WEDDING CRITIQUE OF THE WEEK 4/27/09 - AKA WEDDING PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by think27, Apr 29, 2009.

  1. Hi - A photo has been chosen for this week's critique.
    http://www.photo.net/photodb/user?user_id=1576517 Lisa Ireland
    This week it is a posed bridal portrait that we will address. Please tell us what you think. Remember that we are giving positive and negative feedback and it is important to point to why it works or does not work for you. Include what you would do to improve the shot or why the shot is perfect as it is and why.
    Remember that this is not a contest. Last week someone commented that a shot was not one he felt should have been chosen. Sometimes an image will be a winning image and sometimes an image that needs some help.
    00TCvU-129595584.jpg
     
  2. A very pretty shot. The gown is a bit blown out. Visually, I think the composition could be a bit more appealing for a traditional formal picture. If I were setting up the shot myself, I would have put the bridesmaids on the same side as the bride, and the groomsmen on the groom’s side, making an arrangement of 3 and 3 on either side of the couple. The odd number of couples on one side of the b&g doesn't quite work in my opinion.

    The background is lovely, but there is a strip of bright sunlight coming in that is distracting from the subjects. In the background, I can see there is full shade available near the wall of the chapel, which might have provided more even lighting for the picture.

    Hindsight is always 20/20, and it can be a challenge setting up group shots, especially if time is limited. Overall, a nice picture, with good focus and vibrant color.
     
  3. <p>I'm so glad my image was chosen to be critiqued! I feel like I'm in art school again! I chose this picture because I feel I need to improve on my group posing. I'm more of the reportage, photojournalist style photographer, but I get requests for a lot of group shots (I'm in Ireland where tradition is important).<br>
    The dress is a bit blown out on this. I think it happened in post processing because I was trying to remove a violet cast in the white. I used a 20D and I can't remember the lens... it was either the 24mm 1.4 or the 17-55mm 2.8 Canon.<br>
    I would love to see some examples of interesting group posing if it's allowed in this post. Thanks!<br>


    MODERATOR NOTE: oops - Lisa - no posting website links in forum posts. ;-)
     
  4. gorgeous gorgeous. beautiful lighting on the people. is it natural??
    I might bring the people in just a bit closer so there's no gaps...and I might back up a shoot a bit longer. have the bride turn her body toward the groom a bit...have the men relax and put their weight on their back foot instead of split evenly between two feet...
     
  5. The sun was setting within the hour and I used my 580EX flash. I probably used levels and curves during post processing to even out the light.
    By the way, this was at a castle. Living in Ireland, I get to go to some beautiful churches and castles for weddings!
     
  6. First - a little fill flash needed here or lighten in PS
    Also - always watch out for backgrounds... You see a car in the background and the sky in the arch is very distracing.. Moving your camera angle is a good thing to avoid bright background areas that will always bring your eye to the brightest spot as well as screw up your metering.
    I always have my assistant - or me - pick up any white thingies off the ground or dead leaves, branches etc... details are very important.
    The cast is somewhat expected as the dresses will reflect onto the white dress. Again a bit of flash can tone that down.
    The second bridesmaid on the left is not very happy ;-) Take a moment to loosen people up... Always ask the girls to lower their bouquets... The girl on the right has it right.
    Agree with the idea to bring them closer together but I've seen some fun shots where the couples are scattered.. but not so static...
    I always tell the girls to put all the weight on the back leg and bring the other let out front a little... When the one leg comes forward - the hip on one side goes up just a bit - resulting in a more relaxed look... A more relaxed body results in a more relaxed expression on faces... Really.. Try it.
    Not to say you can always fix things in photoshop.. but I've fixed a few things in photo shop to simulate what I believe could have happened with flash and other details such as watching the background etc..
    00TD0z-129653984.jpg
     
