Free Shipping on ALL Products
camera reviewsbest cameraslens reviewsphotography tipscamera forumvideo toursphotography bookssupport me
It is currently Sun Jan 22, 2017 11:04 pm

All times are UTC

Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 9 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 4:11 pm 
Hi all,

I have been asked to be a photographer for a friends wedding but apart from worrying what the pics are going to turn like having never taken pics at a wedding.
I am unsure what lens will be suited for the job out of my kit.
I'm a amateur tbh, but hope to do an adequate job for them.

My kit consists of
Nikkor 70 - 300VR
Nikkor 50mm 1.8D

Personally i would think id have more quality pics using the 50mm, but i think its already zoomed out to far????? & dont think it will be suitable

So my question /advice required is
1. What lens should i perhaps hire?
2. Advice for F numbers to use
3. Other settings to put the camera in (i usually use Aperture priority)

Please help me out

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 5:20 pm 

Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2009 11:24 am
Posts: 1831
Whoa! I wouldn't promise too much!

You'd be needing a 17-55 and flash as well. And a big pair of kahunas!

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 5:47 pm 
On FF or 35mm film for classic portraits a 90mm lens was considered best. Your camera has a 1.5 crop factor so this means 90mm = 60mm

The 55mm end of the lens Phil is recommending or your 50mm f1.8 will be about spot on for these.

The other end of the zoom will suit the group photos that need to be taken. You'll probably find you have to stand miles back if you use your 50mm for these.

Weddings are a tough gig and I would not change the way you normally use your camera. If you are happy shooting in Av then continue to shoot in Av as you'll make less mistakes. Its what I'd choose to shoot in too.

Take spare charged batteries and clean reformatted cards. Might be worth hiring another camera body too. Wedding days only happen once and the motto has got to be back up back up back up

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 8:13 pm 

Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2009 11:24 am
Posts: 1831
If you are going for it, do lots and lots of research

Write down a checklist of all the shots you'll need - the day will be very fast paced and you'll easily forget something otherwise.

The venue for the ceremony - do they allow flash photography inside? If so, I still would not blat away with a flash during the vows and service, but that could help you out for other shots before and after the ceremony. The D90 is a great camera, but you'll be pushing it at ISO1600 so get good results, so the faster the lenses you have, the better.

A 24-70 won't be wide enough (even though I used one on my D90 for 1 1/2 years, it's just not wide enough for group shots, shots of the service etc. At the long end it's fine, but otherwise not), which is why I recommended the 17-55. Yes, it's a boring focal range for an expensive zoom, but it would cover you as a single lens for just about everything. 3rd party manufacturers have f2.8 zooms in that range as well, of you could look into hiring a lens (in which case hire it for the week to get used to it)

In terms of camera settings, when you're not using flash I'd look into setting your auto ISO to a maximum of whatever you'll comfortable on the D90 (I'd say 1250 to 1600) and a minimum shutter speed of 1/80th if you're using a focal length up to 55mm. Then you don't have to worry about exposure so much, and the camera will help you through.

Research everything though - order for group shots after the service, schedule for the day, recce the locations, see where you'll be able to shoot and find the light. Find some nice spots for some bride and groom shots between the service and reception if possible. What are the bride and groom expecting in terms of style? Will you have access to the bride getting prepared, and the groom and best man/ushers getting ready? Get it all mapped out.

A good site to look at for some inspiration is In the forum area there's a whole section on Wedding Photography.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 8:15 pm 

Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2009 11:24 am
Posts: 1831
and send a private message to palakaboy on here - if you're very nice he'll give you a few pointers as he shoots weddings (and funerals - now that's a really tough gig!)

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 8:16 pm 

Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2009 11:24 am
Posts: 1831
And forget going in there with a 50 1.8

Group shots - X
Shots during the service - very limiting, but the speed's handy

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:57 am 

Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2006 10:41 pm
Posts: 372
This may not be feasible, but it is useful to have two cameras of the same brand, for convenience one fitted with a wider-angle lens and the other more telephoto (single focal length or zoom in either case).

This covers all angles and swapping cameras is quick and easy.

It also gives you a back-up if one camera fails.

Nikon DSLRs, film cameras from Leica to Linhof

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 5:28 am 
Hi Chris,

for dancing couples or fast-moving (but not running or sprinting) you need 1/250sec to freeze motion. For casual standing around and talking groups, you need 1/125sec.

This can be accomplished with flash - your camera will synch to 1/250sec. So, your 70-300 can work just fine. But, that does require SB600 or up in models for enough power.

To hire, I recommend the 70-200 F2.8 VR - a top choice among many wedding photographers.

You can make do with shorter focal length lenses like the 50mm f1.8 - but the challenge here is yourself - you need to get close and that may be difficult when taking pics of the speech maker or dancing couples on the floor.

When I shoot wedding, I enjoy getting close and interacting - many inebriated wedding guests like to play up to the camera so I use my 11/16mm Tokina F2.8 with a domed flash shooting up to spread light around. The close range also gives my flash more power and the wide angle lenses have a wide DOF anyway.

But far from everyone likes to get that close - especially when starting out. You have to be able to work the crowd and that is much harder than it sounds - especially with strangers.

