Any wedding photographers out there? some advice please


dinneenp

Link Posted 23/10/2014 - 16:14
Hi,
I've done a handful of weddings-some photos here.

I'm comfortable & confident with it. I'd like to get into wedding photography more seriously (not full time at the moment) and looking for any advice from full-time pros please.

My plan is to buy a good flash and learn how to use it best at weddings, shoot some more, maybe as a 2nd photographer, fine tune anything (e.g. where exactly people should place their hands).
There's wedding photography courses out there but my thoughts are that there's no need for one- (not being cocky, just wondering how much I'd learn, getting the experience would be the main thing I think). I could be totally wrong though.

So if there's any pros out there who shoot weddings what would your advice be; both in general and also re doing a course.

Thanks in advance,
Patrick.
Cheers,
Pa
http://www.photoblog.ie where every post have a musical reference as it's title.

Darkmunk

Link Posted 23/10/2014 - 17:24
Your images in the gallery above (I looked at about 25 then came back here), all appear very soft.
The most important hardware is a very good, fast lens and a body capable of going off at 1600 or more without getting too noisy. The K5 range is very capable.
Have two bodies at least, one wide, for the groups, church inside and catching people in doorways etc. and one long for the main shots - DA*55-135 is ideal. If you have an assistant, give them an even longer lens and get them to catch all the tight shots of people kissing and laughing, you won't have time for that as well.
You are often not allowed to use flash, but you'll need to bounce it around and use it on HSS so make sure it's a powerful and dedicated flash.
On the training front, make sure your technique for getting sharp images is good. Make people stop, take your time and use the sweet spot of the lens and crop later (to maximise the wide open lens's chances of being sharp on the eyes etc).
Get a macro, or very fast prime for the details and again, use it wide open if poss, to maximise the dreamyness of the shot and pick out the subject.
Take loads of cards.
I's possible to have a thousand bad pictures, stop and check what you are doing regularly.
Use the program modes to facilitate rushing outside from the dark and being ready quickly.
I could write a book on my own mistakes alone!
Facebook Page
Plymouth Photographer

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Blythman

Link Posted 23/10/2014 - 18:28
I know some of the best wedding photographers still invest in training.

The hard part is sorting the wheat from the chaff, and getting something pitched at your level
Alan


PPG
Flickr

Fletcher8

Link Posted 23/10/2014 - 18:53
Hi Patrick

I looked through all of your images from your link. I would not class myself as a pro, but i do earn money from my photography, mainly equine work. However, I have shoot a few paid weddings this year and we all have to start somewhere and like anything the more you do the better you get.

From your images that i have viewed, they look a little flat and soft. I don't know what lenses you have or are shooting with, but as stated above a DA*50-135 is a great lens for weddings which i use on a 2nd body K3. The Sigma 18mm-35 Art f/1.8 works really well, its sharp and fast so is great for places when flash is a no go. If you get to know a wedding venue or a location well, the following primes are great DA*55mm f/1.4, Sigma 85mm f/1.4, Pentax 20mm f/2.8 SMC P-FA.

If you intend to use flash flash, try to use it off camera when you can, P-TTL on a K3 works very well, but you will get better results off camera. Learn to bounce flash off reflectors not just walls and cielings. By mixing flash with ambient light, you can get some great results. Try to keep your ratio 70% ambient to 30% Flash this will give you great looking images. I would really recommend a light meter to take accurate and fast readings of light and this longer term will enable you to get more creative with your wedding images.

Technical: when you have learned and nailed the basics look for a course that will really stretch you, there is a lot of info on the web for free that will point you in the right direction.

Personal Style: Still working on this myself, try to develop a workflow and make some actions that will provide you with a certain look. There are numerous actions and plugins for wedding images some for free some for purchase, I personally really like Greater Than Gatsby Actions.

Learning to pose people well is in my opinion is by far the hardest aspect of wedding photography and its this aspect that really has the most effect and impact.

Here are a few of my wedding images







All of the above images are mixing flash and ambient. Sorry some of the images are so small, i just took them from my facebook page.
Fletcher8.
Last Edited by Fletcher8 on 23/10/2014 - 19:00

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cabstar

Link Posted 23/10/2014 - 20:13
As others have said they all look very soft. One of the limitations of working with Pentax until the mkii k-5

From first observations the main problem is all the different processing styles. Ideally you should use just one style when laying out a gallery or very small changes.

Finally the presentation is spoilt by the many different crop ratios and going from portrait to landscape mode and back again which is why many photographers have gone wordpress and used a vertical scrolling layout so the images flowed better and there is no need to keep pressing to swipe.

Your compositions are good and the poses are ok. I do feel the images need a boost in exposure to pop a little.

I shoot weddings without flash until the reception and use a light sphere to diffuse the lighting.

As for courses I found posing for photography really useful, with sme simple posing adjustment you can make a bride look simply stunning and they will love you for it
PPG Wedding photography Flickr
Concert photography

Currently on a Pentax hiatus until an FF Pentax is released

Algernon

Link Posted 23/10/2014 - 21:08
The best advice I can offer is to take this highly advanced online wedding photography test and if you pass in the words of the master...... You .......

"will get a beautiful certificate which pretty much guarantees the highest standards of photo perfection available in civilised society. Rest easy in the knowledge that their biggest ever memories will be safely recorded."

http://www.derekpyephotography.com/item/quiz.html

--
Half Man... Half Pentax ... Half Cucumber

Pentax K-1 + K-5 and some other stuff

Algi
Last Edited by Algernon on 23/10/2014 - 21:09

dinneenp

Link Posted 24/10/2014 - 10:57
Cheers; I don't mind honest feedback, it can help.
I've looked through my wedding gallery again and it's true that a lot are soft. I've posted too many candid photos, which I was knew weren't perfectly sharp but captured the moment nicely so included them (e.g. bride and clock). I've removed many of them from my gallery.

I like candid wedding photos more than group/staged photos but I should include more of the latter; normally they're sharper, you have more time to organise them etc.

I've only shot weddings for friends, family & colleagues & got great feedback. Then again you're not going to get bad feedback, in general, especially when you know the people. So some honest feedback is a good thing.

I'v only started using Lightroom and shooting in RAW recently. That should help somewhat. Also I haven't been using a flash, again that'd help (once I get to grips with it). I've removed the text offering my services as a wedding photographer and will maybe consider it again in the future. I guess a course where I could learn some bits, ask questions, get feedback etc. would help too.
Cheers,
Pa
http://www.photoblog.ie where every post have a musical reference as it's title.

JohnX

Link Posted 24/10/2014 - 11:20
I'd suggest you watch out for dodgy backgrounds in the posed shots; windows, railings and other junk detract from the image.

Candid's are always pot-luck.

100% better than I could do however.
Last Edited by JohnX on 24/10/2014 - 11:21

cabstar

Link Posted 24/10/2014 - 13:07
If you are using lightroom trial the VSCO lightroom presets. These are excellent for wedding photos and add a bit of pop.

I thought you where on the right lines and just needed a few tweaks to improve on what you had done already.
PPG Wedding photography Flickr
Concert photography

Currently on a Pentax hiatus until an FF Pentax is released

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dinneenp

Link Posted 24/10/2014 - 13:19
cabstar wrote:
If you are using lightroom trial the VSCO lightroom presets. These are excellent for wedding photos and add a bit of pop.

I thought you where on the right lines and just needed a few tweaks to improve on what you had done already.

takes camera out of the bin....
Cheers,
Pa
http://www.photoblog.ie where every post have a musical reference as it's title.
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