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Lenses for Wedding pictures


New Member
Hi I just purchased a D70. Please give advise on what the best type of lens would be for wedding pictures. Bride, Bridal parties and after wedding?

> Hi I just purchased a D70. Please give advise on what the best type of > lens would be for wedding pictures. Bride, Bridal parties and after > wedding?

I may be reading too much between the lines, but this is one of the scariest messages I have seen for a long time. Please tell me that I am wrong.

It sounds like you are not very familiar with photography, have purchased a very complex camera with the intention of doing a wedding shoot with it.

Realize that there are only experienced photographers who do this - the Mother-of-the-Bride ritually kills and devours those who are not. A first marriage happens only once in a lifetime, and the MotB is determined that it will not be a lousy, fouled-up occasion like her's. Macho limo-drivers and caterers cower before her fury.

Seriously, anyone who is capable of handling a wedding shoot would have answered that question years before. If the question must be asked, the experience to take on such a crucial shoot is probably not there. Unless you are so competent that you can assure professional results, don't even think of trying it. A blown wedding shoot is NEVER FORGIVEN.

The choice of lenses depends greatly on the way a photographer works, and there are as many approaches to wedding photography as there are wedding photographers. It can range from almost 100% set-up pictures of great formality with the majority shot in a well equipped studio to a free-flowing photojournalist's on-the-ground approach and everything in between. The studio photographer may have a dozen or two designed shots that are the wedding in total. The photojournalist may shoot hundreds as they happen. Each will determine the choice of equipment. High end shooters tend to work with assistants, who handle lights and cover critical shots redundantly. Which ever approach, the shooter will carry redundant equipment. Equipment failure is not an excuse, and the MotB will do the ritual consumption.

Almost every branch of photography requires specialized knowledge and experience, whether you are a product photographer, new photographer, scientific photographer, portraitist or wedding photographer. Many start out with four years of education and training, followed by a few years of working as assistants. Wedding photography is perhaps the most demanding of all, because it not only requires flawless photographic technique, it demands great people-skills under the highest stress conditions in photography. Great wedding photographers make huge incomes, deserve and earn every penny.

Unless you have the professional chops to do this, save your money and spend it on someone who has the years of experience and the talent to do it right.

larry! http://www.larry-bolch.com/ ICQ 76620504
There is no better lens than the Imagon with its smooth and clear dreamy shining.

I have an Imagon 120mm with a T2-adapter. It is entirely manual and comes with 3 adjustable front aperture disks.

See if you get one as they are no more in production.

Good Light ! Jochen from Old Germany
Thanks to the 2 individuals who were helpful. Larry ...I am just beginning in photography. I am a back up for a wedding and this will be my first test shoot. It really kills me that those who have been in photography a long time seem to have forgotten that it all had to start somewhere. And every city is not as opportunity filled that you can work with a photographer or even get the education. I am older, married, and working on something I love. I would think older photgraphers instead of trying to discourage would use their knowledge to help. Im working on my professionl "chops", using my money and time to do it and I do not apologize about seeking knowlege from others. Thanks!
[Some people think they have all the answers and some think they are just too darn good to give any pointers. That says a lot about someone's skills when they can not accept that the digital age is here and many of the photographers seeking answers are former film shooters just looking for a little information to ease them into digital. I find it very refreshing that an older person is taking on such an endeavor. The only way a person will ever improve in many cases is to ask questions, read and shoot a lot of images. I make a good living with my camera and have not at this point been placed in a position that I have to shoot anything I don't want to. Most of my work revolves around Nature/Wildlife or Art Nudes - I do not shoot weddings, just do not have the patients for it - however I am totally confident that placed in that position I could do very well (or at least as well as some that call themselves wedding photographers) I have also seen a lot of photographers that think they are the tops fall flat on their faces when a real challenge is thrown their way, but have plenty of advise for others! I have went behind several so called wedding photographers in this area doing color corrections, printing and editing on images some other photographer shot and charged top price for! You just keep snapping and learning - the ones that give you grief are for the most part wanna be's and if presented with a real challenge would run the other way - try sitting in a pirogue for 9 hours waiting on the correct light for a shot in a sw& full of insects and humidity that is a constant 90% for a few images - then tell me your a real photographer!]

