Bridal Party Critique Part 3
I actually there's a number of things I like about this photograph first of all, I think the maker gets an a plus for the expression on that the little girl on the left hand side her expression is so beautiful I think it's just absolutely lovely I like the composition I think it's very interesting and you see there's nothing that competes for the attention of these two people in this photograph and I like that I think that's really nice I think the one thing that holds this image back is the treatment this is to me one treatment is bet when it when it is not effective for your image because what it's doing because you're using that's kind that hdr kind of look it makes this the little girl on the left hand side it makes your skin look bad and I don't think it's flattering to her and if I were her if she's the mom I would not want to see myself looking where my skin doesn't look smooth that would make you look it would not be a sent a photograph that I would want to keep however, if it ...
was if you if you don't have that hdr on it that it's not going to be quite you don't your skin tone doesn't look oily and doesn't look you know splotchy like that it would be something that I would want to treasure as a mom um, yeah, I loved the expression on the on the lady on the left, I think that's awesome. Um, I you know, that probably overrides the entire picture, which which makes you buy into the photo, but if you had some sort of control, you know, of course I wouldn't necessarily press them against that wall so far, so close to that if I could bring him back a little bit so that wall wouldn't be such detail to it, but I mean, this photos more about a raw emotion and you see that on that lady on the left and so that's why you can kind of buy into it and, you know, the thing that I like you could tell that this was a real moment and so you're not going to go up to that subject say, hey, you, could you do this again and given what do baseball, you know, you're too close to the wall? We would never do that because sometimes there are times when you you absolutely have to just say it's ok it's going to be in perfect but it's going to be magical and that's why your camera position you need to learn to be able to become good to storytellers and anticipate where the magic is going to take place so, in other words, in your mind, start rule playing what could happen next? What? What? It's probably gonna happen because, you know, if you've been around that mom all day long, you know, she's made bawling her eyes out. So then you start thinking, well, where is the best camera position for me to be when those magic moments happen on? But here's, the way I have trained myself to be ableto tio anticipate what's going to happen? You don't have to be clairvoyant. You just have to learn to be a good student of human behavior. No matter where I'm at, I could be at lunch. I could be sitting in a restaurant. I can be anywhere in the world. I always say to myself, I give myself five mr saeb. Andy, if you had to take a photograph right here and now. Where's, your chosen location. Where's, your chosen moment. Can you anticipate something that's going to happen and take a neural chrome with my brain knows that. Take pictures of my brain all day long. And that way when something real is gonna happen, you're not going. Uh, you've already role played it in your head. Certain expressions and the way humans behave. And especially people who love one another and a mother and her daughter it's just so obvious. They're just gonna be totally loving each other. Then you start thinking yourself. Well, ok, this is a mom and her little baby girl. I might start out right here, but I can tell you right now, my I would probably have high tailed it. I would have probably hightailed it said I could photograph along so I could see her maybe over, you know, the daughter shoulder. Maybe that would have been another angle that I would have done because, that's, one of the things I really have tried to pride myself and train myself to do is to anticipate where things were gonna happen, where the magic is going to take place and then have the right lens on my camera and the right camera angle, maybe he's having my step ladder handy so that as those moments happen, I'm ready to roll because that's, one of the things that separates an amateur from a pro is that the pros don't just spray and pray we know weeks. Ok, this scenario is going to unfold. Where is the best angle in my mind, so I take this particular scene like it let's say it's in a church. Okay, the four year area outside the right in the back of the church for the bride's gonna walk down the aisle when I walked into that area where the bride is going to walk down before she even gets there in my head, I'm role playing. Where is my best angle? Where should I be? Do I need to have my step letter handy? Because if she's going to walk in this way and we're gonna have that bright light coming in through the doorway, then you know what? Probably there's all kinds of stuff on this wall, I need to get a higher camera angle to get the best angle, so I'm prepared so that when she walks down that that ill, when she walks in that room, I'm already in the spot that I need to be to get the best photographs. So you have to start thinking about that before you ever get to this spot. Where do you ever have that client there's, you can't wait till they walk down that aisle? Just wait a minute. So you do start role playing in your mind when the bride is getting dressed quite often? Um, in my mind, I start anticipating what's, she going to dive into that dress or she going to step into it? If it's a real straight dress more than likely she's going to step into it if it's a big ball gown quite often shoal dive in with which me and shoot go ahead first well if she's going to dive into that dress where's my best camera angle ah hi camera angle shooting down so that's why it's important for you to think about those camera positions and where you're going to be and what your lighting is too and what you have to work with when we first start out with wedding photography a lot of times it's reactive we see something and then we react to that moment but as we get more, uh experience we learned to be pro active with our shooting so in this particular scene yeah, I probably it started out here and then knowing that she is feeling this way towards her daughter or whoever what's the next thing that's going to happen after this are they are they just going to be this emotional and just stay right here like this? They're most likely going to do this at some point and so when you know that moment is coming, you get around into that position right and then you shoot up or whatever you shoot at this angle because you want to capture that but it's thinking ahead you always have to think a couple steps ahead hilarious this is very funny, andi, I love the expression on this price face. I also think that the maker did it was a really interesting camera position to have her in to