Internet Critique With Ben Chrisman Part 1


Documentary Wedding Photography: Capturing Reality


Lesson Info

Internet Critique With Ben Chrisman Part 1

When we when we critique these photos that you guys sent in ben ben and I are going to do it and a little bit different way we're going to be honest but it's just going to be a little bit living softer, you know and kind of point out some some good things you know and some things that could be improved you know? So so that that's certainly going to be just give you a heads up about kind of how it's gonna go but anyway yeah so so yeah, I am thrilled and so happy that my friend ben crissman of christian studios him and his wife ben and erin chrisman they run they run the show with like four other photographers and quite frankly you know, some of the best if not the best in the industry. And so ben and I met it foundation workshop and we've we've been on teams together and stuff like that and so you know, critiquing together is really fun and it's going to be interesting to kind of get somebody else's perspective you've been hearing me talk for three days I need teo I need to kind of hand...

over the reins of some other people saw him and I have him and I was going to jump into this so you know where's yet where you at man hey dude, with going on nice background there tell me look no logos would you want now they told me no logos no logos to take down your logo that's on your wall of time yeah all right working photo working photo right yeah nice nice nice um all right so then you've got all the all the photos right yes, I do but I'm just saying the screen just like everyone else yeah right yeah yeah o o ur ok cool so um so so so you're going to see my my photo mechanic right all right so what what we're gonna do is like so there's like there's like eighty seven photos submitted just which is sweet and we don't know how long it's going to take we're just gonna go and go after it so those of you at home that might see your image or your you know you submitted something we're going to do our best to kind of get through but we're just going to kind of kind of get started and jump into this school here ready ready all right you're going to start man so I want to hear your thoughts. Okay. Cool. Um first off this is a really good moment always when I look at the photo the first thing I go to is the highlights where's the brightest part of the frame which I think you've talked about a lot the last three days and so in this photo of looking at that highlight above her head and so it's a great moment I get the photographer had moved in a little bit different position this is obviously during the ceremony maybe moved a little bit to the right teo clear of that negative space on the on the right side of the frame and center it up a little bit and it would have been more about the moment and less about everything else because you've got a lot of destruction going on in the top and write that's not needed totally agree it's an awesome moment it's it's really it's it's something I don't see that ever happening much that's at ceremonies but, um tell me what you know, you know, no one thought I had was that I think this image would be stronger in black and white um I think that it would it would take all those different colors and kind of that I find those colors in the background distracting to what I want to actually see, which is the moment right? Then tell me what you think about the use of flash in this one well and I don't know what the church was like it may have been very dark so they may have needed to flash I know that we try not to use flash it all during ceremonies just because you try to be a little bit more stealthy from this photo was shot at I s o four hundred so they probably could have just bumped us up to sixteen or thirty, two hundred and not needed the flash dog there also shooting at seven point one, it looks like aperture, so just changing those basic camera settings probably would have given them a much cleaner exposure, and they would have had to use that flash totally. I think I think that the flash I can tell his flashed mainly because of the exposure settings, but also because of this. See these shadows right there behind the ear and right here on a gin, right? And so I think, I think interesting what's, what's also interesting is, like, like, you kind of wonder why that exposure was what it wass, and I think the exposure was because of the flash, and then what happens is is ben and I are both talking about the background, right? And so had that photographer not shot at seven point one with such a big depth of field that would have helped those distracting omens in the background fall away. I also think just the point of view, like where the photographer standing would have been a lot better if they had just been in the middle of the aisle shooting like tours, the officiant and because that, like that very basic, obvious position in the ceremony is usually the best one because your that's, where you have a bill to be direct center and you're gonna be able to get the best moments because you can really concentrate on cleaning that background up and when you're moving around like this photographer is it's a lot harder because you've got a lot of more distraction to play with other than the officiates head totally, and it also the one thing about this is the only thing that is really helping this picture get give the context to what's