Last spring I’ve done half an hour shoot for this couple, then they asked me to shoot their wedding as well, so I did a test shoot with them. Later we discussed the plan for the wedding photography: what images to take in what locations and in what time limits. The main difficulty was time limitation because the couple planned 4 activities in 4 different locations besides the ceremony and wanted to spend most time with the guests.
On the wedding day the bride told me she doesn’t want to pose in a commonplace way and rejected most of the classic poses that I suggested, so the process acquired a sign of spontaneity. Here I need to mention that my photography is normally well thought-out and planned, so chaotic situations are a challenge for me. That’s one of the reasons for me to undertake event photography including weddings.
One of my short-term plans includes portrait photography as a source of income and I find that this wedding photography was relevant to my plans in several ways. First of all both bespoke portraits and wedding photography main aim is to satisfy customer’s expectations whether it fits your own point of view or not, so you can’t fully control everything and everyone. Bespoke or wedding photography, it’s a special day for customers, so you need to maintain a positive atmosphere, effectively communicate with customers and make them feel and act naturally. Another similar feature is ability to work on a location, see it’s potential, good angles and interesting details. Both bespoke and wedding photography rely not only on skills and eye of a photographer, but also on the reaction because true moments might be captured and not always can be repeated. At the moment moderate reaction rate is my main weakness if speaking about a couple’s portrait photography.
When analyzing the process of preparation, planning and photographing this wedding, I come to the conclusion that do something differently and more effectively. For example next time I won’t limit myself to my own ideas and vision even if the customers initially agree to do it my way. First of all I will definitely question customers what do they want, what are their expectations and what do they imagine their portraits would look like in the best case scenario and only after that I will suggest something. However detailed planning should be carried out as well.
So my plan is to continue doing wedding and event photography to improve my reaction rate and to develop my photographic and interpersonal skills.
When editing these photographs I mostly applied the same editing processes as I usually do, but for this image I applied some common techniques to create a new (for me) effect of a silhouette.
1 Exposure, contrast: the photograph was underexposed and it was hard to distinguish unlit areas from shadows, so I increased exposure and added contrast, I didn’t worry about the details because I was working with silhouettes only.
2 Ground: I increased exposure and highlight value for the ground to separate the couple from the background.
3 Silhouettes: I decreased shadow value on the lightest areas of the silhouettes to make them more even and dark.
4 Highlights: I decreased highlight value of the sky to make it more even and dark because I didn’t want the sky to stand out too much.
5 Luminance: the photograph was very noisy and I set luminance value to the maximum because I didn’t care about the details and actually wanted the image to be more plastic, that makes the couple stand out even more because viewer’s gaze isn’t caught by details.