Thursday, March 4, 2010

Shooting A Baptism | davem photography

A couple of weeks ago I was contacted to shoot a baptism, I shot a previous one last year. Not something I advertise to do, but something I'll certainly shoot when asked.
I was contacted by Nicole, a former co-worker that was having her daughter baptized as well as her friend's daughter. One of the things I'm always concerned about is shooting in low light as you would expect in a church. This is why shooting weddings requires fast lenses and cameras that can shoot cleanly at high ISOs.

Luckily I was able to use flash to help with the low light. Unfortunately, going off camera was going to be difficult considering it was a dual baptism with about 30 family members and close friends in attendance. On camera flash was the only way to go and be mobile to shoot wide group shots and then quickly switch to tight shots.
There's also my concern of balancing ambient light with the flash. Making sure light is soft and compliments the surrounding. In other words, I want the images I capture to look better than a point & shoot camera.

I shot the entire event using a 17-40 mm lens at f/4 and ISO 800. I would have liked to have rented a 24-70 mm f/2.8 and shot at a wider aperture, but considering the large groups I was shooting, I was glad to shoot wide at 17 mm.
At an event like this and especially a wedding, you're going to have a lot of activity going on and a lot of family members also taking pictures. Patience is a prerequisite and you can't easily be flustered.

There's always a lesson to be learned on any assignment and things I would have done differently. First of all, I should have balanced the flash with a CTO gel to match the ambient light. Not a big deal, but something I noticed when editing the images and I'd rather have consistent color of light throughout. I also would have liked an assistant to help place individuals and keep others from walking through shots and out of the frame. It's difficult for one person, the photographer, to manage 30 individuals and pay attention to proper exposure and flash levels.

Overall I had a great experience and they were very happy with the images.

I prefer to shoot in color and do very little black & white conversion, but I tried a couple this time around and like the next 2 images in B&W.

If you're looking for a portrait photographer in the Atlanta area, visit my portfolio.

No comments: