Monday I made the arduous trip home from South Dakota. The trip went pretty well, however I got snowed on in 4 states.
On the way home I caught the sight of a bald eagle out of the corner of my eye. So I drove in a 20 mile circle and got my camera out. I was pleased to capture some beautiful images of him and his friends. It just goes to show that as a photographer you need two things, your camera and attention. If you pay attention to your surroundings you can capture beautiful images in ordinary places.
Today I am helping Anne from First Look Photography shoot the portraits for a military ball in Warrensburg, MO. We will start shooting at 17:30 and last most of the evening. We will not be printing on site, so that is a bonus. It’s a lot more work to do that, and I am not convinced that the quality of on sight printing is really what the professional photographer wants out there with their name on it. Now I realize that the quality that I have seen may not be the norm, but I have not been impressed.
With all if that being said, how do you shoot couples at a ball? We will have our background set, and are going to use strobes for our lighting. My Sekonic light meter will give us the settings for the lights and my Expo Disk will help set the white balance and we should be good to start making memories.
Union Station in Kansas City is currently hosting the exhibit the Science of Rock & Roll.
As you enter the exhibit space you walk around cases filled with examples of what we now consider the classic clothes and gadgets from the 1950’s through 1990’s. Everything from leisure suits and turntables to Jellies and CD players.
After getting your full of fashions you turn the corner and come face to face with 7 foot tall concert posters that span the decades along with a smattering of classic concert t-shirts.
Then you receive your backstage pass and are ushered into the main exhibit.
The amount of information gracing the walls is a bit overwhelming in each of the decade spanning displays which include their own music of the period and examples of the technology of the time.
Then you move into an area that explains music. Major and minor chords, and rhythm are all demonstrated visually and with an interactive display.
The rest of the experience is very interactive even down to being able to record yourself singing, playing guitar, drums, keyboard or bass and getting a link to the video sent to you.
The Science of Rock & Roll exhibit is one that I recommend for children of all ages. Sounds corny, but it is true. I think that anyone with a love for music would truly enjoy the event.
So it’s the day of the wedding. The contract is signed, the money collected, and the car is packed with gear. Now what?
Now is when the big decisions happen. Do you shoot jpeg or raw? With a flash or without? To bounce or not to bounce? Those questions are easily answered. It depends.
If you are certain of your exposures then jpeg is perfect. If you are not so sure or have a difficult lighting situation RAW should be the choice.
Flash however is not necessarily your choice. Always make sure you check with the (insert officiant title) to find out his or her rules on this. I have found that many of them do not want flash used during the service. Therefore you are left with using higher ISOs and slower apertures. With today’s cameras this is not as much of a detriment to your photography as it was in years past so you will be fine.
You’re ready. Your client is ready. It’s time for you to do your thing. Remember, YOU were hired to shoot this wedding, there comes a time when you have to take control and get the photos you were hired to get. This means that if you have to tell people where to go or even to get out of your way, you have to do it. Try to be polite of course, but do what you must.
Preparations for tomorrow’s wedding start today. So, What do you need to do to make sure everything goes off without a hitch?
First (which seems obvious) is to charge your batteries. Camera batteries, batteries for your flash, and your internal battery. So make sure you take a few deep breaths, and remember, they hired you because they have faith in you and your abilities.
Second, organize your camera bag. Make sure your cameras and lenses are clean and that you have all of the equipment you will need in your bag and ready to go. You don’t want to be trying to find that one lens you need when you’re supposed to be on your way to the wedding! While you’re at it you might want to ensure all of your settings are correct and your times are synchronized. It is never fun to have to manually organize your photos because you skipped this step.
Next, remember to format your memory cards! Nothing worse than starting your day and realizing that you have last weeks family photos still on your cards.
Lastly, pick out your clothes. Again, this is not something you want to worry about as you are getting ready to leave for the important event. There are several thoughts on this. Some believe the photographer should match the wedding party, some think you should be dressed up, and I have seen photographers in jeans (this I don’t agree with). Be comfortable and stylish without drawing attention to yourself. Remember, you are there to capture the event for your customer.