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Manchester based photographer Brett Harkness, together with his wife / partner Kristie, runs one of the most successful photography businesses in the UK, especially in wedding and social photography. It is interesting for me, a total amateur, who has never done any wedding photography, to watch and see what I can learn from the master.
The DVD is all about covering a real wedding. It splits into 6 main sections: Equipment, Getting Ready, Ceremony and Post Ceremony, Bridal Party & Bride & Groom, Reception & Speeches, and Evening Reception. After each section a list of top tips relating to that section will be displayed as a summary. Other than that it also includes bonus features like Photographers Cut, with Brett's post wedding narration offering extra tips & insight into the wedding shoot; Brett's Top 20+1 where he talks about some of his favourite recent wedding images and the Finished Wedding Album from this particular wedding.
I must admit that when I opened the envelope containing this DVD I was rather disappointed. It was just like a music CD, the packaging is very plain and nothing special. Comparing to the Damien Lovegrove DVD I have this was disappointing. But if that keeps the cost and the selling price down, maybe it isn't such a bad thing.
Luckily, the DVD itself is not disappointing. It contains tons of information and top tips right from the first chapter. It is interesting to see what equipment Brett uses, from cameras to lenses to lighting equipment. I was surprised when he mentioned that he doesn't like using 24-70mm f/2.8 lens, as I myself use that lens often for portraiture. But after watching his DVD and getting to know his style of shooting it all became clear to me. I started to ask myself, perhaps I should use my 50mm f/1.8 more often.
After talking through his equipment of choice, he begins to cover the wedding itself, starting from the bride and groom getting ready for their big day, to the evening reception. With an easy to understand use of language and together with the examples of photos he takes, plus technical data he uses, it is pretty easy to understand his technique, what he is using and why he is doing it. It still amazes me to see him keep changing his lenses throughout the whole day, rather than using different lenses on separate bodies. It is also interesting to hear from his partner Kristie explaining what her role is as an assistant for the day.
If you have time, you can watch the whole event again with Brett's narrative in Photographers Cut. It offers more information, tips and insights. It is also a nice touch to include the finished wedding album as designed by Kristie. It feels complete.
I can't help but feel that it would be even more complete if it included the pre-wedding meeting with the clients discussing what they are after, the list of photos requested, getting to know the location before the wedding day etc. It could also end with the presentation of the photos to the clients.
The DVD is really a great way to learn about wedding photography. You can learn so much without being overloaded with too much information. However, as the whole wedding was held in locations with plenty of natural light, you will not really get to know how he handles dim locations like churches or dim hall etc. Still, I can't recommend it enough if you are interested in wedding photography.
Brett Harkness Real Wedding DVD Verdict:
|The Brett Harkness Real Wedding DVD is recommended if you are interested in wedding photography.|
Brett Harkness Real Wedding DVD Pros:Plenty of useful tips and information from start to finish
Brett Harkness Real Wedding DVD Cons:Doesn't really cover dim situation
|QUALITY OF ADVICE|
|VALUE FOR MONEY|
The Brett Harkness Real Wedding DVD is available for £69 from BrettHarkness.
Reviewed by Coltrane Koh.