Saturday, 21 August 2010

Ultimate Wedding Photography How To: The Party!!

To save my own sanity, I like to edit in a random order, so instead of Part 2 here is Part 4: the Party!

Katy and Matt told me before hand that they wanted their wedding photos to be FUN more than anything else - and lucky for me, photographing their party was not hard at ALL. Alot of the time people can really freeze up infront of a camera, and the photos will look stiff and unnatural. A great way to avoid this is to ply people with alcohol as frequently as possible, and if that's not possible, then dancing is a great way to get people to loosen up! As early as you can, get in there and boogey with everyone else. Bring your camera and swivel dem hips - not only does it get people up and dancing with you, but it puts everyone at ease because you're the kid who can't dance, not them ;)

I was lucky enough to be snapped shooting in the background of some other guests' shots, which actually is quite useful!


So, once you're all geared up and ready, get your aperture set as low as you can (this is where it comes in handy to have some great lenses. Shooting at 1.2 is ideal, 1.4 is good, 2.8 is pushing it and anything above I wouldn't reccomend without a flash) and get your ISO high. Having a high ISO means you'll be able to compensate with a faster shutterspeed, which is VERY important as people will be dancing=moving faster! Ready? Excellent - crank up the music...



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Kids are by far the easiest to photograph at a wedding, just ask them to show off some dance moves for you and you'll guarantee yourself some beautiful pictures!

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One of the hardest things to come to terms with as a wedding photographer is accepting that there will be some moments you will miss - you can't be shooting every single person at every single angle all the time. there will an old couple slowdancing in a corner that you might not spot, someone throwing their head back and crying with laughter, kids having a cuddle right behind you. When I shoot a wedding, I HATE letting these moments go unmissed, and my camera is glued to my face like it's an extension of my eyes. Sadly, you will miss these moments, but if take as many photos as you can at ALL times you're more likely not to!


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At this wedding I took 4000+ images and filtered them down into these. Sometimes it's just too hard to choose one, so instead, I choose them all!

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This couple I took SO many photos of. Sometimes, when two people are so in love and totally oblivious to everything around them, it's worth forsaking 10minutes and just catching as many moments as you can with them. Later that night I went up to them (Simon and Samantha) and scrolled through the photos on screen. They were esctatic, and I remember Simon saying "We've never had professional photos taken of us before! I love them! How can I get them?!" Cue giving out a business card!! ;)

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These two again :) Editing these pictures made me well up last night. They were just so, so in love and I feel so so lucky to get to see all this as my job. All together now... Aaaaaaaahhhhh!!

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Another tip - when shooting a portrait of once person (when they are aware you're taking it) ALWAYS take two or three shots in a row. This is a prime example why: There's always SOMEONE who tries to get in the shot! :P

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Remember: weddings are about having fun!! Don't worry about feeling like you're intruding when taking pictures of people without their knowledge. Occasionally people will notice you're doing it - CARRY ON! The shots are always worth it!!

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As a rule, I charge my camera battery for 20minutes while everyone eats at the reception (nobody wants pictures of themselves shovelling their food in their mouths) and then continue to shoot till my battery dies at the end of the night (unless I'm asked to stay for a specific time). It's like a non-guity way to say "Okay, nature has told me I am now officially knackered and need to go to bed." I finished shooting this wedding at 10pm, and these were my final shots:

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So there we are - 192 final images from the party section!

