Need some advice post wedding!

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by athena_aronow, Jul 10, 2015.

  1. Hi all, I haven't been on these boards in a while- but I spent so much time here first starting out, I thought I would turn to you all for some advice. I've never been in a situation like this before! This is really a two part question.
    Back Story: I recently was hired to photograph a small 3 hour portion of the wedding. The couple wanted me to start right at the beginning of the ceremony, and then keep me around for some portraits. Point being, I didn't see the bride before the ceremony at all, as I showed up to set up my gear and make sure I was ready to go. The ceremony was a little different and held in a local music hall, and their theme was twilight- so there was absolutely no natural lighting, and verrrrry little ambient lighting- just some string lights and a few stage lights. So, the bride comes out and her make-up was about 5 shades lighter than her natural skin and the rest of her body. She's a bit older, naturally gorgeous lady when we had met several weeks earlier. I was shocked at her make-up and her bright lipstick and white face- eeeeek! She looked a bit like a Geisha. Of course I can't stop the ceremony and so continue shooting while the ceremony commenced. It was an hour long filled with music and people doing readings, etc... very cool. When the ceremony was over we went out into the natural light for some portraits, and while her make up was still much lighter than it should have been- it looked much better and almost intentional and so I didn't mention how white her face had looked inside. Not sure if it was my place to do so at that point- it was a pretty uncomfortable situation as you might imagine. The photos that came of the outside shoot turned out okay- I think with some small tweaking I can make them look pretty good. BUT, the inside flash lit photos are baaad, I mean- I am a natural light photographer when possible and so it was just really really different for me to have this out come. So my questions are as follows....
    1.) What on earth can I do to make these photos look okay? I've tried a handful of things in both lightroom and photoshop and I got them looking better, but not great. And, if I do come up with a solution for this- is it my responsibility to edit each one out of several hundred because of the make-up artists' mistake?
    2.) Do I mention the editing dilemma to the bride in a soft way- and ask her her thoughts? I wonder if she realizes how much make-up she had on, and how off tone it was!
    I think that's it for now- I am trying to figure out how to load some examples for you guys to see.... Is there any way to post directly here without a link? I haven't posted them publicly- I guess I could make an album.
    Thanks so much in advance!
  2. The photo you posted doesn't look to bad...i don't know how much editing you did...or how many you would have to do.
    I would try showing her one photo from the outside and one from the inside...explain the differences in them and your concerns. Then give her some options...maybe some desaturation...some black and white...etc It may save you some work...other wise it's gonna be a lot of work
  3. Thanks Dave. It probably took about 2 minutes to edit this image, but it's the 2 minutes x (300) I am worried about. I think I'll send her some photos and give her some options- and see where it goes! I would add the before photos, but I can't add more than one I don't think. Maybe it will give me an option at the end of this post.
  4. Here are a couple of outdoor shots.
  5. Another outdoor.
  6. When I first read your post, I was expecting these to be so much worse that they are! I think your post-edit photographs look great! We are always are own worst critics.

    In situations where the color differences are REALLY bad, you could always try converting those images to black and white, or sending them off to somewhere like for more editing.
  7. I agree with E Rin....there not that bad.
  8. Your flash photography makes the images worse because the flash is illuminating the bride more than everything around. What the eye notices is not absolute things but rather relative things. As the bride is overexposed in relation to the rest of the image her face will also look brighter - and more white.
    Since you are not using a gel on your flash and the ambient light is warm, your flash appears neutral when the background is very warm, almost orange. That also contributes to making the bride stand out in an unnatural fashion.
    Just for future references - set the background exposure by shooting the camera in manual and dial in ISO, shutter speed and aperture so your background is a lot brighter. Say one stop under properly exposed. Then you expose the subject with flash as you have done.
    Second point is to use an CTO gel on your flash when background is warm lighting. This will make the flash and the background have about the same color temperature.

