by Mark Cleghorn Published 01/08/2008
The making of Mark Cleghorn's latest training CD
One of the benefits of teaching photography to professional photographers, as well as shooting in the real world for clients, is that I find myself constantly looking at my everyday work and assessing its merits for both my clients and for you too.
I have had many photographers accompany me on a wedding day. This is the only true way to improve your wedding photography in the real world, by seeing how someone else copes under the same circumstances - this was how the first Confetti & Lace film came about.
In The Beginning There Was Film
In 1995 I made my first Confetti & Lace film, in fact this film was the very first training film that I had ever made and one of the first to be made on wedding photography. Those were the good old days of classical photography with structured posing and groups, Hasselblad cameras and tripods, not forgetting that near-extinct product called film. The response to this film was overwhelming, as it allowed photographers to take a glimpse of a real photographer working his butt off on a real wedding. I waited until the new millennium before shooting Confetti & Lace II.
In the five-year gap since the last Confetti & Lace, weddings have really changed due to the introduction of the civil ceremony, brides and grooms were abandoning some, or all, of the traditional wedding day and had begun commissioning photographers who were more informal than previously. My photography has always been a mix between formal and informal, so style-wise nothing had really changed there. However, my Nikon-shooting B&W had been replaced by a Kodak Nikon 2 million pixel 620x, (yes 2 million pixels can you believe that my phone has more?). Digital had only replaced my informals, as my main images were still being captured on a Hasselblad. The very next year with the launch of the Kodak 760, a six million pixel camera, I jumped fully to digital, and have never looked back.
Eight years on brings us right up to date, with the new Confetti & Lace III film being shot in April 2008 and boy have things changed since the last one - with the major one being no more film. However, the amount of on-camera flash has increased compared with the other training films as I shoot all my groups now with flash, informal and formal, not forgetting the now non-existent tripod. I very rarely use one nowadays due to the ability to jump to higher ISO in the middle of a shoot
Once again this film includes over 1½ hours of me on a real wedding, giving live commentary where possible and then some dubbed commentary to explain important techniques and set-ups even further.
This training film is wedding photography at its most raw, dealing with situations as they arrive and due to its live filming there is instruction literally all the time. There are no models in this wedding, but real people, in real situations, on their most special day. As in previous films I have tried to make them not only for teaching technique but also to give a rare insight into the everyday techniques that I use on a wedding in both the lighting and posing of the bride, groom and guests. We also show the fun and informal animation of the couple with real expressions from real people in real time.
When shooting the details of the day, always head for a window, especially when the details are small items, it saves blasting anything away with flash.
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