Announcement

Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.

"The slaves experience" - Em's Assistant wedding photographer for the day!

Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
This is a sticky topic.
X
X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • "The slaves experience" - Em's Assistant wedding photographer for the day!

    So here goes.... On Saturday I assisted at one of Emís (Michaelís) weddings at the beautiful Woodlands of Marburg Venue (west of Brisbane) and he has asked (nagged) me to fill you all in on how it went and what I learnt. Unfortunately I havenít had time to even touch the images I took that day but I promise to add to this thread in the coming days as soon as I get the chance.

    Assisting Em was an awesome experience and one that money just couldnít buy. We experienced a trying time with the heat (man it was hot), size of the chapel and limited light but Emís experience in dealing with this really showed.

    I learnt so much from the experience its hard to sum it all up. I guess the biggest thing was the importance of taking the time before hand to build a good relationship with your clients and communicating with them. The ability to do this is priceless. Having clients that were totally relaxed around us really allowed for their personalities and happiness to show in the images. They felt part of the creative experience throwing suggestions our way on ďout of the boxĒ posing ideas which made for a fun time for everyone and produced some amazing and memorable shots. Be happy and confident and it will rub off on those around you!

    The other thing I learnt was to experiment with different lenses and how FANTASTIC going wide angle can be!! Until Saturday I had always sought the safety of zoom lenses in pressure situations. With Emís encouragement I dusted of the 100mm f2.8 and found it absolutely fantastic for many of the portrait, low light and detail shots. The wide angle lenses also give a totally different aspect to many of the pictures that seem quite average when shot at normal focal lengths. I found this especially the case with the shots of the bride and bridesmaids preparing themselves in the bathroom. The wide angle shots just told so much more of the story and gave a much more natural perspective.

    Em also encouraged me to look for different angles and unusual shots to make their photos just that bit different from the standard wedding shots of all their friends. So from now on Iíll be going high, shooting low and hiding behind things all to get that ďuniqueĒ looking shot.

    Another thing that sticks in my mind was Emís approach to shoot for the details instead of always trying to get everything in the shot! Sometimes the folds of the wedding dress, or the hands of the bride/groom or just the wearing of the shoes makes for a much better shot then trying to cram the whole story in.

    Lighting was also something I was keen to learn and although I have a long long way to go the biggest thing i learnt was with just a few basic things (a flash and a softbox) you are very capable of doing the job well. Just donít panic, think the situation through and know your gear!! This is something that i hope will come to me with practice!


    Honestly I could go on all night but I wont (for now at least). So I will leave you with these final thoughts:-

    Back-up gear - Have it!!!!! Whether it be batteries, remotes/triggers, flashes or cards if it can malfunction/break at an inopportune time it will no matter how many times you check it the night before!!!

    Know your gear - know it well!!!

    Water - drink it like youíve never drank it before. Snacks are a good idea too.

    Time - If you think theres a thing called a schedule on a wedding day - your kidding yourself!

    Navman - get one that works!

    Deodorant - everyones friend!

    Watch your step - you never know where those hedges will spring out from.

    Em thanks again for the awesome experience!!!

    Renee

    oh and WEAR COMFORTABLE SHOES! I thought mine were until i spent 13 hours in them --- ouch!!

  • #2
    Awesome write up Renee. Sounds like money cannot buy experience!

    Can't wait to see some of the images you captured.

    Comment


    • #3
      LoL! Fantastic writeup Renee! Few questions though

      1. Did you enjoy the experience?
      2. Could you be a wedding photographer?
      3. What part of the day did you have the most pressure?
      Simon
      Olympus OM-D, Oly 14-42mm f3.5-5.6, Leica Summilux 25mm f1.4
      Flickr - Your Melbourne Family Portrait Photographer

      Comment


      • #4
        lol .. thanks for the report, i thought it would be a great experience and your comments verify that. So pleased you were able to go and that you found it all very enjoyable and informative, look forward to pics from the event ..