    Regarding the images I would just photoshop them. Using the proper tools and setting up a few actions I'd spend at most 20 seconds per image to do selective color correction on them. My goal would be to desature the lipstick slightly and lower the exposure of the brides face and maybe also add some yellow to it. That's a two hour job so I wouldn't even bring it up.
    She has probably seen photos from her friends that look less than stellar so that will make yours look a lot better. And that is what you want. Always produce good work regardless of the circumstances. If you can't do it while shooting, fix it afterwards. It's the end result that counts.
  9. There's nothing you should do. It's not your affair. If somebody prances out before your camera with a roll of toilet paper strapped to their head, and whistling Dixie, then its for them to live with the resultant photos.
    Mod Note: This commentary has been edited. This is a discussion about technical aspects of Post Production and is not a venue for evaluations of Subject's beauty or otherwise.
  10. Try using the adjustment brush in Lightroom and warming the skin tone of her face with the white balance slider. You can run through all the photos rather quickly by leaving the brush panel open and use the right left arrow keys to move to the next photo while painting her face with the mouse.
  11. There's nothing you should do. It's not your affair. If somebody prances out before your camera with a roll of toilet paper strapped to their head, and whistling Dixie, then its for them to live with the resultant photos.​
    I disagree with that. A wedding photographer, just like a portrait photographer, isn't there to just shoot things. They are there to shoot the church, the reception, the B&G and the guests for sure, but in a way that makes everyone look their best.
    If the B&G just wanted to document what happened during the day they could have hired uncle bob or just let their friends snap some pics with their phones.
    A pro is not paid to shoot, he or she is paid to provide great memories from perhaps the B&Gs happiest day of their life.
  12. Show the Bride a "before and after" and have her select the key images she wants adjusted. No one uses/likes 400+ shots.
    First, batch lower the contrast of the indoor photos, and select (or brush) exposure decrease and warming filter on the face … then neutralize the whites which can also be done as a batch adjustment.
    Next time you notice this make-up issue, try to directionally bounce the flash or use off-camera lighting. Blasting light right at the subject only makes a make-up issue worse looking. Look at the right arm and extended left hand of the subject in the "before" shot you provided … its' also white looking because it's being over-lit by the speed-light … just like the face.
  13. Well it's late and I'm just now uploading todays wedding! 3 AM! First, DON'T EVER say anything about the make-up artist or her face NEVER!!!. It could be her best friend! Then every time she looks at the photo's she will hate them, thinking that she isn't beautiful. I've seen much worse makeup jobs! I have to question your camera settings. Did you shoot in RAW? The indoor shots her dress favors a hint of tan and outside, the dress favors a hit of blue. However, monitors suck. Can you email me a site with all of the photo's? Or send me a CD? Did you shoot in auto, program mode? The colors and exposures are all over the place and it's not really your fault. Even photographers such as myself that shoot everything in manual make mistakes. Remember that I've been shooting since 1988, so I've pretty much seen the good, the bad, and the ugly, happen. Back in the film days every now and then I shot 3 and 4 weddings a weekend. Your images look "Hard." This is what I call the "Digital look." So in Raw you can correct this by adjusting the the contrast, the clarity, and the saturation and a few other settings if needed. You can also control the exposure. I usually do a batch process and set everything, all of your wedding images to look like film and to get rid of that hard digital look. Now her make-up won't be so bad. Film is still my favorite way to shoot a wedding, but it's now hopelessly impractical. Although I still shoot some black and white film once in awhile, developing it myself. Faces look soft, more normal, colors look good, grandmothers faces don't look like they are 150 years old and the colors of flowers often pop out more evenly. It's so cool! You often have great results using quality filters such as the Softar 1/2 filters for closeup work with the brides and older people. Softar is a brand name. Let me know what you and the others think. Kindly remember that this was just a few minute adjustment, I'm only average at photoshop, and I was working here with a very low res image. Thankfully my photo partner Craig is a photoshop master. He's pretty amazing. So I cropped your outside image; way too much wasted space, which is OK. I'd rather crop than cut off someones body. I adjusted the exposure slightly, color corrected according to my monitor, and softened the image by adjusting the Clarity, Saturation, and the Contrast. For example the Contrast was about plus 25, I reduced it to about minus 6. Hope this helps give you some ides of how to get rid of that hard digital look. Let me know what you think. Maybe other fellow photographers can do a better job. As I said I'm not the best at photoshop. Be honest and let me know what you think. Everyone's taste is different. bob
  14. Sorry for the typo - Ideas , not ides. Since I had to correct my typo error here's another adjustment. I brightened up
    her face a bit.
  15. another try... It's now 3:30 AM maybe I hit the wrong button or aol continues to suck!
  16. last try... It's aol ... I was careful this last time! The makeup looks OK to me, you can see the bead and details on her dress so the exposure is fine and she looks very happy! The lighting on their faces matches. So for me I like the cropped image. I would like to work with you on posing positional techniques, if that's OK. Thanks for sharing your work. You asked some very food questions. My best. bob
  17. I think I went too far with the color adjustments. But at the same time it shows how you can solve the makeup issue and the bride will be elated with your work. I need some sleep! It's 4:20 AM.
  18. Another typo - "Food" instead of "Good questions." I surely hope my photo skills are better than my typing! It's a
    close call.
  19. Thanks everyone for your input. I greatly appreciate it! I sent the bride some sample photos and she is very happy and that's what is important to me. I guess I was over-analyzing the result. Always good to learn and improve. Thanks again.
  20. Athena, I preferred your initial treatment of the image to any of the subsequent attempts at manipulating your uploads by the others (some of which I found highly questionable...).
    I also happen to agree with Henry Finley in that it shouldn't be your duty as a photographer to correct the makeup artist's poor work. Which brings up something we should all consider in the future: was it poor work on the MUA's part or did the bride get exactly what she requested? I've met many women (and men) with very questionable makeup techniques. Frequently, proper tonality is the problem. Some prefer a lighter or darker face as compared to their natural skin tone, and it's not up to me to question it, let alone "fix" it.
    I'm glad it worked in your favour and the client was delighted by the results.
  21. Need to edit with lightroom. Basically for wedding photography if we can set lightroom perfectly for photo color correction it will make a you look perfect.

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