Thursday, April 24, 2008

My Wedding Photography Work-flow

60 Days Before Wedding

  1. Register event on and alert client
  2. Talk to the Bride about lighting the reception and how critical it is to her photographs
  3. Get Names, Phone Numbers for
    1. DJ
    2. Coordinator [if contracted]
    3. Bride
    4. Groom
    5. Mother of Bride [if possible]
  4. Talk to the Bride about the rehearsal dinner ... stress how critical it is

30 Days Before Wedding

  1. Light Readings & Visit to Venues (Ceremony & Reception)
  2. Get shot list from bride
  3. Meet DJ and get copy of "Schedule of Events"

Two Days Before Wedding

  1. Clear & Format Compact Flash and Secure Digital Cards
    1. Largest Cards into Bodies
  2. Charge all Camera Batteries
  3. Charge all AA Batteries, leave newest batteries on chargers
  4. Verify and Reset all Camera Settings
    1. ISO: 100
    2. Mode: A
    3. Flash: I-TTL
    4. WB: Auto
    5. Quality: RAW [Lossless Compressed]
    6. Colorspace: sRBG
  5. Synchronize all Camera Body Clocks
  6. Print & Store Two Copies Maps, Instructions, Venue Details
  7. Program Route into GPS and BlackBerry
  8. Store all Phone Numbers into BlackBerry

One Day Before Wedding

  1. Prepare Vehicle Load
    1. Check all bags
    2. Double-Check Lens, Bodies, Flashes, batteries, chargers
    3. Double-Check Tripods, Portable Storage, Lights, Backdrops, Umbrellas
    4. Fill Gas Tank
  2. Create Complete Index Card Set for Couple and Family Shot lists
    1. Names, Places and Priority for Wedding Party
  3. Review and Transcribe Client Worksheet to Wedding Sheet
  4. Look at bride's binder of sample shots
    1. Lacking list of sample shots, review 100 best favorites from previous year of work (inspirational)
  5. Prepare Wedding Day Attire
    1. Double-Check all Dark Colors, Belt, Shootin' Shoes
    2. Prepare & Double-Check Emergency Photographer Kit
      1. Safety pins
      2. Sterile contact lens drops
      3. Needle and thread (white-ish)
      4. spot cleaning cloths
      5. hair ties for the windy days
      6. short step ladder/seat
      7. Advil, Asprin, Tylenol
      8. fold up scissors
      9. clear tape
      10. floral wire
      11. small Swiss army knife
      12. Super Glue
      13. Breath Mints
      14. Bottled Water
      15. Toothpaste
      16. New toothbrushes
      17. Hairspray
      18. Hair Gel
      19. First Aid Kit
      20. Hairpins
      21. Non Grease Sun tan lotion (clinique spf 30)
      22. lip protector
      23. Tissues
      24. stain remover
      25. Hydrogen peroxide
      26. Umbrella
      27. disposable rain coats
      28. Duct Tape
      29. Masking/Medical Tape
      30. Handcuff Key
      31. Lighter
      32. halls cough drops
      33. shine removal sheets for the face
      34. nail polish remover
      35. Comb/brush
      36. Tweezers
      37. Drinking Straws
      38. Small Mirror
      39. $200 in USD
      40. Tums or Rolaids
      41. Pepto Bismo
      42. Anti-Static Fabric
      43. Small towel
      44. Pen and small pad
      45. Shoe polish
      46. Black socks
      47. Hand lotion
      48. Insect repellent
      49. Baby powder

Morning Of

  1. Remove all Spare Batteries From Chargers
  2. Package Chargers into Battery Bag
  3. Load Vehicle
    1. Check all bags
    2. Double-Check Lens, Bodies, Flashes, batteries, chargers
    3. Double-Check Tripods, Portable Storage, Lights, Backdrops, Umbrellas
    4. Put One Copy of Maps, Instructions, Venue Details in Vehicle
    5. Put Second Copy of Maps, Instructions, Venue Details in Battery Bag
  4. Get Dressed in Wedding Clothing
  5. Stretch, Focus on Shoulders, Wrists and Hands
  6. Prayer for the Bride and Groom

At The Wedding

  1. Shoot Everything in RAW / NEF
  2. Use Two Card Cases -- One for Full/Used and another One for To-Use
  3. Backup Each Card to Laptop AND External Drive After it is filled
    1. This is Done by a Program Called "Cory's Reliable Card Copier"
  4. After card is backed to two locations, format card with card reader and place in "to-use card case"
  5. Each card put into camera is checked to be empty (just to make sure) and then formatted with the camera

After The Wedding

  1. Compare File Lists from LapTop and External Drive
    1. Run "Cory's Reliable Card Copier" in "Validation" mode to ensure that all image files (by sequence number) are accounted for and stored
  2. Make Multi-DVD Backup Copy, by Camera Body, and Label "Originals" Store Off-Site
  3. { Proprietary Processing Operations }
  4. Burn DVD Backup of Original JPegs, Store On-Site Label "Original JPGS"

Nikon D3 Wedding

I shot a complete wedding the past weekend using the Nikon D3, and it was wonderful.

I used the Nikon D3, two SanDisk Extreme III 12GB Compact Flash Cards (in overflow mode,) and Nikon SB-800 Speedlight and the Nikor 85mm f/1.4 FX format lens.

I have posted about the Nikon D3 and FX format before as well as about the Nikor 85mm f/1.4 and I have been very pleased with both

The 85mm FX format lens really has a chance to shine on the D3. The DX format cameras delivered exceptional performance with the lens, but the 1.5X crop factor sometimes made the 85mm (equivalent to 127mm) awkward for wedding work.

The the full frame FX sensor, the 85mm and the D3 can produce amazing results in any type of lighting. The 85mm's f/1.4 and the D3's high quality 2500 ISO make producing high quality in low light portraits exceptionally easy.