I would agree with this totally, too many photographers that I teach want to check the back, a true professional wedding or portrait photographer will never check the historgram or the display as your miss a shot of a life time.
Originally Posted by 2F/2F
Learn your camera so you can use it blindfolded and know where everything is and use it till its all second nature and you dont even think about mettering as its all second nature.
I think that describes a pro better than anything, someone that knows and does not check every moment or at all and someone that has the solution to every lighting condition as they have shot it before.
Thanks and IMHO
Meter the areas where you want to photograph before the ceremony even starts with the same lights that will be on during the ceremony. Warning- weddings happen at dusk too! So if you meter at 4 in the afternoon and your wedding isnt until 7, the light inside the church/ceremony area will change.
Carry a note pad and write these figures down and with time you will be able to recall them without getting confused...its just a matter of practice and force of habit.
For portraits/formals out of doors an old rule of thumb is meter off of green grass, is supposedly has the same reflectance as generic gray....but if there is ever any doubt, take an indecent reading.
Receptions take place in dark, photographic black holes! If you dont have a flash with a thyristor in it, learn your guide numbers, zone focus, take a quick quick look at your distance scale, and adjust aperture properly-- stick camera in scene and say cheese...sounds like a long and cumbersome process, but it happens as quickly as you can move your fingers (in moments) if you are are able to manipulate your camera's aperture ring without having to double check every 5 seconds.
If your flash does have a thyristor circuit in it, your job is made that much easier, point, focus, shoot...again Warning: technology is fallible. My Nikon SB26 has this convenient feature but consistently over exposes most common reception images by 1-1.5 stops due to the black-hole like atmosphere of dark reception halls....a trial run would be best before wasting a client's money.
Hand held meters- Sekonic all the way- you can get them dirt cheap used, but still its worth spending $133usd for one new if you intend to use it more than once. Granted you could spent $600 and get a mac-daddy sekonic, but you would have to have a legit need for such an investment.
All the best and good luck with your wedding.
M. David Farrell, Jr.
~Buying a Nikon doesn not make you a photographer. It makes you a Nikon owner!
~Everybody has a photographic memory, but not everybody has film!
Just as a casual observer as a I travel about, it is still common to see wedding preparations and receptions shot entirely on the stalwart Hassalblads with a lightmeter dangling somewhere. Occasionally a common sight is a digital Hassy. That weddings have just about entirely been turned over to digital is a matter of convenience and speed on the photographer's part, rather than any intentional thought of image permanence beyond having the current job put money in the bank. Metering is critical on that all-important day where a lot is resting on your shoulders, quite apart from your style.
People starting out in weddings with manual gear/meter had best build up a portfolio based entirely on manual and subtractive/additive/spot/incident — the works, all metering skills that demonstrate not just to the client, but possibly somebody in their family who may also be a photographer, you do know how to nail the exposure (if using film); remember what not to do when confronted by a shimmering white bridal gown and a groom clad in black!
Without proof by way of an impressive portfolio, you could easily be passed on to the next guy blazing away with auto-everything digital. Experience makes the difference, not the camera.