No-flash ceremony?

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by missy_kay, May 5, 2009.

  1. What do you do when the church won't allow flash? Do you bring in lowel lights? Would I look foolish bringing a sunpak? Do lowel lights require quantum battery packs? I have a 50mm 1.4 which I'll definitely have to use, but are there any other pieces of advice? Thanks :)
  2. I doubt churches will allow you to set up extra lighting. Even if they did, it would detract from the ceremony and you would be hard pressed to get everything set up unless you had a couple of assistants. Lowel lights don't work on Quantum battery packs, but on video light batteries.
    Better to up ISO, use fast lenses (rent if you don't have them), and a tripod (depending), coupled with knowing where to be when (go to the rehearsal), and when to shoot. Do some searches. Many past discussions.
  3. I am in the same boat. I met with my clients and went over everything. Once we signed the contract they came back stating the following...
    1. no flash or lighting setups in the church
    2. shooting from balcony only
    3. no kissing is allowed in the church
    I am going to do the best I can and I can't do anything more than that.
  4. f the church won't allow a flash, then they likely won't allow any additional lighting that may interfere. Of course, "interfere" can only be defined by the person performing the ceremony.
    Start with the officiant and ask. Offer to bring the lights to the rehearsal to show him/her where they will be and how they will look. The fact that you ask and offer to show them first may help.
    However, be prepared to get an across-the-board "no". Then, shoot at a higher ISO (make sure you know how high your camera can shoot without introducing a lot of noice) and use fast glass.
  5. Carey--the 'no kissing' is unusual, but the rest isn't. If by 'your best' you mean getting long, fast lenses and a tripod, that is good. If you mean not making any extra effort beyond what you already have and do, that's bad.
    There is always re-creating. It doesn't look as bad as everyone thinks it will. The emotion is still there.
  6. For starters, you need to get exact details from the church or the clergy. Usually "no flash" refers to during the actual ceremony and NOT to the processional or recessional. You should find out where you can stand and where you can't and also if you can move around.
    I was a guest at a wedding one time and the photographer decided to be smarter than the clergy and didn't ask about restrictions. When the ceremony started, the clergy announced that the photographer remove himself and his equipment so that the ceremony could begin. I'm sure the photographer wanted to crawl out of his skin.
    I would assume that if they don't want flash, they don't what you bringing in any added light. Use a higher ISO setting on your camera, your fastest lens and do the best you can under the circumstances. You should have something in your contract about "uncontrolable circumstances" like this and you should inform your bride and groom BEFORE the wedding. If you wait until afterwards, it'll sound like an excuse.
    These are the kinds of things you learn (or don't learn) through experience. When I started, there were no forums like this. Kudos to you for researching....-Aimee
  7. Kay, depending on what restrictions there are to your movements during the ceremony itself, the 50mm may not be enough. I would recommend that you rent a fast lens (70-200 f/2.8) as well. However, rent it a week before the ceremony and play with it. A lot. Learn its characteristics and quirks.
    Big mistake a lot of people make is to rent new gear the day of an event.
  8. I am using 2 tripods, 2 cameras with remotes, one 55-200 lens and another 70-300 lens. Setting to a very high ISO. No re-enactments are allowed. They will also be seated due to the fact that the bride is in a wheel chair. I have met with the clergy and have gone over all the details time and again. This church has extremely strict rules. We will be allowed to take portraits outside the church in a designated location.
  9. Go wide aperture telephoto prime. 85mm/1.2, high ISO. You probably won't be allowed to get close, so maybe even 135/2 or 200/2.8 to maximize sharpness and minimize chromatic aberration, because you will inevitably get noise. Zooms are convenient but this is a situation where careful planning is going to pay off far more than the flexibility of a zoom. Try to get permission to preview the venue, walk around with a zoom, spot places you will be allowed to shoot from, and estimate the focal length(s) and exposure you will need. Then make your prime lens selections based on your preview.
    The more restrictions you have in how you are allowed to shoot, the more you have to compensate in other respects. Can't control lighting? Determine how you are constrained in ISO, speed, and aperture. Can't control noise? Control for sharpness, contrast, and color.
  10. If flash is not allowed, I use rangefinders with fast lenses. And, there's always re-creating the ceremony afterwards.

