Criticism please.

sanj

EOS 5D MK IV
Jan 22, 2012
3,119
19
Jim.
I think these photos are 'documents', not 'art'. Perhaps pre visualization, posing against interesting backgrounds and also using strobes may help.
Just my opinion. And congratulations on the job.
 

ethanz

1DX II
Apr 12, 2016
933
184
ethanzentz.com
They look pretty good, you got most of the key shots. Your lighting is good. Maybe would have tried to use a 70-200 to spice things up with more background separation.

I see a picture of the couple in front of a flower bush, but they are in the sun. Try to have people in a shade area so they aren't squinting or have contrasty shadows on their face.
 

Bennymiata

EOS 7D MK II
The first wedding is the hardest, and I bet you're happy with the results.
While not particularly artistic, the photos are well exposed and in focus and I would imagine the couple will be happy with the results.
Be thankfull that they didn't ask you to do video too. That ads a lot to the nerves and complications.
My first wedding had over 350 guests and went from 8:30am and finished around 2am the next day. I got a friend to help me and I also had to do a video for them as well. I worked for almost a full week editing and finalising it, as well as doing the pp on the thousands of photos we took..
Luckily, I fluked it through and the family was happy with the result, but looking back, there were a number of things I could have done better.

Now that you have some idea, look at some other wedding photographers to get some ideas on posing and lighting your subjects.
 

JuanMa

Canon New F1
May 10, 2018
35
13
Spain
Dear Jim
Your photos are technically good, well exposed and in focus. Some art oriented photos would have certainly be welcomed and if you look at other wedding photographers jobs, the best pictures are often taken outside the wedding area. I mean they have preselected backgrounds and that require a preliminary work to find them. Having a deep look into good wedding photographers work, is also a very y good idea.
Congratulations on your job
 

Mikehit

EOS 5D MK IV
Jul 28, 2015
3,125
310
I agree with the above in that they are technically good which is the most important thing: I have done a couple of wedding photo shoots for friends (because they were not going to hire a pro anyway) and it is much more difficult that it looks when you are simply a guest watching on.
In some cases a slightly wider aperture would have helped separation from the background but if that was the widest you have then you worked well with it.

A nice set.
 

takesome1

EOS 5Ds R II
Aug 23, 2013
1,448
80
Jim Saunders said:
Not the first photos I ever took, but my first wedding.

https://500px.com/hhaphoto/galleries/angela-s-wedding

Jim
You should ask the "Not Art" critics to show some examples of how to improve "artistically" the shots of the ceremony itself.

Most of your shots were of the ceremony and only a few outside and after. There were no pre-ceremony pics either. IMO the pre and post are important to tell the whole story.

Was this a paid Gig? If not your work is above and beyond.

If it was paid and your first Job, take all the criticism to heart.
 

Jim Saunders

EOS 6D MK II
Sep 9, 2012
1,125
13
hhaphoto.com
I appreciate all the feedback. This gig I did out of affection for the bride; she has been dear to me for a long time. I didn't post everything, of course; there are more photos after. Personally I'd have shot all the getting-ready stuff but the couple weren't interested; the rather straight-forward vibe was a preference of theirs also.

Whether I take up any paid gigs following on from this I'm not sure right now; I learned a lot and there are lots of new things I can do and try. I know that shooting in that church or others lit like it mean figuring out what the couple expect versus what they're willing to accommodate; I would rather have done the whole thing with flash but that option was denied to me.

Again, thank you all for taking the time to look and offer thoughts.

Jim
 

takesome1

EOS 5Ds R II
Aug 23, 2013
1,448
80
Done for a friend you did a great job, above and beyond.
And you got the chance to learn a little.
 

Hesbehindyou

EOS 80D
Jun 6, 2011
144
2
Jim Saunders said:
https://500px.com/hhaphoto/galleries/angela-s-wedding
Disclaimer: I'm crap at photography. If experienced photographers take issue with any of this please do feel free to step in.

One thing that hasn't been mentioned is some of the portraits are taken at quite short focal lengths, e.g. https://500px.com/photo/264225807/trevor-and-angela-by-jim-saunders?ctx_page=1&from=gallery&galleryPath=30325165&user_id=12550001

If space allows, a long focal length and standing further back will be more flattering as the shorter focal length exaggerates the nose. If space doesn't allow then consider finding a different space :)

Some of your full length portraits are level or pointing down slightly. It's best to take these from low down & pointing up slightly. This flatters because it gives longer legs and a slimmer body (I've read low down and pointing up at the crotch. If that is the general recommendation... don't tell 'em that's what you're doing)

Something to fill in the shadows on peoples' faces would have been great (flash, reflector, whatever)

Doing the above will make your shots look much better... the subjects won't know why they look great in your photos but they'll certainly appreciate it.

Whether I take up any paid gigs following on from this I'm not sure right now
There's basic stuff you're not doing so don't do paid-for stuff until you've got it all nailed. Read up fashion and portrait photography and apply that knowledge (wedding photography, to me, is fashion and portrait photography done mostly on the fly with limited time, appalling lighting conditions and with completely inexperienced models).

Once you're able to direct the subjects into flattering poses, taken from flattering angles and with flattering lighting (provided by you) then you'll be providing a product you'll be happy to charge for.
 

YuengLinger

EOR R
Dec 20, 2012
2,231
247
Southeastern USA
Very good for a first wedding. You got many of the essential moments with good exposures. You obviously kept your head and stayed focus. So many moving parts in a wedding, and the subjects themselves are often tense and emotional, and then there's the in-law giving dirty looks, looking at his/her watch, sighing...

Glad you came back in one piece!
 

Durf

Picture Taker - Image Maker
Jim Saunders said:
Not the first photos I ever took, but my first wedding.

https://500px.com/hhaphoto/galleries/angela-s-wedding

Jim
Although I'd rather shoot flowers, bugs, and waterfalls, I think you did pretty good. The images show you took the shoot very seriously and a few of them really stand out.

I agree with a couple other posters about perhaps using a faster lens to blur out some background in certain types of shots, but hey, you did good!

I think if I was to do a shoot like this (very unlikely) I'd have two cameras on me, one with a 24-70 f/2.8 and a 70-200 f/2.8. Both with IS for sure....
 

Jim Saunders

EOS 6D MK II
Sep 9, 2012
1,125
13
hhaphoto.com
That I didn't take two cameras for the ceremony was mostly to avoid being a distraction juggling things, but for the future I can see it being more of an option. What would help the most for the next one is a second, an assistant or both though; for paying jobs I need more time shooting and less time moving kit around.

Jim
 

stevelee

FT-QL
Jul 6, 2017
916
111
Davidson, NC
The use of flash during the ceremony itself is often forbidden by the church or the clergy. In any event, it distracts from the ceremony, and looks bad on video. Flash is sometimes permitted for the bride's entrance and the couple's exit, so that becomes the limit each way.