Shoot: Bride and Groom


Building a Profitable Portrait Studio


Lesson Info

Shoot: Bride and Groom

Well, what we're going to do now, I've got a very special treat for you. You've seen some of the images that I've taken and you've seen the different brochures that I've shown you on, you know? And we've talked a great deal about the kind of imagery that should go into a brochure. Well, now we're going to actually take some photographs of a young couple. This is actually one of my wedding clients, and they photograph their wedding to two months ago, and they're going, they've agreed to come in and model for us, and once we do that, they're going to change clothes while they're changing clothes. We are going to look at their wedding because they just finished designing an album for them. So you're in for a really special treat in seeing that. So without further ado, let's get started and take some pictures of this lovely couple. Hi, guys. Hey, hey, go right here. Pants! They're all right. Okay. Hello there, little lady. Um okay. So I'd like to introduce all of you. This is lawrence lawr...

ence. This is lauren and castleman and I photograph their wedding. I said two months ago they're still in the honeymoon phase. A cz you can tell this is the show I went over here she's incredibly shy, so I thought I'd start by doing we're going to do a couple of photographs of the two of them that I want to create something that's just a bit more contemporary this is pretty much what they were on their on their wedding day with the exception, I think vince for a white shirt and what I wanted you to see is it that not every couple we're going to photograph the same way, so the first thing I'd like to do is I'd love to get my stepladder over here and so let's see let's, grab that stepladder and bring it over here. I'm not going to stand on the steps letter, actually, I'm gonna put lauren on that. Can I move this chair for a second? Okay, so what I want to do is I'm going to center the chair. I think I might like to have it about like this because I want that backdrop to be kind of our yellow doors, you see right over there and then we're gonna actually have of lawrence stand on this step letter it's going to seem a bit weird from your standpoint, but my goal is to create something that's just a little bit more contemporary s o okay, so hop up there q t and I think I'll bring in a step ladder I mean the uh what am I saying the reflector here just a little bit um I'm not sure yet punking yet maybe the top step baby wait let's see what we got here okay now this seems really were lee were you be careful hey by the way you know what can you hold on to this and just take your shoes off yeah you're not going to see the step letter from camera position my goal is to crop the ladder out but I want to create something that's just a bit more unique so the first thing I'm gonna have you do vince come right over here baby and I want to turn your feet towards me this direction right about here turn a little bit more with your feet excellent very nice and you know how you could go like you can go like this and you go like that right okay can you go like this for me yeah on your feet excellent can you take this foot and I love those shoes by the way those are awesome good and then just bring this foot out a little bit more now did you notice why I did that why did I have him move to the left or to the right? Well because it shifts the weight from one leg to the other if you have trouble with your your groups and you wantto be able to get them to look more relaxed if you just have them lift up their foot like they're going to step on a butterfly and say I want to set it down and like you're going to step on a butterfly and not squish it so which means that they won't put the pressure back on that foot the goal is to take the take the weight off both feet and put it on just one and then have the weight off the other foot okay so now he looks great right here so lauren what I want you to do is you're just turn this way a little more vince when you feel a bit more excellent and then lauren I just want you to just gonna you're gonna lean right over the top of him beautiful very very nice tilt your head this way just a little bit and drop your chin down a little bit more excellent very nice and just lock your fingers right there stunning let's try that you know what I'm gonna have you switch your knees beautiful that's better for me I'm gonna bring in my little reflector just a tad more to get a bit more light on the front of her face because we have is that gonna be okay for you can you can you move around that way that's better right about there is where I need to go okay, so now we grab a camera see I really want to create some images that are a bit surprising so by creating this kind of a strong dynamic hey you know what vince can you just grab her hand right there beautiful oh that's really nice kids actually I like that lauren that's beautiful lauren look right at me stunning hey vince tilt your head a little bit more this way stunning and turn your faces for a little bit more dynamite and I'd love to have can I have a limit of a step stool right here mike lawrence strangers sample a bit more with your head and I want you to drop your chin oh that's my girl hey mike could I get you to just give me a little reflector underneath