Strategies for Shooting in Difficult Situations


Strategies for Shooting in Difficult Situations


Lesson Info

Equipment Selection: Lens Breakdown

So once you're thinking of all of those things that's just about the image making the light, the background, the composition, that's great, we're thinking about all of that now, when you go to pick up your camera and take these images, what camera, body or using you using what lindsey, are you putting on your camera and flyer? You putting those lenses on your camera, going to talk about equipment selection and equipment selection is actually incredibly important and it's something that I didn't think about enough when I started my photography business, you know, when I got started, everyone was like, oh, you know, the best lands in the entire world is like the fifty you have to get a fifty, fifty, and this is the best, and I was like, okay, I'll buy a fifty, and so I bought it and I shot with it, and I didn't really give any thought to what the look of fifty millimeters does to an image, and then someone said, oh, you need a seventy two, two hundred, because when you're in a church and...

you're really far back, you need to be able to zoom, and I was like, okay, that makes sense, I needed to stand on a balcony of a church, I didn't think about things like linds compression at you know, wide focal lengths, I didn't think about lynn's compression at two hundred millimeters and what that does to your subject in the background and why those things are important and more importantly, how those things will change the look of your final photograph. And I had sort of a light bulb moment in two thousand seven when my husband sort of was making fun of me for the longest limbs that I own to being like a one thirty five and he's, like, you know, try shooting brides at two hundred millimeters, see, see how flattering it is to the body, see what it does to the foreground and the background, and it was just like, oh, my, oh, my gosh, hold on, the's, focal length actually have great impact on what the final photograph looks like and it's it's something that you think about, but some things that are, like little moments for you later, that oh, I can pick a seventy two, two hundred and seventy does this and two hundred does this and two hundred eight looks like this and so on, so forth. So now when I pick up a lynch and I put it on my camera, it's, because I know that that linds will help me make the picture that I want look the way I want it to look from foreground to background to compression on the subject toe f stop that I choose now it's a tool instead of just on arsenal of stuff that a bunch of other people told me to buy we're going to talk mostly about the following several lenses I have one hundred five millimeter macro for detail images to preface it all out I am a nikon shooter I've been a nikon shooter since two thousand seven because they're awesome I'm mostly shooting these days with the g seven fifty it is it is as good as they say it is my duty for us is have now joined the ranks of backup cameras so I'm using the d a ten in the studio and for portrait's an engagement sessions but my primary camera on the wedding day is actually now thirty seven fifty because it's that good? So when I'm talking about all of these lenses they are nikon lenses I don't use off brand linds is not because they're not great, but because I love my nikon lenses so I have one hundred five millimeter macro for detail images I used to have the sixty it was also awesome but then I had a chance to use the one of five I liked the longer focal length for details it's a very sharp linds I use it often enough that the additional cost of that lens was very well justified because the results spoke for themselves have an eighty five one four on biff I'm going to put my eighty five on the camera it is going to be because I want to shoot it at one four I could put a seventy two, two hundred on and shoot in the eighty five millimeter arranged I have a seventy two, two hundred and four at seventy two, two hundred to eight, but if I'm going to go for that eighty five because I'm going to go for the one point four if all your budget will allow is an eighty five one eight, that is a wonderful lens, but if you have a little extra money to upgrade, you will definitely see where your money goes to when you see the difference between one eight and one for especially on this particular list and we're going to see examples of all of these in a second. I also have a twenty four to seventy twenty eight prime at a thirty eight prime for a wider angle. Views are the thirty five prime sorry seven twenty four to seventy twenty eight thirty five there we go my twenty eight is just a tiny little twenty eight two o twenty eight to eight it's a little bumble bee it makes the city noise when you focus it my thirty five I had the one for but I almost never shoot my thirty five at one four so I ended up selling it quiet have elin's that khun goto one for if you're never going to shoot it there I have my thirty five tuo on I usually shoot it to eight or more so there was no need for something that I could shoot it at one point four if I'm never going actually shoot it at one point for I bought it I loved it it was sharp it was amazing for someone who needs that it is a killer linds it just didn't fit my arsenal and I have too much stuff anyhow so I sold it and then my seventy two, two hundred for compressed backgrounds yes, of course when I met churches and I'm stuck in