Wedding photography advice, night wedding indoors.?

Ok, So I'm a fairly new aspiring photographer, its been a hobby of mine for the last year and half or so...I just got a Nikon D80 a couple months ago.

I don't have much experience with Portrait and people photography, as most of my stuff is landscape, nature, and other random things.

I'm going to my first wedding a week or so, and will actually the photographer of the wedding, since its for a friend.

Her wedding is going to take place at her house and in her backyard. Probably during the the late afternoon where its going to be Night time.

How i should i prepare to shoot pictures that may be in a darker atmosphere? What is a reasonable ISO level where i won't lose quality?

I plan on bringing a tripod, and only have my camera flash. I will be using an 18-55mm VR nikkor lens. I also have a 55-200mm Lens VR, will i need it?

I'm a little nervous and don't want to screw any advice would be awesome.



I'm considering getting a backdrop studio set up. with two umbrella lights to bring her house for a photo shoot after the wedding..does this sound like a good idea?

this for the lights:

this for the backdrop:

are these good prices? I have been looking on ebay a lot and they seem like a cheap price compared to others.

Update 2:

and wow sorry about the spelling errors there, i rushed through when writing the question

Update 3:

Yea i agree that she needed a professional, i told her many times I'm not a pro and don't have all the equipment. It was either me, or one of her other friends who didn't have a camera and would have needed to use mine.

I think I"m her best option since there low on money, and photographers tend to be expensive. I'm no pro, but I'm free..for now. And I know i will do a better job than just some random guest with a camera

Update 4:

any additional information on what ISO i should be set at?

I was thinking about 300, or is that to high?

14 Answers

  • Laugh
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago
    Favourite answer

    I agree with everyone who says get yourself out of this situation ASAP, but if you can't here are my tips:

    1. This book might really help it has a whole section about how to shoot wedding photography.

    2. Try and talk your friend into having disposable cameras on every table so the guest can take pictures.

    3. You should also suggest that they go to a portrait studio on the day of the wedding and get some posed pictures taken of them together, just in case none of your pictures come out like they wanted at least they would still have the guest pictures and the studio pictures.

    4. Stage the wedding pictures right after the ceremony (before the reception) so that you can round up all the people for the pictures quickly.

    5. Take pictures on many angles and of many things. Take pictures of the details like the rings, the programs, the bride getting ready for the wedding, the flower girl being cute, the little details on the brides dress, the flowers... on top of the big pictures like the bride walking down the isle, the first kiss...

    6. Take WAY more picutres then you are going to need. For example take 1000 pictures but plan on only 100 or less comming out like the bride and groom wanted.

    7. Make it very clear that you are not a pro. and that you might mess up. Also make it very clear who is going to pay for the pictures to be printed and if you are going to edit them or not.

  • Ara57
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    I just answered your other identical question and then saw this one. So I'll say a bit more.

    All the people who shoot weddings, from the hack with a new dSLR to Bambi Cantrell, Monte Zucker and Jeff Ascough had a first one. The ideal way to begin shooting weddings is to have a very good basic understanding of technique and the art of photography, whether that comes from formal education in the classroom, or the school of self-study and hard knocks. On top of that, assisting or interning with an established pro is an immense help. Then add in having the right tools to do the job and knowing how to use them. When all three parts of the wedding photography equation are there, the chance for success goes wayyy up. Take away a piece and the odds of great images fall quite a bit. How much the dip is depends on how much is missing. So, you are missing experience and equipment. Maybe skill, and knowledge too.

    None of us know how much you have learned in the few months you've been a hobbyist. You may be a great photographer, some people take to it quickly with an innate grasp of light and composition. Then it's a matter of learning how to translate their vision to film (or sensor). Others plod along at novice snapshot level for years, never understanding that a better camera will not make them a better photographer.

    I don't have a problem with the amateurs who come here asking how to better shoot their first wedding. Most of these first wedding photographers are pressed, cajoled, browbeaten or bushwacked into duty because they are either the family shutterbug, or they have a decent camera, perhaps the only dSLR among the circle of friends. Not every wedding has a budget of thousands or tens of thousands of dollars, and often the B&G would have nothing but disposacam snaps from table cameras if someone refused to do the photography as a favor. Although I am a firm believer in "It's the photographer, NOT the camera", the reality remains that unless he really screws up, he will get shots better than a bunch of kids with a disposables or Aunt Edna with her five year old Kodak Easyshare.

    Now, if he presented himself asking something like, "I am starting a wedding photography business next week, what camera and lens do I need and what should I name it?", then he deserves whatever raking he gets. But here, this is not the case. He is just a friend trying to help. Plenty of amateurs shoot weddings. Sometimes that ends in heartbreak for everyone, but sometimes it's all OK, even if not perfect. I hope this one will be OK! Good luck, and read those links I sent in the previous answer.

