View Full Version : Am I well equipped to do an engagement shoot?
16th of April 2010 (Fri), 22:51
So I'm going to do my very first engagement photo. It's a TFCD I'm doing for some friends to get experience, and at least this way they won't get stuck paying for my time if I suck.
I'm using a gripped 50D with 17-40L ; 100mm 2.8 Macro ; 50 1.8 ; 430exII and a flip type flash bracket. I'm picking up some white board to use as a reflector and i plan to shoot 720-825. ( supposed to be clear skies with 7:50 sunset)
I read the sticky ^^ up there somewhere and found it very informative. As far as getting. Some more standard potraits should I use the 50 1.8 for added bokeh or will I get better results from the 100. 2.8 since it's got more focal length. Were going to probably do a photo at the beach as well as a marina/harbor
Do I shoot wide open and shoot as much as I can prior to loosing the sun without fill flash? Standard back light + reflection?
I was concidering renting a lens. The 85 1.2 would be my first pick.
I only plan to use the 17-40 with the creative wide angle shots.
What else can I do to ensure I'm ready to go. I got 16gigs of space and spare batteries...a sturdy tripod and wireless triggers for more creative lighting the situation calls.
Should i shoot RAW or knock it down to sRAW1 since I don't forsee them printing larger than 8x10
16th of April 2010 (Fri), 23:03
your gear seems fine to me, I can work with that.
personally I'd probably rent a 17-55 F/2.8. Im starting to miss that lens. I may just buy another one.
17th of April 2010 (Sat), 00:57
Wide open is good, but we can't teach you exposure. Reflector requires an assistant but they can make people squint.
17th of April 2010 (Sat), 10:43
IMO you probably don't need to rent anything. You could literally shoot the whole session with your 100 and 50.
But the deciding factor is what are they going to do with these shots?
Typically I am shooting for one 16x20 that will hang at the reception and hoping to add on extra prints, wallets to pass out, save the dates.
More and more my clients are choosing to go with a sign-in book that will feature many shots from the session.
If I know they are considering the book, I shoot more variety, individuals and use a few lenses.
images by Paul
17th of April 2010 (Sat), 11:34
IMO, you have the lenses to accomplish the shoot. Something that disturbs me about your post is that I get the feeling that you might be missing the point here. You asked if you should shoot wide open prior to losing sun. As the photographer, you CREATE the image. The depth of field should be of YOUR choosing to achieve the effect you are looking for. Then you adjust the other settings to expose properly. While photography is about light, don't let the light control you, you should be controlling the way the light affects your vision. And while you aperture does control the amount of light that hits your sensor, look at it as a way to control your depth of field in the creation of the image. It's your vision, tell the camera what you want it to do.
Consider the consequences of shooting wide open to avoid fill flash. Will you blow out the background? Is there sky in the image? Will you lose that if you are wide open? Is this what you wanted? Go CREATE your images!
18th of April 2010 (Sun), 00:56
You could shoot the whole darn thing with the 50mm. :) What you have is totally fine for an e-session. Just make sure all expectations are set accordingly.
18th of April 2010 (Sun), 01:35
People worry about gear too much. As long as you have decent gear, yours is more than decent, what you should worry about is getting the exposure right and their interaction. Then you can worry about getting your style down, and your artistic vision.
18th of April 2010 (Sun), 16:53
I only bring a 35 an 85 a body and a flash to an engagement session. So you've already got me beat! My advice would be to limit your gear so that you can tune into the couple rather than thinking about what lens you need to pull out next.
19th of April 2010 (Mon), 15:18
You have uncertainties on several fronts here. This is normal before your first shoot. Overall I would recommend that you keep things simple so that you aren't confused in the midst of the session. Your lens selection is perfectly fine, so don't worry about renting anything else. It'll just slow you up. Same with off camera flash. Unless you have practiced a lot, it can be tricky to do things in an efficient manner your first time. If you've got it down and want to try it, more power to you. Just make sure you get some good shots without it before you lose the light.
As far as light goes - I think this will be your biggest risk. If I were you, I would start earlier than 30 minutes before sunset. Go for 45-60 minutes since it's your first e-session. Things will likely take longer than you think to get going and started -- you don't just jump out of the car and start clicking away. The couple might be running late, it could get cloudy, you'll need time to gather up your gear, walk to wherever you are going, and walk/drive to the multiple locations you have listed. It is also nice to greet them upon arrival and make small talk before getting started. The last thing you want to do is make them feel rushed.
The extra time will also give both you and them a chance to "warm-up" during the first 15 minutes or so of the session. It's not uncommon for couples to need this time to get comfortable in front of the camera and get used to you. By then you should be ready for prime-time light and the couple should be a bit more relaxed and confident in your direction and ability.
Good luck, and remember to take your time and try to do your best to get everything right in camera. One mistake I made when I first started was just firing away and counting on a high volume of captures to give me enough good ones. Observe the light, the background, details of the couple, and your camera settings. Quality over quantity. It's okay to fire away and experiment at times, but be intentional about it. Oh, and have fun. If you are enjoying yourself, the clients are more likely to do the same.
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