Assignment #5 – Major Event

Photography 210
Scott Groller
Spring 2018

Assignment #5 – Major Event
(pushed back 2 weeks to be) Due Wednesday, May 23rd
That should be a fun night of presentations!

This is it. This is why we are here.

Identify an event which is exciting and joyful which you have permission to shoot, and make photographs which celebrate the energy, the players and the details of the experience. If this event is a wedding, you will make photographs which document the moments and textures of the day while making portraits of the major and minor players involved. If your event is not a wedding, shoot it as though it is by finding an important main subject or two and their support crew. Make photos of their experience and the moments which occur in their presence and wake. You MUST make at least one intentional formal portrait as part of this shoot.

Create a set of 12-20 images which are different enough that you can build a presentation of your work which both creates an emotional connection and also gives the viewer a sense of the visuals of the event. Process this set of images to achieve a clear and consistent visual style throughout the collection, and adjust individual images as necessary to bring them to a finished state. Make these photos great individually, make them work together, and make sure they hold up to comparison against work by other photographers within your market.

You will turn in:

A copy of your correspondence with your client. This can be theoretical.
A representation of your full shoot. Selects are good. Web galleries are great.
A finished set of 20 polished images, adjusted and retouched.
An invoice for the job. Again, this may be theoretical. pdf or similar is fine.

Your grade will be based on the following:

Capturing moments of importance and energy – 20 pts
Appropriate use of sharpness and focus – 20 pts
Ability to create pleasing, commercially useful compositions – 20 pts
Use of light to create clarity and mood – 20 pts
Proper image processing to enhance color, clarity and style – 20 pts

Timeline:
Client correspondence due 4/18 by email
Selects from shoot due in class by 5/4 for discussion

Please be sure to have your name on all parts of your assignment. Work will be reviewed in groups and feedback will come in the form of open discussion.

Case Study Assignment

Photography 210
Scott Groller
Spring 2018

Case Study
Due: Wednesday, April 25th

The purpose of this assignment is to force you to seek answers to questions from somebody you respect, and to establish a connection with a potential colleague. Identify a person working in the wedding industry who you feel can offer valuable insight into and perspective of wedding photography. Interview this person and collect their answers and your thoughts into a 2-page paper which will be shared with the class.

In order to provide a basic platform from which to build your questions, I would recommend that you consider the following:
Simple basic questions are useful in establishing who and what and where type answers.

People love to talk about themselves, people love to tell stories, people love to feel smart, and people love to talk smack. Ask questions which allow for all of this.

The business is always changing. Ask about change and how they see this affecting their business. What is coming?

Some people are willing to talk about their success.

People enjoy feeling like they are able to help. Asking for tips or advice may allow for this kind of answer.

Come up with some ideas of your own. Ask your own questions.

Your grade will be based on the following:

Fulfillment of the assignment in both form and concept – 33.3 pts.

Gaining a solid sense of the subject’s perspective on
the business of wedding photography – 33.3 pts.

Proper formatting and presentation – 33.3 pts.

Assignment #4 – Still Life

Photography 210
Scott Groller
Spring 2018

Still Life
Due: Wednesday, April 25th

This assignment may at first seem a little outside the realm of wedding photography, but there are many slow moments in-between the hustle and bustle. That is the perfect time to consider the value of finding or setting up a little still life. You’ll find yourself surrounded by scenes and objects which have been chosen with great care by someone who would be thrilled to see them represented in the photographs.

These photos may not draw the biggest print orders, but they are quite useful in other ways including use as backgrounds for album designs and slide show titles. They are also very useful in making a positive impression on the florist, bakery or wedding coordinator, who may ask for some pics. Sometimes forming strong relationships with partners is good for business.

Your assignment is to create a still life. This can be wedding related, but may also be something entirely different. Compose and light carefully, and use a tripod for maximum control and repeatability.

You will turn in:

One single perfect jpeg
Your Raw images
Your grade will be based on the following:

Fulfillment of the assignment in both form and concept – 20 pts.
A moving and balanced composition – 20 pts.
Strong clarity with little noise and deliberate focus – 20 pts.
Use of light to create emphasis and mood – 20 pts.
Sophistication of style and processing – 20 pts.

