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Posts Tagged ‘Weddings’

How to Overcome Difficult Lighting Scenarios at Weddings

21 Apr

A wedding photographer has to be prepared for pretty much anything. Big belly laughs, impromptu outbursts of song and bear hugs can happen at any moment. Not to mention that the light is constantly changing and you’ve got yourself a schedule to keep. Let’s just say weddings keep you on your toes.

That’s why it’s always worth planning ahead and being prepared. Weddings rarely take place in just one location and moving from indoors to outside, or from sunshine to shade can cause a huge change in exposure. When not competing with the sun, indoor lighting poses new problems. Tungsten bulbs mixed with daylight causes all sorts of white balance issues. But this is why we love weddings, they keep us sharp.

Being prepared and practice is key to achieving consistent results. Here are three top tips on how to make the most of difficult lighting situations.

Couple portraits – How to find good light on a dull day

Believe it or not, it is raining at the point of capture in the image below. This photograph was taken in July in Surrey, UK. The British weather was doing all it could to play up to the stereotype it would seem.

Couple portrait weddings

Not every wedding takes place on a gorgeous sunny day and it’s not always feasible to shoot at sunset to capture the golden hour of light. What can you do to create images that your clients will love and to which you’re proud to put your name? Especially when the heavens decide to play against you. Here is the process I use when assessing lighting conditions and how this photograph was taken.

Understanding the principles of lighting is fundamental in any photographer’s quest to a beautifully lit photograph. Fortunately, these principles are consistent regardless of where you are located in the world or how expensive your equipment is. Whether you’re using the latest Canon or a generation old Smartphone, light can be manipulated to your advantage.

Approaching every scenario with the same set of questions can radically change how you see light and ultimately how you take pictures. Where is the light coming from, where is the even light and where are the greatest differences in the light?

Place the subjects in shade

Shade weddings

Here you can see the scene exposed to what the human eye sees. The background is correctly exposed which throws the foreground into darkness. What we want is to do is correctly expose the foreground to create a clean canvas with an overexposed background. In this scenario, there is about three stops difference in exposure, which is perfect.

Shade overexposed weddings

By placing the couple under the branches of the tree they are instantly evenly lit. There are no stray light rays coming through branches or dappled light on faces, and the pebbles on the driveway aid in reflecting light back onto the subjects. By exposing for the skin tones the background will be overexposed, providing a clean canvas.

A few tweaks in Lightroom to warm the skin and recover some of the highlights and voila! An evenly lit portrait on a rainy day. The added benefit of the tree branches is that they, of course, provide shelter from the wind and rain. This technique of using trees as shelter can also be employed on dry days that are windy. Even if the sun is shining, a venue on a hill can increase the risk of a veil blowing away!

Confetti

Why is this difficult? Depending on the location of the venue or church, you may be competing with changing light that the couple will walk through as they process down the confetti line. This is problematic as you are going to be walking backward, trying to capture the action, as well as tracking the changing light.

It is quite common in the UK for churches to have tree lined pathways, this creates a lighting issue as a break in the trees will cause the couple to walk from light to shade to light, etc. This can mean a dramatic jump in exposure.

Confetti lighting weddings

Take pictures of your hand

This is probably the easiest method to test the exposure of skin tones which can and should be used to test all of the techniques in this article. Take a photograph of your hand, inspect the screen and adjust accordingly. The wedding guests may look at you in an odd way, but when you’re working at a fast pace this can be a life saver.

Take images of your hand in both the light and the shade and note the difference in exposure before the bride and groom appear. Depending on how you shoot, it makes sense to only change one setting as you will be multi-tasking. The control for shutter speed on Canon cameras is located where the index finger naturally rests, and logically is the easiest of the settings to change.

Pay attention as the couple moves from light to shade, remembering the readings of your hand. The camera settings are displayed in the viewfinder and alternate between the two as the light changes. Where possible, pre-plan your shots, performing a mental run through of where people are likely to be and what lighting difficulties you may encounter.

Confetti lighting 2 weddings

First dance

Who knows what kind of lighting setup the DJ will have. Will they make a beautiful white spotlight for the first dance, or will they bust out some crazy laser snowflakes? Anything could happen. One method to overcome this is to shoot into the DJ’s lights and use them as compositional features rather than compete with them.

This isn’t the only option, sometimes shooting with the lights are beneficial as it gives you scope to capture the guest’s reactions. To create this shot, one flashgun at both corners of the stage (pointing at the center of the dance floor), elevated on tripods, and attached to Yongnuo wireless triggers were used.

