Beginner wedding lighting

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bessie
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#1
hi im doing a wedding for a friend first official and i have canon 5dmkiii and wondering what would i need in regards flashes and lighting and would umbrellas be needed. if it was a bad day and i had to take most photos indoors. would a flash on the camera be enough or would i need others all help appreciated mostly shoot landscape without flash this is new to me
 
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Steven
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#2
Sounds to me like your best bet is just an on camera speedlight in TTL. If indoors bounce it off the ceiling... if the room is small enough, bounce it off the ceiling behind you. There are a lot more options/possibilities, but now is probably not the time to start learning them (unless this wedding is several months away and you have a lot of motivation/time to practice).
 
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Keith
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#4
When is the wedding? It's easy for us to say you shouldn't do it, but you might be adamant.

I agree that you need to practice .. a LOT. I've done some weddings and they can be stressful as F even when things seem to be going well, even when you know your gear inside out. You can't have anything fail on you, you can't be in the corner fumbling with a speedlight because it's not firing and you can't figure out why! Do you have a back up camera and lenses? Are you comfortable using every piece of your gear [besides flash, as you clearly are not], so if there's an issue you can nail it asap?
 
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Tyson
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#5
If you going to be the tog then you should visit the venue weeks in advance and look for areas for back drops, composition scenes etc.
take a friend or friends and if you are allowed use a on camera speedlite and bounce the flash off ceilings, walls etc to get some idea of the possible out come of the photos.

You can never practice enough.One mistake I did was when I used a stefen defuser on the speedlite I did not up the + / - power on the speedlite to compensate fo the loss in light output,..ddrrr
 
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#7
If you going to be the tog then you should visit the venue weeks in advance and look for areas for back drops, composition scenes etc.
take a friend or friends and if you are allowed use a on camera speedlite and bounce the flash off ceilings, walls etc to get some idea of the possible out come of the photos.

You can never practice enough.One mistake I did was when I used a stefen defuser on the speedlite I did not up the + / - power on the speedlite to compensate fo the loss in light output,..ddrrr
If you were shooting in eTTL or equivalent, shouldn't the camera have sorted that out for you, as it's supposed to sense the amount of light the camera receives then shut the flash off once it's had enough? I've never needed to up the +/- comp on the flash purely because of using a diffuser, but then again, I don't use one of those little push-on stofen type ones, but I'd have thought the same would apply if using eTTL or a true equivalent?

hi im doing a wedding for a friend first official and i have canon 5dmkiii and wondering what would i need in regards flashes and lighting and would umbrellas be needed. if it was a bad day and i had to take most photos indoors. would a flash on the camera be enough or would i need others all help appreciated mostly shoot landscape without flash this is new to me
To be honest, I think if you were ready to shoot a wedding as the main photographer you would already know what's needed and how to use it. And that's just the 'technical side' of the job! It's a bit like me saying: "I'm going to be a farmer, I have 5 acres and a 5 year old Land Rover and wondering what would I need in regards tractor and trailers and would a combine harvester be needed. I mostly grow flowers and mow the lawn, this new to me."

As I've said on this forum before, my grandmother didn't have any photos of her wedding: She was told that her future sister-in-law was going to take the photos because "Edith has just bought a new camera so it would be silly to pay for a photographer". So Edith did the job of wedding photographer... and not a single photo came out. This incident is still remembered nearly 90 years later! Deliver a load of sub-standard photos of someone's big day (or no photos at all) and I predict you'll probably have at least one friend less afterwards.

I'd tell my friend to hire a pro wedding photographer, and perhaps help her to choose a good one for the job by looking at their portfolio and references and using your knowledge of photography? Then take your camera to the wedding and take some informal 'grab' shots of the guests chatting and enjoying themselves. It would be a great opportunity to learn to use a flash and a diffuser, etc., but without carrying the burden of full responsibility, as your shots would be a bonus, not the be-all and end-all. But if you do, make sure you don't get in the pro photographer's way or try to butt-in on any posed shots they set up. (y)

It might also give you the chance to have a chat with the wedding photographer during one of their quiet times (such as early on during the meal). Who knows, they may be looking for someone to help out on other jobs and you could learn some good skills that way. I find most wedding photographers are nice friendly people and will readily have a quick chat with another keen photographer as long as they aren't busy at the time. Hope this is useful, I don't want to seem negative but the questions you've asked have raised some concerns.
 
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#9
Totally agree with Mr badger. These sort of posts, such as the initial post need collating and posting to all the wedding forums.

It's for these kind of reasons that for my own wedding I employed a commercial photographer, not a wedding photographer.
 
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#10
It's for these kind of reasons that for my own wedding I employed a commercial photographer, not a wedding photographer.
I must have missed something - for what reasons didn't you want a Wedding tog but rather a Commercial one - who I presume doesn't shoot Weddings?

Dave
 
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#11
The first thing that jumps up at me is you have to get this right first time. there is no second chance. Things move quickly so have a list of what shots you want to take. Already said visit the venue and or church get it in your mind where to take pictures where the light is best at the time of day of the wedding. Have a backup plan for bad weather. What lenses are you going to use.
 
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#12
I must have missed something - for what reasons didn't you want a Wedding tog but rather a Commercial one - who I presume doesn't shoot Weddings?

Dave
Maybe it’s because he considers himself awesome and when he shot weddings he was pants. Therefore, if the best wedding photographer he knows is pants, they all must be. :p

Just a guess...;)
 
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#13
hi im doing a wedding for a friend first official and i have canon 5dmkiii and wondering what would i need in regards flashes and lighting and would umbrellas be needed. if it was a bad day and i had to take most photos indoors. would a flash on the camera be enough or would i need others all help appreciated mostly shoot landscape without flash this is new to me
There are plenty of wedding photographers who manage without flash - though most will have some kind of constant light as backup if they don't use flash.

tbh, though, mastering flash is 'just' a detail.
Photographing people is a rather different skill to photographing landscapes... you just need to look at my landscapes to see that :)

It's still about light, timing and composition but the subjects behave very differently.
I urge you to get out and do some street photography; it's the best practice for weddings that I can think of.
 
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#14
Totally agree with Mr badger.
I don't.

It's about expectations - and managing them. For some folk the photos are the most important bit of a wedding. For other they're just a nice reminder of a happy day.
Why shouldn't someone ask a first timer to take pics if that suits their budget, style & requirements?
 
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#15
I don't.

It's about expectations - and managing them. For some folk the photos are the most important bit of a wedding. For other they're just a nice reminder of a happy day.
Why shouldn't someone ask a first timer to take pics if that suits their budget, style & requirements?
I wish my grandma was still alive and you could have asked her that question. Also, I think it can sometimes be a case of managing the would-be wedding photographer's expectations as much as those of the wedding couple?

The only time I've ever agreed to shoot a wedding was a registry office job in the pre-digital days and the bride and groom were working on a shoestring budget and genuinely couldn't afford a photographer. If I'd refused they'd have had a few instamatic snapshots from their relatives as no-one else they knew was into photography. I really didn't want to agree but when they explained their circumstances I very reluctantly did it on the understanding that it must be looked on as a bonus if they got some photos and I'd do it as wedding present for them, and if it didn't work out I'd get them something else. Luckily it went well, I wasn't ill on the day, the camera (and back up one) didn't break, and the film didn't get ruined by the lab or go missing.

As a keen amateur with quite a bit of kit, would I ever agree to shoot a friend or colleague's wedding on any other basis... no chance! I'd leave it to the professionals, who should have back up (and insurance) for most eventualities, and who should be able to do a much better job than me.

On a lighter note, you always know when a request like that is coming (and from someone who clearly doesn't understand photography) as it starts with the phrase "You've got a good camera, haven't you.... " ;)
 
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#16
I wish my grandma was still alive and you could have asked her that question.
It’s never a black and white issue, but I would like to add there’s a big difference between someone being asked to shoot a wedding as a favour, and someone pushing themselves on a family member .

Weddings aren’t for the faint hearted, but they are perfectly ‘doable’ and great fun. The dependencies... being competent with your gear and being comfortable around people.

If you don’t know what you’re doing, or you don’t like people, they should be avoided.

I fear the OP might fall into the 1st group,
 
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John
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#17
These types of threads always amaze me. OP asks for some advice, regarding shooting a wedding, then gets preached at about how they should never do it and leave it to the professionals :rolleyes:

Yes, give a cautionary warning, regarding how difficult it can be but I think this should be followed up by some advice the OP was looking for.

So.......... advice to OP.................. regarding flash use. Make sure, you have at least two, not just of the flash but also camera and some backup lens. Put your flash, on your camera, then go and practice, practice, practice. As you start to "learn", try moving the flash off camera, to see if you can achieve the results you want. There is no right or wrong answer, regarding on or off camera flash, but getting the flash off camera opens up a lot of creative possibilities. It's even possibly, to shoot, without any flash involved, but I personally think it is something that you should have in your photography arsenal. As regards modifiers, umbrellas, etc., keep it simple and learn to walk before you can run.

