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Thread: Engagement Photos

  1. #1
    SGerke's Avatar
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    Engagement Photos

    Hello everyone!

    I had my first engagement photoshoot on Saturday and would love some C&C. The couple loves them, but I've had a mixed responses from other photographers.

    All pictures were shot with my point and shoot, Canon SD1100 IS. It was a very cloudy day, a little rainy too. To see all the engagement pictures, please visit my CiC album: http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/for...hp?albumid=519

    Engagement Photos

    Engagement Photos

    Engagement Photos

    Engagement Photos

  2. #2

    Re: Engagement Photos

    The couple loves them, but I've had a mixed responses from other photographers.
    I think that will be true here also. Firstly I think you have done well to get what you have with a point and shoot. Some of your compositions in the album are also nicely thought out. I particularly like the one with the girl looking over the guys shoulder.

    In the first image you need to think about where the depth of field would actually be. The feet are sharp but the pavement is blurred. You might consider 2 or three layers giving a graduated blur. But, essentially you are suffering from the lack of narrow DoF with the fixed lens.

    The second image is actually well arranged (not sure about the cropping of the guys head) You have just about got away with the blurring but I suggest that you select just off of the outline (you can use grow or shrink selection here) and feather at around 60 to 100 pixels. Use a soft blur brush to tidy things up.

    The third image is the one that really would benefit from focus blur. The girders are very distracting.

    General points would be the white balance. It appears fine in the 2nd image but the other two have a cast. You have suffered from flat lighting due to the weather conditions and it would definitely be worth considering future shoots in the golden hours without overcast skies. Black and white conversions are are also more tolerant to he PP you are applying.

    Now the bit which is most difficult for the tog on these occasions. The girl has a good shape and the guy probably does too but It is hard to tell due to the baggy jeans and paternity shirt. Old geezers like me wear their shirts out to hid the ravages of childbirth and pies but as a photographer you really need to persuade fit young men that looking like their dads is not wise in photographs. This may seem very personal and it is but as a photographer you are in charge of the whole look.

    I hope this thread does not turn into a "I told you so" because you have had the guts to have a good shot at this. I have seen much worse than this by a long throw. One thing that struck me with the thread when you asked the advisability of taking this on.People were very quick to advise on telling the couple to hire a pro.That is fine for us to say with out disposable incomes but it totally ignores that young couples and often their parents just do not have the cash to splurge on a pro photographer in todays economic climate.

    One final thing. Look very carefully at your work. Think very carefully about what members of this forum tell you and think long and hard about taking on their wedding. If you want to help out pitch yourself as another gal with camera. I do not think you are ready to go as first tog yet. Remember that your first 6 months worth of images with a new DSLR will probably compare unfavourably with the shots from a P&S that you are familiar with.

    Do not get discouraged you have an ability to compose the shots but you need to give yourself learning time for both the DSLR and the PP

  3. #3
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Engagement Photos

    Quote Originally Posted by Wirefox View Post
    I hope this thread does not turn into a "I told you so" because you have had the guts to have a good shot at this.
    As the person who kept coming back onto your earlier thread trying to put you off, I'm certainly not now going to say 'I told you so'. Like Steve says, you had the guts to take it on.

    But please do look very carefully at what Steve has written. It's the sort of advice and guidance that you'd pay big bucks for in a college course. Here, you get it for free.

    The most important part of all this is that the couple are pleased with what you've done for them. And that's what really matters so far as this job is concerned.

    We'll keep offering the advice and suggestions that, we think, will help you in your development and learning. Because you do seem to want improving your knowledge and skills. And this is a good place to do that.

  4. #4
    SGerke's Avatar
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    Re: Engagement Photos

    Steve,
    Thank you very much for your advice and honesty. I thought the blur looked a little "off" in those 2 photos as well. I'm going to work on them tonight and repost here tomorrow. I'll also add some blur to the one you said the girders were distracting...hopefully that improves it.
    I seem to struggle pretty consistently with white balance. I attempted to get each shot balanced when I took the photos, but that became very time consuming and I thought I could polish them up in PP. Lesson learned...work slower and more thoroughly (for now).
    I'm sure he won't be wearing baggy pants and large shirt for the wedding, but attire is definitely something I need to be more comfortable with addressing. Any pointers?
    Would you suggest doing the wedding with my point and shoot or DSLR? I will have both with me, just in case.
    I certainly hope my work wouldn't incur "I told you so"s...is there something big I'm missing that would potentially produce this reaction?

    Donald,
    Thank you for not saying "I told you so" and also for all of your advice and honesty. This has been a WONDERFUL place to learn and grow as a photographer.
    Thank you, all, for that!

    I will certainly be posting pictures of the wedding when it comes and goes in April. Hopefully everyone will be very supportive and helpful with those photos as well.

    Thank you!

  5. #5
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Engagement Photos

    Sarah

    Would you suggest doing the wedding with my point and shoot or DSLR
    That's something you need to decide. But the call has got to be informed by the degree to which you feel you know the DSLR. So, from the time you get it you need to shoot, shoot, shoot and read those manuals. It really needs to become an extension of your hands and arms so that you can do anything with it - make any adjustment - without even thinking about it. Once you're able to adjust settings without taking your eye from the viewfinder - by your fingers finding the right buttons at the right time, then you've got to know your camera.

