Lighting

Dancing.jpg

My cousin Gina was married a few weeks ago. We had a great time at her wedding and I captured a number of great moments. I didn't steal too many pictures because she did hire a photographer, after all. So let's talk about the above photograph.

It works on a number of levels and doesn't on a few others. To start, I didn't want to be that guy who gets in the way of the photographers who is there and paid for to document their wedding. So instead, I hid out on the sidelines getting what I could get, which isn't optimal. 

Let's first talk about what doesn't work in this photo. The lighting that was provided by the videographers was damn bright. Every so often I looked right at the 'sun' and was blinded. The benefit of their bright lights was that they were able to light the room well enough to capture photographs without using a flash.

On the other hand, the lights made it difficult to get a good pictures. Notice how her arm casts a shadow across her face. I'm sure that was a problem for the photographer, too. In this photo the photographer in pink is taking a photo of the groom. She is using the videographer's lights and probably waiting for his arms to move away from his face.

You'll also notice the light above Gina's head. I was moving around trying to get a better angle, but the videographer kept moving, and it was tough to avoid.

The biggest challenge with photographing this way is that you have no say in the process, which leads me back to my earlier statement about getting what I could get. 

On another note, there are a few things that work well in the image, too. I think the composition tells the story of how things played out. The photographer was capturing the wedding with tight shots, and was trying to avoid getting the videographers in the frame. Whereas, this is more of a behind the scenes photograph showing the viewer what it was like to be there.

Her dress pops with those beaming bright lights. Below is a better example of how her dress popped with the videographer's light. I don't like the way it is framed, however.

The moral of the story... when you aren't in control of the photographic scene you just get what you get. Perhaps it makes for a more candid and challenging situation. That is what I love about making photographs. There's power in limitations.