention -- and more money -- on the appropriate lenses. )

I should probably change this to IDK what I'm aspiring to do lol. I've honestly shot more events than portraits, and not very many landscapes. After shooting at this last wedding, I'm starting to like wedding photography. Not necessarily the "one chance to get the shot" bit, but the moments and emotion I can capture is exciting.

I was definitely having problems focusing, I assume because of all of the backlighting. I kept switching between zone and the single middle focusing point.

Practice, practice, practice. Don't wait until some important event and (try to) practice on the spot. I have about 50 typical "use cases" that I always walk through (intensively) in order to feel confident about using any camera/lens combo. My first 1000 shots with my 80D (as with any newly acquired camera) were practice shots -- I went through the complete workflow with about 1/3 of them in order to LEARN. (I am not inexperienced with DSLRs, both crop and full-frame. The newer cameras make it more convenient for me, but no cameras do all the work for me. In particular, I find 80D's OOC JPG images doing injustice to the new sensor's capabilities. They look soft and dull -- and, yes, I did try different Profile settings, not that I care much about OOC JPGs anyway.)

Thank you for the advice!! It's definitely not the time to practice when the event in ongoing! I'm thankful that I wasn't the main photog at my friend's wedding, or else they would probably not be my friends for much longer lol.

I practice mostly in my home and surrounding area, on my neice, at church, etc. I definitely can practice more though, especially for these wedding/event photos. I'll probably do another post to show some of the other event photos I've done recently.  I've only reallly shot in RAW, so I'm not sure what the JPGs look like personally.

-- hide signature --

Your mind is a canvas. Your emotions are the brushes; and your memories paint the picture...

 stixclgi's gear list:stixclgi's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Mark III Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Tamron SP 70-200 F2.8 G2 Tamron SP 24-70mm F2.8 G2 Samsung Galaxy Note 5 +3 more
Woodman411 Regular Member • Posts: 410
Re: Accidental Wedding Photographer - Canon 80d + Canon 18-135mm USM

stixclgi wrote:

MODS PLEASE MOVE IF THIS IS THE WRONG FORUM

What's up DP!

TL: DR - Annoying videographers shoot good friend's wedding, say they're pulling stills from video. Set up cameras in the middle of the room with 24-70mm zoom lenses. I pull out gear to get pics of moments after bride and groom turn backs to said cameras. Need help editing, and advice for using 80d, and advice for shooting weddings.

This post serves two purposes. 1) I honestly just wanted to show some shots I've taken since purchasing my 80d and 18-135 USM. 2) Get tips from you all on how to better utilize my kit's functions. 3) Get any advice on last minute wedding photography.

So last week saw a very good friend of mine marrying her boyfriend and she asked me to be the musical director for the event. What I didn't know is that I would end up being an unofficial photographer. Long story condensed: The hired photogs were first and foremost videographers, and their idea of wedding photography was to (in their words) shoot high quality, 1080p, 30fps video and pull images from the video to make the pictures. I'm not a pro, and I know it's possible, but pulling stills from video for wedding photos is not the same as actually composing or capturing a scene with gear set up for stills shooting right? Their two Canon T4i's w/Tamron 24-70mm glass were set up in the middle of the room, one on the right side angled towards the front, the other in the middle aisle to record the processional and recessional. No camera at the front, you know, actually facing the bride and groom once they turn their backs to the audience....

Again, I've only ever shot one wedding, only as an aux photog, only as practice. But I know these guys missed a ton of moments that can't be recreated. The placing of the rings, the first kiss, unity sand, lighting the candles etc...all happened with the bride and groom's backs to the cameras. Needless to say, I was pretty annoyed with these guys

Anyways, I brought my gear with me after talking to the photogs at the rehearsal, I had a feeling they would miss things...they did. The room had floor to ceiling windows in the front and right sides, and was extremely back lit. I was literally right behind the bridesmaids, as in my knees where hitting the backs of their legs! I had extremely limited space to work with, and I was semi-afraid to move (what's okay to do as a photog during a wedding???). I also don't have a flash yet...a lot of my shots are really bad lol. I tried. But the few I captured that are decent I need some editing help on. A lot of the shots will be cropped to remove stay elbows and vine branches lol. I'm going to make a photo book as a gift to my friend and her husband from the pics that are usable. Also, any tips from you pros as to how I can be better prepared for events like these would be GREATLY appreciated. Tell me where I can improve! Unedited sample pics below:

