Beginner Best way to practise taking photos of people

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#1
My brother is getting married next year.

He has a photographer lined up for the ceromony and the speeches etc. However he doesn't have one for the reception on the evening.

He wanted to place disposable camera's on each table as way of capturing memories of everyone.

However over the weekend his fiance dropped in to conversation that they may ask someone to go round with a camera and take pictures of people instead but didn't have the budget to get a professional. I suspect as best man and brother to the groom this will be dropped on me closer to the event.

So my question is, how do I go about practicing taking photos of people without going to the trouble of gate crashing other peoples weddings.

I just want to learn the basics to be able to take 'ok' and natural looking photos.

Thanks
 
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#4
Do you go to the pub with colleagues or friends? I think it's a good environment for natural portraits - also you get the challenge of dimly lit areas, and you'll see what you camera is capable of. I also take my camera when I see family, or go to friends parties etc.. always shooting people.

When there's nothing major going on in my life to photograph, street photography fills the gaps quite nicely. If that sounds a bit scary, it's a lot easier if you go somewhere touristy like Covent Garden.

You could also go to events, fairs, etc..
 
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#5
First thing that will make a big difference would be an external flashgun/speedlite, the pop up flash just won't cut it. I'm not sure you'll get 'natural' shots at that time of night or, if it's like most weddings I go to, that level of inebriation.

As a guest taking pictures myself at a few weddings I've been to I can tell you it takes all the fun out of being a guest at the wedding though. Could you hire a photobooth for the guests to use at night?
 
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Dean
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#6
you dont mention what lens you have, but there are a few things to consider. First if your not used to taking pictures of people the easiest way to practice is to go out and do some street candids. This gets you some practice of catching people more naturally, who arent "posing for the camera" which im guessing for the evening reception part is what the bride and groom are looking for.
it'll give you a way to see people just acting there normal selves and give you an idea of getting in close or shooting from a distance taking in some of the surroundings.
The bigger issue for you is being inside you have to consider the available light at the location.
do you shoot higher ISO and wide open to get as much light as possible or do you use external flash which can be a bit of a distraction.
ideally a fast lens would be the best option though it doesnt have to be expensive. i think for candids in such a scenario a nifty fifty 1.8 ( easily picked up for around £60 could be just the job and give you enough scope to get the shots.
the only way is to practice , practice... try some indoor street markets where theres low light and that should give some semblence of what to expect.
 
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#7
Apologies, I am not sure what lens I have, it was the standard one with the camera.

Just looked online the lens that came with my camera is the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5 - 5.6 III Lens

I am trying to get my head around the lens types and what they do. Is this a good all round lens?

The suggestions above are really good, thank you. :)

As a guest taking pictures myself at a few weddings I've been to I can tell you it takes all the fun out of being a guest at the wedding though. Could you hire a photobooth for the guests to use at night?
I'm not sure i'll be asked and if I am honest I hope I am not, but if nothing else if I can practise at least In preperation and will give me some exposure to that type of photography.

I guess i'm just looking for an excuse to go out and take pictures of people. I'm very much a novice with photography and I am learning from scratch.

Thanks for your help :)
 
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Dean
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#8
its the bog standard kit lens.. not bad but not great, the problem being the f stop of the lens being only 3.5-5.6. so for low light you'll struggle or need high ISO which is then going to create noise.
of course it has a small advantage over a prime ( fixed range ) lens in that youc an zoom in and out, but then thats what your feet are for in an indoor environment!
as mentioned best course of action os to get out on the streets and find some indoor locations where you can take candids and practice practice practice!
 
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