Wedding photographers are well paid. When people are well paid they tend to become arrogant. I ask this question to you how many times have you been forced to look at highly paid costly wedding pictures of your friends and have thought to yourself. They paid that much for this?

I think a person who loves photogrraphy can do as well as many of the well paid pros who love marketing and are good at it.

Fire away and enjoy yourself.
Hi Feli,

I agree with you, everyone does start at a point with less experience. Had you stated in your original post that you were a backup photographer, the reply you received would probably have been much different from Larry. I am surprised though that the photgrapher that you work with had not given you suggestions of his own to your question, or perhaps you wanted other photographers point of view from this forum. The way you phrased your question, to me at least, gave a sense that it was coming from a novice.

The reponse Larry gave is one that every new wedding photgrapher should take heed, as weddings are a very serious matter. He merely was trying to help out by pointing the seriousness of wedding photgraphy (and saving you from the Mother In Law wrath that comes with it).

To be very blunt, with over 40 years of photography under my belt, I still refuse to be the main photographer at friends and families weddings. I play a support part totaly independant from the photgrapher being paid. And to those that do it as their main regime in photography, I take my hat off to you. I would rather make my income in a less stressfull mannor.

Well said Paul. The Mother In Law factor never leaves in my experiences...lol What is not being said here is almost as important as what has been IMHO. To go out and shoot a wedding (back-up or main photographer) requires a certain eye for composition to be successful - the real job is only about 1/4 finished at that point - the other 3/4 concerns editing the images for whatever application you will be utilizing the images for [IE: Large Format Prints, Wedding Albums, Display on web or other screen resolution application]. With a little luck and a keen eye most anyone can get the shots that will really count [standard poses] - but the editing has to be top rate for a project to be finished. A good photographer will spend much more time editing the images as opposed to shooting them in most cases and he/she must use some creativity to present the images in a format that will be pleasing to the client. This could be anything from rendering an image to a sepia tone or a Black & White silver fine art print from a digital file to cropping an image for placement in a Wedding Album collage. This is the area where most photographers let a client down, he/she can shoot the most technically correct images on the planet and if they are not edited properly you still have not done the very things the client places most stock in... PRESENTATION IS EVERYTHING! Keith
> I wanted to try to respond in a way that would upset no one but entice a > bit of mentoring and comraderie.

Felix is right. We all have to learn somewhere, somehow and thank goodness he wants to learn! I would like to believe that if I wanted to tackle a difficult job of any kind that was foreign to me that I could get some good advice from fellow pros instead of condescending lectures. Yet I knew where the response was coming from. There are far too many people hanging shingles out these days calling themselves photographers who don't even have a clue what an f-stop is and more importantly, they don't care!!! It's mind-boggling. And this is really hurting the business of serious wedding photographers doing good work. It's a tough business and the ones I know I hold in the highest regard because they are great technicians and magicians in dealing with MOBs! (grin) I couldn't handle the stress!

But you also can't become a 'real' photographer by sitting in a sw& with mosquitos for long periods of time. That's no more real than someone who takes a split second shot of an historic event that lands on the cover of Newsweek. The 'time' involved in taking a shot is irrelevant. The feeling an image evokes is what we all strive for, dream of, and sometimes achieve. That is the ultimate test of what sets a great photographer apart from the others in my humble opinion. Ansel Adams said he merely wanted to make an image that 'felt' like it 'looked' to him. He said that Alfred Stieglitz told him that making a photograph was like making love. Making a photograph comes from within. Taking a photograph is task-oriented. Learning these techniques make our work, our art real.

It is essential to learn the basics of our craft. And I try to do everything I can to encourage new digital enthusiasts to get the basics from a good program under their belt if they have a serious interest in our field. Our fellow photographers should be our peers, our students, our mentors, our friends, our teachers... not our worst critics. There is a saying 'each one, teach one.' We would do more for our craft, ourselves, and each other if we would remember this and act accordingly.