Success Ratio - How Did I Do?
Wedding photography is not my forte, not really something I ever planned on doing - but, a friend asked me if I could take some photos at his wedding. I was not the "main" photgrapher there (a good friend of mine was doing that) so I was shooting exclusively B&W, and being a bit of a "rover", almost a journalistic approach (I declined doing the posed stuff).
In the end, I had one camera, one lens (Canon EF, 50mm f1.4 lens - no flash). I ended up with 7 rolls of film from the ceremony, in front of the church, and in a park right after (an impromptu session with family and friends, etc).
I developed the negs, and noticed that I got exposure/developing correct on all the film, and that most of the photos were properly focused and exposed (probably 30+ from each roll of 36).
I started printing the photos, and have noticed that I am fully satisfied with maybe 5 photos on each roll, and have between 10-12 images that I would term as "acceptible" to me.
How did I fare? Is this respectible ratio for this type of work? I was just wondering, thought maybe some of you would share your takes on this.
5 from one roll beats my hit rate which is generally the reverse of that.
For even agreeing to bring a camera to a wedding, as your avatar suggests, you may well be a saint. I'd rather have a root canal than do that!
I was being rather generous with those numbers, seeing as I had no "vision" for the pictures, anything that looked more less the way I thought it would was "acceptible", anything that in any way stood out above that was termed "good"(that's the 5). I don't think any of it could go in a contest or anything! Thanks for the encouraging words!
I think it was an act of ignorance more than saintliness, hehehehee
Believe me - as the pictures I want to print sit and gather dust (figurtively speaking, of course) I am slaving through the wedding shots...
This is a very, very good friend of mine, a person I value tremendously on many levels - otherwise I would certainly either run far, far away, or ask for a large sum of money (hoping it accomplishes the same)
Peter, going to a wedding and watching how hard wedding photographers work at their craft always reminds me of that time time in my life when I also earned part of my living recording these events. It also reminds me of why I made the decision to have a career change. I attended a beautiful wedding yesterday that again made me most grateful for not earning my living as a wedding photographer.
Five that you really like out of a roll of 36 is pretty good. I heard Dewitt Jones speak one time and in his presentation he said that whenever he gives a presentation there is always an amateur photographer who asks him how many "good shots" he gets out of a roll of 36. He said that this is the amateur's question. He went on to say that when shooting an article for National Geographic, which might have 15 or so images included in it, they would shoot 400 rolls of film (over 14,000 exposures). The professionals question was not how many good ones you get out of a roll, but rather, "Did you get what you needed?"
Now I know Dewitt was not talking about wedding, however his perspective certainly helped to changed mine about what to expect from a roll of film. A friend of mine is in the wedding phototgraphy business and he shared with me some images he did at a wedding he attended, not as the official photographer. They were captured on B&W film using a Canon point and shoot rangefinder camera and they are some of the best wedding images I've ever seen. I'm sure yours are the same and will be the ones the couple enjoy the the most as they record the feeling of the event not just who the people were who attended.
I'd be happy with five any day of the week. Bill Barber
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Sometime as photographers we are to discerning of work of ours which although may not be acceptable to us in some way, may still hold some importance, in this case to your married friends. Let them see all the photos, and hold the best for last, maybe in a small album. Many times what I thought might be a throwaway wound up being cherised by someone else.
Considering this is (I assume) not something you've done much before and given the constraits and style of shooting, I'd say you did quite well.
Originally Posted by gnashings
I realized even as I was typing the question that... well... it is quite "amateurish" - but alas, I am an amateur, so I thought it would be forgiveable
I never did assume it was easy - but given the very relaxed circuimstances of my foray into photographing a wedding and seeing how it beat me up - I have a new perspective at how hard these people work! By the time the ceremony was over, I was sweating like a 500 pound man in a sauna!
Jokes aside - thank you very much for the kind words and I am glad I was not completely "blowing it" up there! I really appreciate your input. I think you guys sensed the kind of thing I was after - the little "moments", like when the maid of honour realized the bride's vail was slipping a little and she snuck up and fixed it, and the look exchanged at that time between the two. That was what I was after. And since I was shooting 35mm TriX rated at 1000 and dev'd in Acufine, I knew that poster sixe prints were pretty much out of the question When I managed to keep the crowd, intently observing the ceremony through their little digi-gizmos, out of the images look kind of vintage, which I thought was neat.
Actually, I couldn't help myself - I took a photo completely for me! Out in front of the church, I swung the camera away from the happy couple and pointed it at the crows - no one was talking, no one was involved in anyway... they were all staring, zombie-like, into their digitals' LCD's... sign of the times, captured on TriX
Thanks again for all your input!
Probably the married couple would find many more that they like. As said, you are probably your harshest critic. But if you're like me and roam around the awesome galleries here in APUG you are viewing your own work with a higher level of scrutiny.
I perform (minister) weddings and am amazed how many times I have heard couples say later how glad they are that someone else was taking pictures because the "pro" had some pretty shabby work (not in your friendís case of course). In the last couple of years I've noticed that wedding photography has become, at least in my area, almost exclusively digital.
Often the photog will snap off pictures at a gazillion frames a second with a camera that is doing everything by itself. I wonder what the difference is in two pictures that are a 20th of a second between each other as two people are standing still looking at each other?
30 years ago, even 10 years ago I saw many more photogs that would CAREFULLY form a shot with their Hassies or even 35mmís. Now there's a quite a few more that look like paparazzi trying to get an exclusive. I donít want to over-generalize though, there are still some good wedding photogs around.
I may be wrong but Iíll bet you considered each frame before you shot it. That just comes naturally from walking around this site for a while.
BTW Iím happy with 1 good shot per roll.
Being on this site has improved me as a photographer SO VERY MUCH that I can't even think of where to start the praise for the people and the very concept. Even the way you folks responded to this verythread shows that to good adventage! I am eternally grateful for you thoughtful, supportive and contructive responses (here, and wherever else I come crying for help).
The galleries here took me a while to get into, frankly. The first time I scanned them, I seriously considered erasing every post I ever made that was not a humble question! But, once the intimidation goes away, aided by the caliber of people who make up the majority of the membership on APUG, I just looked, and looked, and looked... So much to learn - but also, so much learned already! I love this place. And if my friend who got married knows whats good for him, providing he likes the pictures I took, he should write a thank you not to you guys - I know for absolutely certain that they are many times better than they would have been before I started to take in the knowledge that you folks so generously share with all who ask!
Hats off to APUG'ers, and once again thank you
(aka that long winded guy)