  11. Carey, I'd suggest you rent a 300mm f2.8, or 200mm f2.8. Don't know if you have a cropped sensor camera, but your lenses are slow for this kind of work. If you do have a cropped sensor camera, consider the faster primes--135mm f2 (Canon), 85mm f1.8 or 1.2. If you have a full frame camera, remember you can crop more readily.
    I have only run across one church that didn't allow re-creations in all my weddings. That is unreasonable, IMHO, if one has many restrictions during the ceremony. You might try bargaining, although you said you'd gone over things several times. Re-creations need not take much time at all, but you have to be organized and know exactly what shots you want.
  12. no photography lighting during ceremony is normal
  13. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    "What do you do when the church won't allow flash?"

    . Meet with the Rule Maker / The Boss, (not an intermediary) and negotiate - especially confirm the ability to roam, even if limited (i.e. do NOT begin to negotiate for Flash if NO FLASH is indeed the rule), and then define the rules - all of them.

    This first part is crucial, IMO. In my experience it is most often overlooked or simply dismissed as time wasting and a dinosaur idea.
    . Once the real rules are established, reconnoitre to determine the best possible vantage point(s) for lighting and view of faces and the likely EV
    . Use Prime lenses
    . Use a monopod and tripod, if necessary
    . Use a remote camera for the Rear of Church or Balcony view or use a second as necessary, if one’s movement is limited.
    . Do a re-enactment of the key elements of the Ceremony (ensure the Celebrant does not vanish quickly)
    . Ensure the Clients know the rules and the impacts of them
  14. BTW, a great trick to keep clergy from disappearing is to offer to shoot a portrait of them at the altar while they are still wearing their vestments. Do the re-created shots first, then give the B/G 2 minutes of breathing time while you shoot the priest/minister/rabbi/imam/etc.
    One of the reasons for new and stricter rules is that, quite frankly, wedding photographers have given ourselves a very bad reputation. So, I go to the rehearsal (it's a non-negotiable part of my package, but I don't charge for it) to meet the officiant. I ask them what their rules are, let them know I'd be happy to do a formal portrait of them, and take notes when they tell you the rules.
    The simple act of writing it down gives the impression that you take them seriously; this is a huge thing for breaking down barriers.
  15. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    no photography lighting during ceremony is normal . . . No, it is not "normal" if that comment means universally commonplace. But it is very common in some areas and also more prevalent amongst some specific denominations . . . but it is not universally "normal."
    For example it is quite "not normal" for me; nor for my general area; nor for the vast majority of Denominations / Churches in my area: but I should always be suitably equipped, to manage it, as should we all.

