Wedding Day Critique Part 1
You know, this morning was so much fun reviewing the engagement photograph images and, you know, engagement segment is a really great way that the engagement session is a fabulous way for uscis photographers to really find out who the client is that we're working with and that way on their wedding day, that we can interpret that wedding day, according to the client and who they are in a way that when they look at their pictures, that they say, hey, you caught my smile, so I'm really thrilled to see some beautiful pictures that we saw this morning. How about you, scott? Yeah, you know, I'm actually learning a lot, you know, just from everybody's comments and bannon's comments, and being inspired by the image is so, you know, it's, it's, it's, everybody learning here and that's what's great about it, and so we have amazing image to look at first, and I've got to this photograph gives me goose bumps. I think this is beautiful and, you know, isn't it interesting for those of you that were ...
here this morning, we had a photograph of another couple in an engagement say, a segment that was quite a bit different and what's what I hope that you'll notice by comparing these two images in your mind, is that each of them have been done beautifully for the client and for the specific person they were working with I mean, this couple looks more traditional the way that they're dressed would you not agree? Scott? Yeah, and you know, bam remember, we talked about leaning and you kind of gave some demonstrations on how that energy is transferred into the lean and look att look at how they're lean meaning in this photo so you can kind of feel that connection with them going, you know, into each other and the lighting is it's great. The white angle kind of sets the scene and it has a has a very wow feel to it. I have to tell you, I find very little wrong with this photograph. I would have a hard time critiquing it, you know, for things that are wrong because I think it has so much going for it, right? I love the fact that in this photograph that they have chosen to make it a black and white image, I think it absolutely works for the photograph, the space between their faces, they look like they're about to go in for a kiss and I think that is absolutely done beautifully. I like the way that they live that subject from behind using their flash I think they did a very, very fine job of separating that subject from the background and thus it looks really, really nice I think for me there's like one little tiny thing and it's it's such a great picture of you know that I didn't dare to bring it up but there's like something on the that's behind them to the right right behind the bride shoulder you see those two vertical lines that air right by the window and I don't I think that might be like some sort of interior light well, that kind of is a little bit too bright to me I'd like to take it down a little bit but other than I mean that's pretty bad when that's that's a much of a critic is I can give because the maker did such a nice job of telling a visual story just beautifully done and I really commend you for it. I think I just a nit pick a little bit I would probably like to see the bouquet a little bit lower so I could see more of her body come out I mean, but picking drop just a tad odd that the highlights just down a little bit, especially on his arm just I mean, I'm being very critical here um it's a great image hello, I love this picture to um I I'm crazy about this photograph I loved the expression on this young lady's face I think the photographer did a masterful job of come on. Composition and the way that they let it. It looks. The lighting is very soft. Her pose is very soft. I like the fact that you see highlights on her face. And then we see a shadow and then there's a bit more of a highlight. And then you can see there's depth in the background and that's, really it important element in doing a photograph well is that the background doesn't go just dark. We want that continuation in the background where you see this little bit of highlights in the background are as important as the subject is because they kind of frame that subject a bit. And so it's really, really well done. There is one area that that I would critique this maker on. And that is the front elbow of this young lady. I would like to have seen them break that elbow and just make it softer because it's a little bit too stiff, her shoulder looks a little bit too static. And if they had just bent that elbow a little bit, I think that would have pulled this image just out of the world. To me, I think this is absolutely beautiful, and if I were doing a bridal fair, I think this would be an eighty inch print in my booth. Because this is the kind of photograph that gets you noticed this would be if I were doing a promotional piece like bay photos my color lab and I love they do these amazing little brochures. I would want this photograph on the cover of my brochure because it's such a powerful image that has a unique twist to it. It's not just a typical picture. It's very well done and it's very sophisticated looking. And I think that's kind of the kind of thing that to me when you're doing a bridal show or whether you maybe should something for your studio if you want to get noticed and you want to be the photographer who people higher in spite of what you charge, then you need to be able to capture images that reflect that degree of sophistication. And I think the maker has done a very fine job of that in this image. This is an upscale image. I'm doing a workshop in a december talking about, um, think like a ten k wedding photographer. This is exactly the luxury tied up scale, uh, kind of, uh, image that your studio wants to portray and this is it has lost sophistication, is glamour to it. It has a kind of a fine art field to it she's beautiful sea style, you know, perfectly, um, the one little mitt picking here and I love the way it's post process in the tones are great and, you know, when you're posing and you're doing a profile, the bride at what this photographer did it's very important that you see the shape of the bride and it's not covered. And so this photographer did a very good job of doing that, so you can still see it her shame. And when I when I talk about wedding photography, imposing the bride a special lamps and make a woman look like a woman, and if you're covering up all our stuff, then you you can't really see that quality about her, but this shows it all. Maybe I would have, like, taken down a little bit um, inter bodice area brought that down just a tad. Yes, whenever you have stiffness of the joints. If whenever you see a joint if it's bent than that's usually better. Um, but great image. And you know what? We talked a little bit earlier about where do you crop a picture where you crop it? You'll notice that that front hand because you can't see that she has a hand there. If you were judged in photographic competition, they would probably doc, you points for that because of where the crop appears to be. On the hand. So, you know, if you could bend her joints, that would be good. One of the things that you could do with her hand a lot, people struggled. What do I do with the hands? Well, one of the things you could do is you could just have, you know, reach up and maybe hold her hearing or, you know, look a little slightly off camera on dh that would give that would give her something to do with that, and you could see that she actually has one like scott, I would have toned down just a little bit on that, chester, because it's a little bit brighter than the face. One of the things I want to point out that I think the maker did right, though. Look outside that window. Do you see how that those green, the green tone ality of the leaves, those air opposite on the color wheel to the skin tones that kind of they're they're on opposite, and I think they reflect the rain. I see they're also not brighter than the face. So that is also another thing that works really well in this photograph. Very nice. I wish I had that image, my partner, meteo question about that. Yeah keith l a had asked if she been her arm than we would lose the hand so where would you suggest they go oh no I don't think she went you'd have lost the hand because you extra is it a pyre the hand yeah see when you've been that joint saying that she had just taken that hand and just you know even done this with your fingers you know something with their hand you know either brought it up to your ear like this or brought that hand and just bring you know made it very gentle on the ledge or even I would have taken where that door frame is just even have her bring her hand upon that frame could have been another way to do it but as I said this is so fantastic there's really very little that needs to be done to make this picture any better than it already is and you know one of the thing I wanted to mention was about where camera position needs to be in relation to the light source and this photograph really really isolates that point very well so many times our natural tendency is wherever the main light is this to stand on the same side and otherwise to photograph from the same side of the lights but this is the main light we might have intensity to come and let that be like right over our shoulders when in reality if you are about forty five degrees to the left or to the right of the main light you that's what gives your subject shape is where that highlight meets the shadows so for most of us, unless you are a size zero, you know, and even then I don't know of any girl who wants to look fatter and flatter then she is and maybe for the little skinny girl, if you photograph in the same direction as the light source, we're going to make her look flatter so we want to give them curse and show off their shape of it so about forty five sometimes even ninety degrees from that main like is going to give that body shape okay? This is many of our clients these days we have are the population in america we have larger brides to work with and we were want to give them dignity and we want to showcase them in a way that is going to make them look beautiful with this young lady. I love this kind of client and I know that I can that there are ways to enhance her beauty and showcase who she is I'm not going to try to make her look like she's a size two I want her to look like who she is but in a way that dignifies her and shows her elegance when I look at this photograph if you shut your eyes for a moment and you squint I have a hard time finding her face because I see the veil on the left hand side is so bright it so much brighter than the faces I do like the fact that they've got a bit of shadow on the face but because the light is so far around to the back I feel that it's not giving it's not giving her face it's not showcasing her face in a way that is going to showcase her best features maybe we should demand I think that's a great idea so there's a veil back here? Yeah there's a veil let's say the only thing that we're missing as a bride let's see, maybe I should just put that on and take it for the team I think scott, you know I'm not saying for the record we're talking one but can you at least take your glasses off so yeah ok, I can't see them but that's all right, we trust me you don't want tio what's your solution for what was that what's your solution for but ugliness very few people qualify for that but this is a look let me tell you a good for anybody here going on here, kitty okay, he's beautiful, okay, so let's see if I can bring this light source around without yeah, destroying anything. Yeah, I'll probably not. Prince tassi, I almost okay. So what we're going to do is we want to show you just using a single light source. Um, some things that you can do to make a subject to really enhance her features, as I mentioned my favorite like for a portable light source. I love the jonas ice light that is such a fantastic light source because it's a soft light, but it's very directional and that's an important light source when we're working with with a plus size bride because we want to showcase that beautiful face, and if we photograph on the shadow side of the of the body, we can really enhance her beauty and give her body shape and minimize areas that she might. That might be something that she made I want to show. So here is we're