Stuck With a Wedding - Need Some Advice

Discussion in 'Weddings' started by MaximusM3, Sep 8, 2010.

  1. MaximusM3

    MaximusM3 Member

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    Friends second marriage, they love my photography and want ME to record their event (I'm a guest with my wife as well so go figure). Never shot a wedding before. It is not formal, per se, more on the casual side, starting at 4:00pm eastern, so a little outdoors (weather permitting) and mostly indoors. The question is...what would do the trick so I can have some fun and not bring a suitcase full of gear.

    This is what I have, with every lens for Leica and Contax 645 and enough Nikon, and I'm just indecisive on what to use for the job (non-paid obviously). My heart says Leica but I'm thinking the F6 with an SB800 will do nicely indoors..Help!!

    Leica M7, MP
    Nikon F6
    Rolleiflex 2.8f
    Contax 645
    Fuji 645i

    Film wise..I would say Reala 100, Portra 160NC, FujiPro 400H, Tri-X, maybe some delta 3200 or P3200 for indoors, or Neopan 1600..

    Thanks SO VERY MUCH, for any advice. Much appreciated!

    Best,

    Max
     
  2. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    Given that selection I think I would use the two Leicas and perhaps have the F6 standing by in reserve somewhere.

    It's good to have backup/redundancy in case something goes wrong and having two Leicas means you can swap between them instinctively without thinking about different techniques for working two different cameras.

    My father used to use Reala exclusively for weddings as it was supposed to be formulated to give good skin tone whilst keeping wedding dresses looking white. However, the Portra would also be a good choice.

    Having said that, I have only done two weddings - both unpaid, and I used a Mamiya RB67 with a Vivitar 285 flash and home made bounce flash adaptor.


    Steve.
     
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  3. patrickjames

    patrickjames Member

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    If you want to enjoy the wedding you should tell him so, and that he should hire someone instead. Don't stress out about it whatever you do. Just take one camera, one or two lenses and a pocket full of film. Since you have the flash for the Nikon take that.
     
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  4. fotch

    fotch Member

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    Two cameras, Leica M7 or MP, outdoors with slow film, indoors with fast film and available light. Nikon F6, indoors with flash. If you wanted to bring a third, the Rolleiflex on a tripod for formal shots. But, to many camera and you will be spending to much time fiddling with them. The more you use one camera, the controls become instinktive, and you can concentrate on the moment.
    JMHO
     
  5. MaximusM3

    MaximusM3 Member

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    Thanks, Steve. I'm opting for the F6 with a couple of fast, manual focus lenses and a Leica for some indoor, no flash use, and b&w. I know I will be in need for flash inside and if I do not, it's easier to deal with that. Film wise, yes, I'll probably stick with Reala/Portra, and maybe some Pro400H for color shots.

    Patrick..I hear you but he says this would be his wedding gift (smart guy, or maybe not depending on how the pictures turn out). The fact that it is a second marriage and pretty low key, gives me a little less pressure. I would likely not have accepted if they were having a full fledged formal affair.
     
  6. MaximusM3

    MaximusM3 Member

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    Yes, Jim! Was writing the previous reply while yours came through :smile:
    That's pretty much the plan. Would love to bring the Rolleiflex for some MF portrait/posed shots and still might..we'll see. if weather looks good I probably will bring it and, worst case scenario, it just won't get used.
     
  7. Vaughn

    Vaughn Member

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    Whatever cameras you are comfortable with - and perhaps a MF camera for a roll of formal shots on a pod. Pick up a bunch of disposable film cameras (do they still make them? LOL!) and spread them out on the tables at the reception with notes telling the guests to use them. That way you "work" only during the ceremony and a few shots on either side. Then put the camera down at the reception and party!

    At the end, gather up the cameras and take the film to be processed.
     
  8. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    Having done something similar, in all seriousness, if you wish to keep your sanity and the couples friendship please convince the bride and groom to hire a professional photographer! You don't know what you're getting into and it has nothing to do with your talent as a photographer.

    Think Bridezilla and the mother of Bridezilla!
     
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  9. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    I'd stick with one film and one camera. Even low-key weddings get hectic and it's so easy to mix up films/cameras and then you may end up rating a film wrong or even shoot B&W when you think it's colour - a disaster!

    I'd use the F6 with Pro 400H. If you really must lug around more than that, perhaps a Leica with fast B&W (loaded beforehand so as not to get confused). Keep your spare films in your right pocket and transfer to your left pocket when done.
     
  10. MaximusM3

    MaximusM3 Member

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    Disposables...nice idea, Vaughn! And these people are all old enough to remember those days :smile:
     
  11. MaximusM3

    MaximusM3 Member

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    I hear you loud and clear, Gerald..but my ex wife took my sanity 10 years ago so that just leaves the friendship :smile:
     
  12. mike c

    mike c Subscriber

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    Medium format with flash and 35 with non formal shoots with some flash for fill or indoors.2 rolls for each format so people wouldn't pester you when you have finished.
     