The more you practice, the more you will become comfortable and also learn, what to avoid.

Finally, good luck, with the wedding.
 
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#18
I think it can sometimes be a case of managing the would-be wedding photographer's expectations as much as those of the wedding couple?
Very true. It's quite possible for a competent amateur to do an acceptable job of a wedding first time out - but guaranteeing to do something worthy of a significant fee is harder. It's coping when it gets tricky that separates the skilled pros from the would-bes, more than the ability to produce hero shots.

As a keen amateur with quite a bit of kit, would I ever agree to shoot a friend or colleague's wedding on any other basis... no chance! I'd leave it to the professionals, who should have back up (and insurance) for most eventualities, and who should be able to do a much better job than me.
And to go slightly OT.. in just the last half hour I've been asked to do a friend's wedding. I just don't have the time to justify doing it for free & she's not that close a friend - but I'm not a pro wedding photographer. I know I can do a fair job and I've offered to do it for a reasonable rate but insist that she employs an experienced second shooter too.
 
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#19
I must have missed something - for what reasons didn't you want a Wedding tog but rather a Commercial one - who I presume doesn't shoot Weddings?

Dave
Simple. I looked at loads of wedding photographers, and was able to filter loads of them out really quickly, poor portfolios, bottom end equipment, no backup equipment. Little experience. I spoke to a few and asked them a few basic technical questions and it was obvious they seriously didn't know what they were doing with photography.

Having worked with a couple of houndred photographers over the years it very easy to filter bad people out.

Of course there are good guys out there, but they were already booked, or very expensive, offering things I don't need.

I didn't want someone who only shoots at the weekend, shoots a few weddings a year, maybe the odd low key event as well. It doesn't add up to much experience. It was obvious when talking to some people that they would need huge amounts of direction and it was obvious that as soon as they would be in a tricky situation, even a common basic senerio like shooting a backlit window, that they wouldn't know what to do.

Of course commercial photographers are shooting each and every day, and as long as you get someone with the right experience, i.e. capturing people and moments, shooting details and understanding light and situations then it doesn't make any difference that they don't shoot weddings. You can give an experienced photographer a few instructions and they just go off and do it. From experience they know how to deal with situations, lighting, locations.

My guy did a sterling job. Very happy.
 
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#20
Simple. I looked at loads of wedding photographers, and was able to filter loads of them out really quickly, poor portfolios, bottom end equipment, no backup equipment. Little experience. I spoke to a few and asked them a few basic technical questions and it was obvious they seriously didn't know what they were doing with photography.

Having worked with a couple of houndred photographers over the years it very easy to filter bad people out.

Of course there are good guys out there, but they were already booked, or very expensive, offering things I don't need.

I didn't want someone who only shoots at the weekend, shoots a few weddings a year, maybe the odd low key event as well. It doesn't add up to much experience. It was obvious when talking to some people that they would need huge amounts of direction and it was obvious that as soon as they would be in a tricky situation, even a common basic senerio like shooting a backlit window, that they wouldn't know what to do.

Of course commercial photographers are shooting each and every day, and as long as you get someone with the right experience, i.e. capturing people and moments, shooting details and understanding light and situations then it doesn't make any difference that they don't shoot weddings. You can give an experienced photographer a few instructions and they just go off and do it. From experience they know how to deal with situations, lighting, locations.

My guy did a sterling job. Very happy.
Interesting take. There's quite a lot of wedding-specific detail that someone wanting a trad album would need but if that's not what you want then why not?

Just out of interest.. you're a commercial photographer, I think? Do you do weddings?
 
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#23
Simple. I looked at loads of wedding photographers, and was able to filter loads of them out really quickly, poor portfolios, bottom end equipment, no backup equipment. Little experience. I spoke to a few and asked them a few basic technical questions and it was obvious they seriously didn't know what they were doing with photography.

Having worked with a couple of houndred photographers over the years it very easy to filter bad people out.

Of course there are good guys out there, but they were already booked, or very expensive, offering things I don't need.

I didn't want someone who only shoots at the weekend, shoots a few weddings a year, maybe the odd low key event as well. It doesn't add up to much experience. It was obvious when talking to some people that they would need huge amounts of direction and it was obvious that as soon as they would be in a tricky situation, even a common basic senerio like shooting a backlit window, that they wouldn't know what to do.