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks for reading guys I know it was a little long winded!

          And to answer your questions Shaddsi:

          1. Yes I absolutely loved the experience!

          2. Could I be a wedding photographer - well maybe with a lot more practice! I did love the looks on the bride/grooms faces and their excitement when they got a sneak peak of the shots and was glad to be a part of their day! Im not sure I could do it every weekend though - it was exhausting to say the least!

          3. Which part of the day did I feel the most pressure - hmm it was all stressful but probably a toss up between the bride arriving at the chapel when I was on my own and now while Im looking at the pictures hoping to find enough not to disappoint!

          Renee

          Comment


          • #6
            got no idea what you are going on about; wedding photography is easy isn't it? nothing to it, just take photos; what could be so hard about that? You are only there for a few hours.


            Yep; that's what most think until they have to do it...........it's bloody hard work mentally and physically and of course it does not stop when the wedding stops with hours of sorting and backing-up several times; and then the editing starts.


            would have been a great experience Renee with someone like EM. L OL now you should know to stay away from weddings.
            Cheers for now, IanB.
            Photos by Ian Browne on Facebook

            Comment


            • #7
              Hey Renee, thank you for coming along with me. You were a great help and a pleasure to spend 13 hours with. Thank you.

              Sadly, Sue was too ill to attend... but, she will come along to future weddings.

              Real busy now, but here are a few real quick and dirties to show folks a little of what we got up to...


              Name:  e87b5f025d4a2ab85deb68b3abbf2625.jpg
Views: 1
Size:  69.4 KB
              1. Renee in the shower cubicle, setting up for a shot
              Handheld, ambient light
              ISO800 11mm f/4.5 1/125s
              Processed in Adobe Lightroom 3


              Name:  996a25c587e04393d684d3c8e10a3be3.jpg
Views: 1
Size:  59.9 KB
              2. Bride
              Handheld, ambient light
              ISO100 11mm f/5 1/250s
              Processed in Adobe Lightroom 3


              Name:  92db1010511fc64fd0197827db4ef9c9.jpg
Views: 1
Size:  66.8 KB
              3. Bride and her maids
              Handheld, ambient light for background and single off-camera flash (through portable softbox) for subjects
              ISO200 16mm f/7.1 1/160s
              Processed in Adobe Lightroom 3


              Name:  3082464f802c2380ed4bd4e205baa655.jpg
Views: 1
Size:  90.1 KB
              4. The Boys
              Handheld, ambient light for background, single off-camera flash (through portable softbox) for subjects, single off camera flash (bare) positioned behind subjects and firing back at them
              ISO200 16mm f/7.1 1/160s
              Processed in Adobe Lightroom 3


              Name:  d07f5a38b4e01a6712294b26f087f42a.jpg
Views: 1
Size:  93.3 KB
              5. Bride and Groom being presented to their guests
              Handheld, ambient light
              ISO5000 12mm f/2.8 1/13s
              Processed in Adobe Lightroom 3

              Comment


              • #8
                Name:  20eb302d6b3c1ba84eb1baacaca494cd.jpg
Views: 1
Size:  87.4 KB
                6. First Dance
                Handheld, ambient light
                ISO5000 12mm f/2.8 1/13s
                Processed in Adobe Lightroom 3


                That's all for tonight, folks.

                And one more thought to add to Renee's excellent comments... wedding photography is all about making compromises. Rarely is there sufficient time to set up the shot to be technically perfect, or to be in the perfect location etc. It is about having the wits about you to do the best you can under the circumstances.

                For example, the shot of the Boys too about 10 minutes to make - because that was all the time we had. We had to drive the ute into the tall grass, quickly set up the lights, relaxed the boys while I took 4 test shots to balance the lights with the ambient light and then snapped the final shot you see.

                I would have loved to spend at least half hour to really play... but, that is just dreaming in wedding photography. Same deal with the bride on the road.

