wedding photographs
Dear friends.

I am due to take the photographs at my sisters wedding this weekend, it is my gift to her. I do have some good equipment for taking good pictures, but I normaly like to shoot sports, what I would like is some tips for taking good wedding photographs as I have no experience with these sort of pictures.yours truly andy..

Comments (22)

For the sake of myself and the rest of the forum, please tell us you won't be THE photographer. Meaning, she's having a pro shoot the wedding and you're doing additional shots?JonGive me something to shoot..

Comment #1

LOL!Well ok iam doing the additions, but I would like them to look good for her.please I need hints/tips?Any advice would be good.yrs andy..

Comment #2

That's good!.

I'm actually in your exact same boat (I just have more time to practice!). I consider myself a beginner that 'takes good shots'. My niece is getting married in April and wanted me to be THE photographer, but I just don't have that kind of experience, equipment, etc., so I said, "No.".

Weddings are notorious for being tricky lighting situations, so the minimal advice I can give you is a fast lens where you'll be able to get away with using available light. (I'll have 17-55 f2.8 IS as well as 70-200 f4 by then).

Also, try to take the shots the pro isn't without getting in their way. Not familiar with your local customs, do they decorate the bride and groom's 'getaway car'?.

There are many threads and many differing viewpoints here on being "the family member with a good camera" so take what you read with a grain of salt and capture some good shots for your sister!Oh, and have fun.JonGive me something to shoot..

Comment #3

Thanks JonThats been of help, I understand what yr saying, I hav some good equipment also,.

I hav a 350D, with a 18-55 & a 70-200 also, so I will do the best I can, tell me Jon hav you taken any photography lessons or classes? & if so would you recomend them?yrs andyoh & I will hav fun..

Comment #4

Andrew mackin wrote:.

Thanks JonThats been of help, I understand what yr saying, I hav some goodequipment also,i hav a 350D, with a 18-55 & a 70-200 also, so I will do the best ican, tell me Jon hav you taken any photography lessons or classes? & ifso would you recomend them?yrs andyoh & I will hav fun.

I did this recently for a friend (the bride), except I was the main photographer..

I would buy the cheap Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens as it's essential to have a fast lens for low light shots. And get a small flash to bounce off the ceiling. The 18-55 should be OK for external shots in good light..

Concentrate more on fun candid shots rather than formal groups, for me these worked out better. All taken with Nikon D200, cheap Nikon 50mm f/1.8 + SB-400 bounce flash:.

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Comment #5

Sorry, no lessons or classes to recommend. Just getting my hands on every digital photography book I can find- some wedding some not. I did pick up "Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Peterson (recommended here on the forum), and have on order a book by Glen Johnson, I think it's "Digital Wedding Photography" (also by recommendation here)..

Are you shooting RAW? I've had my camera for 8 months and still have so little experience with that. It will give you more flexibility in the final image though, so I'd go with at least RAW + jpeg..

Got extra memory cards? Batteries? Tripod? An idea of how the ceremony will progress?.

Practice, practice! Shooting's free (or close to it) when you can delete the bad ones!JonGive me something to shoot..

Comment #6

Thanks alex for yr advice, iam sure this will be of help, I tried to open yr pics but could not, can you tell me how. I right clicked on them, went to show pic but not happen.yrs andy..

Comment #7

Thanks Jon,i will get these books, can you explain raw to me?yr andy..

Comment #8

Sorry, my photo hosting site is playing up, the shots should be visible in the thread, but they come and go (were OK when I previewed)..

RAW is when the camera records/stores the electronic data before converting to a jpg visible image - so before any white balance setting is applied, for example..

I would agree that shooting RAW is advisable for weddings to correct any white balance problems. You can even adjust the RAW file to slightly amend any overexposure (blown) details, e.g. on the bride's dress - try to avoid doing this though..

RAW files do take up more room so fewer shots on your memory card..


Comment #9

If you are doing this this weekend, now is not the time to tackle shooting RAW. If your camera will do it, you might try shooting simultaneous RAW and JPG. That way, you have the jpegs, but can try working with raw in Photoshop and provide "rush" jpegs and later versions from RAW as you master that. That will take even more card per shot, though, so have several large capacity cards with you if you go that route..

When shooting the bride remember that your light meter wants to make everything medium gray, which is not good for white wedding dresses. Therefore spot meter on her face..

WillWill PrattBarrick Museum, UNLV..

Comment #10

Alex Leach wrote:.

