Precision Camera Wedding Workshop

I have had some requests to do wedding photography of late and I figured I would do some exploration, learning, buy some equipment and try to find a workshop.  Precision Camera University offered a one-day wedding workshop and the instructor was Dustin Meyer.  Our location was the fabulous Chateau Bellevue and the setting couldn’t have been better!  We also had several companies donate or loan items for our use during the workshop and they include:  Verbena Floral Design, Yes, More Please, Signature Bridal Salon; and Profoto Lighting.

Dustin Meyer Wedding Workshop Instructor

Dustin Meyer
Wedding Workshop Instructor

who is an awesome wedding photographer in the Austin area.  Having done a lot of photography related to wildlife, landscapes and other non-human subjects, I entered the day with a bit of trepidation only having one prior experience with portrait photography.  My concerns were quickly dismissed by Mandy (Precision Camera University Director), Dustin and the fact that most of the workshop participants were coming from other photography fields such as sports, family portraits, and similar fields.  The opening lecture was brief but concise and extremely helpful.  I found it a great start to the day because we didn’t just jump right into photographing the mock wedding.  After instructing us on what we REALLY need, the basic camera settings we should use, various lighting techniques and then composition, we were off to meet our models.  The cool thing is our models, Ash and Anna are actually getting married this weekend so the chemistry was great and you could tell they were a great match.  Anna is a makeup artist who helps on the workshops and Ash works with a catering business.

We started off photographing each in their respective dressing rooms and I started using the Canon 1D Mark III with the 40mm pancake.  I pushed the ISO to 3200 and to say the Canon 1D Mark III isn’t up to the challenge of high ISO’s is an understatement.  I will be getting the Canon 6D body as soon as possible for wedding and night photography where high ISO’s are critical.  While I did get some nice shots on the 1D Mark III at high ISO, I know I can get better with the 6D.

One of the best parts of the workshop was that each student had time to pose the model, move the model and find their own shot.  We were never told to take the shot like this or that, creativity was left to you!

Here are my favorites from the dressing rooms (click on images to see larger version):

Anna in Silhouette

Anna in Silhouette

Ash in B&W Dressing Room

Ash in B&W
Dressing Room

After the dressing room, we took the wedding dress and set about trying to capture the right setting.  After trying with the Canon 40mm Pancake lens, I knew I needed a wider lens so I got my Canon 17-40 f/4 lens and took some more shots.  These two are my favorites:

Wedding Dress with Grain

Wedding Dress with Grain

Wedding Dress

Wedding Dress

Once we finished with the dress, we worked with the shoes (what women doesn’t want to remember her shoes from the Big Day)!  I wasn’t blown away by any of my captures.  I had a nice idea but I just didn’t get lined up like I would have liked.

Wedding Shoes

Wedding Shoes

Things really got fun when we went outside to work with the bride and groom in various poses.  Anna and Ash were outstanding in working together, posing, having fun, smiling and cutting up.  I can’t thank them enough for making what we did easier!  These are a few of shots I am proud of:

Walking Together

Walking Together

Off They Go

Off They Go

That Look

That Look

Out the Door

Out the Door

Don't Let Go

Don’t Let Go

Ash Looking Dapper

Ash Looking Dapper

Ash Pondering the Big Day

Ash Pondering the Big Day

Ash Looking Good

Ash

A Loving Embrace

A Loving Embrace

Ash Awaits His Bride

Ash Awaits His Bride

Anna's Got the Look

Anna’s Got the Look

Anna Looking Beautiful

Anna Looking Beautiful

Anna & Bouquet

Anna & Bouquet

Anna Framed

Anna Framed

A Private Moment

A Private Moment

A Loving Embrace

Hold My Hand

I was very pleased with the performance of the Canon 70-200 f/2.8 II lens on the Canon 7D.  It was almost too easy.  I really worked at capturing angles, moments, and view that no one else was trying.  Sometimes I succeeded and sometimes I just plain missed it.  After a wonderful lunch and giving our models a break, we gave our best at photographing the rings, the cake, some indoor shots, and bridal portraits.  Unfortunately, while shooting with the Profoto lights, another photographer was standing in the light and his shadow fell on the bride.  I loved the shot, but the shadow was completely inadvertent and things happen.  Here are the ones I like:

On the wedding ring shot, focus locked on the rear ring and hence the front ring is not sharp.  I loved the composition, but this shot would be a throw away.

Wedding Rings

Wedding Rings

I had a lot of fun working on the cake:

Cake

Cake

Close Up of Cake

Close Up of Cake

Cake Topper

Cake Topper

Finally, we worked on some indoor shots and while my flash shots didn’t work due to the shadow and I am not a huge fan of flash indoors, I did get a couple of natural light shots I love:

Mirror, Mirror

Mirror, Mirror

Anna in Natural Light

Anna in Natural Light

After we put our cameras back in the bag, Dustin shared with us about marketing, pricing, and then spent a lot of time answering our questions.  I had a great time and can’t wait to learn more!

I will leave you with one of my favorite shots of the day:

Congrats to Ash & Anna

Congrats to Ash & Anna