Guest portraits

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by stephen_kinosh, Aug 1, 2009.

  1. I've been requested by a bride for an upcoming wedding to shoot guest portraits instead of more candid shots. I explained that this will involve a 2nd photographer and she has no problem with the cost. Since this is a bit away form home for poth of us and we donp;t want to drag a TONE of equipment, what 1 or 2 color backgrounds do you recommend. I was thinking of a medium grey and going with thtat along, but uncle Bob will show up in a suit of the same color and disapper into the background....
  2. Should he show in 18% gray, move Uncle Bob a little further from the background and closer to the flash, and he'll pop out of it.
  3. There's really no reason not give her both the portraits and candid shots. It's also pretty easy for an experienced pro to do both solo unless it's an extremely large wedding and she wants all the guest to take a turn at the backdrop. I prefer canvas to muslin and can travel pretty light by using two monolights. Color is a matter of personal taste but I think grey is kinda' blah.
  4. I would find out what the wedding colors are and rent a backdrop that had one or more of those colors. In that kind of situation, neutral gray is rather boring.
  5. Another consideration is shoot with a green screen, buy one of those digital backgrounds with about 700 to 800 assortments of backgrounds. I use a program called Express Digital, which you simply drag the portrait over the digital background and with 1 click of the mouse you have a portrait of the guests in any one of the 700 plus backgrounds.

    The bad part with carrying a beautiful background with you is alot of the guests will use your background. People really don't have any scruples; or respect towards you. Every uncle bob will be taking advantage of your background. That really sucks. With a green screen that won't be the case.
  6. Feel free in emailing me for technical information regarding Express Digital, or where to get digital backgrounds.
  7. I was asked for something similar just last week and produced the portraits outdoors in a sylvan setting. It's best to define exactly what the client means by 'portraits'. Personally I always use natural backgrounds which are usually very easily found about the venue - walls, trees, porticos. Did the bride specifically say she wanted studio backdrops, and for all the portraits to be the same?
    As David says, giving both candids and more formal shots of the guests is best. You may well find that the client, after requesting one thing, prefers the other.
  8. Actually, today, guest portraits could mean something similar to a photo booth. The modern approach is to use a plain, solid background--not the studio type Old Masters pattern--and let the guests take pictures of themselves using a cable release, or if the booth is manned by a photographer, the photographer just presses the shutter button as the guests self-pose. Usually the lighting consists of one large softbox or umbrella. The main point is the guests doing their own 'thing'.
  9. Although I would do this with a green screen, greens in the background do make fleshtones pop . . .
  10. If you want a colored background can't you just take a white one and illuminate it with a gelled flash at a wide setting?
  11. Have you scouted the location yet? Is there perhaps a "real" backgound that you could use? This would make the portrait be part of the wedding and it's always nicer (and easier) having a 3-D background....-Aimee

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