  • 1 decade ago

    Shooting weddings not only requires technical knowledge of the camera and lighting, but posing and procedure. First, I suggest really studying some pro sites for poses. Your idea of an indoor studio is great only if you understand studio lighting. Outside 400 ISO would be ok, if you use studio lights, 100.Friends often assume if you can take great pictures of mountains and streams that you can also take great wedding pictures, but that's sort of like asking a foot doctor to take out your appendix. I had my wedding pictures ruined by a well meaning friend my husband hired..I should say ex- friend...over 30 years ago and it STILL hurts. Thankfully we also went to a professional studio for a sitting that day! (Might be a good suggestion!)

  • 1 decade ago

    Your doing a wedding in a week, you don't know what your doing, and you don't have a single piece of equipment that you really do need. Your not even comfortable shooting people.

    Say no! Oh wait, it's probably too late for that.

    About the only thing I can recomend is to use that tripod. The on camera flash will look horrid and flat and the VR lens will help, but not enough to make a big difference, and on a tripod it's not even going to help (that's what VR was back in the day, a tripod).

    Tell the B&G to stage all formal shots before the ceremony. Trust me!

    Make sure you have twice as many memory cards as you think you need, your going to plan on clicking 1500 to 2000 pics and hope for 200 good ones.

    When not doing formals, try to get shots of not just the B&G, but guests too. The rings and the kiss are big ones. Grooms usually do something funny for the "if there's anyone who objects speak now..." so plan on getting their reaction.

    An SB800/900 would really help, as well as a 24-70 f/2.8 lens. See if you can rent one, you'll need to do it fast as your running out of time.

    I wouldn't do it. You don't have half the equipment you need and you have the brains to know your not ready, but some people have no choice.

  • What do you think of the answers? You can sign in to give your opinion on the answer.
  • 1 decade ago

    > I'm going to my first wedding a week or so, and will

    > actually the photographer of the wedding,

    Famous last word before ...


    > since its for a friend.

    Then you should really NOT do it. You can easily screw thing up and the friendship will end.


    If you really want to do it, read this first;

    Good luck...


    > I was thinking about 300, or is that to high?

    You are lucky because we live in the digital days. There's no FIXED number. Start out with lowest ISO. Then only pump it up as you need to. But D80 can easily to up to 600 or 800 in a pinch. And check the history gram. Take test shot just before the BIG pictures and be ready.

  • 1 decade ago

    Hi Phil,

    It' s in our human nature to be always positive. As you say its your hobby and you are doing this since a year a half, you should be confident enough to do it. Hey, this is not a big deal, do it and your friend has so much confidence on you. If you will have confidence on yourself and follow all the right moves I think you will get the best results. I am saying this because I think its always a first time but with the right direction we can succeed.

    Well, if you need more advice and confidence visit this website below, the photographer is an expert in wedding photography and you can even contact in person for more guidance in the field. Thus, don't get nervous and check out this website before the wedding, you will not regret it.

  • 1 decade ago

    I would usually take everyone's side on this, but since it's for a friend on a budget, i do not see a problem in it. I mean, if she can not afford a few thousand dollars for wedding photographs, i think she at least desserves something to remember the moment. Now, you can use both lenses, depending on the needs of the wedding. I am not sure how good The D80 is at higher ISO levels. With my 30d, using ISO 3,200 is perfectly acceptable. Since you are using small apertured lenses, and you are shooting in low-light, i would imagine you would need to use at least ISO 1,600.

    Ideally, you would be shooting with a faster prime lens, but you have to work with what you have. I am thinking that you might need to use the flash. However the photos come out, they will still represent the moment. They SHOULD have gotten a professional, but since they didn't, they have you, and i think that's fine.

    Some can not afford a professional photography, especially with the economy the way it is. Good Luck.

    Use the VR, and have confidence. At the wedding, just play around with the modes. Try using the Manual mode first.

    Source(s): Teen Amateur's Opinion.
  • 5 years ago

    Try Trick Photography Special Effects -

  • 5 years ago

    Have you ever wanted to really learn photography? Have you ever wished you could better capture the light, beauty, and color you see? Go here

    This courses are 100% Internet-based and offer total flexibility. Each course has its own online "classroom," which features videos and tutorials, a downloadable workbook, and more.

    The beauty of these courses is that you can take part at any time, at your own pace.

  • You definately aren't a pro.... the lights you plan on buying are just the umbrella.... READ THE AD

    the backdrops are only 5 feet wide.... you need at least 10x12

    You should look at other wedding photographers sites and see how they composed pictures... at least you might be able to copy their style

    and wedding photographers don't set up umbrella lights at the wedding

    best advice... find someone that is getting married and watch the

Still have questions? Get answers by asking now.