  16. My experience has run the gamut from no photography, I could shoot from right behind the last row of people*, I could shoot freely except during communion, right up to having full run of the place and use flash.
    William is right, it varies greatly from area to area, denomination to denomination, culture to culture...
    Your contract should state that you are limited to the rules imposed on you by the officiant. However, once that's established, you need to figure out how to get those amazing images that the B/G are expecting while working within those limits.
    Oh, and to make a further note to what William said: Between the rehearsal and the ceremony two days later, the officiant changed and I had new rules imposed on me the day of the wedding. Just have to shrug it off and work with it. :)
  17. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    "One of the reasons for new and stricter rules is that, quite frankly, wedding photographers have given ourselves a very bad reputation. So, I go to the rehearsal (it's a non-negotiable part of my package, but I don't charge for it) to meet the officiant. I ask them what their rules are, let them know I'd be happy to do a formal portrait of them, and take notes when they tell you the rules. The simple act of writing it down gives the impression that you take them seriously; this is a huge thing for breaking down barriers."
    We are of one mind.
    A Portrait and Written Confirmation - I trust the OP and others understand the leverage and trust those two gems create.
    Not only leverage for that one engagement, but I’d bet London to a Brick, your Face and your Name is remembered, too.
  18. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    "the officiant changed and I had new rules imposed on me the day of the wedding. Just have to shrug it off and work with it. :)"
    well experience and thinking quick on your feet kicked in, I am sure . . .
    and that's why we are paid the big bucks :)
  19. During the first interview with a bridal couple I find it helpful to the couple to let them know I'm bound by the rules of the ceremony venue/location and ask if they know thier venue and what photography rules will be applied to thier wedding day photography.
    Usually I get a blank face.
    When that happens I let them know what to expect if I have a free hand to roam and I let them know what to expect when I'm told to shoot from across the street and without flash. I then suggest that they, the couple, are not powerless and suggest they find out what their venue has for ceremony photography rules. The above all assumes that the couple places value on photography at the ceremony.
    If the couple is Informed then I'm perfectly ok with whatever the rules are but I don't ever want to show up at a wedding and have to tell the surprised bride and groom that I'm only allowed to shoot from a restricted area in the back. Let the couple make a call and find out: an informed bridal couple is a great thing! I also suggest that the most powerful persons to lobby for lesser restrictions is the bridal couple and not the photographer on rehearsal night or just before the ceremony. I try to empower the couple to lobby for the photography they envisioned. This seems to work very well for all parties involved in the process. Once I know the rules I will certainly discuss them with the officiant to be double sure I understand them correctly.
    The wedding ceremony photography issue is always approached early in the relationship between the bridal couple and myself and the bridal couple is given the strong suggestion to follow up with thier chosen venue to find out the limitations and to request changes if they find the limitations to be to restrictive; from that point I will always follow the given guidelines as much as possible.
    The bridal couple should not be surprised by limitations on the ceremony day: settle this issue early, imo.
  20. I witnessed one wedding:
    Hired PRO photographer was told "NO Flash" and abeys.
    ... but 200 guests arrived, and about 50 of them pull out pocket cameras and shoot flash all over places.
    No complaints or reaction from the church officials, just could not stop the massive explossion of snapshooters. "nec Hercules contra plures"
    What should the PRO hired photographer do ? use his flash and join the mob?
  21. Frank--I wouldn't. I do as I am instructed.
    William--I agree with you about settling the issue as early as possible. I don't agree with you about the photographer not approaching the clergy, whether it be on the rehearsal night or not. While the bridal couple as best advocate may work, if it doesn't, there is still hope, I think. There is something to be said about the fact that the officiant can actually talk to and see the photographer in person, and realize that the person who stands in front of him or her appears to be sane, mature (has nothing to do with age), earnest and obedient. He or she can look the photographer in the eye and be reasonably sure that what the photographer promises, he or she will do. When speaking to the couple, the officiant, never having met the photographer, cannot be certain of the same.
  22. Sorry--two Williams here. I was addressing William M.
  23. That's why I have my 135mm f/2, 200mm f/2.8, and 300mm f/4 lenses. Use a tripod from the balcony.
    Can you get in a few days before and take some practice shots with actual lighting?
    Good luck!
  24. This is a typical issue and IMO, one which should be mastered prior to publishing a professional website with a price list for wedding photography.
    Tons of prior threads on this topic as well.
  25. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    nec Hercules contra plures . . .
    No he is not insipid. And the Congregation is not Hercules’ enemy.
    It displays true strength and moral fibre to do what is correct, in the face of the mob which does not.
    Hercules will indeed win.
    ciascuno siamo giudicati tramite le nostre proprie azioni
    "There is something to be said about the fact that the officiant can actually talk to and see the photographer in person . . . "
    Yes. Agreed, and expanding the point I made about leveraging one's position: by meeting with the Officiant it is efficient real time marketing, showing the value adds of one's business to the Clients.
