Capture the Wedding Reception
We go now to the reception. The reception is the part that I don't like the most. It's too much controlled. Everyone controls the coordinated reception. Food time we have to stop doing that. So I don't stay too much at the reception. If they want me to stay, I charge extra. And I make sure that they give me a good meal because I'm working all day and they better look after a photographer. So...No, I'm not being arrogant. Sorry. Just have fun. So I do... (laughter) It's important that at the reception just do whatever happen. There's no control. The only part I control is when they pose with the cake. It's good idea to put their arm around each other the bride closer to the camera put arms around each other, heads closer and hold the knife so his hand, her hand create a ring. So one arm around eachother. So when they turn toward the stage, towards the camera. Just make them tilted and I go to the wedding coordinator and say, Do you mind if I set them up first before they start cutting? ...
I do everything really. Signing of the registry. I don't stop them but I like to position them in the perfect lighting position so I get good shots. Everything is light. So this is 7 p.m... I was there until 10 p.m. And I was a guest. So here my son is holding the Profoto... away from the camera. They're gonna, I position my way, they're gonna walk down this way. I position my way there. Again I go low. Did you see? I go low. Because that's best position to get everyone. Especially when you do family groups. And I start shooting from that angle. My son, who's holding the light can move and keep the distance but it's very important that he stays in the same distance because we've measured the light. So bride and groom, of course, walk into the room. Take shots. And capture as much as possible. Here, because there's always in reception the pink light or the warm light or whatever. I expose a little bit high ISO again, so I can expose for the colors of the room but fill it also with flash. So you will see the pictures are warm and colorful but there's also a nice light coming onto the picture. So basically you see that's the position. Groom on the inside, bride on the outside. One arm around eachother. Dani do it, please don't embarrass me. Make sure my exposure is right and take the picture. At the end of the day, here I don't care if people are taking pictures because they have every right to do that. But they are blocking everyone else's view. And dancing shot again. From low angle. I'm measuring my exposure first. Make sure it is correct. My son will be about 45 degrees on an angle so a flash fills in. But I can go all around because the flash is still there. Let's assume it's this flash. Okay. There's a flash here. Let's assume that that's measured the light here But I can be this close. I can be over here. I can be right facing them. I can be everywhere and that light is going to be always the same because it's the same thing. If I want him to move around I will ask him to move around with the flash. Always also hold it high so the shadows drop behind them. You see I don't have nothing on my camera. It's all from the side. Yes.
So I have a bouncing question... I have two questions. Do you have the, um, are you shooting manual also on the flash or are you doing TTL?
Uh no, no TTL. Because what happens with TTL, exposure changes if they come close, far. So what I've done is, before they walked in, I measure, where usually people, guests are good. So I focus on the guests, measure the light, take a few pictures. I know that my exposure is correct. I know the distance. My assistant knows how far is the flash from the subject. So if we need to move, he will move, not me. I can go anywhere I want but he needs to keep the distance from the subject always. So if we're gonna do the cake shot, keep the same distance. Hold it higher so it drops and it's behind the crowd also. So that way he knows what he's doing if you have a good assistant you will get good light. So for me, I can go anywhere, because if I move close or far, because it's manual setting, the lighting is gonna be exactly the same. But if I do TTL, I move close, I move distant it's gonna be all over the place. And you're not gonna get constant beautiful light. Everything is manual for me.
Question number two. So I noticed that you and your son are on the dance floor and sometimes the problem that I have is that they give you their best look and their best moves or their happiness, is when they walk in through that door and not when they reach the dance floor. Do you have any solution for that or do you just, don't worry about it?