balconies it is awesome it is also my primary go to linz for portrait's of all kind and we're about to talk through every single one of those lenses and what I use them for. I have two seventy two two hundreds because I'm weird like that at the seventy two, two hundred and four which is so light when you put the seventy two, two hundred f or on that d seven fifty it feels like you're playing with a child's camera it is so so light it feels like a toy it is phenomenal when I shoot brides and grooms together when I'm shooting family formals, I'm never going to shoot three, three, five or two eight because I want them all to be in focus I'm going to be shooting it at four or higher, so why would I love that? Enormous seventy two, two hundred to eight around and it's not because I'm a girl and it's heavy and where where I can carry it that's not a problem, but that seventy two hundred f or is so very light that I sometimes find I can hold it at a slower shutters seeds because it I'm not kind of boeing under the weight of it and also the seventy two, two hundred to eight on that d seven fifty feels like I start needing a mono pod because the lenses so much heavier than the camera body the seventy two hundred four feels really great on that lighter camera. I want to talk about what I use for each of these. One more note about the seventy two, two hundred. Part of the reason why I do carry two of them in my bag is because it is such a staple on the wedding day for me, I've dropped one before I had a horrible incident where I dropped a d for s and a seventy two, two hundred to eight and it made noise is that no camera should ever make when you drop it and when you tried to shoot, it sounded like I was like grinding up something it was horrible and then for the rest of the day the longest focal length I could shoot was one of five on my macro and it you know, we'll change the look of the images and because it is such an important shooting at two hundred is such a big thing for me now I have two in my bag and it of course, now that I have two in my bag, I haven't broken one sense as you do. Yes, sir about first of all sense a sonic and one of the person we're wondering are you talking about specifically about shooting these on a full frame body or a crop sensor body? Actually talk a little bit about the bodies you use how that changes your get your lenses true, I have never shot on crop since her body's not because there's anything wrong with them. They're tremendous cameras out there that have crop since our bodies I just I have never used them. I know a lot of people who do these they still do use these lenses it does change look just a little bit but everything that I shoot is full frame and especially with the g seven fifty being adam or inexpensive price point it's a great entry into kind of that full frame realm so and I feel so bizarrely passionate about that camera that I actually wrote a review on my block about the d a ten versus the g seven fifty so if you're looking at those two camera and you're kind of stuck on your time to figure out which one is better for you if you hit up my educational blah gets the dynamic range dot com there's a review on there that takes you through why I love each of them but no, I've never I mean if you have a crop sensor camera there's no need to go out and upgrade but I probably would still bring this same arsenal of lenses for it yes that's great and speaking of it being an arsenal we have fabby, sal marone and your it's a regular who both are asking about shooting with an assistant and as we're going in and talking a lot about creativity and working in difficult situations do you always have someone helping you or is this stuff you could do by yourself? Well it's actually interesting that you should say that it's a great question I do always have an assistant helping me she's amazing for any of you who have watched the thirty days of wedding photography you got to see a lot of her and she actually I forced her on air for two days which she didn't like but she took one for the team on that one I never go to a wedding without an assistant it's not because I can't do my job without one, but it makes my job easier without one and to be clear, she's an assistant, not a second shooter, so she fall, she'll shoot a little bit here and there it's mostly holding lights, getting family groupings together, things like that, taking behind the scenes images with her iphone, which you'll see soon, but I'm actually coming back to do a class in november here for creative live all of these case studies that you're going to see and I hope you like them. I keep alluding to them very heavily all of these things that I did, I did with an assistant, but they're all things that you could do by yourself on a lot of what I hear is, well, what if I'm just by myself and what is this and what if that I'm coming back to do the wedding photography survival kit where I'm goingto literally go to terrible locations and make hopefully really good pictures? I make something there, I hope it's good, but I'm gonna do it all without an assistant to show you that if you don't have an assistant, you're going to sweat a lot more and hustle a lot more, but you can do it it does make it a lot easier for me on an eight, ten, twelve our wedding day. Sometimes I have to a weekend a shoot fifty weddings a year, not having my assistant there would be very hard, I would I would burn out in june instead of october. Uh, is a problem with wedding photographers right now, like