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Old 12-08-2013, 11:17 AM   #401
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The family member saves money but what do you get? A bunch of stress and you get to miss a lot of the fun. I hope your family member knows what they're asking but I'm guessing they do not. I've done weddings and there is a reason photographers get paid. Everyone wants the group shot after the fact but cooperation getting folks together for the shots can be a daunting task.

If I were looking to save money on wedding pics I would never ask a friend or relative to do it ... I've said "no" more than once. What I would do (If you are in a metro area) is check the Craigslist "services" section. In Denver, there are always young photographers looking to build their wedding portfolio. I am always amazed at how cheap (75 - 100 bucks) some folks are willing to photograph a wedding.

Again, if you are in a metro area check to see if a local university / community college offers a course in wedding photography. When I took a wedding photo 101 class students were scrambling to find weddings to shoot and a lot of the students were already very, very good.

You asked
When asked, I did say no, that it would be too stressful on me (I don't want to be responsible for screwing up somebody's wedding pics!). But after a few weeks of looking for an alternative, I was told that they would still rely primarily on my photos. I in turn only promised photo quality commensurate with my remuneration level ($0). The wedding is taking place in Europe and most people there just don't have the kind of expectations that US newlyweds have in terms of wedding picture quality. But I want to do my best.

It's a small wedding and I know almost all the guests so hopefully getting group shots won't be like herding cats.
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Old 12-08-2013, 12:53 PM   #402
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OK ... full speed ahead

It is best to get the formal shots done before the ceremony.

If you can catch any tears from the parents or the bride/groom, you're golden.

This is the bride's day and she should be the focus of your efforts. Get her OK for a time for you to get some shots in her dressing room before the ceremony, being doted on and gussied up.

A pic of the bride's dress before she puts it on is always nice.

A closeup of the rings (taken before the ceremony) is always popular.

A couple exterior shots of the wedding location will be appreciated.
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Old 12-08-2013, 01:34 PM   #403
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OK ... full speed ahead

It is best to get the formal shots done before the ceremony.

If you can catch any tears from the parents or the bride/groom, you're golden.

This is the bride's day and she should be the focus of your efforts. Get her OK for a time for you to get some shots in her dressing room before the ceremony, being doted on and gussied up.

A pic of the bride's dress before she puts it on is always nice.

A closeup of the rings (taken before the ceremony) is always popular.

A couple exterior shots of the wedding location will be appreciated.
Good suggestions. Thanks!

There's actually going to be 2 brides, no groom, and no dress. The wedding location is city hall, which will be decorated for Christmas on the outside. Pretty, but would it not be weird as a wedding picture?
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Old 12-08-2013, 01:58 PM   #404
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There's actually going to be 2 brides, no groom, and no dress. The wedding location is city hall, which will be decorated for Christmas on the outside. Pretty, but would it not be weird as a wedding picture?
If you take plenty of pictures from different viewpoints, perhaps you can manage a few that use the Christmas decorations as the primary focus of the backdrop, so that the background says "Christmas" more than it does "City Hall". However, they are actually getting married at City Hall, so they probably won't mind it featuring in the pictures.

On a sidenote, you were mentioning the heavier focus on the quality of wedding pictures in the US. I think that sometimes the extreme attention paid to the actual wedding day gets a bit out of hand here. Sounds like your couple are more balanced with their priorities.

Best of luck and have an enjoyable day!
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Old 12-08-2013, 02:36 PM   #405
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The wedding location is city hall, which will be decorated for Christmas on the outside.
If you are organizing people for posed/group shots in a public spot (e.g., on the steps of city hall) you may want to check if you need a permit. Security guards also tend to hassle you if you have a tripod which would be necessary if you want yourself to be in the picture.

Good luck, I can't think of anything more stressful to shoot than a wedding.
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Old 12-08-2013, 04:05 PM   #406
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As long as they're aware that you have one camera and one flash you're okay on that point. Everybody knows cameras break at the most inopportune times. That's why you're getting the big bucks for this. Pros carry two or three bodies at least. (One reason they have to charge so much. Multiples of high-end gear ain't cheap.)

Google "wedding shot list" and you'll get a bunch of suggested shots for the wedding.

Get the flash off the camera if at all possible. That's why everyone hates their driver's license photo - its a system designed to be cheap but produces the worst possible lighting for a portrait. If you can't get it off the camera turn it sideways or up to bounce the light off a wall or ceiling. Maybe not possible in a dark-paneled church with high ceilings, but do what you can. Even having someone hold a piece of white foamboard ($5) as a reflector will work wonders. One photographer wrote about asking the groom to take off his jacket and used the back of his white shirt as a reflector for a portrait of the bride.

