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FORUMS Photo Sharing & Visual Enjoyment Weddings & Other Family Events 
Thread started 08 Jul 2013 (Monday) 10:34
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My first Indian engagement photo shoot in Indianapolis

 
alexdesign
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Jul 08, 2013 10:34 |  #1

So this Saturday I was kindly invited by the groom's family to photo shoot their son's engagement party for my portfolio. I shot for free of course since I have zero/nada/zilch experience photo shooting at big events. Gotta start somewhere right? None of local wedding photographers wanted me as a 2nd shooter since I didn't have any wedding/engagement portfolios. We got lucky this time because my husband personally knows groom's father so he let us come and do our photo shoot.

Well as total noobs.. I came with my 100mm macro lens and was hoping for natural light portraits but the bride and the groom were too busy greeting guests so they couldn't go outside. So I was thrown out of my element right away. We only had 1 external flash for 2 bodies...to make it even worse.. the flash stopped working in mid event because the batteries had died and we didn't have extra (live and learn). The room itself was super dark with horrible lightening and on top of that there was another photographer with very powerful Nikon camera and even more powerful external flash and he had people posing for him and I was following him as his tail, snapping left and right whatever I could snap.

We learned to co-exist at that event and there were total of 4 photographers there. My hubby and I and 2 others. One of them used built int camera flash (like I had).... I know I know... if I'll ever go to another wedding ceremony, I'll rent strobes or an external flash and maybe a 200mm lens.

Anyway, don't be too hard on me. This is my first ever photo shoot of people I didn't know and we were both very nervous we didn't know what to expect and how to dictate the photo shoot.


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alexdesign
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Jul 08, 2013 10:34 |  #2

blown image


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HiepBuiPhotography
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Jul 08, 2013 10:43 |  #3

What do you mean your flash wasn't working? I see going off.


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alexdesign
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Jul 08, 2013 10:56 |  #4

yeah nvm. I was thinking about another image.


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alexdesign
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Jul 09, 2013 06:54 |  #5

anyone else? any comments?


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sapearl
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Jul 09, 2013 10:28 |  #6

These are reasonably decent - it's obvious though you are you using direct flash which gives a sort of point-n-shoot effect. This is where an external flash really excels.

You have solid illumination, no eye shadows and good fill, but it has that in-your-face look. If you are not doing so already you need to bounce your flash for a more pleasant, softer illumination. Depending upon how the room is set up you can bounce off the ceiling, back wall, side wall.....whatever is most convenient that gives the best effect. Experiment. That's what's great about digital - you can immediately see how your artistic effects worked out.

If it is possible I enjoy bouncing off the wall behind me. It creates a large, diffuse surface that results in nice, gentle even lighting on the subjects. If you bounce off a side wall you can even simulate window lighting.


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alexdesign
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Jul 10, 2013 06:47 as a reply to  @ sapearl's post |  #7

here are several more photos from the event


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alexdesign
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Jul 10, 2013 06:48 as a reply to  @ alexdesign's post |  #8

a few more


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alexdesign
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Jul 10, 2013 06:51 as a reply to  @ alexdesign's post |  #9

some other ones


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alexdesign
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Jul 10, 2013 06:53 as a reply to  @ alexdesign's post |  #10

some from the dance floor. That's when my battery in my rebel 2ti decided to die...


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sapearl
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Jul 10, 2013 08:24 |  #11

These are pleasant and do a good job of "capturing the moment."

Watch your highlights when flash is used as some of them are blown. Actually, the last shot where your flash died has some of the most pleasing, natural illumination of the set. It is softer and the ambient light gives a better sense of how it was. This is where off camera bounced flash will help you a great deal, and move you away from that point-n-shoot look that everybody else gets with their camera phones and posts on FB. All of your shots look like flash was used, and the beauty of effective bounce flash is that it is not the obvious source of main illumination.


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alexdesign
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Jul 10, 2013 08:58 as a reply to  @ sapearl's post |  #12

Thanks. Some are blown because there were 4 total photographers and everyone was shooting at their own will. We had 2 and sometimes 3 flashes going on at once...something I couldn't control or could not ask them not to shoot when I was shooting.

I think if I had a few strobes placed around this huge room (the room had Christmas decorations in July) then perhaps some pictures would've turned out better


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sapearl
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Jul 10, 2013 09:14 |  #13

alexdesign wrote in post #16107506 (external link)
Thanks. Some are blown because there were 4 total photographers and everyone was shooting at their own will. We had 2 and sometimes 3 flashes going on at once...something I couldn't control or could not ask them not to shoot when I was shooting.

I think if I had a few strobes placed around this huge room (the room had Christmas decorations in July) then perhaps some pictures would've turned out better

You would have to time things pretty closely to have other folks' flashes influencing your images. I'm not saying it couldn't happen - has happened to me once or twice (rarely) - but that is not the reason your highlights are blown. That is simply the result of ugly direct flash. I know because I used to do that in my film days when I had a flash that did not rotate.

I'm not sure I'd spread more strobes around the room - that's just me and I like to travel light - and I have seen some examples here where folks have created beautiful work with more than one. Howevr it takes practice though and I'm not sure you're there yet.

First learn off camera flash and bouncing. I believe that with all those nice Christmas lights you could have nicely bounced, captured some great ambience and created some softer more pleasing images.


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alexdesign
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Jul 10, 2013 09:45 |  #14

Thanks Sapearl. Yeah definitely need more work with flash. I don't know how Christmas lights would've played a role in photographs. They were all placed around cut in wall windows to the kitchen and the dance floor was very far away from them.


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sapearl
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Jul 10, 2013 10:43 |  #15

alexdesign wrote in post #16107655 (external link)
Thanks Sapearl. Yeah definitely need more work with flash. I don't know how Christmas lights would've played a role in photographs. They were all placed around cut in wall windows to the kitchen and the dance floor was very far away from them.

One way is how you control your exposure. The Christmas lights would not have provided any significant amount of illumination for effectively lighting the people, but they would have provided very nice "mood" lighting to set the ambience.

I don't know what your settings are but running the camera on Manual would easily achieve this. Dragging the shutter, using higher ISO, larger apertures and bounced flash for foreground fill on your subjects will help to create softer, pleasing more natural looking light and compositions.

It's all about the ambience of the event and capturing it in a special way that will set you apart from all the other photographers. That is your stock-in-trade and the way you will get people to hire you instead of the next guy. Anybody to take point-n-shoot photos but you have the tools and ability to go beyond that with your adjustable camera and flash. I believe you said earlier your spouse has an external flash; experiment with his on yuor camera. Set up a simulated environment in a dim room and experiment with various settings until you get the most flattering results.;)


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