How to do formal shots

Discussion in 'The Professional Gallery' started by Hair Bear, Mar 12, 2007.

  1. Hair Bear

    Hair Bear TPF Noob!

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    I did some basic wedding shots at the weekend as a favour, in general I'm pleased with the results but not with the formals.

    They didn't want formals so its OK but I would like to know any tips or advice on them

    I think I should have used the tripod and made sure feet and heads were in shot, I chopped the feet!

    Do you shoot from eye level or lower on the tripod

    Hows it done?
     
  2. Patrice

    Patrice No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Best thing I can think of is look at some photographer's wprk you like and figure out:

    - what you like about the shot
    - how he set up the shot
    - how would change it to make it your own

    As far as lower down on the tripod, this changes the perspective a bit and helps create some balance of the body. Wedding formals is usually not when you want to get all artsy. When weddings were mostly all done with medium format these were more oftern than not 'blads held at waist level.

    A piece of advice I got from here is that if you show below the waist then you might want to show the feet as well.
     
  3. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I shoot from eye level on a tripod.

    I feel since, in life, we all see from eye level, it's makes for a natural look when the camera is at eye level... with all cameras, with any viewfinder. Sometimes I'll go even higher to get over the top of the pews.

    The tripod does several things for me. First, it allows me to easily leave the camera to pose people. Also, I usually "drag the shutter" (around 1/15 sec) to allow some background exposure from the ambient light, so a tripod is necessary. Finally, anchoring the camera allows me to more easily make a composite image from more than one exposure... important for group shots where someone has eyes closed in every exposure.

    Pete
     
  4. Hair Bear

    Hair Bear TPF Noob!

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    Do you use flash then Pete to get the capture of the people
     
  5. Hair Bear

    Hair Bear TPF Noob!

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  6. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I think one of the things that you have to learn (and/or remember to do) is to go over the scene with your eye. Try to pick up things that should be changed...like that girl's arms, for example.

    Sometimes we get caught up in the moment and may be concentrating on something like trying to get someone to smile...we don't notice that we are cropping off people's feet or heads. A mistake that is fairly common is to not notice something in the background that will look distracting or silly in the photo...things that appear to be sticking out of the subject's head...tree, lamp post etc.

    I guess you need a mental check list to run though. Actually, it doesn't need to be in your head, just write out a list of things that you want to watch for...after a couple times, you won't need the written list anymore.
     
  7. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yup. I use two... simple, hand-held strobes.
     

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