My first wedding... *gulp*


Been spending a lot of time on here!
Sep 3, 2013
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Appleton, WI
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Here we go. This was my first wedding. The setting was HORRIBLE-a local dinner hall with 8 foot drop ceilings. Absolutely evil thing to do to your photographer. Basically, bounce flash and pray. I did what I could... Please be gentle but offer some critique here. These are all I have done at the moment, so perhaps if anyone has some advice for editing these I can rescue some other photos.

IMG_6685 by Michael Long, on Flickr

IMG_6713 by Michael Long, on Flickr

Cut the groom's shoe off. Oops.

IMG_6741 by Michael Long, on Flickr

Shot in the parking lot.

IMG_6757 by Michael Long, on Flickr

I did everything I could not to nuke the dress. Please tell me these aren't the worst thing you've ever seen... :lol:
I don't know yet. I haven't delivered them yet-waiting on some feedback so I can improve them and salvage what I can.
They appear sharp and clear and with pretty good, pleasing color. MUCH higher quality than smartphone images, which they will probably be receiving from friends and family via text, e-mail, and Facebook over the next week or so. The shot of the groom and the three ladies looks just a wee bit too bright, due to the generous exposure, in which the blacks look like they were hit with a lot of flash power.
That's something I can easily change. Thanks Derrel.
I agree with Derrel, the second image is a bit bright.

While I don't see anything technically wrong with them, they seem just a little dull. They lack emotion, detail, or anything else that truly grabs my eye I guess. I don't mean to be negative or harsh, yet simply provide honest feedback.

Edit: I do like the emotion in the last image, yet the guy in the blue shirt really grabs my attention. I understand there isn't much you can do about that, but more of an unfortunate placement.
Not bad at all; I've seen a LOT worse from paid "professionals". It looks like a tough venue to work, and aside from the first couple being ever so slightly off level, I don't see any serious issues.
Yeah, blue shirt guy's presence pissed me off. The fact he's drinking something (I think it's a Coors) just irritates me to no end.

There didn't seem to be a lot of emotion with the group photos period. Those were actually taken BEFORE the ceremony, before all the actual emotions seemed to flow, and that may have something to do with it. Or maybe I need to learn how to get people to create that emotion.
I think once we learn a little bit about photography, we tend to be harsh on ourselves. Rightfully so if we want to improve - I think??
Certainly not the worse I've seen (no expert here needless to say). Maybe bring down the highlights a wee bit in the first one so hopefully you can start seeing some detail in her dress in #2.

Were you the 2nd shooter?

Oh. #1 crop or clown out the light fixture and the plant stem coming out of the ladies head (2nd from the right).
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#1 level. Is there anything you could do to tone down those lights on the back wall?

#2 There is a distracting spot or artifact on the wall by the head of the lady on the left. Maybe clone that out.

#3 I would crop out some of the extra space on the top and left, balancing the image. Maybe see what a slight vignette looks like.

#4 I would see what a tight crop on the heads and torsos looks like. A good capture of the emotion, I think it would benefit from losing a lot of the distractions. Perhaps even a heavy vignette to cover the ceiling and the other guests. Maybe even clone that guy out above her left shoulder.
The trick to shooting the not so cool weddings is to pretend they are 100 thousand dollar weddings and shoot them as such. Who controlled the or them? As a wedding photographer you also need to be part wedding planner and really control the situation....without controlling the situation. It's an art that will come with a TON of practice. If the lighting was rough inside....why did you chose to do the group type photos indoors? I always drag people outside unless it's raining. Did you take any detail shots? Your images need to tell a story and the best way to do that is with all the detail shots you can get. I'm sure they will like their images....especially if you saved them money by not charging $5,000 since it's your first wedding.
Others have hit on most points... please level the first photo... its leaning to the right.
I leveled the first shot. That's easy enough.

Thanks for all the advice, guys. Next time I will make sure I'm a part of the planning process. I was barely a thought in this one, and didn't have much choice. It was already planned (just found out they wanted me as a photographer all of two weeks ago), so honestly, I was flying by the seat of my pants. On my first time. Oh joy.

I did try to crop the father and bride down to the faces, but my god was it noisy. I needed to shoot at 800 because my flash just plain wasn't powerful enough.

As for being hard on myself, you're right. I am pretty harsh with myself. I want to accomplish the best, but feel like my skills just aren't quite there when it comes to what's in front of the camera. I can talk about menus, TTL, ISOs, lens specs, etc all day, but posing and shooting in the moment I feel like I just don't get yet, so I get frustrated.

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