Bridal Party Critique Part 1

 

Professional Photographers Critique Student Images

 

Lesson Info

Bridal Party Critique Part 1

Welcome backing way had some of fabulous images how? Scott yes, this is our last segment and I find that doing wedding shooting the bridal parties one of the hardest things to do because everything so random that day then you got to shoot a group of people and they've got to figure out the lighting and the placement and all that kind of stuff so this is going to be great I think so tio wedding parties or one of my very favorite things to photograph and I think it's because I like that spontaneous nous I like flying by the seat of my pants I like the fact that things aren't perfect and I think if you embrace the chaos that that's half the battle if you could just embrace it and then kind of logically break it down and so without further ado let's, check out our first image for wedding party thiss picture I did teo I saw it just kind of cracked me ups like every man's dream there um he's got that great expression looking down wait a second here and I think you know, when you're talking a...

bout bridal party shots every bright every bride and groom want those shots that have that energy and that fun stuff and, you know, instead of like I I mean every bridal party goes to me all we want to do something fun and trying to do it creatively all the time is the challenge and this particular photographer did that hey had a creative way to do it and good expression and I like that he chose black and white because that kind of brings out the emotion a little bit more yeah, I am nuts about this picture and there's a variety of things that I like about it first thing I love about this photograph is that I've never seen it before and I think that is such an important element when it goes to the kinds of images that you take it a wedding is to try to find a unique way to tell a story and we've all all seen the traditional bridal party shots on the altar and I'm not saying don't take those I think that's part of your foundation and, you know, that's something that we should do but this photograph is what will define this particular client and I think that years and years and years from now this is the photograph that would be the keeper versus something that is a bit more static. And so I love the fact that they chose to that the photographer chose to do something so playful and so fun and then I also like the way that they balance to the photograph and the fact that they didn't show too much information you know, quite often the difference between a photographer who has a great deal of skill and those who are you younger in the business of photography is the way and images cropped the ones that are less experienced tend to show everything that you know the feet, the legs, the knees and everything whereas someone who's really skilled understands where the magic is in the photograph, and then crops that accordingly, so that you see only what they want you to see and that's what tells a more effective story so the way that they exposed it exposing for the groom, but also not over exposing it too much where you can actually you can see the detail the bride that takes a good amount of skill, and I really absolute command the maker. Yes, patty question what happens if you do this and then someone else sees it and they want you to repeat it? How do you not make that one client manage if her doing the same pose over? Oh, you know what? That's actually a really good question, you know, one of the things that it's been my experience that I do whenever somebody wants me to do something that I don't necessarily want to because I don't think you can get the same magic, you know, with the same kind of people what this come here, I want to show you exactly what I do this isn't a sound really crazy, but I'm not joking this is what bambi does I pat him on the hand like this I go you know what? You get to be the bride today or you get to be the mommy and I get to be the photographer is that okay? I don't that let me say you know what and I say you know, and I'm I'm in all honesty I love the fact that what this tells me is that you really want to think outside the box and you want us to think outside the box and you know, if I took the same picture for you that I have for these guys and guess what that's inside the box so I know what you're really telling me is that you want me to do something playful and fun on my right you're right, okay, so that's how I would handle it because I think it's important I'm not trying to minimize what they're wanting, but but the real thing I think that we need to do is to identify what are they really saying about that? What are they really saying? Are they really saying to you know, I want you to copy that wedding doing what you want to copy that picture, what is it that you like about that so patty, if you were to say that, well, can you copy that one of the questions that I would ask you would be well patty what is it about this photograph that makes you want me to copy it for you okay anything else? It just looks like they're having a lot of fun okay so basically by asking her to more viewpoint questions I'm able to determine what it is that's really about that photograph that she likes and that helps me said that on the wedding day it tells me my parameters so what does she told me she's basically said bam I want to have fun on my wedding too and I want to play so what that tells me is that she's not going to be afraid if I wanted to do something wild and crazy if I want those girls just to get out there and you know and dance of the lamp shade on their head they're going to probably be ok with some things that I might want them to do so those kinds of viewpoint questions