Professional Photographers Critique Student Images

Lesson 8 of 26

Bridal Party Critique Part 2

 

Professional Photographers Critique Student Images

Lesson 8 of 26

Bridal Party Critique Part 2

 

Lesson Info

Bridal Party Critique Part 2

Okay, this is an absolute rock star to me on nuts, nuts, nuts about this picture. This would be in every promo piece I had in my studio. I would have this plastered as a giant, enormous eighty inch print in my space, because this says, I'm different. I have fun and other people that I photograph have a blast. It's, clever it's, interesting, and look at that. The background does not overwhelm them. It's, harmonious and the color tone of the background with these guys works with what they're wearing, the low camera angle and the way the girls are kind of leaning over their shoulders works great. The only thing with the two girls on this right hand side I would like to have seen them work it just a little bit more, and because they look like they're posing, the two girls on the left look like they belong there and that it works, but still, what a wonderful, clever idea! I like the fact that they tilted the camera bitsy kind of create this angle. They're and I definitely I love this photo ...

toe work it a little bit. A general rule is, I don't like heads right on top of each other, so if this head was over here and that, and then I think it would I have a little bit of a flow because it kind of comes across and then it just kind of stops right there because those two heads are right on top of each other, but great. But the good thing about photographs like this is that because it's such a fun picture, a fun editorial photograph, the same rules of perfection aren't forgivable. Nobody pays attention it's like, oh, yeah, way you slice it to death, but it becomes less important because it's so interesting and so fun. So if I'm if the maker is out there, I would love to see you use this photograph, princess, if you did a marketing piece I'd love love to see this is a piece that goes across, like, three spread, so that when people open it that's the picture that spreads in the cool thing is, is that you've got a room for a center scene in that in the middle of that picture without, you know, without harming either those two folks on the other end because it's just a very interesting, cute little picture that is good. Yes, daddy, I have a question. We're talking a lot about composition, but that's a very bright background, how they get the faces so nicely lit. If the lights coming from because they used extra lighting of some sort to fill in the faces there was it's a nice it's a soft light source it looks like it to me doesn't you scott yeah and it's coming from the right hand side and I don't know if that those clouds were put in there after because it's very easy to do it in that particular photo because of that line right there so I mean if you were going to do it in camera you expose for the background first and then bring as much lighting as you need toe light them up but that lighting looks so soft that it looks like it's it's it looks fairly natural you know it looks to me like remember we were talking earlier how the sunlight can bounce across the building it looks like there was a building on the right hand side that is giving them a nice soft, beautiful soft light I don't know the exact situation but I'm guessing that that maybe that's guy was maybe blown out because to get that lighting on them and then they just popped it back in I'm not sure I have no idea what the lighting situation is more shadow too so yeah it does look like the lights coming from the side but whatever they did they did it really well and it is a lot of fun and congratulations absolutely adorable creativity, that's, that's the cool thing. Ok. Any questions? Okay. Okay. Um to me, I think this is I do this similar type of shot, but I don't do it this way. There's a few things that I mean, that chandelier on the top is a bit distracting to me. You know, I do like that. Hell, and they're all looking at something. I kind of feel that the photographer saw that they all huddled around this and they were looking at something, and he kind of took the shot. Um, and then this is what he came up with. What I would probably like to do is maybe placed them in that area there, but have these profile of these girls kind of interacting and then kind of shooting it that way. I don't necessarily know that I really need this type of up here, but just looking at their backs and looking out. I mean, I guess it's a cool photo journalistic shot, but I would like to see more a little bit more relationship between them. You can certainly do this shop within the second shot. Uh, would be this this I would get in this situation, and if this naturally happened and they looked out there, I would take this shot. Wait a second while you're here, can you guys just kind of turn sideways to each other? I want to get your profiles and once you laugh and interact and then I would take another one so I could see their faces. Yeah, I actually think it's cracked a little too tight. I'd like to see a bit more headroom. I actually love the chandelier there. I think it makes a nice it it balances to me the photograph, but I feel like I need to see a little bit more on either side. I'd like to see a little bit more. One of the things that I'm doing a lot lately is I'm actually intentionally overexposing for the subject, I think it looks really pretty too, really overexpose so that an exposed for those people for their skin tones it's going to really blow out that background a bit and obviously be very overexposed, but it has a very pretty look to it when you do that. Three other thing that I'd like to see is if this was if in other words, this is a posed picture I'd like to see I feel like the girls are standing to straight back to back if you took these girls and you turned them I need a couple of girls for demonstration come your kids, I need all the girls from it so in other words, we're going to pretend that this is our doorway right here, okay? So rather than having to see all of you were kind of pretty much standing shoulder to shoulder right, we wouldn't necessarily like that we want to have something to be we want it to be where there's a little bit of interaction going on, so maybe even one of two things turn your feet this with beauty good and then I want you to back up behind her a little bit. I'm going to have you back up that way just a little bit more perfect good job there and now let me