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Archive 2012 · A.S. Am I ready? edition...
  
 
SloPhoto
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · A.S. Am I ready? edition...


A.S. Aspiring Second Shooter (Not an ASS, really!)

I am trying to improve enough to be an assistant/second shooter. I am a UI/software developer in the bay area/CA by day and want to second shoot weddings on the side for fun. I have reached out to two FM members asking to assist/shoot a bit for free and now that things are approaching would love some harsh C&C. Not looking to become a pro, but I would like to be on the same level eventually.
(I would be open to shooting/assisting anyone local for free)

I filled in a bit at my cousins wedding when the main photographer hurt her back (story here http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1084257/0), but have never actually shot a wedding seriously.

Just a bit of playing around with the wife...
1-1)





Playing uncle bob for my brother and sister in law (we paid for the photographer, I brought 1 lens/camera, and these are two of the ~5 shots I took of the couple)
2-1)




2-2)





My uncle's birthday party a few weeks ago (outdoors + 1 remote flash, basically nothing to bounce off of but trees)
3-1)




3-2 Singing to his girls with my dad. I do have a few shots from the front to show context.)




3-3)




3-4)




3-5)




3-6)





Just this weekend I went to my aunt/uncle's 70th birthday. It was in a very ugly grange building with the most horrific CFL lamps you could imagine. I decided to play with studio strobes in this environment and try to overpower ambient. Honestly not too pleased with what I got. I really need to work on getting in there and showing connections.

4-1)




4-2)




4-3)




4-4)




4-5)




4-6)




4-7)




4-8)




4-9)






Sorry for the overload of non-awesome/non-wedding images, but I could really use some feedback on what I should improve on before I try to step in as an assistant/second.

Gear is a non issue and I can step in and do manual flash setup/tech stuff without breaking a sweat, so you can assume those are a non issue.



Jul 24, 2012 at 06:39 AM
amonline
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · A.S. Am I ready? edition...


You have the lighting and processing under control. I definitely saw improvement from the previous post. (mainly that you're backing up and getting more of the story) I'd say you are definitely ready to second. With a little more work on composition, I'd use ya. All those kudos aside, you need to try some more variance in different environments. Keep shooting and start networking.


Jul 24, 2012 at 07:04 AM
SloPhoto
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · A.S. Am I ready? edition...


amonline wrote:
You have the lighting and processing under control. I definitely saw improvement from the previous post. (mainly that you're backing up and getting more of the story) I'd say you are definitely ready to second. With a little more work on composition, I'd use ya. All those kudos aside, you need to try some more variance in different environments. Keep shooting and start networking.


Next on my personal project list will be to glue the 35mm lens to one camera and try shooting with ambient light. I am all too ready to try to light everything flat and struggle to get an environmental/involved feel.

Thanks for getting the comments going...



Jul 24, 2012 at 07:09 AM
hardlyboring
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · A.S. Am I ready? edition...


you are def. ready to second shoot.


Jul 24, 2012 at 07:10 AM
SloPhoto
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · A.S. Am I ready? edition...


hardlyboring wrote:
you are def. ready to second shoot.


Honestly having some second thoughts about that.... any C&C, suggested goals/projects, things to read, etc would be appreciated. (thanks though )



Jul 24, 2012 at 07:15 AM
 

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fotojennik
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · A.S. Am I ready? edition...


SloPhoto wrote:
Honestly having some second thoughts about that.... any C&C, suggested goals/projects, things to read, etc would be appreciated. (thanks though )


I think you are fine. The best experience is to just get out there and do an actual wedding or two or ten or twenty.

