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What camera for a wedding?

Discussion in 'Help Team' started by InfoH, Jan 22, 2012.

  1. Bob Maddison

    Bob Maddison Well-Known Member

    I agree totally. Surely the most important factor in Wedding Photography is the skill and experience af the photographer. This is one occassion when there is no second chance. His equipment is of secondary importance.

    I also agree that all the guests should be asked to contribute their own photos. Then the most important contribution the OP can make is to collate those photos into a memorable album.
  2. surf_digby

    surf_digby Well-Known Member

    It's a wedding. This is a necessity, as the majority of venues - be they church, registry office or boat - won't allow you to use flash.

    I wouldn't normally suggest this, as I don't agree with undercutting professionals, but if money is that tight, look up your local camera club and see if anyone is able and willing to do it.

    Alternatively, you can get £99 click and burn wedding togs on eBay. Just bare in mind that they charge £99 and advertise on eBay.
  3. P_Stoddart

    P_Stoddart Well-Known Member

    That's part of the research. Some venues do allow flash. Especially if it is the official photographer. I used flash for the signing. I have also seen other weddings where fill-in has been used by the 'pro'. :)
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2012
  4. Wheelu

    Wheelu Well-Known Member

    With a less sophisticated camera you will be a bit limited in what you can do, but the participants will want a set of photos showing who was there on the day, and anything better than a pinhole should be capable of that. I have never encountered a situation where the church has prohibited the use of flash for the signing of the register, but do check in advance.

    Re doing a pro out of work, there are weddings and weddings. Some people will want to boast about the amount they spent on photography, but others will be operating on a shoestring and, if a friend or relative can help out, then so be it. The success and duration of the marriage is in no way proportional to the amount of money spent on the wedding ;)
  5. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    I would agree with that, but OTOH in my experience it's rare that flash is allowed during the ceremony.

    I wouldn't say "don't do it", but I would recommend searching for many of the posts on here and then decide if you feel confident enough to do it - and if not, don't be afraid to say no. Personally, I don't intend to do more weddings in the future and make a point of only taking a compact these days.
  6. daft_biker

    daft_biker Action Man!

    Maybe in snooty churches but in other venues I've yet to do one where flash isn't allowed. Next one I'm shooting is in The Caves in Edinburgh where there's no natural light and the room lights are coloured stage lights lighting up the walls.....photographers using additional lights and flashes seems to be the norm in that popular wedding venue.

    Last one was in an old mill with tiny windows and I used fill flash for pretty much every shot.

    Maybe I've just been lucky in that the registrars that I've met have all been really nice and are quite happy to facilitate getting the photos that the couple want so long as everybody is happy and having a good time.
  7. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Am staggered by this. When is wedding? Where located? Suggest using pro. Try contact BIPP for names of members.

    ... however ...

    If you are really determined, be aware that for weddings you really need two of everything and you need to be really competent and confident with all your kit PLUS fill-flash or be able to control things (incl. client) so you don't need it.

    There is another Thread that has a lot of advice on this subject, so I will not repeat here.

    You don't need a D3X (or that level of kit) to do a wedding. You may be wise to consider using film if you have good lab nearby.
  8. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    The snootiest place I've ever shot a wedding was actually a registry office in Glasgow - Park Circus. Nicest such place I've seen, but stroppy indeed. Yes, if you get to other venues, rules tend to be more relaxed, but as you say, churches in particular tend to have no flash rules - except on leaving the church at the end of the ceremony. It does vary, and it's important to find out what's allowed well in advance - and let the bride know!
  9. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    Why would using film possibly be wise in this situation? First off, good labs are few and far between now, not to mention expensive. There is always the possibilty of the lab doing a below standard job. The poster is inexperienced and has perhaps never used a film camera. At least with digital imaging it is possible to review the results as you go along and adjustments can be made, allowing reshooting, as well as the later flexibility in post processing to recover any images that are below par, obviously this is not ideal, but at least it helps.

    I know you love film, but in this instance it would not really be the best means of capture.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 23, 2012
  10. AndyTake2

    AndyTake2 Well-Known Member

    There are an awful lot of negative posts here.
    They are there for good reason.

    Most of us have done weddings at one time or another, even if it is just 'friends' weddings; we know the pitfalls and we know what is involved.

    It is quite common for couples to ask friends to do the wedding photos as they 'can't afford' a pro photographer.
    This is sometimes the case, but in a lot of cases they think nothign of spending hundreds or thousands of pounds on a dress, a lavish hall and dining, and several thousand on a honeymoon.

    The fact of the matter is this: The ONLY hard memory of the wedidng they will have that they can really look back on are the photographs.
    You are talking about spending an awful lot of money on a camera you have no experience of, when in reality it is the couple who need to reassess their budget.

    The camera is just the start. No-one buys a 5D II without buying a couple of quality lenses, flashguns, memory cards etc. This is a lot of money, which is fine if you want to do photography anyway, but is a seriously big wedding present!

    Wedding photography is not easy. You get one chance and one chance only. You need to be good at portraits and general group shots, and that's without the additional pressure of the wedding day.