going on is the officiant ce notebook, right? And the officials notebook totally is not a good part of the photo it's kind of distracting, and I hate when those things are there, but at least it's helping us give the text context to the fact that it's an actual ceremony, right? So if you would have, you know that the photographer would have position itself to get more people in the background, or, like ben said the officiant, then it would give more context as to what's going on, right, cool, absolutely great moment, I mean, like that's again, moment trumps everything, you know, and so that's the moment that we wait for I mean, that's, where your you were talking about getting lucky about being prepared, this is this is when you need to really get prepared and hope for the photo god's will give you a photo like this or a situation like this, and then once you've got the composition and the light nailed, then the moment comes in and then you've got your great picture that goes on the block. I mean, you got your lmc, right, your light moment, composition, everything, and and for those of you out there that are, like, really worried about showing people with, like, double chins and stuff, this is fantastic. Is that guy blocked your double chin, you know, right through this kind of cool, all right, anything else, there's remove on its way? Yeah, yeah, yeah. Great moment, though. All right? I love this photo, I think that's fantastic. Um, but I always look at, you know, you know, whenever I go to a photo, the first thing I do is is is as I'm composing a photo, I'm always trying to fix the easiest problems first, right? And so my first problem that I see is I don't like I don't like this little blob over here. Absolutely. Yeah, branding I saw two. Yeah, right, you know, because it because it pops out why, because it's on something bright, right? And so you know if anything like I said you know, crap your crap dot com um you know, you could even crop it, but look, you still can't get it out of there, so how could they have fixed that then they move if you move a little bit to the right, then you would have cleared that kind of blank space up in between the father daughter and the guy singing and then you would have had a much more compressed kind of clean photo that said this photo is really good I looked at it and first thought was wow, this is a great great photo can be cleaned up a little bit but it's a it's a good one yeah, and I love the use because this one's got flash two or video light or something and I think it's actually lit like very, very, very well because it does not feel lit. Yeah, and I think that's the best word this photo has a feeling to it and that's all you can ask for the good photo is it does it make you feel something in this? I definitely I feel like I was there even though it was shot with eighty five more telephoto I feel like I'm right in the middle of that room with him and that's exactly what you're hoping to do with the camera yeah totally so you guys understand what ben was talking about when he said if you would have you know moved to the right then it would have been a more frat compressed photo right years and because what he's trying to say is if you move to the right you actually solved two problems with one move right so you actually get rid of this and you clear this part but you also compress this and you move these two things together so there's mohr there's not as much negative space here does that make sense? I like the negative because the smoking some but I think it could be a little bit less and then with one movie actually solve three things because then this guy's head blocks this little thing back here you see that and also if you move a little bit to the right that singer gets right out of that highlight so he's not competing with it yeah I would love to get rid of those bright spots in the background I don't know how you're gonna do it unless you move around a lot but the moments there which like you said it's most important what if you went down low he went down low you could definitely blocked the bright spot behind the singer and you could prod and you get you if you went out there although you get rid of everything yeah that actually yeah see that's like he's you know, this is what's interesting low critique with somebody else because it's like they see something that you know and so see this right here see this like do you guys want to see was talking about that big bright thing and look right above it there's another bright thing it's actually the shape of a body you see that it's like a robot, right? So if you went down low then this body in this head would actually could line up block all that stuff right now that's a lot to do during a moment during a reception with smoke in a singer and having the light it but you know he's got to know it's there, right? So yeah, I mean it's like what you're talking about I think yesterday where you're thinking it on two planes you're foreground in your background and your background is just a cz important it's your foreground. So you're really trying to combine those two things instantly it's not easy but that's as long as you're just aware that it's there and that it needs to be fixed and you get better and better and better over time by combining those two elements and they just become a perfect perfect friend yeah, it becomes instinctual you just know that you just got to go I think I'll go down and