just going to use this little light source because we happen to have on hand, which was good. Okay, so what I want you to do is you're going to see how this is gonna look, see welsh photo says when scott signed up for critique, I'm sure he did not imagine would be abroad today. Okay, we have a lot of choices when it comes to the way we like our subject flat light. Means that we're going to photograph that subject from the same direction as the light sources you can see with scott so the light is crossing the whole face and if I were to stand and photographed him from the front of his face then that's going to make him appear larger and it's going it's not going to give him it's going make him look fatter and flatter than he is so what I want to do though is I want to use my light source effectively and move it any day I need some help, steve all come here for second beauty I'm gonna give me a light stand weighed on lifestyle would be great but we believe this is human life ok, so basically what I want to do is now let's see um so now my choice is scott let's see what I want to do here let me have you turn your feet towards me this way. By the way, did you notice where did I stand in relationship? And when I asked him to do that I stood right in front of him to tell him to turn and said turn your feet towards me why? Because it gives him an absolute visual cute it's exactly where I want him to go so there's, no question because if we just use words like left or right turn left well who's left in his right of my talking about and house far, so this gives him an absolute place to go to. So now that I've done that case, scott, I want to separate your feet for me about a shoulders length and you're gonna push your hip towards my hand here now, by the way, did you notice I don't have to touch him to get him to do that and that's important? Because not every client wants us to be touching them. So the next thing I can do now you notice that we're kind of shooting into the show over here so we wouldn't want to do that, so now might. Now my question to you is where his camera position in relation to that life so for me camera position might be somewhere in this area. So scott, I want you to turn your face this way beautiful and hey, estephe scoop that way just a whisper. C is he doesn't see how we're starting to get a bit more of a shadow here. Now this is hard. Can I have you come closer? Because we have so much regular light here so much like I need to it's hard for you to see the shadow, but now you can see that shadow right here, correct, so now if I were photographing him from this side of his face. I can actually get a better image now, scott, the next thing I want you to do is with your chest. I want you to lean towards me this way. Beautiful. Keep your back straight, gorgeous. Stay right there. Lovely. And now I can photograph him from here. I could also status as only have you sit on the edge of that share right there cannot be careful, scott. Hey, scott. Come on. And you're going to sit on your thought like I showed you earlier today. Beautiful. All that looks a thousand times better. And actually, if you just can I have one of you guys wants you to see how this looks from here from this camera position because that right there we don't have to see this really butt ugly face too much have you poor thing this is the right in your ear. So what the moral of the story is by photographing from the shadow side of the face and it gives it direction. See how we have those nice highlights right there because we want to show the shape of the face. We want to show that person's natural beauty with that, but we don't need to see every single thing about them, so, for instance, if I were photographing this beautiful young lady right here this is the kind of lighting that I might want to do with her in the context of the way they've used the veil over her and such does that make sense to you? Yes loathe face but are you focusing on that? I yes, exactly. I would focus on this I that's a great question because and the reason that's important is that you want a zoo general, we tend to look for the eyes to be sharp if they're not sharp way don't like the picture we go there's something wrong there's a problem with that picture so I would want to shoot from this angle one of the other things that I would do with this young lady and this is really critical. Can I have you guys on gonna demonstrated on myself? Your pumpkin? Let me have you just, you know, you could take this off now, but I want to demonstrate this on me. And what I need is I need some help from my video crew if you just photographed me can come straight this way and now I want you to lower your camera, angle the video camera angle and I want you to see the more you lower it, the more you start seeing this and I'm not talking by chin a little bit, okay, is that a good thing or a bad thing? Man that's a bad thing for anybody and especially for if we have any weight on us we need to get rid of this. So now what I'd like you to do is I'm gonna have you raised let's raise that video your video camera there and I want you to see what happens the higher you yet now go back over here we were key and now I do have a shadow on the side of my face or hear yes, ok and raise it higher, not you. You're perfect, he says. I know keep raising it and now look what happens. You see, the higher the camera position is, the less you see this area and if you can't see it, it doesn't exist. I learned that technique from jared bonus so that's why my step ladder comes with me wherever I go and if I have a mom who's got a double chin or I have a plus sized bride, I am going to do the very most beautiful photograph I can id them, and that means I'm going to get a higher camera angle have them lean towards the light with your chin a little bit to pull the chin away from the chest, and then the light will be important because I want to photograph from the shadow side of the face does that make sense? Another thing to go back into that pose with that lightning. When you have the lighting off camera, you're going to always see the shadow on the arms too, and that will that shadow will help contour and show the shape and so won't