I need some advice about Wedding Photography

I need some advice about Wedding Photography

I got drafted to take my nieces wedding pictures. It is outdoors under a pavilion, October 2nd @ 2 pm in Missouri. I have a Nikon D50, Nikon SB-600 flash, 3 lens; AF-S DX 18-55mm, 18-55mm wide angle, & AF 70-300mm.

I don't have much money and this is a free-be.

The wedding will take place under the pavilion, the before and after pictures will be taken on the grass under some trees next to it. With the sun and time of year the leaves will be falling and shade will be spotty and the sun at an angle.

The bad thing with the sun at their back there is a crappy building. If it is cloudy I can put their back the other way. BUT if not what can I do?

Can I take a white sheet and hing it up to defuse the light?

I'm not a photographer just a person who likes to take pictures.

Hope you can help me.

If you go to google maps here is the information to put in to see where it is (the green arrow is next to the pavilion, part of the elks lodge, where the reception is.)
1-285 E North St
St Clair, MO 63077

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Good Luck!
by: Mark McKnight

You have got yourself a bit of a challenge if this is your first wedding. The most important part of any photography is the composition and lighting.

Make sure whatever photos you are taking are well composed. Use the rule of thirds and if you are taking the bride full length, make sure that you don't cut her feet off at the bottom.

Another important area is the background. Choose a background that doesn't take away from the subjects. Try positioning the couple next to a tree and use this as a prop. Have them lean up against it.

Switch your camera to Aperture priority and shot in RAW. This means that you can work with the photos later and if you need help, a professional may be able to bring out the best, post shoot, in the shots you take.

Set your aperture to the widest your lens will allow in this case. It will probably be F3.5 or so for that lens. For shots of the bride and couple use a focal length of about 80mm, the same as you would for portraits. For group shots, you can go wider to get the whole group in.

I know you said you don't have much money, but I really think you need a copy of The Wedding Photography Blueprint. It is a great resource for doing your first wedding. It takes you step-by-step though each process covering the whole event and how to shoot it.

It starts with preparation, but the main part that will interest you is the sequence of events and what settings to use. When you arrive with the bride in the morning, it tells what shots you should get and what camera settings to use and also which lens is best.

Why not ask your neice if she will buy you a copy for doing the wedding pictures. It will definitely be in her best interests.

You could also try having a look through these Wedding Techniques.

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David Coote
Wedding Photographer
Northern Ireland