see that, you know, so great I mean I love that moment I think I'd be if I shot that I'd be happy with it, you know so it's cool all right moving on right, man all right, cool. All right you want it? You let's go you start then I started a new start so you start well, okay, first lie in this photo I think what's the what's the interesting part what's important here and to me it's that girl like getting the girl in so the first thing I'd do is drop below get the hands on the left in the hand in the middle of the dressing and then focus on that little girl because you obviously know it's brian getting her address on the britain part. The interesting part is that girl imagining herself in that dress in fifteen or twenty to twenty five years so you need to get that reaction in that that context will will be the most important aspect of that photo and you also get rid of those blown highlights and upper left and the people in the mirror are contributing because they don't have a good they don't have a good expression so folk just it's about simplifying too just what you want to show and to me this photo is all about that little girl thinking about what she's when it's gonna be like when she's the bride totally and I think, you know, even, you know, the thing is that we don't know if she's thinking that, you know, she could just try to go to the bathroom, and then she got caught in there and, you know, I can't leave, you know, I don't know, you know, but it doesn't matter because you just you just make a photo, and then it people can interpret it in all kinds of ways, you know, it's not, like ben's going like, hey, girl, how you feel in is just what you're thinking that he can't do that, you know, so but but, you know, more than anything ben's, right, and trying to show that story, but even if there's not a story, they're the biggest issue is the fact that that arm is going is going right through that girl's neck, right? So no matter if it's a story or not, like we have to separate that stuff, does that make sense? So the issue is, though, is that you got always think about, like, if I'm going to go low, what's gonna happen with all the other elements, and there might be something else competing with what's going on, you know, but I love that this photographer, though, I love that day that they went in there to the bathroom and especially there was a male that even cooler right and they go in a love they win there and follow this moment and made something that was a little bit unexpected you know so cool you down all right all right I'm gonna think about this photo for a minute can you see that guy? Yeah it's not funny anyway. Okay, so, um all right? So I you know again I think it's an interesting moment I don't think it's like an amazing moment but I think it's a good moment, right? And I think it's I think it's something that like every groom feels he's reading his letter you know, I would have totally been in there shooting this but the biggest thing you have to do here is you have to pay attention to your background like one hundred percent it's the first thing you deal with when you walk in this room because you're like holy windows you know and you had to figure out where to place your subject on the background right? So that where's where's the space that you guys think the subject should be placed the curtains right it's given to you it's like a where's waldo circle right? So you have to position yourself to get all of his profile at least just his profile to fit in that space right? Um and then and then you just gotta look for that light, and you've got to really work the composition that I don't think that that that lamp really helps us. I think it's kind of distracting, so the more you move around them or things will move and you got to eat more spot on thoughts than me, ben or we'll definitely this light. This photo has a good light and it's got a moment now we just need a composition and to do that, you've got to get away from this vertical photo because the book be a bedspread, the white bedspread and the feet aren't contributed anything. So this is a good a good chance that you were talking about, get, get hi lo close far get far away and really show the contact show this room on definitely tried to use the window frames is part of the composition. I don't think you're gonna be able to get that lamp out of that photo, but you can definitely try to use it a cz part of the composition, but step back, center up and really, like, be deliberate in taking this picture because this is its extremely passive, this is like the photographer realizes that that groom is looking at his vows is is scared to death of interrupting that groom, but the groom wants you to take a picture of him he's like this is my moment where I'm really going to show my bride how awful I am. I need a picture of this so you can't be timid in that it doesn't mean you need to go jump up like right now put your camera next to his paper, but in tops that you could go step back and really show the whole room and it and it will give you a sense of him being alone because that's what this photo is about him being alone and thinking about what's coming next totally and and, you know, again, awesome job recognizing that this is a good moment, but I think he's right? I think I think you can see a little bit of a timid nous in the photographer potentially, you know, we talked about that with you on dso you just got to get in there