For fiancees and their parents

For a photo to be like a sentimental journey, it must contain a dose of emotions captured by the photographer

My first wedding, with my first digital camera, was 17 years ago. In a few years, I have been a photographer at over forty weddings. Then there was a break of several years. I undertook ambitious tasks. I worked for the theater, for illustrated magazines. I started filming. I created for the Mazowsze team and the Śląsk team. I made reportages, documentaries and commercials.

Last year my friends asked me to register their wedding. It reminded me of the old days. I decided to go back to the vows. This time, armed with filming equipment.

Dear fiancées, dear parents of fiancées!

To create an original image, you need more than put the viewfinder to your eye and press the shutter.

I saw the wretched faces of the newlyweds when they watched the miserable fruits of the work of Mrs. Jadzia the photographer and Mr. Stas the cameraman, otherwise very nice people, cheerful, open, friendly, even charming and, in addition, really hard-working.

So what should a photographer or filmmaker be like?

open minded

who can adapt to the space in which he has to work. A wedding is not a film set where you can double until it is done. It is impossible to repeat the marriage vow, it is impossible to repeat the first dance.

In fact, nothing but outdoor shots can be repeated.

Discreet

who does not clown, does not run like crazy around the church, distracting the mood of the moment and place. Registration should be almost imperceptible. The delight with the photo and the question of the young people are characteristic: When did the Lord do it?

With the right photo equipment

and not decorated like a Christmas tree with the latest technological marvels, the excess of which, apart from tickling the ego of the “snapper”, does not help at work. When I see “snaps” in action, I often wonder who is paying them for their snaps. I “love” those who stare at the camera’s three-inch monitor after each “flick”, and seem to be analyzing the photo as they miss their most important moments.

watch out

for "clickers"

with flash

Ask the photographer whose offer you are considering whether they use a flash mounted on the camera. If it does, look for another one.
The capabilities of today’s equipment allow you to take pictures almost in the dark without flashing. I got rid of the lamp in 2005, when the camera did not have even a hundredth of the capabilities of today’s cameras. The lamp annoys people who, for example, dance in the mood by candlelight, and here there is a sudden shock to the eyes and to the mood. Moreover, the flash destroys the filmmaker’s work because it cuts the image. All it takes is a few flashes and the whole sequence is ready to be thrown away. And finally, the light from the flash, even reflected from the ceiling, has little beneficial effect on the atmosphere of the photos.

Mr. Kaziu is a cameraman, a person you would rather not want at your wedding

The cameraman is usually stuck stiffly to one place in the corner of the room. He sometimes changes position, but only to go eat, then he goes back to the corner of the room. The result of his work are DVDs with material as it flies without editing, which goes on like eternity. Fortunately, this type is a thing of the past. However, its place is being replaced more and more often by …

... would-be director, a person equally irritating to newlyweds, and maybe even more than Mr. Kaziu, a cameraman.

He has extensive theoretical knowledge, knows the equipment and uses technical innovations. Steadicam, driving or a drone are familiar to him, but impressive equipment is not intended to improve the effect of work, but just to justify the horrendous price for the service.
Usually such a would-be director, in contrast to the modest attitude of Mr.Kazio the cameraman, he flies like crazy and basically everywhere is full of him. Gives instructions who, where, how and when should stand, go and sit. This is how our director heals his complexes. It is not so bad when it is limited to the open air, but unfortunately it is usually not enough for him. He wants to make a great movie, but since he doesn’t usually deal with professional actors, his productions for newlyweds are as stiff as a hardened steel bar.Zwykle taki niedoszły reżyser, w przeciwieństwie do skromnej postawy pana Kazia kamerzysty, lata jak oszalały i w zasadzie wszędzie go pełno. Wydaje dyspozycje kto, gdzie jak i kiedy powinien stać, iść, siedzieć. W ten sposób nasz reżyser leczy swoje kompleksy. Pół biedy kiedy ogranicza się do pleneru ale niestety najczęściej to mu nie wystarcza. On chce zrobić wielki film, ale ponieważ zwykle nie ma do czynienia z zawodowymi aktorami, więc jego produkcje oddane nowożeńcom są sztywne jak hartowany pręt stalowy. 

