Beach Wedding -- Need suggestions at

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Old April 3rd, 2005, 12:33 AM   #1
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Beach Wedding -- Need suggestions

I will be shooting a wedding at the beach at sunset in late May, and would appreciate any thoughts, suggestions, etc. on doing this.

While this will be my first beach wedding, I have shot many beach/sunset scenes as a still photographer. So I am aware in general of the exposure opportunities and problems.

As far as I know now, there will be no other lighting -- just the sun. This will be a two-camera shoot, both of us using Canon GL2s, both with the Canon wide-angle adapter, and probably with a polarizer filter.

As of now, here is my shooting plan:

1. Have the B&G face the sun at an angle throughout the ceremony.
2. The guests will also face the sun. Not sure about the angle at this point.
3. Both cameras will be at the front of the ceremony area. Thinking about having a 1 CCD camera (Sony TRV9) at rear, fixed shot for entire ceremony. At the very end, Camera 2 may move to rear to catch B&G departing.
4. Camera 1 -- wide shots and reaction shots
5. Camera 2 -- CUs of B&G
6. After ceremony, have B&G reinact several actions to get CUs
[list=A][*]Putting of ring on finger
[*]Kiss (both from the front with sun, and from the rear as siloletts.[/list=A]
7. B&G will depart via boat to reception.

[list=A][*]Camera 1 with them on the boat
[*]Camera 2 waiting at reception to capture coming off boat
8. Audio
[list=A][*]Camera 1 will have ATM31a cardiod to capture ambient sounds
[*]Camera 2 will have receiver for wireless lav (Senn EW100 G2) on groom to capture B&G and minister
[*]Bride to provide CD with music used at ceremony and/or that she wants used in the video.
9. Reception
[list=A][*]Held outside on deck of Bed & Breakfast on the water
[*]Don't know about existing ligting yet -- checking on this
[*]Plan to have two 250W dimmable softboxes available at reception if needed
[*]Also thinking about hanging/placing china lanterns around deck on tables
[*]Have wireless handheld Senn mic to use in interviewing guests at reception

Some of my questions and concerns:

1. Do I need to be concerned about fill light for either B&G or guests as the sun sets?
2. What's the best vantage point for Camera 1 -- I'm thinking up high on a ladder
3. Thinking Camera 2 will be mostly hand-held -- is this good?
4. I have an on-camera light (Cool-Lux Mini-light, lamps 20-75 watts, softbox, diffusion lens).
How is this best used?
5. Sand -- worried about it getting eveywhere I don't want it.

Please share any ideas you have, and please advise if you have had any experience with beach weddings. Sorry for all the blank lines. Can't seem to get this forum code to work right.

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Old April 3rd, 2005, 03:33 AM   #2
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Beach Wedding Video Samples

Anyone have or know of a decent beach wedding video sample?

I've been searching the 'net, and have yet to find anything even half-way decent.
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Old April 3rd, 2005, 12:34 PM   #3
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Be very weary of the salt/sand that is in the air around the shore. It can desposite itself on your cameras and cause many problems if any debri gets into your camera. Some people actually shoot with rain covers or even more extreme cases underwater cases when shooting on the beach.

Also be careful with your tripods. A single speck of sand in your legs will really grit up it's telescoping action.

Best of luck with everything.
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Old April 3rd, 2005, 01:09 PM   #4
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I actually had an 80-200 f2.8 lens ruined from shooting on a beach and I was VERY careful. That sucked so just be warned, it might cost you much more in the long run. It cost me an extra $2000 to replace the lens afterwards. If you're shooting in that Texas Gulf Coast heat and humidity watch for condensation and such.

As far as the layout of the shoot, I guess it would depend on the direction of the sun and the time of day as well as the surroundings. Ask the client what they want for a background, the sand or the sea? Or maybe some nearby trees and such.

And bring circular polarizers.
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Old April 3rd, 2005, 01:47 PM   #5
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Any video shot outdoors offers great opportunites and risk. Be prepared for windy conditions that could play havoc with your audio and I would be very wary of sand getting into the camera. Someone once suggested applying tape around the tape compartment as a seal.

The boat ride with camera 1 is another risk. You might get some water spots on your lens so bring a lens cleaner with you.
Good luck.
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Old April 3rd, 2005, 07:38 PM   #6
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aot of info there, but the best thing to do in your case is to take a friend out with you and use them as a subject while u set up a dummy shot at the same location at the same time. This will give u a good indication as to what lighting conditions you will face on the day.

Dont ask teh bride and groom to face teh sun so you can get a good shot. For one, theyll be squinting and it will distract them and it would look silly, and secondly, its really not fair to ask the B/G to change their ceremony for you.

Idealy, youd have a couple of Lights running on the sides set with Dichroic daylight filters. Htese can be used as fill. Alternatively, u can get some white styrofoam and position a reflection of light into the centre of the area in which the ceremony will take place.

