Behind the Scenes (bts) of a Wedding……..

Special thanks to Nikki Pope who helped me with my wedding on the 5th of April 2008.  I asked Nikki is she could shoot some behind the scenes shots of me shooting the wedding since I have dont really have any pics of me at work.

In the following photos you will see the bts photo first and then the outcome.  I will try to talk you through as much as possible what was going through my mind and how many shots I took to get the shot.  Some of the shots seem like pot luck but are actually the results of lots and lots of practice.

In this first shot Sian the bride (see post below) had just had her hair done and had turned up at the makeup place.  I like to get shots looking down for many reasons

1. The brides seem to like them
2. Shooting from this angle gets rid of any neck lines and shadows that form under the chin
3. The shots appear to come from an unusual angle so capture the eye of the viewer and stand out more
4. The shots make the most of a womans natural assets and for wedding prep pictures shows the bride in a sexy light.


I took 11 photos to get the shot below, I moved around from left to right and had the bride follow me with her eyes only.  Getting used to holding your camera like this takes a LOT of practice as judging the angle takes time to get right.  Out of the 11 pics, Sian was in focus and correctly positioned in 7 out of them.  I like sharp eye focus so thats what I was looking for.

Here is the result. -Another thing to note here is I used only natural daylight (the flash on the camera was turned off) and had positioned Sian directly under one of the spot lights to kick here hair.  If this was an album image I would add a little fill light to the face to make it “pop” just a little but its late and I want to get to bed !


In the next shot, its pretty much the same thing.  Bridal Prep pays a big part when preparing an album (if a bride chooses to have the prep covered) so getting all the action and the details are very important.  I would like to say I was very lucky with this shot being as I only took 1 photos to get the shot below but this picture was shot after a lot of other “birds eye” view pictures and by then I was nailing them pretty much most of the time.  The main difference between this shot and the one above is this one is list by flash light.  I had the camera set to ISO 640 to bring in the available light as much as possible and set the camera to Manual mode, 60th / sec at F5.6 – this was  pretty much just shooting from the hip with the settings but it all came out good.  The more shots you take, the more you study them and think hard about the settings used once you see the pictures, the quicker you can get away from shooting in Program mode and start creating images you want.



The result


The next image needs no real explaining apart from I wanted the reflection in focus.  The Mirror was the Salon’s mirror and a little dirty (makeup) – I made a note and will carry my own mirror in future – Again, a popular shot and in one form or another one I like to get.



The result


The last one of my BTS’s shots for today shows the importance of looking around at websites, watching videos etc. This shot was inspired by possibly one of the worlds greatest wedding photographers – Yervant  who’s website is found here Yervant was featured on a video called Masters of wedding photographers vols 1&2  and I just love his style.  One of the shots he showed being taken was pretty much what you can see below.  As I photographer I consider myself at the very early stages of my learning and know there is so much more I can and will achieve and its thanks to people like Yervant that people like me grow !  So if your reading this hoping to learn something, the most important lesson is keep your eyes open ALL the time and look for inspirational work from others – study them, learn from them and grow as a photographer.



The result – What you will notice is I have taken off the stofen diffuser off the flash, The shot below was actually a couple of shots after this one, it took 7 shots to get the one I liked.  What I did was look at each one on the back of the camera, study it (the light) and make changed to correct what I didnt like.  In the final show (the one below)  I had turned the couple around slightly to face a window which provided the fill light in the front of the photo and then bounced the flash off the ceiling (which was white) to give me a nice soft even light.  I knew this image would be a black and white so pumped up the flash 2/3 of a stop to bring up the red channel light a little – (something to do with curves in photoshop) and maybe I will try to explain that better another day.  All I will say at this time is the red channel creates nice light angel looking black and whites if its pumped up a little and converted correctly.

I finished the image off (as I do with so many of my pics) with a slight vignette (dark border around the edges)

The final image


Simple huh ?



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