I would be most grateful if anyone could offer me some help and advice.
My wife & I are going to a Muslim wedding on 27/05, it's a first time we've attended a Muslim wedding & we're both very much looking forward to it.
The sister of the bride has contacted me asking if, the day before the wedding, I could go to her house to photograph the "Mehndi", which is the art of intricately decorating the skin (I think mainly the hands) with henna. I asked our friend to send me some examples of the type of shot she's looking for, she sent me a dozen or so, a few are below
*** Pics removed as I think they were lifted off the net - & they showed my ones up (Cliff)
99% of my photography is wildlife &, other than a few family snapshots, I've never done this type of photography so I'm quite nervous about taking this on & any advice on how best to achieve good/decent/acceptable results would be greatly appreciated.
I'll ask my friend before the shoot to have a think about backgrounds that I can shoot against, I'll probably see if there's anything I can take to use as a backdrop too. The time of the shoot will be from about 4pm but there are several girls to be made up so I would imagine I'll be there a few hours. Some natural light should be available throughout although it will be an indoor shoot. The girls are aged from mid teens to mid thirties & are all very pretty which I'm sure will help.
Here's what I've got: -
Cameras - Sony a77, a580, a700
Lenses - 2 x kit lenses - KM AF DT 18-70 & Sony 18-55 SAM, & 2 x macro lenses - Sigma 105mm & Tamron 180mm. Other than that I've just got my long birding lenses.
Flash - Sony HVL-F42AM flashgun(that I don't know how to use - well I have only had it 3 years
Tripod - Manfotto 055ProB tripod with a couple of heads.
My intention is to use my Sigma 105mm for as many of the shots as I can, switching to one of the kit lenses when I need to fit more in frame. I’ll stick the Sigma on my a77 & a kit lens on my a580.
Should I try & make use of natural light as far as possible, or is it better to supplement available light with flash?
I’m intending using tripod, particularly for the close up intricate hand decorating shots. I’m also intending practising over the next 7 days, learning how to use my flashgun & what apertures produce best results. I’m also going to be having a read up about portrait photography, but with only 7 days to the shoot it’ll be a crash course & if you kind folk can make any suggestions to help fast track me it will be a huge help.
Also - is there a (cheap) lens I need to rush out & buy before the shoot?
PS - At least I’ve dodged one bullet as she hasn’t asked me to photograph the wedding – she must have seen some of my shots