Anything - anything at all - that will avoid straight-on flash will be much better than direct light from the camera. Use straight-on flash when the only alternative is no photo at all.
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Old 12-08-2013, 04:44 PM   #407
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As long as they're aware that you have one camera and one flash you're okay on that point. Everybody knows cameras break at the most inopportune times. That's why you're getting the big bucks for this. Pros carry two or three bodies at least. (One reason they have to charge so much. Multiples of high-end gear ain't cheap.)

Google "wedding shot list" and you'll get a bunch of suggested shots for the wedding.

Get the flash off the camera if at all possible. That's why everyone hates their driver's license photo - its a system designed to be cheap but produces the worst possible lighting for a portrait. If you can't get it off the camera turn it sideways or up to bounce the light off a wall or ceiling. Maybe not possible in a dark-paneled church with high ceilings, but do what you can. Even having someone hold a piece of white foamboard ($5) as a reflector will work wonders. One photographer wrote about asking the groom to take off his jacket and used the back of his white shirt as a reflector for a portrait of the bride.

Anything - anything at all - that will avoid straight-on flash will be much better than direct light from the camera. Use straight-on flash when the only alternative is no photo at all.
I can angle the flash up and down to create indirect lighting (and I will be using a diffuser) but I don't have the equipment necessary to use the flash off the camera. The reception venue has nice white walls and ceilings so I can bounce the flash off them. The ceremony venue has dark panelling though so I may have to bring a reflector with me. I decided to bring a tripod too. I'll also have a spare camera which I intend to use mostly for videos. Anyways, I am practicing flash photography right now so that I can refine the settings.
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Old 12-08-2013, 04:47 PM   #408
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I can angle the flash up and down to create indirect lighting (and I will be using a diffuser) but I don't have the equipment necessary to use the flash off the camera. The reception venue has nice white walls and ceilings so I can bounce the flash off them. The ceremony venue has dark panelling though so I may have to bring a reflector with me. I decided to bring a tripod too. I'll also have a spare camera which I intend to use mostly for videos. Anyways, I am practicing flash photography right now so that I can refine the settings.
It may help to shoot at a higher ISO in conjunction with bouncing the flash, so that the flash merely augments the natural lighting instead of being the primary light source.
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Old 12-09-2013, 09:34 AM   #409
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Some cold weather shooting from the past week





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Old 12-09-2013, 04:56 PM   #410
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The one with the carriage is magazine cover material with some tweaking. Nice!
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Old 12-09-2013, 05:03 PM   #411
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The one with the carriage is magazine cover material with some tweaking. Nice!
It's not often I see, hear, or read something here that blows me away, but yes - nice job! (on all 3)
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Old 12-09-2013, 07:07 PM   #412
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Thank you both for the kind words. Walt34 I'm going to test my limited photoshop skills and try to clone the tree out ... It's just in the wrong place
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Old 12-10-2013, 04:18 PM   #413
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View out the back porch this morning. Heavy wet snow, the kind that is back-breaking to shovel but it sticks to the trees very well and looks picturesque.
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Old 12-11-2013, 05:41 AM   #414
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We had about 6" of snow on Sunday and as it started to warm up, the snow on the roof of our fireplace shelter started to move. It slowly worked it's way down until finally falling off on Monday afternoon.

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Old 12-13-2013, 09:34 AM   #415
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Against my most vigorous protest, I have been asked to play wedding photographer by a family member looking to save money. Any advice?
I think this post by Walt on another thread sums it up pretty darn well:

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"Either consciously or unconsciously the bride and probably more importantly, her mother, has been dreaming about this day for more than 20 years. She does not want to hear 'my camera broke'. If she does, she will take the knife that was intended for the wedding cake and cut your still-beating heart out of your chest and shake in in your face before you die."

"Make sure you have backup gear".
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Old 12-13-2013, 11:40 AM   #416
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I think this post by Walt on another thread sums it up pretty darn well:
Bridezilla culture has not yet made it to my hometown, thankfully.
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Old 12-13-2013, 11:43 AM   #417
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Bridezilla culture has not yet made it to my hometown, thankfully.
Trouble is, you never know when it will show up - and pity the poor photographer who first discovers its arrival!
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Old 12-13-2013, 11:50 AM   #418
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Trouble is, you never know when it will show up - and pity the poor photographer who first discovers its arrival!
No worries here.

I played with flash photography all week. I bought a collapsible reflector panel on Amazon to bounce the flash in case the walls or ceilings are unsuitable for that. I was able to do some nice portraits in low light while experimenting with the angle of the bounce.
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Old 12-13-2013, 10:36 PM   #419
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Lots of talented photographers here and I'm enjoying seeing everyone's work. Over the Thanksgiving weekend I traveled up to a spot to I know for eagles. Here are a couple.



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Old 12-14-2013, 10:01 AM   #420
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SR71 Blackbird pilot exhibit at the Pima Air and Space Museum
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