I think are really important david carr blanche to do whatever hit the which is great just a small little technical thing you notice that that her face of the bride is almost over exposed is that correct? How would you correct that from aligning perspective or you know just got this scene right here how would you even out that exposure a bit where she looks a little almost on the edge of too bright more bright then they are she's exposed a little bit. How do you how would you even it out? So if you bring her head in closer, right, then the exposure is going to even out there be less light on her face. And then that exposure will kind of even out and we wouldn't even have to add in any extra lighting or anything like that. But just simply bringing her head in closer, because then heard the lighting on her is similar to the lighting it's on them. Lorraine, did you have a question or a comment back? Possibly change the whole field of that picture doing I could, but you still can do it. Just let me do it after that shot. But I still made an amusing right surprise, but you could just bring it in just a little bit. So there's a little bit less highlight on there. She you're still going to get that? Aah! Surprise! Feels he? You know, I have to say this to me looks like that she was very unprompted. I don't feel that that was something that that the photographer directed her and said, now peek through that curtain and go, wait a minute, it looks like he was having fun with those girls and she's like, just just hang on a second year so you know what scott says though that's one way to do it another thing that you could do if you want to say I have a problem with that that that ah highlight on her face at all, but only because of the context of the picture because I feel that it's supposed to be there it doesn't it doesn't feel like it's a mistake it feels like it's supposed to be that way you know, if you can to me like my respect, all those perspectives but if there's just a little bit thing that could make it just a little bit more perfect than I'm going to go ahead and do it yes, I would like you know, for see that because of the picture so great but if I could just make it a little bit perfect and it's not something l just one shot there hey kaylene in just a little bit if it just cut that highlight a little bit more, it would just make it a little bit um I think this photograph is absolutely wonderful. Andi I love the way the photographer the camera angle that they chose because the main lights actually coming from the far right hand side about a ninety degree angle, but look what it does, I love the fact that it kind of separates those little girls from the background I think that's really an important thing to think about when it comes to you know the way we compose images and exposed for them and this I think goes towards the point that we made earlier about the fact that we all have choices on where our camera position is that maybe this is happening in real time and we may not you know we may not be able to go over and light it and say let's let's add some more lighting to it or bringing a reflector of something but we do have choices on where our camera position is is in relation to that light source andi I think that it's very very believable to me the fact the way these other kids there are running around her a very very nice um yeah this shot um you know, when people say group shots the's air the types of shots that they want they don't want the static brides on one side grooms on the other side they want to really show the relationship between the bridal party and so the more you kind of create a story or you show that relationship just like the last photo was showing the relationship of everybody and having a great time the better it's going to be I mean, I think it's really kind of important on this particular shot in regards to a lighting that they did have some light coming back at the subject exactly how they were doing that I'm not exactly sure, but that way you know you could see the expression on her face and everything so if you didn't have that lighting in there kicking back into her would be harder to find and you know one of the ways you can find those think that kind of light naturally is what I'm outside. The first thing I tried to do is I look ok where is the sun at which way is it shining? So let's say that scott was our subject I would say ok, where is my subject? Where's the sun ok, the sun is right there and then it's going tio illuminate which way do I turn him in relation to that light source then I like to see what is the light bouncing off of? Quite often you can get amazing, amazing, amazing light sources from from the side of a building. So another was if the sunlight is bouncing off a white building whole gosh, then I let's say that this behind me right here let's say this was a white building and the sunlight is over there and it's bouncing off that building guess what, you're going to get the most beautiful soft light on his face that you have ever seen in your life, so your life so I try to look around when I'm outside photographing and say ok where's the sun here where do I want to place my subject in relation to that sunlight? And is there something naturally outside that's going to be a neutral color that will give me a beautiful bounce light back into the subject's face because that big building that white building or that cream colored building becomes a joy enormous soft box, which is beautiful for skin tones and then you get this a nice advantage from the sunlight being behind them is you get a nice hair light and a nice separation light, which is why we get what we're getting from here. I bet you anything there was either ah building that was over in this