Of course commercial photographers are shooting each and every day, and as long as you get someone with the right experience, i.e. capturing people and moments, shooting details and understanding light and situations then it doesn't make any difference that they don't shoot weddings. You can give an experienced photographer a few instructions and they just go off and do it. From experience they know how to deal with situations, lighting, locations.

My guy did a sterling job. Very happy.
That's an interesting take

So what you're saying is we Wedding togs don't shoot often enough to be any good usually, but those that are good (despite not shooting often enough) are too expensive

Dave
 
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#24
Just out of interest.. you're a commercial photographer, I think? Do you do weddings?
Not really no, despite the boring, vindictive Phil V's desperate attempts to discredit everything I do for some reason, I haven't shot weddings for years. I get the odd one every now and again, mostly from regular commercial clients recommending me to friends, or from recommendations from weddings from years ago.

I got fed up with weddings mostly because its not very good money. The amount of work involved in a wedding when you add everything up is loads.
I also got fed up of brides telling me that they loved my work, but another photographer was cheaper, and when I looked at their work they were crap. I used to politely tell brides there is a reason that other photographer is cheap. Same reason as I sure you'd like a Stella McCartney wedding dress over one from George, and there is a reason the price is different.
And at virtually every wedding I went to at least one couple would approach me, tell me what a good job I was doing and how attentive they could see I was. They would then either start to tell me how bad their wedding photos were, or tell me that their photographer never delivered them at all. I also used to get annoyed how if I later went back to these 'photographers' who were undercutting me were doing, you'd find that their sites where now down.

The plain fact is that there are a lot of absolutely crap wedding 'photographers' out there, or at least claiming to, or desperately wanting to be a wedding photographer. If you want to believe Phil, then I was part of the problem. Its as simple as that. There is a huge problem out thee.

and thats why I used a full time, experienced commercial photographer for my own wedding.
 
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Steven
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#25
I don't.

It's about expectations - and managing them. For some folk the photos are the most important bit of a wedding. For other they're just a nice reminder of a happy day.
Why shouldn't someone ask a first timer to take pics if that suits their budget, style & requirements?
For our wedding we just passed out disposables to everyone and didn't hire a photographer at all.
Granted, it was a second wedding for both of us... but we got a lot of unusual/fun/interesting pics :). None of the "staged shots," but we don't feel it's lacking compared to the paid photographers we both had for our firsts.
 
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#29
The good wedding photographers are to expensive but wedding are not very good money(n) I'm unsure what to conclude here
Because as a cutomer its a lot of money to hand over 2K to someone.

As a photographer, if by the time you add up all the time you spend it takes 2 weeks, thats only £200.00 a day, then you have to minus costs for travel, printing, albums, etc. you might only end up with £150.00 a day. Not good money.
 
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#30
Not really no, despite the boring, vindictive Phil V's desperate attempts to discredit everything I do for some reason,
Not vindictive at all, I just feel the need to balance your holier than though attitude with the evidence that when you did actually shoot weddings you were anything other than 'professional', and that despite your constant banging on about 'professional' there's evidence for anyone to find which shows that you might talk a good fight, but it goes no further than that. :)

I'm a lovely chap but as a blunt northerner who's pulled myself up by my bootstraps, the one thing that really gets on my wires are people who constantly put others down whilst pretending to be awesome when they're not.

I've met some truly amazing photographers through this forum, and not a single one of them has ever been as 'full of themselves' as you. I consider warning others of the value of your 'advice' a public service.

Now if you'd just get down off your high horse, act with some humility and self awareness - we'd all get on fine. But if you keep puffing your chest out, I'll carry on being a thorn in your side. If at any time you think I've overstepped the mark, feel free to RTM me.
 
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#31
Because as a cutomer its a lot of money to hand over 2K to someone.

As a photographer, if by the time you add up all the time you spend it takes 2 weeks, thats only £200.00 a day, then you have to minus costs for travel, printing, albums, etc. you might only end up with £150.00 a day. Not good money.
2 weeks? Really? The folk I know reckon on less than 1 week per wedding, I'm guessing
  • half a day on meetings
  • 1 day shooting
  • up to 3 days processing
  • half a day on admin stuff
£400 a day before costs still ain't fabulous but it is liveable.
 
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#32
Because as a cutomer its a lot of money to hand over 2K to someone.

