My daughter is getting married next year in July. They have decided to do a destination wedding in Jamaica. It sounds like the resort could provide a photographer, but the cost is pretty steep and you get what they have. It does not sound like she is planning on hiring it out... so that leaves me holding the bag. For a long time now I have worked up excuses in my mind that I could pull out if anyone asks me to take pictures at a wedding, and have been somewhat successful in avoiding event type photography (just not my thing). The few times I have taken "people" pictures at events, I have not done horribly; but it has also highlighted the need for better lighting and posing. As for the knowledge base... I do not currently process this, but I do have time to learn and think I can at least get to the point of somewhat competent (not good or Sean worthy, but hopefully passable). However, wadding through the plethora of lighting options and modifier options can be a little tedious at best and a bit intimidating.

I have been wanting to expand my abilities in portraiture and lighting anyway, and this gives me a good excuse. So what I am asking for is a little guidance on what lighting and accessories I would need for a wedding.

Some back ground on what I currently have:

  • You can see what lenses I have available. I think I would plan to bring my 24 f/1.4L II, 16-35 f/4L, 100 f/2.8L IS macro, and the 70-200 f/2.8L IS II. I am debating on the 24-105 f/4 IS... I do not want to bring it, and I want to sell it; but it is a hand range.
  • I will be bringing my 1D X, and maybe a 7D as back up.
  • I have not decided on how to back up files yet, but will probably use cards so I do not have to bring a computer
  • My tripod is a heavy beast, and does not pack away very well (it needs to be totally disassembled to fit into a large suit case). I may be looking for a smaller/lighter travel tripod... which would come in handy as I get older.
  • I currently have a Canon 580EX-II flash.

Some initial impressions of what I think I need:
  • Anything I bring needs to be somewhat compact and flexible since it has to be carried on the plane or shipped to the hotel.
  • I think I would like to bring some lighting stands with modifiers (soft box or umbrella). It would seem to me, the umbrellas would be easier to set up and pack. Set up and tear down needs to be simple and quick... I want to enjoy the wedding as well and not be fretting about equipment if I can help it. The hustle and bustle of it all does not bother me, but messing with something that is a pain in the rear would bug me.
  • I would think that speed lights would be best just for portability, but some day I would like to get some moonlight strobes.
  • I found this, but the "cheap guy" in me keeps looking at the price. Speed Light Kit with Modifiers and Transmitter . Would I be better off (or acceptable) with cheaper flashes and pocket wizards?
  • A flash bracket that is flippable with a sync cable. I have no Idea what to buy on this one.
  • My thought would be to have my 580EX-II on the camera flash bracket and use a couple of flashes/modifiers off camera for the portraits and group shots. Since it is in Jamaica, I assume the group shots will be fairly small.

I am a real novice at this, and could really use a little guidance.