  7. I'd agree with what's been said here so far, and would add that the one bridesmaid not smiling does hurt the image. I think Mary has made some good improvements, and they help pop the couples out of the dark murky background. I think the bride and groom should stand apart more from the rest of the party, perhaps being closer to the camera. I'd also shoot this with an f2.8 aperture, to blur the background during capture.
    Also, if you're going to pose an assymetrical group like this (an odd number of couples) there are ways to compose it so that the third odd couple is offset to one side or the other of the bride/groom, but with the right angle, it would look fine. I like to bring a stepladder with me to get a higher angle with groups like this, because you can shoot wider and use the scenery to better benefit in your composition. You can space the couples apart more with a higher angle, and get the wed couple closer to you.
    You can also shoot from the top of your stepladder, and have them all clustered in a group below you, surrounding the bride/groom, laughing, hugging, raising their bouquets, etc. Just make sure you have some pretty green grass beneath them, and not the gravel shown in this image.
    Another idea is to put 3 girls on one side and 3 guys on the other side, but don't do the standard police lineup. Instead, put each person in a different pose and position, perhaps "draping" them over the scenery behind the couple in various contemporary poses. Get them all laughing and interacting with each other. Or, make it serious and introspective with more serious expressions, looking off camera, etc.
     
  8. I'd prefer puttig the bride on the other side of the groom; to the grooms right side, and turn her in an angle instead on looking straight on; to balance the look of the group. Lastly, I'd meter for the background, perhaps the grass and use a bit less flash.
    I'm being real picky here. This shot is really fine, just a bit under exposed, causing the faces to be a bit red. Mary did a good job with her adjustments. The faces look dead on.
     
  9. In reference to a bit less flash, I'm referring to use a fill flash just enough to bring out the dark eyes. I don't think you used a flash at all.
     
  10. Right Bob - Fill flash... I often use it outside or green grass, purple dresses, grey stones can reflect unwanted colors on whites and on faces. Doesn't apply with black and white however.
     
  11. I agree with Bob on the bride and flash.
     
  12. Did you take more than one shot of this setup? I usually take at least two in case of blinks, etc. I ask because if you have another shot where bridesmaid #2 looks a little happier, perhaps little cloning surgery could be done.
    So is your name Ireland or do you live in Ireland, or both?
     
  13. Its a beautiful shot. Well composed and I think the exposure is very good, no need to brighten things up. Only that the groom could be bit more closer to the bride.The view under the arch is a slight distraction but nothing to worry about. I like it.
     
  14. Compositionally, I would have gone for a 'pattern' as has been alluded to already. All the ladies on the same side of the men. Another option would have been to place them so that the couple is in front of the arch in the background, with the bridal party on either side (3+3). Whenever you have a feature like that, formal poses often work well when symmetry is used. I'd arrange them in height order too.
     
  15. I will add that the position of the flowers is odd between the bridal party members. The girl on the right has a good position. The one in the middle needs work, hold it lower rather than like a club. The girl on the left really has issues.
    I also would change the position of the groomsman on the left with his left hand showing on the waist. At first glance it looks the like the bridesmaid has three hands.
     
  16. Good point about the hands Raymond..
     
  17. I think this shot is fine and agree with the crique above. So I am not going to add to that... I think that I might have tried to pose them in the arch to see how that would look - give some connection to the location - right now they don't seem to have a connection to the location. I would suggest that you scope your group shot locations early in the day and know how you will set them up. then when the time comes you will be ready. Groups shots that are posed not close together are more formal and need to have he details met. Like mentioned above with hands and bouquets matching. I think I might have had the BM and MH stand on each side of the bride and groom - break the couple up - then put one couple on each side of them - this would create some balance. The other thing you could do is bring the couple foward and put the other couples away from them in a V shape. I think with this size bridal party I would try to find arches, stairs or there cool architectual elements of the location to use for group photos.
     