How pro do you want to go? All you need to do is web search "professional wedding photos" and you'll have an idea of what's possible. Compare their pictures with yours and ask: how are they different? what makes their shot more ideal? and how can I get similar results? The point is, you have to know your target before figuring out how to get there. Even then, due to the demands of a wedding on both equipment and photographer, as the other comments have mentioned, you will not match pro shots with an 80D+18-135, actually (sorry) not even close, if you get faster and better lenses, you will get closer. Pros for weddings (at least the ones I've seen) use full frame and L lenses, and you need fast lenses to handle low lighting + bokeh and some serious flash setups.

On the photography side, since you asked:

- shot 1 (woman wiping eye): I think for framing, I would have zoomed in a little more on the main subject, since there is a little too much white space on the left for my tastes. I would also have stepped more to the right, so that the camera behind her head is not "attached", better isolating her (or relocate the offending camera). For lighting, natural light is pouring in from outside, creating a shadow on the other side, so I would have used a flash to eliminate the shadow and brighten the subject. The two women behind her are distracting, so I would have used a faster aperture to blur them out more, probably not possible on the 18-135. A smaller note, the natural light seems to have a de-saturating effect on the color, I would use a touch more saturation.

- shot 2: I like this shot, framing I would have zoomed out a little since the top is cutting off. There is not enough lighting on the main subject, I would have used a flash if possible. I would also prefer more blur on the man to better isolate the wife and more saturation.

- shot 3: side foregrounds are distracting, especially mic holder giving the middle finger The cute smiling face in the background is nice, but ultimately distracting from the main subject, the ring exchange. I would have blurred her out more.

I could go on, but in general, you need more lighting on the main subjects, more background blur for better subject isolation, and composition that better isolates the main subject.

 Woodman411's gear list:Woodman411's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Canon EOS M6 Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Canon EF 70-200mm F2.8L IS II USM Canon EF 35mm F2 IS USM +1 more
Jeff Peterman
MOD Jeff Peterman Forum Pro • Posts: 12,884
Re: Accidental Wedding Photographer - Canon 80d + Canon 18-135mm USM

I have been the unofficial photographer at several weddings. I always make it clear to the bridge and groom that they should not count on my photos, and I make a point of introducing myself to the official photographers and telling them that I will stay out of there way. I then work hard not to get in the way of the official photographers and to be unobtrusive - this may mean that I can't get myself in the best position for a shot, but it also means that I don't ruin an important official shot or video.

As for gear, fast lenses are better, both to deal with poor lighting and to help with subject isolation. The 18-135 has a great range, but is relatively slow: a combination of something like the 17-55 f2.8 and 70-200 f4  (or f2.8, if you can afford it) would be better. Then there is the issue of flash: not allowed in many ceremonies, and to give decent results you need a powerful flash head and a good diffuser unit. And if you really want to shoot a wedding, you should have a backup body, ideally with a wide-to-mid zoom on one and a mid-to-long on the other so that you don't miss a shot changing lenses.

I've shot a few weddings as the official photographer. I've given up - it just isn't worth the hassles. I will take supplemental shots for friends and family.

-- hide signature --

Jeff Peterman, Moderator 7D and Phone/Tablet forums.
Not a staff member, or paid employee, of DPReview.
Any insults, implied anger, bad grammar and bad spelling, are entirely unintentionalal. Sorry.
www.pbase.com/jeffp25
www.jeffp25.smugmug.com

 Jeff Peterman's gear list:Jeff Peterman's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ40 Canon PowerShot S110 Canon EOS 7D Canon EF-S 10-22mm F3.5-4.5 USM Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM +18 more
stixclgi
OP stixclgi Forum Member • Posts: 78
Re: Accidental Wedding Photographer - Canon 80d + Canon 18-135mm USM

Woodman411 wrote:

stixclgi wrote:

MODS PLEASE MOVE IF THIS IS THE WRONG FORUM

What's up DP!