                And... it was hot!

                And... I nearly lost Renee in a bush...

                Comment


                • #9
                  excellent writeup renee, thanks for sharing! what a great experience, i'm sure most people here are very envious!

                  wow em iso 5000, the grain factor looks almost non existent, what camera body(s) do you use? tnx for sharing your setup techniques ^.^
                  O
                  d7000, d90 + stuff

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    haha Love the bride in gumboots shot!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Great Effort Renee. Glad you enjoyed yourself, even if you wore out!!
                      Great write up too.
                      D7100, SB700. PS CS5, LR 4.4 - Flickr

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by xaiya View Post
                        wow em iso 5000, the grain factor looks almost non existent, what camera body(s) do you use? tnx for sharing your setup techniques ^.^
                        My pleasure, Xaiya.

                        Here is what I currently take on my weddings (Renee can vouch for this):

                        In my camera backpack:
                        Canon 7D + Grip
                        Canon 40D + Grip
                        Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8
                        Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8
                        Canon L 100mm f/2.8 Macro

                        In my flash bag:
                        Canon 580 flash
                        Canon 430 flash
                        Gels
                        Snoot
                        Grids
                        Gorrillapods for the flashes (for when I don't have assistants)
                        Omnibounces
                        Remote triggers

                        And a foldable portable softbox (I think it is 50cm roughly).

                        I make sure I can carry all my kit by myself and for longish distances. Gotta be self-sufficient.

                        As for the grain at ISO5000.... oh, its there! The above ISO5000's were shot on the 7D with the Tokina. Noise is definitely there, but alot of it can be negated through Lightroom 3 with its really cool noise reduction functions.

                        And the other thing you have reminded me to tell folks starting out in wedding photography is this:

                        Get the shot no matter what... The shot comes first. All 'pixel peeping', 'tog critiquing' considerations should be thrown out. Get the shot.

                        Your bride and groom will not care if their photo of the first dance might be a little grainy... but, they WILL care if you said that there is no shot of their dance because you felt that you could not get a technically perfect shot. They will shoot you and you can kiss goodbye to word-of-mouth business from these clients.

                        For information, the groom here was the best man at a past wedding I shot. At that wedding the bride was the sister of yet another wedding I shot. And at that wedding, the groom was a client from a family session I shot... word-of-mouth advertising is critical in this business.

                        em
                        Last edited by emPhoto; 24-02-2011, 01:26 PM. Reason: Added battery grips - essential!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by emPhoto View Post
                          Get the shot no matter what... The shot comes first. All 'pixel peeping', 'tog critiquing' considerations should be thrown out. Get the shot.
                          great comment EM. With some of the better noise eating cameras I would even go as far as suggesting to use auto ISO (and auto exposure); just one or two less things to worry about.

                          i was ROF LO L at the gear list. I think some of gear nuts are going to be sooooo surprised at the gear you use. Most likely the most important bit is the foldable portable softbox although i would hate use it here today as it's so very windy.

                          thanks for sharing EM; I'm sure many will be reading with great interest. I know I'm reading and thinking why didn't I do this and that .

                          I also feel it's a real thumbs up that you invite "unknown" people along with you.
                          Cheers for now, IanB.
                          Photos by Ian Browne on Facebook

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thank you both for your input to your experiences with this. I have picked up a lot of tips and advice, that I will take on board for my next shoot. Not necessarily weddings, but just in general.
                            Well..I am doing a wedding in a few weeks but I think the most important tip for me here is to "get the shot". Like em said, I don't want to miss their first kiss as husband and wife, or first dance etc. Never really thought of that one, but so simple and makes sense.

                            Great write up Renee. Some very valubale points there for any tog.
                            Renae

                            Canon 7D
                            18-55mm
                            55-250mm
                            50mm f1.8




                            www.facebook.com.au/renaebarrettphotography

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Michael that is some super useful info right there. And it just goes to prove once again. You do not need the most expensive gear to get the best shots.