direction right here. Or maybe it looks kind of like they're almost on edge of a pool or something which could it's a doc, I think yeah, something like that, so but they did a really nice job of balancing that light. You know one thing else when it comes to opposing groups, I believe there's two elements that go into posing a group effectively. The first one is what does the bride's gown look like? And the second element that goes into it is what do the bridesmaidsdresses look like and the reason I feel those two elements are really important in deciding the way that I'm going to oppose my my bridal party is because it tells me an enormous amount about the bride's personal taste because if she's wearing this big, poofy ball again with a tiara on her head that tells me she is traditional, it tells me she is a little princess and that she's going to want something that's a bit more elegant may be structured, whereas the bride who who's wearing the sassy little dress like this maybe it's a little it's, a little skinny dress or something that slinky on her bridesmaids. Maybe the bridesmaids are wearing street length dresses that tells me a whole lot about her that's different, it tells me, she's playful that she's a bit more casual, maybe the shoes don't match. What does that tell you if the shoes don't match that tells me that guess what, she's going to be an easy going girl, and I would never oppose those girls in that rule traditional posey kind of way because it doesn't fit. What do the bride isn't? And I believe that these unspoken cues about people speak way more volumes and asking them tons of questions because we ask a lot of questions to our client and say, well, like, what kind of photography do you want? Who of them? I don't know what they want, but they do know what they like and so it's been my experience that five if I asked them and look at what they're wearing first question I ever ask a bride is ask her tell me what does your dress look like? Because that tells me which album to show her first in my collection of albums in my studio I am going to make sure that I have it right on point because I don't want to show her a book you know she's this along with you brought home having people ball gown by vera wang and she's having an outdoor waiting on the beach wearing something slinky from you know zack pose or something so by me asking that question ahead of time I know I got the deck stacked it might be half ahead of time and I can immediately show her something that she wants to see that's going to make her see herself in my pictures before we move on people are having a conversation or discussion in the chat room about the crop about them being centered and what do you do either of you have anything to say about this picked this picture well I think it works because you've got a natural triangle in the composition so center crop doesn't is fine for me yeah I like it I think it's actually the right crop for that photograph I like the fact that we can see some of the expressions on those little girls space is I don't think we need to see every one of their faces I think that would make it a bit more static and because we can't see more than a few faces I think it makes us feel the experience and we're not distracted by oh what does she look like what's this little girl doing we see one faces to say I'm a happy little face and then we see the bride's face so I think it kind of we tell the rest of the story in our brain um you know what I really like that the fact that they're you know, just trying to do something really creative and put a lot of thought in between you know, in their particular photo and I love the girls dress is there and how they're different and they tried to they tried to pick a clean background it's not completely clean I don't know what area they were but of course it probably could have been done better in a different location or if there was a little bit less background there so you can focus on them more but it works for me you know it it's I don't think it's supposed to be it does what I think you're supposed to feel with it and so I can appreciate that I love this picture I think it's very very clever and I really want to applaud the maker for doing something different I think they did a very interesting job of taking and telling a story with this photograph. I do think the backwards a little bit of a distraction, but, you know, that's, what we had to work with, and sometimes we don't have a lot to work within, it comes to backgrounds, so I like the fact that because they had this background, this environment, that wasn't all that great looking, they said, well, we better do something to make this more interesting and the fact that they had this one gentleman with the sign and then the bride and groom kissing with all the bridesmaids and I love that they took the time look at each one of those bridesmaids have has a different little expression on their face, and so I I personally love this picture it's not technically, per picked it from a from just a strictly, you know, posing and lighting it's not, but what makes it work is that they're all the expressions that each of these girls have on look at the way that their feet are. Some of them are a little bit more quirky than others, and they've got their little feet in different places, and this to me, I think, goes back to our conversation a little earlier about how important it is that you interpret. For that particular subject and the fact that the bride has these girls all where something in, you know, in these different color schemes and all the different colors, I think that tells me she's, a little bit playful and so in a very tongue in cheek kind of way, I think they've done a very nice job and telling a unique story