we're all lately burnt out because it's dead middle of the season? Yeah, pretty much on one more, maybe before we keep going horse and just this is just kind of toe take it to the opposite direction. We have five people want to know what the minimum amount of gear that you need when starting out and tom w was asking, do you think you could shoot an entire wedding with a single focal length? Or is it really important to have this variety? Could I shouldn't entire wedding with a single focal length? Of course I wouldn't want teo because it's very limiting and I've heard photographer say I could shoot a whole wedding on my fifty, and I'm thinking what? Why would you do that? Then you would have the same focal length for everything if I were starting out and I could only by two lenses by the twenty four to seventy in the seventy two hundred boom done. The next thing I would add for me would be the macro because detailed biography is important to me and therefore important to my clients I kind of need a macro after that I would add the eighty five and then I would just start adding when you feel you need things like I got the twenty eight I got the thirty five because it was shooting receptions and getting incredibly tired and starting the twenty four to seventeen well not heavy gets heavy when you carry it for a very long time and again it's not because I'm like oh, I can't carry my cameras it's because they shoot fifty weddings a year and I have to support to conserve my strength and so I would look at these images and I'm like I'm shooting them all between twenty eight and thirty five millimeters anyhow let me just get a tiny prime that literally I mean the g seven fifty without on it is I'm worried I'm gonna throw it over my shoulder every time I left it up to my face the biggest advice that I would have and I in thirty days I talk about this a lot don't buy something that you don't already know you need so go with the twenty four to seventy seventy two two hundred make sure you've got a backup camera, pick up a couple external flashes and then don't buy anything else until the need presents itself andi I'm just one more reminder for everybody I'm seeing some questions about what did she just say or I miss this party you jump in the chat room, the folks in there can help you out with anything you may have missed of course you can purchase it and we watch it see it as much as you need let's go ahead and dive into the let's do it so when we're talking about why these lenses you know I told you the lenses like carrie, why do I need them? One hundred five millimeter macro is my detail lens when I used to shoot a lot of kids every once in a while I would use my macro for kids because it would let me get in close on like they're tiny the lion there's bubbles in their drool, but then also back up and shoot it is a portrait lens. Luckily, I don't shoot babies anymore that's a whole other thing, but yeah, one hundred five millimeter macro it's a very versatile ends of all you've got sixty that's great if you just want to get an extension to for your camera or you know a little converter, whatever you have to do to get there, a big thing with me is that I always advocate you don't need the latest and greatest you don't need the biggest and brightest and best if a macro is something that you're going to use for less than a dozen shots on a wedding day one hundred five is great. I bought that because I knew that it would be a beast for me, I would be able to use it for years, you know? It would be very durable. There are cheaper options, there are off brand options, you don't have to spend that kind of money on a macro, but I use it for rings and rings also rings sometimes more than one way ring at once, then some rings and occasionally issue to bring with it. A couple of years ago, I started kind of jazzing up my ring shots, making them or interesting, working with interesting background, and we're going to talk very heavily about the relationship between your background and your foreground and what are these backgrounds and why am I setting it up like this in a minute? But once they started shooting more interesting ring shots and sort of putting them out there in the world, then people started asking for them, you know, show up on a wedding day and a client will give me her ring and be like, I can't wait to see what you're gonna do with my ring, and I'm like, yeah, me too I just got here jewelry really anything like smaller than my fist bracelets those are going to be the sorts of things I'm going to use the macro for maybe at a reception I'll pull it out and shoot tiny details on the table, but nine tenths of the time on the wedding day after the bride has gotten ready, the macro is back in the bag and I'm not going to need it again because it's for little details, I know a lot of people shoot the rings during the reception or later in the day I try to front load my wedding day with that stuff, get it done and get on with it twenty four to seventy, twenty eight and thirty five most of the time once I'm shooting, getting ready it's going to be the twenty four to seventy for most of the day that's one of the lenses that I put on my camera to start the day. I always have two cameras on me on the wedding day and I start with the twenty four to seventy on one of them and it usually doesn't come off until the reception and it only comes off at the reception to put on the twenty eight or the thirty five sometimes I'll use a twenty eight or thirty five for some other