and do your best to make it as best as you can that is still in your comfort zone sometimes, you know, you don't want to ruin that moment, we have to respect the integrity, the moment so cool, good job, alright moving on and you be gay, yeah, yeah, we're going, I'm switching off okay, so all right, so first thing looking exposure we've got we're shooting with a fifty were shooting at four hundred eyes so six point three two fiftieth so they're using a flash which is fine but it's a lot of flash because you can see that shadow underneath east hand so he's he's shooting with this looks like a cannon sixty days so the isos fine qualities fine on a sixty d so bumped I s so up to thirty two hundred so you don't have to use as much flash and then get right in front of these people so it's centered up you don't need to be like two feet away but you could be directly in front of them fifty feet away so again you're showing the context of the room and all the people coming in and and cheering beside them and you really feel like you're part of that moment instead it but this is just too snapshot e right now because that moment deserves a lot better composition nice right? And so what's interesting is you got to think about like you know it's so one of the hardest things to do is to get closer in your pictures, right? We've been talking a lot this three days like, you know you got to get closer it's really hard people to get close, you know it actually even harder is to go far away right, I think it's harder to shoot teo to learn to be like, oh, man, I gotta back up right and so, um but it's important here ben's, right? Like like if you get right in front of them and kind of kind of b b at the same angle they are think about the think about where that were that drapery opens up right and that's like a nice little frame and a graphic element. Maybe you could get somebody over on the side clapping and then they're coming in. You guys see in that picture is that kind of what you're seeing, ben yeah, absolutely, absolutely. I mean there's so many different exposures to this you can do this one where you're flashing them. You could because it's so bright outside it looks like white curtains. You could try to silhouette them and use the ambience of the room um, as a like a wide shot or like the one thing that bothers me so much about this is just your hands and arms are cut off. All I need is that and to be centered up and then you got a photo? Yep, you're right there's a rule about where to cut limbs off right and you don't want to cut him off at that that joint's and somewhere place, so it makes it look like like like oh you know where's that where's that poor groom going to put you know his wedding ring because he doesn't have a hand you know I mean like you know is that they go on the left finger I don't wear mine I should wear my but yeah, you know what I'm saying right? Like you got it you just don't want people feeling weird that like people's limbs or cut off you know so captured the moment though number one rule get the moment you know he's got to make it better right alright gonna move on cool. Yes. All right, all right. Um I love the mood of this um I'm trying to figure out which this photographer with sitting here so I can kind of asked what they were wanting to go for, um because that's that's ultimately the, uh, the key, the thing I don't like immediately is I think that the composition is a little wonky when I say wonky, it just kind of does feels it doesn't feel like it's really deliberate. It feels like to me that the photographer was, like, kind of blinded by the light in a way where they like like they they saw this warm light and this kind of mood and that's what they were trying to shoot for more than actually looking at the whole composition because had they been doing that I think that a lot of this stuff would have been cleaned up and taken away right you know, on and then finally this trash can really kind of ruins it as well so you got kind of look for stuff like that you know but I think I think ultimately this would've been really interesting photo there right in front of the doorway and use that frame of the doorway to show them show the bride coming through but it also might defeat what they were trying to show because they want to have like this abstract thing of the bride being cut away says that's why I want oh I wish I could ask them what they're what they're idea was you know um thoughts well I think you'd have the best moment in the world in that doorway still wouldn't be a picture because the composition is so off yeah just moved ten feet to your left and show and frame that subject in the doorway and you got it that's exactly right and then you know what if they what if they you know so what what if that person was sitting there and they're like but I wanted to cut the bride off and not show the whole bride well if you're going to do that like the most expressive parts of a human body or the hands and the eyes so at least get me a handwork looking at because you're obviously not gonna be able to get in high in that picture so, you know, maybe a foot coming out you give me something a little bit more abstract than that because it just feels like like this is the first syrian first shot in a series of photos to get somewhere it's, not it's, not the finished result. Yeah, right. And what's. Interesting. Do you guys realize what he said? This is why I love killing people? Because it can kind of like, you know, just great insight, right? The most expressive part of people are the eyes in the hands, right? And so he said, give me a hand worth looking at ok, so what does that mean? What is that? What did he actually say when he said that? He said, give me a moment, right? So you always think that a moment is like somebody crying or something like that know a moment can simply be the way somebody's hand is expressive on the way they move out of a door, right? Is that what you're referring to, ben? Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, I was surprised by what you were saying. I'm sorry. Next one, you're up, okay, this is another place where again, like when aaron I shoot one of us is always dead center in the middle of that aisle and then the other person rome's and usually the person that sits right in the middle of that aisle gets all the best photos because they're just so you can feel that connection because you're you're a part of it because you're so you're so intense it's it's right there and I think that would be the better position here because I really don't need the table I don't need the candles I don't need the guys on the right I want to know what's going on with the expression of that bride and groom room so this is a place where you could really you could shoot tight or wide, but you still feel much more direct connection if you're right in front of them. The biggest problem in the biggest risk on this photo is look at the shutter speed you guys you see that eighty eighth of a second who at five twelve, fifty yeah yeah, but that you know that what you said, I think I'm day one where you're yesterday where you said you take it to the highest eso you possibly can that's so right on the I s o is the very first step and you give yourself a cz much latitude as possible to make the best decisions and you can't do this at twelve fifty anymore life in that totally and you know fortunately they didn't get they didn't get themselves in trouble with motion blur here but even though even though they're not moving the photographer could be moving but it's just it's not in a safe place exposure wise you guys understand I'm saying there I always want to set my exposure to a place that I have enough safe way latitude back and fourth and I'm in a safe place and so if something happened where the lights went down at that exposure than opening that shut her up is going to put them in a really, really, really risky place where is that there's no reason to be at f five for this photo and so you might as well just like you to two point eight max maybe you know and then and then uh and then just bump that I so don't be afraid to go high on sl, right? Yeah, I mean we're starters we really need to be able to master this kind of geeky technical aspect of of a camera before we can really start being like more artistic with what we're trying to stay with the pictures because if the photos out of focus and you're not trying to make it out of focus and it just doesn't work and sixtieth of a second is pushing it for sure yeah so let's just say that this photographer was there they're feat was planted by the wedding coordinator at the church and they could not move right how do you how do you make this better right? So I'm assuming at a twenty eight very few people I know of actually shoot with an actual twenty eight prime that's probably a twenty four to seventy I would imagine but you know that's why you had two cameras right? And you have two different lenses but if you can't move here's your composition right kind of like right that you know, kind of like right there and try and cut away and stands I know I'm getting there dude slow down um his hands use it yeah it's that he does that he gets all excited sometimes I'm like chill out but you know all this stuff over here we don't need you see that right? So if you're in this position you can actually do a competition like that and and I think it works pretty well but again defeated again, you know? You know, I actually you know, I actually don't mind the guys in the background I think it gives it gets a little bit of extra context to it and kind of the seriousness of the prayer and stuff like that I would have preferred to be stead on dead on in front of it because the composition would have been better but you know, again, you know just recognizing moments we talked about that at lunch anyway it's like you know the ability to because that's the step the first step in shooting moments is you got to know that they they are there and recognize them and so I think this is a good a good recognition of a moment you know? So and I like the black and white as well so this photographer isin our chat rooms and said they were the third shooter ok? And they fear hai hai I s o their fear hi I was so funny I'm so glad that they said that and thank you out there for chime in and yeah, I know these are anonymous critiques and so we don't you know but yeah, you know it's you can't you can't fear the high s o you know what your what your recommendation for that like give me a nugget that people can't take away I see this all the all the time especially at the reception because like well like aaron and I basically live at sixty four hundred at receptions and even when we shot candid five demark twos we lived at thirty two hundred like noise reduction in light room now it's so amazing there's nothing there's nothing to fear about about