  13. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    OK. Not gear related but here's my two cents worth. If they want to have photographs worth keeping they should have a pro do it. You have never done one and there a lot of novelty shots and standard ones that will not occur to you. Folks who do weddings regularly get a rythym and they seem to just flow through the day no prob. It will be awkward for you and you may fumble through a bit so you might have some stress from it. If you have been invited along with your wife be prepared to spend the day apart from each other as, being the photographer, there ain't much time for socializing. You will view nearly the entire occasion through a viewfinder. It Is hard to participate that way.

    That was all kind of negative, but if it is your intent to SHARE the day with your friends and your wife and enjoy yourself fully, leave the camera at home.
     
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  15. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Given the relatively close range used with people shots and the likelihood of some biggish enlargements being requested I am surprised how few seem to vote for the Contax 645 as part of the line up. Pre d*****l most wedding photogs came along with MF for all the semi formal stuff and then those friends or relatives who were keen amateurs took the informals with 35mm later on and in the evening.

    You have the best of both worlds in your camera line up. I'd use both formats.

    pentaxuser
     
  16. wclark5179

    wclark5179 Member

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    Use the 35mm cameras for your candid type photos. When one runs out of film use the other and have your wife take care of putting fiim in the one just used. I'd use the Rolleiflex mounted on a tripod for family groups. No need to have another as this can be a slower time allowing for change of film by you. Have your wife use the 35mm cameras during this time as some nice candids can be taken during this group photo time. Use the Rollie for the ceremony and the 35mm for post ceremony and reception photos. 4 PM is a nice time outdoors if the weather cooperates. Look for controlled light, more horizontal, not overhead, use as your main light and a small flash as fill. Have your wife make photos of the ladies getting ready, objects of significance like the rings, flowers, shoes, purses, bride putting on makeup, groom and groomsmen getting ready, napkins, table stuff like silverware, place settings, name tags, items that will prvide memories for the b&g. Concentrate. You will be telling a story with your photographs. Get involved with each & every situation. Pay little or no attention to technicals as they should be down before the wedding. Go to the rehearsal. Check each venue before the wedding.

    Whew!

    Maybe hire a pro & you offer to help!
     
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  17. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    I have found that being a guest, and a worker (even un-paid) at a wedding is very awkward at best, and puts you in a situation of losing a friendship at worst (if critical pictures don't work out).
    It doesn't matter much that it is supposed to be a low-key affair.

    That said, years ago, I vowed I'd never do it again, but guess what? I'll be doing a friends wedding next month. Do consider tellng your friend (nicely) to hire a pro, if you have any doubts.
    But if you decide to press on, you have a good selection of gear, pick what you are most comfortable working with. Go to the rehersal, especially if you aren't familiar with the space.
    Talk with whomever is officiating and find out how he/she feels about photos during the cermony, etc. Figure out where your best vantage points will be, so you aren't discovering everything fresh the day of the ceremony.
     
  18. MaximusM3

    MaximusM3 Member

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    Thanks guys! I TRULY appreciate everyone's advice and concerns. I personally think I can do it. Can I do it as well as a pro who does it once a week? Likely not but I'll give it my best shot (pun intended). Looking at the weather, it looks like Sunday will be the only day that is going to absolutely suck over the next week, so outdoors may be a non-event. Wish me luck, I guess...and I'll be sure to post a few to get some opinions on how I fared.
     
  19. dehk

    dehk Member

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    My vote: F6 for ceremony or anything that's fast moving. Any of your medium format for portraits.
     
  20. wclark5179

    wclark5179 Member

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    Great.

    Happy to hear you're going to do the gig.

    Relax, stay calm.

    And have fun!

    You will do just fine!
     
  21. SWphoto

    SWphoto Member

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    What a lucky couple to have you shooting! Not just a "grip-n'grin" shooter, that's for sure. Have a wonderful time!
     
  22. Erik Petersson

    Erik Petersson Subscriber

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    I did something similar at my cousin's wedding last summer. I exposed 8 rolls of 35mm, 4 b&w 400 and 4 Kodak NC 400. Kameras: Nikon F3 and FE. Two primes:50 and 24mm. They were happy enough with the result and I got time enough to enjoy the wedding. The wedding was really low key, probably more relaxed than most and I did not have to make any formal photos. If you would like you can see the best exposures at my flickr:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/erik_petersson/sets/72157622133672659/
     
  23. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    What he said.

    I can either enjoy the wedding or take the photographs. If I am invited, I will enjoy the wedding.

    Steve
     
  24. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    Yeah, my brother's was the last, 'Oh, you have a camera so you can be our photographer' wedding. I am in wedding photography retirement. Have been for two years. Of course, it's been that long since I have been invited to a wedding. Maybe I need to start letting my friends know I'll do it again. I miss weddings. Nah, not that much.
     
  25. sly

    sly Subscriber

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    I was asked last Wednesday how much I would charge to do a wedding on Saturday - 4 days later. "It'll be very small and informal" - ie - we're looking for cheap. It was not the couple asking, but a close family member. I said it would depend on what the couple wanted, that I couldn't discuss pricing until I talked to them. I wasn't interested in doing digisnaps that would be printed at Costco. (I implied I was NOT cheap). I never heard about it again, but I'll ask next time I see her how it went.
     
  26. MaximusM3

    MaximusM3 Member

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    Thanks Erik! Had a quick look and they look fine to me. This wedding is VERY low key but I think the bride to be may smack me if she doesn't get some decent shots :smile: