Separating Yourself Through the "Getting Ready"


Wedding Photography Problems and Solutions


Lesson Info

Separating Yourself Through the "Getting Ready"

First problem, we're going to talk about today, that gettinready section, that gettinready section is one of your most important tools for you to separate yourself from other wedding photographers or any kind of competition. The reason is, most of us do the same stuff over and over and over again. So the first problem that we had that we're going to tackle is how dowe solve the little puzzle that they're getting ready area the kitchen ready section of the wedding iss okay, um, I'm gonna talk more about from a psychological perspective too. So for example, if you look at the photograph here, this is not an award winning image by any means, but it's a story telling image it's a bridge, it helped set up the beginning of the story. So you have the bride she's looking at herself, she has no idea that I'm photographing her this's not opposed. This is just a natural picture. You have the the makeup artist with hair person to win their hair on end, they could look at what she's wearing she's w...

earing a white cute little dresses and she that's the other problem I want to discuss. If you do not tell brice what aware before they're put on the wedding dress, there may be wearing something that's not attractive for you to photograph so if they're wearing something like last night's shirt with the ketchup stain from the spaghetti and sauce that's not going to make great photo journalistic for house okay, so first thing is when you have your plane meeting talk to yur bryce and ask him to go and buy a little white silky dress a cuban on with that you can photograph her all you want no matter where she sat she's gonna look you just gonna look great, okay? Okay when you have the bride um putting on her dress they could look at this this is very carefully done she's pulling out her dress the dress details show so beautifully there is no you can see her expression looking at her dress these are emotional pictures. This is just not just a picture off the address hanging there and she doesn't just grab it and be like all right let's grab do not let the bridesmaids grabbed address okay, you have to think I think emotion think how do I say elmore mohr riel state in my in my graphic studio albums how do I do that? So if the bride is grabbing her dress and then she porches looking at it and you're photographing her from the back that's not going to work either so that's another problem choose an angle that you you can predetermine before she gets the dress solution to the problem figure out where the dresses figure telling bryan how to pick up the dress and then you stand at the angle where you can see at least a hint of her face does that make sense? Also, when she picks up the dress problem, most of them are just going to grab their body and just stretch out their arm that's not attractive solution. You have to make sure that she's always at her highest, most peopie on her tape of her toes. So she lose more tall, more attractive solution to that problem when she grabs a dress half grab nice and candid her hands have to be soft and beautiful. They don't grab it and squeeze the dress like this. He has to be from the top so you can see the whole dress while she's grabbing it doesn't make any sense. That's good. Okay, look at this photograph coming up right here. Obviously, this is not your average photograph. Okay, you have a full mirror and what did I decide to use? Just a little edge of it. That's. When I started thinking, I need to push myself creatively a little bit. You have a perfectly good mirror. What is the obvious thing? Use their used our reflection of the mirror. What is not so obvious is there's a perfectly clean war to the left of that mirror that means I can actually have a clean, creamy milky photograph and I can throw a little hint off the bride doing something really kind of it looks really sneaky and beautiful. Looks extremely photo journalistic and this isthe but I just told her where to stand. So this is an example ofthe pushing yourself a little bit creatively. Also when you to know it is the position of her face her face is using our faces turned towards the light that's not by accident. Okay, if you don't think about these things, this is the previous pretty the sioux eliza station. Wow. How do you say that? Visual ization? You are the master. So you are no bree visual ization got it. Ok, you have to pre visualize um, I know people are watching online other wondering how do you do that? So let me pause for a second unless kind of think about it. Look at this room for a second. Just look at the room that whether we're in on dh if you can try to professionalize somebody standing somewhere like if somebody was here by this bouquet so if somebody was by that piano over there or if somebody was sitting by that bench, you got beautiful that window light is hitting that bench can you visualize a brightly specialize a bride sitting in that bench right there could you see what her arms are or can you can you not does that not work and you can be honest. Can you visualize the arms and the hands and the legs it's hard it's harder than people think we can visualize somebody sitting there but we can visualize all the little details. Does that make sense? So let's, take a second to try that look at that. And then I'm gonna ask you, uh, sarah or actually or david to kind of describe what you came up with. Okay, take five seconds. Look at that and it is going to hurt your brain a little bit and that's okay, go ahead. Actually, you know what let's do this even better let's say, he's even better. Um, crystal, could I have you be the person that we were imagining and actually can you go up and just just execute the vision that you had just execute? Yeah, bring the microphone. Yeah, go ahead and sit there and just pre visualized you can sit here, face me, I'm kind of thinking like burial. We actually had a actually don't think now just execute what you have already thought, okay don't know what I'm doing, okay, okay, okay, so I'm kind of thinking if you had a wedding dress on, he would be like bush it's really hard to do this and uh okay it's really hard to also to do with her short dress line I was thinking wedding dress in my head so I'm thinking well, now I don't know okay just both you know what everyone watching on the internet is feeling you right now okay on everyone's like what would I do that they're all freaking out if you were here that would be freaking out so don't worry about it just think about the fact that everyone there is in the same shoes as you are. So this is how learning course so let's let's just let's just do that, okay, so I would like for you to then just turn your face towards the light a little bit more and kind of arch back back straight and then kind of bring your arms this way for us light and then I'll probably just take a shot of her looking out and thinking about okay that's that's good. Now I'm going to be really pushy now that we did that and that's fantastic that's I think that's good now if I was to say push yourself creatively in the same spot you don't have to poster but what would you do now? Probably add some sort of like foreground elements to it okay that's good now I'm going to say to you one more time you're gonna push yourself probably the third time in the same spot now what would you do have to change it all up by the way you said something really interesting you said I would add a foreground element if she was the bride because there's a window here that's actually a clear white background in an exposure because she's a lot darker inside so in order to expose for her that when that will be pure white if you said something really interesting if you were to put the father of the bride standing right here facing that way or facing this way you will get a silhouette of the father well she's getting lit by the window does that make sense so that's exactly what I mean you could have pulled you could've pulled leon and said stand right here I know you have a totally different image and you're pushing yourself you're not just satisfied with your initial photo you're gonna push yourself put yourself one more time what else would you do? Me oh save me so he's a he's a he's a father, right? Yes if he's a father and he's looking at her then and she is looking at the window what is he doing with his hands? Pretty visualized don't come up with pretty visualized what is he doing with his hands? The father what is he doing here? He cannot just like he's probably crying and e year or he's wearing a tie right? All right. Yeah he's right. Ok, so he could be interested now what is he doing with his face? Is he looking at his daughter? Yeah he's looking at her. Okay, but she's that's good he's looking at his daughter. Well, that's that's also what would be the most clear shot? Right he's looking at his daughter right? Think opposite of clear shot he's right there. We're not doing the obvious. We're going to do something that's going to throw the viewer of the photograph in tow into like a little spin like oh, I didn't expect that we expected the father to be looking at the bride but let's throw the viewers of the photograph for a loop. What could the father be doing? That would not be the obvious. Can we have a mother? No, just with him just with him. Aren't you glad you aren't you glad you know what? Actually, I want to tell you everyone watching out there that this is what you have to go through. I'm sorry. This is what you have to go through this. This constant, awful feeling of pushing yourself and make sure had hurt is what it's all about otherwise new slash you will never get out of your comfort zone and you will always be mediocre and you will always struggle to get hired on your only tool will be your price is that it's not a good position to be in ok, so yes, I will push her and I will do this to her on line in front of the whole world okay, because it's the truth I want everyone watching to really improve I want youto watch this course over and over a week from today a month from today and remember what she's going through right now and if you're not putting yourself in that situation, you are not going to get any better good continue okay, so hit the obvious thing would be him looking at his daughter. So could we then instead can we kind of have it so that she's like getting up in it being her sing him a beautiful, beautiful she could be in motion now you're changing the picture around koch that's great, you know she could be getting up now that picture just know so static, so now you're adding movement congratulations you're not done! Why not turn the father around and have him look away from the daughter on having looked down so he's like making tying his tie or something so he could maybe there's something here that he hasn't seen her yet no he's there he's there using maybe maybe just maybe the father of the groom has a mirror in that direction and he's looking at himself in the mirror and I look at his feet rope with you see how his feet don't move them of them off don't turn off the way you wear no back to the equal standing the way you had the university's fee this is where you have to become ah hi detailed photographer he grew is the father of the bride is now adjusting his type you can look look down a little bit look down on your time open up your arms so you can see a gap that gap that's going to show us or no show from that window's gonna look it's going to look better because well remember we're creating a silhouette until the west needs shapes and forms you need catherine in my book I wrote a whole chapter on silhouettes and if you close his hands like this it will be one large black spot remember insula wet you have to open it up and you have a white background so you open it up right here he's looking at which your legs by the way you have he's looking at the mirror his daughter could be in motion getting up so go ahead and act like you're halfway in motion getting up but while you do that look at your right shoe look how much better go in and sit down again lift up your your fake dress that you have on prison you have a dress on as you get up keep your spinal cord straight and look at your rights you so you're going to go like this just look at your race you look at her angles, all her body's angled and beautiful now sure, during that time the father is looking out a window with his chain sliding down a little bit of the arms opened up but now we have a major problem with his feet. What is it I see like it just being one leg and can we have him kind of bend one of exactly good, so hey, standing too robotic on if you are viewing the photograph or if I was viewing that photograph I can already tell you I would think there's a photographer posting this makes sense you don't want to make it look like a photographer supposing it so so now we're goingto bend his knee by shifting his buddy way to the back he's needs his arms are up he's looking straight at the meter now another problem the groom or the father's going to say we're due a look att right you solution you're gonna tell him look at the red flower outside, look at that tree and start counting red flowers on that tree outside start counting and tell you how many you count afterwards so now his brain goes oh I'm his brain goes from being post and I have to have to act like I'm acting a composing too okay there's one two three four and your brain starts to think automatically there's a disconnect between the group the father of the groom and the camera and the photo becomes extremely believable does that make sense the reason why I asked her to look at her right shoe is because by giving specific directions you are automatically going to assume if you say keep your spinal cord straight grab your dress get up and take a look at your ratio as you to that she's going toe basically look up her face is gonna have a place toby you're gonna bend the chin she's gonna have to look down if she was to look at her father getting obvious like here there you are that will destroy the whole thing okay so you get up and you execute this movements don't don't tell the bright can you go ahead and get up and look at your unborn children in the floor like you know what I'm saying like you need to be specific like what what's this can you please get up that's boring that's not gonna work now go in and take a seat again now very slowly grab your dress keep your spinal cord straight keep your chain nice and strong strong get up slowly and keep looking at your rights, you or near that cable bam keep going up getting up on that look her elbows or bent you have you have a beautiful gap right there which really shows her waistline. Everything is working for you by giving some simple directions. Okay? Thank you. Actually. Thanks roberta on that last pose, how would you frame that? Would you have the entire father in the shot initially when you guys were setting it up? I was thinking you cut him off at the waist and have her field like the background frame and then you started talking about his legs and feet. Um, what would you think that, um you have about two and a half feet of wood that takes away from the silhouette also makes sense that something toby to look at so I don't know if the people on the internet can see that bench area, can they see that manchuria those that area has about two and a half feet off space that has wood in it. Right now. You totally like it's hard, but it's what it is, you know, I spent years pushing myself like that. I want everyone to do it that actually asked a couple of interesting things, the light the light is going to hit that bench, so that actually adds so the contrast between the window and the person in the foreground now just the wind of the fact that the light is hitting the bench gives you more white space does that make sense in a picture like this? Because it's for a journalistic because it has a photo journalistic field I'm going to take full advantage of the symmetry actually, yeah, in terms of composition, I would take full advantage of the symmetry, but in terms of the position of the bride and her father, there would be off centered does that make sense? Well, what's important is that they're both within that window if if the father is out the window, you're no longer having a silhouette and you have a black mush. Okay, also, I might decide to do a horizontal picture and no more of a close up, okay, which reminds me of another topic, which we'll talk about later what lances to use and what do you what should you have on you to really maximize what you can do? This is really symmetrical all this area and I talked about this in my book and I talked about this a creative life last time if you have something that's very obviously symmetrical, they don't put the bread in the groom or the father of your subject in the dead center it's the obvious thing to do that makes sense on we talked about this right? Actually like if I would have said here's a symmetrical area where you gonna put everybody's like all put him in the middle but that's obvious we need to invite the viewers for photographs tohave a little trip down disneyland or something like I wasn't expecting that I wasn't expecting that I need that character to your photos instead of like that's what I would expect the brain except that picture us that is what it is because that's what I would expect but when the brain gets a little twist a little poke is like ah you didn't see that coming did you then the prince like I love his photograph I love this photograph and I encouraged you guys on the people online to remember that to remember that give the brain a little unexpected poke you know, throw a little element in there that may not be expected if it's symmetrical have something that's a symmetrical okay if someone's laughing to the person's not show contrast like that okay, we're gonna talk about the bride putting on her wedding dress what did you guys notice here? How much? How many of her best friends are in this picture? Do you think she's not going to want to this picture on her album? Of course you will she's going to be begging for this picture in her album what if I would have told the bride to just put on her shoe? That's fine that's beautiful. But if the bridesmaids are there including a little bit now do you have to include all three? No on dh if you are going to include them, make sure they're all doing something different if they're all like oh, looking at the bride. Okay, obvious, obvious. Okay, so, uh, what's happening here? Um they can't take a very careful look at this there's the lights hitting her beautifully I turned the chain off the bride to the left you see that? And also her spinal cord is straight so she's putting on her breath her dress but she's not putting it on with her back like this she's actually keeping her back straight. Andi, just putting it on. So also look at the staggering off the off the off the girls, one of them miss lane one of them was in the floor when I was a little higher, the other one's a little higher, you know it's a little high and they keep staggering. So you have this your head has to your bring your eye has to kind of go like this to see the whole image now look, what's going on again, do you see how everybody's doing something a little bit different okay, everybody wasn't something a little bit different now I mistake that I made here my mistake that I made in this photograph is that I wasn't specific enough with the girl on the right and she didn't really know where to look some make sense take a look at that girl on the right just kind of she looks like she's supposing she's not really doing anything and that was that was my bad right? I was to come to training on so many other things that when I finally got to her I just told her to kind of play with her hair. I didn't tell her what to do with her eyes so this is very important once you include the bridesmaids helping her with a dress you better include the mother or the father or something. The reason is because that's another photo that's just gonna have to have in her album. If her mom would have been involved at the beginning putting on the dresses well, she will say I already have a photo with my mom. I don't have to have two that makes sense because every layer because of money so if she's like okay, my mom is here, the mom is going to help you with the veil now she has to have their photo india in the book it's two different groups of people

Class Description

In this photography class, Roberto Valenzuela will teach you solutions to common wedding photography problems facing anyone who picks up a camera to photograph people. Roberto will use his practical methodology to give you a systematic way to break down and overcome your challenges.

In this class you will learn:

  • The 21 points for Posing
  • How to find the best light
  • Practical tips to quickly read the room

Roberto researched and polled various photography communities to find the most common problems facing anyone holding a camera. Through hands-on demos and easy to practice challenges, Roberto will show you how little changes can make big differences in your final images. 



Roberto is a great photographer and a great teacher. Roberto took me a little bit to get used to because rather than just memorizing, Roberto teachers you how to think like a great photographer. Roberto studies the best of the best photographers and painters and he incorporates it in his photography business and his teaching courses. Over and over, I have heard other top photographers referring to Roberto. Cudos to Roberto, for being the go to Pros,' Pro. Roberto is a great teacher and a great photographer that takes beautiful pictures with mastery of beautiful light, posing and composition.


Roberto is a photography mastermind. I'm very grateful for his CL courses that are available. He shares so much during these courses, I cannot help but making many, many, many notes and I'm sure if I rewatch it, I'll still learn new stuff. This course is not only for the wedding photographer, but the information he shares is applicable for all kinds of photography. If you want to learn how to make use of the gifts of any location (while throwing some very helpful posing advice in the mix), this course is for you. I'd also highly recommend his course "Location, posing, execution", which I saw before buying this one. And besides his very inspiring teaching style, he's also very funny! This course is a joy to watch.


Absolutely amazing. Roberto's background as a classroom teacher (and crazy OCD perfectionist) is a true gift to us, the students. He has analyzed, practiced, and tried/failed his techniques countless times and it shows in this course. I have become so much more aware of an environment's "gifts" after taking this course. I myself was a science teacher (and am also a goofball) so his style of teaching resonates with me. While some workshops are amazing at making us feel inspired and fantastic, these are short lived emotions. Roberto's preaching of get out there and practice is a no-brainer!! Best course to get me started on my wedding photography career! Thank you Roberto!