88 Portrait SPEED-SHOOTING in 9 Minutes and 16 seconds - UNCUT REAL TIME version 11 min

88 Portrait SPEED-SHOOTING in 9 Minutes and 16 seconds - UNCUT real time version TIME LAPS 3 min

88 Portrait SPEED-SHOOTING in 9 Minutes and 16 seconds - “Making of” Enriched EDITED VERSION 16 min

LINDA REVEALS HER SECRET

Technical details on speed shooting 88 portraits in 9 minutes and 16 seconds, by Linda-Köhler Sandring

The BOUNCE-WALL speed shooting that I imposed upon myself really put pressure on me at this beautiful wedding celebration. It was pouring rain just 15 minutes before the table could be set, and a few minutes after the BOUNCE-WALL speed shooting it started up again. So I had a rain-free window of clouds/sun/clouds/sun of about 45 minutes. My only chance to capture the series of 88 portraits with the BOUNCE-WALL that day.

I normally shoot such portraits at dawn or dusk, because then I don't have to flash out the daylight as much. And I can work with an aperture 2.0 to reduce the focus range. That's my favorite aperture for portraits.

But such is the life of a photographer: On a day as special as a wedding day, we have to anticipate any kind of weather and be able to handle it, no matter how inclement. I want to offer every bridal couple this extraordinary quality. They should always be guaranteed high-quality pictures, regardless of the weather.

So: Plan B = Very short exposure time to rob the sun of power and lots of flash output to outshine the sun. After all, we want a "studio situation" for the portraits.

Camera: Canon 5DM3

Lens: Canon 24 - 70 mm (always set to 50 mm)

Flash: Canon 580EXII full power, TTL

Shutter speed: 1/400th

Aperture: 22 (I only use it in a pinch)

It's important to talk to the guest before taking his or her picture. Establish contact. It is great if the guests are all wearing name tags. Then I can address each person by name.

I took only one or two pictures of most of the guests. After years of experience, I usually know whether or not the picture is right.  Most of the time I do not even need to look at the display. I almost always know: I got it! That was good! 

And now the best part: Retouching all the pictures took less than five minutes.

Why? After choosing the best of the very few pictures actually taken, 88 different portraits were left over. They all had the same exposure and the same black background, and they were all taken without daylight being a factor.

The conditions for synchronization in Lightroom were nearly perfect, because they were the same for all 88 images. This is what I set:

Focus: 61

Clarity +3

Lights -59

Vignetting -51

 

Then the photos were ready to be printed. 

So:

  • Less than 10 minutes for 88 great portraits - you've probably never heard of that!
  • About five minutes of synchronizing to fine-tune the photos
  • The guests were all sitting at the table waiting for the food to be served. I entertained everyone and they all had fun participating in the portrait series. No one had to go to a separate portrait corner, which tends to be aggravating and interfere with the good mood - and that good mood is obviously better for shooting the guests. So all of the wedding guests were relaxed for the photos, because they could see that it was absolutely painless for the person sitting next to them. This special shooting actually created a party mood.

 

The BOUNCE-WALL speed shooting was over before it even really got started. The perfect solution for a day when there is already enough going on.

I can rely absolutely on the BOUNCE-WALL.

It is just a simple piece of plastic, positioned to the side and slightly above the faces, that reflects the flash at just the right angle.

 

This BOUNCE-WALL is as small as a standard sheet of letter paper - just big enough to create the perfect portrait lighting and 15 - 20 times larger than a normal flash.

If I know what I want, the BOUNCE-WALL can always accommodate me: all of the TTL functions remain intact, the flash stays where it always is, and all of the electrical contacts on the flash base can be used.

 

I can use the time saved for the most beautiful, classic wedding motifs. And the black and white portraits can be sold to family members as a separate album.

Which family can claim a who's who of their loved ones - compiled on the bridal couple's wedding day? All of the guests are decked out in finery, which is how they want to show themselves to others and be seen in an album.

 

And I have more time to deal with the couple's friends. I am particularly passionate about group and couple pictures. All of the guests got to know me, and they saw how precise and cheerful I am as I work. The proof is in the awesome pictures they see after the wedding. It paves the way for more wedding jobs.

 

Since I have been using the BOUNCE-WALL, my weddings are much more relaxed. Once I have been around the table, I know that I have captured every single guest. I'm sure you know what I mean: Did I get a picture of that guest or not? With my new wedding photograph production strategy, that no longer happens to me.