                              Originally posted by emPhoto View Post
                              Get the shot no matter what... The shot comes first. All 'pixel peeping', 'tog critiquing' considerations should be thrown out. Get the shot.
                              This couldn't be more true. I had a few scary moments where I had almost stuffed up a couple of those moments. Luckily I didn't *wipes brow* haha

                              All the best Renae... I'm sure you will be fine.
                              I just got an email from my 1st clients and they are extremely happy with what I have shown them. That certainly makes everything worthwhile.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Thanks Em and Renee for sharing - this stuff is invaluable. I like Em's think-outside-the-square approach and I can see Renee having a bit of fun putting it into practice (from the top of the shower! why not?!)

                                Em's comment about getting the shot is also fantastic advice. I used to worry about the technicalities a lot, but as we've done more weddings and I've seen clients pick shots that I wouldnt have as a photographer, I am reminded that it is the emotion of the day that they are looking for. Goodness, I've even done it myself; a blurry photo in my own wedding album.. who would have thought?!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Ok well here are a couple of quick edits from me too.... I could use a bit of help with PP if anyone has suggestions!

                                  Ren
                                  Name:  dc532cf69c0c7f679f8b0cd2e6f49493.jpg
Views: 1
Size:  87.3 KB

                                  Name:  848e6f682db2bd6b1920c5a6af117fc7.jpg
Views: 1
Size:  84.7 KB

                                  Name:  a955fbdcfb49760f0666510a784398f2.jpg
Views: 1
Size:  74.7 KB

                                  Name:  ade5569f953413c46b5ee293f5922dc7.jpg
Views: 1
Size:  72.6 KB

                                  Name:  5b789aed211bf5a3d5745e6f5d2e39d5.jpg
Views: 1
Size:  69.3 KB

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    And a couple more...

                                    Name:  060e972077a2b6fbe7bd51ad04a7d79e.jpg
Views: 1
Size:  75.1 KB

                                    Name:  c072a95d0f072e82a7520a5af80c06a3.jpg
Views: 1
Size:  76.2 KB

                                    Name:  6aff7e4c0aae681302c310eecb990742.jpg
Views: 1
Size:  76.4 KB

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Awesome! That last one has a very rock star pose \m/ -.- \m/

                                      3 and 4 are really nice shots.

                                      Well done Renee

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Sounds like a great experience. Glad you were able to go Renee (especially with your work schedule).

                                        So.....do we get to see the photo taken from the top of the shower? I am really curious to see how it turned out.

                                        Linda

                                        I really like the shoe shot, I'm not normally a shoe person but I love the blue background. The other photos are really good but this is one of the better detail shots I have seen.

                                        Comment


                                        • #21
                                          yep, that shoe shot is awesome!!! the blue just lifts them off the background and highlights them perfectly.
                                          Some awesome information in this thread, and EM, you are the master of creating great oportunties!

                                          Comment


                                          • #22
                                            What an absolutely brilliant write up and series of pics Renee and Em. Thank you so much for sharing the experience with our members.
                                            I've always vowed to avoid weddings like the plague, but your experiences and insights might just make me reconsider.
                                            Andrew

                                            (Grumpy old fart with some Nikon stuff)
                                            www.aslanimages.com.au https://www.facebook.com/AslanImagesPhotography

                                            Comment


                                            • #23
                                              I thought this might be appropriate although I have not seen all it. Seems very much like EM's approach but EM does use some flash. Personally I don't feel we (aust) can do weddings without some flash due a our higher contrast and brighter sunlight. This is a great thread.
                                              Cheers for now, IanB.
                                              Photos by Ian Browne on Facebook

                                              Comment


                                              • #24
                                                Really quickly...