have her leaning forward like this the little girl on the left hand side I mean, you can tell that this is pretty much an unprompted moment. Looks like the bride's dancing, but I like the fact that the photographer chose a lower camera angle because what they did by placing her head where it where it is in the scene, it kind of really pulls your eye into that quadrant and you really get see her face face very clearly. You know, with your wedding photography you have to capture all types of emotion and you need moments where the bride or the groom is have as extreme emotion, and this is one of these shots where the maker was was getting this type of shots. They should always have this type of imagery throughout your wedding photography grouping because you need the whole range. You need something a romantic, you need something like this, you need some that are just a great group shot, you know, and you've got to cover all the emotions but we do have choices wilmore photographing like this the gal that's on the left hand side that's the dance, the girl dancing with her she is because she's, a larger person in the photographs, she's taking up and she's actually pulling your eye right away from the bride. So when your when your photograph that you're taking pictures start noticing, who else is in the scene, you know, if somebody who's, who's wearing white who's a larger person, then maybe you might want to make the decision to photograph, you know, one of the images that you take is where they are not so promise other words, move your camera position a bit so that you still capture what you need to get, but then you're not going to have that person that's going to take up so much of that space. Now, with that said, you know, I'm sure that the maker of this picture is probably rolling her eyes, saying, really, being, you know, come on, you know, sometimes we don't have a choice, and you're absolutely right, but if you do have a choice when you're doing pictures of people on the dance floor and you're getting these wonderful group shots, think about the position, the cantons or your camera position is as those people move around the dance floor. So what I try to do is I move along where the where they're ever the bride is dancing, I am moving myself around with them so I may be turning this way and this way and this way as they move around so that I can photograph them one of the other things that I do that's been very, very helpful to me and getting to shot is I've learned how to zone focus basically his own focusing means what you do is you find a shiny spot like you see the highlights on this glass right here there, see how that has those white lines on it? Well, in a dark ballroom, it's easy to gap to grab a focus on that white piece so what I do in auto focus, I will take about five feet away I'll take a photograph or done for her, but I'll take and get my focus off that shiny spot so that I know I have a focus, then I'm going to turn off the auto focus on my camera and I'm gonna photograph and about a five point six f five point six everything between five and ten feet is going to pretty much being focused, so that means that if crazy boy right here is going nuts on the dance floor, I don't even need to see him I could go look over my shoulder, see him getting like a crazy fool, click the shutter here and not have to look through the camera I could go like this if you're doing something crazy, I could just go bang, I get it bank I get it that's what zone focusing does in a higher f number I'd say around five point six is where my comfort zone is I know that as long as I'm about five feet from the action I know that I'm going to get it in focus it's going to be right so it's fairly easy to get those wonderful dancing shots that are meaningful and in a way that's going to give you something really good bang for your buck so learn how did his own focus it's a really great technique? One little thing if I were to take this photo right and let's say bam I got this shot already I would immediately look at it. That person is is looking at me okay? And I would just simply go she would just move over real quickly and just stamp take it again, it's only two seconds but then it's just making it a little bit more perfect. Any questions about that? Okay, love the composition of this photograph. I think this is absolutely beautiful. I would actually just love to see the maker take down this the outside of this building a little bit I feel that if they pulled down the exposure on the outside of this building ah, little bit more you would have such a more intimate photograph I think it would have so much more meaning you can tell that this is it seems to be unprompted that this is kind of where the magic was happening love it absolutely find it it is a wonderful little story. I also like the composition I agree. I mean, if you just take down that that that bright area and bring it down so they come out and maybe adding a little bit more detail towards the steps and then bam it's a great shot. Scott um well, this is not really a group shot. We'll kind of take it as it is. Um, I think, uh, first of all, that tree is very it's cutting the image out of it. She's I mean, you can see everything about her it's, but to me, the lighting is a little bit too obvious. It's it's kind of looks like on camera flash feel to it so I would pull off that lighting to the left a little bit. Um and, um, you would have a little bit more dimension to the photo I see. Like for me, I talk about sandwich lighting a lot where I have I have back light and then I have front light so I would have got her in a situation where if there was sun out there, a cleaner background with some back, like coming from behind her and then just filler in with that light that she they they have right now and then I think that would have been a better photo in regards to wedding photography. So what does it mean? Sandwich lighting? Tell them, oh, yeah, what about sounds letting is that you have a subject, ok, ok, um, I I'll be your subject, ok, I'll be the light and I'll be like, and so what we're doing is you have the subject, which is the meat and you have a sandwich, you have two pieces of bread you have, like, this way you have, like that way, and so a lot of times I am hurt, I can't believe you just called the peace, so what I love to do so if you go to my crazy, stupid light, I talk about this all the time is sandwiching your subject with light either to sidelights or like from behind and in front, and it gets a dimensionality and you don't see any of this kind of salvaging effect on so s so it tends tio feel kind of stagnant in regards to lighting, and also it has an on camera flash feel to it on dso would probably I like to bring that light off to the side a little bit more you mentioned by the way, scott a couple of times this crazy stupid light thing what does that tell me about that crazy stupid light was my three day workshop on creative live and I go I go through everything about using portable lighting systems, inexpensive