Shoot: Bridal Parties


The Art of Being a Second Shooter


Lesson Info

Shoot: Bridal Parties

So this might actually be very much the case how it would appear and look on a wedding on a wedding day so I would ask judy to help remove some of these chairs have the thirty five to in my shoes thanks so if you need a thirty five well we switch so if this was in the case um we actually do a lot of shifting furniture on the wedding day and we've learned to do it rather quickly I usually just need the first row move j d will do that yeah so I've just noticed that there are, um ceremony programs I am goingto ask I'll have you come this way towards me just a bit you can stand right here in front of this door just no just the grooms and I'm so sorry can you hold these for me so I always like to clear the first two rows and now we're ready to shoot so if I'm shooting details judy's going to shooting candids correct I've actually popped eighty five back on I'm gonna change my aperture to one point eight because when I should actually go to up to a point when I should candids I'm not focusin...

g on the entire group um focusing on individual people so I can actually have a wider aperture perfect so I got the details that we need from this area now what we need do is I'm going to shoot the groom and his groomsmen together, I'm gonna have you move out slightly more towards me this way. Usually if there are of unequal amount of groomsmen, I'm going to place them equally on each side. I try to do a formal photo and I try to do a casual photo. Then I tried to do a photo just for me. Then he do individual photos of each of the groom and his groomsmen. So if I could have a button the top button uh, gentlemen, can you guys angle yourselves in towards and then just put your right hand over your left and your left hand over your right angle yourselves in a little bit more this way? Perfect. Great. We'll take a minute really quick to get the button the booty here at this because I know that jasmine spice you're gonna work on her settings. So while she's doing that, I'll just lean in, get a boot in your shot and then start focusing on a couple little details that I know jasmine isn't really focused on at this point. So it's just the details. At this point, we're just their hands being crossed together. Um, I I'll even try to go in and try to get ah, pull back shot of a couple more moon years, undo your angle, your shoulders towards me again, as the second shooter, you can see what works and doesn't work really quickly and make quick adjustments. I saw that that boot near shot didn't really work, so now I'm actually gonna try to go in one more time and get that shot. I also noticed that he has a tie clip, so I'll even come over here and just make sure that I get just a couple of different views of that again. I know jasmine's going for the, uh, the bigger the safe shot, they were straight on front shot, so I'm actually gonna be doing a lot of profile. Good. No, guys, if you guys can go on the count of three what? I want you guys to do, the two guys from behind come up and just throw your arms around the room like you guys are friends. Yeah, this is old college buddies just kind of come in, get a really super casual photo. Go right ahead. Coming right towards the groom. Don't yes, that's it nice, good, great. So that feels awkward. It totally feels heard. But what happens is one. Well, the groom is regular, like friends and home. He's with his friends not so awkward and to what usually happens is that guys don't like to be close too often so we want to give them a reason to be close so that when that happens, jd will get a shot the way that he's kind of getting on the side he's focusing on the groomsman or the groom at this time that's it uh a slightly different candid, but usually what we're going to try to do is get a shot now of them walking towards me. I'm gonna clear out a couple rows have you guys back up? What? I kind of have to walk to you? Yeah, perfect, perfect. So guys, however you feel most comfortable, walking towards me is exactly what I want. I don't want you guys walking too far behind. The groom doesn't kind of walking in line to be talking to each other super casual now I kind of keep it at a pace of just like a one to kind of walking this way talking to each other at this point, I'm gonna pan with them as they walk, so I know that jess is gonna be pretty much staying in one place, so I'll be panning the entire time. Great so you can have your however you feel comfortable hand in your pockets, walking whatever you feel comfortable is exactly what I want you to do, there's that I like that I like that look that swag look that was kind of good okay you guys gonna walk towards me on the count of three one two and three looking at each other nice not all that good guys that's good night that was great thank you thank you guys very much perfect now quickly didn't do it I'm gonna get a shot of just the groom I know I'm just putting you on the spot I know e when jasmine's doing that I actually will step away I know this is really natural but they actually just hung out there they're probably turning in a real life situation they're good friends are going to start chatting so I'll still do candids of the guys hanging out and it feels like a little opera prison where we were just kind of make this possible life is really, really, really nice okay good deep breath and just kind of relax and yes, I know a way can you give me your e u r e so again making sure that you always get candid shots of the groomsmen while they're hanging out while jasmine's getting while the first shooter's getting the main shots that's what I'm always looking for once I you know I actually take my time and get every single groomsmen uh hanging out so that there's diversity so that's what I'll be doing while jasmine is working with the clients perfect I love it I love it okay, so what just happened here in this moment from a first shooters perspective is that I was shooting western, it was finding it was great. He looked handsome, but he didn't listen sort of look comfortable and that's the key between defining your work as photographers. So and I feel like there's a groom he's not so comfortable by himself. If the bride is around, I will bring her around just to get him talking, and we're going to show tomorrow the differences between us classic portrait pose and then oppose work guy just looks really comfortable to be around the girl that he loves when I'm going to do now is I'm a good individual shots of the groom and his groomsmen, and then we're going to do a different type of pose for the girls to get the boots. Yes, I did. Perfect. Well, actually, I got those were candid shots that are exiting. Just them hanging out. Perfect. Can I get you guys right over here? Groomsmen. You can hang out here. We're gonna get the boot near the side shot. No, I did not. Great. So what I'm gonna do? Is so this is what just happened right now j d and I had a little bit of language and I asked him if he got a particular photo and he said no, he did not get that photo the photo that I'm referring to is the booty near shot so what I want to do is to get candy boosting your shot so that I could give it to the florist and to the coordinator who then become promoters of our work because I didn't get that photo I'm going to reposition the guys to get that photo that photo actually, I usually I always wait for that photo and I always get it when we do the bridal party uh report just went all of them are together that way this pose is going to sound very nice it's gonna feel very natural. What happens when all the when all the ladies come up are you take those? Yeah, those. So this is what can I get the bouquets as well? So this is what I'm gonna take advantage and actually get the detail shots of the boot nears and also the bouquets in the course students students are doing okay, yeah question go for it, you always shoot cocktail hour or you after doing like porch it's at that time, the question was, do I always shoot cocktail hour we try to shoot cocteau our to the best of our ability if the writing groom will have a first look because we have the time to now, if they do not want the first look, then we explain to them in advance via emails that we have documentation, we probably won't be able to get cocktail photos because we will be shooting during that time. Is that okay with you? And then they let you know, yes, that is okay, but we prefer to shoot cocteau our because you get a mix of photos of their guests and those air really important for the clients has a great question. Cool, yes, yes, post pictures like that. Will you ever stop it? Like, if you see something and then she started pulling away or stop and say, wait, let me get this right here, or do you just move on? You know, when if jazz is doing working like this, actually doing it, and I'm shooting and I didn't get a photo that I wanted, and I just need a little bit more time because I know what I want the photos there, I just didn't get up, I didn't fire off, it was not it was out of focus or something like that I'll have her say, I'll just say, can I get another second? And she will and she'll know what with that cute sure she'll keep it going there and I'll get the shot that I wanted so I always stop her if I know that I'm just about to get that shot and as long as it's not like a crucial time we're going to get out right? But like this we have plenty of time I'll definitely just hold off and ask her to get that photo and I could get that photo and she's always okay with that at this point this is what I'm actually gonna now start focusing on the boot in earshot that jasmine was referring to perfect question we ask how often or how early in advance do we get to be in contact with a bridal party so that because we're going to be posing them we're going to be talking to them how does that look? Well on a wedding day is the first time I'm usually meeting the bridal party meet the bride and groom for the um engagement session but I don't need anybody else during that time so jd is usually hang out with the guy during prep and I'm usually hanging with the girls so I will probably hang up talk to the girls a little bit differently than I would the guys I'm meeting the guys for the first time I introduced myself I said guys I'm the lead shooter every time you're going to be a camera's gonna be in your face I want you looking at my camera so I'm instructing them where to look so that there's no point of confusion and then all of a sudden I will be be then positioning them and I changed two flats for the shoot I do become a lot shorter when that happened so I need to be authoritative so I use a bigger voice and I turned to the guys and I just give them specific instructions I don't want to touch guys so what I'm saying is turn your shoulders towards me turn your shoulders towards me face your shoulders perfect great right hand over left hands in your pockets if the guys are drinking if they're wearing sunglasses jd is usually during this time saying hey guys can you do this hey guys can you do that and I'm usually adjusting the girls but that was a great question so if I could have your right hand over talk to me just like I'm familiar with if yes usually I work so fast that I'm not really concerned if they're comfortable for me I want them to have a good time that's my main goal so like hey guys as quick as you guys get these photos done the faster you guys get to cocktail hour and the more you guys drink the better these photos will become so everybody work with me right about now exactly what I'll do I'm gonna have you guys back up and why I'm having them back up everything take kind of two steps this way is we have this pole I don't want the bridal party being divided by this pole, so I have you on the inside of this pole. Brilliant. Great. So you'll have your right hand over left. They're gonna come in towards the groom. Ladies, if you can line up your bouquets with the bride. Beautiful, I'm asking them to line up the occasion to bride along with the bride so that it's continuous in the photo, but also because jd has been, uh now knows that I need a photo of these types of floral arrangements for the florists, for the wedding coordinator and for the venue I depend on him solely for those shots, so he knows as I'm talking, turning round to family members. Everybody, please, I'm going to be taking this photo jd shooting a shot, and then I'm going to be moving forward. So everybody's going to be looking here at my lens now? I know that jasmine shooting with a fifty, so I'm actually not gonna try to stay away from her shot last year if I'm in your shot, she'll let me know if I am I'm usually not at this point, so I'm getting them, I'm still getting the the details so can I please have the oh you guys look great ladies bring it in so that your abs returning towards each other now salva legs kind of distribute the way perfect gentlemen, can you guys bring it in a little bit on this side? Great already smiling you're looking good great. So everything just kind of like leaning and get a nice close go ahead I know states guys are burning up we're doing like this's like so hard I love it you're beautiful great have you guys do is separate from each other now during this time I would probably do two different poses of the bridal party but because we're running short on time or because I want to move through the different aspects of it I'm now going to be okay with that photo actually hang out there nobody move a single thing if this is what I thought was in a pressure cooker on the day everybody fell into a pose that I was really comfortable with that I would ask them to not change did he move the first two rows back tio so that's exactly what would happen on the wedding day stacey drop your bouquet pick up the dress aside your dress no no no I love the book eight yes, that beautiful, beautiful that's good I like it, but thanks perfect now actually everybody saying uh stacey west leaning right where you guys are just leading with your mouth not your hips leaning towards each other for like kiss perfect thank you great I feel good with that I'm gonna move on to the girls so gentlemen like to take a break get some water it is so it is like the seventh ring of haiti's up in here you know you guys are sweating and you guys are just standing there I don't like wow okay so girls um why don't we have a little bit of fun I'm gonna shoot you against the door I'm going to shoot the girls against a door because what I'm thinking about in my back of my mind is an album spread I do want the photos to match however I do want diversity because girls of the people who buy most of the photos and print them out and share them or on facebook so I'm going teo lean mohr two one gender is going to be girls there my biggest advocates so ladies I'm gonna get you guys on each side or actually you can't stay here I will get your needs side angle in your bodies yes I'll have you straight relax civil case like it's your belt that's perfect line appear bouquets att this point I'm testing my life making sure I'm right on so I'm gonna be getting a lot of floral shots at this point beautiful. So now we have this kind of safe, beautiful shot here one second buddy was lincoln good. Now that I've got that, I'm going to pull back because I'm going to get right back to your back. Arms around steve seem kind of lean in around her waist. Yeah, there we go. Lean in great that's cute siding today. Are you ready to decide? Okay, so now what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna have the girls lean in once more. So, stacy, what I want you to do on the count of three is ladies, I want you looking here. Stace, you're gonna look at j d perfect. Great. So now I'm gonna have you guys do is going to take you guys over here that's okay with the crew, we're going to slowly make your way. We're just gonna flip towards the white wall, so I have a very plain background that could mix pretty well in an album spread or if they decide to pair them up on facebook actually, ladies hang out their hang out their hang out there. Jeanie, move the cord. Perfect. So now what I want you guys to do is to interlock your arms I know, I know we need a fan, you down, poor girl, okay, so now you're going to do you look hot no no, this is great good you're gonna be looking at each other and talking good now you guys are gonna walk toward me want heard me perfect beautiful looking at each other great so jedi knight were shooting he was shooting at a different angle and also with the different lens will be getting two different perspectives within that quick turnaround so what were ultimately going to do is have a total of three sections three poses for the girls one traditional wall one fun walking which works better for editorial and one here on this white background do yes, the question was do I do typically about three poses with the girls and the answer is yes stacey and I love the back of your dress can you face that direction and at this point I'll even you know, air under their I'm usually not wasting any time if jasmine is doing this I'll actually shoot behind the scenes of just jasmine I don't know why just or I'll just shoot any at this point if it's if jasmine was out of the frame that'd be even better but she's too she's not she's in it but once she gets out of the frame I'll actually continue shooting this just, you know, having them hanging out um oh I missed that again things going pretty quick sometimes you know you got your school with fifty one of you is I would love for you to look over the shoulder I would love for you to look over the shoulder I would love for you to look over the shoulder on the count of three I'm gonna have you guys all turned back great so I'm gonna test my light right about now as we're talking to them and jd this is yeah this is pretty good life so then what? I'm gonna do it on the count of three I'm gonna have you guys turn back relax those arms ladies around stacy's back well at dropping beautiful on the count of three turn your bodies all the way back and face me one two and three good. Okay, well, what what's happening with this looks a little too old in mills, right, guys like ok what I want you to do it's actually turned back and have a lot of fun so think like, you know, like a bubble gum commercial like girl next door that's cute that's cute. I want more of that. Okay, so now what we're gonna do is wrap your arms around that's cute. So now I'm doing I'm shooting as they're joking around beautiful on the count of three everybody turn around one two and three four get out on you good okay, what during that point I actually had my first angle it wasn't that good I just didn't like what was going on there so I made a quick adjustment and it happens a lot you know, if you see that that first things just didn't work it was an almost was probably way too similar to jasmine even though I'm shooting with a ninety five so I made sure to come all the way around get in tight with the eighty five and now I know that for sure my my my portfolio piece on that is going to look completely different from when jazz was shot also chances are my angle of that photo is cheesy mccheese right? I mean it's just not gonna work I know this but I trust that my second shooter is strong enough there's a couple photos that I see upon the screen where the girls are looking all back it looks completely candid and it just looks so much more like our brand which is fun it's a lot easier it's easy for me because I know that when they look right I jasmine it doesn't look a little cheesy sometimes but if you get them not looking at jasmine you know if you get that candid look that's what I'm getting and so she's actually throwing me a lot of ball there for a softball but I have you sit like right about here like that but make sure your knees are pinched get st clement's turning towards me put this uh okay in that hand drop it wasn't me missus I'm your dress I love that dress it's a beautiful dress uh okay I'm gonna do it two ways keeping it in the wings have you right over here you will have your hand your bouquet right here and then we might bring in that chair so stacey make sure that your hip is adjacent to the chair so that there's not a gap between the two bring your hip your hip it yeah that's beautiful that's exactly what I want gordon yes everything's looking beautiful and good and dark made my camera can you bring your legs and a little bit closer your knee's perfect perfect. So what happens? Why I'm adjusting her needs is because light was coming through it is becoming a distraction with this I don't think I'm gonna add the second chair. I'm okay with it I'm going to do an individual shot of stacey and that stacey with each, uh, bride me again at this point, I'm just realizing in my head that I'm shooting at what I'm shooting at one point eight uh I have to commit whether I'm gonna shoot tight or whether I'm going to go wide because I notice right now that I didn't commit to either either either or so I had a one point eight and the photos not really what I want because everyone's out of focus kiss except for where I'm focusing obviously and it's not telling a good story so I'm knowing in my head you know, at this point this is that that rut that I'm in you know that you're in you kind of like okay, how am I gonna work out of this? And I'm gonna kind of commit to us shot in a little bit figure out what I'm really gonna end up getting for jasmine oh well now that you change the side way going to bring you in to switch it on out did you make sure you're getting individual shots with me that laugh in the booth laugh and flowers gretchen can you guys drop the bouquets of that? I get seasick but you can actually bring them up like that beautiful relaxed arms easy bring it yeah that beautiful you guys are going to be smiling at me beautiful now you guys are going to look at each other. There we go, lady. Thank you. Beautiful great. I'm gonna do a shot justice stacy now we're good right now you guys get hydrated if it we're at this point in the day I might ask the wedding coordinator for a cold glass of water so kelsey, can I bother you for a cold glass of water for the bride because it is so hot and when I hear that that means jasmine's probably hot and thirsty too, so I'll make sure to get jasmine or glass of water can you work hard? You of course ok, so you needed an angle perfect that's your first car I'll take it up and said okay, so we're not just you relax for a sec you know I love the way that you're standing but tilt the head of the bouquet up and bring the hands up on the very good love it thank you so I'm getting the head on state shot could you drop the bouquet a tiny bit yeah there we go because I want to see the belt you're beautiful gorgeous now can you tilt your body a little bit more towards jd my second shooter tipped tilt your shoulders more towards him turn your shoulders there you good there we go beautiful good, good. Now what? I can't have you devious dropped the bouquet in your right hand and I want you to pick up your dress with your left yes, I am ready thanks for asking this perfect way for that shot. Good. Now what I want you to do is to slowly kind of walk towards me but what I want to do as you're holding hope head down a couple steps look up, look to the side look down it's gonna feel silly but I think that granddad don't worry good take a deep breath relax the shoulders good look over at my second shooter at a girl now look at me look at me I love it good. So what did happen in that situation? I maintained my role as the first