First engagement shoot

Started Apr 11, 2012 | Discussions thread
OP Steve9 Forum Member • Posts: 52
Re: First engagement shoot


Thank you for the great feedback! I agree that Facebook comments are a rather skewed barometer of the photos overall (but it still feels good to have at least some positive feedback). Of course the friends and family are going to think just about any picture that's half decent is "awesome". That's why I wanted an honest non-biased opinion, hence the post here on dpreview forums. I fully accept any critique from professionals and non-professionals alike. How else are we going to grow unless we can learn from our mistakes? I understand the suggestion of doing the wedding for free, but I don't want to get the reputation of "that guy that shoots weddings for free". Thanks again for the critique of each photo!

Picture #1:

White balance is way off (too cool). Background is busy. Interaction is friendly, but uninspiring. Composition is not terribly interesting.

Point taken. Most of the shoot revolved around this small lawn surrounded by a bunch of pine trees. The rest of the property was pretty much a working ranch with a lot of distractions (old vehicles, scrap metal, miscellaneous junk).

Picture #2:

Again, background is visually distracting. The use of BW comes across as arbitrary, especially in the context of all the images together. Nice enough smiles, but nothing terribly compelling about it.

Definitely arbitrary. I played around with a couple general categories of PP, including B&W. I wanted to show the couple some of the different styles and find out what they liked.

Picture #3:

Cute enough interaction. Same background issues and cold WB as the first one. Composition is strictly serviceable. Angle of lens is a little low for my taste.

I noticed I was dialed in at f/5 on this shot. I bet if I went down to 3.2 or 2.8, that background would blur away much better. I guess I'm just scared of losing focus on their faces with a shallower depth of field.

Picture #4:

One of the nicest shots. The pose is good, as is the warmth of the color. The bars are a little distracting, but not a deal breaker. Over all nice lighting. For all its good quality, though, it's still almost a "set up" shot, as if the couple were being put into position, but never quite completed. She looks unengaged and uninterested. How much nicer it would have been if she had gently laid her head against his chest.

Great suggestion to have her lean her head on his chest! (hindsight 20/20) I also noticed the bars, but they seemed happy so I didn't redo the pose in a different location. She was having a hard time "looking serious" I have several smirking shots where she couldn't keep it together.

Picture #5:
What is she looking at? Also, his hand is cut off... a basic no-no.

Not sure what she's supposed to be looking at. Maybe playing hard to get? They had some pics they found online and I was trying to recreate them. In reviewing all the shots from this pose, I cut his hand off in a lot of them except for the landscape orientation shots. I should have switched out the 50mm for the 17-50. I was backed up against a wall as far as I could go.

Picture #6:

Washed out, but that's easily addressed in re-processing. Overall, she looks best in this shot than any other.

Agree I went a little too heavy on the high key effect. On the master RAW file, I only have a small spot on her nose and a few spots on her blouse that are blown out highlights. Need to retry with some more selective editing vs. global editing. I definitely need to practice this one because I want to get this shot with her wedding dress.

Picture #7:
Very, very basic. Shows off a lack of posing skills. Also, check that cool WB.

Point taken. Snapshot at best.

Picture #8:
Good smiles. Composition brings out her comparative shortness.

Would you suggest having her stand on something to bring them closer to eye level?

Picture #9:
Same as #6

Picture #10

Overall a nice photo. Colors are washed out and fingers are cut off, to be picky. The pose might lend itself more to a vertical orientation.

Desaturated colors were all me in PP. Yup, I clipped fingers in several shots from this pose. I did some vertical orientation shots too (he was carrying her piggyback).

Picture #11:

Decent pose, but way too tilted. And there's that sharp and distracting background again.

This was another attempt to recreate a shot they showed me. They liked the look of the tilted horizon, and it ended up being one of the couple's favorite from the shoot. I'm really seeing the contrasty background from the pine trees now. It's quite distracting from the shot. Maybe should have switched to the 17-50 f2.8. I'm still lusting for a 70-200 f/2.8. What about some selective blurring in PP?

Picture #12

Generic and uninteresting. Like they are posing for a shot in front of the Eiffel Tower.

Gotta agree with you there. They wanted some shots on the porch, and I really didn't know what to do with them. Most of the porch shots are "snapshot" like this. Any suggestions for better poses in this kind of setting? I had some wrought-iron chairs to work with.

Picture #13

Picture #4
Nice picture overall. Very cool WB again.

That's the fourth time you mentioned the WB. I agree it's maybe a bit cool, but easily fixed since I shot in RAW. I have not yet invested in a color calibration device for my monitor. Maybe it's time for that.

Picture #15
Just a looser version of #5.

And I still cut off his finger. D'oh!

I hope these comments help.

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