Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2002/05/13

[Author Prev] [Author Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Author Index] [Topic Index] [Home] [Search]

Subject: Re: [Leica] Lenses For Wedding
From: "Michael E. Berube" <>
Date: Mon, 13 May 2002 21:57:47 -0400

On Mon, 13 May 2002 08:52:14 -0700 (PDT),  "" quoth unto the 
boundless Ether...
>I do have several bodies, both M and Leica slr or Leicaflex bodies
>with a slew of various lenses including some zoom lenses.  I also do
>have autofocus system like the Contax G2.

I would suggest against shooting a wedding as the primary photographer for your 
first time. This is ESPECIALLY so if the friendship is important to you at all. 

For all the reasons John Collier and a few others listed, if I were you I would 
suggest to my friend that they hire someone who is experienced in wedding 
portraiture to at least shoot their formals and to choose someone who doesn't 
mind having another shooter working at the same gig so that you can work in 
tandem and can experience a wedding before all the onus is on you to do the 
entire job your first time professionally.

That being said on to answering your question and some other advice...

Weddings are the mainstay of my income. I almost always shoot a mix of so 
called Photojournalist (aka Documentation Photo) style and Traditional style 
images. While I love RF's for available darkness candid photos, I primarily use 
two SLRs with 285HV flashes. My current choice is a pair of all mechanical 
Nikon FM2n's, but your all mechanical Leica SLRs would work just as well.  A 
35-85/2.8 is my most used lens because it isn't "too" sharp and provides 
flattering portraits, both environmental at 35 and head/shoulders at 85. I back 
this variable focal length lens up with a 24/2.8, a 50/1.8, an 85/1.8 and 
sometimes a 180/2.8. I use Fuji's new NPZ exclusively as of this year, because 
it is as tight as Kodak's 400 pro films, but I have a 1/250 fill flash synch 
speed with the Nikons, so I can get away with 800 ISO outside with fill flash. 
The NPH or Portra NC suggested earlier is a good choice for your slower synch 
Leica SLRs with flash outside.

Other advice:

1st rule of Weddings: Show up early, well dressed and eager to be flexible and 
helpful. If you enjoy yourself, and stay positive, everyone follows your lead, 
has a good time and allows you to make the best photos that you can. To be 
helpful, carry a Leatherman type tool, a few safety pins, bobby pins, a small 
sewing kit, scotch tape, breath mints, and a small lighter. Sometime during the 
day, someone in the wedding party will need each of these items and when you 
offer them up you will be remembered as a super hero. 

2nd rule of Weddings: Have two and be prepared.
"Two of what?" I hear you ask...Why, two of everything and double that again 
for film, synch cords and charged NM-Hi batteries. Simple expect and accept 
that something WILL go wrong. This is the nature of the business. The 
difference between a professional and an amateur is that the pro deals with it 
smiling, doesn't get flustered, and gets the shot anyhow. (file this under 
"never let them see you sweat.")

3rd rule of Weddings: Meter for a flattering bridal complexion. No other detail 
matters as much.

4th rule of Weddings: Don't socialise or drink until you are done shooting for 
the day. You may be a friend, but with a camera in your hand, you are working 

Again, relax and have fun. If you prepare, weddings don't have to be the PITA 
that a lot of LUGgers make them out to be.

Carpe Luminem,
Michael E. Berube

- --
To unsubscribe, see