  18. Like Bob, I prefer the bride on the other side of the groom. Angle the bride, her feet in an extended "5th position" with the weight on the back hip. I also prefer the girls holding the flowers with both hands near the hip and the groomsmen presenting the bridesmaid (hands under her elbow rather than placed on her waist as in the sample shot below).
    00TDkB-130071784.jpg
     
  19. Nice sample David. I was looking for one to share, but you beat me to it. Thanks it saved me from hunting through a mess of weddings. I also like how you have the groom helping hold the brides flowers. It gives more of a feeling of closeness/togetherness. I'd like to see the couple on the right up one step. Hope you don't mind me being so picky.
     
  20. Thanks Bob, in retrospect I should have had the flowergirl and ringbearer one step down.....
     
  21. Lots of good advice and in some of the following, I'm repeating what has already been said, but I am going to take a stab at general, TRADITIONAL posing, since this is what Lisa mentioned.
    Start with the couple. Traditionally the bride should be on the left as you face them. First turn them (their whole body, including feet) toward each other. Tell them to put their weight on the back leg, and put the other leg forward, bending the knee slightly, pointing the toe at the photographer (Mary's suggestion above). This is why my illustration has transparent gowns--to show the leg position!
    For the groom and men, I sometimes just ask that they put their weight on one leg or the other, to avoid the straight up and down, rigid leg stance, particularly in cases like these, because the groom's right foot, for instance, can tuck just behind the bride's feet nicely and allows them to be very close to each other without the feet getting tangled. This may be why the groom in Lisa's sample is reaching so far across the bride with one arm. His feet and body are right next to the bride and he can't get close to her. Also because they aren't turned toward each other. Then I tell the groom to put his right hand on the small of the bride's back (UNDER the veil). They typically grab the waist, resulting in fingers showing around the bride's waist. I correct this. The groom's other hand is straight down, relaxed, at his side. The groomsmen are the same, except both hands are down. For more relaxed pictures, one hand can be in a pocket, but you can see the groom's ring if it isn't. Typically, men will clasp their hands in front of themselves and this is to be avoided. It looks very defensive and closed.
    The bride traditionally holds the bouquet with both hands, just below the waistline. Women typically hold it up much higher, blocking their bodice. The elbows should be slightly bent. I like the flowers to be held slightly tilted. The women are the same. I tell the couple to tip their heads slightly toward each other.
    My first diagram (A) shows a very plain and traditional pose, with the couple offset due to the uneven number of couples. The couple is as described, but the attendants are turned toward the couple, so leg positions will differ according to which way they are turned, plus note that the woman is always slightly in front of the man, so both her shoulders are visible. Typically you tuck couples fairly close together so there are no gaps, and they are pretty much on the same plane. In Lisa's example, the left couple is slightly forward AND slightly apart from the rest of the people, and the second couple is slightly back from the couple. I agree with Francie re putting the MOH next to the Groom, then a guy, then a girl. Then put the BM next to the Bride, then a girl, then a guy. Symmetry yet you still get guy/girl difference.
    Diagram (B) shows the same, but with the attendant couples pushed slightly back, in kind of a U shape. You could make this slight or deep. You could start to put deliberate and studied gaps between the couples, you could staggar the gaps/couples. You could turn the couples toward each other, some even completely around (shows bridesmaids dress backs), and have them talking to each other or looking at the couple.
    Diagram (C) shows an alternate and linear pose which can be a nice change if you're going to do couples.
    Photo (D) is an example of very traditional posing on a non-traditional wedding. When there are uneven numbers of guys and girls, I like to staggar the girls, but in this, I still keep the Man of Honor and Best Man in their places next to the Bride and Groom. The Bride is in red, and I did not have her stand as above, because the line of her Indian inspired gown would be broken. I generally don't like the kind of 'hand in pocket' that the Groom shows, but since this is the way he naturally puts his hands in his pockets, I let it go.
    Photo (E) is just a very quick thing you can do right after the traditional pose to break things up. There are others, but this is particularly quick and generally shows a lot of energy. Things could get a lot more squeezed than this photo even, often resulting in a lot of smiles and laughing.
    00TDnf-130127584.jpg
     