Another thing with teh cameras, apart from glens suggestion of using a rain slicker (i use a Kata Slicker for my DVX's) also get ur hands on a couple of screw on ND filters. The GL doesnt have NDs and these will be important.
Anotehr option is to open up the iris to a point where the background washes out, but you really dont want to do that as you lose alot of background detail. On top of that, i dont think the GL has teh dynamic range wide enough to be able to pull this off. Another thing about the GL is that its notorious for its horrid lens flare. You lose ALOT of contrast colour and detail if your too overexposed..

what else is there..
oh sound.. use a softie.. use a softie and again use a softie..
the fact that it will most defintely be windy, with a mixture of the waves crashing will be a cocophany of noice which if mixed properly wouldnt be a problem, but to be safe, use a Lav mic on the groom and hire one for the celebrant (if u dont have a second one)

apart from that, good luck with it.!
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Old April 4th, 2005, 09:50 AM   #7
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1. Use a camera cover. Trash bags if you have to. You will also want BIG matte boxes. Make em out of black foamcore if you have too. If you shoot with the sun at your back an in their faces you will not have exposure range to get it all. Expose the faces and let the background do what it will do. Nothing sucks worse than having a nice background and blown out faces. Looks horrible, besides, viewers want to see the people not the background. Beware the quickly shifting exposure as the sun sets.

2. Wind. Make sure ALL mics have GOOD wind covers. Even the lavs need a rycote on em. You may be able to hide that behind the lapel flower if he has one. Also on wind, watch out for loose hair. If the bride does not have her hair up tightly she is going to be fiddling with it constantly. Looks bad.

3. The squinting into the sun thing. Looks bad. You'll have to set up a 20'x20' butterfly. That will take about 4 people and a good size truck. Kidding.

Good luck.

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Old April 29th, 2005, 01:24 AM   #8
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When restaging the rings:

Be VERY careful when handling the rings while standing on the beach - if a ring drops into the sand you will spend a lot of time looking for it.
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Old April 30th, 2005, 08:24 AM   #9
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I would advise against using a camera handheld. I made that mistake a long time ago. On sand your feet are always moving and it's extremely difficult to hold a shot. Bring tripods for all the camera's.

Ben Lynn
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Old April 30th, 2005, 11:19 PM   #10
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When setting up your sticks on the sand, try to keep the bottom leg lock well above the sand. Usually when I've set up on the beach, I'll extend the bottom legs extension 3/4 of the way out and the middle section about 1/2. Because we're in the sand, it's still pretty stable and won't have to worry about sand in the joints.

Make sure to bring a lot of lens cleaner and tissue for the salt spray (I'm not sure how it is where you're at, but here in Maui the wind always picks up at the beach around sunset.)

Your setup for the ceremony sounds very elaborate, I'm assuming you're going to have more crew than just two cameramen? (To help with your ladders, moving equipment to reception site, setting up lights, making sure valuables don't walk away, etc) If it's just two people, you might want to think about simplifying your setups, especially if you're going to be pressed for time.

I've done a lot of beach weddings and Japanese weddings (1000+) with a Sony DSR300 and PD150 when I was with my former employer. I'd send you a sample wedding, but they tossed most of my tapes when they closed down their video department. (DOH!)
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Old September 12th, 2005, 02:42 AM   #11
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Hello, I will also be doing a wedding on a beach on Nov 2005 any other suggestion on lighting if ever electricity will be available. and would it be also nice to put a scotch tape on the edge of transport openings so that sand will not enter on the transport?

Please needed your suggestion on these. thanks in advance
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Old September 12th, 2005, 09:36 AM   #12
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Camera covers are a MUST! Sand sucks to clean out - as it finds every nook and craney to get in.

I would actually reccomend covering the tripod as well - mine needed a thourough cleaning after spending little more than 15 minutes on a lake beach (fresh water - so no salt issues). From time to time, I still hear the grinding of sand when I do a pan or tilt with my Bogen 503 head.

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Old September 12th, 2005, 06:32 PM   #13
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I know a few videographers who does beach wedding but they always rent the cameras they use. Never their own because of the possible hassle. Your equipment gets damaged....your next shoot is in trouble. It's gonna cost you more.

So, I suggest you rent.....

To be.....or not to be
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Old September 13th, 2005, 11:38 AM   #14
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Beach Wedding Highlights

I'd like to reiterate that you should protect the cmeras VERY well.

One of my GL1s screwed up after a beach weddding shoot. Immediately after, the cam wouldn't record footage properly. Pixels all over! Must be sand on the heads.

Anyways, here's the clip...
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Old September 13th, 2005, 06:40 PM   #15
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Thanks Jason for sharing that wonderful clip (as always), are there any way of protecting the camera at the beach, any suggestion? this will be the first time my GL2 will come in action at the beach. I am afraid it will konk out after the shoot. Please give some advise, what kind of protection should i use for the camera? thanks
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