look as wide so off. Camera lighting is very, very important when especially photographing brides. So with this young lady, one of the biggest things that would have helped her and would have been beautiful for her is to have raised your camera. Angle says it is the photographers photographing from a little bit too low underneath here and it's accentuating this area here. In addition to that she's got her head tilted that way right there. So it's even making her look a little bit it's, making those folds in her skin look a little bit more prominent. So I hope that helped. I always try to remember a long gate, the neck, because if you look at super models, they have super long next on the time, okay? Before, before we move on, I don't think that we could let that moment of scott just passed by. I think we're going to have tio. Re ofsome common so sad cause he said, is it just me or does it seem like bambi should be the subject? Nora sue said someone needs to keep this for scott's kids to see on dsi welsh, little said, so I just screamed captured that pose and it's my new backdrop, I love it, I love it! Well, you know they would have used me, but then that would have been really old. So do you have any questions before? Yes, questionable crop with images like these, you feel like sometimes like if you crop too high, it makes people look like they're naked in a picture or ukrop too low and it's like cutting off their head like where is you know? It depends on the subject, but where you're going to quote where you should crop in image? And I think in any wedding album there should be a variety of images, but you do want to be careful that when you're cropping them, that if you can't tell that she has anything on that, it looks like she's nude, then that may not be that may not be as effective, but it really depends on the subject and what you're trying to capture in this photograph that we see here, my problem is not the crop as much as it's, the way that it was lit it could have been that this was a natural light that this was a real moment in time I mean, this could be like just before her wedding but you know what? Even if it is just before her wedding you do have choices you miss the photographer have a choice, you have a choice on where your camera position is in relation to that light source you also have choices on the focal length of the lens that you choose. So even if you can't manipulate the scene even if this is a moment that's happening in real time, the thing that separates a pro from an amateur is that a pro knows what it should, where the best place for his camera position to be in that particular situation and they're going to be able to get the best shot they can. Whereas an amateur just takes and sprays and price this is ok well, this is what's happening one plus one is two this is bride walking down the aisle. I will get this shot but not thinking about where's the best place for me to be to get it in a way that flatters the subject. So if I were photographing this young lady, I can promise you, when we did our initial consultation I would make a note to myself I want to make sure they bring my step letter because when she walks down that aisle and I know that she's going to have that beautiful veil over her face, I know higher camera angle is going to flatter my subject. And at the end of the day, I want flattering pictures of a subject, not just pictures that document something your stepladder right inside the church. If it were when she's before she walks down the aisle into the chapel, I would be on my step ladder out a little four year area when you obviously if she's at the altar than maybe I might be restricted as to what I have the ability to do, you know, and of course, you hope that you recognize that there are obvious exceptions to every rule, but as a general rule, I try to find out, well, what is the best I could do under this set of circumstances? So if I can't get a higher camera angle let's, say it's in the sanctuary itself, what can I do with what I've got? One of the things that I do is I find a discreet spot in the church I prefer, and this is many people probably wouldn't do this, but I prefer to do what I want and ask for forgiveness after the fact, so it is going to be less flattering to photograph them from the very front, then it would be to photograph them from an angle. So what I try to do is I want to make sure it turn that body away from the the light source, and then if in this case, for instance, let's say that this was a photograph that was taken just, you know, in real time, then I know that this is not going to be a flattering angle to photograph for for straight on, so I we need to move my center might my angle around until I could photograph from about forty five degrees inside the church. One of the things that I do is I find a seat, you know, there's two rows that are dedicated to families in the front. One of the things that I generally will do is if it's, if they are restrictive on where we can be is I will find that second row. I'll walk up to the people in the second row before the ceremony, and I'll say hi, I said, I'm bambi cantrell, I'm the photographer and the bride and groom have requested that I sit in this seat, would you do would you do me a huge favor and save my seat for me? Sure you got no problem exactly you know first of all what did I just tell that guy I said move your butt over right and so the good thing is is because I've made friends with him I go oh gosh I feel so bad the bride's requested that I sit in there a seat on the high seas and so then the cool thing is is that they will save me a little seat I've never seen a minister ever ever ever tell graham are aunt martha or anybody sitting in that seat that they cannot take pictures with any camera they will tell us if they see us walking down okay you're a photographer you look like a photographer's you're trying to keep a low profile I don't that's not my goal to be disrespectful and it's very important that I keep a low profile which is why I want that seat because I want to able to get a great angle and do my client's justice without creating you know something that's going to be inappropriate for clients it's another