Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Challenging Shooting Situations–Great Images!

Good Morning Everybody,

Photoshop World got off to a roaring start for us yesterday.  I can”t believe the crowd we had at my  wedding shootout.  I think it was between 45-50 enthusiastic photographers.  Years ago the size of the group was held to 25, but it continues to grow each year. 

Shootout Crowd

Although after yesterday's experience, that might not be such a good idea;~). We arrived at our on-location church and were surprised to see it's super small size.  Typically we arrange a regular church and planned to work in one of my favorites, Church of the Redeemer, just across the street from our hotel, the Mandalay Bay.  When we arrived, we were told the main sanctuary was closed but we could still use the chapel.  Hey, no problem - uh, yes, BIG problem!  The chapel only sat 20 people and I had a 45 person class - yikes, I still have to get the shots for the class!

OK, that's the back story.  The day ended up very well and I got some great images.  I loved the classes response.  "Oh, the super small church was perfect for your class.  We wanted to see how you work under pressure." Thanks a lot you guys ;~)

Anyway, that points up the topic of today's post, You've Got To Come Back with The Shot - No Excuses!  Please read on.

You've Got To Come Back with The Shot - No Excuses! 

OK, I'm between a rock and a hard place, but the class paid to be at my Wedding Shootout and I was being paid to perform and teach.  What in the world was I going to do in this extremely challenging situation - I had to come back with the images - it's my job!

Shootout 2

Here's the approach I took.  First, don't panic - a creative mind works best under relaxed, non stressful conditions.  I had to stay relaxed.  That's usually not a big deal for me I tend to like these kinds of situations. Why? Because I ENJOY the challenge.

Next, survey the space - what are the visual possibilities.  What does the background look like?  Will a wide angle lens work for me?  Any other features of the architecture look interesting to me? Are good questions to ask yourself.

Shootout 3

At our mini-church location yesterday, I had several things going for me.  The background looked very interesting - the way it was painted, I thought I could get some nice classic portraits to work. The lines in the ceiling offered some compositions that may work with my super wide angle lens.  It was time to go to work.

First I grabbed the wide angle lens to see how this space would frame up in the viewfinder.  The new much widened view made the chapel look MUCH larger that is was in real life so I knew that would work in my favor.  I took several images with my Sigma 12-24mm lens on my Canon 5 D Mark II - I thought the images worked just fine.

Shootout 4

Then I worked with the groom from a very low camera perspective so I could pick up the architectural lines in the ceiling.  I think the resulting images makes for a fairly dramatic portrait of our handsome young man.

Shootout 5

I finished up with a quick back lit image of the bride and groom together - back lit photographs always save the day, especially when shot with a wide angle lens.  So you can see, we pulled it off quite well.  We got a nice series of images in an impossibly small space, and that included having 45+ people gathered in that same space too!

Anyway, like I said, you've got to come back with the shot - no excuses!


Hey gang, that's it for me today.  The official start of Photoshop World kicks off in just a few minutes with the very entertaining keynote address.  I hear Adobe may have a special announcement or two.  I'll keep you posted. 

And if you are at the show today, you can find me at the Peachpit booth at 1:00 p.m. I'll also be presenting my program on Lightroom for Wedding and Portrait Photographers this evening at 6:15 p.m. Hope to see you there.

So until tomorrow, have a great day and I'll see you then, 



  1. I love the photo of the bride by herself. Lighting is nice and soft.

  2. Did you shoot @ 12mm or 24mm?