Netframes’ “Behind the Lens with Brett Florens” app for iPad and iPhone takes us on an engaging wedding day shoot with top photographer Brett Florens. We follow this skilled professional as he guides us through the entire day, from arrival at the groom’s house and the couple’s preparation, to bridal and outdoor portraits, the church, reception, first dance, cake cutting, and more.
The app’s greatest strength is the comprehensive insight it provides into the hectic day. As we follow the admirably calm Brett from one setting to another, he shares his expert choices of equipment, exposure, wedding day proceedings, photographer’s conduct on the day, subject lighting, and pose. There are countless tips for every aspect of wedding photography, including constructive use of time on the day, building rapport with the couple, and tackling lighting challenges that arise. Coupled with the gorgeous resulting images, this information amounts to a priceless and highly-effective photography lesson.
Behind Brett’s masterful presentation hides an astounding amount of useful photographic detail. For a single outdoor shot of the groom riding a bike, for example, Brett explains how he uses pocket wizards—wireless transceivers—so that the flash can be triggered from 20-30 meters away. He attaches one to the camera and the other to the flash before bringing in a portable strobe unit to freeze the action. On this overcast day, Brett sets the camera to 400 ISO with a 200 shutter speed. The ambient light is around 200 at F11 and, as Brett explains, he is shooting at F14 to slightly underexpose the background and separate it from the subject.
Brett’s clear delivery is enhanced by the app’s superb editing. The overall emphasis is on elevating your photography—whatever your level of expertise—and creating classy images.
Some of the many tips I jotted down were shooting in pairs so you have images for both sides of the wedding album, getting at least one good shot of all bridesmaids and groomsmen, getting a shot of the groom as he listens to the bride’s reception speech, using an extension chord for the flash to get directional lighting, getting ambient light into a dancing shot (set to tenth of a second on F4), and checking image histogram on the fly. Brett chooses one histogram to show lack of highlights in the 1/125, F4, 400 ISO shot. On this occasion, he tackles the problem by slowing the shutter down to a tenth of a second, allowing ambient light in and adding atmosphere.
His ultimate control over his equipment is evident throughout. In one outdoor shoot, Brett makes a daylight shot look like it was taken at night, and in another reprints-generating shot, uses a wide-angle lens on a raised monopod for a photo outside the church that includes the couple’s entire guest party.
Brett’s professionalism provides a worthy lesson in fast thinking and thorough understanding of both ambient light and your equipment. When the light drops dramatically, Brett takes atmospheric shots of the couple before bringing the Ranger power pack into action. He swiftly adjusts his equipment for the reception, which is shot in a photojournalistic style with many emotive and candid images. After taking several detail shots around the room, Brett backs up onto the Epson P5000, where we get a glimpse of the many images taken so far. Using a 12-24mm lens and a slow shutter speed, he captures the couple’s arrival with lively images that have a sweeping effect, a fetching touch of drag, and sense of motion.
For the speeches, he uses a 600watt Elinchrome head with a white umbrella, a lighting set up which, as Brett explains, is suitable throughout as it covers both guests and speakers. For the first dance, Brett’s assistant shines a 2 million power flash light to illuminate the bride’s veil, allowing Brett to shoot romantic, warm images without a flash.
This is a superbly put together app that is guaranteed to elevate your wedding photography to a higher level and help you produce classier ‘winning shots’. It is a comprehensive and friendly guide to wedding photography, bursting with priceless photography tips for life. If you are curious about wedding photography or a practicing professional wishing to significantly improve your output and clientele, this app is for you.
Pick it up in the iTunes Store.