As a photographer, if by the time you add up all the time you spend it takes 2 weeks, thats only £200.00 a day, then you have to minus costs for travel, printing, albums, etc. you might only end up with £150.00 a day. Not good money.
Or if you know what you're doing, and you charge £2000 with no album*, then it takes a day to process, that's £1000 a day.

All I'll say is that if it takes 2 weeks to edit a day's shooting, you've shot it wrong. I can edit 2 shooters worth of images in a single day. And I know @DG Phototraining is much faster than me, as he gets more practice.

*not that I charge that much, but you wouldn't be interested in my output as I'm part time
 
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#33
Not vindictive at all, I just feel the need to balance your holier than though attitude with the evidence that when you did actually shoot weddings you were anything other than 'professional', and that despite your constant banging on about 'professional' there's evidence for anyone to find which shows that you might talk a good fight, but it goes no further than that. :)

I'm a lovely chap but as a blunt northerner who's pulled myself up by my bootstraps, the one thing that really gets on my wires are people who constantly put others down whilst pretending to be awesome when they're not.

I've met some truly amazing photographers through this forum, and not a single one of them has ever been as 'full of themselves' as you. I consider warning others of the value of your 'advice' a public service.

Now if you'd just get down off your high horse, act with some humility and self awareness - we'd all get on fine. But if you keep puffing your chest out, I'll carry on being a thorn in your side. If at any time you think I've overstepped the mark, feel free to RTM me.
Going looking for evidence of the quality of the work of the participants...
 
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#34
2 weeks? Really? The folk I know reckon on 1 week per wedding, I'm guessing
  • half a day on meetings
  • 1 day shooting
  • 3 days processing
  • half a day on admin stuff
£400 a day before costs still ain't fabulous but it is liveable.
The folk I know are much quicker than that...
Even if you include half a day on meetings (shouldn't be necessary) a decent photographer should spend no more time processing than they do shooting.
 
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#35
I'm now so bored with this thread. I'm out of here. No one is on a high horse or puffing their chest.out. I neither care what you think of my work. Or if you think I'm professional or a good photographer.
It is of no revelence to this thread.

It doesn't change the fact that there are a lot of crap people out there wanting to be photographers, even if you consider me one of those.

Lots of disillusioned people on here.
 
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#37
I'm now so bored with this thread. I'm out of here. No one is on a high horse or puffing their chest.out. I neither care what you think of my work. Or if you think I'm professional or a good photographer.
It is of no revelence to this thread.

It doesn't change the fact that there are a lot of crap people out there wanting to be photographers, even if you consider me one of those.

Lots of disillusioned people on here.
Not puffing your chest?
I looked at loads of wedding photographers, and was able to filter loads of them out really quickly, poor portfolios, bottom end equipment, no backup equipment. Little experience. I spoke to a few and asked them a few basic technical questions and it was obvious they seriously didn't know what they were doing with photography.
I didn't want someone who only shoots at the weekend, shoots a few weddings a year, maybe the odd low key event as well. It doesn't add up to much experience.
Of course commercial photographers are shooting each and every day, and as long as you get someone with the right experience, i.e. capturing people and moments, shooting details and understanding light and situations then it doesn't make any difference that they don't shoot weddings. You can give an experienced photographer a few instructions and they just go off and do it. From experience they know how to deal with situations, lighting, locations.
What the above says is that you value equipment and 'experience' over talent and ability, and that you have a mistaken belief that a commercial photographer is automatically better than a wedding photographer.

In my experience, there are some amazing part time wedding photographers, some crap ones too, just like their full time counterparts.

Also in my experience, commercial photographers fall into 2 camps, the stack it high type who have actually little understanding of photography, but they shoot to a formula that brings in an income, and the 'proper' commercial photographers, most of whom choose not to shoot weddings because the stress isn't worth the pay.

I'm genuinely concerned that you don't see your 'holier than thou' attitude, because everyone else does, it's not just me who's commented (as well you know). It's almost certainly the underlying reason your people images aren't successful. As I always say to newbies 'shoot what you love', and it's clear from your posts you have little regard for most people, let alone a love of them.
 
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#38
As a photographer, if by the time you add up all the time you spend it takes 2 weeks, thats only £200.00 a day
Sorry bud but that's just b****x you're talking there - only an idiot with a 20 yr old pc could take that long !!!

Its typically 1 day to shoot and the same again to PP, and maybe an album

All the other marketing, blogging, admin etc. shouldn't take more than another day, and even with a really odd client that's still no more than 4 days in total per Wedding; mine are usually 3 or less

Fk knows where you get 2 weeks from???

Dave
 
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