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Archive 2012 · Engagement Session - First Time Effort
  
 
bwhip62
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Engagement Session - First Time Effort


On Saturday I had the opportunity to shoot an engagement session for some good friends of mine from Utah. Clint and I have raced motorcycles together for years, and I've taken lots of shots of him on the track - and lots of shots of Chanel in the paddock.

They asked if I would take some photos for them for their wedding invitation, particularly with a vintage motorcycle Clint had recently restored. I've done very little portraiture, but I'm always looking to learn and grow, so over the past several weeks I've been studying a lot about managing lighting conditions, posing, and so on. I figured the best thing to do would be to make it a full engagement session, giving them a wide variety of shots to choose from - locations, styles, moods. I couldn't get quite as detailed as I wanted to with the lighting, because of time and logistics constraints, so we kept it pretty simple. Chanel's mom came along with us to help out as my assistant, and she did a great job.

We weren't particularly blessed by the weather conditions - very hot, with virtually no clouds in the sky, and a fair bit of wind in the morning. Fortunately, however, I was blessed with an absolutely beautiful couple, very much in love, who were great to work with.

I've only done a minimal amount of post-processing on these, since I'm waiting for them to go through all of the original proofs to pick their very favorites before I spend a ton of time processing them. They've seen all of these, so they know what we can do with cropping, retouching, and improving the photos.

Feedback welcome. Be gentle, it was my first time!

1
http://www.latebraker.com/galleries/BlogPhotos/c_c/C_C-2.jpg

2
http://www.latebraker.com/galleries/BlogPhotos/c_c/C_C-3.jpg

3
http://www.latebraker.com/galleries/BlogPhotos/c_c/C_C-4.jpg

4
http://www.latebraker.com/galleries/BlogPhotos/c_c/287.jpg

5
http://www.latebraker.com/galleries/BlogPhotos/c_c/C_C-7.jpg

6
http://www.latebraker.com/galleries/BlogPhotos/c_c/C_C-8.jpg

7
http://www.latebraker.com/galleries/BlogPhotos/c_c/C_C-25.jpg

8
http://www.latebraker.com/galleries/BlogPhotos/c_c/C_C-10.jpg

9
http://www.latebraker.com/galleries/BlogPhotos/c_c/C_C-12.jpg

10
http://www.latebraker.com/galleries/BlogPhotos/c_c/C_C-13.jpg

11
http://www.latebraker.com/galleries/BlogPhotos/c_c/C_C-17.jpg

12
http://www.latebraker.com/galleries/BlogPhotos/c_c/C_C-18.jpg

13
http://www.latebraker.com/galleries/BlogPhotos/c_c/C_C-19.jpg

14
http://www.latebraker.com/galleries/BlogPhotos/c_c/C_C-21.jpg

15
http://www.latebraker.com/galleries/BlogPhotos/c_c/C_C-22.jpg

16
http://www.latebraker.com/galleries/BlogPhotos/c_c/C_C-23.jpg

17
http://www.latebraker.com/galleries/BlogPhotos/c_c/C_C-24.jpg



Jul 09, 2012 at 01:46 PM
jfinite
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Engagement Session - First Time Effort


Those are nice, you captured a lot of true emotions and lovely scenes. Kudos!


Jul 09, 2012 at 02:41 PM
kvandrews
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Engagement Session - First Time Effort


Really nice work and balanced set. Excellent light control. I'm sure that they love these.


Jul 09, 2012 at 02:55 PM
Jim Rickards
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Engagement Session - First Time Effort


Agree - But you gotta number these so my compliments get directed to the right photo.


Jul 09, 2012 at 03:05 PM
squareeyez
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Engagement Session - First Time Effort


Nice. But I *really* like that bike...


Jul 09, 2012 at 03:14 PM
mackstine
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Engagement Session - First Time Effort


Great Shots. Are you sure this was your first time? 14 and 17 are probably my favorites


Jul 09, 2012 at 03:33 PM
J.walker
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Engagement Session - First Time Effort


I never would have guessed it was your first E session. GOOD JOB!