  26. Hi William W has the answer here. Meet the celebrant and become their friend. Find out exactly what they want and explain in a nice way the difficulties of not using flash could create for you. If its a really dark church it could be difficult however in talking to the celebrant you could ask for all the lights in the church to be turned on. I would also explain to the B&G that you will be doing your best despite not being allowed to use flash. With modern digital offerings of high ISO, VR etc and judicious use of PS, you should be able to nail this. Maybe its an opportunity for you to grow and learn to produce a different perspective of the ceremony than the standard view. If you are going to be a wedding photographer then this situation will not be uncommon.
    There is a minister in my city who strictly forbids flash at weddings. The first time I encountered this, I was using film and was absolutely aghast at how I was going to get through the ceremony. It worked out fine. Many weddings later, I relish the thought of a wedding with him as it gets my juices flowing and presents a challenge which I am well and truly up for ! It also gives your images a very different and natural look compared to flash.
  27. I don't know but I find it weird that some photographers react so much when they are confronted with such "crazy" rules. Rules are rules, they may seem absurd to us but they are there for a reason. Instead of crying foul, why not do our homework and be creative.
    We can use fast primes, we can use tripods, we can use remote triggers, we can piggy back on guests P&S flash fires and so on. If we don't have the gear we can always rent.
    The point is, we were paid to cover the wedding, it is our responsibility to make sure that we fulfill that obligation and at the same time adhere to the location's rules. Unless of course the rule states NO PHOTOGRAPHY then that's a different story.
    And lastly, just because everyone is shooting with their flash on doesn't mean you should to. If you were instructed not to use flash then be professional enough to abide by the rules.
  28. Marius--there are churches that say no photography at all during the ceremony. I've been to a couple. I sit at the back of the church during the ceremony, shooting nothing, and observe so that I can re-create the highlights. Now if a church says no photography at all and no re-creations, that is REALLY another story.
  29. Almost all the Churches here in the UK won't allow flash, bump up the iso and you will be fine.
    Heres one i did hand held no flash.
  30. No kissing in Church, at a wedding - wow!
  31. You might also consider a mono-pod for one of your cameras. This will give you quite a bit more mobility.
  32. Done weddings where there were NO photo's could be taken. Had to put everyone (wedding party) back in their orginal positions. If there is some crazy rule at that church where you can not do that either, ( I will get a complaint on this one) remember this & ask future brides where they are getting married. If they say at this particular location, turn it down. I have a local church that the wedding director/church secretary is a $%&%#, she & I almost got into a fight over some of HER silly rules & I will not do weddings there. sorry,,,
  33. It's not just weddings, I've been asked to do the same for corporate events, etc. and I'm the in-house guy. I just let them know not to expect much for those whom wander outside of the stage lights, or are very quick paced, and to expect some very high ISO shots. I would emagine reaching the same understanding with the B and G for weddings.
    If you do accept the job, you should attend the rehearsal, make sure the lights are set to what is expected for the ceremony, and take a few test shots, then show them what you mean. It really drives a point home.
  34. An excellent article has been written about this by WPJA:
    Carey - You should properly set the expectations of the bride and groom.
    From a technical point of view, rent a 70-200 f/2.8 VR and call it a day.
  35. Setting the expectations of the couple is a good idea, of course, but we photographers have to remember that the wedding is not all about us or the photography. In my experience, it is rare that the couple are so bent out of shape by their own church's rules that they are totally devastated by them.
    Sure, it is nice to get that melting glance between the bride and groom as they stand and recite their vows, but as I have said many times that emotion is still there to be mined right after the ceremony in re-creations. If you can't get it 'for real', for whatever reason, you can still get it right after. I am puzzled by photographers who refuse to do re-creations on the grounds that it isn't the same. In my experience, it is really, really close, and given a choice between having the image and not having the image, I'd go with the former.
  36. Kay, on top of my list for that situation is to be sure to have a camera that performs well at high iso settings like the Canon EOS system or Nikon D700 or D3.
  37. I thought it was strange that there was no kissing in the church, as well. I talked to them myself to verify and the secretary said that when they were doing confirmations the parents were not even allowed to kiss their children. The pastor does not allow recreations due to a religious rule that a man and woman are to marry once and he thinks it would be odd to do the ceremony twice. I tried to explain that it would only be parts of it and they don't even have to say any words if necessary. The answer was still no. Also no external lighting other than the church lighting at the front and light that falls from the windows. The B&G are pretty okay with it all but the Bride's mother is not handling it too well. It is her only daughter and she is in her late 30's. This is her first marriage so her mother wants it documented to the fullest extent.
  38. I feel for you, Carey. More reason why you might consider renting a 300mm f2.8. If shooting from a balcony, and access and movement restricted otherwise, I find that 200mm is not enough, sometimes. Plus your lenses are slow, I think. This is for full frame--don't know what you have.
  39. I've shot hundreds of weddings over a 30 year career in photography and yes, they do come up with some really ridiculous demands and restrictions. I retired in 2000, but a few years before that I was contracted to photograph a wedding at a church here in Vegas and the officiant told me I could not use any lights whatsoever.