No, no. We just move, because my son knows how distance to be, if they move closer, he's gonna move back. I'm not gonna worry about my flash settings anymore. My mind was set up. He's gonna set up for a distance. For example, let me give you example. You are the subject. I set up the light and my flash is gonna be... Here. Let's grab one of the flash. This is the flash I use. So this is my flash this is on the shoulder. So have a monopod... So we measure the light. Once we know the distance. Do you mind standing up for me, sweetheart? Just stand up for a minute so I can demonstrate. So I measured the light, this is the distance. Now start moving with me. So I can be anywhere. I can be anywhere but my son will follow to keep the same look. So wherever she goes he's gonna follow. You see? This is what's gonna happen. So the light person for me is very important. And because I'm shooting manual exposure is gonna be perfect. Thank you darling. Exposure is gonna be perfect because he's moving continuously in the distance. I can be anywhere. I can be on the other side. I can be on the side. My light is always constantly the same. It's not depending from the camera lens. It's from the distance of the light. So I prefer this way because I know that every click I'm gonna do is exactly what I want it to be. I don't rely on the camera because the camera has sensors and it's gonna read here and it gonna read there. And constantly you're gonna get muddy pictures because it starts to compensate also. And its not going to be exactly the quality that you want. So it's very important to do that. Okay it's important at the reception also to photograph details. I try to do the details in available light again a microlens will help you to keep great shot. But you see... My focusing point was around here. This is where the light was initially. So I took shots when they were there but when they got closer I stayed there, but my son moved away. My son moved away so it keeps the same ratio of light. And again, they're moving so the flash will move with them. So get their back. I will stand at side. Get back side. This time flash was coming from the side but same distance but I move behind them to take the shot. So I'm quite flexible. The light is not coming straight out of the camera. And here when they're doing the dance I always do the dance, let them finish the dance because I don't want to interrupt and when it finishes and they invite the rest of the bridal party, that's the quick time I say look guys, close up, and I move closer to them to capture a few close ups. And zoom in and out if you want to capture the room, the things happening. If you see 3,200 ISO, it's on purpose. Because I want that it has purple pinky colors there although I convert it to black and white I want everything to be captured. And the flash is only filling the subject. So the flash is filling the subject so the subject is clear and sharp, but the background has the mood of the room. Here, basically nothing, no flash, nothing. A veil of just the spotlight when he's doing the speech. Spotlight, usually does turn out good in black and white because it's a photojournalistic moment and I move around and capture also her, capture expressions, dancing. And usually I do the family shot, the group shot, straight after the church, we go to a nice park or something In some cases, because it was very cold we did it at the reception. It's not my favorite place to take traditional shots but you have to do those shots, quickly do it. Like I said before this will never end up in the album. We will try to sell them as a separate frame or thing. We will only have, when I have family pictures in the album, it's the ones they are hugging, half-length, hugging and more natural so it doesn't, the album always looks great. Here, dancing, 5000 ISO Now I'm being creative. they've got all these lights and she's dancing and I'm capturing the mood of the place. Very little flash here. Just a bit, very little. I want to capture the green and the light is changing. So I'm getting all the expressions all the moods. You're not just capture you see those spotlights and things I want to capture the mood of the night. So when I've done my official shots I just play around. I don't care if it's crazy, if it looks good it's great. Just leaving the reception, the last shot. Okay again, outside it's very dark, it's night time. 4000 ISO, streetlights so I get the big lights in... and a bit of flash. (flashy spy movie music) (laughter) Back to work in August. I need tiny break. So this was Dani's wedding and tomorrow we gonna continue working on the pictures and some of the pictures we shot today.
So I see you directed the bride. But what are the big things you focus on, chin down, chin up, the shoulder? What are the basic ones we should be really put attention to?
When I say chin up, chin down, it's because in most girls, drop their head up. I want a nice triangle, the neck, everything in position. In my mind I know what's a great shot and I know what I'm framing because from your angle it might look weird but in my angle, I need that. So all I do is chin up, chin down. I let her do the movements, take the position. Then let's let go. Let's do the shots. A bit of changes, Chin up, chin down, one foot forward, arm on the neck. That's gonna change the picture. Kick the dress, you know? So I'll get exactly what I want.
Do you use any other lights for reception other than the B2?
Sometimes I use the flash if I'm lazy. But with the Canon light, for example, the speed light you can have the same type of control, the flash, the trigger on the camera, it's a Canon trigger. Nikon has the same one also, or Ny-kon, however you say it. Ny-kon or Nee-kon. So if you want to do that you can manage that. The only problem is there if I'm going to continue these shots is the flash is not going to catch up with me. With this type of flash, it's a good investment. Because whenever I need flash, you see I had the problem with the tethering because I was shooting and that was not responding anymore. So I don't want that to happen during the shooting. But that flash will catch up with me. And the great thing about that light if we are outdoors during the day, you need full blast. Because the sun is strong you are wanting to feel the flash. My speed light is not going to be able to do that. Whereas that one will do that. It's ready for the next shot. I don't want anything to slow me down. I want to capture, you see a couple of great shots I missed with Isabella, because the tethering was not, I couldn't press my camera. So it's very important that my equipment doesn't stop me capturing what I want. Before that I hardly used any flash. But when they came with this flash This was a good flash to use with the digital cameras. It's great. And good things will come in the future.
I was just wondering, when you're doing that 3200, trying to get the ambient light in. Did you do that the whole reception or is that just part of the dance...? I wanted to know your process, if you wanted to kick up your ISO are you turning down your power or your flash off?
From camera. From my remote control. I don't tell anything to my assistant. My assistant only keeps the distance but we've already measured the light beforehand. So I keep trying to do it before I start shooting so my assistant knows forward, backwards so continuously we get the perfect light.
So it's quite technical but it's also easy. It's nearly bringing us to in there. Getting the mood, the atmosphere of the place. I don't want good flash on the subject and everything else is dark. I want to get the feel of the reception, Candles and everything.