Assignment #3 – Formal Portrait

Photography 210
Scott Groller
Spring 2018

Assignment #3 – Formal Portrait
Due: Wednesday, March 28th

Create a deliberate, formal portrait of someone you know well. Control the subject, control the situation and control the environment to create a portrait in a setting which is appropriate for your subject and which aids in the expression of their personality.

Create or use lighting within your means and comfort level. Use light to control mood and enhance the personality of the subject.

You will shoot at least 72 photos of at least three different poses, and will be very aware of lighting, the setting and background, clothing, hair and makeup, sharpness, composition, and especially style. Above all, you will be aware of your subject’s expression and energy, and will work to capture that emotion in your photograph. Your final image will be projected for the class at the critique.

You will turn in:

Your flash drive containing all unadjusted images, your PSD file, and final image for the critique
Upload your choice for the critique to StuData
Your grade will be based on the following:

Fulfillment of the assignment in both form and concept – 20pts
Capturing expression – 20pts
Control of focus and motion blur – 20pts
Ability to create a pleasing composition – 20pts
Use of light to create clarity and mood – 20pts
Please be sure to have your name on all parts of your assignment. Work will be critiqued on the day the assignment is due, and all students must attend the critique.

Assignment #2 – Engagement Session

Photography 210
Scott Groller
Spring 2018

Assignment #2 – Engagement Session
Due: Wednesday, March 14th

Make photographs of two people which demonstrate their relationship while expressing something about their personality and your photographic style. Choose a public location which is appropriate for your subjects, resolve technical and artistic issues, and then engage with the subjects to create an image which catches a moment of real emotion and connection.

Create or use lighting within your means and comfort level. Use light to control mood and clarity, and to enhance the personality of the subject.

You will shoot at least 72 photos of at least three different poses which work to express engagement and relationship, and will be very aware of lighting, the setting and background, clothing, hair and makeup, sharpness, composition, and especially style. Above all, you will be aware of your subjects’ expressions and energy, and will work to capture that emotion in your photograph. Your final image will be projected for the class at the critique.

You will turn in:

Your flash drive containing all unadjusted raw images, your working PSD, and your final image for the critique

Your grade will be based on the following:

Capturing expression (20 pts)
Sharpness and appropriate use of focus (20 pts)
Ability to create a pleasing composition (20 pts)
Use of light to create clarity and mood (20 pts)
Proper image processing to enhance color, clarity and style (20 pts)

Please be sure to have your name on all parts of your assignment. Work will be critiqued on the day the assignment is due, and all students must attend the critique.

Assignment #1 – Small Event

Photography 210
Scott Groller
Spring 2018

Assignment #1 – Small Event
Due: Wednesday, February 21st

Your first assignment will be to photograph a real, small, live event. A get-together, a party, a meal, a show, a game if you must – any kind of event will work for this, but you must find a main character to follow and you must tell the story of their role. Essentially this is safe photojournalism in an uncontrollable setting while showing the context.

Do not create light, and try not to irritate people as you do your job. Do NOT delete anything.

Make at least 36 exposures (more is ok) in raw format, download them to your hard drive using Adobe Bridge and export a selection of 7 jpegs using Adobe Camera Raw. Create a new folder using your full name in our class folder on StuData and add your 7 jpegs to it.

You will turn in your flash drive which will contain 2 folders:
One folder with all raw photos made for this assignment
One folder with processed jpegs of your 7 selects

Your grade will be based on the following:
Fulfillment of the assignment in both form and concept (20 pts)
Success in learning to achieve correct exposure (20 pts)
Use of the camera to show the subject clearly (20 pts)
Use of light to create clarity and mood (20 pts)
Proper use of software to process raw images (20 pts)

Please be sure to have your name attached to your flash drive using a physical tag. Work will be critiqued on the day the assignment is due, and all students must attend the critique.

First Assignment

For your first assignment, I want to ask a friend or someone you know who recently got married if they would be comfortable answering a few questions for an assignment for school. Your questions and their answers may be asked in person and recorded in writing, or you could correspond through text/email. You will want to ask some form of the following questions:

Can you briefly describe your wedding? Where and when and who, and how fancy was it, and tell me what made it special?

