Fresh Engagement Photos

Discussion in 'People Photography' started by William Petruzzo, Jul 6, 2009.

  1. William Petruzzo

    William Petruzzo TPF Noob!

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    Had a good time at an engagement shoot a few days ago and thought I'd share a few of the shots from the day. I'd love to hear what everyone thinks.

    I'm definitely in a phase where I'm loving longer lenses and isolated light use. The two photos of them popping out from the tree were sort of a stab in the dark at something fun and whimsical. I think they accomplished that much; of those two, I liked the one where they're standing the best.

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    6. [​IMG]

    7. [​IMG]
     
  2. mcoppadge

    mcoppadge TPF Noob!

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    Like the color, like the lighting, but apart from number 4 I wished they looked a little happier to be together.
     
  3. William Petruzzo

    William Petruzzo TPF Noob!

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    Yeah, I hear you. Just about every set up had a multiple facial expressions to choose from. I just happen to be a sucker for melancholy. Hence the photos I chose to share. :)

    The client had plenty to choose from though.
     
  4. 2003protege

    2003protege TPF Noob!

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    lol @ #4. How fun. All but #1, #4 & <EDIT>#7</EDIT> have a bit awkward poses (IMO). Some people just can't pose naturally (oximoron) I suppose. <EDIT> I really like the composition and processing as well</EDIT>
     
  5. gopal

    gopal TPF Noob!

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    #4 and 5 are of my choice...4th is fantastic...5th with backlighting, great greenery and compositionwise takes the heart.
     
  6. Knawx

    Knawx TPF Noob!

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    #6. Is my favorite. Did you light it yourself, and was there any post processing in photoshop? Thanks
     
  7. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    That was also my reaction to the photos and that made #4 my favorite. #1 was also very appealing. Walking away into the next phase of their life... ;)

    I absolutely love #4. To me that is how you should feel about getting married. The other ones make me wonder if they really should get married. They seem to either not be in sink emotion wise or not be happy about what is coming up next. :( I would love to see the stuff you are not showing us.

    Technically the photos seem good enough but, emotionally, they seem so wrong. Of course, that is only my opinion and I am not God.

    The only one that bothers me technically is #6. Something about the way she's sitting or, maybe, the lack of light on her legs almost make her look like a midget. I am definitely not sure what it is but something about this photo seriously bothers me.

    I guess the main comment would be (and that is a direct result of what you say in post #3): Take yourself out of those shots. This is their event, not yours. :D
     
  8. William Petruzzo

    William Petruzzo TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the feedback folks!

    Number 6 was taken in the shadow of the historic mansion we were shooting at. The lighting is natural. Of this set, #6 got probably the heaviest post processing. In photoshop, a desaturated layer was created, then set to the 'multiply' blending mode. Then a 'exposure' adjustment layer was applied only to the desaturated copy and tweaked so that the final image wouldn't be too dark.

    Some masking also may have been done around their faces. I can't really quite remember.

    I definitely hear that criticism. At the risk of sounding like I'm failing to hear constructive criticism, I will explain myself anyway. The couple is actually very much in sync with each other. I live in a bit of an artistic hub, just outside of Washington, DC. Many of my clients are artists themselves and have a more abstract view of this kind of thing. My clients also have a tendency of dislike things that feel like cliches--not the least of which are big cheesy smiles. So, we did a variety of whimsical, cutsie and artsy. As we shot, they were definitely enjoying the artsy ones the best. So, each time we had a new set up, we'd play it with smiles, and romantic glances, etc. then turn it into something a little more serious.

    But I'm always careful to communicate with my clients and attempt to find what it is they really want. It just happens that I tend to get hired for a sort of specific aesthetic and so when we go over this kind of thing, I usually end up discovering the same thing: they want the weirder, less traditional, even straight faced portraits. Not everyone, of course, just the majority of the people who end up hiring me.

    Here is a couple examples of the cutsie pictures:
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    [​IMG]

    I imagine this couple will end up using the cute pictures for their invitations and such, but for themselves will probably buy prints of the more serious ones. I don't really know.

    But as I said, I definitely hear the criticism. And, it's a good point. When it comes time to publish a select few on my website, I'll keep that in mind. My tendency is to pick the ones I'm the happiest with, which of course would reflect my artistic taste. But in this situation, I probably need to keep things on the lighter side for portfolio stuff.
     
  9. camz

    camz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If I were to choose from the artsy batch of photos, I like number one the best with them walking away and the tree lines on top of their heads. But the thing that's distracting me from looking at couple, are the cars parked on the left side of the shot before the first tree. I think that distraction is taking away their thunder. I would stamp tool that thing out of there. Great job on the shoot.

    Thanks for sharing those.


    camz
    http://simplydashy.blogspot.com
     
  10. William Petruzzo

    William Petruzzo TPF Noob!

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    That's an excellent observation. I hadn't even noticed. If they order any of these in print, I'll almost definitely take the suggestion.
     
  11. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    One of the problems of C&C in a case like this is that we don't know what is really going on. If you had told us what you just added right from the start, or if you had not mentioned the word engagement, some of our reactions probably would have been different. When I hear that word, I expect a couple radiating happiness. Their choice of prints will be interesting. Let us know what they pick.

    At the same time, #4 shows you can successfully join both approaches in one photo.


    So, are you in Takoma Park or in the Glen Echo/Cabin John area?
     
  12. William Petruzzo

    William Petruzzo TPF Noob!

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    I'm actually in the Bowie area, which is set almost perfectly between Washington and Annapolis and Baltimore. Which really goes a long way to explaining why I deal with so many artists.
     

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