thing to talking about camera angle a lot of the newer cameras like my sony a ninety nine that what they're doing is they're having tilt displays um the skirt on the camera itself and I'm now because of a short guy I'm constantly using that and just raising my camera and I can still see what my cameras doing by tilting my screen down. And looking at and it's a great advantage for taking higher angles so sometimes you know, it's great to embrace the newer technology that's out there music to your advantage and it also helped by the way for you ladies out there, this is just a little fashion tip I'm five foot one I always where platforms these I changed my shoes because I wanted you to see see what I wear for a wedding these your shoes there appear sandals made by a designer called robert closure ray, they are so comfortable I can run in them they're I mean, they're literally something aiken running and they're there this gives me another three inches at least in heights all where these all day at a wedding and they're very, very comfortable so I believe it's important to invest in a good pair of shoes that allow you to do your job better and it for me when you're only fun but when I got to do something so my letter goes with me, but in addition to that I try to give myself a little bit of extra height by wearing a pair of heels and I always where goes I don't ever wear flats to a wedding I love the expression on this young lady's face it is absolutely beautiful I really liked the she has this this wonderful look of question in her eyes I'll tell you what's really pulling me back on this picture is the treatment I think that they've overtreated it I don't know whatever texture you're not texture but whatever kind of treatment you're using but in my opinion it's a little bit too much and I think it's starting tio it looks a bit gimmicky and you have to be really careful when you add texture screens or when you soften pictures because what happens is if it's if it's too much of a good thing, it starts looking like a tech like a like a photo shop trick and those become dated very, very fast and then people don't look at you as a pro they look at you as somebody who just used over does it's like too much sugar you know, on your captain crunch I mean it's just too much of a good thing when I, um use a treatment that's a little bit um not normal like in this case they're trying toe, you know, make it soft and artistic um I don't have the subject looking at the camera, so if I were used this treatment maybe give it a texture and whatever I would probably have her like close her eyes and it may be pull off a little bit better when I'm using a more aggressive post processing style of treatment I love the beauty in her face you know, and that's what captured me about this image. But again, you know, the just the straight up and down of this I mean, her expression is is gorgeous. So even if I just had her kind of leaning down and looking over towards the camera and getting a little bit of angle and and flow with the lane, I think it would have been outstanding because as it is, it's it's, her face is so beautiful, but in my mind, it's like, ok, the photographer just happened. Tio, catch this shop, and it needs to be crafted a little bit more to make it a masterpiece like so close. Yeah, and the the other bride that we just saw the little plus size bride, that this is a better camera angle for her, this would have been a much pretty. It would make her look much prettier a photograph of her. It also makes me a little uncomfortable. Where the hand is placed in this shot, I see a bit too much of the back of the hand. But still this is a very pretty image and I'm not trying to minimize if the maker south or you did a nice job and I love the expression the expression is very much she looks excited with her eyes and I don't think people have to be have this big toothy grin on their face the whole day you know, to to show some excitement and I think you've done a nice job um and this is kind of the case where I think just because you can do it doesn't mean you should do it so in this particular situation where I mean I can see how they're going for um you know, the great scenery and the water and wanting to catch that uh all that in there but they're going with the very kind of detailed shot and then I don't think it it represents the emotion that the romance that they're trying to bring out of this photo so you've got this very romantic feel but then a very kind of commercial super detailed color and so I think it just kind of is mismatched s o I would probably if you're going to go with that kind of feel and expression with the bride's then I would have went so heavy with the hdr I feel I might even gone natural light and cropped in closer or put you had to get that light off of the the subject a bit more um and show some shadow in there and so I just think it's kind of a mismatch uh feel there in addition to that there's a couple of areas that look a little bit sloppy thiss areas I think for me what's really bothering me about this picture there's a few things and I think what scott mentioned was was one of the most important things but this area right here seems to be a bit sloppy and so it bothers me these twigs right here this looks just dirty and it makes me want to go what's all that messy stuff doing there I also feel almost a cz though because of where they had been position in the rocks that you've got two pictures here there's so much heaviness because this rockets heavy and they are the brightest thing in the picture that all of that is kind of making the photograph very unbalanced to this side so this side doesn't really mean very much s o I think that if if I were in the position of the maker I think I would have moved my subjects somewhere in this area right here so that you're I would go to them and maybe crop off some of them know that we need all of that um but again I think one of the biggest things is that the pose doesn't fit the environment you have like this kind of romantic field. But it's, just like we are here in this environment, this is what we've got. And then because you weren't sure exactly what to do with them, you place them there.