TL: DR - Annoying videographers shoot good friend's wedding, say they're pulling stills from video. Set up cameras in the middle of the room with 24-70mm zoom lenses. I pull out gear to get pics of moments after bride and groom turn backs to said cameras. Need help editing, and advice for using 80d, and advice for shooting weddings.

This post serves two purposes. 1) I honestly just wanted to show some shots I've taken since purchasing my 80d and 18-135 USM. 2) Get tips from you all on how to better utilize my kit's functions. 3) Get any advice on last minute wedding photography.

So last week saw a very good friend of mine marrying her boyfriend and she asked me to be the musical director for the event. What I didn't know is that I would end up being an unofficial photographer. Long story condensed: The hired photogs were first and foremost videographers, and their idea of wedding photography was to (in their words) shoot high quality, 1080p, 30fps video and pull images from the video to make the pictures. I'm not a pro, and I know it's possible, but pulling stills from video for wedding photos is not the same as actually composing or capturing a scene with gear set up for stills shooting right? Their two Canon T4i's w/Tamron 24-70mm glass were set up in the middle of the room, one on the right side angled towards the front, the other in the middle aisle to record the processional and recessional. No camera at the front, you know, actually facing the bride and groom once they turn their backs to the audience....

Again, I've only ever shot one wedding, only as an aux photog, only as practice. But I know these guys missed a ton of moments that can't be recreated. The placing of the rings, the first kiss, unity sand, lighting the candles etc...all happened with the bride and groom's backs to the cameras. Needless to say, I was pretty annoyed with these guys

Anyways, I brought my gear with me after talking to the photogs at the rehearsal, I had a feeling they would miss things...they did. The room had floor to ceiling windows in the front and right sides, and was extremely back lit. I was literally right behind the bridesmaids, as in my knees where hitting the backs of their legs! I had extremely limited space to work with, and I was semi-afraid to move (what's okay to do as a photog during a wedding???). I also don't have a flash yet...a lot of my shots are really bad lol. I tried. But the few I captured that are decent I need some editing help on. A lot of the shots will be cropped to remove stay elbows and vine branches lol. I'm going to make a photo book as a gift to my friend and her husband from the pics that are usable. Also, any tips from you pros as to how I can be better prepared for events like these would be GREATLY appreciated. Tell me where I can improve! Unedited sample pics below:

How pro do you want to go? All you need to do is web search "professional wedding photos" and you'll have an idea of what's possible. Compare their pictures with yours and ask: how are they different? what makes their shot more ideal? and how can I get similar results? The point is, you have to know your target before figuring out how to get there. Even then, due to the demands of a wedding on both equipment and photographer, as the other comments have mentioned, you will not match pro shots with an 80D+18-135, actually (sorry) not even close, if you get faster and better lenses, you will get closer. Pros for weddings (at least the ones I've seen) use full frame and L lenses, and you need fast lenses to handle low lighting + bokeh and some serious flash setups.

On the photography side, since you asked:

- shot 1 (woman wiping eye): I think for framing, I would have zoomed in a little more on the main subject, since there is a little too much white space on the left for my tastes. I would also have stepped more to the right, so that the camera behind her head is not "attached", better isolating her (or relocate the offending camera). For lighting, natural light is pouring in from outside, creating a shadow on the other side, so I would have used a flash to eliminate the shadow and brighten the subject. The two women behind her are distracting, so I would have used a faster aperture to blur them out more, probably not possible on the 18-135. A smaller note, the natural light seems to have a de-saturating effect on the color, I would use a touch more saturation.

- shot 2: I like this shot, framing I would have zoomed out a little since the top is cutting off. There is not enough lighting on the main subject, I would have used a flash if possible. I would also prefer more blur on the man to better isolate the wife and more saturation.

- shot 3: side foregrounds are distracting, especially mic holder giving the middle finger The cute smiling face in the background is nice, but ultimately distracting from the main subject, the ring exchange. I would have blurred her out more.

I could go on, but do you really want me to?

Yes, I would like you to go on lol! That's the purpose for the post...I won't be upset, unless you start talking about my mama or something lol! Hopefully the info may help someone else as well. I'm already reliving the event and using the advice I've gotten to see how I could have taken better shots! I appreciate it...