First dance weddings

This setup offers two things. Firstly, by backlighting the subject even exposure on the skin can be achieved with no unwanted shadows. Secondly, you don’t have to worry about what the DJ is doing with their lighting setup.

It pays to ask the DJ before any dancing commences, what they plan to do and work with them. You would certainly be unlucky should you encounter anyone who wasn’t amiable in having a discussion. However, the point remains that they have a job to do. If they feel the song warrants a change in lighting then they will adapt it for the benefit of the wedding, not for your advantage. This is completely understandable, however, lighting surprises aren’t often welcome. This is why it makes sense to pre-plan and take control of the lighting.

Lens chimping technique

A caveat to shooting in this way is that it is possible to end up with equipment or the DJ themselves in the background. For this reason, an interesting tactic to employ is Sam Hurd’s lens chimping technique. By placing a convex lens element in front of your lens it creates cool flares and throws the background out of focus.

First dance 2 lens chimping technique

Practice is certainly recommended as an incorrect application of this technique can result in the lens element focussing all lights onto your sensor and completely blowing out the shot. The first dance is often a tricky one to shoot, it would be interesting to hear about your ideas and innovations below. Happy shooting!

Conclusion

Hopefully, these quick tips will help you deal with challenging lighting situations at weddings or any other photography opportunities. Do you have any others you want to share? Please do so in the comments below.

The post How to Overcome Difficult Lighting Scenarios at Weddings by Liam Smith appeared first on Digital Photography School.


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Photographing Weddings With Natural and Available Light

14 Feb

As photographers, light is our raw material. It doesn’t really matter what we are trying to say or capture in an image – if we don’t have light we don’t have a picture! Light has to be the prime consideration and the quality, direction, color temperature, source, quantity (as well as a host of other variable factors) of the light Continue Reading

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Reducing the Stress of Group Photos at Weddings

07 Mar

I am sure you understand how important the family photos are on a wedding day. For me, they used to be the most stressful part of the day, I would almost dread them. Logistically they can be challenging, gathering all the guests and particular family members, organizing them into the right groups, then getting the shots right. There is a lot to do and think about.

I have sure you’ve heard the age old story, about how the couple went to their friend’s wedding, and the photographer bossed them around, and spent ages doing countless group photos. None of us want to become that photographer, with the help of this short guide and bit of preparation, you can prevent that.

Group photos robert sail 4

After shooting over 100 weddings, I have I slowly figured out a sort of system, which helps me manage the process better. I have cut down the number of recommended family shots I do. This allows the couple to have time to relax during the reception, and gives me a little more time to shoot candid shots, or even spend a little bit more time with the bride and groom, creating something more creative.

Some of the points within the article my be more relevant to wedding photographers in Europe, who tend to shoot the group photos after the ceremony during the cocktail reception, but you may still find some of the points useful if you are based in the US, and shoot them before the ceremony.

Setting the scene – initial meeting with couple

When you are in the process of booking a new wedding couple, I would suggest having a short chat with them about the group photos. It is good to discuss how many family formals they envision you will take on their day. It is also worth mentioning that you limit the number of family formals you take, to provide them with the best possible experience on their wedding day.

Spending less time doing the family formals, will allow them to have more time relaxing during the cocktail reception with their friends and family. The last thing I would want a bride and groom to remember from their wedding day, was that we spent their whole cocktail hour standing around taking endless group photos.

Group photos robert sail 3

Email to couple with booking confirmation

To make the group photos as easy as possible on the wedding day, I would suggest that you email a recommended shot list over to the bride and groom beforehand, asking for them to fill in everyone’s names. This means that during the formal photographs you can call people by first name, which will make you much more amenable to the guests.

Here is my sample list that I normally work from, which covers most of the bases:

  • Bride and groom with bride’s family (please confirm which family members)
  • Bride and groom with bride’s parents
  • Bride and groom all parents
  • Bride and groom with groom’s parents
  • Bride and groom with groom’s family (please confirm which family members)
  • Bride and groom with bridesmaids
  • Bride and bridesmaids
  • Groom and best man/ushers
  • Bride and groom and best man/ushers

Group photos robert sail 1

If the couple email back a much larger list of shots to take, I will normally have a chat with them, discussing whether or not they are happy to spend potentially a large proportion of their reception doing group photos. In a lot of cases they will not want that, and will reduce their list slightly.

Re-oder the list – largest groups first

To make the process as easy as possible, I would recommend you shoot the largest group photos first. As chances are that the same guests/family members will also be in the smaller group photos.