  22. In point of view all posts was great with focus and helpfull. I'd like to leave my post also.
    1- The space between the couples bring some distractions, like the background.
    2- A smooth vignete could be avoid some of those background distractions (I tried to show above)
    3- I Agree with 3 girls and 3 guys or in this case, you should be move the bride to left side of groom and put the couples to get close.
    4- For sure a low DOF (1.4 or max 2.8) would highlight them.
    [​IMG]
     
  23. Nadine - YOU ROCK
    Nadine is absolutely right on as usual...
     
  24. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Not much more to say . . .
    Technical - I'd crop it ever so slightly closer: edges of the frame are important, IMO, especially for a Formal. The edge of the stone intrusion camera left is annoying. An even crop, removing that stone work will also lessen the amount (total area) of earth which is burnt camera right, which would be good.

    Artistic - There have been a number of comments about Traditional / Formal posing - the technique - I agree with them all. I guess we all who make these comments went to the same school which trained us to start with the layout and then position each Subject's feet, then place the weight, which allows the hips to drop into place and also the shoulders and lastly we address the hands, neck and face . . .

    But also, I think it is important to remember that often the Bridal Party comprises "couples" who are matched only for that day.

    The balance of the group has been discussed - like the odd gaps between the couples - but I was also instructed about the internal communication between the elements (subjects) in the group. Similar to how a Chamber Group, or Band has its internal balance: this goes beyond the technical, but is often described in Technical Terms: usually Internal Communication is displayed with the hands and the relative angle of the heads / faces. In this image, there is no doubt there is Communication between the Bride and the Groom. But to varying degrees Communication is lacking in each of the other "couples". And, IMO this affects the overall dynamic and also the power / impact of the image.

    Sometimes the Photographer's energy is required to loosen-up the "couples", and get them working together even though it is a formal, posed shot, they should be relaxed, and relaxed with each other. The Men should be comfortable enough to display both warmth and strength in their hand gestures and the Women should be relaxed enough to welcome both. Men often need the initial encouragement.

    Rapport between the Photographer and each member of the Wedding Party (individually) is an important tool the Photographer can employ, to be a conduit and catalyst. The Wedding Day progresses very quickly, but the images live on for a long time. The Professional Wedding Photographer, if engaged to capture these Formal Shots should skilled at fast-tracking connectivity, communication and balance within the group and between the members of the group.

    Formal Wedding Photographs, (these days especially) seem to be regarded less, and also less sought: with “Wedding Photojournalism” the Photographer’s energies are indirectly focused on the subjects - anticipation, correct camera viewpoint and timing are integral elements. Formal Capture requires more direct and interactive energy from the Photographer to help create the conditions such that the best, will be extracted.

    WW
     
  25. I'm going to go against the grain here a bit.
    Lisa, it seems to me that if you are a reportage type photographer, but are getting requests for group shots (a fact of life), maybe the challenge is to create group shots that meld with your style?
    If you are expressing the personality of the people, why stop when it comes to so called "formals". Now if you meant you wanted info on "Traditional" in the strict sense of the word then the following will have less meaning in accomplishing that ... but others have provided ample advice in that area ... especailly Nadine's excellent post.
    Personally, I go against the prevailing adherence to tried and true formal group constructions ... "posed" need not be formulaic IMO. Now mind you, many of the tips are excellent ... like how the subject should place their weight on the back leg, etc. But I bristle at generic approaches that map out posing without letting the personalities and group dynamics guide you ... which IMO is part and parcel of the more journalist style in the first place. Nothing wrong at all with the traditional approach outlined here. It's just not for me if I can help it. Maybe not for others either.
    Also, I'm big on using the venue that the client's paid for rather than hiding it. You being where you are and in the places you get to shoot in, it's a thought to keep in mind.
    For example, here's a posed "group" shot that the client was wild about and ordered large prints of. It shows off the location ... but also allowed me to crop tighter for an album print.
    00TEM3-130455584.jpg
     
  26. That's interesting Marc, the micro posing in your image is the most traditional of traditional on some of the individuals--to the point of being cliched. It's just the composition that isn't. For instance, I would probably take the picture if someone asked me to photograph the groom kneeling in front of the bride, holding her hand, but be resisting inwardly. Same with the coats over the shoulder a la Sinatra. I am curious--did the individuals do what they wanted or did someone direct them?
    Don't get me wrong--I think it is a great and fun photo, especially if the client likes it. The composition is excellent.
     