I was in your shoes about two months ago. I just started putting myself out there this year, and have now assisted/seconded for 4 weddings with 6 more in the books for this season (perhaps I was a bit lucky in my very 1st year to get this many opportunities). The best way to learn is to get out there and shoot and THEN ask the pro you are working for to give you feedback afterwards. I was VERY lucky to shoot for an awesome photog that actually Skyped with me and did screen share and went through EVERY single photo I delivered to them and gave me feedback, not just on the photos, but the scenarios/lighting/everything involved. Clearly that is out of the ordinary but you never know, you just need to find a helpful, friendly pro to work for. That can be the hardest part of all this. I can go through my photos from my first four weddings, and I can literally SEE myself improving every single one. It may just be little adjustments here and there, but they add up. Small things like when the couple is dancing, always shoot their 'open' side, or staying out of the line of sight of the primary, or straightening the boutineer of the groom.

Also, I see that you said one of your 'projects' is to slap on a 35mm lens and shoot. From what I've gathered in my few short outings, is that (not always) a primary might prefer you to put on a longer lens 70-200, 85, 135, etc... and work on capturing reactions/emotions/etc...
Perhaps this is just the 3 particular photogs I have worked for, but just giving my 2 cents.

Most importantly, keep shooting



Jul 24, 2012 at 12:25 PM
canerino
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · A.S. Am I ready? edition...


you are ready.

you exhibit great sense of timing (4-4, 4-5, 4-7, 3-5, 2-2). your OCF work looks really nice.

my number one fear before shooting someone's wedding was 'i dont want to mess up their day'. confidence seems to be the only thing holding you back at this point. with that said, here are some things i think you could improve on (based on these shots):

1) composition. i think that you do a nice job in a lot of your shots, but the coverage is pretty basic (which is good in a way). i'd like to see you think a bit more and try to make the ordinary a bit more extraordinary.

2) proximity. you seem far away from your subjects in a lot of these. for me, this means an impersonal feel. try working a bit closer (when possible).

The main question I would have in hiring you is how would you do in varied lighting situations. For example, if I hired you, you'd be with the guys, pent up in a standard hotel room...6 dudes...one window...dark. How would you handle that (rhetorical)?

You are on your way! Keep at it!



Jul 24, 2012 at 12:33 PM
canerino
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · A.S. Am I ready? edition...


as a suggestion, shoot indoor family parties...no pressure and you can develop a feel for how/why you want to shoot these situations.


Jul 24, 2012 at 12:36 PM
SloPhoto
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · A.S. Am I ready? edition...


fotojennik wrote:
Also, I see that you said one of your 'projects' is to slap on a 35mm lens and shoot. From what I've gathered in my few short outings, is that (not always) a primary might prefer you to put on a longer lens 70-200, 85, 135, etc... and work on capturing reactions/emotions/etc...


Agreed, that is why it is a personal project


canerino wrote:
...
1) composition. i think that you do a nice job in a lot of your shots, but the coverage is pretty basic (which is good in a way). i'd like to see you think a bit more and try to make the ordinary a bit more extraordinary.

2) proximity. you seem far away from your subjects in a lot of these. for me, this means an impersonal feel. try working a bit closer (when possible).

[3] The main question I would have in hiring you is how would you do in varied lighting situations. For example, if I hired you, you'd
...Show more

1) yes, I am very weak in composition. Things are always square, on an af point, and painfully simple. This is actually a progression from my "Portrait shot, fit the subject tight/centered in the frame". I am starting to try to think about composition more and every once in a while I am able to think about secondary subjects ("looking" shots). This will take me the longest to progress on, and may ultimately be my greatest limitation.

2) yes, I am a slightly introverted engineer who hates it when people shove cameras in my face (ironic). I am hoping I do better at an event where nobody knows me as anything other than the hired photographer. I do worst when I know some but not the majority of the people (like the above events).

[3]) Use bounced flash to create a flat and even environment? Easy as can be. Shoot it with interesting dramatic light like you and others would? That is definitely a work in progress. I get into my engineer mode and try to "fix" the light. For example, stuff like Ari's work would never even cross my mind despite the fact that I love the end result.
canerino wrote:
as a suggestion, shoot indoor family parties...no pressure and you can develop a feel for how/why you want to shoot these situations.

I do that too, these just happened to be the last two things I shot this month. I should have worked in more diversity to this set.



Jul 25, 2012 at 04:51 PM





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