have you, darling, I'm gonna bring you back a little bit this way and I'm gonna have you turn your feet this way a whole bunch more let me have a turn your feet this way a whole bunch good job. Excellent right there and then come over towards me this way beautiful and then turn your feet this way a whole bunch like that. So now you see how they're not even there. We've taken up a lot let's a lot less space. Um um a little um yes, erica sorry, erica that's so I needed you to dio so erica could basically be even almost looking over her shoulder I could have the law sorry cares don't take me awhile I want karen turning a little bit more this because I want to see more she's not gonna look at me but you're going to look over in this direction the two of you I don't want to be able to see her profile right here and as you can see, we've got a nice will highlight on her profile there. Patty, can I have you push your hit that way for me other way beautiful and then just point this tow towards towards their gidget towards karen and then very good and then you look just adorable right here you couldn't be turning your face over this way like, ah, and then kind of just like play with your hair or something. You're the girl who doesn't know, but you don't even care about these other girls anyway. Point this tone towards me right here so that you can have them kind of like interacting with one another without being side by side. Hey girls, now just talk with each other, you're going to turn over and look around your shoulder and I was just like, get get cozy and laughing it's like, oh yes, and then now let's, try this what I want you to do, karen with you you're going to go like this, I want you to lean towards her like really oh really oh there you go love it and then turn your face this way just a little bit see even though she's not directly looking at her it kinda looks like she's looking at her so you don't necessary don't be so literal about it okay girls thank you another thing when you're doing this backlight type of photo I find that um what happens is is when I take a picture like this this if you're exposing for this area here this area sometimes gets way too dark because sometimes the windows like this and you don't have that light continuing down and I find that I what I do a lot of times is what I'm doing maybe even if I just even had the bride a single bride and her dress I just at a little video light here on the bottom just so I can see some detail and there's very simple very easy just flip it on and I get some of that detail and then you wouldn't have toe blowout this entirely on top two to get that you know it looks really cool is if we took that bride that's in the center there and if this is a doorway I mean I don't know this is a doorway or not but if we had her go if you had her step forward into that doorway about three feet and then exposed for her face having her turn towards the girls would be beautiful, it would absolutely look gorgeous just remember to expose for what you want to be the center or the object of your story exposed for them and that's that's like my little hobby right now is I'm like backlighting people a lot. I find it really interesting to put them in a bright window and then exposed for them so that the background is completely white. The good thing about this is that you can really get rid of so many ugly distractions when you do that that means if you're like, I shot for metropolitan bride in in march and we shot out in the desert inn in las vegas and bright sun like a ten o'clock in the morning, so it is turned that's let's say that that's the sunlight right there I just turned the model away from the sunlight and then I exposed for her and the background all of this, the valley and the the if the desert floor just went into this beautiful soft tone ality and it's a great this is a great technique to learn to do because whenever you're photographing in that first church of ugly ville and we've all had to photograph in those places people who're when we don't have the best to work with this is a way that you can turn an unattractive location into an nobody even cares about what the location was and it gives you a great way to tell a good story okay? This particular photo to me it seems like they saw this pool table and they said hey let's take a picture by the pool table and there's like what twenty people over there and so tio capture if you're going to do a pool table shot I don't think I would add everybody in the bridal party because it just looks like kind of just everybody's there in a hot mess and just like, you know, force everybody there is like sardines in a can but I do love the expressions and that feel and it almost makes this shot forgiving because the expressions are kind of genuine and and they're you know, kind of create now the way she's poses not very flattering you know and they had to do it that way because they had to cram everybody in here but if they had less people then you could pull her legs around so you could see her body but you don't even see her body there you just see her head coming through but I just think it's like too many people for that situation and I wouldn't choose that particular area to do that shot okay? I totally understand where you're coming from I would probably if this is where they had an idea for something I would do it however what I would do differently is I think what's bothering me about this is not all the people I actually like. I think it's really it's really random and rheal almost, you know, it's just out of control that's what I get the feeling it's out of control, I think the problem is is that they're all looking in the camera and the photographer's flash filled it. What I would probably do that we were me is I would use the lights that are above them. In other words, those little lights that are over the chandelier that would be my main light source, that would be the light source, and then I would have those people interacting with one another use a higher s o so that we didn't expect it to be it's not like, hey, hi mom, looking in the camera because that's what's really bothering me about this photograph is that you have all of this randomness, and yet they're all looking towards the camera, so if they were having fun and interacting together, then it would not. We would not expect to see all of them looking in the camera, and I think it would it would you would feel the moment versus feel like you have to dissect it and make it a logical experience. It is cropped a bit