  27. (WW) "Not much more to say . . ."​
    (just pointing out that the length of what followed belies the above statement, WW. But, as usual, it was accurate and well thought-out nonetheless!)
     
  28. Nadine, what breaks the "log jam" was my placement of the three up on the rail ... and as you say, "the composition". Sometimes the surroundings and composition are the only "creative" tools you have to work with. This one is sort of in-between. I do others that are really "not traditional" ... clients buy them for wall and album, but sometimes the Moms don't ... LOL!
    The Groom wanted the keeling pose and who am I to argue with him?
    The coats were off because it was hot as hell. I liked them that way anyway because of the vests ... a complimentary lavender color to the yellow-green surroundings. I would have played up that color aspect more in Lisa's image also ... purple and green are wonderful ... as well as made more of the location.
    If potential clients are primarily interested in more traditional posed work, I send them to others I know who love doing it. I don't. People who hire me sometimes don't even want to take formals ... I usually have to talk them into doing at least a few for the "Moms".
     
  29. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    ". . .the length of what followed belies the above statement" You should have read the first draft :) . . .

    ***

    What constantly stimulates me, is what I take away from Photo.net: even if it is just a nuance, expressed in a different way - to me that is another idea which is beneficial to my growth.

    Like: I will remember the coats in Marc's picture. I do the coats off quite often, it is quite warm here sometimes even in winter - but I really like the variance of the coats off - not one bloke has his coat off the same way . . . little things . . . I think that is really cleaver.

    I too would like to know how much that “informal formal” was instructed.

    WW
     
  30. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    well. . . I meant "clever" . . .
     
  31. That was intentional William. I'm not a fan of conformity. Which is why I actually like Lisa's irregular placement of her subjects. If Lisa's shot had included a lot more of the intriguing looking background I probably would've liked it even more. You can always crop tighter, but you can't add what isn't there.
    Even when all the coats are on, I have some of the men button up, others to unbutton the coat and place one hand in their pocket like a Macy's ad ... Like the Groom in the attached photo.
    Sometimes it only takes having one of the guys out of sync with all the others ... like the attached shot where the Groom is the odd man out ... which, coupled with the composition, aids in bringing attention to the B&G without overshadowing the wedding party. This is about as "formal" as I like to go ... and did so because the B&G were a more traditional East Coast couple.
    00TEV4-130551684.jpg
     
  32. Just a note on composition ... there are a lot of ways to approach setting up people ... one of which is a Pyramid. Which is good when you have access to stairs or a platform. In both images I posted that was the starting point. The one with Lavender dresses was a standard upright Pyramid, and the one at the Gazebo is a reverse Pyramid.
    In the Gazebo shot the strict balance of the Pyramid is somewhat broken by the one Bridesmaid standing and peeking out from behind the post, and the one next to her without flowers. It doesn't take much to loosen up a formal to feel more relaxed and human.
     
  33. Well, flowers you can hardly see that is ... LOL!
     
  34. Lisa,
    The setting is great, the lighting is decent but would have benefited from some fill. The posing is flat. If I have to line up a group, I will try to work them into triangles, curves/circles, or leading lines. I think the bride should always be most prominent in any group image of a wedding party and your shot leaves her a little less so. If you have a line like this, one approach is to shoot from a kneeling position and have the party slightly behind the B&G. That brings height and prominence to your subject and will add some diversity to the standard group shot. Plus, its not "normal". What is wrong with normal? Well, it doesn't sell much wedding photography IMO. Still on the pose, the BM's to the left needed to lower their flowers to their waist in order to bring a curve back to their figures IMO. Also, some work to "chat" with everyone as you shoot will often relax their expressions and remove some of that "I'm waiting" look.
    Best, D.
     
