Whose photographed a really large....

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by nuzumphoto, Jun 25, 2009.

  1. Wedding party? Just curious about the size and challenges faced.
    Our biggest has been: bride and groom, 9 bridesmaids, 9 groomsmen, 4 flower girls, and 3 ring bearers for a total of 27.
    While you always have to command the moment during formals, we still have wondering eyes problems. No matter how many times I stand on the ladder and let everyone know that pictures are about to be taken, they just can't look at me. I resort to the count down...1...2..start taking pictures...3...and typically that works.
    Other challenges and solutions faced with LARGE groups?
  2. I'm interested in seeing the responses here, I'm shooting a group of 40 on Sunday.
  3. I've done up to a 1,000 person group, but it was a motorcycle rally group, not a wedding party.
    I tell them what we need to do (we have one piece of film, stand up straight, smile for the camera when it comes around... the camera rotates), then explain that I'll count down 3-2-1-GO and trip the shutter at GO.
    But since my camera rotates over the cours of 45-60 seconds for the shot, I can forget about the concept of "decisive moment." I have to be a good coach / director.
  4. Yep, it's been a while, shot last wedding in 98, but I'm guessing a party close to 40. Biggest challenge is the younger ones. I think three of us worked the job and set everything up as needed. There were no problems to speak of, we did formals outsid ein park, but inside for bad weather will certainly create a challenge.
  5. My record is 39. It was Hispanic wedding, so you have the Matrons, Maids, Jr. Bridesmaids, Flower Girls (many), and Miniature Bride, plus the Groomsmen, Younger Groomsmen, Jr. Groomsmen, Ring Bearer, Train Carrier(s), Bible Bearer, Coin Bearer and Miniature Groom.
    My biggest problem was showing them all in the formal photo where faces and dress were clearly shown. Luckily I had a flight of steps outside the church to use. Don't normally have problems with wandering eyes. The old count down works fine for formals.
  6. Thirty-one. I avoid count downs....I like to act-out a bit, go for a laugh, yell out: "Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy!" You need to command attention with your demeanor. It also helps to get mom & Aunt Ethel to stand right behind you :)
  7. I've shot up to 70 at one go in full-cast photos for community theater productions. There, I have an additional headache of the stage lighting being quite uneven. But Photoshop is your friend. I bracket shots +/- 1 stop, shot in batches of three, get 3 or 4 batches and do it fast so people don't move much. Afterward, splice it all together. In the larger casts there are a lot of kids, so it's hopeless to keep them all still. But with Photoshop you can pick the best photo for a starting place, then cut/paste faces/heads to fix bad expressions and closed eyes. For my work I often have to use different brackets for the front row or the back row, but if you control your own lighting that probably won't be a problem. When done well, the edits are invisible.
  8. The first wedding of the year had 38 in the wedding party. Certainly not my biggest wedding group shot which was over 100 (Bride wanted a shot of everyone at her wedding). But this one was more challenging because it was in the winter and could not be done outdoors. I knew the church couldn't accommodate the shot, so I investigated someplace else to do the whole wedding party, and planned it out with the bride before hand.
    IMO, the biggest challenges are seeing everyone and then lighting them. If you use smaller flash equipment and drag the shutter, people in the front are a higher exposure level and cooler color temperature than people in the back rows due to light fall off. You can amber gell your flash(s) to try and match the ambient background but it reduces the flash output ... which you need to light such a big group.
    After screwing around in post trying to fix shots like this, I finally caved and just brought studio lights. BIG difference, almost no post work. A high meg camera doesn't hurt either. Renting is an option when faced with challenges like these.
    The attached was printed out at 17 X 22 ... ( show shots like these big, and they sell like hot cakes). I use two 600 w/s Profoto monos on 15 ft stands with 40" shoot through umbrellas and used Pocket Wizards to trigger the strobes ... the camera right light was bounced off a white wall ... the camera left light was 10' up pointed straight through the umbrella at the group ... and in hindsight, I should have taken it up a bit higher than I did to avoid any cast shadows.
  9. Agreed with David on this one (for once. :-D), it's about commanding a presence. You really have to get them listening to you and be very confident and assertive. We also start by warming them up with friends and family with their point and shoots. :)
  10. here's one from a few years back. this was my largest. i like buiding large groups around chairs. the biggest challenge was rounding everyone up, then keeping the ones we had found all in one place while we looked for the others. there will always be blinkers and people looking in other directions that's why you take multiples.
  11. oops. here you go
  12. Marc - Well done!!! What a great idea - using the buffet table to hug the group... Fantastic shot.
  13. I lost count after 90...
  14. My largest was a Mexican wedding. I always ask when I book a wedding how many people will be in the wedding party, and I was told 15. Odd number, but OK. When we get to the wedding, the bride had added more so that there was now 36. She had 2 girls back out at the last minute, so with the guys that would of made 40. At the start of the ceremony, there was literally more people in the wedding party than there were wedding guests, but guests kept coming in and by the end of the ceremony there was more guests than wedding party. The church would give each wedding party 15 minutes after the ceremony to shoot pictures inside, so we ended up outside to take some of the photos.
    I have also done "every one there at the wedding" shots that were probably about 150 or so people.

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