Last week, I spent three days fully immersed on a wedding photography workshop at The Forbury Hotel in Reading.
What a few days they were – I went with no preconceived ideas on what to expect. I booked on from an opportunity that came to me via Loxley Colour which I use for all my wedding photography prints. And as it was, relatively speaking, local I thought it would be a good opportunity to learn how others ‘do weddings’.
Run by the very successful and incredibly hard working Rob Pugh of RP Photography by Design, the workshop wasn’t just about taking photographs at a wedding, it was a whole lot more besides. This blog is about the five key things I’ve taken away with me to focus on – some could be expensive!
As a wedding photographer, I always plan ahead, preparing detailed timetables, working out how long it will take me to get to the venue and all the other places that I will need to take photographs during the day. Overall, each wedding I undertake take me somewhere between 25-35 hours from the time of the initial enquiry to delivery of final images.
But there’s a lot to do in those hours and planning each element in detail, makes a huge difference to managing the day. Rob’s insight into how he preps for each of his weddings was hugely helpful. Much of what he does, I do already too – a real tick in the box – but some of the finer details I will add to my pre-planning as they will certainly create some greater efficiencies along the way.
Rob photographs his weddings in “wide open” mode. What is wide open I hear you ask? It’s all about light and depth of field, associated with aperture and the distance between the nearest and farthest objects that are in focus. Working this way isn’t new to me, but I was certainly interested to hear Rob’s views and to put it into practice later in the week.
The wide open settings are best used for portrait shots where a narrow depth of field can give a stunningly sharp focus on the bride and groom without the distraction of a busy background.
Churches can be tricky to photograph in, often with little natural light, especially if it’s late in the year or raining. Rob’s use of Rotolight LED lighting had some lovely results. Syncing his camera and a Rotolight NEO2 to the same settings, the resulting photographs still looked as though shot with natural light.
I’m a real advocate of natural light photography, but seeing the Rotolights in operation, this is something I’m certainly going to research further.
Definitely something new and a really interesting change to having my camera in auto white balance (the only auto setting I use). The results are very easy to see once loaded into Lightroom for editing, the RAW images are far more consistent, therefore needing less post processing.
Kelvin, named after William Thomson (1st Baron Kelvin), is the standard international unit of measurement for thermodynamic temperature and follows the same increments as Celsius degrees, although there is no negative scale. Photographing in Kelvins gives a much truer colour representation. Being bold enough to swap AWB for K is work in progress.
Rob demonstrated Capture One on our last day, it was super intuitive and very quick which has given me plenty to think about – stick with what I know or go all out and try something new?
There are far more than five things that I’ve taken away with me, but these are the ones that I’m factoring into my wedding photography business.
My images from the day are here - RP Photography Workshop