Did you hire a photographer? How did you learn about them, where did you see their work?

Were you satisfied with their work? Why or why not?

What did you receive at the end of the process? If you do not mind sharing (no problem if you’re not comfortable), How much did you pay them?

What is your favorite photo from your wedding? Please (if at all possible) send a copy of the photo – just to get a sense of it. Why is this photo so special?

Once you receive a copy of the photo along with the answers, you will email all of it to me using the email address on your syllabus. In addition, please provide me with your full name and phone number. This way if I need to get a hold of you in an emergency or to make a change to our class schedule, I’ll be able to reach you quickly.

Happy chatting!

OH! and by the way, here are the answers:

1. Can you briefly describe your wedding? Where and when and who, how fancy was it, and tell me what made it special?

My wedding was located in Valencia, CA at the Bridgeport neighborhood community clubhouse. It is on a man-made lake with a lighthouse attached, and was a relatively casual wedding with around 120 people invited. What made it special was the location and the amazing warm weather for it being February, allowing us to do an outdoor wedding!

2. Did you hire a photographer? How did you learn about them, where did you see their work?

Yes, I did hire a photographer, Renee Bowen of Renee Bowen Photography (http://www.reneebowen.com/). I had heard about Renee from word of mouth, many people from my high school had used her for senior portraits, family photos, and of course for weddings. She is someone I have always wanted to work with!

3. Were you satisfied with their work? Why or why not?

I was definitely satisfied with Renee’s work. I felt as though she captured every memory I could have wanted from my wedding, as well as gave great direction on how to pose and where to stand for the perfect photo. She was well organized and very knowledgeable.

4. What did you receive at the end of the process? Pictures, book album? If you don’t mind sharing (no problem if you’re not comfortable), how much did you pay them?

I received a USB stick with every photo Renee took on it, personalized and in it’s own hard-covered box. I had the option for other packages, such as prints or books, but decided to go with the USB stick in order to have the rights to all of my photos and be able to print as many as I would like. Her wedding package price was $2120, and the photo stick was an additional $1500. I felt it was worth it!

5. What is your favorite photo from your wedding? (If at all possible) include a copy of it. (You can take a picture of it with your phone and send it with the email). Why is the photo so special?

One of my many favorite photos from my wedding is this one (attached)! I love the pose that she had us do sitting on the bench with the light coming from behind us. I feel as though it gives us a romantic glow, and it showcases my dress as well as my shoes which people hardly get to see!

. . .

1. Can you briefly describe your wedding? Wedding was a beautiful intimate wedding with 130 guests. The theme of the wedding were Large Daisies. 2. Where and when and who, and how fancy was it? The wedding was in a hotel garden and in the reception area in October. It was not that fancy but it was just enough fancy to give it the feel of an expensive wedding. 3. Tell me what made it special? I think what made it special was all the small touches I added to every piece of decoration. The small décor on each table or wall. It brought a nice feel to the place. 4. Did you hire a photographer? We did not choose the photographer. It was chosen for us as a gift. But yes we had a photographer. 5. How did you learn about them, We had not learned about them before. But we did hear about them after. 6. Where did you see their work? In an inside of a shopping mall 7. Were you satisfied with their work? Overall yes. I should have requested more candid photos instead of such formal positions.

. . .

Can you briefly describe your wedding? Where and when and who, and how fancy was it, and tell me what made it special
My wedding was on February 3, 2018. The ceremony was in DTLA at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Armenian Catholic Church and the Reception was at Bagramian Hall in Montebello, CA. In the Armenian tradition, we (the grooms family) go to the brides house with gifts and music to ask for the brides hand in marriage – even though we have been engaged for 4 years! Her father is at the door and the best man negotiates with him and when the price is right for the father he lets us in and we play music and dance, etc… It’s a lot of fun! The whole idea here is that this is the last time she will be at her home and her father is giving her to the other family officially.

It was fancy but not over the top and I love traditions so we had a lot of them like the one I described above. What made it really special is that even though we did have some of the usual traditions we did some unconventional things as well. Such as the musical selections at the church. My wife walked down the isle to the Young Frankenstein Theme instead of “Here comes the bride” which was awesome. We also did the exit of the ceremony to “The best is yet to come” It was awesome! Our first dance was “Nothing Else Matters” by Metallica which my friends played at the reception. Someone called it the most traditional / untraditional wedding ever.