yesterday, so you're in the same scenario. What? What did you change? Oh, what? When I change if I were in this same scenario that's a very good question. Um, let me think about that a second. What would I change? Well, the kind of the line splitting them, you know, where they placed him and that killers coming right down in between them. So I can tell you what I would probably do different and and I will tell you this is based on very limited knowledge because I don't know what is to the left or to the right of this building, but I can see what I can see is all of them in that line. I think that I probably would have chosen a different camera angle I might have photographed, maybe along the same line where the groomsmen is, instead of photographing it like this, I think I might have chosen his perspective and photographed along the scene so that I saw this and maybe not make it a vertical I mean, make it in a word, not make it a such a full length shot like this. What I think I might have done was maybe cropped, it is a long skinny, focused in on maybe him and then used a longer lens and because I don't think we need to see all of their expressions that there we don't need to see their faces clearly, to see that they're having they're engaging in fun and such. So with my limited knowledge of what we're this but that's, probably what I would have done, here's, another example of someone who's tried to do something that's a little bit different. I will tell you up across the board, I will say, I am very, very happy to see all of the photographers who are entering in this category trying to do something a little bit different. I think that goes a long way when it comes to, you know, the kind of images that you're going to show it a bridal fair people are going to stop and look at your stuff if you do something that's a bit different, I think that really does help, I think, though in this particular case, I almost want to see a little bit mohr to me, it's, where they're standing and the background is a bit of a distraction, so I would like to have seen them incorporate that background a little bit more. So that it's not just people interacting in front of a background, but make that backgrounds a bit part of the scene. Yeah, I think there's kind of ah, confusion. I like the fact that the photographers trying to go all out, create something different and create emotion, but to me, it's, like, you have this very kind of organized set up, but then the expression is random, so it doesn't kind of jive, and then the backgrounds is very distracting in the background, and so when you're trying to focus on emotion, that background kind of takes away from that. So if I were to do something like this, I wouldn't chose this particular background for this type of post, and then I would have had the pose be it a little bit more organic and random, because the expressions are random, so maybe I would have huddled them up around the bride and groom a little bit mohr, and have them interact and and and be kind of around each other, and then shoot it with a cleaner background, and I think that would have pulled off a little bit better I'll tell you what I do love in this picture is I'm nuts about the four little kids with the bride and groom to me I could care less whether the bridal parties in this picture we're really to me makes this shot is the four little kids with the bridegroom I would love to see this maker go back and crop this photograph right? I don't need to see her I don't care if I see her arm but I think this is where it starts here and then this is where it ends here is just this grouping right here and then I'd make it black and white because their expressions on those little kidsfaces is worth its weight in gold and I think that the adult bridal party members they're not as adorable they don't just to me they don't make this photograph any better or worse so I think that with those four little kids and the bride and groom and if you converted this to black and white then I would not be as distracted by the background as I am with those kids because I'll tell you what the maker deserves a gold star for the expressions of those little kids what it tells me eyes that they understand how to initiate and get get expression from little kids and that is really a great skill that I think of photographer can get so yeah, I mean, a lot of times the bride and groom are gonna want the entire bridal party, so you know, you can take that shot with everybody, maybe put these kids since they're shorter here and then them crowd around them and then shoot it and then like bam, he said, just take the bottle party out and just shoot them with the kids, and that will be great got two shots right there. I think in this situation here, you're trying to kind of convey quite sure I think they want to get the setting of the room in there, and they're trying to shoot everything. The lighting is a little bit on balanced first off, but what we're trying to do is kind of give this kind of cool, heroic feeling to this gentleman, this groom, right? And I would probably like to see this redone where maybe the photographer took a lower angle and shut up and it's more of a strengthen and kind of a hero feeling when you're shooting and then have the guys kind of behind them. And then if you didn't know, I know that they're trying to probably place each gentlemen under one of those lights and that's why they did it that way, but if you just kind of shot at the other way where you had him in the main light and you had the other gentleman kind of standing in the back looking how they are and you kind of shooting up and then all you would really need is just a little video light if there wasn't any light on just to fill their faces in and then