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  1. #1
    Arjuna's Avatar
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    New to weddings. Which lens to use for ceremony?

    Hi all,

    I'm getting into wedding photography, don't have any booked yet just a bridal portrait coming up). I'm going to be using an old Canon FTb with a 35mm 2.8, a 50mm 1.8 and a 90mm 2.8 prime lenses. Will this be enough for the actual ceremony or will I need a 135 or longer maybe? I have a Minolta SRT-102 for a back up with primes and a 70-210 3.5 and a couple of rangefinders and a Holga.

    Also, how do I handle the ceremony? It seems I need to be in two places at once. Both in the back of the church or venue, and from behind the minister and then back again when they walk down the aisle at the end. I'm considering second shooting for someone to gain some experience first.

    Thoughts?

    Thanks

  2. #2

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    Hi Arjuna, welcome! I'm relatively new to APUG but have been a wedding photographer for 6 years.
    The only time having 2 camera bodies is really important is during the ceremony. And the fastest lenses possible (2.8 or better). One body with a wide-normal focal length and the other body normal-telephoto. Your Canon lenses are plenty and with the Minolta and fast primes you should be set. The 70-310/3.5 would be great for an outdoor ceremony but not indoors. By all means bring your RF and Holga for alternative looks and for back up (backup is really important in weddings b/c things move so fast; there's no time to fiddle around if something's not working right).
    If at all possible, second shoot with someone at a few different weddings before doing it on your own. It's very challenging and there's so much to learn about timing, logistics, portraiture, available light +/- flash, what lenses, camera settings, film emulsions, etc work at all the various segments of the day. Each segment of the day presents different logistical challenges/problem solving opportunities :-)

  3. #3
    MikeSeb's Avatar
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    The second-shooting idea sounds like a good one, before you accept money to photograph what is the most important day of many of your clients' lives.
    Michael Sebastian
    Website | Blog

  4. #4
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    my honest advice if you don't know what lens to use is don't do it, shooting weddings isn't for novices, the first thing to ask yourself is what are you going to do if it all goes wrong ?, as Mike writes "It's the most important day in the couples life".
    Ben

  5. #5
    Eric Rose's Avatar
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    What Ben and Mike said in spades. Unless you are equipped to fight a lawsuit if something goes wrong you better let the pros deal with the wedding and work as back up for those funky artsy shots. Even if these folks are close friends things can get ugly real fast if the bride is not happy with the shots. Just check out some of the tales of woes on Photo Net.
    www.ericrose.com
    yourbaddog.com

    "civility is not a sign of weakness" JFK

    "The Dude abides" - the Dude

  6. #6

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    Anyone who is even toying with the idea of shooting a wedding needs to be seasoned enough at shooting people that they need to know "their" gear inside and out. Things just happen too fast. Nobody wants their wedding album to look like a bunch of Uncle Charley's snapshots.

  7. #7
    dances_w_clouds's Avatar
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    For a wedding I would be choosing a little faster camera. You have a very short time frame with which you can take photographs that will last them a life time. Something with a power winder or use a T90. Sure the FTb is a great camera but it is a FEW years old. Just your luck to get a few shots and the shutter jams. I can happen.. Murphys law works for photographers too. Even with all that equipment I would seriously get some hands on experience for such a photo shoot.
    Last edited by dances_w_clouds; 06-14-2010 at 12:40 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  8. #8

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    look at the church restrictions see if you can be in the aisle or up front... if not you'll need about a 200mm for closeups and 70mm or wider for the wide shots... sometimes 2.8 isn't enough for really dark churchs... also look to see flash restrictions.. I've done many many weddings (side job) and those are our first questions..

  9. #9

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    Get some experience with a professional wedding Photographer,It will open your eyes to a realty that, what lens and cameras to take are not as important as dealing with people ,posing,understanding what the couples want,also taking charge at certain times of the wedding and reception if there is one.During the 80's worked as a wedding photographer and the guy that owned the studio toke my to about 3 or 5 weddings as his assistant be for letting me go on my own,and boy was I grateful for that! After I shot a few they became much easier and relaxed.Mostly used normal lens with a flash for fill or extra light.Hope I did not scare you ,but there is not much time to fumble with camera lens and try and think how to pose and arrange if you have no experience.
    Mike

  10. #10

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    HI Arjuna,

    I am Leigh from Brisbane, Australia and am a specialist wedding photographer, with assignments all over the world. I do admire your courage in taking up your first bridal portrait coming up shortly. Wedding photography is totally different from other kinds of the same discipline and must have a blend of time, light, aperture and more than everything, experience. Though my prayers are with you for success, my heart tell me to ask you to gain a little experience as a wedding photographer, before you embark on your crusade.
    Leigh is an expert wedding photographer from Brisbane in Queensland and loves his place behind the camera.

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