tight and that's that's actually part I mean, who knows? We don't know maybe that's a small room where we could I mean, we don't know and in that case if it is a really small room, then you don't have a choice of that, but I'll tell you what we mean when you have this kind of experience is kind of a small room like that then I think to yourself, this is not the moment for hi mom, this is a moment for un experience, so maybe that girl he's kissing her right there and maybe those there's, another girl and on the pool table and and those guys are all looking at one another and they're laughing at one another and because they're being lit by a single light source, you know, coming from up overhead, then it actually takes on a whole life of its own and and you kind of feel it, so you kind of happened upon this crazy. Another thing, too, is you could take a little bit higher camera angle to see everybody like in this particular situation where this lady here see this, you can't see this, but if the camera was higher, then you can see everybody and that's a trick that I do when I'm shooting group shots and I don't have a lot of natural layers like stairs so if you go higher up then you can see the ended you vigil faces a bit better ok I love this photo one spot I love it right there she doesn't belong there even though I know that she's probably important but look this even though this is she's probably mother ok and that's daddy you have to think when you're taking a photograph what is the moment about where is the magic and who belongs who do we who do we isolate and even though she will probably be the next person to hug I would have had a long lens on in this scene because this to me is what it's all about and too many times we're showing too much information see none of the rest of this matters but when I look at this I want to see this and that to me makes a big difference so if you have a choice you know you the more experience you get as a photographer the more experience you'll have an isolated saying what is this moment about and what's the best job I can do for that experience so what I try to do is when I have certain segments of the wedding day that are gonna happen like like right after the kiss and they're going to be congratulating people I know that I want a camera that's gonna have a long lens on it because I know that that particular moment that if I want to see the magic on that face I'm not going to see it and get people to buy into it if it's too far away so I have two cameras one will have my normal lens on it the other camera will have a long lens on it I use an icon the seventy two two hundred millimeter lens this I would have said, hey god, there you go higher cm above them which is even a better angle on that beautiful bride space I would have used a long lens isolate that moment and then mama or grandma comes in and we're going to get him hugging her, hugging both of those people and I think a more effective ways to think about what is the best camera angle which is the best you know, the focal like the lens that you can use and where do you need to be? Where does your camera position need to be to get the best shot uh, I know we talk a lot about using black and white for emotion and that's a very emotional shot but the colors are pretty would you leave it color or would you go black and white? I would leave a color I think that black and white can isolate the magic in an image but for me it's not always about that and I think that because the color tones in the background are not a distraction from her face there less intense there there are less intensity than the face, so they don't bother me there I think that it works it still works very, very nicely on guy think that you really especially for images like this they really have to be, in my opinion, I think you need to crop it in camera the way that you see the magic taking place because you never get a second chance to make a first impression. And when you have that mom, you want that bride with her dad, you don't want them, you don't want somebody looking at that picture and just discarding it because they don't know the people and see that's the thing about pictures like this is that if they're too far away, unless you knew that dad and knew that girl, it wouldn't impact you emotionally, but if you're really close in on the magic, then even if you don't know them, you'll still be impacted. I like the fact that the the photographer caught the moment, but um I think would you have to make choices and figure sometimes, you know, we just try to shoot everything to make sure we get it all, but I think as we become, experience way zone in and say, hey, what is the story here? And so you cut everything out and you learn to fine tune what that story is and what you're shooting exactly what you want and then when you find it, our photography comes becomes more rewarding because we are putting our slant our particular story to the image and so when I'm shooting a ceremony I'm I'm going either wide or I'm going seventy two two hundred I'm going type and that's my general when I'm shooting ceremony shots and got seventy two hundred and then I got something really wide to capture the whole seen and so this is a perfect seventy two, two hundred shot just bam zoom in and go for it I'm not quite she doesn't really it's not really I don't know that that we call that a bridal party shot um it looks more like somebody you know like a dance shop but still let's let's take it for what it is um what could be done to make a better picture of this? Ok, first of all let's talk about where is the main light coming from the main lights right on her back so in other words it looks like the photographer flash filled this on flash on camera correct? Is that which is that? Is that what you would say? I get that that's the way it looks to me looks like it's bouncing on the top and coming down you know, you get it up or sea of whatever had it up shooting up thing coming back down, so they're bouncing, maybe off the ceiling or bouncing it into this subject, but it's very flat small light source, which is not flattering to the subject it's been my experience that whenever I'm photographing during a wedding reception, I take my flash on my camera. Um, I'll take the flash and then I turn it so you know, normally the flashes up on top, your camera like this, right? And you can use that small light source and you can aim it at your subject, some people aiming at the ceiling and bouncing off the ceiling, I don't do that, I don't like