    I met with him alone and asked, "Do you think God loves this couple and the marriage they are about to commit to?" He answered, "Of course! God is love and the marriage ceremony is the embodiment of that love." I asked, "I am not as religious as I should be and I am not familiar with all of the teachings of God, but from what you and other ministers have told me from the teachings, the very word of God, it's just so hard for me to believe for even a second, that God, the loving God, compassionate God that everyone tells me about, would not want the finest wedding possible for this couple.
    It's just hard for me to comprehend that a loving God would not want this couple, joined in one of the most loving ceremonies, if not the most loving ceremony, to have the finest memories of this event to carry forward into their lives so that when doubt and struggle and all of those things that fight so hard to destroy loving marriages and separate loving couples who became one in the eyes of God, they can sit down, look back upon this most special, this most sacred of days in their lives and remember why it was they got married in the first place. Quality photography makes that possible and quality photography requires light. The higher the quality of the light, the higher quality of the photos.
    Would God really not want that for this loving couple? Would God really demand they have lesser quality memories of this, what may be the most important event in their lives.... not want them to have the finest photos possible to remember this day? It's hard for me to believe God would deny them this small gift, but you're the expert..."
    I then told the Priest, "I can't profess to be as religious as I should be, but I understand the MAGIC and the POWER of REVERENCE! (The entire church and most churches are designed so they give an accoustic ECHO to help create REVERNCE. Most churches are designed to be lit, so that the Pries or officiant is spotlighted in a GOLDEN GLOW to create REVERENCE...) I understand all of that and I don't want to take away from that and don't want to interfere with the REVERENCE of the ceremony, which is why I go out of my way, take extra care in mounting the lights where they are hidden from view, behind columns, blocked from the congregation by bouquets of flowers, pedestals etc."
    The Priest with nobody around to impress or express his REVERENCE, became very down to earth and told me I could bring the lights by, show him what I would do with them, where I would put them and demonstrate how often and how intense the disturbance would be.