lighting techniques on you can use on locate asian anytime, anywhere and it gives you kind of lighting formulas to handle any situation. Okay, well, great that's good to know. So when I in my critique of this photograph there are some things I like about it and some things that I think I need a little bit of work I agree with you completely that tree that vertical tree I would just have cropped that out I think that is a little bit of a distraction and it's it's again that hard like that are hard line that cuts through a photograph. The thing that I would have done is I would have moved her closer to that building because look at the color atonality of that building that building has got that beautiful, creamy tone we'll look at her hair she got these beautiful creamy tones in her hair, so I think I would have moved her within maybe four, five feet of that building so that that that could be my backdrop instead of all of those the leaves on that distracted all of those hard lines that become of it more of a distract look at the black on address against that that background would be amazing. And especially when you have somebody who has a dress like that that's got a bit more of a it's a little bit busier. I think having that more of a neutral background would be a little bit would would make for a pretty her image. I like her expression. She looks a little bit on the loose side. I don't really feel her hand across her chest right here. I feel like why is it there it's not there's, no meaning for it to be there, so for instance, I might have I would rather if she's like hold if she's showing off her hearings she could be this could be an advertisement it looks like an ad. It also could be just be a beautiful portrait of a young lady. If you just have her like bring her hand up to her face she could bring it up and just like a curve it around the side of her face or maybe bring it towards her lips. Her lips are beautiful. I love the lipstick that she's wearing and the way the light falls on her lips, so maybe bringing that hand up to her lips would be really pretty having her lean a little bit towards the camera, I think I might have even had her lean on her arms across her legs like this, and then lean a little bit towards the camera. It's been my experience that when you have someone drop their, if they drop their chin and look at you with their eyes, it opens the eyes of it. It makes the eyes look wider and look to make some look larger. Andi think that would be it would be a really pretty way tio photograph this young lady, but still a very nice a portrait of her, and I'm sure she was very, very happy with it. I love the idea of this photograph. There are two things that are holding me back. Number one the hdr this is when hdr does not work. The reason it doesn't work is twofold. First of all, it makes her dress looked dirty. It makes that gown. The texture is not a flattering. It makes the photograph look a bit dingy. I love the magic of this photo. I love the mystique, and I think that if the maker re does this image and lays off on that texture, I think they're going to have a beautiful picture. I like how really looks with the way the guys on the chair part of the problem too when you do hdr is it makes your whites stand out and you're black standout well guess what I see in that picture of the only thing I see or the thing I see first is that coffee cup that's number one and the two other things that I see second and third are the hair spray bottles or the hair spray cans so those are the kinds of things that I would probably recommend that's what I would not want to see probably hdr I'd love to see the maker go back and re work this file and here's what I'd like you to do um I want you to tone down this area where the coffee cup is toned down that and tone down that tone down that bright spot there and toned down that where the guy's feet is where he's up in the chair um I want you to bring up a little bit this part of her dress I love the highlights in the shadow areas right in here this photograph would look beautiful with a texture screen overlay on a pretty subtle maybe even a grain texture screen would look beautiful because it's got a lot of mystique to it and I think it and the back of her gown is so beautiful you know that that young lady wants it fisher of that and her wedding it in her wedding album but the way that it's been done is not helping the photographs so think about that and be really careful and for those of you that are doing the hdr get over it you got to stop this madness it's just too much it's too you are his dawn I mean it just lay off the e r because what happens is when it becomes a technique like this it becomes it's such a gimmicky thing that people immediately equate your work with this photo shop the stuff and people those things they're datable and now and within a year or two years it's it is it's like oh yes all that and that's not a good way for you to move up the food chain if you want to be booking higher and weddings timeless classic things like black and white beautiful black I might never go out of style you never hear people don't oh no I wouldn't want that in my book but things like this become datable and something that unless done very, very well and we saw one image today that where the hdr actually worked with the picture be really, really careful and start pulling back away from those kinds of things um like do we all remember the colorization of black and white and adding in red flowers and how do we feel about that stuff now? No yeah just saying s so we don't want that to happen hdr where is just a that you know what I mean so you have to produce things that are very classic okay regards to this picture here what I think of what I would have done was obviously the light is coming in from this area this way right there's a window over here because you can see what's happening over here I would have walked around here and shot with the back light coming in this way and then I would have the two gentlemen on each side of her and I would have focused on them putting her the veil over ahead and shot that way does that make sense and I think because of the backlight and then putting these two gentlemen in between them that will also been a great shot I mean, you could take this shot you know and then walk around do that shot maybe knew he did that and maybe not but that's the shot that I would I liked but you know, whatever the case is we really admire the fact that the maker you know I love to see when a maker will go that extra step to do the pictures of the bride getting ready but just remember you always have choices to make whether you are photographing a bride getting ready whether you are a pure bred photojournalist that never prompts picture you have choices to make, always. And you have choices on where your camera position is. The lenses that you use and the way that you treat photographs. So you want to think about that when it comes to the way in the position that you have when it comes to your pictures?