that I think it's ugly because it makes for unnatural it's unnatural have the light coming from like up there, and it gives you a little of record and I don't care for that. What I personally do is I don't aim it at the subject, I don't aim it up above, I aim it out of wall behind me or two about about like here. So in other words, if mark is my subject so let's say mark is my subject, then I might aim that my small light source that direction now I'm not going to bounce off that wall if a dark wall like this but however you see how we have in the studio, we have these white walls or light colored walls that what happens when you turn your flash let's say I'm photographing my little friend right here if I turn my flash that way and bounce it off that wall it takes that little tiny strobe that little bitty strove and it turns it into a giant enormous soft light source it is beautiful it is absolutely gorgeous on dh that's how I would like my receptions and that's a great way to give your reception photographs dimensionality because your flash is no longer like flat lighting the subject it likes them from about a forty five degree angle and it really looks it looks like you're using double lightning in a reception room so use that the biggest thing you need to shed light colored walls I want walls that are white cream you know somewhere in that room I would not bound some offer redwall because you're not it's going to be, you know reflect a kind of a red light which isn't quite as attractive the funniest thing now I can't even tell you when you turn your light behind you or you about like about right there if it's behind you invariably at that wedding reception somebody's going to come up to him with spring your hopes your flashes turn around the other way like this it cracks me up I don't even tell you how many times five people doing that oh you're just around back and I just love looking at you know so but it is a great way if you have never tried it it's called food thing I learned that technique from denis reggie is one of the most fabulous techniques I've ever learned in my whole life on dh for when I when we cut the bride cuts her wedding cake. One of the things that I'll do is like let's say that he's the wedding cake I might even have my assistant stand with with our white reflector right here and then I'll bounce it into the reflectors so that I can get so I can get that nice three to one lighting race that's quite beautiful and then maybe slow down my shutters see it a little bit I can hand hold my camera at a fourth of a second without getting any movement but it's only because I've been doing this a long time it's a game that I play with myself all the time and so I'll go how low can you go? And basically that means how slow of a shutter speed can I use and be able to let that ambient light in the room affect the film plane? If the maker of this image had slowed down the shutter speed that background would not be so dark it would pull it up and it makes it look a little bit more balanced. Um, I found that, um shooting a lot of weddings, you get into situations where walls are different color ceilings or black a lot of times it's odd shapes and so what I do is I actually like in my crazy, stupid light, I actually have a section where I have a, uh, alighting what I do by lighting for the reception and what I do is I place to off camera flashes, um on let's say this is the dance area, right? And let's say the subjects here, I would place the flash here, place a flash, their shining back into the middle of the dance for slight always have back, like always, so usually all the action happens around the dance floor, and so I'd get that kind of signature look that I like and I like a lot of backlight and weddings and so also the same thing with the with the cake, I'll bring the two lights and I'll just stick him right there and I'll get that back light all the time, so has a consistent feel to it, then I don't have to worry of a lot of times about what type of walls are there if I can use it or not, so what is your what do you set those lights at? Are they t l a what? No, I use all the manual sips system and yeah if you go back in the crazy loop stupid light explain everything and then the workshop they're going to do on explaining it but very quickly do it is that these flashes back here? I said it to one side sixteenth power okay and I'm firing it in the middle of the dance floor they're going this way not defused um just straight right into the middle I set my camera on ice so either eight, eight, eight hundred or sixteen hundred and at a low f stop like two point eight ok? And so what you can do is sometimes you don't even need any front feel flash you have so much back like it's just like putting a subject behind the sun and you get that natural wraparound feel and since a lot of my wedding photography is like that back with that type of back like when I do the reception lighting the same it kind of has a matching feel to it in regards the lighting and so sometimes you can get that light coming strong and it just kind of envelopes them and chris and nice halo around them or what you can do is put a little flash on top of your camera to and just hit it a little bit lately I haven't even been putting the camera on my flash because I like to go really light and so let's say I have two flashes here going this way I'll take another flash and I'll stick it on the speaker or table if I had a ceiling like this I just pointed up and let some of that front life go up and down so it's big so I got a big soft light in the front just a little bit so I can see the subject and then strong backlight in the front and I really like that look how high are they? How high up do you have them? Because one of the things that's been my experiences in using double lighting during the reception like that is that you do need to have them up high enough so that they don't you know so that you're not seeing that burst of flash you know, in your bryant well, sometimes I like the first two flash in there and sometimes it's distracting s o I used but I usually only put it about seven feet, but I'll position myself sometimes right? Just get the edge of that flash in my frame so it doesn't look like it almost looks like a big spotlight coming in if you put the flash right at the edge of your frame and you don't see the whole thing so you get half that light in there, and it looks pretty cool.

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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