Door 21: Jumping for Joy at Ellenborough Park
Kids add a lot of character to wedding photographs. To an extent, they epitomise the happiness of the big day.
In today’s picture we’re back at Ellenborough Park in Cheltenham, where the bride and groom’s whole day took place. By this point (as you can probably tell) the evening reception has just begun. There’s generally a short period when the DJ has finished setting up but the guests aren’t quite ready (read: drunk enough) to dance. Almost without fail in this time frame, if there are kids at the wedding they’ll be on the dancefloor having a great time.
For me, it’s the perfect opportunity to warm-up my flash set-up and get working in the often much darker conditions before the first dance. In this wedding I was doing just that – testing everything out making sure I had everything set the way I like. It was at this point that I saw this moment unfold.
Now, I’m going to take you behind the scenes here. Yet again, as with a previous blog entry in this ‘blogvent calendar’, this was not my first attempt at this photograph. It actually took several goes – this girl was jumping up and down repeatedly, I was getting each shot in the bag, but I remember being told once to shoot 25% more once you think you’ve got the shot. I do this for most of my photographs. It helps me to minimise the annoying moment of getting what I think was ‘the’ shot and then 20 seconds later a better one comes along.
For the photographers, another exercise in zone focusing here as I manually focused to make sure the area the girl was jumping in was going to be sharp. I was playing it safe with a high ISO and as expected the flash managed to freeze the action. Were I to shoot this image again, I’d aim to drop the ISO to maybe 8000 or 6400, put the aperture to around f/11 and increase the flash output. This would achieve the effect of slightly less ambient light and give a bit more contrast from the direct flash.