Jul 09, 2012 at 03:36 PM
friscoron
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Engagement Session - First Time Effort



Agreed, this is a gorgeous set! This doesn't look like a set from a rookie at all. Faves are 4, 6, 10, 14. Just solid throughout.



Jul 09, 2012 at 03:47 PM
doc5md
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Engagement Session - First Time Effort


Wow.. what a first effort! holy cow! those were fantastic!
Quinn



Jul 09, 2012 at 05:12 PM
Gray
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Engagement Session - First Time Effort


That's some nice work with a nice looking couple. They will enjoy these. Great work!!


Jul 09, 2012 at 10:44 PM
 



oneadam12
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Engagement Session - First Time Effort


ABSOLUTELY nailed this one out of the park!!!! Very, very well done!


Jul 09, 2012 at 10:57 PM
Craig Yannuzzi
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Engagement Session - First Time Effort


wow.

very nice!

not what I expected to see when clicking on the "first time" post title.



Jul 09, 2012 at 11:14 PM
TurnMyPaige13
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Engagement Session - First Time Effort


stunning! you sure this was your first time? ;-) yeah i agree, definitely NOT what i expected to see when i saw the title of the post! wow. these are wonderful.


Jul 09, 2012 at 11:22 PM
bwhip62
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Engagement Session - First Time Effort


Thanks very much, you're making my day! Yes, it was my first try at it. I was actually stressing a fair bit leading up to it. I was honored that they would choose me for such an important assignment, after all, getting married (or engaged) isn't something that happens every day, and I really wanted to give them photos that they would not only like for an invitation, but that they would cherish forever. I didn't want to screw it up!

A few more:

18
http://www.latebraker.com/galleries/BlogPhotos/c_c/C_C-26.jpg

19
http://www.latebraker.com/galleries/BlogPhotos/c_c/C_C-27.jpg

20
http://www.latebraker.com/galleries/BlogPhotos/c_c/C_C-28.jpg

21
http://www.latebraker.com/galleries/BlogPhotos/c_c/C_C-9.jpg

Edited on Jul 10, 2012 at 04:27 AM · View previous versions



Jul 10, 2012 at 12:52 AM
Jonathan Huynh
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Engagement Session - First Time Effort


Really nice work.


Jul 10, 2012 at 04:12 AM
trueimage
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Engagement Session - First Time Effort


I really like #4. Overall some good shots. Try to avoid shooting in midday sun as much as possible. the later ones really look a lot better light-wise


Jul 10, 2012 at 04:41 AM
Dentx
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Engagement Session - First Time Effort


Love #5!


Jul 10, 2012 at 05:32 AM
Prettym1k3
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Engagement Session - First Time Effort


Before I go into this, I'd like to say that I think you did great, especially with the motorcycle/high fashion style stuff. Really, you did quite well.

My detailed responses typically go completely unnoticed on FM here, but here you go:

1. Underexposed. Not a fan of this one. He's also looking at her boobs (awkward).
2. I love sunflare, but this one just looks straight out of the camera to me. Maybe try some new processing on it? The soft background bugs me.
3. I like this silhouette, but maybe more as a B&W image?
4. I don't care for the processing on this one. Would have rather had their faces in focus too, instead of their hands.
5. Nice. I think this one would have been better having her posed in a sassy manner looking at him, while he stares into the distance.
6. Beautiful. Highlights on her face seem ever-so-slightly blown, but still beautiful.
7. Nice. I'd have liked her peeking over his shoulder and looking at the lens.
8. A little too bright for my taste, but very nice.
9. Very nice.
10. Nice motion! Just wish he didn't look like he was terrified... or pooping.
11. A little too warm on my monitor but very nice.
12. Very nice. But her eyes. They look empty and almost like she's starting to blink. Was she looking directly at the sunset?
13. I love this shot, but it looks like you REALLY pushed the exposure (see the noise in his jeans). This would probably do very well as a high-contrast B&W in my opinion.
14. Very nice.
15. A little too warm in my opinion. I would have liked to see him engaged as well, instead of just like he's leaning back while she goes in the for the kiss.
16. Take the blacks darker in this shot. Make it a true silhouette.
17. Cute! Pull the highlights down a notch, but only on the picture of her.
18. Same critique as #1.
19. This shot is fantastic. Really, REALLY nice!
20. I like this shot, but the outfit she's wearing is nowhere else in the mix, so I feel like I'm missing something. And the image has a tough of an HDR feel to it. I don't care for portraits done in HDR. But that's just me.
21. This shot is fantastic. Well done!