I plan on doing small jobs to start saving money for higher grade glass. My photographer buddy has used various APS-C cameras with L glass for stunning results. He's also a wiz Lightroom/Photoshop editor as well. So I'll focus on the glass first...especially since I just bought the 80d lol.

Not sure if I mentioned it, but the pics are all unedited right now. For shot #1, are you saying to add more saturation via camera settings? Also, I've hated that camera behind her head ever since I took the photo:-x. I will need to be more cognizant of details like that next time. Also, I definitely had the aperture as fast as possible, f3.5 I believe, so that's about as much background blur as I could manage. Maybe some editing magic will help.

Shot 2: I plan to have a new flash in the next month or so. I was talking to my aunt and uncle (also pro photogs) and they said much of the same thing you're telling me now.

Shot 3: My angle of view was pretty bad during this shot, and I was trying not to move too much. Maybe I can crop this shot for editing, but next time I will remember to try to get just the subject in the frame.

Thank you for the pro tips.  I don't plan on being a pro wedding photog for a while, I have a lot more to learn about my gear, framing, learning to "eye" possible exposure levels, etc. Also, like I mentioned in an above post, I'm still kinda figuring out that I like wedding photography...I was initially interested in landscapes and portraits. I just figured getting criticism on my pics added to what I'm reading and practicing will help me improve.

-- hide signature --

Your mind is a canvas. Your emotions are the brushes; and your memories paint the picture...

 stixclgi's gear list:stixclgi's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Mark III Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Tamron SP 70-200 F2.8 G2 Tamron SP 24-70mm F2.8 G2 Samsung Galaxy Note 5 +3 more
Kaso Veteran Member • Posts: 4,480
Re: Accidental Wedding Photographer - Canon 80d + Canon 18-135mm USM

I've honestly shot more events than portraits, and not very many landscapes. After shooting at this last wedding, I'm starting to like wedding photography. Not necessarily the "one chance to get the shot" bit, but the moments and emotion I can capture is exciting.

Well, I'm definitely not in a position to advise you either way. I just want to add that the excitement may not be sustainable over the long run. "Wedding photography" is tough in various ways -- it is the nature of the job. The key element is discipline. No matter what you prefer to shoot, or whether you do it professionally or as a hobby, discipline counts a lot. Many enthusiasts take photographs opportunistically (a portrait here, a landscape there, maybe a wedding every other summer) and, therefore, find it difficult to reach the "inflection point" of mastery -- both technical and artistic.

I've hated that camera behind her head ever since I took the photo:-x. I will need to be more cognizant of details like that next time.

Never shoot one frame per composition. I always use AF Servo + Continuous (with AF-On button, of course) to make sure I capture at least 3 frames per composition (even for a posed portrait) in order to have the flexibility of choice afterward. You cannot choose if you have only one frame. Is a smile a smile? Is an expression an expression? Is a background a background? Details change slightly between continuous frames and there ought to be one "best smile" or "best background" among those frames.

Good luck.

stixclgi
OP stixclgi Forum Member • Posts: 78
Re: Accidental Wedding Photographer - Canon 80d + Canon 18-135mm USM

Jeff Peterman wrote:

I have been the unofficial photographer at several weddings. I always make it clear to the bridge and groom that they should not count on my photos, and I make a point of introducing myself to the official photographers and telling them that I will stay out of there way. I then work hard not to get in the way of the official photographers and to be unobtrusive - this may mean that I can't get myself in the best position for a shot, but it also means that I don't ruin an important official shot or video.

This was definitely my concern...I didn't want to be unprofessional and get in the official photographers' way...although with their positioning I was probably blocked by the bride/groom/bridal party for most of the shots:-)

As for gear, fast lenses are better, both to deal with poor lighting and to help with subject isolation. The 18-135 has a great range, but is relatively slow: a combination of something like the 17-55 f2.8 and 70-200 f4 (or f2.8, if you can afford it) would be better. Then there is the issue of flash: not allowed in many ceremonies, and to give decent results you need a powerful flash head and a good diffuser unit. And if you really want to shoot a wedding, you should have a backup body, ideally with a wide-to-mid zoom on one and a mid-to-long on the other so that you don't miss a shot changing lenses.

Having a second body makes a lot of sense. The march for a complete kit continues....