it would have been fine um so I think uh it's I like the idea of what he's trying to do but the way he shot it, it doesn't have that feeling of strength to me that I'd like to see I actually I find their elements to this picture that I love I actually love the moodiness I love him and I love him these two guys are a little bit I don't I'm not in love with them I don't find that they're where they need to be this gentleman is placed in the wrong spot because his hand is coming right through the groom's head and he's a little bit too dark so I find that that's that makes me a little uncomfortable um I'm going to assume that the maker did not introduce any other lighting let's just say that that for the sake of argument that this is just the light in the room that's just spotlights in the room well, what could we do with what we have I really would like to have seen this guy come forward and let sit on the ground. You know, it's, he just kind of lounged back on this. This this ottoman right here, it could be even doing his own thing. He doesn't even have to be looking in the camera. He could be even just like, leaning down and getting all moody it like on the ground, so to speak a little show you, scott, can I just get you to sit on the ground right there? Good. You just kind of I want you to scoot your butt forward to me and lean back good. And then just put your hand up to your face right there. Just love it. Love it. That's. What? I would have had the group one of those guys do. He would have leaned up against there. And then that way, when the groom is sitting there, he's still up above, you can create that trying your shape composition. Um, and then this guy right here because we're not necessarily having this it's, not a hi, mom picture. I feel that this image has a lot of mood to it. So it's almost like four cool dudes. It's? Not necessarily. Hi, mom. You know, looking in the camera kind of thing, I think there's a place for that, but I think that this could be done a little bit more effectively. Especially for that gentleman in the back. If would they had brought him forward because these two forward gentlemen right here look great. It's the other two guys, when I analyze what it is that I don't like about what they're doing, is they look, this guy looks a little bit just lost back here. And this guy right here looks like he's. Just a little too happy. Yes, steve, what you think about, aside from the whole shot, the two guys in the back with the one hand in the pocket, they're repeating the same. Um what what would you do with that? Because I see that a lot of weddings. Great question. What I would probably do is I want to have I didn't want to have one of those guys just hanging. And what I mean by that is if you look at my feet, one of the things about guys that they can do is they can just hang and they can they can actually even roll their shoulders forward a little bit and then just hang they took their thumb through their pocket and just like just the way I was standing right now and just kind of hang forward with their head a little bit so they don't have to be standing all perfect I don't like to see the whole hand in the pocket I think that's the cheesiest thing in the entire universe that is so it's like so last year's it's just so embarrassing funny and so I don't care about that I think thing lee thing doesn't really I don't care whether they used to the fig leaf or whatever, you know, I mean, if they were naked, it would make a difference if they're not naked get them clothes on so I kind of like to see him hanging with maybe just their son some hanging out of their pocket, you know? But I want a little bit of a bend in that shoulder ah, lower camera angle works a great good really nice for guys that are hanging like that because then you make him look more powerful aa lot of the rules that we have for women on posing don't apply a guy's because men want to look bulky and they sometimes want to look powerful so lower camera angle will make a man look bigger and bulkier and that's okay for him for ladies it's not quite such the same thing the general rule is when imposing groups. I don't like to have two people doing the exact same pose next to each other. So you break the angle or have them to do something different with the hands or whatever. But I don't like to people doing the same thing next to each other. But I sure do. You want to come in the maker for making an image where the guys look cool, you know, because so many times we see bridal party pictures, and the guys just are like, they're standing up against the wall, like they're going to go to a firing squad, and it just looks boring. Besides the fact that you know someone feeling, you're going to a firing squad, but that's a whole nother story. I think they want that album, cover field, that's, what they want to go for.

Class Description

Have you ever wanted your best work evaluated by a top professional? Well, here’s your chance! Creative Live is shining the spotlight on you during this photography critique covering three categories: Wedding and Family, Commercial / Fine Art, and Portrait. World-renowned photographers Sue Bryce, Scott Robert Lim, John Cornicello, and Bambi Cantrell will critique images entered by you, and provide invaluable insight and recommendations for improvement.


 

Wedding and Family Winning photos in this category will tell a vivid, emotional story of a major life moment.

Commercial / Fine Art Commercial photos will be critiqued on composition, style, and powerful portrayal of a brand or product. Fine Art photos will be critiqued for their unique creative vision.

Portraits This category is all capturing a person’s essence, mood, and expression.

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