Here is the re-ordered list, in the way I would shoot them after adding additional requested photos:

  • Bride and groom with everyone (additional shot requested)
  • Bride and groom and friends (additional shot requested)
  • Bride and groom with bride’s family
  • Bride and groom with bride’s parents
  • Bride and groom all parents
  • Bride and groom with groom’s parents
  • Bride and groom with groom’s family (please confirm which family members)
  • Bride and groom with bridesmaids
  • Bride and bridesmaids
  • Groom and best man/ushers
  • Bride and groom and best man/ushers

Group photos robert sail 2

Bring several copies of the list to the wedding day and hand these out to ushers or groomsmen. It is very important that you clarify with them, how important it is that they help you. With them helping you organize the group shots, this will give the bride and groom the most time possible to relax and enjoy their day.

Normally the ushers will help you, as they are often good friends, or related to the bride and groom. They can also help round guests up, preventing you from shouting, or raising your voice to get everyone’s attention. Thus it saves you from becoming that bossy photographer, which no one wants.

Work through the shot list methodically

Once the ushers have gathered the first grouping in the correct location, I will then get the bride and groom, working through all the group photos on the list.

It is just a case of crossing them off as you go, so you don’t miss a shoot. For photos with six people or more, I tend to shoot those full length, and for smaller groups I will also shoot those at ¾ length, providing the couple with a bit of variety. Using a clipboard can also go a long way to making you appear professional, and prevent you from misplacing your list when the pressure is on.

Group photos robert sail 5

Arranging the groups

Normally I will pose the bride and groom first, close in together, in the traditional V-style (turned slightly inward toward each other) pose. I will then pose the remaining family members in a single line, equal numbers on either side, getting the guests on either side of the bride and groom to turn in towards the centre.

I will also ask the guests and family members in the photo to put down any; drinks, cameras, handbags, scarves, coats, etc., and for men to button up the middle button on their jackets. This just helps to make the photo as uniform as possible, by removing any distractions.

After you have finished taking any of the group photos, always make sure to thank the guests and family members. I didn’t do this when I first started, as I was a little too distracted checking all my camera settings were correct. Definitely make sure you do this as it goes a long way to providing a good experience for the guests.

Group photos robert sail 6

Do you have any other tips that work for you when doing group photos at a wedding? Please share in the comments below.

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Weddings Through The Eyes of a “Noob”: Lessons I Learned

23 Feb
One of the things I'll do is set up a remote camera in the back of the ceremony, elevated if possible.  In this shot, a tilt-shift lens was used to create that miniature look.  EOS 5D Mark III, TS-E 17mm f/4L. Exposure was 1/320, ISO 3200, f/4.

One of the things I’ll do is set up a remote camera in the back of the ceremony, elevated if possible. In this shot, a tilt-shift lens was used to create that miniature look. EOS 5D Mark III, TS-E 17mm f/4L. Exposure was 1/320, ISO 3200, f/4. Photo by Rick Berk/kNot Photography

Throughout the first 20 years of my career in photography, I’d photographed a lot of different things- NHL All-Star games, Major League Baseball, NFL Football. I’d photographed portraits, boudoir, model portfolios. Landscape photography became a passion of mine. One thing I never photographed was a wedding.  When I began my career, I assisted on exactly two weddings. Never did I shoot one.  The two weddings I assisted on went so badly that I never wanted to touch one again.  I thought all weddings were like that. It wasn’t until years later that I understood it was more the photographer I worked for than it was the weddings themselves.

This type of shot is the kind that makes for a nice touch in the overall collection from a wedding.  They complete the set and really show a photographer's attention to detail.  EOS-1D X, EF 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro. ISO 800, 1/200, f/8.

This type of shot is the kind that makes for a nice touch in the overall collection from a wedding. They complete the set and really show a photographer’s attention to detail. EOS-1D X, EF 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro. ISO 800, 1/200, f/8. Photo by Rick Berk/ OneRedTreePhoto.com

For a variety of reasons, I made myself available as a second shooter in 2012, and got my first taste shooting weddings.  That first one was intimidating, but I learned a few things along the way.

This is a must. Depending on the setting it will always change, but at least one formal portrait of the bride is essential.  This shot simply used on camera flash, bounced into a reflector at camera left. EOS-1D X, EF 85mm f/1.2L II. 1/250, f/1.2, ISO 400.