F-16 fighters escorting the wedding procession

Avoid offers that try to convince you that several people are needed to handle the wedding. Of course, those who present such an offer will surely justify it convincingly, because they have prepared for it. But while two cameras are understandable, or a pair of photographers and filmmakers, two photographers or many cameramen are utter nonsense, unless it is a princely wedding broadcast to the world, then the F-16 fighters protecting the wedding procession are justified .

Here are two important reasons for rejecting such offers.

1. A very significant, absolutely unjustified increase in the price of the service in the end result of the production. Each operator, who often happens to be rounded up on an ad hoc order, has to pay a couple of hundred dollars. In addition, usually this type of service is provided by “serious” and “not so good” companies and they really believe themselves that it is impossible to do otherwise or that it can be cheaper.
While the selected operator and photographer do not bother each other a lot (they are often private partners such as husband and wife and they understand each other perfectly), with a greater number of people running with cameras who may cooperate with each other for the first time in their lives, a mess in the frame is inevitable and is often a curse for the editor.O ile dobrany operator z fotografem mało sobie przeszkadzają (często są to partnerzy w życiu prywatnym jak mąż i żona i doskonale się rozumieją), o tyle przy większej liczbie osób biegających z aparatami, którzy może współpracują ze sobą po raz pierwszy w życiu, bałagan w kadrze jest nieunikniony i bywa często przekleństwem dla montażysty.

2. For a good movie, you only need one good filmmaker with an SLR camera and gimbal. Such a clever and experienced operator is always ahead of the action. Today’s equipment allows him to do so. Rapid change of exposure parameters, light temperature, smooth movement of the camera behind the steam spinning in a crazy dance from one end of the room to the other in the crowd of guests by the candlelight? Why not. After that, editing and the wedding can be made various films – for example, large, long for parents and aunt and uncle, short, dynamic for showing young friends. And when the editing is done by the same man who operated the camera, that is, he was in action and met the young people and the guests and knows that this is good and that not, then there are no corrections and everyone is happy.

Find the right person who will do the job as if it were a team of at least two people.

and here I will allow myself to come in

Dla tych, którzy nie odwiedzili jeszcze zakładki o mnie nadmienię, że tworzenie obrazu jest moją pasją, której poświęciłem się już w młodości. Szkoły nie liczę, choć już wtedy coś tam rysowałem, ale moje życie zawodowe związane jest z tworzeniem obrazów – pędzlem i farbami, pastelami, węglem i ołówkiem, przy pomocy programów graficznych od grafiki rastrowej i wektorowej, od efektów FX, 3D do fotografii i filmu…  Jednym słowem bogate doświadczenia.  

I took my first wedding photos 17 years ago. It is true that I had a few years' break in my weddings, but during this time I developed my creativity even more intensively, creating, among others, documentaries.
I work with Lumix GH4 and GH5, cameras in the industry valued for their ability to create a beautiful image. GH 4 films in 4K and serves as a second camera, which, for example, in a church I put on a tripod with a slider driven by the motor in motion. It replaces the second operator.

I film the GH5 in 5K, which gives me a lot of room for maneuver in post-production and at the same time I have material for photos as a freeze of the frame.
In the past, before the GH5 lumix, I took photos and films in such a way that I filmed and photographed alternately. This happened, of course, at the expense of the other. It didn’t matter when the action was long, but when it was lightning fast it was either photos or a movie.

Now is different. As I mentioned before, the GH5 can film in 5K with a significant color depth. They are not RAW files from which you can print a large poster, but who makes posters from wedding photos. In this way, when filming I take 25 photos per second. So there is a lot to choose from.