Sorry, my photo hosting site is playing up, the shots should bevisible in the thread, but they come and go (were OK when Ipreviewed)..

You need to go into your Smugmug gallery settings and allow external linking. You saw them in the preview since they were in your browser cache. If you were to clear you r browser cache, you would see that they were not visible in the preview...

Comment #11

Thanks for that, but how do I set my light meter?thanks andy..

Comment #12

1. small group.


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2. large group.


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Comment #13

Since I'm not familiar with the controls on your camera, this will have to be rather general. You will have various metering modes available to you: matrix (analyzes the shot via numerous sensors); centerweighted (averages the whole frame but gives about 80% weight to the center); spot (meters a single small area in the center.) There may be others. You'll have to check your manual for how to select spot metering. Typically there is some sort of center indicator in the viewfinder to show where you're metering. You point your metered area at the bride's face, in this case, lock the exposure (check your manual), recompose, and shoot..


Will PrattBarrick Museum, UNLV..

Comment #14

I agree with the previous poster on the 50mm 1.8 suggestion. You should use that without flash and use ISO 400-800 and follow your sister around to catch all the personal moments that the pro cannot get while he/she is taking all the other pictures..


Comment #15

Thanks Will, I will check out the manaulyrs andy..

Comment #16


What seeting did you use for these shots? Did you have thre camera in M mode? If so, what aperature and shutter speed?.

Kind regards,Mil..

Comment #17

Just wanted to point out...if you have the 350D (as I do), you CAN shoot in both RAW and JPG. I don't have my camera in front of me, but I think it says RAW+L.

I also agree and second the 50mm, it's a great little lens. Don't let the pressure get to you, have a great time shooting and let us know how it goes!..

Comment #18

Milbogo wrote:.

Alex,What seeting did you use for these shots? Did you have thre camerain M mode? If so, what aperature and shutter speed?.

Most in aperture priority (from f/1.8 - 2.8) with intelligent ISO engaged to boost it if the shutter speed falls below 1/60th (you set those parameters on the D200)..

But is was the SB-400 bounce flash that excelled in all these shots..


Comment #19

There are may sites that have tips on this stuff. This one looked good..


For me it is getting prepared..

Equipment, extra batteries charged, tripod, backup camera, extra memory cards, flashes, checking gear. taking test shots..

Make a time table of the events and when to be where..

Keep the flashing to a min. You have a good camera so it should not need it all the time..

Think of the shots you want to get and your sister wants. I like to get away from the standard stuff the pros only take..

Wedding itself.Pictures of the outside of the church/hall/etcI like know who came to what so.Pictures of people just before it starts, from the front facing back.Pictures of people after it's done.Pictures of wedding photography.Picture of the car they came in..

At the reception.

Table shots to show who came.Pictures of the DJ/Band/etcPictures of the food, not just the cake..

I am sure I am missing a lot BUT just take some time to read around and make a checklist..

Have fun and good luck...

Comment #20

I recently did a friend's wedding (for my pleasure and as a gift) in additionto the professional photographer. it was redundant to take the sameshots that the professional took, so I aimed for the candid shots, differentangles, guests, food, flowers, details of the sign-in tables, etc. I thinkshe appreciated that as the prof. couldn't possibly capture every intricacyof a wedding, even with two people there. also take lots of pics ofkids, if they attend. you can't go wrong since they're so cute on was easy to take photos as I imagined that I was looking through amicroscope.

Her hand, emphasize one flower on herbouquet, a ribbon or flower on the flower girl's hair, crop of the coupleholding hands, things of that nature. the second perspective I took wasthe more candid the better, especially capturing hugs, dances, smiles, kisses,and laughter. and many professionals don't capture the FOOD. that'sa personal favorite. I pretend to take photos for a food magazine. .

Anyway, have fun as much as I did. it is A LOT of work, but if you enjoy it,and your sister appreciates it, everyone will treasure the photos and memoriesof your love and gesture forever.   hopes this helps..

As for technical advice, if money is an issue and you could only get oneadditional lens, the 50 1.8 II is the way to go at $89 retail and AWESOME.

Bokeh for the money. it's fast and absolutely necessary for low light without flash. if you have a bit more money to spare, go for wide angle to capture as much of the scenery and for groups of people at the smallest f (aperature)that you can afford.   let us know how it goes!!..

Comment #21

Some really good advice here, andrew! Is it the weekend yet in Ireland?? Good luck and have fun with your shots. Let us know how you did, maybe post some pics here soon!JonGive me something to shoot..

Comment #22

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.


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