People Photography Photo Critique
by Philip Möjbro
Category: People Photography
Lens: Prime: Fixed focal l
Exposure time: 1/1000 ,
Description: My friends were getting married, and I took some portraits of them. I simply tried to see all >
My friends were getting married, and I took some portraits of them. I simply tried to take a good portrait, but with a little bit different pose. I couldn't put it in the 'photo details', but it's shot with a D7000, f/2.0 at 1/1000 with a 50mm prime
Subject of photo
Composition & Perspective
Use of camera, exposure & speed
Color & Lighting
Depth of field
Hi Philip! Thanks for sending in your wedding portrait for critique. I think it is a sweet, kind of old fashioned type portrait of a bride and groom. They capture your interest by their static pose and serious expressions. The barn wood in the background also adds visual interest. That being said, I would like to see some more joy in their faces and more movement with them. I'm not big fan of stiff posing and serious expressions. The old time photographers used to do this back in the late 1800's and early 1900's because the exposures were so long they didn't want the subject to move. Now we have fast ISO and shutter speeds and flash as well! Diagonal lines always are visually interesting, but your portrait is pretty much all straight up and down. Try having them lean into each other and smile or kiss.
The placement of your subjects is pretty much right in the middle, and even their eyes are about in the center. You shot from a low angle which works for them since they are not overweight. With heavier people this doesn't work out as well :) I like the contrast of her white dress against the grey barn wood. THe groom's jacket blends in with the background, but you made good use of side and backlighting to keep separation from him and the background. I would like to see more of a dynamic composition for a wedding portrait instead of so straight up and down. Another thing to watch for is placement of body parts. The bride is not heavy, but you make her arm look bigger by shooting right into her elbow with the widest part of her arm out. IF you have her place one foot back and slightly turn towards to him, she would be slimmed down there and he would still have the straight on masculine pose. In this portrait, the bride looks bigger than then groom, and no bride wants that. A good rule I learned long ago was make the groom look big, broad shoulders, etc and make the bride look smaller...and believe me almost all women want to look smaller :) Btw I like the way you have them between the two holes at the top of the barn and the straight board down the middle. Symmetry is always good. Just have them bend and move a bit more.
They look sharp and in focus. With F2 I would expect the background to be more out of focus, but since you used the 50mm that keeps everything sharper all around. Try using a portrait lens or telephoto and see if you like the results of the background more of out focus. The thing is, you want the viewer to focus mostly on their faces, but my eye bounces around from them to the barnwood to the holes at the top left and right.
Philip, you did a fine job with your Nikon which is a great camera. They look to be in focus and the exposure looks accurate.
It looks like you have kind of a magenta shift in the skin tones and the white dress. Use of fill flash would help that a lot. I am a big fan of additive lighting to color correct outside, as well as add some sparkle to the eyes and fill in the "raccoon eyes" shadows. Also something to try next time (and I realize these were friends, not clients) is use a second flash and do a little off camera lighting to separate them even more from the grey background.
What you did is fine and the barn is softer than they are. If you want to try something different, use a longer lens with the same F2.0 to get a very shallow depth of field.
Hi Philip, Thank you having me critique your work. I think it is a very nice, although not super exciting wedding portrait of a couple outside. The bride and groom look very sweet and I'm sure they very happy you were there to capture their memories for them. I would encourage to keep up the good work, try out some of my suggestions and submit another one so we can compare the results.
How to improve your photo
Try using a portrait or telephoto lens. More details above.
Try some additive lighting - see that section for ideas.
Work on posing the couple. Don't be shy to direct them. Encourage them to love each other, hug, kiss, embrace, dance, dip. Have the bride bend her joints and add some curves and diagonals to your portrait. A C curve is always attractive for a women's pose as well. Make a joke and get them to relax. The groom especially looks like he would rather be somewhere else...lol so get them to laugh and move around a bit. Good luck to you!
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