Did you hire a photographer? How did you learn about them, where did you see their work?
Yes we did. Mher Vahakn Special Event Photography. He has actually been a friend for several years. We actually played a few shows together – he’s also a really good musician (percussionist) and graphic designer. He also did the artwork for two of my albums. I used him as a photographer for two of my orchestral concerts so when we were looking for someone for our wedding, he’s the first person that came to mind.
Were you satisfied with their work? Why or why not?
Yes he is great. We haven’t received any pictures yet because the wedding was last week but I know his quality of work and it’s amazing. He’s always at the right place at the right moment when capturing pictures.
What did you receive at the end of the process? If you do not mind sharing (no problem if you’re not comfortable), How much did you pay them?
I’m not sure of the final cost yet because he’s a friend and hasn’t given me a number! We will be receiving all the pictures digitally… and I believe some type of album.
What is your favorite photo from your wedding? Please (if at all possible) send a copy of the photo – just to get a sense of it. Why is this photo so special?
I don’t have any of the pictures yet.

. . .

Can you briefly describe your wedding? Where and when and who, and how fancy was it, and tell me what made it special?

-I got married at my hometown church in delano. We then travelled to Sanger for the reception.
The reception was formal, held at Wonder Valley Ranch Resort with a classic flamenco ensemble from LA serenading during cocktail hour. It was a very intimate evening but on the larger end of what is considered “small”- about 175 people. We had guests attend from across the country (mostly military friends) and having them along with our close family and friends all present was really a joy for us. The dance floor literally stayed completely packed all night until it was time to go- so I’d say the best part was that everyone had a great time
Did you hire a photographer? How did you learn about them, where did you see their work?

-Yes Eliseo Valdovinos and his crew. (Valdophye Photography) he photographed my older sister’s quinceanera back in ‘95 when he was just starting his photography business, then her wedding 10 years later, then mine!
Were you satisfied with their work? Why or why not? What did you receive at the end of the process? If you do not mind sharing (no problem if you’re not comfortable), How much did you pay them?

-I was definitely happy and content but honestly I felt they came up short with the “Ah” factor. I expected at least one shot that was worth enough to display in his studio but that wasn’t the case. I liked the photos but I was disappointed that he didn’t capture “the one” if you know what I mean? I opted for the full video footage of the day vs the trailer option that only captured the key moments. And a bunch of edited photos, two large albums and some mini pocket albums. If i recall correctly it was around 5k.

What is your favorite photo from your wedding? Please (if at all possible) send a copy of the photo – just to get a sense of it. Why is this photo so special?

-Probably this one, Just because it was honestly candid although it looked staged haha. They wanted us to hide behind the cover (cliche) but I just grabbed the sword and looked out at the last second…

Can you briefly describe your wedding? Where and when and who, and how fancy was it, and tell me what made it special?

Hi! My name is Peter Nguyen and my wife’s name is Nellie Nguyen. We were married on a scorching hot Saturday in September (9/9/17). We held our ceremony & reception at the York Manor in Highland Park, a small suburb of Los Angeles and what many believe to be the new hipster capital of the city. We chose this location based on it’s central and quaint location, in addition to the venue’s ability to be a blank canvas for however we wanted to dress up our wedding. The wedding itself was not too fancy at all, it was actually quite casual; we had a buffet-style reception Mexican dinner; we did everything from decorations, vendor rentals, floral arrangements, etc., to help keep costs manageable. We tried to have the overall decor of the wedding be classic, yet whimsical. What made it special was our friends and family coming from all over the state to help with all the setup the day prior to the wedding. We couldn’t have done it without them!

Did you hire a photographer? How did you learn about them, where did you see their work?

Yes, we hired an acquaintance of a good friend, who just happened to be studying to become a wedding photographer. It was to be her first hired gig! We saw her online portfolio, and although she had no prior wedding photography experience, we could see she had the right eye based on her portfolio work.
Were you satisfied with their work? Why or why not?

Yes and no, but not entirely by any fault of our photographer. The day went by so fast and when things got too hectic, the wedding timeline/schedule had to be shifted and there were some moments and people we were not able to capture on film, for example: photos with our parents, a solo photo of us before and after the wedding, etc. We also loved that she shot on film and digital, as the shots on film were some of our most favorite ones. She also brought an assistant who was able to cover more ground throughout the day, which was greatly appreciated.
What did you receive at the end of the process? If you do not mind sharing (no problem if you’re not comfortable), How much did you pay them?

We received a DVD copy with all film images on it; a flash drive with all the digital shots; and a folder of negatives from the actual film. We got the “friend’s discount” and were only charged $500 for the day, in addition any film, printing and developing costs.
What is your favorite photo from your wedding? Please (if at all possible) send a copy of the photo – just to get a sense of it. Why is this photo so special?

There’s a shot of us just as we’re just about to kneel on the altar, taken from a ground perspective. It’s our favorite because you could absolutely see the myriad of emotions we were then experiencing clearly on our faces, haha. Joy, love, appreciation, with a healthy dose of nervousness and anxiety, as we were about to wing our vows in front of everyone. Also, it’s just a beautiful picture. I’ve attached it below.

Faeze Ilkhani
Can you briefly describe your wedding? Where and when and who, and how fancy was it, and tell me what made it special?
My wedding ceremony was so beautiful. My ceremony was in Shahriar Garden and we had about 250 guests. It was on September 2015 and we hired Retina Photography for our wedding day. Our ceremony was not too much fancy and not too much simple. It was like a medium class wedding and not a luxury event. Our ceremony had two sections. One was a garden where are the guests sited there, and the other one was a dance floor that was in the building.

Did you hire a photographer? How did you learn about them, where did you see their work?
Yes, we hired a photographer. I know my photographer from one of my friend’s sister and it was basically referral. After knowing our photographer name, I went to their Instagram page and see their works. I like most of their photos, and also, I read the comments and find out that most of the people were satisfied with their work.

Were you satisfied with their work? Why or why not?
I satisfied with their work. I like my albums and my photos a lot. Also, after my ceremony I recommended them to my other friends.

What did you receive at the end of the process? If you do not mind sharing (no problem if you’re not comfortable), How much did you pay them?
We receive one 15” *15” inches wedding album, about thirty 5” *7” ceremonial photos, 1 bridal photo on canvas.
We pay about 2,000 dollars.

What is your favorite photo from your wedding? Please (if at all possible) send a copy of the photo – just to get a sense of it. Why is this photo so special?
I love this photo because it is not like a posing photo. At that moment, our photographer tell us just talking to each other and feeling that there is no camera over there. Me and my husband just looking at each other’s eyes and then just laughing together. After I saw the picture, it reminds me about our feeling at that moment and besides that I really love the composition and how gorgeous both of us look in the photo.

1. Outdoor wedding at a family friends house in Northern California. The reception was outside in a field but the after wedding activities were inside on the property. It was a modern wedding with lots of family. They felt having their whole family there was the special part. 2. Yes they hired a photographer, they heard of them from the groom sister who also used the same photographer. 3. They were satisfied because they had lots of photos to post on social media, and a phonebook. 4. Their favorite photo is of the couple dancing on the dance floor

15 Minute Portrait Assignment

Scott Groller
Photo 215
Fall 2017

Portrait Assignment
Due Wednesday, November 1st

 

As a photojournalist, you have to be flexible and you need to be able to work quickly. There is often no time nor ability to set up something fancy and time consuming when making a portrait. Sometimes you only get 10 minutes, sometimes only 3.

For this assignment, consider yourself lucky. You have 15 minutes from the moment you arrive in the location with your subject. Immediately make a photo that shows both of your feet, and begin work, making a good portrait by the end of your short session. Pick your best and process it for presentation.

You will turn in a flash drive on Nov. 1st with this project and the portrait project on it, containing all raw and jpeg choices for each assignment.

You will be graded on the following:

25pts. Completion of the assignment in form and concept
25pts. Attention to timing to show the subject in a good moment
25pts. Control of exposure and sharpness to show detail and create mood
25pts. Use of the elements of composition to communicate clearly and intentionally

Bring your jpegs for presentation on either 10/25 or 11/1