I've never had to reach for the other camera and I've stopped carrying it. Bringing it, yes - if something breaks. But with practice you compose to your lens, then step aside, change lens and compose to that lens for variety of perspective.

It's surprisingly exhausting and tiring, but can also be a great deal of fun - especially when you get to the less formal parts of the wedding or during the many waits that all weddings have - that is if you can strike up conversation with strangers.

Here's a list that I use. I NEVER bring it or cross it off, but I read it over and over and over again until enough sticks that I don't miss anything important. For me, going with a list can kill spontaneity and induce more stress that necessary - but that's just me.

You could make a shorter or a longer list, depending on what you think you can manage. You can also bring it for when the mind goes blank from

Good luck!


Wedding Photography Shots Before the Ceremony
Wedding dress lying over a chair
Zipping up or buttoning the wedding dress
Mother of the bride fastening the bride's necklace
The bride's garter
The bride's veil
A close up of the bride's shoes peeking out from under the dress
Bride looking into a mirror
Bride looking out window
Bride and bridesmaids putting on makeup
Bride pinning corsage/boutonniere on mother/father
Bride hugging parents
Bride touching up
Bride and parents leaving for ceremony
Groom tying tie
Groom looking into mirror
Bride looking out window
Groom pinning corsage/boutonniere on mother/father
Groom hugging parents
Bride and parents leaving for ceremony

Wedding Photography Shots At the Ceremony
Outside of ceremony site
Guests walking into ceremony site
Bride and father entering ceremony site
Parents being seated
Grandparents being seated
Maid of honor walking down the aisle
Bridesmaids walking down the aisle
Flower girl and ring bearer walking down aisle
Groom waiting for bride
Ceremony musicians
Altar or canopy during ceremony
Close up of bride, just before she makes her entrance
Bride and father walking down aisle
Groom seeing bride for first time
The back of bride and father walking down the aisle – with the groom waiting in the distance
Bride's father and Bride hugging at end of aisle
Shot of the audience from the bride and groom's point of view
The unity ceremony
Close up of bride and groom saying the vows
Wide shot of bride and groom saying the vows
Exchanging the rings
Close up of hands
The kiss
Bride & Groom walking up the aisle
Receiving line
Bride & Groom outside on steps
Guests throwing confetti/rose petals/birdseed
Bride & Groom hugging guests, laughing, getting congratulations
Bride & Groom getting in car
Bride & Groom in back seat

Posed Wedding Photography Before the Reception (These can also be taken before the ceremony)
Bride alone (full length)
Bride with Maid of Honor
Bride with bridesmaids
Groom with bridesmaids
Bride with parents
Bride & Groom together
Bride & Groom with parents
Bride & Groom with families
Bride & Groom with entire wedding party
Bride & Groom with flower girl and ring bearer
Groom with parents
Groom with best man
Groom with groomsmen
Bride with groomsmen

During the Reception

Outside of reception site
Bride & Groom arriving
Bride & Groom greeting guests
Table centerpieces
Table setting
Bride & Groom's table (head table)
Musicians or DJ
Guest book
Place card table
Closeup of bride and groom's place card
Wedding cake
Groom's cake
Gift table
A shot of bride & groom with guests at each table
Bride with college alums
Groom with college alums
The buffet or, if having table service, a dinner serving
Bride & Groom's first dance
Bride & Father dancing
Groom & Mother dancing
Guests dancing
Bride & Groom cutting the cake
Bride & Groom feeding each other cake
Bride & Groom drinking champagne
Signing the marriage license
Bride throwing bouquet
Groom retrieving garter
Groom tossing garter
Garter/Bouquet dance
The getaway car
Bride & Groom leaving party
Bride & Groom driving away

Guests the photographer shouldn't miss: Make a list of the principals.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:28 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2008 7:48 am
Posts: 227
Location: Largs, Scotland
There is a lot of good solid advice above, if I may just highlight when I set off for a wedding I have in my bag,

1x D3s
1x D700
1x SB900
1x SU-800
1x Sekonic L-358
1x Nikkor 24-70mm f2.8, 50mm f1.4, 35mm f2 & 20mm f2.8
Spare batteries
Wipe pads

Carrying with me a tripod, Lowel light, stand & reflector and of course not forgetting nerves & experience :wink:

The workhorse lenses are the 24-70 & 35mm

In and around the bridal prep at home or in Hotel rooms the 35mm works great and you can expect to get excellent results. This would follow on when you meet up with the groom.

For the ceremony it has to be the 24-70mm. Thereafter when doing the groups and such like it depends on available space. I have on some ocassions setup the 50mm on the tripod and taken group shots that way. However, I never work with both camera's on my shoulder, if I was to trip and fall I could break both and that would be a disaster.

If I may offer advice, if the wedding is to be a small intimate family affair and you know most people I am sure you will be fine. However, if it is to be a BIG ocassion, lots of planning and preparations have taken place and probably been quite a large expense to arrange, you should re-consider.

I hope the above is of some help to you, good luck

D4 & D700


Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 9 posts ] 

All times are UTC

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  

All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2012 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.
/ How we test / Best Cameras / Advertising / Camera reviews / Supporting Camera Labs

Webdesign by Alphabase IT
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group