  35. I think the middle bridesmaid ruined the picture by not smiling! She's right in the middle, with a cold look on her face that makes the viewer wonder, "What's wrong with her?"
    Sure, it's not a technical aspect of photography, but getting good expressions from your subjects is important.
     
  36. As Marc notes the A frame or pyramid is a common composition for the bridal party group formals, below is a similar example.
    Often, the formals are limited by time constraints. In the Chicago area I'm often faced with getting the bridal party group, the parents, the extended family, the B/G, and the bridal portraits all at the altar in about 15 minutes following the ceremony. Efficient posing and crowd control is often the key and the usual formulas will serve the photographer well. Later, at the park or the reception area, that's when you may get some time for the more contemporary, less-posed looking group shots.
    00TEhZ-130681684.jpg
     
  37. I really like these above two shots are you on a step? What level are you.
    -Laura
     
  38. Thanks Laura, I'm simply standing with the camera at eye level and I'm only 5'5".
    BTW, the two gals to the left of the bride were the 2 MOHs, the best man was to the right of the groom.
     
  39. Marc - Your Gazebo shot is just my taste... Fan-tastic. Like you, I also send more traditional requests to other photographers... If they want to take all the group shots, for instance in the church, I refer them to a traditional studio. Other cringers for me are the bridesmaid's flowers spread out on the train with the train swirled around the front...
     
  40. Well hands in pockets and pyramid compositions are mainstays of traditional posing, so it seems to me, Marc, that your formals are just a notch to the left of 'regular' traditional formals. Which brings me to the point I want to make--that it is good to know traditional and basic posing, even if you break the rules when it comes to doing your own group formals. Marc's images are good examples of this, as it is obvious he knows the basics and has expanded on them.
    Even if you don't pose people uniformly or deliberately allow people to do their own thing in some way, it is good to know how to tweak a pose or two, considering that what people choose to do is sometimes very awkward looking. Like the fig leaf pose that men seem to like. If I let men do what they want, many times, that is all I get. For instance, Marc, in your porch formal, I think the bride would have appreciated being told to 'swing a hip' and shift her weight. That small tweak would have made her look more relaxed, not more rigid, or conforming. It is good to know when and how to instruct an individual to do something totally non conforming or rule breaking, which implies what William W. alluded to--tuning in on the psychology of the group. Knowing who among the group would be most agreeable to doing something alternative, for instance.
    In Lisa's case, she had no steps or architectural element to help with composition. The 'ground level' formal, I think is actually the hardest kind to do since you can't really create levels except, perhaps, by height. The thing about Lisa's image is that it is 'in between' a relaxed formal and a formal formal. If it was one way or the other, it would be recognised as a successful one or the other. The same hand positions of the groomsmen implies that an attempt was made to make the image a formal formal, yet the groom's position is awkward. Otherwise, the inconsistent spacing and forward/backward placement would have been fine if the couple themselves were more casually shown. It seems that the groom was attempting to also put his hands on the bride's hips, yet because he was not behind her, the arm cutting across her doesn't look so good--also the position of their feet and the fact that the bride is just standing there, directly facing the camera.
    Part of the standard formal, let's face it, is to show off the dresses and the individuals. Men are often put in the back row because their dress does not vary much and is not as important to them as it is to women. So when I do a traditional formal, I try to not have bridesmaids blocked by another body. Unfortunately, this is sometimes unavoidable when you have a large wedding party. Another thing that surprises me is that when I ask the bride whether she wants girls on one side and guys on the other OR couples--girls and guys mixed, about 90 percent of the time, the bride chooses the former. A good book on traditional formals posing is called "Wedding Photographer's Handbook" by Robert and Sheila Hurth. There are two versions, both out of print. The chapter on this topic is excellent--you'll learn about the 'inverted V' and 'horseshoe' formations. The rest of the book is outdated by today's standards, but again--it is good to know the basics so you can break the rules elegantly.
    As far as doing standard formals or relaxed formals--I do both. The standard one is usually at the church or right after the ceremony. The relaxed one is hopefully later on, although I sometimes do one right after the standard one, if I don't think I'll have another chance. Like a lot of other things, I see no reason to just do one or the other. It certainly does not hurt to do the standard, and it is fun to do the relaxed ones. Doing both will have a positive effect on your marketability.
     