    If you hire the gear, you will need more than a weekend to familiarise yourself with it, unless you have used similar gear before.

    So this is yet another doom and gloom post - friends asking for wedding photos don't really know what they are asking for. There is a lot involved, and if they really can't afford a tog, then you needn't worry about spending lots of cash on hiring or buying gear - a G2 that you are familiar with will give far better results than a 5D, D3X, or a Phase One you are not familiar with.
  11. Bob Maddison

    Bob Maddison Well-Known Member

    I agree with almost all that has been said. However, anyone taking on such responsibility MUST have total confidence in their own ability and that of the equipment they are using. No problem to take a few pictures as a guest, but as the "official" photographer, absolutely not. Certainly the OP should not even consider buying a very expensive camera just for the wedding photos. He would be better donating a tenth of the cost to the couple towards the cost of hiring a professional.

    Having said that, lets keep things in proportion. I have heard of a case where the bride's mother insisted on a BIG expenisve wedding whose cost would have given the couple a nice deposit for a house or have provided them with several years rent. For my own wedding (more than 50 years ago), I took all the photos myself using the DA. I left the camera, on a tripod, at the back of the Church, and got a friend to take the photos of the bride's arrival. In those days, flash wasn't even an option (it was difficult to carry enough bulbs!), exposure was guesswork (I left the camera set up), and focus was also by guesswork. Alas, nowadays everyone expects a professional set of (very expensive) photos that will outshine those taken by the guests!!! I have a fantastic set of photos.
  12. LargeFormat

    LargeFormat Well-Known Member

    The OP has a Lumix TZ18 not a G2.

    I've taken photographs at loads of weddings. I have first class "professional" equipment. I have never taken on being the "official" photographer but just snap like the rest of the guests and usually, nowadays, present the couple and the parents/in-laws with a photobook with my compliments. Having everything hanging on me has always seemed too much of a responsibility and anyway I don't think I'm good enough in spite of the kind comments my photobooks receive.

    Incidentally, I've never had a problem with flash although, out of respect, I wouldn't use it in a church during the ceremony.
  13. AndyTake2

    AndyTake2 Well-Known Member

    My mistake - I looked at the first couple of posts where a G2 is mentioned.

    Although in theory you could do a wedding with a TZ18, it certainly is a problem:D

    What to suggest here? If I had no decent camera and was asked to do the shots, I would say no straight away. If I had a friend who could lend me a camera and the couple were stoney broke and begged on their knees then I might just take a pic or two, but being asked when I had no real camera to speak of? No, no and no again, with knobs on.
  14. beatnik69

    beatnik69 Well-Known Member

    Do your friends have no budget at all fr a photographer or just a very small one?
  15. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    It may be helpful to read the comments on the Thread: Are DSLR and Bridge Cameras Silent? from mid-November on the Camera Chat section under the Equipment heading.

    When I looked just now it was on p.5.
  16. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    There was a significant swing ie. more than one or two, back to film among wedding pros who had tried digital in the last decade. Whether they have stuck, I do not know. A lot of it was to do with speed of editing where a pro was doing everything, except processing, including putting albums together.

    With the rise of the photobook, I would not be surprised if some have tried digital again. There are also quite a lot of photographers (mostly part-timers?) who offer a rights-released DVD for a fixed price, which is another way round the edit and post-production time commitment that can arise with digital.

    As to film not being the best form of capture, can you explain this: why does film still exist and why do people still use it?
  17. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    I have heard stories of wedding pros being sent out in the 1950's with five double dark slides of 5"x4" being expected to use only four and keep the fifth for emergencies. Eight shots to cover a wedding! :p:D
  18. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    I am sure you never read posts properly before hitting the keyboard.

    Firstly you swing round to wedding pros using film, you are referring to people who have plenty of experience and know exactly what they are doing, the op is inexperienced and will be far better served by seeing the results as they are shot, allowing adjustments to settings for reshoots if necessary.

    My reference was to film not being the best form of capture "in this instance". This was therefore not a general reference to film, if you prefer it, fine, but many do not, whether you, myself or anybody else likes it or not, film is very much a minority or niche pursuit. I am fully aware of it's pros and cons, but for a novice shooting a wedding I would consider it would not be a wise choice.
  19. Wheelu

    Wheelu Well-Known Member

    I can't believe the continuing negativity in this thread.

    The OP has a perfectly serviceable camera that probably performs at its best taking photos of small groups of people at close range. This is in essence what the happy couple want you to snap. You need to record the fact the Grandad Smith and auntie Edna were there, that Joe Bloggs was the best man etc. There are no moving targets, people obligingly stand still and smile at the lens for you, what could be easier?

    As I said earlier the problem is one of organisation and project management, it is not technically difficult. I snapped my first wedding using film and a camera without a meter (Rolleicord), they came out fine. Digital, it's so easy a child could do it ;)
  20. spinno

    spinno Well-Known Member

    when I had my heart attack two years ago I was supposed to be doing one of my nieces wedding.
    The kids there took loads of pics which I recently edited and presented to the happy couple (two years late admittedly:eek::D) and they were well pleased with the results.
    Copyright pah!!;):D

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