them and then hey lauren move your hair off this shoulder put it on your back shoulder my eyes so is set at six forty my shutter speed is about two hundred on that one point I met f or o actually love that that's beautiful lauren just kind of lean on him on love that honey sweetie that is so nice vince you look wonderful gorgeous right in their stunning and now lauren I want you to turn your face towards the wind love it oh I like that hey mike can you just fix her hair a little bit on that back side yeah and then on the other side pull it down on the other side yeah. That's. Nice, beautiful that's great mike that's beautiful. You know what? Hey, mike, do me a favor. It looks like he's got long hair way s so we just need to tuck it behind his head. Otherwise, he looks like he's got a ponytail and it would be okay if he actually really had a ponytail. Beautiful. Love it, lauren best. Very nice right there, vince that's so nice, gorgeous. And now, lauren, turn your face towards me. Love that right there. Oh, that's just beautiful kids. G wiz. Didn't somebody tell you you're supposed to get old and fat when you get married? No, small were just lovely right there. Beautiful love it. And now, lauren, turn your face this way a little bit more and actually, can you get down on your knee right there? Would that be too uncomfortable for you, gorgeous and what? I want you you're gonna turn your shoulders this way a little bit more. Oh, honey that's really, really nice. And now turn your face back towards me a little bit don't move that's don't move, vince that's gorgeous for you. And I'm going to take this photograph and then I'm gonna explain to you why I'm photographing it this way let's, make this a horizontal print love that actually this looks lovely gorgeous spence you look amazing hey lauren um I want you with your cheek just to kind of lean in to give a little hug with the chico that's beautiful honey gorgeous ra love it hey lauren can you bust out laughing for no apparent reason awesome as you could tell she she went to buy a personality dot com okay see now that's when you should have your camera up to your eyes when they're actually doing something really really like that beautiful very very nice gorgeous lovely ok now I actually love the way I have vince posed and I really like how simple and simple this is so vince turn your feet that way a whole bunch more towards the window oh I like that that's really nice and now lauren I want you to lean towards him and just kind of lock your arms but keep your shoulders really tall stunning oh honey that's really really nice and then hold her hand right there stunning oh that's beautiful lauren I love really like that lauren turn your face towards me right here beautiful honey and now just give him a little squeeze like you're hugging him like it's all that's nice a little bit right there give him a little bit more of a hug awesome perfect gorgeous now do you see why I why I posed them that way and I had them give you sure that that little sui's like it's the last time they're ever going to hug you see those kinds of little impactful moments that's what's going to give their photographs mohr personality and more feeling and I really want them to have that emotional connection. My goal is to take a serious of photographs in this environment because they all have the same hue in the background that's great for for a variety for a grouping of images that will go across a double page spread. So now let me have lord, let me have you hop off that debt stool for me they and now I want to have her I think I'm gonna do something of you sitting in that window I think it could be a little bit of interesting. So let's sum, we're going toe will spring our stool over here are our ladder because safety first and you can keep your shoes off I want you to sit in the window. Can you sit there without hurting yourself? Yeah, awesome. Scoot back towards the wall. Be careful now if she does fall out the window way have a there's, a there's, a real hole. We have a whole platform down below so she won't fall her somehow tio okay, you're beautiful right there, vince come in really close to her on that side right there on that over there and what I want you to you're going to turn towards her with your body turn your feet towards her a little bit more and I want you oh, actually, what a gorgeous ring I should lean into her like this for me just lean it with other hand like this and I want you to love it beautiful and now lauren put your arms behind your hand behind his head right here love it and what I'm gonna have her do is I want her to lean towards him with her chest that's really important because that's going to give her a beautiful it's gonna arch her back and give her a really beautiful look. Let me see how it looks from camera position nice oh that's beautiful kids stunning and this time I think I'm going I'm going tio change my shutters because I want to expose it a little bit more because of the window stunning right there beautiful love it meet back up just a little bit more so I could get a full length shot of this oh, I like that gorgeous. And now, lauren you're gonna lean over his shoulder this way towards me good and drop this arm down his back oh, honey, right oh, I like that right there and I want you to just shut those eyes and hug him like that's the last time you're ever gonna hug but I need some giggling defense tickler right there hey, uncle mike, can you give me some light on the front of her face beautiful love it hey, you know what coming grab one of those ice lights let's get the the, uh jury jonas ice light I think I could get something beautiful there yeah don't let her fall out the window that's beautiful kids I love it. Hey, lauren love it right there. Just lean right over him towards me this way here look right here. Missy, can you put your hand in his hair? Beautiful. Awesome. No small just ruled quiet shut up a little bit beautiful and vince river a real hug now nice shut those eyes like you really mean it, darling love it gorgeous. Excellent. That was absolutely gorgeous. Okay. And now since I've done that, vince, step over here for just a moment and lauren, stay put for a second and uncle mike let's give her a little bit of light don't you fall out of that window, I will come and smack hey, lauren, come turn your feet this way a little bit more because I want you to lean into the oh, I love that don't move that's beautiful really, really like that I'm gonna have you children had just a tiny bit oh, stunning darling beautiful awesome right in their gorgeous oh michael that's just absolutely beautiful hey, lauren this hand over on this side can you just grab the curtain stunning oh, I love that now this will do it do two things for me the first thing it's going to do is it gives me a chance to kind of in a very subtle way to show off her ring tilt your head that way a little bit she has an amazing ring it's so perfect right there love it absolutely gorge something back up just a little something get your whole dress. You okay, honey? You're not gonna pull out of the window, right? Yeah, I know. Uh, very nice turn your face towards the window like you're looking old love that score. Just look at me a second tilt your head that way a little bit tilted the other way. Actually, this is just amazing right here while I like that got it corgis really? Pretty. I'm telling you, if you were a pretty girl, this would be amazing. This would be such a fabulous shoot. Ok, can I have? Actually, you know what I think I'd like to do is I want to take a photograph from this position over here, so, um is it okay, gentlemen, if I move that way to photograph, okay? So what I'd like to do now is I think I want to do something where I just actually see a little bit more of the side of her face hey lauren, can you bring your hand upon the window right there just like like down that way love it just right there's fine actually, michael pull that window shut a little bit just like that were handed this perfect and like standing way over on that side give me a little light on her face here I'm I'm probably getting a little let's see if I can do this without actually I really like that is gorgeous actually that looks better than I thought it was going to look, everyone says I look out and do some right? Beautiful gorgeous hang on a second we're gonna change. Okay? That's fine. Go for it. Very, very nice. Hey, lauren, can you bring this arm down now on the window sill towards me and I want you with your chest is just a lean that direction right there and lean forward about another six inches more, more love it beautiful honey, let me back up so I can get a little bit more oh, I like that of your dress that's stunning now I'll do a little bit of cropping and post because I'm I've got a little bit of a periphery showing here can you stay right there? Events you're gonna go in that picture you okay? They uncross your legs and vince just go stand in front of your bride oh, no it right in front of her. I liked that I liked a suit. I see it already coming really close and you're gonna just come in really close right there come towards the window sill punkin noah events your scooter pie he's pumpkin would you get it right? God beautiful. And now lauren okay, very nice. Can you just take both of his hands right there stunning right in there and then just coming really close with your faces? I'm going overexpose this a little bit for the face will see what looks like here gorgeous love it me back up and get a fooling shot right here. Actually, I like that put your hand on his face gorgeous. Very, very nice. Okay, let's, get her out of the window and I want to do a few images of of this handsome dude right here now so let's do that um and I am so we're gonna move this reflector back a little bit um I think I'm okay with out the window. Excellent, very good. Do I have quick? Does anybody have any questions while I'm photographing this? My goal with these two kids is tohave to give a variety if I'm going to do a promotional piece ideally I'd love to do a promo piece that had more than one had the same couple in more than one kind of scenario so then somebody have you turn your feet this way and I want you to back up just a little bit and lean up against this yellow door thing right here love it just kinda like the all love it can you cross your ankles from me but other way gorgeous and just kind of leaning ah love it nice night, vince that looks awesome tilt your head this way just a little bit perf rick really cool. I'm gonna move my camera position and change my angle on his face old michael, can I have a little bit of light on him? I feel like I need a little bit more light to clean him up because it's the light's very flat and what I want michael go right in front of him cause I'm gonna photograph in this direction because I think I like I'll like the way this is going to look for him very well turn your face towards me events beautiful. Come in a little closer to him mike nice great right here. Love advance, tilt your head that way so I heard you guys went teo phoenix city, alabama on your honeymoon gorgeous okay, great um and one last spot I want to photograph you and come on over your kids I need you lauren and vince we'll use um this additional b the second area that we're going to shoot so we'll just need to move those few little things and let's move these pieces right here and I'm probably gonna photograph do a full length shot of them and again I want to keep it a little bit contemporary I'm gonna put vince a little closer to the light source and you lauren so then I just want you to have a scene you're gonna button your jacket for this and I just want you about like this okay? Turn your legs this way a little bit pale love it just like that unless actually I like this. Okay, let's try this and then oh yeah I actually just thought of something. Okay, lauren, I want you to come right here and you're going to just actually I like this a lot I want to stand and hold just hold his hands right here come right between this leg right there. Now what this to me is about is about vince come this way just a little bit, sweetie, did you notice what happened? I want you to see what happens when lauren moves to the left to the right a little bit see how she comes between his face and the light source now if we move her this way now we get that beautiful rim light on his face and it really will feature him a bit more I'm not sure exactly where I'm going I might do a full length and show her back she has a really pretty back of her gown I want to show that off a bit let's get your hair correct here love and I notice that she's not standing flat footed here want you to do this for me? Stand flatfooted for a second look what happens with her her backside when she stands on both feet we don't want that we want to show she has a great dress that's going to show off her shape watch what happens push your hips towards me this way you see when you put your your weight on one on one leg you force pressure on that bottom cheek on that on that cheek which gives you much more shape shaped penis on your backside so it's a really it's, much more flattering and at the end of the day we need to take flattering pictures of our subjects not just pictures of them and not just lots of pictures of them okay, so we're going to wrap this up so let's do a couple of images this way very nice oh, I love that that's really nice vents where I'll look at it that excellent and now hang on a second backup to get a full length shot of this gorgeous love it you guys how that's pretty nice haven stretch out this leg a little bit here can you stretch out and stretch it out towards the wall? Love it, love it love it awesome got it gorgeous. Very nice. And then hey, vince, can you come in really close to him, lauren beer more with your feet. And vince, I want you to lead over her arm right here towards me. This way. Nice all that's. Really nice. See, this is about you. Wow, look right here, vince, with your fate with your eyes. Beautiful, honey. Love it. Excellent. Lauren, can you lean towards him with your chin? Beautiful and just dropped that. I love that, right? They're corgis on a count of three. I need you to whisper something in his ear right there because he's totally lost me. I don't have any sum, nothing going on in here and love it beautiful and just get a horizontal and we're good. Got it. Thank you too. Very much awesome do have questions. Okay, so now our couples going to go change clothes looks great wait do have plenty of questions great, um if we are good to start okay um and to design says bambi always works so well with people is that something that comes naturally or is it something that she's developed over the years any tips yeah I would say um learn tio to turn your fear into fearlessness because really what it boils down to when you when you're not good at communicating people because you're afraid because we're all afraid of having somebody think we're an idiot right? Well I think one of the benefits of being fifty five is that you just really you know you already figured you know you did that you know, people are already going to know you can't fool him any longer right so I would say you know acknowledge that you've got fears but then work tio I don't know that you ever overcome that because really I'm actually very shy I know you're going probably sit there you're rolling your eyes I'm sure but I actually am very very shy but I keep it on the inside you see when I meet people I made myself when I walk into a room wherever I'm at I meet people when I met w p c I the big wedding and portrait photographers international convention I go every single year and I make sure that when I walk into a room I start walking up to people going hi I'm bambi cantrell I looked them right in the eyes and I shake their hand and I start asking them questions about themselves tell me a little bit about your studio because the thing that I've learned is that you can't overcome fear if you stay