Shooting Wedding with Nikon Z6 – as a guest

Dorie & I enjoy dancing at the reception party for our niece at the end of the day at Grand Cascades Lodge at Crystal Springs Resort [NIKON Z 6, 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 2500, 1/20, ƒ/5.6, (35mm = 24)]

I was asked by my niece the bride to take some behind the scene photos of the wedding. The venue had a package that included a photographer.

They wanted me to have fun as well. Dorie, my wife, officiated the service and Chelle, my daughter was the soloist at the wedding.

I am writing this blog for those who are interested in the newest mirrorless camera from Nikon the Z6 and how I set it up and used it for this wedding photo shoot.

Rehearsal for the wedding at Grand Cascades Lodge at Crystal Springs Resort [NIKON Z 6, 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 140, 1/250, ƒ/5.6, (35mm = 105)]

I brought a really small kit.

  • Nikon Z6
  • FTZ converter
  • Sigma 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0 Art
  • Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art
  • Godox 860II Nikon
  • Magmod Maggrip w/ Magsphere
Wedding Day at Grand Cascades Lodge at Crystal Springs Resort [NIKON Z 6, 35.0 mm f/1.4, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 100, 1/500, ƒ/1.4, (35mm = 35)]

I really love the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art BOKEH when shot wide open. With the new firmware 2.0 on the Nikon Z6 the eye tracking focus really helps nail the eyes when focusing.

Wedding Day at Grand Cascades Lodge at Crystal Springs Resort [NIKON Z 6, 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 10000, 1/50, ƒ/7.1, (35mm = 24)]

Now I was in the room with the Groom and all his 16 attendants. Did I say this is the largest bridal party I have seen? 30 total. They have a lot of friends and family is the best way to describe this conundrum.

The Sigma 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0 let me go from this wide group shot inside to much tighter shots of the Groom with individuals.

Wedding Day at Grand Cascades Lodge at Crystal Springs Resort [NIKON Z 6, 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 6400, 1/125, ƒ/5.6, (35mm = 42)]

My Flash Settings on Nikon Z6

  • e1: Flash Sync Speed – 1/200s (Auto FP)
  • Auto ISO sensitivity control – Subject and Background

For the Godox flash I set the compensation to -1.

Party at the end of the day at Grand Cascades Lodge at Crystal Springs Resort [NIKON Z 6, 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 1250, 1/2000, ƒ/5.6, (35mm = 24)]

So during the wedding it was actually raining. Just a few drops, but this tells you the type of light we had. I decided to just fill in to give a little pop to the photos. So outside I was shooting at 1/2000 shutter speed with a flash.

Then I am inside shooting at ISO 10000 at shutter speed of 1/50.

Party at the end of the day at Grand Cascades Lodge at Crystal Springs Resort [NIKON Z 6, 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 6400, 1/30, ƒ/5.6, (35mm = 24)]

It worked just great on the dance floor. Here I shot at ISO 6400 with shutter speed of 1/30 to add a little action to the shots.

Party at the end of the day at Grand Cascades Lodge at Crystal Springs Resort [NIKON Z 6, 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 6400, 1/30, ƒ/5.6, (35mm = 24)]

I love shooting with the on camera strobe in a situation like this. I lets me be sure there is light on the people and then lets me record the background in natural lighting.

Party at the end of the day at Grand Cascades Lodge at Crystal Springs Resort [NIKON Z 6, 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 5600, 1/250, ƒ/4, (35mm = 105)]

Sometimes the light was great without a flash. Just turned it off when I didn’t need it and turned it on as needed. The settings on the camera stayed the same.

Party at the end of the day at Grand Cascades Lodge at Crystal Springs Resort [NIKON Z 6, 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 6400, 1/100, ƒ/7.1, (35mm = 105)]

I really love just taking photos as a guest and not the official photographer.

Party at the end of the day at Grand Cascades Lodge at Crystal Springs Resort [NIKON Z 6, 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 6400, 1/125, ƒ/7.1, (35mm = 24)]

The other thing is if you know the people in the bridal party you get different expressions than the official photographer can sometimes get.

Party at the end of the day at Grand Cascades Lodge at Crystal Springs Resort [NIKON Z 6, 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 6400, 1/25, ƒ/5.6, (35mm = 32)]
Party at the end of the day at Grand Cascades Lodge at Crystal Springs Resort [NIKON Z 6, 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 6400, 1/125, ƒ/5.6, (35mm = 28)]
Party at the end of the day at Grand Cascades Lodge at Crystal Springs Resort [NIKON Z 6, 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 1600, 1/1250, ƒ/5.6, (35mm = 82)]
Brunch Rehearsal [NIKON Z 6, 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 160, 1/320, ƒ/5.6, (35mm = 24)]

I love the Nikon Z6 with the Sigma 24-105mm f/4 Art lens with the Godox V860IIN with the MagMod MagSphere for weddings. I think you can shoot 95% of the wedding with this setup. I think you just need a long lens like a 70-200mm for the ceremony.

Now the other thing that really makes this system work is the updated Adobe Lightroom. I love using three of the controls that if used properly can really help out some photos that in the past without these controls would have been so-so photos.

I love the Texture, Clarity and Dehaze sliders. I cannot recommend them enough.

For sharpening I hold the Option key on the Mac while sliding the Masking control.

I loved shooting the wedding with the Nikon Z6. I think a lot of wedding shooters will fall in love with the mirrorless Nikon Z6 as much as I have this year.