by Mark Cleghorn Published 01/08/2008
Observe the Scene
A wide-angle zoom allows me to quickly move from a wide view to observe the scene to telephoto view to snap in tighter to grab an expression or a detail. In this shot I have first the bride and entourage coming up the adjoining path towards me, and then the procession as they continue to the door for a candid scene-stealer.
Getting variety is simple if you practise key poses and then slightly alter the animation of the pose of the bride and/or groom as a different look can be instantly achieved especially when you combine speed posing with a change of camera position in height, tilt or angle.
Groups can be a major headache for photographers and at the reception you see how I flow from group to group by controlling and fulfilling a long list of requests, whilst mixing informal and formal images to great effect. These are not the easiest groups I have put together, so you get to see a little frustration from a very experienced wedding photographer. In addition to the groups and reception I manage to snatch another five minutes with the bride and groom where we shoot inside, on a staircase, using a combination of reflectors and off-camera flash to create vibrant images. The very long day is finished off seeing how I use off-camera flash for the speeches and then, finally, shooting the first dance - when I add coloured gels on the flash for more impact.
But no matter what - remember weddings are fun, so make them look like it, even though you're knackered at the end of the day.
This type of image is still one of my best selling images at this location, Why? - I don't know, perhaps it has a timeless quality, a contemporary classic or perhaps as it's one of the last shots I always shoot of the couple, I have relaxed them enough to capture their real expressions.
Reflector or Off-Camera Flash
When I am shooting inside I prefer to use natural light where possible, manipulating any sunlight, strong or soft, to illuminate the subject at my preferred 45 degree position, however, if the light is fading or I want to increase the quantity and quality of the light I opt for off camera flash, usually my quantum portable flash units, fitted on a pole to help my assistant get them in to the correct position and angle, using a radio trigger to fire the flash.
When the formals are complete as a rule of thumb I try not to interact too much with the couple, instead giving them some space, which can often result in true candids.
To increase the amount of colour in an image, to help with a little more impact I simply fit some coloured gel to one or more quantum flash units to illuminate the background, and then light the subject with some off camera flash to clean light the faces.
You can check out a teaser for the Confetti & Lace III film on my website along with other training clips and articles,as well as being able to order the film online as a DVD in whole or as a DOWNLOAD which is available in the four different sections, so you can decide what to buy.
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