but when I tossed her vision over to jd he became the first but I still took that first position so that I was standing first position getting second photographers angle great thank you so so much perfect. What we have left to do is the cutting of the cake and the bride and groom photos were going to be calling the shoot in about fifteen minutes um and then we're gonna move into q and a formal q and a from there. Okay, well, I would just like to start off by saying tyrell bank said just watching this live course makes you fall in love with wedding oh, gray's I thought that was really that's a cool thing to say so let's start with our studio audience and see if you guys have any questions over there. All right, well, I have questions do we have a question? I'll go ahead and say, are there any situations where jd would kind of take the lead on that or you would kind of maybe say, do you want do some pictures, that type of thing the question for those of you on the internet just in case you couldn't hear it, would jd ever take the lead and any one of these situations and the answer would be no if however jd was shooting the guy's entirely on his own, then yes, he would take the lead but there was only one position in that situation we prefer that I shoot all of the bridal party, but if in the case were in a pinch or the guys are getting ready at a different point in time or at a different location he'll then take the lead entirely on his own all right? Uh let's see? So there was a question from as one studios who said, my husband is a second shooter for our business he's six feet and I'm five feet guess automatically assume he is the first shooter. Do you ever have a problem one hundred percent jd and I walk into a room and I am never the first shooter people say, oh, I'd like to, you know, talk about the photographic considerations and they go immediately to him and I'm like, awesome don't bother me with logistics and get to work so yes, it happens all the time I'm totally okay with it um it just nature people just presume that he's believed that's okay so a question from ronaldo photography when do you communicate to people that they should be ignoring the second shooter and looking at you? And how do you do so without being rude? If you see them like continuing to go like I take time at the beginning of the shoot, teo, ask them to everybody, please look at my camera and I am the person who is continuously talking in that situation. Um, and if I see somebody's eyes wavering, I always say everybody's eyes here, this camera and I've learned to shoot with one hand. I focus on a shoot with one hand, and I say everybody at this camera, everybody at this camera and everybody and here's it's, pretty self intuitive when when I'm so quiet and jasmine is directing so much nobody's really looking at my camera as if I'm I'm the first shooter at that point once jasmine has actually started, but we asked once when, when we first get there. A lot of people do assume that I'm the first shooter, but once jasmine takes the lead and starts talking and I was just so quiet they understand the rolls are toe look at jasmine by that time, all right question from becks kowski when there are guests at a table with their backs to the shooter like a circular table and you want to pose that? Say, everyone, look at me I mean, are you taking those photos and segments? Are you just having people with their heads turned around? Are you setting that overly table table, table shot table shots? I actually do two ways what I'll do is, uh, if they're big, they're pretty large stable is let's just say there's ten people in that table, I'll actually have everyone stand up and get and get close together like I did for the cocktail hour s so that it doesn't look awkward where some people are turned so long always do that, or if sometimes if I'm allowed to its even better if we're in a tight, tight time crunch um, I'll have all the tables come to a certain place, so where the bride and groom are exactly so that the bride and groom doesn't, they don't have to go walk around, so we'll set the bride and groom somewhere and then I'll go to table number sixteen and get table sixteen, taking to the bride, put them back, go get table seventeen and so on and so on. Well, jazmine just kind of waits with the bride and groom it's so great to know that there's two ways we do it table shots could get a little yes actually, at the end, when jasmine was kind of answering the last couple questions, I took the bride back and just start shooting up some details. And that was just for the hair stylist. Uh, I was getting photos of her hair and how it was kind of the details in her hair and also her earrings or jewelry. So that was for moles, mostly for vendors. It wasn't any type of portfolio piece for jasmine or for the bright, although they might use it. That was definitely for the vendors that we're working with.

Class Description

If you're an established second shooter or looking to become one, this course focuses on ways to strengthen your portfolio, be proactive, improve shooting technique, establish the terms of shooting agreements, become a vital asset to the wedding day, and learn how to book jobs. In addition to lots of content, conversations, and fun, a live shoot will demonstrate the first/second shooter dynamic and a portfolio review.


Barbara Wenz

I bought this course because I had to set things in place for next season and needed to train my second shooter(s). It was really helpful because it takes you to everything you possibly have to think of, when instructing and training with them. I was personally kind of shocked about some (others were superb) the images JD is delivering. I'm much more content with my second shooters, seeing what others deliver after 7 years of experience ;-) But this doesn't make the course any worse. I love it because it's really honest and they share a ton of experience.