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Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old December 20th, 2006, 05:22 AM   #1
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Anyone doing Photography as well?

Apologies if this is off topic. Reason I am posting it here is because I am pretty sure others will be doing the same, and photo/video boundaries are starting to merge.

If there is a better place to post this or a good wedding photo forum, let me know.

My wife has started a college course on Photography, with a view to doing Wedding Photographs which would be an ideal setup for us both.

She is looking at most likely getting the following, and I wondered what your opinions were:-

Nikon D80
There are various package deals on E-Bay for this i.e. with a 18-135 lens or the 18-200vVR one which seems to get rave reviews but is expensive.
Nikon MB-D80 Battery Grip
Nikon SB600 Flash (bought)
Sekonic L-308s light Meter (bought)

It's going to be mainly wedding photography so base any comments on that basis.

Would appreciate any tips advice you may have i.e. you should also get this or that etc etc.
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Old December 20th, 2006, 05:37 AM   #2
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Alastair

I do both still and video work as well as music. I am newer to HD video. I did film work years ago. What did ya want to know about still cameras?
I think these forums are mostly DV info thus the name. But I am sure others here have still camera knowledge here also.

I use Canon MarkII Ds and a Canon 5D almost a 17 megapixel full frame DSLR camera. On occasion a 39 megapixel Hasselblad for product/people/Detail work. I think the Nikon D200 is a great camera or D80. For weddings depending on the expectations of your clientele...you really might have to go with something more substantial like the Hasselblad or Mamimya with a Leaf back.
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Old December 20th, 2006, 07:58 AM   #3
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Yep I do both. I shoot with a 20D and an Xti. Get some good glass though!
My lenses cost more than my cameras.

Having shot video weddings for 7 years I've seen all kinds of photographic equipment out there. I actually did a wedding last week where a pro used a higher end point-and -shoot. I'm sure his work is just fine for his price point.

Shooting video while another photog shoots stills has given me a great library of training resources!

learn all the modes on the camera, get decent flash equipment, a back up camera, learn how to pose, how to shoot manual, learn about ISO, DOF, shutter speed aperture etc. Shoot lots, memory is cheap.

Join the DWF (digitalweddingforum.com) best $100 you'll ever spend.

Photography is also a lot more stressfull than video as you always have to be 'on' and be the center of attention for the B&G.
Andy
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Old December 20th, 2006, 08:01 AM   #4
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I bought a sekonics as well. I found the light meter was good for college courses and studio work, but rarely see them used anymore at weddings.

Andy
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Old December 20th, 2006, 08:08 AM   #5
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Get the 18-200 lens for general-purpose shots plus a second camera body with other lenses as needed. For example, you may want a good fixed-length portrait/macro lens and an f/2.8 telephoto lens for ceremony shots in dark churches. Get two flash units one of which can "slave" from the other and practice using those to optimize lighting for group and portrait shots.

Doing photos and video together is a natural combination which solves several problems for both you and your customers. A few years from now many couples with average budgets may consider it normal to hire one company for both services.

Last edited by Kevin Shaw; December 20th, 2006 at 09:51 AM.
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Old December 20th, 2006, 08:53 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alastair Brown

She is looking at most likely getting the following, and I wondered what your opinions were:-

Nikon D80
There are various package deals on E-Bay for this i.e. with a 18-135 lens or the 18-200vVR one which seems to get rave reviews but is expensive.
Nikon MB-D80 Battery Grip
Nikon SB600 Flash (bought)
Sekonic L-308s light Meter (bought)

Would appreciate any tips advice you may have i.e. you should also get this or that etc etc.

We use that exact still package, with exception to the light meter and battery grip. Moving from video to video and photography is very exciting (busy) We really like the D80. It's our first SLR, so I can't compare it to others. It's a complex beast though. I joke to people that it's more complicated to run than any video camera I have, even my Z1u.

We have the 18-135 lens btw. I think your first package you buy should be well rounded, weddings are horrible in light, so get some difussors etc. The 600 flash is awesome and is like butter when used with the D80. It'll brighten the heck out of a room, so get the diffusors.

God speed.
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Old December 20th, 2006, 10:07 AM   #7
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good start, but...

A single SB600 won't be enough for some shots, like the group shots. Consider adding a couple of SB800s with small softboxes and stands. Having some soft, off-camera sources will mean the difference between snapshot and portrait (if you know where to put them).

Also, a second back-up body. It doesn't have to be a D80. Murphy's Law must have been written by someone in the wedding business. Don't risk getting sued because your only camera decided not to work during the ceremony.

Fast prime lenses, starting with the 50mm 1.4

The experience and wisdom to anticipate that in 2 seconds, the bride is going to be in the perfect location, and at that moment her face and body will be ideally posed for about .3 seconds, and the stained-glass window in the background will fool the meter into under exposing by 1.5 stops. On your mark, get set, go!

The last one is a pet peave of mine. For all the miracle sensors on the newest cameras, the most important variable is still the operator.
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Old December 20th, 2006, 10:30 AM   #8
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If you starting out, one flash is most certainly enough, even for group shots, just learn how to use it. I would skip any 18-200 or all-in-one lenses that are similar as you pay the price in low light ability and depth of field. The 50 1.8 is a $100 must have lens which is great for preps and low light (although the f1.4 is better if you can afford it). From there I would look at either the 28-70 f2.8 as your main lens, with either the 17-35 f2.8 or the cheaper 17-55 f2.8. These lenses will be better in low light, so you will need to use your flash less, and they will give you more depth in the shots. I would also consider a flash diffuser such as a Gary Fong lightsphere. I also think you would be totally fine without the light meter.

