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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old June 21st, 2009, 07:07 AM   #1
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Tips for shooting 'large' weddings?

Large as in.

1. BIG size people.. how to make them looks gorgeous on camera.. any techniques, angles, directions..?

2. LARGE bridal party.. got one coming up with 16 bridesmaids.. oh my God.. Havn't done or seen any weddings this LARGE before..


Thanks for your tips.

Melissa.

I use a Canon XHA1
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Old June 21st, 2009, 11:34 AM   #2
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larger people are the same as smaller people but bigger ;-)
OK enough with the jokes. I generally stay away from ultra tight shots, something a bit more medium or even medium wide. When possible if I'm doing setups I turn them a bit more to one side or another to help them appear narrower, no low angle stuff, I try to use things like trees or walls, stuff like that for them to lean into and turn them towards the camera a bit. Of course all of this depends on how large the people are (it's all relative) and how much time I have and how open the people are to doing stuff like that. I certainly don't say " hey, since you guys are so big turn to the side". Tact and common sense.

As for large numbers in a bridal party, 16 isn't so big unless you mean 16 per side. I've had that and larger. 21 per side is my biggest (ridiculous) and to me it doesn't matter how many people there are, I shoot the same way. For after the ceremony though I WILL use my WA lens attachment and do a lot more sweeps because of the width of the group.
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Old June 21st, 2009, 02:27 PM   #3
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Learn from the photographers and apply some of the same principles. Although you can't 'freeze' each person and pose them to make them look their best. Here is my take on the 'plus-sized' group. No low angle shots. Try to avoid straight-on shots. High angles where they are looking up minimizes double-chins. Avoid flat lighting (widens the face). If you can move the light up and over to one side (or use sidelighting for reception) it will look more flattering.
As mentioned, avoid the xcu's and cu's you might normally shoot. Don't try to 'hide' their imperfections with too-far wide shots or soft-focus. That just draws attention to the technique.

For the 2nd category. Get a 2nd cameraperson. Large groups beg for 2 camera coverage. Best of luck.
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Old June 21st, 2009, 03:00 PM   #4
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1. If you're posing people, overlap oversized people in group shots. Make their bodies less visible, with more attention to their faces. Also in group shots, put the biggest people behind the thinner ones.
2. Generally, higher angles are better than low angles. This will cut down the double chin effect.
3. Lighting slightly from the side brings out a little more shadows, pronouncing depth. Flat lighting from the front will make everything flat and wide.
4. When shooting candids, try to shoot people in dark clothing. White clothes makes people appear wider.
5. I've had big brides tell me they don't like their big upper arms being photographed.

6. Shooting big people is tough as video automatically adds another 10 pounds to them. You can cheat by slightly changing the aspect ratio of your shoot. Videotape in 16:9, then squish the image down to almost 4:3 in post, and zoom in.
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Old June 21st, 2009, 06:25 PM   #5
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Wide angle lens ;)
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Old June 22nd, 2009, 12:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melissa Chung View Post
Large as in.
1. BIG size people.. how to make them looks gorgeous on camera.. any techniques, angles, directions..?
No low angles? Fish-eye lens from farther away? Lots of head shots will reduce exposure to larger portions of the body in case they are self conscious of that. Generally a face will mirror the rest of the body to a certain extent, but not as much if their proportions are wider than most. Just a few thoughts. I had one (to a minor extent) last summer, but no one was to the point where I had to actually plan ahead and shoot differently.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melissa Chung View Post
2. LARGE bridal party.. got one coming up with 16 bridesmaids.. oh my God.. Havn't done or seen any weddings this LARGE before..
I had one that might be close to your bridal party size. I essentially was a side show because the photography took up so much time. I had ZERO time with the bride & groomsmen so in what should have been a portfolio making blockbuster of a show, I got totally sidelined by the schedule. The client also had so many events in the reception that there was NO time for artistic sections of the reception. That video was one of the most boring I have ever produced simple because it was 2hrs and only had a decent "cinematic" reception section. Everything else was straight cuts for 3 cam multi-cam event.

So.... if possible, make sure you have cemented some time with the bridal party to get some good video shots. Don't let the photographer side line you. The best way to do this is to get your shots BEFORE the photographer. The photographer will take up ALL the time available right up till the ceremony. People will have all sorts of special last minute shot requests for the photog and those will not end until there is no more time. So get your 10-15min section to set up some moving shots first.
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