    I did and he, AFTER TELLING ME HOW GRATEFUL I SHOULD BE, allowed me to use the lights. Three White Lightning 1800s hidden behind columns throughout the chapel, snooted so the light was concentrated on the key locations, the alter, the candle etc... and the lights did not spill out into the congregation, nor did they fire directly into anyone's eyes other than the Priest, who was looking down in most of the shots or looking into the eyes of the B&G.

    Sometimes you have to explain technology to the untrained and place the burden of GUILT of bad photos on their shoulders. MOST could not care less, they suffer from THE GOD COMPLEX! They imagine they are not a servant of God, but instead God's right hand man.

    In hundreds of weddings I have shot, I have seen some odd things. I saw two Priests almost go to fisticuffs fighting over the fact that one of them did not secure a cash GIFT from the Bride and Groom in advance of booking the wedding. I mean they were pushing, shoving, SOB this, F that... I was in the dressing room packing up my cameras when I heard the arguing and looked out the half-opened door to see what was going on.
    They were a heartbeat from knocking each other out... SO MUCH FOR REVERENCE!!!
  40. I think you will find it's the exception rather than the rule of no flashes in churches during the ceremony. Other religions, other venues can be different.
    Also positions and ability to move can be very different in each church. You need to know where you can go. Keep in mind officiants have put up with some real id***ts trying to photograph weddings.
    I tell couples, are goal regardless of the church rules is not to interfere with the view of guests attending the ceremony and not to do anything that would draw their attention to us rather than the couple and ceremony. Isn't that a little bit of common sense?
    You need to learn how to shoot in low-light to almost no light situations and capture romantic images. This may mean high-ISO which the newer professional cameras can do well, tripods, fast glass, long lenses and simply knowing your craft.
    I think you will also find their is seldom time to "recreate" after a ceremony and for PJ shooters that's just yech!
    Formals are a totally different situation and can range from natural light to several studio strobes. It all depends.
  41. No flash at all or no flash during the ceremony? As long as you have a tripod you can do everything but the processional without much of a problem. Never had to do the processional without a flash.
  42. A related question:
    In the UK, it is not allowed to photograph the signing of the register (at least, at registry office ceromonies) as the register page will contain personal details of previous couples. A re-creation is done after the ceromony, turning the register book to a new page.
    Is this practice the same in the US?
  43. I'm no professional, just shot three weddings for my colleagues and friends. In USA rules may be different, but in Scandinavia it seems 'no flash' is quite commonplace because it's first the wedding and then photography. Those weddings I shot were at film days so I've used ISO 800 b/w film and 85mm f/1.8 lens. There was sufficient light and in fact that light was quite awesome - soft, but far from flat so the resulting images had nice "volume" in them.
    If you could try to get to the church ahead of ceremony to assert the cituation and make couple tests, you may be will find that 'no flash' isn't such a big deal. Of course, the couple may have different expectations, but talk to them and explain what is and what is not possible in given condition. Explain that the limitations are due to the specific environment and they did right choice by contracting you as their photographer because you know how to get best out of it. Bringing sample photos to demonstrate your point would be also good idea. And if the couple wants to have those 'magazine like' wedding photos perhaps you could arrange (as extra service) another session and 'stage' the desired look.
  44. 1. Have tripod.
    2. Use fast lens( f1.4)
    3. You can increase ISO
    4. Use VR lens
    5. Take few shots with focusing on black outfit of groom, next take few shots focusing on white dress of bride.
  45. To add to Grigoriy's list:
    6. Practice panning
    7. Ask if you can get in to see the church a few days before at the same time the ceremony will be happening. I can't recall if someone else mentioned this also. If not, at least drive by at the same time to see where the light is, where the windows are, etc.
  46. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Carey: to "do the best I can and I can't do anything more than that",

    IMO means securing the best available equipment to document the ceremony under the conditions you will have.

    I concur with Nadine.

    Specifically: limited, to the Balcony shots and Available Light only, you need to secure the best vantage point and, if need be, rent a suitable body (High ISO Capacity) and Fast Lens(es) to suit the Distance and Filed of View you need to cover and at shutter speeds suitable to freeze Subject Motion.

