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The wedding invites thread reminded me...
I'm going to a pretty informal wedding this weekend and I've said I'll take some photos. They don't want super posed style photos, just a nicely shot record of the day.
I'm taking my dslr but I've not shot 'events' type stuff before. I'm not a professional photographer but experienced as most designers are.
Any tips from those that have done weddings before? Also any tips for getting good results on a dull/rainy day since that's what the forecast is predicting
Dont over use flash.
If there is another photographer (who they hired), dont get in their way. You dont want to be that guy in their wedding photos who is in every single photo with a camera.
Bring one fast prime (low light) and zoom lens (for more candid shots)
lighting! if you're going to be outside at some point, get the sun going down - it will create really beautiful halo effects around bodies and specifically hair - it's God's way of applying an outerglow...
Candid. Hang around in the background with a decent zoom, and catch people acting naturally.
I use my 70-200 f2.8IS MKII for this, with excellent results.
^ do those things, but most importantly, have some fun. You aren't getting paid and you're doing it to be nice. So get some good shots and enjoy yourself. No need to put any unnecessary stress on the situation (i'm not saying you have). If you get some shots, great. if not, just say you dropped your camera in the pond and lost all the photos.
Shoot A LOT.
thanks for the tips, exactly the kind of things I was looking for.
They haven't hired an official photographer, it's a second wedding for both bride and groom, and I'm the closest to decent they know (plus I offered), otherwise they'll be left with random crappy shots from people's compacts.
Was hoping to shoot some nice HD footage too since I have a 550D, edit a little video together. Basically grab whatever I can on the day and edit/refine after
ok.. I've shot a lot of weddings, but here's my notes... and of course,stay out of the way of anyone they hired, even if he/she's not friendly or apparently great... professional courtesy is good....
for inside, reception... use bounce flash! use or rent a TTL flash with a bouncable head, shoot at 800 ISO.
... if there are walls within 15 feet and/or cielings within 15 feet, aim your flash at them, bring extra NIMH batteries. even bounce behind you can work great. Do some testing if you can first. Results can look totallly non-flash if you get used to it.
for the ceremony, sit close and use a 50mm F1.8 lens, be prepared to crop.
If outside, try for shade if it's the middle of the day, use cloudy white balance even if it's sunny if you're in the shade. Try to have the WHOLE frame shot in the shade, without a sunny streak on the side,etc...
video on a DSLR at a wedding can be very, very unpredictable to get good footage unless you use a tripod and can test/setup early. hand-held DSLR video in a chaotic environment can suck, and can also distract you from great still shot possibilities.
Make one of those DIY string 'tripods' just in case. Fits in your pocket and it can always come in handy to steady in the low light.
Don't forget to take the odd shot of the cake, a nice-looking plate of food, a bunch of flowers, the venue etc. It's easy to get stuck on the idea that you have to capture each moment and forget the rest.
hopefully you'll have a "fast" lens. The shallow depth of field of lenses with f/1.4-f/2 can make really nice images with isolated subjects. the 50 1.4 & 50 1.8 are nice—especially for video.
If you have a compact camera with an "intervalometer" feature, like where you can program it to take a shot every 20 seconds, put it on a tripod or railing clamp in the balcony or somewhere like that, you can then make a short video of the hundreds of frames and it can be a great pass-around afterwards...
from what I have learned from my photographer friends, its very important to have at least one more of you. One person is likely to miss a lot.