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General photography questions and answers: Discuss Wedding Photography Course...Hi I have been asked to give some feedback on a course I attended with Vale Training, set in the ...
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Old 17-06-2008, 14:32   #1 (permalink)
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Wedding Photography Course

Hi
I have been asked to give some feedback on a course I attended with Vale Training, set in the pretty village of Wantage in Oxfordshire with a guy called James Howard. (He had a big article in this months Photo Plus magazine)

It was a one day course covering some theory in the morning about style and equipment needed to go pro and then a practical session in the afternoon where he had hired a model to be a bride, while he dressed up as the groom. Price was 120.00.

In short I was extremely pleased with what I got for my money; superb experience and very practical advice. For instance he was explaining why he only shoots in jpg rather than RAW which is against perceived wisdom. however it is partly to do with his workflow setup and partly todo with him having complete confidence in his camera and an understanding of exposure.

Reality check for me in that to do wedding photography properly requires a large financial outlay in equipment and advertising which will not produce any returns for a year.
One of the best bits was when he opened his kit box and let us play with his Canon 1Ds (yes he has 3) and a whole range of very tasty lenses! I have just posted a few pics from the day in the people section.
Andy

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Old 17-06-2008, 15:21   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Wedding Photography Course

Cheers Andy for this.

I would be interested to what bodies, lenses they advised you to have as a minimum ?

Also how many people were in the class ?
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Old 17-06-2008, 17:15   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Wedding Photography Course

Dave
James uses 2 Canon 1D MarkII bodies, sometimes 3 (he told of a time when he did a wedding and 3 cameras went down!!).
2 x Canon 28-300 f/3.5-5.6 L IS (this was his favourite) for outside work
2 x Canon 50mm f/1.4 usm for inside front of church
Canon 135mm f/2 L for back of church
He carries loads of compact flash cards but never uses bigger than 2gb as the risk is too great.

The biggest tip of the day was to never trust anything your camera says to you except the Histogram (eg camera trying to render the white dress to 12% grey). Also as important as camera skills is an understanding of psychology and working out the personalities of the bride and groom as this makes it a lot easier to get the posed shots.

There were only 4 people on this particular course which was really good but I'm not sure what the maximum is.

Andy
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Old 17-06-2008, 19:34   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Wedding Photography Course

That looks pretty interesting, might well take a look myself. Thanks for the review.
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Old 18-06-2008, 16:55   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Wedding Photography Course

Andy, appreciate the camera gear this guy had, but did he not say a 40D for example would be good enough for Wedding Photography ?

Just concerned some of these Pro's give the impression you have to have the serious money kit, where as in reality if you only shoot weddings a semi pro camera is more than adequate.
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Old 19-06-2008, 23:07   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Wedding Photography Course

Good point Dave.
He went into a lot of discussion about dynamic range. Admittedly he wasn't familiar with my 40D but demonstrated very convincingly with a 350D and a 400D to show how you are very limited in what you can do without resorting to HDR techniques in photoshop to expand this range slightly. The top end cameras, such as the 1D have bigger chips, but even the dynamic range on these is nowhere near as good as 35mm film. Dynamic Range is important to wedding photography because of the extreme contrast between the bride's dress and the groom's suit. Having said all that he did one demonstartion to show how the 1D couldn't cope with a certain situation very well, and was very surprised to see my 40D dealt with it fine!
I think he was saying just be aware of the limitations of your camera; yes you can take wedding photographs with a 400D but you will make life a lot easier if you can afford the pro gear (and know why you are buying it, not just because it is a status thing!)...unfortunately at the moment I can't!
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