- Beginner Tips for the Aspiring Wedding Photographer
- How to Overcome Bad Lighting and Bad Backgrounds as a Wedding Photographer
- NBA Star Lamar Odom Destroys Paparazzi’s Camera Equipment
- A Photojournalist’s Account of the 1992 LA Riots
Posted: 13 Jul 2013 04:34 PM PDT
“I’m shooting my first wedding and I’m freaking out!! Do you have any pointers?”
This quote has to be one of the most common that I’ve come across in my photography career. Taking the dive into wedding photography can be daunting, and it comes with a lot of stress. Unhappy brides, hundreds of people, and unforeseen weather conditions can all add up to big problems on the big day. Below are some tips that I have learned along the way. I hope they will help you on your first wedding shoot and ensure that it runs as smoothly as possible.
Preparation is Key
Things can and will go wrong at every wedding! No two weddings will ever be alike. The bride may be running exceptionally late, relatives could be arguing, or friends might be in meltdown mode. The one big thing that will save you at every wedding is preparation. An earlier session with the couple at the venue to scope out nice locations close by and make sure that the lighting works well will save you time and time again. Also, asking the bride and groom for three key photos that they want from the wedding means that you can concentrate on these favourite shots, and if worse comes to worst, the couple will still have their most cherished photos.
The Swan Principle
The Swan Principle is something that will serve you very well in years to come as you continue to grow and expand your knowledge in the wedding photography field. Have you ever noticed how a swan in water looks so elegant and calm, with not a worry in the world? Under the water a swan’s legs are going a million miles an hour, thrashing around to keep the swan in one spot. This is optimal for every photographer whilst shooting a wedding. The bride and groom will already have enough stress, and the last thing that should contribute to that stress is the photographer. No matter how stressed you are on the wedding day, your only job should be to appear calm and look after the bride and make sure she is as happy and as comfortable as possible.
Present Your Personality
There are so many photographers in the world these days. With such a big choice, the couple-to-be doesn’t want a stuffy, creepy photographer standing in the corner pushing the shutter button and stealing pieces of their souls. A beginner photographer can fall into the trap of wanting to act too formal on his or her first shoot and get rigid behind the camera. The bride and groom should already know that this is your first wedding and despite this should have high expectations for their wedding photography. Always remember to talk to people, be bubbly and outgoing, and remember that you are offering a service. Your service ensures that the bride and groom get amazing, heartfelt images that truly reflect the memories of this wondrous day. The only way that you are going to achieve this is by making the couple comfortable with the camera, so that when those emotions start pouring out they are thinking about the moment and that moment only.
Too Obtrusive or Not Confident enough? Creating the Right Balance
There will be times when you are shooting a wedding when you will need to be bold and outgoing. You must take control of the situation in order to get great photos and to reassure the couple that they are in good hands. Then there is the opposite situation, when it will be best to stand back and let the emotions of the day flourish while you get creative and capture some amazing memories. Both of these styles will have to be adapted to during the day in order to get the full story. The best advice I can give is to be confident and bold when it comes to all of your posed images, while letting things go along at their own pace in the preparation stage, when all parties are getting ready and drinks are flowing. The last thing that you want to do when the bride and her family are getting emotional about this momentous day is to get up in their faces and ruin the moment. When the bride looks back on these photos she wants to remember the memory of that exact moment, rather than what the photographer was doing at the time. Your camera should always be at the ready and you should be trying to anticipate what is going to happen next.
As you gain more knowledge you will begin to have more understanding of the day and start to find patterns in each wedding. Your photos will become more refined and consistent.
I hope these tips have served you well and give you more confidence going into your first exciting, demanding wedding.
About the Author:
For Further Training on Wedding Photography:
Check out Simple Wedding Photography, it covers everything you need to know to photograph a wedding and the business behind it. From diagrams of where you should stand throughout the ceremony to advice on all the final deliverables to the client. This 200 page ebook will be useful to wedding photographers of any experience level. It also carries a 60 day guarantee, so there is no risk in trying it.
It can be found here: Simple Wedding Photography eBook
Go to full article: Beginner Tips for the Aspiring Wedding Photographer
Posted: 13 Jul 2013 03:35 PM PDT
Bad light and a poor location can quickly derail a shoot. But it doesn't have to be that way. These obstacles can be overcome through smart placement of your subjects and by framing your shot creatively shown here by Doug Gordon. In a recent video tutorial, he walks through common issues and simple techniques that are essential for wedding photographers, who have to deal with a variety of lighting and location scenarios under pressure to get it right the first time (for those of you reading this by email, the video can be seen here):
In the video, Gordon takes wedding photos in a small green space adjacent to a parking lot. In the background you see an ugly fence and the back of some buildings. There are even bits of trash on the grass too. Not good!
The lighting is less than ideal too. The bright mid-afternoon sun creates hard shadows and there is limited shade.
All of these variables create hassles and headaches that require heavy post processing. However, careful positioning and framing of the subject can minimize or eliminate post work altogether.
The key is shooting it in a way that hides problematic issues. This can go a long way in fixing many concerns. Gordon says it's important to consider:
These points allow a photographer to frame the subject to minimize flaws or take advantage of strengths of the location. For example, Gordon gets low to the ground to compose his photograph with foliage of a tree above his subjects to bring contrast and to "distract" from or hide everything else. He uses the colorful foreground to complement the wedding couple at a focal length that balances the composition.
In a poor lighting situation, remember to take advantage of what you've got. Put the bride in shade. Her white dress would otherwise get washed-out by direct sunlight.
In the video, Gordon points out how patches of light still shine through the tree's shade. To resolve this, he creatively positions the groom at a comfortable angle to block additional light.
Lastly, remember that framing can complement your use of available light. In the example, bright sunlit areas contrast with shaded portions in the background. By using the angle he does, Gordon effectively composes the shot to include only the areas with shade.
There are many variables in wedding photography. As a photographer, you can't predict or control all of them. These handy tips will allow you to creatively tackle poor background or lighting scenarios with ease and confidence.
Go to full article: How to Overcome Bad Lighting and Bad Backgrounds as a Wedding Photographer
Posted: 13 Jul 2013 01:15 PM PDT
Have you ever watched one of those horrible moments play over and over. One that’s so terrible to watch that you can’t help but keep watching it. Well this is one of those moments, at least, for a photographer. NBA player Lamar Odom, husband to Khloe Kardashian Odom, lashed out against the paparazzi the other day by throwing the photog’s gear out into the street. According to Khloe’s tweets, one camera man snuck into a gated area on the couple’s property. Here’s what happened in the aftermath:
But apparently this wasn’t the only thing that the paparazzi did to make Odom so upset. Others at the scene report that several photographers rushed Odom’s stopped car at a street light and asked him about the rumors that he cheated on his wife. In response, Odom got out of his car and proceeded to break into several of the paparazzi’s vehicles. After finding a bag full of equipment in one the cars, Odom flung the gear out into the street. Afterwards, he picked up all the gear, but appears to put it in his own trunk.
Though obviously angered, Odom quickly switches tunes as a fan gets out of her car to take a selfie with the NBA star (Via USA Today). You can see the entire video here:
Go to full article: NBA Star Lamar Odom Destroys Paparazzi’s Camera Equipment
Posted: 13 Jul 2013 10:35 AM PDT
When we talk about the Rodney King riots of 1992 – the multi-ethnic race riots that rocked Los Angeles, California, for six whole days – most people only seem to remember the looting in South Central LA. The sudden explosion was instigated by the acquittal of two police officers on brutality charges and involved countless acts of violence that were concentrated among inner-city communities.
Both during and after the conflict, the popular media focused its attention mostly on black neighbourhoods, and occasionally Hispanic, but the violence inflicted on LA’s Asian population is often forgotten. At the time, Hyungwon Kang was the only Korean-speaking journalist on the LA Times staff. He covered the havoc from his unique perspective: through the eyes of his friends and family in Koreatown, who had their shops disproportionately attacked, looted, and burned and their children murdered in the streets. In this video from Reuters TV, Kang discusses the experience then, and how its effects are still being felt today (for those of you reading this by email, the video can be seen here):
In all, the rioting cost 53 lives, 2000 injuries, 1,100 burned buildings, and up to $1 billion in damages. Los Angeles has been festering with racial tension since its creation, during the great California gold rush of the 1840s. It is impossible to imagine the conditions that can breed a population that feels so utterly betrayed by the myth of law and order. There is no real reason that Koreatown and other Asian communities were specifically targeted (they suffered the brunt of the looting, with over 1,600 stores damaged), which can only make the ordeal more confusing and senseless to those affected.
The silver lining, though, is that the shock of the incident instigated a new wave of political involvement, in a bold and coordinated attempt to raise their collective standing, both among other minority populations as well as within the establishment.
The incident that began the rioting was the case of the arrest of Rodney King, a young African-American man who was pulled over by a husband-and-wife police unit. King was on parole and feared the stop, fleeing in a high-speed pursuit across freeways and through neighborhoods. When the officers finally caught him, they tasered, kicked, and beat him for almost 10 minutes – an act which was caught on video by a local resident. They reasoned that he was on PCP – a claim which was later proven false.
With the officers’ acquittal of their assault and excessive force charges, minority residents believed that the law had turned its back on their suffering. The riots were historical in that they were the first large-scale civil eruption to get national 24-hour media coverage from several different sources. Korean-American media, particularly the Korea Times newspaper, was a very influential source for balanced reporting of the events.
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