Tuesday, October 1, 2013

#4 Preparing for a Wedding Shoot

Today I'm to prepare for my 5 days, 5 things planned (4 are photo shoots) in a row......

Tomorrow I shoot Meagan and Ted's wedding at 4:00. I was very fortunate that Jay Boivin my partner in 2 meet up groups has offered to assist me and will meet me there. I was just telling him about it and he offered his services for a few hours of the wedding. I'd just been informed that odds were that no one there could assist me (usually there are quite a few people that would love to have something to do!) so Jay was kind enough to offer and I took him up on it! The wedding was at first to be just a simple ceremony in the back yard, but has now turned into a fully catered affair and many people attending. It is now near a country club, etc....

I have most of today and sometime tomorrow to prepare. I have most of what I need already in my car since I did a location shoot not long ago and needed similar items. Usually I take two cameras, two lenses, extra batteries for everything, two or three stands. I take at least one Alien Bee strobe with a beauty dish. For this wedding I'll take two of everything just in case. I also take three small flashes and use these for back up and for side lighting the scene and on their own in locations where I can't fit the beauty dish. I have a large battery to run the strobes and an extra battery pack for that also! I bring lots of triggers and receivers for triggering the lights. When something doesn't work I quickly switch to another one and deal with the problems later....

Here is a shot from one of the first weddings I was photographer for, and some more recent ones on a boat and a pier....

If the couple are relaxed then everyone else seems to take their lead and relax and everyone has a great time. Plus I get some awesome shots! This really should be a fun day for everyone, not something to just get out of the way or suffer through....Why do it up big if you don't plan on enjoying every minute of it!

Can't wait to post up some shots after tomorrow's wedding as it should be very interesting as the bride is a model and comfortable being shot and will be more laid back about it. We will probably get some more artistic shots out of it if there is time. I think there will be time since she knows the quality of work I strive for and she will want to take advantage of having me shooting that day.

 The other things I have planned in the next few days are: An ARTwalk in Riverside for my UUUP group, an early morning shoot on Photographer Day at Santa Anita Race Track (my 3rd time shooting at this), attending a wedding with my wife on a cruise ship, and Sunday shooting another wedding near a beach!
Wish me luck on all of this! I'll spend part of the week after that recovering and going though all the photos!  One last thing for today.....
I just wanted to mention that I was working on a shot the other day of model Sabrina Carter next to a tombstone. The graveyard doesn't want us to show the actual names on them so I always swap them out. This time, out of the blue, I decided to put on this one JAMES DEAN. And his dates of birth and death to make it look legit. After I posted the shot I realized that the date of his death: September 30th was the very same day that I'd just worked on the shot and posted it up to the group site and to Facebook! Is that creepy or what? 58 years to the day. Here is that shot: 
I just realized I already posted this shot of Sabrina in my last entry so I'll add a new one I just worked on (Model: Megan J. Martine) today:

This shot of the boots will be a part of a coffee table book I'm working on showing shoes, boots and some legs.....I'm trying to think of a title for it...."From the Ground Up" ?

Weird fact: Did you know that the young guy that pulled out in front of Dean causing the car crash (other then the fact Dean was driving way too fast.) had the last name Turnipseed?)

Photography Tip: Where to focus: When shooting models I set my focus on Spot Focus setting. I can move this target spot. the camera is focusing on, with the dial next to my thumb. I put it on their eye or some feature on their face. This way I know the shot will be in correct focus. Depending on your aperture settings, you can control how much of the background beyond that point will be in focus. If you can shoot at 2.8 (Though some lenses have a sweet spot of closer to F6) or wide open you'll get a much more narrow focus area which is usually what you want to keep the viewer of the photo's attention to the model more than the background elements. If you have a longer lens and can shoot 70mm up to 300 etc...you can then blur out the background even more! I've used ND (Neutral Density) filters before and that will darken the scene and allow you to open up the f-stop and create that shallow depth of field. I have used this mostly with the 28-70 lens.) The more expensive ND filters are best as they hold the crisp detail better. I use the ones where you can turn the filter and get different degrees of darkness added to your scene. I can make a daytime shot look like it was taken at night if I want. Also on very bright days having the filter on helps even out the balance for the exposure of the shot. You eliminate that really bright hot spot from the sun for instance.

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