Home Forums Let’s Talk Photography Annoying thing about weddings…

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    Much to my disappointment, the day after this wedding, up go about 15 photos one of the bridesmaids’ husbands took WHILE I was shooting. I didn’t even realize he was copying me, as he was actually standing slightly behind me each time (discovered this when I saw my lens in the corner of his photos). It wasn’t just this one, it was about 5-6 different poses. I wanted to keep some of the images a surprise for the couple, and/or just post a few here and there as I was working on them, but they kind of spoiled it.

    I don’t know if this link will work, she might have her privacy set to “friends of friends” so I can see it, but give it a shot.


    Here’s my image. After seeing it I feel I could have positioned some of the people better though, but we were in a huge hurry between the ceremony and reception (they spent too much time at the bar in between photo locations of course) so a few of the shots we did not have much time to plan out as well. It is something I will be working on for the next time.


    After this happened I sent a short, polite message to the bridesmaid whose profile the photos were on. I said they are her photos and she has the right to post them, but I normally prefer others are not shooting when I’m posing people and asked if she wouldn’t mind taking them down until I had all the photos done. She just made them private for awhile so only people on her friends list could see them, but now I noticed I can see them again. Oh well. Has anyone ever run into this? It was about the only point that I hadn’t addressed in my contract. I know some photographers do address it in theirs so I have since added that. Obviously, it’s different when people take photos during the reception or ceremony but when I pose them? It just seems it would be courteous to not do so. I have no worries that the couple will prefer the snapshots over mine, I just wanted mine to be the first ones that went public.


    Content is currently unavailable.  Both links give the same message.  At least it didn’t show me my own page.

    I have heard other photographers complain about this.  Some have something in their contracts, but if you and the bride have a contract, it is not binding on me, the guest, as I am not party to the contract.  Stressing the bride about her guests photographing over your shoulder may have the effect that all her friends choose a different photographer for their weddings.

    Sometimes, the bridal party are taken to a venue between church and reception, there the photographer has the party to themselves for some period of time.  Then there is the question of when to get shots of family and guests.

    This is probably the discussion to bring up the opportunity you have as a professional to have an assistant plus more and better equipment.  For instance, you can pose them with a bright sky behind them and light them with your flash, ideally perhaps an off camera flash with modifiers.  You get a nice well lit photo, the guy behind you with a point & shoot gets silhouettes.  Done well, it can be an opportunity to demonstrate the benefits of hiring a professional instead of “Uncle Fred” as a local pro refers to members of the point & shoot crowd.



    I uploaded both images to Flickr. Here’s the link to my photostream.


    To answer the question about the family photos, we did those outside of the church right after the ceremony (the “family formals”) bride’s family with couple, grooms family with couple, grandparents with couple, etc. The bride helped me out by pre-planning a list of only those who she wanted to include in the family formals (otherwise, groom’s second cousin once removed would want to jump in). We spent about 15-20 minutes doing those and then I followed the wedding party in their limo bus to the various portrait locations. We had three, and there was a half-hour bar stop in between. (The ceremony and reception were about 30 minutes driving distance from each other). They were also under the understanding that the individual guests could most certainly take pictures with the couple once they got to the reception, with their own cameras, unless there were some distinguished guests the bride and groom wanted a photo with and I was able to accomodate that.

    I know it definitely does show the difference between professional skill and equipment vs. snapping with a point and shoot, but nevertheless it did spoil the pose, people are sensationalized right after a wedding when photos get posted and people get tagged, etc.


    joe buissink addressed this topic in one of the sessions he did at creative live.   Basically how he handles it is if he sees “Uncle Fred” milling around with his camera he steps aside before the formals and lets them take some shots and then politely asks them to step aside so that he can shoot.  Seems like a amicable way to handle the situation.   It seems like a polite way to let them feel like they are participating and would make them less likely to interfere after they have had a short opportunity to take some photos and would only take up a minute or two.


    Alas, there really isn’t any way to stop people taking photos and posting them up, it seems to go with the territory these days.  I’ve done as the poster above suggested and asked everyone to take their photos after I’ve taken mine. It even works sometimes! The rest of the time people will look at me like I have three heads, and take their photos anyway.

    As for your situation, your version of the photo is by far superior to the other one, and despite them being taken at roughly the same time, I think yours looks totally different to theirs, with the angle, the lighting, the colours and the fact that the bridal party are all looking at you.  Once you release your photos, the bride et al will be able to easily see how much better your pro shots are.  I understand your frustration with the other ones being posted up, as that sort of thing annoys me as well. It’s just one of those things which cannot be controlled, and when it comes down to it, as long as I’ve been paid, then I’ll deal with it, lol!


    I don’t think you have anything to worry about. The skill level between each photo is noticeably different.

    I’m usually fine with other people shooting but as long as they get in the way, not just in my shots but in concentration. You are in control of the environment. Don’t be afraid to tell them to butt off.