KEY POINTS TO REMEMBER:
  • You will be exhausted. Keep smiling, take 20minutes to eat to recharge your camera's batteries as well as your own
  • Shooting at with a fast shutterspeed/big aperture (low fstop number) and high ISO is essential unless you're using a flash.
  • The lenses I used to take these pictures were the 85mm 1.2 (which lets in alot of light, and also allows me to be far enough away from people for them not to notice me whilst still getting close shots + shallow DOF) and the 24-70mm 2.8, for the wider shots.
  • Enjoy yourself! It puts everyone at ease
  • Tripod tripod tripod! I accidentally left mine at Katy's house but with one it makes images alot less blurry/can shoot at a slightly lower shutterspeed/slightly lower ISO (which means less grain)
  • Taking pictures of people taking pictures is a great idea - people aren't posing stiffly and it's a nice general reminder of how much fun everyone was having!
  • Add as many people as you can on facebook etc after the wedding. It gives everyone a chance to get in touch with you and see your work/better chance of being hired for future work!
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And remember - it's great to be paid, but even better to be able to give someone something completely special! Silly as it may sound, but seeing people put a photo I have taken of them as their profile picture seriously makes hours of editing SO worth it!!! XD

Still to come: Speeches & Cutting the Cake, To the Church & Ceremony, Formals, Bride & Groom Portraiture!

18 comments:

  1. Hey rosie!

    These two posts have been so interesting and useful! It's so kind of you to give people tips and advice from your experience! I am liking the youtube music too! works very well!

    Andy

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  2. I am so glad you're posting these! This is so very helpful. I like the music too, although, I needed a longer song for this one. (btw, can we be facebook friends?) :) Keep up the great work!

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  3. I really appreciate your humility Rosie - such a willingness to share and help other people develop their own photography skills. That is real confidence. So many photographers have a "holier than thou" attitude that would never dream of sharing their "secrets". You are a gem!

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  4. Thank you so much Rosie for all of the useful information. I love the moments you captured of the "special couple" absolutly breath taking!

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  5. Thanks for sharing Rosie. I'm getting geared up for my first wedding and this is helpful.

    Do you find it hard to get sharp images at such low aperture and people moving around so much?

    It seems like by the time you autofocus, and take the picture they've moved out of that very small area that was in focus when shooting at 1.2.

    Thoughts?

    Thanks!
    Lucas

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  6. Rosie i love reading/seeing/everything-ing your how to's .. thanks :D

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  7. Hey Lucas! Yes I find it incredibly hard - that's another reason why wedding photography is so hard, to capture an image which is well composed/a beautiful moment/nice colouring/correctly exposed/in focus/"good" picture of that person that they will like all at once is super tricky. All I could suggest is just to keep shooting! I prefer shooting with auto focus rather than manual focus, I tried it for 15mins and all of my shots were just a tad off focus which was a crying shame. Good luck!! :D And thanks everyone else for your lover-ly comments :D I'm glad it's helpful! xx

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  8. Yay, new post about how do you do this wonderful photos... Thank you so much for sharing all these... Again! Can't wait to read all the new tutorials that are still to come :-)

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  9. Rosie - Thanks for the response! Good to know, thought it might just be me - Happy shooting. :)

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  10. Rosie I can't put into words how AWESOME you are for posting this, I'm just trying to start out as a wedding photographer and I'm soaking everything you say up like a sponge! Hehe! You're amazing =D Just wanted to know, what do you give the couple after the wedding? Like, do you give them all the photos to do as they wish? Or do you give them an album or prints?

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  11. Hey Rose I can't begin to explain how helpfull your posts has been!

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  12. Thank you for sharing! :) Do you usually shoot Raw or SRaw1 or SRaw2?

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  13. and Rosie knocks out once another amazingly structured and well written article!

    Also, i can't put my finger on it, but I get a sense of your happiness / craziness / liveliness from the articles you write, simply inserting a track for people to listen to while reading gives me, personally this mental picture of you rocking out to music while editing! lol.

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  14. Awesome, awesome...I so loved that you had Alexandra singing along too, made the pictures much more fun! I know the DJ Dan in the first couple of photos!

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  15. thank you so much for all that great advice!! I really want to do wedding shoots, but I dont think I have the abilitiy to buy myself the equipment yet... maybe in a year or two :) You're such an inspiration :) xx

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  17. I know Laura well and she is principled, thoughtful, and extremely bright...more power to her!


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  18. Ultimate wedding photography captured by a professional photographer .

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