part of the day, but it's not sort of a general rule it's more of a one off hey, I think I really like the twenty eight for this for no reason other than why not? The twenty four to seventy, twenty and thirty five are all sort of in the same family for me, and I use them for anything from dress shots to details. I will use it for details, understanding that the look of a twenty four to seventy a twenty for is not going to be the same as the look of one hundred five millimeter macro it's just a completely different lens. I use it for bride getting ready bright shaking hands with her dog I mean, cause that happens all the time. Ah, wide angle views of the ceremony, whether it is a small outdoor ceremony or your standard everyday inside ceremony when I am shooting ceremonies, usually I'm at the front with my seventy two, two hundred shooting the processional got the seventy two, two hundred. I'm kind of jamming around with that during the ceremony. This is one time during the day that my assistant will shoot and she stays in the back with the twenty four to seventy catches the bride right before she comes down the aisle and then this is her job, but we'll use it for wide angle shots during the ceremony and having her shoot them. Usually means that I don't have to run back and forth like I don't have to be up in the front and like shooting something kind of nice and close and then go all the way to the back and shoot something. Why? And then everyone turns around and looks at me in that super awkward we try to keep our unobtrusive nous at a very high level. I don't often shoot the twenty four to seventy during portrait, but when I do it's because I want something like this, you know we'd finished shooting the bride and the bridesmaids, and her mom is helping her walk back to the hotel, and a picture of the bride in the mom walking just them with a long lens would have been one story, but stepping back and using the twenty four to seventy twenty four, including the building, is a completely different story. So choosing that lens choosing any lens, as I've mentioned before is going to help me tell my story, but when I do use it for portrait's, it will be because I want something like this because I want something very wide. I want to show the entire scene my husband and I jokingly call this like little person big scene, like the where's waldo picture have to find the little bride and groom, but sometimes it's a very effective look. It wouldn't look like this at two hundred millimeters that wouldn't look like that at two hundred millimeters, neither would that so when I'm choosing that twenty four to seventy often times, I'm going to be very close to the twenty four side of things, things like that or when I want to show an entire scene and everybody in the scene is doing something interesting or as I've mentioned before, it is often the linds on my second camera when I'm shooting something like a first dance, it will enable me to go back and forth between a seventy two, two hundred and twenty four to seventy for the first dance with that little off camera flash, huh? Usually I cropped this one did you look to the far left? You could actually see my assistant standing there with the flash off camera, so there's no mystery where it's coming from, but for a very little room like this opening up with a twenty four to seventy twenty eight ah thirty five it's going to allow you to see the room and give you a different relationship with your background? Remember that images showed before with bridegroom dancing, and the people were kind of standing in background, they were a little blurry. That's kind of the flip side of that this is opening up and showing the whole room gives you more of a sense of the size of the room. How many people are there? More of a scope of the scene? Eighty five one four I love it so much I just when I was cannon, I had the eighty five one eight when I switched a nikon I went ahead and invested in the one for that eighty five one four is not the same blurry background as a seventy two, two hundred, two hundred very different background relationship, so my eighty five one four I will actually use it for details, but I'm going to use it at one for so that only a little bit of the details and focus and then everything else just melts away into that delicious one for background like so and like this image that we looked at already there's light there's composition, there's, background choices and subject choices and also lin selection eighty five one four at one for a note about one four if you want to shoot at one for do not focus and recompose you're you're like, yes, you're working with such a narrow depth of field that if you focus and recompose even the little list bit at one, for you've knocked your focal point completely where you don't want it to be so you have to make sure that you move your little red focal point on top of her face on top of the eyelash on top of the exact thing that you want in focus for that reason, I tend to not use eighty five one four at one four on moving subjects that's just hard I'll use the five one for at one four for details and for getting ready when I want to really just all I like pull the picture and somebody goes yeah all I wanted in focus where those eyelashes I love her eyelashes she's such a beautiful girl wonderful person also but the image is about those eyelashes everything else is secondary, so this really shows the linds you choose in the setting you said it at tells your story this would be a