Got a phone call this afternoon from someone who’d seen my Craiglist for-sale posting re my Pentax K10D. This young fellow is a photographer here in Dallas. For all I know, he’s really a very good photographer at whatever it is he has experience doing.
He wasn’t calling about the K10D; he already has one. He was calling to ask if perhaps I had a flash for sale, too. I told him that I might. Might have an external battery pack that I’d sell, too.
Anyway, after asking a few questions, I found out that he’s getting ready to shoot his first wedding. Tonight. And he needed to buy a flash. This was, oh, about 4 hours before the wedding was scheduled to start.
There were so many things wrong here it made my heart hurt. No flash, no experience with flash. One old body that isn’t good in low light. Two slow, mediocre zoom lenses. Never shot a wedding before. I was tempted to offer to come help him and might have done so if my daughter weren’t coming into town tonight.
Instead, we talked for a while and I did my best to offer a few tips. Skip the flash. The wedding was going to be outdoors, between 6pm and 8pm. Sunset is around 7:45 but of course the light lingers. He was thinking he’d shoot some group shots before the wedding started at 6. He said he shoots in M mode. I suggested that he put the camera into P mode and auto-ISO, with a range from 200 to 1600 (max on the K10D). Don’t let the shutter speed get too slow, and concentrate on framing the shots.
When we said goodbye, I said a prayer to St Veronica on his behalf—and on behalf of the bride and groom.