This is a must. Depending on the setting it will always change, but at least one formal portrait of the bride is essential. This shot simply used on camera flash, bounced into a reflector at camera left. EOS-1D X, EF 85mm f/1.2L II. 1/250, f/1.2, ISO 400. Photo by Rick Berk/OneRedTreePhoto.com

1. Prepare and be organized.

Prior to the wedding day, speak to the bride and groom about what shots they absolutely must have. Plan when and where you will be shooting each of the shots. If you’re doing group shots in the park, make sure they know that’s the plan, and when you need them there.  Keep a shot list with you. Don’t promise anything more than that you will try to get these shots, because things could always happen preventing you from getting the shot. But at least this way you know what to try and focus on.  This is also where you manage their expectations so they understand that you can’t possibly get EVERYTHING, but you will try to get what’s most important to them.

2. It’s your job to manage things.

Your bride and groom have a ton on their plates on the wedding day. Photography is the last thing on their mind. But you still need to get the shots and you need to do so as efficiently as possible so as not to hold up the proceedings.  Gentle reminders to the bride and groom about the shots they wanted will help, especially if you can give them a few minutes warning. For instance, “We need to get the family portrait, and we have a window in 5 minutes if we can get you all together,” works fine.  They WILL ask why the shot isn’t there if you don’t get it, and even if they are resistant during the event, they will thank you later.

3. Do what you can without their cooperation.

Yes, there will be some shots you absolutely need to pull the bride and groom away for.  But if you can manage to get shots without interfering in their activities, you’ll be exactly the kind of wedding photographer everyone wants- an invisible one who delivers the goods. Shoot preparation shots, detail shots of the rings, the cake, etc., while you have the free time and nothing else is going on. Getting those kinds of shots out of the way makes it easier to get the really important stuff later.

4. Don’t try to go it alone.

It’s easy to underestimate how much work goes into shooting a wedding. Many times, a photographer’s first taste is when a friend asks them.  It’s an honor to be asked, but it’s also a great responsibility.  Theoretically, this is a once in a lifetime event.  You can’t be everywhere at once.  The weddings I worked as a second shooter, I wasn’t a secondary shooter.  I just wasn’t the guy contracted to do the job.  But I shared responsibility for getting certain shots. For instance, the bride and groom getting ready at different locations. One of us would go to the bride’s, one to the groom’s. We’d meet back at the church, or at another location where we might be doing shots, depending on how the day is planned.  This takes a huge amount of pressure off.  In terms of the ceremony, it ensures that multiple angles are covered so if one of you is blocked, the other might have a chance at getting the shot.

5. Be on the lookout for those special moments.

It can be easy to focus on the primary photos and lose sight of those smaller, special moments that, when captured, make for the best images. Be on the lookout for a tender moment between bride and groom, the bride and her father, or the groom and his mother. Look for moments with friends and relatives that might end up telling a story.  This means your camera is always ready and you are always watching. There is no time to let down your guard.

6. Approach it like any other shoot.

There are a lot of little moments that make up a wedding day. Near the end of the father-daughter dance, the bride looked up and had this beautiful expression of admiration for her father. When her mother saw the image, tears came to her eyes.  As a photographer, those are the moments I live for.

There are a lot of little moments that make up a wedding day. Near the end of the father-daughter dance, the bride looked up and had this beautiful expression of admiration for her father. When her mother saw the image, tears came to her eyes. As a photographer, those are the moments I live for. Photo by Rick Berk/OneRedTreePhoto.com

One common theme I’ve heard from all photographers thinking of diving into the wedding pool is that they build it up so much that they become intimidated by it. You were hired for your expertise, so approach it like anything else. Look for creative shots you can use to illustrate the day, to give a storybook feel to the images, and to capture the emotion. If you need the bride and groom and other family members in a certain spot, direct them as you would a portrait shoot. Don’t be afraid to ask for them to do something for you if you think that by doing so, you can provide them with a shot that will make them remember the day fondly for the rest of their lives.

7. Use ALL of what you have.

In my bag at most weddings I keep a 24-70mm lens and 70-200mm lens.  These are my workhorse lenses. But I try to offer variety and for me this means using different lenses for different shots.  I have a 100mm macro for ring and detail shots, but also for portraits.  I use a fisheye lens for some candids on the dance floor. I’ll use an ultra wide angle like a 16-35mm.  I keep a couple of speedlites with me.  Sometimes I use them on camera, sometimes off, and sometimes I turn it off and just shoot available light.  The point of all this is to provide variety.  Different shots with different looks create more interest when the images are viewed as a collection. Yes, you could get away with using a 24-70 for the entire day, but I like to change things up when I can.

