Specialist Technique & Process 3 – External Job/Images towards my project

14th November 2015

I photographed the wedding of Christopher Smith & Lisa Flesher.

It was quite a small wedding of about 50 ish people so it was a good, close knit atmosphere for the day. The bride & groom wanted a ‘social documentary’ style of photos more so than posed shots (however in the end we did do a few posed ones for the sake of getting all the family on pictures etc.) Photographing in this style was also perfect for my project work because I want to capture real moments between people. They had a few specific shots they also wanted throughout the day, which I took into account and did my best to capture everything they wanted.

The schedule of the wedding was split into a few different parts because of the timings:

8:30am – Photograph the bride and bridal party getting ready at her house, Idle

10:15am – Vintage bus arrives on street corner (for Groom & guests)

10:30am – Set off for ceremony

11:15am – Wedding ceremony at Bradford Town Hall

11:45am – Photos in the Town Hall

11:55am – Set off to Church blessing

12:30pm – Pub in between!

1/2pm – Blessing at Holy Trinity Church, Idle

3:30pm – Meal/reception at The Hitching Post, Idle (until around 6:30/7pm)

The complexity of this day meant a lot of planning between the Bride & Groom and I. Depending on what they wanted photos of, I had to be in all different places. This was a great experience for me because we knew the basic structure of the day but I was also having to take initiative throughout. I have never photographed in so many different places in one day! I thoroughly enjoyed it. It also was a great opportunity to talk to people that I didn’t know at all too, as I made some connections and met some lovely people!

Some things I feel I could have improved upon & I have learnt from this wedding are:

  • I am still working on my communication skills – throughout the day I was photographing and spending time with people who I didn’t know, however because although I am quite confident – I still felt a little nervous! This hindered me in places of properly branching out and having conversations with people – although I did manage to talk to a few people. I do want to improve those skills though
  • I mainly used my 24-105mm f4 lens on the day, however although it’s f4, Canon cameras tend to shoot with heavier contrast and, I find, darker than other cameras. So because the brides house, Town Hall & reception venue were all very dim lighting I was struggling with capturing action without having to bump up my ISO to 3200+ and this took it’s tole on the quality of my images as they were grainy and I found that I lost detail, having to shoot at such a high ISO. This was a steep learning curve for me and although I love the flexibility of shooting on a zoom lens, I may have to invest on a set e.g 50mm lens with a smaller aperture (e.g f1.2/1.4) to have much lighter images and to add depth, without having to sacrifice on quality.
  • Angles – when shooting in a documentary style it is important to be on the ball at all times – watching, anticipating for what is going to happen next – and preparing my position prior to the action that is about to take place. I say this because I found on the day that I didn’t get the right position quick enough and as a result, (I feel) some of the moments weren’t captured fully because of my timing/positioning
  • Editing & selecting – it took me much longer to get these photos sent to the couple because I took so many images & one of my weaknesses is clinging to every image and not being able to ‘delete down’ efficiently. This results in sometimes the client getting too many images, and sometimes they say ‘less is more’. I think next time – before I start editing the images – I am going to go through them with someone who can give me objective feedback and help me delete images that aren’t relevant – or just not take as many images on the day!
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