New Workshop! Lighting 3 | Advanced Off Camera Flash

Show Critique
ALmost every picture I have, the bride is squinting.. So sad, the wedding planner made me take photos at this location. Who does that?
Exif Data
  • f/4
  • 27mm
  • 1/1600
  • 100

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Alexandra Martinez

    Noon is tough.. try reducing your aperture more. At f/4 a lot of light is coming in. For the squinting, I’ve asked people to close their eyes then count back for them to open and shoot before they squint again.. 

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  2. Kyle Stauffer

    This is the first i’ve given advice in the critique section but I felt I could help you out in this situation….

    I’m not sure what is to your left, but that’s the direction i’d be shooting. The sun would be behind them (back lit), alleviating harsh shadows on the face as well as squints. If your camera is in matrix metering, you’d see you’d have to push the exposure higher than what the camera is telling you so that your subjects are exposed correctly.  In the future, don’t let a wedding planner dictate your photography. Stand your ground because the finger for bad photos comes back at you!

    I dissagree with Alexandra. You can shoot much wider than f4 as long as all of your subjects are close to the same focal plane. I typically shoot at f1.8 on my 35 and f2.2 on my 85 for a group shot such as this. The “light coming in” can be controlled with a high shutter speed and a low ISO.

    Hope that helps!

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  3. Matthew Saville

    This is definitely a worst-case scenario situation. If at all possible, convince the subjects that you gotta shoot somewhere else, or at least at a different angle so that the sun isn’t going right into their eyes.

    Sometimes, you just have to look the wedding planner in the eyes, and politely say, “please trust me when I say, that the photos will look so much better if we can shoot them in a spot where the sun isn’t shining right on their faces like this” If they insist, shoot this shot really quick, and then have the group rotate so that their backs are to the sun, and shoot a brighter exposure that gets detail in their faces, and show the planner (more importantly, show the bride!) and help them understand why it’s just so much better to avoid direct sun on faces…

    Sure, it would be great if you could have a huge scrim set up for full-body portraits, like they do in movies with giant light stands and massive shade-creating scrims. But that’s a huge production, one that would require a lot of setup and general expenses..  It’s just not practical for some smaller weddings.

    When all else fails, if you absolutely must shoot in a spot like this, at the very least have them turn just a little bit to the side, so that they’re not looking /directly/ at the sun lol, …and then use fill flash to get some light into those deep shadows on their faces. A shoot-through umbrella with 2-3 hotshoe flashes, or a single larger studio strobe, would do the trick. Last but not least, a polarizer filter can help cut the shine off people’s foreheads, if they’re really starting to sweat, however be careful to check and make sure it isn’t making hair look TOO perfectly colorful and shine-free, as that can seem odd to some people too.

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