different story with the twenty four to seventy at seventy and two eight or for eleven now if you shot this in eleven, it becomes a story about everything that's around her also a compelling story just a different story. I'll shoot it for getting ready, getting ready ah lot of times the phone to use it for a getting ready it's because I'm trying to minimize the background that is one of the helpful things that one four does, I will use it for portrait most specifically this type of portrait which I do a lot bride sitting on the ground very simple window light if you've watched thirty days or if you're considering watching thirty days we do this for a long time on thirty days if I am going to use it for a moment, I have to make sure that I have the time in the ability teo get that focal point right on the face of the person who's talking and why one for here they're setting up the reception behind them that's not part of the story that's that's something I don't even want to see so the eighty five at one four allows me to focus on this lovely girl in her expression and how wonderful the scene is without being bothered by the background eighty five one four during ceremonies when it's so dark you could barely see your hand in front of your face candlelight ceremonies, nighttime ceremonies, ceremonies where you can't really set up in additional light. Sometimes I'll have to shoot a ceremony at s o twelve thousand eight hundred with eighty five one four at one for I make that face I wish you guys could have seen that it's a face full of abject terror, but you know what? It's times like that I'm glad I have the cameras that the performance that I have and the lenses that can behave the way they do because it saves me there sometimes if the light is good during a reception the eighty five one four all used for I hate this word candids at the reception like if people are sitting around eating dinner and their tables are beautifully candlelit or the bridegroom happened to walk into a spotlight so everyone can take a picture of them eighty five one four is a wonderful choice because it performed so beautifully in low light and now my favorite my beloved seventy two, two hundred you know my husband and I sometimes get asked like if you could bring one limbs to a desert island I would think god if I were stranded on a desert island there sure hope I don't have to shoot a wedding on dh second of all, I couldn't pick just one like that's crazy you can't shoot a whole day with a seventy two, two hundred that would be really hard but that said this lin does have a very special soft place in my heart and I use it all day long I'll use it for detail shots sometimes and not rings but if I want something and really I want to set it off set it off from the background so for people who are maybe more I don't want to be a beginner but having those questions if I wanted to shoot this with the eighty five one four at one for you would have a sliver of the bouquet and focus and, yes, your background with the out of focus, but if I shoot it with the seventy two, two hundred and four, your whole bouquet will be in focus. Your background will also be out of focus because of that compression at two hundred millimeters, I use it during ceremonies, both the to eight and the f four, depending on how dark the room is. Seventy two, two hundred f or almost always for family formals, because I like to shoot my family formals. I love this people. A cz close to two hundred millimeters is possible, oftentimes, to help separate them from difficult backgrounds for portrait and portrait and portrait it's for anyone who's from philly, the image on the right is philadelphia city hall. Every bride who has ever even really considered getting married in philadelphia wants a picture with city hall, and instead of standing right in front of city hall with a twenty four to seventy as people d'oh, I like to get really far from it and shoot with a long lens. It separates the work that I do from what other photographers do, and I think it makes the background both more compelling and less distracting. Portrait it's more portrait ce seventy two, two hundred, two hundred four reception rooms because of what two hundred millimeters does to your subjects relationship to your background, it makes your background appear closer than it really is. So when you have a reception room where everything is very sprawled out, if you shoot it at two hundred millimeters, the sort of illusion there is that the tables are closer together. Makes the room fillmore intimate. I will use it for table settings, fun backgrounds. We're going to. One of the things that we're going to talk about is how to make a absolutely awful reception room with plastic flowers look excellent and it's, part of the magic of the seventy two, two hundred first dances. Toasts. I love toasts, speeches by either the mother of the bride or the bride and groom themselves.

Class Description

Wedding photographers can’t wait for perfect conditions before they work – when the clock is ticking and people are waiting you have to shoot, even in less-than-ideal locations.

In Strategies for Shooting in Difficult Situations, Susan Stripling will show you how to troubleshoot common calamities like; a wedding party getting ready in a room with no light or family portraits slated to be shot in a terrible location. You’ll see how Susan has handled difficult shoots and crazy lighting challenges and get insights and inspiration for overcoming your own difficult situations.