Beginnings (from an engagement shoot)

Discussion in 'Critique Forum Archives' started by Photoboy, Aug 10, 2004.

  1. Photoboy

    Photoboy TPF Noob!

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    I found it can be very tough shooting in direct sunlight. But, I liked this one. Any commentary on how best to deal with the harsh shadows created by direct sunlight? I know I need at least one decent foil refelctor...but, are there any "tricks" to shooting at beaches and that sort of open territory?

    What do you think of this shot? (I know it's kind of cliche, but we wanted the intimacy with a focus on the ring.)

    [​IMG]

    The couple chose us as their engagement photographers via word-of mouth. They had seen previous photos and we had been recommended. That seems to be the best way to get business these days. :)
     
  2. Alison

    Alison Swiss Army Friend Supporting Member

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    I think you've got a very nice image there. I agree that a reflector would have added some needed light on her face. I recently had two shoots around the same time. The first one the I was at by myself and we didn't have anyone to help hold a reflector or a diffuser. I was able to get some usable ones, but it took a lot of post processing work. At the second one, my husband was there and we used both the reflector to get some nice highlights on the face and the diffuser (about the same size as the reflector but just white cloth to help soften the light held above the subject. Think of it as an outdoor softbox :) If you can work with the subject to shoot in early early morning or late afternoon the light will be much less harsh, even on open areas. Having a stand for your reflector or someone there to help hold it makes things a lot easier.

    Oh, and I looked at the image before reading your commentary and the first thing I thought was "Great placement of the ring" so your goal definitely worked there!

    Most of our business comes from word of mouth too. A satisfied customer is worth way more than a yellow pages ad or a brochure. How long have you been in business?
     
  3. Photoboy

    Photoboy TPF Noob!

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    The wife and I have been doing web production and event/wedding design and coordination for a little over two years. But, our photography seems to be taking the front seat over the last year or so.

    We are currently building our portfolio and catering to low-to-mid-range-priced weddings. basically providing services to couples who are on a more strict budget. They get some good photography (at a decent price) and we get a good start building our reputation. Seems fair, you know?
     
  4. Alison

    Alison Swiss Army Friend Supporting Member

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    Seems to be a lot of husband/wife combos in the photography arena. Tim and I have been doing this professionally for a year, but have always loved shooting together. We started our weddings the same way. I work at a large corporation so people got to know me, and see some work which brings in a good deal of business. When we started our weddings we offered a 30% discount and albums at the cost they were to us. Our customers have liked this because they feel they are getting a deal without putting too much at risk. I really like the style of your work (I checked out your website). The photo entitled "Youth" made me smile.
     
  5. Photoboy

    Photoboy TPF Noob!

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    Thanks, Alison!

    We're getting better, I think. Some of the earlier shots showed promise, but were still quite amateurish. The more you learn, the better shots you take. Of course. :)

    I like your website, too. I especially liked the image of the little boy and girl at the school desk and the one with the Lab and the boy sucking his thumb...that one is adorable. (I love Labs!) :eek:)

    Thanks again for the kind words.


    PS - My wife was recently talking about moving to Vermont or New Hampshire. What's it like up there? (You can email me off list on that, I guess.) ;)
     
  6. Alison

    Alison Swiss Army Friend Supporting Member

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    I'll send you a PM, but you can't move to NH, I don't want the competition!
     
  7. danalec99

    danalec99 TPF Noob!

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    hehe :)

    But competition keeps you on your toes. In a way its good.
     
  8. Alison

    Alison Swiss Army Friend Supporting Member

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    Absolutely! Competition keeps us thinking of new and different ways of trying things. My husband and I belong to the NHPPA which is a great resource to share ideas and learn from each other. I know our chapter also has membership for photographers just starting out then they mentor with someone who has been in the business for a while.
     
  9. Photoboy

    Photoboy TPF Noob!

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    I may look into that for the SoCal area, then. ;)

    Any other comments on the shot, folks?
     
  10. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    I don't usually like lowering contrast, but you might want to try it in this case. I could add to the soft-focus look also.

    What stands out most of all is her hand position. It's directly below hear face, and there is a large expanse of the man's back with nothing going on. If her hand was a bit more left in the image, I think the balance would feel better. As it is, I would try cropping in from the left and bottom some. That might make her too centered, though. Tough call.

    I do like the mood you captured. Good job!
     
  11. Nagala

    Nagala TPF Noob!

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    I'm not normally one for soft, but some like it and it's pretty much a preference call so we'll go with it. Only a few comments on the composition. The guy's head doesn't appear to be angled right for the situation (actually it DOES seem real, but we're not going for real, we're going for a loving embrace [joking]). There's also a harsh shadow compared to the rest of the lighting bringing attention to a shirt collar turned up.
    I do like it, though. You went for it and pulled it off nicely. Anyone for b/w?
     
  12. Alison

    Alison Swiss Army Friend Supporting Member

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    ::Alison frantically waves her hand in the air shouting "Me, Me!"

    I like the color here, but I do almost all my work in black and white. I would love to see this image in black and white as well.
     

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