As mentioned before, knowing how to use your equipment and having an eye for photography is more important than the equipment you use.
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Old December 20th, 2006, 10:33 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Wason
Yep I do both. I shoot with a 20D and an Xti. Get some good glass though!
My lenses cost more than my cameras.

Having shot video weddings for 7 years I've seen all kinds of photographic equipment out there. I actually did a wedding last week where a pro used a higher end point-and -shoot. I'm sure his work is just fine for his price point.

Andy

Hey Andy,

Your just down the road from us. Do you happen to have a website or anything so I can see some of your work?

Patrick
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Old December 20th, 2006, 01:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Wason

Shooting video while another photog shoots stills has given me a great library of training resources!
Andy's quote pretty much summed up why she is getting into it. Having being doing weddings for a few years now, I have worked with loads of photographers. Some Good, some bad, some expensive, some cheap and ALL the combinations of the above.

Seemed crazy to me to let all these free training opportunities go to waste whilst I video, so my wife is now my hired hand (spy!).

I appreciate all your advice. Many Thanks.

She can borrow a D70 (or if we ask really nicely maybe a D200) as backup on bookings, so we are covered that way.

Biggest bonus is.....no more moaning about never seeing me at weekends!
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Old December 20th, 2006, 07:31 PM   #11
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Some links

Alastair,

My primary work is wedding photography. I am starting to add video a little at a time. Using the high-end Canon cameras, I can't comment on Nikons. But, here are two good links to Forums (like this one) that I like.

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/board/48

The Fred Miranda link is directly to a Wedding Photography Forum and seems a little more professionally focused…

Ken Boyer
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Old December 20th, 2006, 07:51 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Moreau
If you starting out, one flash is most certainly enough, even for group shots, just learn how to use it. I would skip any 18-200 or all-in-one lenses that are similar as you pay the price in low light ability and depth of field. The 50 1.8 is a $100 must have lens which is great for preps and low light (although the f1.4 is better if you can afford it). From there I would look at either the 28-70 f2.8 as your main lens, with either the 17-35 f2.8 or the cheaper 17-55 f2.8. These lenses will be better in low light, so you will need to use your flash less, and they will give you more depth in the shots. I would also consider a flash diffuser such as a Gary Fong lightsphere. I also think you would be totally fine without the light meter.

As mentioned before, knowing how to use your equipment and having an eye for photography is more important than the equipment you use.
To support Patrick's coments, please consider:
.If you are going to go with an all-in-one lens, make absolutely sure it has the same f-stop at both wide and max telephoto settings. F-stop is a mathematical relationship between the measured diameter of the lens optics and its focal length. Inexpensive lenses shift f-stops down to be cost effective. You will suffer if you work professionally. If you change one element, change the other if you wish to maintain both image consistency and quality. Work with the best you can afford, but ultimately get the lens that meets your needs in the very best way.

Insofar as additional lighting is concerned, learn all you can about the magic of using additional light (flash). These new dedicated flash systems pro camera mfgr's make resolve some amazing things, but, in 25 years, I have met a very few photographers who understand how to use the magic or electronic flash. Sadly, I am not one of them.
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Old December 20th, 2006, 10:05 PM   #13
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yup, i use a 5d, 580ex, grip, 24-105L f4 is usm, 50mm f1.8, 100-400 L is usm, and im thnkin bout the 100mm macro, but bokeh can get wildly distorted sumtimes....

i do stills for fashion and modeling n working my way into still for events. im doing a psuedo internship wwith afew different fotogs i work well with.. seems to be working rather well for eeryone
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Old December 21st, 2006, 10:03 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Moreau
If you starting out, one flash is most certainly enough, even for group shots, just learn how to use it.
Not the Scottish wedding I attended (my own). Our group shot had over 100 people in a dark reception hall in Port Glasgow. I forgot what the photog. used, but I'm pretty sure the SB600 wouldn't have covered it.

Maybe one light is good enough some of the time. But this company faces two big challenges: 1) The gear they are proposing (while very good) is consumer oriented and selling like hotcakes to people who attend weddings as guests. 2) It doesn't sound like the photographer has any wedding experience yet. So what does she bring to the table that the average bride couldn't get for FREE from a family member or friend with a nice camera?

Its going to take a pretty good portfolio to get people to see past 'FREE'. If all of her shots contain the same on-camera flash technique that Uncle Ted can get with his Canon 400D or Nikon D50, where's the incentive to fork over lots of cash? It doesn't matter if 60% of Uncle Ted's photos aren't very good, he just has to show one lucky shot and if its within a few points of your worst portfolio shot...did someone say 'FREE'?

Having a couple of SBs on stands with small softboxes gives you so many options and with CLS wireless, its a snap to do near-studio quality lighting in the bridal dressing room, pre-position a light halfway down the aisle, set up evenly lit group shots. Anything you can do to distinguish yourself from the crowd should translate to more bookings.

Even if you do only get one flash for now, I'd suggest making it the SB800. I have an SB600 at home, and its good for normal sized rooms, but you'll probably need the extra output of an SB800 in churches and reception halls. I also think the back panel is much easier to configure.
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Old December 21st, 2006, 03:06 PM   #15
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steve this is where the beauty of video and photog sharing a bed come into play.. numerous times ive whipped out my video lights to set up ambience and mood and coupled with the fil flash, does wonders....
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