8. Have backup.

This means a backup camera, flash, batteries, memory cards.  Anything that can die, go bad, break, corrupt.  If you are being paid, you are considered professional, and being a professional means that the words “My camera broke” cannot be used as an excuse.

9. Check with the officiant

Each priest, minister, judge, or other officiant I have worked with so far has had a different set of rules where photography during the ceremony is concerned. Prior to the ceremony, introduce yourself, and ask what is permissible and what isn’t as far as you are concerned. Is flash ok during the ceremony? Where would he prefer you NOT be during the ceremony? Laying the ground rules beforehand can make a huge difference in how you cover the event.

10. Have fun!

Weddings are fun, happy occasions. Enjoy it. There’s good music, happy people, and you get to capture the memories. If you are enjoying yourself, it will show in your work.

For 20 years I always swore I wouldn’t touch a wedding.  But having shot three of them now, I find I enjoy the challenge and creativity of capturing these once (or twice) in a lifetime event for the couples I’ve worked with. No, they aren’t for everyone. But with the right attitude and know-how, they can be incredibly satisfying to shoot.

When the dancing started I decided I wanted something different. I mounted a 5D Mark III on a monopod with 14mm lens. a flash was mounted on the camera with the head aimed at the ceiling for bounce. Using a remote release, I got the bride's attention and waited for her reaction, firing when I saw it.

When the dancing started I decided I wanted something different. I mounted a 5D Mark III on a monopod with 14mm lens. a flash was mounted on the camera with the head aimed at the ceiling for bounce. I held the camera out over the dance floor by extending the monopod a few feet. Using a remote release, I got the bride’s attention and waited for her reaction, firing when I saw it. Photo by Rick Berk/kNot Photography

The church had these huge windows with light pouring in.  I knew I wanted to use it but time was tight.  I grabbed the bride and groom quickly and asked them to stand by the window and look out.  I fired off a handful of shots varying the exposure a bit. The black and white conversion added a nice artful touch. EOS-1D X with EF 24-70 f/2.8L II. ISO 1250, 1/100 f/5.6.

The church had these huge windows with light pouring in. I knew I wanted to use it but time was tight. I grabbed the bride and groom quickly and asked them to stand by the window and look out. I fired off a handful of shots varying the exposure a bit. The black and white conversion added a nice artful touch. EOS-1D X with EF 24-70 f/2.8L II. ISO 1250, 1/100 f/5.6. Photo by Rick Berk/OneRedTreePhoto.com

Further Wedding Photography Reading:

  • 21 Tips for Amateur Wedding Photographers
  • 50 Must Have Wedding Photography Shots
  • The One Location Technique for Wedding Photography

Post originally from: Digital Photography Tips.

Check out our more Photography Tips at Photography Tips for Beginners, Portrait Photography Tips and Wedding Photography Tips.

Weddings Through The Eyes of a “Noob”: Lessons I Learned


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Photographer to shoot 50 weddings in one day with his iPhone

08 Feb

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Professional photographer Kevin Kuster, who lives in Chicago, was recently approached by the charity Watts of Love  to help with an interesting photography project that seemed a perfect opportunity to make use of his newfound love of mobile photography. He will now travel to the Philippines and shoot 50 weddings in one day  – with his iPhone 4s.

News: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Weddings

18 Jan

Thanks Eric for the Topic! www.youtube.com www.youtube.com ———————————————————- All my Channels youtube.com youtube.com youtube.com youtube.com Blogtv www.blogtv.com Add me on Skype! Domingo0022 Follow me on Twitter twitter.com twitter.com Like me on Facebook www.facebook.com www.facebook.com Visit my Shirt Shops www.cafepress.ca www.districtlines.com All music and graphics used Royalty free and licensed under Creative Commons “Attribution 3.0” creativecommons.org “Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.” ——————————————————————–
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Weddings: Julie and Jesse

16 Nov

Photography by Sam Butler Photography: www.sambutlerphotography.co.uk Location: Nashville, TN, USA Soundtrack: 1. Ehma – Les Rosalies 2. Ehma – Lés épaules légère See also: Ehma – blane-est.net
Video Rating: 1 / 5

 
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Weddings by Taya Photography

20 Oct

Photographer Soraja ?ar
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Roberto Falck Photography Weddings

06 Jul

Portfolio of wedding photography by Roberto Falck Photography. www.robertofalck.com
Video Rating: 0 / 5