When Jeremy and Emma approached me about including a Story Art piece as part of their wedding day coverage I was initially hesitant. My composites often takes hours of pre planning, not to mention the time that would need to be allocated to the shoot itself, on the wedding day. I love to take a challenge and run with it though, so it wasn’t long (10 minutes?) before I was dreaming up ideas for their custom wedding Story Art piece
Jeremy and Emma hired us under our Wedding/Portrait business, Emerald Eye Photography, to cover their wedding day in Adelaide on Saturday the 14th of November, 2015. Together, my husband Stuart and I have been photographing weddings for over a decade. Our challenge for this wedding was to fly interstate, ensure we had all the gear required for both the wedding and the composite, and fit everything into the one day. We not only photographed the wedding, but also captured video clips to be put together into a Wedding VideoStory. During the reception we created a same day slideshow of 100 images from the wedding day. Our day ran from 8:30am to 2:30 am the following morning!
The Back Story
Jeremy Sebastian is a Pro Boxer. When Jeremy and Emma gave me their lists of interests, I struggled to try and come up with a concept that fit both of them within one Story Art piece. Emma enjoys romantic comedies, classic architecture, old fashioned class and charm.
With a massive bridal party of 14 (16 including Page Boy Hudson and Flower Girl Indi) coming up with an all in one composite was proving challenging. Jeremy’s interests were also polar opposites to his fiance’s, preferring action and adventure over classic romance.
I pondered on the perfect image for some time until one night, after being woken up by my daughter at 3am and not being able to get back to sleep, I formulated the plan for two separate images. One telling the story of the Bride getting ready and one telling the story of the Groom getting ready. By breaking them up into two separate artworks I was able to bring into focus each of their interests (and also create a more manageable piece with less people to fit in each image).
Knowing that Boxing was close to Jeremy’s heart, I came up with the idea you see here to tell the story of his day, one last ‘hurrah’ before the ceremony.
Below you can see all of the images that made up the final composite. EVERY SINGLE CAPTURE was photographed on the wedding day. Why? Why not capture some of the images on a different day? In order to enter specific photography competitions all elements in a wedding composite must have been photographed on the same day. Crazy? Yes probably, but nothing like pushing the limits
We needed to capture the boys in a real Boxing Ring. Thank you to Cardio Flex for allowing us to make use of your space on a busy Saturday morning! The day prior Stuart and I spent a few hours mapping out the scene and taking test shots to ensure that the actual shoot on the wedding day would go smoothly. Three hours of preparation meant a smooth 30 minute shoot on the day of the wedding.
Behind the Scenes of the Shoot
Thank you to Jeremy, Chris and Guy Sebastian for sharing in this Video about your experience. It’s one thing to see the shoot in action, but to hear from those involved helps others to understand it CAN BE DONE! I’m not saying it was easy (far from it), but I’m determined to break the mould in Photography and offer something to my clients that previously was only available for big budget corporate ad campaigns.
[Ok, pause here. Yes… You did see Guy Sebastian, crazy talented, multi Aria Awarded, first ever Australian Idol, X-Factor Judge, Eurovision superstar. Guy is also a skilled photographer and is the Canon Ambassador for Australia. You also probably noticed super talented Chris Sebastian who recently dominated in The Voice, taking a few flying leaps… Take a deep breath. Good, now, focus. Back to the image and the main stars of this show, the Bride and Groom, Jeremy and Emma Sebastian]
Speed Edit of the Photoshop Process
I want to thank a number of companies that made it possible for me to manage this challenging project in such a streamlined manner. As you will have seen in the behind the scenes video, I had set up a tripod with my Tether Tool’s equipment which enabled me to view the images in the boxing ring as I shot them. My Canon 5Diii was connected to my Wacom Cintiq Companion 2. I also have aSony A7Rii which for this project was utalised for the behind the scenes video and photography.
Thank you to Coloured Smoke – colouredsmoke.com.au who sent out a great assortment of smoke sticks that we used during the Story Art image as well as on location. (See in the Behind the Scenes Video)
ProTog supplied me with the lighting I utilised for the project. I set up two Jinbei HD600’s. One was set up as a rim light behind to the right and the other was set up as a fill with an 80cm Jinbei Beauty Dish (collapsable). This lighting enabled me to create a stylised look that added to the highly commercial feel of the image.
I’m so pleased with the end result of this image. I was asked if this is what I envisioned when I came up with the idea in my mind. Truth is it’s even better. I originally hadn’t planned to use the guests and the church in the background. This was a decision made on the morning of the shoot. I really love how Jeremy’s close family members are part of the finished scene, including of course his beautiful Bride, Emma.
Would I do this again? Yes, but for a premium. A lot of work went into this image as you can see. This is not something I recommend for a budget couple. If you are wanting to integrate composites into your wedding photography I believe it to be a great addition to coverage. The important thing would be not to under charge. Ensure you are valuing your work, your time and your skill.
For us, we will be offering exclusive limited wedding packages to a maximum of 5 couples per year at a minimum of $10,000. For the sort of coverage and product we provided this couple the price would be closer to 15 – 20k. Prior to this wedding we were going to give up weddings all together, however we’ve created demand for a product that is exclusive, elusive and sought after, hence the price base.
There are many ways however you could include creative compositing into your wedding or portrait coverage, it need not be as intense as our project. There is the option of utilizing stock (we didn’t as I would like to enter photographic competitions that require all images to be shot on the wedding day). There is also the potential of having a scene pre-prepared and just shooting for that scene.
About The Author
Karen Alsop is an award winning Australian, Melbourne based photographic digital artist and educator. Expanding on two decades of photographic and graphic design experience, Karen brings photography and art together to create stunning artworks that tell a story and take the viewer into another world. you ca see more of Karen’s work on her website, portfolio, and 500px. And you can also catch her on Facebook, Instagram and Youtube.
P.S. Karen also created a matching composite for the bride, you can read all about it here.