back you know you're never going to get over it so you might as well do something whatever you can to turn get used to it I think that's what is this about getting used to being with people and then it's been my experience that the more that you that you learn about people the more you are absolutely endeared to them and I think when you start really finding out who people are yu learn how much you love them and I gotta tell you I love people I don't think there's anything more entertaining and more interesting than human beings are I mean, we are so incredibly funny even when we're not trying to be you know, I mean, you see that person who walks in the room and they think they totally on the room and they've got a piece of toilet paper hanging off the back of their pants I mean it's just a writer who also do I mean animals don't do that they don't have that like oh my gosh did you see you don't look at that dog the way he wagons still write so I just think that that's you know I think that if you embrace people and you learn tio really embrace humanity you can't help but learn to be interested in them if you're interested in them, then you know you can't help but get them get great expressions from them because it's about the art of listening in fact it's good that you that that question was asked because when lauren and vincent come back, I really believe that this is one of the ways that you start is by role playing and I want you to watch the kinds of questions that I asked them and the way that I communicate with him because it really goes a long way with with creating kind of that report with your client great so that shoot there were a couple people who are wondering now is that the sort of shoot that you would do after a wedding? Is this a normal thing for you? Or was this morpher demonstrative? Perp this is for us today great question actually it's for demonstration I've got to tell you very seldom I'd say maybe once every five years do I get on opportunity, I don't do re shoots, you know, like where we go out and take the day and play I don't do trash the dress sessions generally because I'm just so busy I've so many things going on with my studio and trying to, you know, do family portrait and such that I don't really have a lot of time to do that kind of a photo shoot. Um, I'd love to do more of them, I think it's a lot of fun, and I think it's a great way for you to practise new concepts and one of the things that I tried to do if I'm tryingto learn and make a new concept become my own is I find that if you do it five times that it'll become yours and that you khun, it'll become part of your routine. So that's one of the reasons I develop two cards the control cue cards because I remembered learning, trying to learn a new post, I'd seen a really cool picture in vogue magazine that I wanted to emulate that I loved, and I kept that well, how did that come from it? And and I learned that if I do, if I try to practice it five times that on the fifth time, I'll get it down to where I like it and then it becomes mine now the first four times what you probably asking yourself? What do you do with the first couple of times when it looks completely stupid? Well, this is what you do, you just do it with your client, and even though it looks ridiculous, you go ahead and take the picture. You act as though you own it like it is the most amazing thing you ever taken, and then you just move forward, and no, you don't show it to them, and when they ask you, well, can I see that picture that you took of us doing such as, you know, we all have blanks in our lives, right? So you just it's just not there it's not available for them to see. So I just got up, you know, that's one of those things, what can I say? Misfire, whatever team there we go, I wish I can get all right. We had a a couple of technical questions, and one was from florida when your baby, when you're shooting the couple, which I do put your focus box on, oh, great question I use the forward I so in other words, if my subjects facing this direction, my focus is generally going to be on this eye because, you know, and especially if I'm I'm photographing at a shallow depth of field, sometimes if I'm using the eighty five millimeter lens or one of those I'm shooting at like one point two or one point eight or something, you better make sure you have that forward I and focus because otherwise you don't get anything because we expect to see the eyes and focus on a subject when we're we're looking at their face when they're looking at us. And if that forward eyes and sharp kind of makes us feel icky and it's not we don't like it as humans, and that was for if there are two people you're still doing the most forward of absolutely and also when there's two people, especially in a shallow depth of field, I want to make sure that all those eyes are on the same plane, so I wouldn't have one couple their face way back here because those eyes are going to be sharp, so I want their eyes to be the face is to be level are on the same plane, a couple questions about posing and kind of location studio v kimberly wonders, is there any particular reason why you were posing the bride higher in most of those poses? Great question, because it's a bit of a surprise because we generally like things to be, you know, generally we see the groom is always