With all of that said and done, you really did well here. They're truly going to be happy with these. Keep shooting people! Especially good looking couples like these two, and especially good looking couples with an awesome cafe racer.



Jul 10, 2012 at 05:29 PM
boingyman
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Engagement Session - First Time Effort


I think overall great job for your first time. I have very little to no experience taking portraits so take what I have to say with a grain of salt, but if I had to critique in general some inconsistencies with exposure, processing and skin tones. Possible better use of natural light and in some instances a flash would have improved the shot.

Prettym1k3 - I appreciate anyone putting time and giving other people critiques. I hope one day when I get to post my first engagement people will rip my photos apart so I can improve.



Jul 10, 2012 at 07:12 PM
bwhip62
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Engagement Session - First Time Effort


Prettym1k3 wrote:
Before I go into this, I'd like to say that I think you did great, especially with the motorcycle/high fashion style stuff. Really, you did quite well.

My detailed responses typically go completely unnoticed on FM here, but here you go:

1. Underexposed. Not a fan of this one. He's also looking at her boobs (awkward).
2. I love sunflare, but this one just looks straight out of the camera to me. Maybe try some new processing on it? The soft background bugs me.
3. I like this silhouette, but maybe more as a B&W image?
4. I don't care for the processing on this
...Show more
Thanks for the constructive feedback, which is very helpful and appreciated.

A few notes in response:
1. Fill flash would definitely have been nice here, due to the harsh morning sunlight coming in from behind them putting them into shadow. However, it wasn't an option due to the distance I was from them, on the other side of the flowers. If my wireless setup was working, I would have had my assistant on the ground hidden below and in front of them to help, but the PocketWizards don't yet work with the 5D Mark III, so I had to use a long cable, which I couldn't really run through the flowers in the botanical garden. My wife noticed his eyes too! It was difficult on many of these to find just the right pose in the many we took. I loved her face and hair on this one; in others where his eyes were better, she wasn't in just the right position or pose.
2. This was actually processed a fair amount, but I can experiment with some other methods.
3. Tried B&W, but liked this better. They immediately loved the colorful foliage in the background when they looked at the photos.
4. My original setup for these shots was to have the hands (and engagement ring) in focus, and blurred out from there. I adjusted the aperture to get more in focus as I shot a few. In hindsight, I like the composition and expressions on this one so much that I wish I'd closed it down more, but I didn't. I can sharpen it more than it is here, but I wish it were clearer. You didn't notice the reflection of my assistant and my leg in the tank! I need to fix that.
5. I might have that other pose, I'll have to check. We got a bunch of different poses here, including some where they are together.
10. I shot a bunch of these - again, either the light wasn't right, the background was some crappy looking distracting 7-11 or something, or one of the two's expression wasn't quite right. This one was closest to having all I wanted, but not quite there.
12. I wondered the same thing, although I looked at several in that sequence with her smiling, pensive, etc. and the eyes were all about the same. May have been the bright light, not sure. She wasn't looking right at it.
13. This was shooting almost directly at the sun, just before sunset. It was basically a silhouette. When I adjusted it in Camera RAW to see what I could get from it, it turned into a sort of nice washed-out sunflare effect, so I tweaked it a bit and went with it.
15. I noticed that as well - again a trade-off where many other things about it I liked, and others in the sequence were not quite as good.
20. Yes, I did put an HDR effect on this one. I liked the train car, but none of the shots I took there really looked like much, other than that they were posing on or in that car. Applying the HDR effect gave it a little more overall pop and interest. I've got a some others with the red dress which were okay (see this and this), but that I wasn't thrilled with the lighting in. We were on a street, under a canopy in the mid-day sun, and it was VERY hot. It looks like the sun was reflecting off the sidewalk below, giving them an unflattering lit-from-below look.

Thanks again, much appreciated!



Jul 10, 2012 at 11:33 PM
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