On August 10th, 2013, I had the chance to shoot a paid event, my first paid gig ever. I know it’s been a very long time since then, but I finally decided to post my thoughts and work.
I’ll try to go over what I did and how I went about doing it all. And of course some of my favorite photos.
I was hired on by a couple looking for a photographer to shoot their baby’s (his name is Aiden) Christening. This was my first paid shoot, so I was pretty nervous to say the least.
August 10th, the day of my shoot, I woke with much anticipation. I got to the church a bit early, and had some extra time to figure out the settings I needed. I didn’t expect the church to be as dark as it was. It was verrryyy dark. Since it was a private ceremony, the priest didn’t feel the need to turn on the lights. Thank God I rented a flash (the Sony HVL- F58AM). The family started coming in, and they prepared the baby and everything. This is where I started firing.
Sony 50mm 1.8
(Rented) Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG APO OS HSM
(Rented) Sony HVL-F58AM Flash
Everyone was scrambling about, holding Aiden, and greeting him. I think that I got some of the most interesting photos before the Christening.
Relatives holding Aiden before the ceremony.
These moments gave me a chance to shoot some documentary style / candid photos.
Aiden’s mom holding him.
I was shooting on the 70-200 at that time (and for both of the photos above). I didn’t want to get in the way of anyone, so the telephoto was the lens for this. Probably notably, I was shooting wide open, at f/2.8. I shot approximately 95% of all the photos wide open, albeit the 70-200mm or 50mm. I know I know, you should always stop down to get lenience in case of a moving subject… but I needed light so badly, I couldn’t afford to stop down. The a57 generally creates crap images at ISO 1600 and above, so 800 was the max ISO I was willing to use. Despite having the flash on camera, light was still a hard to come by for the most part.
Anyways, the ceremony began and I continued to shoot with the 70-200 and flash. I got multiple photos of the parents and baby sitting together in the pews, and of course, the baptism itself.
One of my favorite shots of the parents and baby in the pews.
After the ceremony and all, photos of the whole family were taken.
I believe I switched to the 50mm then, to get a wider angle to capture everyone together.
After all that, while still in the church, I shot some more photos of Aiden with some individual family photos.
Definitely one of my favorite photos from that day. Aiden, held by his dad. The other photo taken with his dad that I liked very very much as well can be found here http://bit.ly/1apF5OI
Following the ceremony, I along with some close family and friends, went to the parents’ home. There we shot some nicer individual photos with Aiden, along with some interesting photos of Aiden himself (like this one for example, posted earlier: http://bit.ly/17eqzoh).
We shot many photos on the family’s patio, and I for one was very happy to be shooting in natural light! I love shooting with natural light. Until that day, I never had any true experience with a flash. I was scared of the flash, and always have seen how much a flash can botch an image. But when you use a flash properly and subtly, however, I love it and it really wins me over. All of the above photos were shot using a flash, but they were all my favorite because the flash looks real good (my opinion)! But I do indeed feel wayyy more comfortable shooting with natural light, when I actually have daylight at my disposal.
One of my Top 3 Photos from the day, not sure which place, but it’s up there. All natural light this time!
On the patio, I was using the 50mm 1.8, cause the patio isn’t the largest in the world, and I just love my 50mm. I love shooting with primes, especially the 50mm. (Side note: My next lens just needs to be that Sigma 35mm… ruhh so nice!). They had their dog with them, and it was the chillest dog I ever got to take a picture of… it literally posed for me! You can see those photos here: http://bit.ly/19Kuo98
Being at home with the family, it allowed me to capture some intimate moments - something that I highly recommend new photographers to do. Those are usually the nicest pictures. I got to shoot a lot of candids, and I loved it.
This was a particularly beautiful moment & photo I shot on the patio.
In the evening I covered the ceremony, and that was it. From there it took me a few full days to go through all the photos and to edit them. I processed all the photos using VSCO Film 02.
The couple was very happy with the photos and nothing else made me feel better than doing what I love and having people enjoy it.
It was a lot of hard work, I was quite exhausted after shooting it all and also editing the photos. At least this hard work is going into my passion. Thanks for reading, and hope you enjoyed the photos!