                                                Originally posted by Photogenic View Post
                                                So.....do we get to see the photo taken from the top of the shower? I am really curious to see how it turned out.
                                                Renee might not have one ready yet, but here is one of mine from exactly the same spot:

                                                Name:  8e5390002fced275da401993631cc530.jpg
Views: 1
Size:  78.4 KB
                                                The girls chilling out in their little bathroom
                                                Handheld. Ambient light.
                                                ISO800 11mm f/4.5 1/100s
                                                Processed in Lightroom 3

                                                Originally posted by RenJ View Post
                                                The other thing I learnt was to experiment with different lenses and how FANTASTIC going wide angle can be!!
                                                Many times, a good wide angle is the ONLY way to capture the true sense of story and emotion of a wedding scene. This is especially true for preperation scenes where oftentimes it is the context of those around the bride that makes the story. For example, when the bride puts on her gown... this is usually the moment where the reality of her wedding day starts to really sink in. This is also where her bridesmaids and (often) mother 'connects' with the bride. And, this is usually where it is physically impossible to use a longer focal length due to room sizes etc. A wide angle allows you to capture the entire moment in a single 'sweep'...

                                                Name:  646b66e23fa0d114c4bb425facd00f11.jpg
Views: 1
Size:  63.8 KB
                                                A Mother's joy and sadness
                                                Handheld. Ambient light.
                                                ISO800 12mm f/3.5 1/60s
                                                Processed in Lightroom 3

                                                Originally posted by RenJ View Post
                                                Another thing that sticks in my mind was Emís approach to shoot for the details instead of always trying to get everything in the shot! Sometimes the folds of the wedding dress, or the hands of the bride/groom or just the wearing of the shoes makes for a much better shot then trying to cram the whole story in.
                                                Here is an example from the day about taking a series of details to make the 'whole'. In this case, this is from the bridemaid's dresses:

                                                Name:  eeb5b2975abea731fa5e38e0448c8b6e.jpg
Views: 1
Size:  57.3 KB
                                                Lace
                                                Handheld. Ambient light.
                                                ISO800 100mm f/2.8 1/100s
                                                Processed in Lightroom 3

                                                Put details like this together and you have the 'whole' dress... but, each individual frame becomes 'art' in itself.

                                                And I just wanted to thank everyone here for being so supportive of Renee's experiences. It takes guts to publicly share honest thoughts and images when you are still 'learning the ropes'. So, thank you Renee for hopefully encouraging others on here to follow their passion and to 'give it a go', no matter what it is.

                                                em

                                                Comment


                                                • #25
                                                  Guys, these pics are nothing short of amazing, keep them coming please.
                                                  One of the best threads I've seen here.
                                                  Andrew

                                                  (Grumpy old fart with some Nikon stuff)
                                                  www.aslanimages.com.au https://www.facebook.com/AslanImagesPhotography

                                                  Comment


                                                  • #26
                                                    Right now... This thread speaks volumes to me!

                                                    Love your work Michael & Renee

                                                    Comment


                                                    • #27
                                                      Great angle for the shower shot, there is no way you would have included everyone as effectively from a different angle. Definitely a great thread for people wanting to get into weddings (and those of us just after some different ideas for portraits).

                                                      Linda

                                                      Comment


                                                      • #28
                                                        Originally posted by Lost View Post
                                                        I thought this might be appropriate although I have not seen all it. Seems very much like EM's approach but EM does use some flash. Personally I don't feel we (aust) can do weddings without some flash due a our higher contrast and brighter sunlight. This is a great thread.
                                                        Ha, the work of Jeff is an inspiration to photographers such as myself. His technique and sense of timing is phenomenal. Listening to what he says about his approach to photography and so many times it sounds like myself talking. He has got many years head start on me... but, I will get to his level eventually.

                                                        Check out his equipment list - simple and FAST lenses. Nothing over f/2. That is the lens lineup I am aiming for when my current lenses are getting long in the tooth. But, at the momen they suit me just fine.

                                                        Yes, I do use flashes - but usually only for outdoors and usually only for the 'formal' shots where flashes can lend a sense of fantasy and surrealism to the scene.

                                                        Like so:
                                                        Name:  2acfd1c96208db8fca6c3cc7c348065e.jpg
Views: 1
Size:  103.5 KB
                                                        Bride in front of her childhood home
                                                        Taken at 12:30pm in full sun.
                                                        Handheld. Natural light + single off-camera flash (with portable softbox) at camera right.
                                                        ISO200 18mm f/7.1 1/500s
                                                        Processed in Lightroom 3


                                                        Your observation about different lighting conditions here and in England is very true as well.

                                                        A lot of the time in England, the lower intensity of light and the cloud cover acts like a giant natural softbox... beautiful for natural light outdoor work. But... that also means it gets real dark in the churches etc... and that is where the fast lenses come into their own (and high ISO bodies).

                                                        In Australia, we have some of the harshest lighting conditions of anywhere in the world. This is especially true for places like QLD and WA where the noon sun in summer is so harsh its not funny.

                                                        But, that is not making excuses for poor quality photos. We as photographers should learn the skills needed to be able to shoot in any lighting conditions, no matter what country we are in.

                                                        It is all really fascinating, actually.

                                                        em

                                                        Comment


                                                        • #29
                                                          I have often put wedding photographer in with pro golfer; anyone can hit the occasional ball straight down the smooth stuff but when the ball gets into the rough stuff the true golfer has to know how to get out of it. Wedding Photography is very similar; if everything going smoothly it's easy and anyone could do it; but when it gets a bit rough (weather/mums/people/light/camera failure/running late) it's the true photographer who knows how to get out of the rough or work in the rough and still have photos at the end of it.

                                                          And just remember the best pro golfers don't put the ball in the hole every time; but as EM said, the photographer has to get the photo!! But in my short wedding agreement (not contract) I have "your photographer cannot guarantee to supply every photo you request" It's just a safety net I learnt from a mate who did not get one particular photo. Yes, his mistake and very a expensive mistake from a not very important photo.
                                                          Last edited by Lost; 24-02-2011, 01:18 PM.
                                                          Cheers for now, IanB.
                                                          Photos by Ian Browne on Facebook

                                                          Comment


                                                          • #30
                                                            It comes down to 'educating' your client about the realities of wedding photography dosen't it, Lost? What you say is true.

                                                            I am taking my future assistants to the pre-wedding discussions as well so they can see first hand what goes on in these pre-wedding discussions. I am already drumming into my assistants that one of the critical elements of a successful outcome of the wedding photos is through the 'education' of your clients - the basics of photography, the challenges, the equipment (right down to the sound of the shutter tripping), the lighting conditions and of course, the need for us all to have high expectations but tempered with a sense of what can be achievable in reality on the day given the time constraints, weather, indoor environment, emotions etc.

                                                            Educating your clients is not 'talking down' at them. It is not treating them like idiots. Quite the opposite, in fact. It is you showing them that you have respect for them as people and respect for their intelligence that you can talk with honesty to them 'friend-to-friend' about this funny business called wedding photography.

                                                            Renee mentioned in an earlier post that it was great to see my clients so relaxed in front of the camera on their wedding day. They respect and trust me both as a person and a skilled photographer. This two way relationship can only foster great, emotive, creative images that are unique to their day. It becomes a collaboration and they take as much ownership of the photo creation as I do.

                                                            Renee has seen this relationship 'in action' and she will in future pre-wedding discussions see how this relationship is established, encouraged and nurtured before the wedding day itself.

                                                            To all of you just starting out in wedding photography - or any photography to do with people.... remember, it is your ability to 'connect' with your subjects that comes first. That connection paves the way for everything else that you and your subjects do...

                                                            em

                                                            Comment

                                                            Working...
                                                            X