  41. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    The preceding five paragraphs cuts to the guts of: "why formals" and is a building block for: "how formals".
    An insightful and multifaceted comment regarding both.
    Excellent script easily read and digested.
    Brava.
    WW
     
  42. "The preceding five paragraphs cuts to the guts of: "why formals" and is a building block for: "how formals".
    An insightful and multifaceted comment regarding both. "


    Agreed.
     
  43. 1st photo: Spacing is off, hands are not the same, bouquets are at different heights, need to be held at belly button. Bouquets need to be held with both hands. I would have moved everyone in a little closer. Then moved them all in real close for a fun shot. You had a odd number of couples. Could have put all guys on 1 side & all girls on the other. Exposure is not the issue here like some have stated. It is all in the posing, some PJ wedding photographers do not know how to pose.
     
  44. Kay, I think what you see in Marc's work is often the result of careful metering, well balanced fill, and great PS skills.
     
  45. Lisa -- your photo is from Sept. 2008, and 24mm, Av mode at f/3.2, 1/200 with flash fill.
    Interesting setup, colors, and pose.
     
  46. Actually Nadine, the examples I posted are the exception for my "posed" work ... not the norm. They were used to stay somewhat in context to the discussion. Mostly because I agree with most of the experienced posts in this thread ... learn the traditional, well thought out techniques, and then go from there if you wish. How far to go is up to you and what you can sell.
    However, I think it is important to note that if possible it would be nice to maintain a continuity of stylistic flow if you are primarily a candid shooter. For me, learning some of this was so I could get to something else as fast as I could ... because it just didn't fit the attitude of my approach to wedding photography.
    Even this is a bit too structured for me ... LOL!:
    00TGYF-131821684.jpg
     
  47. The photo is really quite nice - I like the use of natural light - although maybe it would have been best to expose of a bit more tonal range in the black tuxedos.
    I am not too happy with the window/structural opening in the background behind the head of the first bridesmaid on the left. This is a subtle distraction - but one that could have easily been eliminated with a quick re-arrange of couples.
     
  48. Thank you all for taking the time to critique. These comments are so helpful and I will be studying them again and again! I wanted to reply earlier, but I had my baby a week earlier than he was expected! So I'm just getting a chance to see everything now. I live in Ireland, my last name is not ireland by the way! And I do have to create traditional posed pictures as people here in Ireland definitely want them. I love the posing techniques suggested and I really love Mark's informal poses. Gives me lots of inspiration! Thanks again to all!
     
  49. Frankly Lisa, I learned a lot myself. The process never ends thanks to all the diverse information and approaches. What a great group this is. Really.
    One more ... LOL ... an example of a deliberate "must Have" shot of the Bride and her Maid-of-Honor. Yet informally shot in a way that's a bit more befitting my journalist style and desire to include the environment of the wedding venues.
    00TH9P-132211584.jpg
     
  50. Thanks to everyone for the great post - I learned so much this round... and it wasn't even my photo...
     
  51. I second that....
    These are sooo helpful for newer photographers like myself.
    Thanks to all for the great insight and helpful tips.
     
  52. My 3 improvements would be:
    1. Have the photographer change shooting position so the arch in the background could frame them, thus causing the eye to immediately draw to them.
    2. The bride should be turned. She is flat to the camera.
    3. Couple on far left seems detached from the group, move them in.
     

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