More Questions About Photography...

I received this email after I posted some personal pointers on photography and instead of answering just the person who asked them I thought I'd post them for everyone to benefit! BUT, before I start, I want everyone to know I am not professing to be an expert on any of these subject. I learn new things all the time and change my mind about things often! So, I promise to answer honestly...just take what I say as suggestions not absolutes, kay?

Here's her email (I'll write my answer in bold):

Hi Noemi!  Thanks for the blog - I am definitely going to check some of those out when I hit the bookstore next.

An equipment question or two?  Or three or four?  If you wouldn't mind?

What type of lens are you most using for portrait photos & weddings?  I use all canon equipment and my favorite lenses for weddings are the 50mm (1.2) and the 17-50mm (2.8). By using these two I get everything from wide angle to detail just by switching back and forth between two cameras! Anyone who has done a wedding knows there is no time to switch lens. You just have to be ready!

I have been researching but am still not sure which one would be best to start with.  The Nikkor 28-70 mm f/2.8 is first on the list so far but is also a little" at $1500+!  So I want to make sure I get the best I can to at least get a start. Everyone who shoots will have a different opinion on lens! It's like asking a person what their favorite color is...there's no right or wrong answer when you're buying quality.  I think your choice is a great start! Getting a second camera with a fixed lens would probably be a good next step!

When doing weddings, are you attaching any kind of portable flash with you? I try to use natural light all the time but, I have a Canon 580 EX for low light, ceremonies and receptions...only when absolutely necessary. My advice is to practice without a flash free hand or on a tripod until you've got it down and then use the flash as a last resort.

Are you using a flash bracket or anything additional to add light indoors? Nope. It's too much to try and move equipment and get the lighting perfect! I use what's available and have fun doing it!

My indoors photos for weddings are rough because the light is always different and the group shots are usually so big it doesn't pay to bring in my lights - they don't provide enough coverage so I guess I'd have to invest in a really huge softbox if I wanted to do that. Yes, you could totally go that route but, I didn't! I don't really like studio/perfect lighting. I like things to look real and capture the moment as it happens so, I shoot everything I can outside or with natural light through windows or doors!

I'm just not sure about what equipment is going to be the best to start!  I have a couple big weddings coming up and could stand to invest in a few pieces that would help make my photos better. Any advice?  Thanks in advance! It's hard to answer this cause I don't know what equipment you have already. But, here's what I think you should have (minimum) if you're shooting alone:

  • 2 DSLR Cameras
  • 2-3 lenses ranging from 17 (wide-angle) to 200 or higher.
  • Portable flash
  • Lots of cards (10G or more if you're shooting in RAW)
  • Very sturdy tripod (for balcony or close-up shots)
  • Backpack/Bag to fit it all safely
  • Of course...there's a ton more you could have and might us but, those are the essentials.

You have to add a ton more equipment when you add an additional shooter. I hope this helps! If you have more questions...JUST ASK!

Noemi Hedrick

Noemi Hedrick is a passionate wedding and portrait photographer based in Minneapolis. Noemi loves capturing the beauty inside every person. Her vibrant energy for life, love and family are grounded in her own values and loved ones. Noemi has been proudly serving as a wedding photographer for over 15 years and also offers a wide range of photography workshops for professional and amateur photographers.