Personally, if that had been my wedding and I had paid for those photographs, then I'd be disappointed in the result. It would be fine if these were from friends and family but I would expect more from a professional photographer.
The white balance issues have already been discussed as well as the amount of softness in some of the shots but in general, I find the composition is also compromised. Too many shots have other people taking photographs in the background, the bride cut off at the knees or looking in the other direction (her face is much more beautiful than the back of her head). There are also many shots with objects growing out the subjects head or people close in the background. Perhaps more preparation could have gone into where the shots were taken and in organising the group. You don't have to be aggressive or domineering - just explain that these are once in a lifetime shots (sadly not always these days!!) and that in the interests of the bride and groom you will have to sometimes ask people to move out of the way.
Areas where more preparation also comes through is in the comments about running out of space with the memory cards, the "thank goodness I found a spare flash" ... did you have a reserve body in case of problems with the main one??
I think it is brave to put photos up for critique and I hope you can take these comments constructively as they are meant to be. But I do think there is perhaps more practice needed in these situations before I would be comfortable asking you to photograph my wedding based on these results.
Good Luck for the future.
Thanks or the input.
Well this was my first wedding. I did it for free, and I was a second shooter/assistant with lightning.
The main shooter was in charge of taking the formal shots. I was really there to just assist with lights set up wit the formal shots. In the mean time I offered to help out with shooting as well.
Yes! I agree on the composition. I was a it overwhelmed really. I am a street photog by heart. This was quite different. I took the more of a shoot and gun style. When I do street. I have my composition already set up, with basic structure, then I just wait for my subject to come into and fill the image. And I have tens of opportunities to take the picture as I see fit. So when I did the wedding, I was unprepared for the "structure of the wedding". So I went for shoot first then composing. Since the main shooter was in charge of the "proper" shots, I sort of wanted different angles etc in my pics.
Moreover I was shooting only with two primes. Since I was doing this for free, and I was the second shooter, I didn't really want to go out huge in my spending and get my self the proper fast zoom lenses I needed for this type of event.
I wholeheartedly agree on the organization and preparation for this event.
I had two bodies. Two flashes and two primes. I made the mistake of leaving my third back up flash at home. **smacks forehead**
There were only 70 people in total. One photographer would be more than enough for this event. there were three of us. The third shooter was just mainly in charge of doing ultra wide.
We should have been organized more in the sense of not coming into each other's frames. Sort of every body acted like their own entity rather than a part of the bigger machine. (I don't know how to explain in better)
Overall I agree with you. I mean it was my first wedding shoot, I have to learn somehow. And don't get me wrong I did as best as I could, they didn't pay for any of it. You get what you pay for.
Thanks for the constructive critique.
It would have been better with the gold insert. The issue is that compared to the tungsten ambient, your flash was blue. Putting an amber gel in front of the flash or even the gold insert in the lumiquest promax system would warm the light from the flash so that you could bring the white balance temperature down in post (or set it lower than flash on-camera if you're shooting jpeg). I don't think it killed you, though. Like I said, good job.
Wish I would have thought of that. I figured that the WB temp will be quite warm, so I thought that by using a silver reflector and having the flash fall onto my subjects mainly, while dragging the shutter to get the ambient in the background would, make the subject pop out having been flashed with cooler light.
Your way makes more sense now. I don't know what I was thinking.
Good job regarding the white balance it looks like even with very tricky lighting. With my D700 you are allowed to change the flourescent lighting section with 5 sub sections which I find useful for weddings. You have a D300 right? A lot of people I know shoot weddings with the 24-70mm lens so you are right in thinking that you may need a zoom lens instead of primes in that focal length.
Nope I just "upgraded" from D70s to D200. I plan on picking up the D700 when the replacement comes out. Here's to me hoping for lower prices of used D700s lol.
I have quite a few buck put away for lens purchases. I didn't really want to go out and buy gear for this wedding. especially if I was doing it for free and only a second shooter.
I have a timeline and budget in place, and I love when the plan comes together. I didn't want mess it up by buying anything that I normally wouldn't use. And I don't like renting gear, too much of a hassle for me.
Thanks for the input. I appriciate it.
I know the feeling :-) thought I could handle it but I sure did mess up :-) Weddings are tough! Lots more preparation needed my friend.
Agree with johnnyA about the yellow gel and then set WB to tungsten. Basically Gel the flash to whatever the ambient light is. Ie the opposite of trying to "overpower" the ambient light.
When you have low light and use primes, best to up the ISO as well and go for available light type shots and for B&W type photos Ie look for nice patterns and textures and good range of tones from black to white. then convert to B&W in Post.
If you use flash then keep the ISO at about 400-600 on the D200 and try to have extra flashes located in strategic locations around the room. 2.8 Zooms would be good then.
The WB on your pictures can probably be fixed. Try the good old Auto WB on your software then tweak from there.
Below is a quick tweak of one of the images. While balance and then 20% equalised and then tweeked the whitebalance further by sliding a bit of green to magenta. also a bit of crop.
That's what I wanted do in the beginning. Just do it with no flash, photo-journalistic style. But I figured I needed more experience in using flash in a fast pace situation. I shot full manual. Always do.
I work with flash on day to day basis but my job is really slow paced that allows me to take my time to adjust the flash output and the composition.
Since I didn't agree to be the second shooter and do it for free because I like to do do things for free, but mainly for experience.
Thanks for the tip about the WB.
What I did, was create a custom brush in Lightroom. Which desaturated yellow/orange and I used it mainly on people's faces. I should have pull down the overall temp of the ambient. Thanks for the tip. Will reedit them tonight.