I've shot a few weddings as the official photographer. I've given up - it just isn't worth the hassles. I will take supplemental shots for friends and family.

I've heard this from quite a few photogs I've met too.

-- hide signature --

Jeff Peterman, Moderator 7D and Phone/Tablet forums.
Not a staff member, or paid employee, of DPReview.
Any insults, implied anger, bad grammar and bad spelling, are entirely unintentionalal. Sorry.
www.pbase.com/jeffp25
www.jeffp25.smugmug.com

Thank you!

-- hide signature --

Your mind is a canvas. Your emotions are the brushes; and your memories paint the picture...

 stixclgi's gear list:stixclgi's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Mark III Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Tamron SP 70-200 F2.8 G2 Tamron SP 24-70mm F2.8 G2 Samsung Galaxy Note 5 +3 more
Woodman411 Regular Member • Posts: 410
Re: Accidental Wedding Photographer - Canon 80d + Canon 18-135mm USM

stixclgi wrote:

Yes, I would like you to go on lol! That's the purpose for the post...I won't be upset, unless you start talking about my mama or something lol! Hopefully the info may help someone else as well. I'm already reliving the event and using the advice I've gotten to see how I could have taken better shots! I appreciate it...

I plan on doing small jobs to start saving money for higher grade glass. My photographer buddy has used various APS-C cameras with L glass for stunning results. He's also a wiz Lightroom/Photoshop editor as well. So I'll focus on the glass first...especially since I just bought the 80d lol.

Not sure if I mentioned it, but the pics are all unedited right now. For shot #1, are you saying to add more saturation via camera settings? Also, I've hated that camera behind her head ever since I took the photo:-x. I will need to be more cognizant of details like that next time. Also, I definitely had the aperture as fast as possible, f3.5 I believe, so that's about as much background blur as I could manage. Maybe some editing magic will help.

Shot 2: I plan to have a new flash in the next month or so. I was talking to my aunt and uncle (also pro photogs) and they said much of the same thing you're telling me now.

Shot 3: My angle of view was pretty bad during this shot, and I was trying not to move too much. Maybe I can crop this shot for editing, but next time I will remember to try to get just the subject in the frame.

Thank you for the pro tips. I don't plan on being a pro wedding photog for a while, I have a lot more to learn about my gear, framing, learning to "eye" possible exposure levels, etc. Also, like I mentioned in an above post, I'm still kinda figuring out that I like wedding photography...I was initially interested in landscapes and portraits. I just figured getting criticism on my pics added to what I'm reading and practicing will help me improve.

Just to get one thing clear, I'm not a pro in any way, shape, or form, sorry if I give that impression or talk like it  Probably most pros don't visit dpreview, let alone their forums, but sounds like you have family that are pros so better to ask them. Anyway, to answer your question about saturation, I was referring to raw files and post processing, something I hope you're doing or thinking about. Besides giving editing flexibility, among other things, I also like seeing the picture before dlo/distortion/sharpening/etc is applied, to better understand what the lens is really capturing.

 Woodman411's gear list:Woodman411's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Canon EOS M6 Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Canon EF 70-200mm F2.8L IS II USM Canon EF 35mm F2 IS USM +1 more
stratobill Senior Member • Posts: 2,081
Re: Accidental Wedding Photographer - Canon 80d + Canon 18-135mm USM

stixclgi wrote:

Thank you for the pro tips. I don't plan on being a pro wedding photog for a while, I have a lot more to learn about my gear, framing, learning to "eye" possible exposure levels, etc. Also, like I mentioned in an above post, I'm still kinda figuring out that I like wedding photography...I was initially interested in landscapes and portraits. I just figured getting criticism on my pics added to what I'm reading and practicing will help me improve.

That's good, because if you are going to sell yourself as someone whom couple is trusting to capture their most important memories, you are going to have to go to school quite a bit! I sure wouldn't attempt it without a lot more knowledge than I have. Think about if this was a crucial photo and the bride had a camera sticking out of her head- and that's just one of many thousand potential pitfalls!

If you can take a real course in wedding photography, either online or in person, that would be an excellent start. Yes, I would think you need faster lenses, lights and the ability to use them, a backup camera, the list goes on. I would also suggest that a great thing to do would be to become the second photographer with someone who is a real pro, that would be a quick learning experience. Nothing would beat that.