noise anymore and we want a shot film yeah thirty two hundred sixty four hundred were miserable but now it's it's not that it also um don't fear it give yourself some opportunity give yourself some possibility and bump that s o up it will be like a different world of seeing because you've got to remember the way your I c and the way your camera sees a totally different so you have to learn howto how that little black box works first before you can really start to appreciate what your camera khun do you gotta learn to see like a camera you know thie interesting thing about that I so I always tell people I'm like, you know what? People like that he'll be grainy and I'm like so what? You're just gonna get the photo you know it's like right you mean my eyes will had the photo and let it be grainy and call it art and then your clients will buy it because it's a piece of art is grain you know and go from there right but there's really nothing granny about any of the pictures canon nikon fuji there although great now this is around thirty two or sixty four hundred so there's no reason not to shoot those s o all the time a thousand on the defour's and not that great but sixty four hundred's fine as long as you have good lights and that's the secret you have good life and you know how to use light then eso becomes kind of a non issue in two thousand fourteen in two thousand fourteen dated alright cool is that good? That person yeah also yep that's great thanks. This is actually kind of funny is it kind of funny? Yeah it's hilarious. I mean she'll hate it. Yeah, these people are not gonna like this at all. All right, so why is it funny you know why? Why is it funny guys do what parts of it do you find funny because humor in a photograph is really hard to like trans you know, to kind of explain. So so what do you guys find funny about it it's like the same expression their noses are at the same level they're just all doing the same thing. Yeah, noses all of them a ceased to in the middle yeah, right. My first thing I want to say is this guy that need to be in there right? The funny part is like I think her hair the wind is really funny and the way that all of these three no, I mean there are a whole bunch of noses boom, boom, boom, boom boom. Right? But the fact that this right here, I think breaks it to be quite honest with you and so I would have considered just trying to do something like this well, obviously get rid of that yeah, I know bands like nose nose, nose like I got yeah so you know right you know, I would've done something like this and see how that now that composition goes beep beep people think I think it's really quite funny but anyway yeah that that was my initial thought you no way don't have any information here on how is shot but maybe we can assimilate that ben what do you think I think there's five six what that doesn't it's not really that relevant though I don't think that's important funny photos air hard with weddings because we're giving them to the clients if we were like photojournalist we could say ha ha that's funny and then put in art book but we're giving it to wedding client so if the person doesn't look it in the photo and so funny then I just feel sometimes like they're making one of them and I don't think I would even use this but because she's gonna hate it that's a good point bends a little nicer than I am um but I don't know I don't know I mean you're right you're right, you know it's gotta be really funny, doesn't it? It's got to be it's almost like the moment trumps everything it's got to be funny up to be like I don't care how I look like that's a really funny photo you know, like there's, not, you know, maybe it's, because I think it's great that the photographer saw this, like, I think, you know, again, like if from photography perspective, I think it's a great, great see, I think the images over exposed, ah, a little bit. I think stopping down would kind of make, make those see if you stop down a little bit meaning, stop down, you know, like you stopped down on your shutter speed or your adventure. But in this case, it's should always be shutter speed. But see that light on those faces in those noses. If you stop down a little bit, that kind of light will kind of pop out a little more, you know?

Class Description

There is a magic and beauty to wedding days that doesn’t have to be posed or fabricated. You can take photographs that are authentic and dynamic by drawing on classic documentary photography techniques. Join Tyler Wirken for a class exploring the practice of documentary-style wedding photography.

This course will teach you how to take unique, distinctive images that break away from standard styled shoots and set-up poses. Tyler will encourage you to think deeply about why we take wedding photos and then help you use those insights to create an actionable roadmap for getting the real moments during weddings. You’ll learn how to get up close and capture the more intimate moments of a couple’s wedding day without feeling like you’re intruding or disrupting. From being more present in the moment to getting through family photographs in twenty minutes to developing your one-of-a-kind perspective as a photographer, you’ll build strategies for ensuring the moments you capture are beautiful and real.

If you want stand out in the sea of wedding photographers and take photographs that more meaningful than meticulously-posed, then this course is for you!