  47. I think it is quite difficult to offer advice, especially about rental equipment, without knowing what gear Kay actually has other than a 50/1.4. If Kay has a Canon 5D-II or D3, that's one thing, if it's an older Digital Rebel that's another. Does Kay only have a 50/1.4? What other lenses?
    The question wasn't about whether it is right or wrong concerning use of flash, or whether certain geographical areas differ, ... it was "when the church forbids flash what do you do?"
    Kay ... as to "looking foolish bringing a Sunpak" ... that's a flash right? ... and if flash is forbidden ... well ...
    My philosophy is be prepared for the worst, and hope for the best. If you are equipped for shooting a black cat in a coal mine at midnight, then you can do anything, at any time, anywhere. Short of that, a tripod is the least expensive tool available ... and just requires a sharp eye for timing when the movement is minimal ... which isn't that difficult since they're not exactly playing Soccer up there.
  48. Just curious - Has anyone here ever set up a remote camera triggered by a PocketWizard when there is restricted access?
  49. 3. no kissing is allowed in the church​
    I'll try to contain myself, but sometimes it's difficult ;-)
    This is common where I'm at (the no flash thing), so I'm used to it. I have a whole clause in the contract regarding 'house rules' which not only lays out my respect for the rules forced upon me, but, the likely effect those rules can have (such as high-ISO aka 'noisier' shots, limited composition, limited shot selection, etc. etc.). I don't like to do recreations (personally) simply because of the additional time/ work constraints it puts on the B&G, but of course I do due diligence in suggesting it in certain circumstances.
    Your lens choice should be based on a first hand evaluation of where you'll be (specifically), when you'll be there, and what focal length you're likely to need (and ape.). If you do a once over, you'll be mentally vastly more prepared to shoot properly, and with maximum effect. You can usually stash specific gear at specific locations which might make it easier to plan out your movement/ work. The bottom line though is that this is a normal thing in this industry, and I have to agree that proper gear is a big part of why we get paid what we get paid.
    My worst instance was 5 min prior to the bride walking down the aisle, when I was moving from one position to another the officiant yells to me "hey! you! photographer! Don't move, stay right there until we're done!" (keep in mind this was a beach wedding, and completely of a non-traditional sort) Then he proceeded to lecture the guests for the next few minutes about how he'd better NOT hear any cell phones, to turn them off, cause this is a reverant ceremony, and the 'devil devices' (his words not mine) were disrespectful to God (oh and flash photography is disrespectful to god too... what? you didn't see that in the bible? *L* j/k).... It was weird...
    Of course that was the easiest ceremony I've ever shot...
  50. Sorry I didn't post my equipment earlier. I have a 5D, a 40d, a 24-70mm 2.8, 50mm 1.4, 100mm 2.8, renting a 70-200 IS 2.8, and have a 10-22mm Ef-S.
  51. Have you been to the church to see what the ambient light is like? Do you know whether you have restrictions on where you stand? With your stated gear, I think most probably, you will have to use a tripod, even with IS on the 70-200mm. Also, if the church is very large and you have restrictions on where you stand, 200mm may not be enough. It depends. You have nothing wider than f2.8 other than the 50mm. f2.8 is often not enough for handholding at a lot of churches. I'd bring the tripod anyway (you don't have it listed) and be sure to rent the lens some time before the wedding. Using such a zoom and using IS takes some practice. Also remember that IS does not stop subject motion, although many images can be taken when people aren't moving much. I'd also brush up on tripod technique. Know how to use a cable release if you need one, and possibly mirror lock up. You may not need these, but then again, you may.
  52. Should I use a telephoto or wide angel lens as well?
  53. Carey--don't know who you are addressing, but if you are confined to the balcony, most likely you are talking about telephotos and extreme telephotos if the church is long and/or large. You should, of course, get some shots that cover the entire altar area and part of the pews, and if that area is large, you may end up using a wide angle, but most likely, you will be on the tele end.
  54. I've never shot a wedding that allowed flash in the ceremony. Just bump up the iso and take advantage of any amazing light that's available. Make it work.
  55. Of around 50 weddings I think I've only ever photographed 1 that has allowed flash. To this end I have f1.2 and f1.4 primes and none of my zoom lenses are slower than f2.8. High ISO, fast lenses is the only way to go.
  56. In the Chicago area: most of the Catholic churches allow flash, approximately a third of the Protestant churches are OK with flash during the ceremony, and I've never run into an issue with a secular ceremony prohibiting flash.
    Carey, you should have time to use both lenses, put one on your backup body and go at it.
  57. I try not to shoot with flash during the ceremony unless necessary. If I do I try to shoot sparingly with flash in addition to shooting available light.

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