    The other reason for shooting so much is that, by April, you should know what your camera is going to give you at various settings. What come up on the computer screen once you've uploaded shouldn't surprise you. You should know exactly what you're going to see.

    You also write about white balancing. You maybe need to do quite a bit of work on getting up to speed on this one. And on exposure. Is the bride going to be wearing white at the wedding? White dress/ dark(black) suits, dark interiors with no advanced lighting equipment (or are you just doing outdoor shots?). It all adds up to a big challenge.

  6. #6
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Engagement Photos

    Hi Sarah,

    I agree with both Steve and Donald's views on everything they have written on ... but additionally, one small thing ....

    In shot #1 above (which is #5 in the album) and #11 in the album, I think the compositions would be slightly better with the guy 'looking into frame', e.g. like in# 9 and #10 in the album. It's partly because his eyeline is above the top of her head and (even if that's not where he's looking), if he's in the right half of frame and looking the same way, it seems odd to me. Don't think I explained that well but I'm late for work

    My challenge to you would be to put say, 5000 shots through the camera and PP before the wediing, well something to aim for.

    Cheers,

  7. #7

    Re: Engagement Photos

    Hi Sarah

    Good composition can overcome some of the problems caused by a lack of better gear - and you should always aim for good composition whatever camera you have. Take #1. The couple are in love (even I can see that). They are the picture, so don't take up 50% of the shot with an out of focus fountain. You have a contrast problem, due to the bright background and dark clothing (light clothes would have been better) At the wedding you will have similar problems. Some fill-flash here would have helped highlight the dark clothes.

    I did a quick edit to re-crop and to lighten the dark areas. Do you see how the emphasis is now much more on the couple? The first is your original. I also sharpened the shot quite a bit, which it needed.

    It's brave of you to put yourself through this critical process. A lot of people wouldn't do it. So well done.

    Engagement Photos
    Engagement Photos
    Last edited by carregwen; 17th November 2010 at 07:10 AM.

  8. #8
    SGerke's Avatar
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    Re: Engagement Photos

    I love Dave's suggestion/challenge of 5000 photos on the DSLR and through PP by the time of the wedding! Will certainly do my best to reach that goal and will update everyone through that process.

    Donald,
    I'll definitely be taking my p&s with me for backup. I thought about what Clactonian said in the "Wedding Decision" thread about 2 different models of camera and agreed that was not the best move. I need to focus on familiarizing myself with my Canon before I even attempt to tackle another camera, let alone another brand.
    I saw pictures of the venue and the inside is very dark, high wooden ceiling. There is also a covered outdoor space and the couple said if the weather is nice they'd like to do the ceremony there. I foresee that being a challenge as well, especially if it's a very bright day, high risk of overexposed backgrounds and white dress in sunlight. I'm trying to set up a time when I can go and take some test shots or even sit in on a ceremony they're hosting. Still waiting to be called back.

    Dave,
    It took a couple time reading through, but I think I understand what you're saying about his eyeline and where it would be better positioned.
    Very much looking forward to your challenge

    Rob,
    Thanks for helping me! I'm currently at work and don't have access to all of my pictures or PSE8 that I use at home for PP so I'll make some adjustments tonight and repost (sorry, I didn't have time last night to fully work on them and bring them with me to work to repost [no internet at home]).
    I don't know if it's just my computer, but I only saw my original photo you reposted, not the one you worked on. I would love to see it if you don't mind reposting it.

    Thank you, all, SO much for your help. I am truly grateful for all of the advice and support.

  9. #9

    Re: Engagement Photos

    Sarah

    My edit shot is there. Try doing a server refresh - CTRL/F5. Send me a PM if you get stuck.

  10. #10
    SGerke's Avatar
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    Re: Engagement Photos

    Rob,

    It's my computer. I sent the link to my phone and was able to see your photo. Thank you. I'll work on it more tonight and will repost.

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    Re: Engagement Photos

    Hi all, as a newby to this stuff I find it particularly interesting, the advise from experienced shooters is great I also take a lot of notice as I might have a relo's wedding to do soon.
    This is what it's all about

  12. #12
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Engagement Photos

    Quote Originally Posted by Gazza View Post
    as I might have a relo's wedding to do soon.
    Gazza

    1 - Hello

    2 - Discussions about shooting weddings has probably taken up more space on here than any other single subject - mainly along the lines of 'If you're not a very experienced photographer with a lot of equipment, including back-up gear for everything', don't do it.

    If you want to read more about the subject, click here and then follow the thread highlighted under 'Shooting Specific Subjects'

  13. #13
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    Re: Engagement Photos

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    Gazza

    1 - Hello

    2 - Discussions about shooting weddings has probably taken up more space on here than any other single subject - mainly along the lines of 'If you're not a very experienced photographer with a lot of equipment, including back-up gear for everything', don't do it.

    If you want to read more about the subject, click here and then follow the thread highlighted under 'Shooting Specific Subjects'
    I think it's because it's (wedding photography) the easiest assignment to receive for a photographer. How many of us, although I am sure there are many here who have, will be asked to do head shots for an adult actor or model? Although, that wouldn't be too bad of an assignment. Hopefully, you only have to please one person, the model and not their family, mother-in-law, bridesmaid, etc.

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