Feature Photograph

Bride and Groom

Weddings!  This week we’ll be seeing some great wedding shots from Rob over at www.1ds.com in our Weekly Outing Section.  Looking at his images I found myself really admiring his work.  He covered most of the traditional types of shots really well.  Rob doesn’t claim to be a wedding photographer, and covering a wedding is not an easy thing to do, but he sure did a great job of this one!

As you gain experience shooting weddings and start nailing the traditional and expected images you start bringing more to your game.  You start seeing great shots that you might have missed before, you start using different lighting techniques, and then there’s the candid’s.  This weeks feature photograph is topical for this reason.  Often, in the early years when I did weddings, I’d have customers tell me I did a fine job but I wasn’t getting the reaction I was really after.  Really what I was doing in those early years was just covering the basics and feeling damn lucky I didn’t screw things up.  Actually, I still feel damn lucky when I don’t screw up a wedding because they’re that important to the wedding couple.

When I became more comfortable and found myself relaxing more I started looking for those occasional candid shots usually missed.  I learned through experience that the candid shots, the silly faces, the mistakes, the open fly..  these brought ‘life’ to the wedding album and brought the biggest smiles to the faces of the couple as they were soft proofing their wedding.  The laughter would start, the hearts would warm, and they’d leave having had a great time viewing the pictures vs. leaving having completed a business transaction.  This is the point where I started to feel really good about my work, simply because I was making others feel really good viewing my work.

In the picture above I had the couple posing against a very drab background because it’s all we had.  The temp was over 40c, everyone was sweating and overheated, and the setting was in a very dusty and not very attractive setting.  I used a sepia effect for the couple while de-saturating the background to mask/hide the poor background.  I had them posing in their formal poses and while I was directing their poses I’d make jokes and make them feel at ease and laugh a bit.  They’d hold very still for the posed shots and once they heard the shutter click they’d immediately loosen up and the natural expressions of joy and love you feel during a wedding would appear.   My technique for capturing such moments is to simply shoot continuous frames at about 3fps.  Each time I pushed the shutter release I held it down for long enough to capture a burst of 4-5 images.  Every 4-5 poses you’d get something really special as the couple loosens up and isn’t expecting the camera to capture them.

Bride and Groom

A wedding is all about emotions and the more emotions your pictures show the better.  At least so far this has worked for me and pleased my clients more than even my most perfect traditional shots.  Don’t get me wrong, if I didn’t produce those perfect traditional shots they’d be hoping mad and rightfully so.  It’s just that the emotional candid’s.. they’re the icing on the wedding cake!