dominant, right? So I always say well let's try shake it up a little bit because everybody does that and so I just started thinking about you know wouldn't it be kind of fun to see her curled around him you see that there's still they're still connected I don't think it's to be subservient in any way but it just and by the way that's also on ly a very small segment of what I might do in a shoot that's only for demonstration so if I had had more time I would shoot I would switch it up and put him on the other's position as well cool I think we can keep going ok so now being we were talking about changes and so forth and pricing and such this is circa bambi cantrell nineteen eighty eight and the recent showing you old contracts by the way is I feel that if you see where I came from that it'll make you feel better and you'll go hey you know what she used to be one of us and and if I can do it anybody can sew in nineteen eighty eight I was charging sixty six hundred twenty five maybe it was eight hundred fifty dollars with tax as you can see this contract is pretty much a complete mess um after that in nineteen ninety one for six hours of photography with thirty six eight by tens and such it was nine ninety five after that, uh, in nineteen ninety two. Whoa! Hold on a second. My prices went up a little bit. Fifteen hundred for shooting a wedding. This one would provide them a little bigger album. Nineteen, ninety six. Oh, my goodness. Holy cow. I'm up to twenty seven hundred dollars. What I hope that you'll be starting to see here is if you're down there. Boy, that was in nineteen ninety six. Do you realize that's almost twenty years ago, that's six, seventeen years ago. What in the world is wrong with our industry? Think about that. I mean, everything there's inflation are houses. They're worth a lot more than they were then. And are cars? I mean, yet you know what, what's the deal. So, um, here we go. And then here is something that was really quite amazing. You'll start noticing a huge change in the in the two thousands and and too thin in two thousand. This was actually in nineteen ninety nine, and I'm gonna tell you a really quick story about this. In nineteen ninety nine, I did something amazing. And I told you guys a little bit about this yesterday, but I wanted you to see it in writing. In january of nineteen, ninety nine, I always raised my rates every year I was adjust my pricing or I adjust what I'm giving, not necessary price increase. But I always do some sort of adjustments just to tweak them a bit, because I know that there's two things the bride wants she wants know how long you're going to be there, and she wants around. Those are the two big things that she generally likes these days. They want their files. So any rate in january, my top price was was five thousand, and I decided to raise it and put a one in front of it. This is an absolute truth. I raised my rates and just put a one in front of a five, and so I, um, my staff, and it really was stroking and thinking, this is ridiculous. Nobody's gonna pay fifteen thousand dollars in nineteen, ninety nine to hire me, but I always say, it's, just a piece of paper. Think about it, it's, just a piece of paper, what happens if they don't book it? So what have a sale? You know, the worst thing that can happen is that they don't book it the funny part is you know, this is the psychology behind and I'm not a psychologist I is this that I have a two point o g p a from hardaway high school but you know, it just sounds to be like that if you have something that's super expensive and then you have other things below it that are that are much more reasonable or, you know much more affordable don't they look even more reasonable when you have something super high at the top? So I thought, hey, this is great so I'm the funny part was is that by may I booked at once in july a book to twice and so the moral of the story is is that if you do not have something in your price sing I like good better best three coverage is I liked that philosophy because the middle one is where people will go um I want to have something that's expensive for me and my community now maybe for you and your community in springfield, missouri the most anyone's ever paid for photography is, you know, two thousand dollars well, maybe you make your top coverage a little bit more than that once you've booked that coverage twice you must you must raise the bar you must raise it cause it's no longer unattainable

Class Description

Are you thinking about creating, revamping or maximizing your home or studio space? In this creativeLIVE photography course, Bambi Cantrell shows you how to take everyday materials to design stunning shooting spaces, and how to use available areas such as doors and windows for special effects. You'll discover how to use your marketing money in the most efficient way, including strategically working with local businesses, auctions and bridal fairs, as well as how to create a strong marketing brand. You'll come away from this photography course with everything you need to identify and create inventive shooting spaces, a strong marketing plan, and a new look for your business!

In this in-depth look inside Bambi's studio, you'll see all of the materials and processes she uses, including how she scours thrift shops for props and sets up her award-winning shoots.