    Well… that’s what I was speaking of.  In the “Uncle Fred” photo, it looks like there is a fog over the groom and the man on the tractor behind him.  Which would you rather show, nicely exposed sky, beautiful colours in the dresses and uncluttered background or blown out sky, over exposed fields, lots of clutter and under exposed people?  OK, that’s a rhetorical question.

    You can put the differences into words, but you really get the impact when you see both images side by side.  Your photo beside the bridesmaid’s husband’s is one of the best advertisements I have seen for using a knowledgeable  photographer.  Two or three side by side comparisons like this and any reasonable person would realize they got their money’s worth.  Good job!


    Thank you! I still feel I could have done a better job posing a few of the people. I don’t know if it was my best image or best pose but they really wanted the tractor photo. Also, near the edges of the frame, some of the faces look (to me, when viewed at 100%, it’s not very noticeable online) a bit out of focus. The faces in the center and near the center were sharp. Does anyone know why this may be? It was shot with a Canon 24-70 f/2.8 lens at f/2.8, at 43mm, 1/1000, and ISO 100 on a 5D Mark II. That lens in the first version without IS. Is it normal to get edge lack of sharpness?


    At 2.8 yes. It’s a pretty shallow depth of field for a big group of people. I would have went 5.6 at the least.


    But wouldn’t that only affect people on different planes of focus? They were all close to the same distance away from my camera. It almost seems as if the lens “vignetted” the sharpness.


    At the distance you appear to be shooting (is it around 20-25 feet from the group?), its probably just the softness that occurs at the edges when shooting wide open. The sharpness falloff can be quite pronounced on some lenses. Nothing unusual. At about 25 feet from the group and at 2.8, your depth of field would still be around 20 feet deep. At 15feet from the group you would still have around 7 feet of DOF.


    City boy here.  How long is a tractor?  I’m thinking your group is about 20 feet wide.  You are 20 feet away?  At f/2.8, DOF should be about 9 feet.  I’ll have to do some testing to see how the edge compares for sharpness.  Version II of that lens has a larger front element but it too is not an IS lens.

    Your bride’s dress is a little dark, it could stand some dodging.

    Did you apply sharpening to your photo?


    Since it was shot at 43mm I would have been just a tad bit closer than it appears (being a slightly wide angle). I wish I could remember my distance. I am thinking though it was around 15 feet. Also realizing now I should have bumped up my f-stop for the large group. That is one of the things I forget sometimes since I normally like to shoot wide-open though that’s best for photos with fewer people.

    It sounds like ArizonaGuy might be right, I didn’t realize some lenses had noticeable sharpness falloff when shooting wide-open. It was very sharp in the middle, like the bride’s face. I read up on version II of that lens though and I believe it does have IS. I am planning on purchasing that one once I can afford it, it will be my next investment. They’re close to $2000 new though. The non-IS I used for this shot was borrowed from my friend.

    Cameraclicker, thank you, I will touch up her dress a bit. I had exposed kind of in-between to get a happy medium between the sky and the people, so I had to bring back some highlights in some areas and increase the exposure in others in post. I should have tried bracketing and creating a composite maybe. I did apply slight sharpening, but I don’t like to go overboard. The original image is a separate file from the one I post online. All my online posts are downsized to 2000 pixels and have a watermark added. Someone once told me 2000 is the happy number for viewing best on FB but that number keeps changing and it doesn’t always look good on there anyway. I use the same file for my Flickr uploads even though they can handle and store the full-res image (I just want it to have my watermark on it to prevent people from downloading/printing).


    Included in the EXIF data, it should tell you the focus distance for the shot, as well as F stop, ISO, shutter speed, body, and so on.  I have that lens, but seldom use it.  I will set up a test next week to see how the one I have appears at the edges.

    I see Canon have 3 separate L series 24-70 zooms.  The original that I have, and that you were using, the new version II of that lens, and an F/4 version.  Only the F/4 version has OS.  The f/2.8 versions do not. http://www.canon.ca/inetCA/subCategoryHome?msegid=2&catid=17&scatid=72

    Facebook is not my favourite site.  I have an account I opened years ago to be able to see other people’s pages but I have not done anything with it.  It has been a while since I did much with Flickr as well.  I had a pro account my ISP paid for, and when that deal expired, I just continued on with the free 200 photos part.  At other sites, I have observed uploading an image with more pixels than they display results in the display not looking optimal.   Uploading a relatively small image has three benefits, re-use beyond the web is difficult, uploads are faster and the image will look its best because it is not compressed when displayed.  I spent a couple of minutes playing with Facebook.  I see it will scale images down to about 600 px wide if you display the page in a small window, images grow if you expand the window but wide monitors are typically 1920 px wide and they display a banner on the right side of the image so you are probably limited to 1200 px, give or take.   I use 640 px for the width at another site, I think I would use the same for Facebook if I were posting there.

    Sharpening is one of the last steps of post.  After resizing, since resizing affects sharpness.  Different image sizes need different amounts of sharpening.  Printing needs more sharpening than images going to a monitor because of the printing process and flow of ink.


    Regarding water marks.  Anyone with experience in Photoshop can remove a water mark in 10 to 15 minutes.  They are not worth the trouble, and they deface your image.

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