PS I was distressed that the videographers tried to pass themselves off as also the still photographers- don't make the same mistake! Don't do it until you are 100%, well alright, 90% ready. Then you will start to build a reputation that can be added to.

 stratobill's gear list:stratobill's gear list
Canon EOS 6D Canon EOS Rebel SL2 Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM +4 more
stixclgi
OP stixclgi Forum Member • Posts: 78
Re: Accidental Wedding Photographer - Canon 80d + Canon 18-135mm USM

Woodman411 wrote:

Just to get one thing clear, I'm not a pro in any way, shape, or form, sorry if I give that impression or talk like it Probably most pros don't visit dpreview, let alone their forums, but sounds like you have family that are pros so better to ask them. Anyway, to answer your question about saturation, I was referring to raw files and post processing, something I hope you're doing or thinking about. Besides giving editing flexibility, among other things, I also like seeing the picture before dlo/distortion/sharpening/etc is applied, to better understand what the lens is really capturing.

Well you are way more advanced than I am, a "pro" to me! Why wouldn't pros visit DP lol? I have definitely been in contact with my aunt and uncle, and they will actually be moving near me from Dubai very soon. I plan on kidnapping them and forcing them to give me all of their knowledge...*You. Saw. Nothing...*

One of my coworkers is a wedding photographer and he's offered to help me with editing the photos I've taken. He's already taught me a lot about Lightroom, and I've also watched quite a few tutorials on Youtube. Nothing beats hands on experience, and I'm glad I know a few pros. Once I sawthe difference in flexibility between editing JPG and RAW files, I switched to shooting in RAW, just for editing.

-- hide signature --

Your mind is a canvas. Your emotions are the brushes; and your memories paint the picture...

 stixclgi's gear list:stixclgi's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Mark III Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Tamron SP 70-200 F2.8 G2 Tamron SP 24-70mm F2.8 G2 Samsung Galaxy Note 5 +3 more
stixclgi
OP stixclgi Forum Member • Posts: 78
Re: Accidental Wedding Photographer - Canon 80d + Canon 18-135mm USM

stratobill wrote:

That's good, because if you are going to sell yourself as someone whom couple is trusting to capture their most important memories, you are going to have to go to school quite a bit! I sure wouldn't attempt it without a lot more knowledge than I have. Think about if this was a crucial photo and the bride had a camera sticking out of her head- and that's just one of many thousand potential pitfalls!

Oh yes, I'm not nearly ready to sell myself as a wedding photographer. I'm not fooled about that lol. The critique I've received from this post confirmed to me that there is a lot I need to learn, both in basic techniques, rules of thumb, and what gear to bring/preparedness. I am thankful for the leeway I had during the ceremony to actually take pics, and for the experience gained from it!

If you can take a real course in wedding photography, either online or in person, that would be an excellent start. Yes, I would think you need faster lenses, lights and the ability to use them, a backup camera, the list goes on. I would also suggest that a great thing to do would be to become the second photographer with someone who is a real pro, that would be a quick learning experience. Nothing would beat that.

So I literally work next door to the  Second Army Cyber Command photographers, and they have been most helpful in offering their advice. The most recent advice I received was about Meetup.com. Apparently their are a ton of free or very inexpensive photography meet ups in the DC/MD/VA area. They told me that these meet ups are just as good as actual classes. And one of the other photogs in the building has already taken me on a wedding shoot; we have another wedding Aug 12, and two more in September. I'm actually getting paid a few bucks for these shoots too! Once I have enough saved, I'll be buying faster lenses!

PS I was distressed that the videographers tried to pass themselves off as also the still photographers- don't make the same mistake! Don't do it until you are 100%, well alright, 90% ready. Then you will start to build a reputation that can be added to.

Yeah, red flags were waving everywhere when they started telling me how they were gonna get the stills.

Thanks!

-- hide signature --

Your mind is a canvas. Your emotions are the brushes; and your memories paint the picture...

 stixclgi's gear list:stixclgi's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Mark III Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Tamron SP 70-200 F2.8 G2 Tamron SP 24-70mm F2.8 G2 Samsung Galaxy Note 5 +3 more
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads