Posing Curvy Brides
I am particularly excited for this lesson. It is how to shoot a curvy bride. And now one of my favorite things as a wedding photographer is the ability to make a girl feel beautiful. It is the most amazing job perk for me to walk away having seen somebody blossom in front of my camera. I can't tell you the gratification that it fills and I see you guys nodding in the audience, so we understand what that means. So now that we're on the same page, I realize that I have read over the internet over the years that there are photography tutorials addressing how to photograph large brides, how to photograph plus sized brides, how to photograph overweight brides. But what I'm going to say that this is different, because this is not one of those, remotely. This guide, this lesson will be how to shoot a bride of any size, but lucky for us today, the bride is a size 16. She came into this shoot knowing that I wanted to shoot somebody with curves. So that the things that I'm applying because there...
is also another lesson, top five bridal tips. But the criticism that I can easily come across is, well that's easy Jasmine because all of your brides are X. And that's not the case. I just happen to be really good at making girls of any size be confident, and confidence translates as beauty, and beauty is what is so attractive in a photo. From the inside out. So the tips that I'm going to be sharing today apply to how I shoot all of my brides, and I'm going to be mentioning specific ways to highlight curves and focus on finding good angles. Most important is I want my clients to feel comfortable. When they feel comfortable, they are empowered to shine. Now the number one tip that I can give when shooting a bride of curvy nature or any nature, is to make sure that she is having a good time. If she is not having a good time, you will be climbing an uphill battle. I want women to feel beautiful, I want them to feel effortless, I want them to feel whole in front of my camera, and it is not her job to be that way. It is my job to make her that way. And I do this by talking to her behind my camera. But this is something that I do to all my clients. Now that you are so far advanced into this 30 day course you will now know that I am a talker. I am not naturally a talker, I prefer silence, but when it comes to working with my clients, I err on the side of really meeting her where she is. And secondly, I'm constantly providing positive feedback. That is so important, but it is so important for girls who might be struggling with image issues, and I am not talking about weight. I could be talking about appearance, I could be talking about scarring, I could be talking about premature graying. I could be talking about wrinkles. Whatever that issue is for a female, I want to make sure that I'm ahead of her saying you got this, you're beautiful, you got this, you've got this. For an hour she's gonna walk away thinking I got this, I got this, and that's exactly what I want. Lastly, I'm going to modify each pose to ensure that I'm doing two things, highlighting curves and understanding her angles. Now what I want to do is, I want to first clarify that it is not a photographer's job to mask or hide what a girl looks like. A photographer's job is to highlight what she looks like. And highlighting the best parts of her is what good photographers do. Now getting a bride comfortable is easy when I follow the following things. I talk to my bride behind the camera. I have said this just a couple of minutes ago and I'm gonna say it again in case you might have dozed off. Because this is the key thing that I do. I instruct her to relax her shoulders. It is natural that when a bride gets nervous that this comes up and it is never a good look. So I'm constantly saying take a deep breath, relax the shoulders. Also, I am asking her to pull in her core. I choose my words carefully. I tell all my brides of any shape to pull in their core, because overall it makes the female figure look stronger. It focuses on their posture, but far be it from me to ever say suck in your stomach, bring in your belly. There's a difference, and because when you said pull in your core, it's not longer suck in your stomach, it's pulling in the core, pulling the shoulders back, and that happens naturally when you use the right verbiage. Lastly, a big thing that I do to help highlight curves, is to ask the bride to help distribute her weight into one leg or the other. What this does is it brings the weight out of both knees and locking of the thighs, and creates a nice, relaxed structure, resting her booty naturally back, her core up, chin out and down. These are a few things that you're gonna see me discuss in this lesson and now we're gonna walk you through that video. So today we are in Laguna Beach, but specifically, Laguna Canyon. We're less than a mile away from the beach but kind of like a rustic feel at sunset. We're gonna be talking about today is how to shoot a curvy bride. Specifically how we're gonna be shooting a curvy bride in a way that's most complementary, period. Now I say most complementary, not because she's curvy, not because she's not curvy. I want to shoot my brides in any shape, any size, any color, the most complementary way. One of my top priorities is to ensure that when my bride feels that when she looks at her wedding photos, they look like a distinction and a derivative of my portfolio. She hired me specifically for a reason, I want to make sure that what she's going to get from her wedding day doesn't look any different because of her size. It simply looks like an extension of the portfolio. So I'm not gonna employ techniques that I've seen or heard, one of them being, people would say oh you should shoot down on a bride, so if the bride were to squat and I shoot down on her, sure it might look complementary, but I've never done that with any of my other brides, so why would I do that with her. I think that she would maybe look at that and think, she's probably doing this because of my size. And that's the last thing I want. My goal as I enter the shoot is to shoot a bride the same way I would shoot any other bride. And we're gonna be incorporating things like slimming tonalities, but at the same time, she knows her size and she embraces it. One of the reasons I'm excited to work with Ashley, is because she's confident, she's curvy and she's a lot of fun. And I'm going to talk to you on a few things about what I do and how I do it, so here we go. We have some broken light behind us, some beautiful back lit, but it's being diffused through the branches of the trees, so it's going to be fantastic. I'm not gonna expect anything from my clients to begin with, because this is first and foremost how I want to see, how their bodies interact with each other and the lines that I can see between two formations. I'm going to be focusing on putting them in a shaded area so I can have this beautiful back light, but I'm also going to be putting a natural reflector in front of them, because if I was shooting without the natural reflector, light illuminating a ground in front of them. Here we're working with a brown, tan color, which is going to be great because it's going to offset the green tonalities in this, and I'm going to leverage that to the best of my ability. In this particular case, Matt and Ashley our beautiful models for today, and they are just looking fabulous, are going to be working together. And the best part of it is they are roughly the same height which is going to give me a lot of flexibility to shoot wide open, which is absolutely one of my favorite things to do. So Ashley, now one thing that I'm going to take into consideration is behind Ashley we have kind of just like a hiker's kind of chair overhang thing and I don't want that to be in my frame, so I'm going to position Ashley so that I can shoot at an angle that I can crop it before post. So I'm thinking about these things in advance. So I'm going to probably be shooting in this direction. So Ashley can you square your shoulders towards me. Beautiful, and I'm gonna bring you down. Now one thing I want to notice is that it's kind of curved, where we're working at is curved, and because Ashley and Matt are about the same height I don't want to put her at an elevation which would make her taller than Matt. So I'm gonna have you come down this way, right there, perfect. And so I'm seeing this nice beautiful light behind her hair which is exactly what I want, she has this beautiful color hair. I'm gonna square your shoulders towards me. And then Matt you're gonna come in and you are going to put your chest towards Ashley. So come in this way, so I'm gonna be shooting your profile. So come in nice and close. Beautiful beautiful beautiful. I'm gonna have you relax your dress. Awesome. Okay cool. Now, Matt can you have your hands here, come in nice and close. Beautiful. Ashley can you spread your feet out a little tiny bit. Beautiful, now what I want you to do is put your weight distinctly into one hip or the other. Matt you're going to bring your body nice and close. Beautiful. And then Ashley, you are gonna your hand here. I need you to relax and I'm going to adjust this in a sec. I'm gonna get my camera. Ash can I have you, I'm already abbreviating your name. (laughs) We're tight like that. Can you open your legs a tiny bit, a tiny bit, and then give me that same kind of, I think, there we go. There we go. That's beautiful. Now Matt can you come in nice and close. Bring your body in nice and close. There we go, beautiful. And let's see, Ashley can I see your elbow on the inside of Matt's arm. Yes, beautiful. And then Matt don't feel the pressure to bring your arms all the way around, just kind of relax your arms a tiny bit, that's beautiful. That's beautiful. I'm gonna get my light right, I'm gonna be at ISO 200. I'm going to shoot, right now I just want them looking at each other. I'm gonna get my light, see where I'm gonna be. Yeah this is exactly where I want to be. I'm at 2.2 640 for the second 200 ISO. Beautiful. Can you guys look towards the 133. Beautiful. Can you guys bring your faces in together, just a little bit. Beautiful. Heck yeah. Good. Good, good, good good good. We're starting off really really really strong. Nice. Now what I wanna do is I wanna have a slight change of the formation of the arm. So Matt, relax your left arm, all the way down. Nice, and then Ashley can you put your hand, yes, beautiful, um no. Thumb out, yep, exactly like that. So the reason I'm having Ashley can you put your arm down. Beautiful. So this is Ashley's beautiful, gorgeous figure. But what I'm gonna do is, I'm gonna use her hand to create a nice, natural cinching area for her waist, because I'm gonna highlight everything good that she has. And by doing that too, what's going to happen is naturally I have your arm down, just relax. I have this, you have a beautiful figure, now I'm gonna put this in, move your hand here, relax. And now I've opened up her arm, I'm giving her a natural cinch and then I'm gonna have Matt's hands, either in his pocket or on her waist. I'm going to choose to see what looks best in a second. So Matt can I have your hand in your pocket. Excuse me your pant pocket. Nice, and what I'm gonna do I'm gonna make a slight adjustment to the jacket so I can see a little bit more of the, good. And then Matt I might have you open towards me. I have you guys in like, bugville. (laughs) Matt you're just playing it off really well, it's great.
They like the hairspray.
Oh. (laughs) Good. Now Matt can you open up your left shoulder towards me. A little bit more, eyes here, nice. And then Ashley you're gonna be looking at Matt. Beautiful. What I'm going to do now is have Matt on the incline. I'm gonna give Matt a little bit more of just natural height. The reason why I shot them this way is because Ashley's hair opened up and I got to see the beautiful curvature of her body and face, but now I'm gonna just flip it so I can get the back of her dress, we're gonna show a few things. So Matt I'm gonna get you here on this incline. You're gonna be right about here. Kinda stand right there, nice. Beautiful. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. Can you come up this way, nice, beautiful. Hang on, good. And then Matt can you kind of distribute the weight unevenly in one leg or the other. Exactly, awesome. And then if you can have the hand in your pocket to be the front hand, good, beautiful. And so I'm not going to have Ashley facing me with squared shoulders, anytime I can highlight a girl's figure, one thing I wanna take a quick second to talk about, would be the idea of creating a thunderbolt with the female figure. I do this with a bride of any size. I'm going position her shoulders not directly at me but at a slight angle, then I'm going to have her rest her posture into one hip or the other. By doing that it's going to create a natural curvature within the abdomen, then I'm going to have her rest within her hips, I'm gonna have her choose her favorite hip and I'm going to make sure that she's not falling forward with it like this or even like this, I'm gonna have her bring everything in and back. So in through the booty, back, head out chin down, and she's just gonna be shifting her shoulders a little bit and we'll be changing the posture from here to there. Ashley, you heard what I was gonna say so you know what's gonna come next. So I want you to feel okay with the bouquet to have it in any way, shape or form. If you even want to flip the bouquet in the other hand I'm going to kind of just work with you a little bit to see what's going to work the best. I'm gonna put my aperture at an F2.8. I'm gonna compensate down to a 400th of a second because we are quickly losing light because we are in the canyon. This is really good. Matt bring your left shoulder towards me a little bit. There we go, nice. So Ash, I'm just gonna have you just kind of work from side to side, so I want, beautiful. Beautiful. Bring that left hand to your hip.
Yeah, bring that shoulder back to me a tiny bit, cool, beautiful, beautiful. Gorgeous. I want you to bring the core in, booty back, there you go, gorgeous. I want to make sure that I take a point and Ashley knows that I'm using this exclusively for educational purposes. I want to make sure that I never say suck your belly in. I want to say bring the core in. Because all of the sudden it changes the dimension. I'm not saying that she has a belly, I'm just having her bring everything in. And the minute that I said that, she implicitly understood, brought everything in, booty back and brought it forward, which is exactly what I wanted. Take a deep breath, relax this right arm. Girl, beautiful. Beautiful. Now I want to get something a little bit, Matt can you get your feet underneath. You're gonna come up, actually come back up, I'm gonna bring Ashley to you. Good. Now, quick, quick, quick, that's beautiful. Quick small thing. I initially had Matt come to Ashley, but by Matt coming to Ashley I lost his height advantage. So instead of Matt coming to Ashley, I backed Ashley up into Matt, so he still has the height. And I have him come down around, Ashley you're gonna, bring her torso to your back. Ashley you can have your hands here, okay. Beautiful. Now what I'm going to do is I'm going to try out a few things. Matt can I have your hand here. Rad. So I'm going to have Matt's hand there, because I want Ashley to feel a hundred percent comfortable and most brides of any shape feel the most self-conscious about their arms. Anything that I can do to get Matt nice and close to Ashley, bring her in nice and close, it makes it look and feel natural and have that wedding day connection, it's going to be the thing that I'm gonna do. This is where I want your hand ultimately to end, we're not gonna start there. Have your hand relax, beautiful. And then what you're going to do is Ash bring this a little bit towards me, good. And then just kind of, there we go. So I'm gonna tell him where I want him to end, and then I'm gonna peel back and have him repeat it. So I'm losing light a little tiny bit so I'm gonna switch to just 320th of a second. So I'm gonna count you down and so I don't want you guys to be aware of me. This is just gonna be a moment just for the two of you guys. Matt your hand's gonna go to her arm and then with your left hand you're gonna put it around her waist and then bring her in nice and close, like a nice big cuddle. We're gonna try it and we can amend it from there if I feel like it's not gonna be exactly what I want. So let me count you down. Great, I'm at 250th of a second, I need a modification and then we have, okay. Here we go. In three, two and one. Nice. Beautiful, beautiful. Great. That's exactly what I want. This time Matt, for your fingers, instead of having a palm, I want you to kind of bring your fingers in a little bit closer, and with your left hand I want you to guide your beautiful, beautiful bride to be in. (laughs) Good, beautiful. Great, I'm gonna pause, I'm gonna switch the position of my camera but everything you guys are doing is right. And then this time I kinda just want you to tilt your face Matt in a little bit more towards Ashley. I'm gonna switch my aperture because I can, they're not gonna be looking at me til one point two. I want more bits of the background but I need to compensate for light, I'm shooting at a one point two. Testing light to be at six, I'm gonna change it to 800ths of a second. Good, one point two 800ths of a second, 200 ISO. Great. I'm gonna have you guys bring it in in three, two and one. (camera shutter) Beautiful. Great, let's move in, I'm just gonna follow the light. Any time that I'm losing light as quickly as I am right now I'm going to find the best light because good light makes anybody look good all the time. We're gonna walk this way guys, I'll take your dress. Walk this way. Okay as I'm walking to this next location, I'm going to actually shoot a bridal portrait of Ashley. Ashley I'm going to have you pause here.
I actually just like what's going on a lot, and so I'm gonna use this background. Since I'm shooting in the canyon, the sun has fallen behind the canyon which means I'm not gonna get a sunset proper but I still will get golden illumination which is fine. Because I don't have really strong natural reflectors, I'm just gonna try to find the light that I think she looks the best in. Because I stayed within this area, I have to understand that behind I still have like a hiker's information center. I want to crop that out. I want to adjust hair and make sure that it's balanced. I'm going to shoot a proper just very traditional bridal portrait. What I'm going to do first is because she has a really, I'm gonna shoot her facing me and then I'm gonna have her face the mountain so that I can actually get her turning over her shoulder. Any time I can get a bride to twist within their abdomen, and put the weight somewhere else, it's going to give them a very nice hourglass figure. Now Ashley if you want to do anything, you want to try anything, you want to give me a pose that you feel the strongest in, you do that. So I might have ideas but I'm totally willing to work with you, I'm gonna start you off right here. I'm gonna be shooting this at ISO 200. I am at one point two. I will try to shoot all my bridal portraits when possible, if possible at a one point two because everybody looks great at a one point two. We have some beautiful focus, we have this gorgeous light, great. You look phenomenal. You look so beautiful. So in this, as I'm talking to you, I want you to give me a variation in looks and faces. So a full smile, a half smile, smiling with your eyes, I'll let you know, I'll be talking you through every step of the way, but so far, we're just doing phenomenal. Want you to take a deep breath, look out towards the 133. Beautiful. Chin down, gorgeous. Good lord, woman. I mean you gotta make my job a little harder. (laughs) Good. Beautiful. So I'm doing a full body, and then I am making sure that I'm going to be talking to my bride, because what just happened here is exactly what happens naturally on a wedding day. I'm talking to her so I have that beautiful, regal, fierce look, then I talk to her and I get her to laugh. A bride of any shape, any size, that's exactly what I want to do. I want to make them comfortable. I want to make them look like they are having fun and feeling good. I did a full body vertical. I'm gonna step in to do a half body vertical. I might have to adjust my light ever so slightly. I'm gonna be at one point two, 1600ths of a second, 200 ISO, my focal point will be as I am facing the bride, my focal point will be on her right eye, because her left eye is covered by her bangs. Beautiful. Beautiful. Now I want you to shift the weight in your legs, kind of give me a little shimmy. Atta girl. So that's exactly what, boom. You just hang out there, beautiful, look down at the bouquet, take a deep breath, good. Actually do what you were about to do because that was beautiful. Slight smile, beautiful. Eyes down at the bouquet. Good, pause here. So what happened with Ashley which was really cool because she just fell into it. She already had this great posture, but then she took the liberty to actually fall deeper into it. Anytime a bride is feeling confident enough to actually come this way, what we're gonna do is we're gonna have a slimming down effect to that. The deeper a person pulls back the more that their chest is going to come forward, and the more their chest comes forward, the more the booty goes back, the more we get a curve out of the hip area. So now what I've done, I've done a vertical portrait. I've done a full body, I'm doing a vertical half body. I'm gonna switch it and I'm gonna do a horizontal. My settings are not going to change, we're gonna have that bouquet drop a tiny, tiny bit. Can I have your eyes down, beautiful. Now I'm going to focus and kind of tilt my camera a little tiny bit down, which would still be a standard, traditional portrait for me. But let's give it a slightly advantageous angle, gorgeous look out towards the 133. Actually boo you can bring your eyes right here to me. Goo, wow. I'm saying beautiful and good at the same time and it came out goo. (laughs) I mean really, wow. Beautiful. Great, I have a vertical full, a vertical half, a horizontal half, I'm gonna have you face this mountain, or I mean, it's a mountain if you're in California. Anywhere else you'd be like that ain't a mountain. Now what I want you to do is to face this way, all the way. And what I'm going to do now, is I'm going to have, actually square your shoulders, I mean your hips this way, hips, boom. Now I've spread out her wedding dress. I don't like perfect wedding dresses, but as she twists, it's going to take on a life of its own. I'm going to stand, Ashley can you take two big steps to the right, actually a little bit more. And why I'm actually having her do this, is because I have signs in the background. Move a little bit over to the right, right there. A little bit more, good, right there. I have signs in the background, and then I have a post. If I can use her body to cover the post it'll not be as much of a distraction. So Ashley, I want you, your body is here, I want you to turn back with your bouquet like this, yes but put it, actually keep it there. That's beautiful. But I want you to fall more into, more into your, you're turning, exactly. And then as you come, I want you to, exactly peel that shoulder and arm back a little bit more and you're gonna turn this way with your hip. Atta girl, good. So that's where I want you to end. Now the learning point from this, is Ashley turned this way, which is beautiful and great, but the more she turns, the more she arches her body, the more we're gonna get that nice curvature. Pop you back. (camera shutter) Good. Ash I am right behind you, why don't you turn on back towards me in three, two, one. Good. Beautiful. Now this time what I want you to do is I want you to bring your left shoulder even more out towards me. I want you to flip this way, look forward and then next time I want you to even bring that left shoulder a lot lot more towards me, and then put that weight in one hip or the other, Whatever you darn well choose. Three, two, one. Beautiful. Gorgeous. Now this time what I want you to do, I want you to turn around and give me a look like somebody had just called you, like oh hey me. Beautiful. So I don't want it to be too, too couture. I want it to be girl next door, I want it to be girl on her wedding day. Three, two, one, turn around. Good, good good good. Good. Now this time what I want you to do instead of bringing your bouquet here I want it to be a little bit lower. Why am I having her bring it lower. One, we have this beautiful sweetheart neck, which accentuates good things for her. I don't want to hide it, right. And what it's doing is competing too much with her face. If I have her bring her bouquet through her abdomen we're gonna be showing her best attributes. Her eyes, her smile and let's be real, her God givens, right. So we go boom here. So that's what we're thinking. And three, two, and one, turn around. Atta girl, beautiful. That's what I want you to do, now this time I want you to relax your right shoulder. Look forward in three, two and one. God that was it. Good job, so stinking beautiful. Matt, can I borrow you. I mean, I know, she's just looking good, he's back there smiling like so, beaming. Beaming. I'm gonna keep your back slightly this way, just shift your shoulders a little bit more towards me, beautiful. And I'm gonna stick Matt right here. What I'm going to do now is I'm going to focus on shooting smaller details of the couple to tell a bigger story. So I'm gonna bring my couple in nice and close and I'm going to intentionally be cropping out certain aspects of the frame. I have talked about this before but it's a great way to shoot close to a subject. It's a great way to kind of convey a romantic photo without doing traditionally romantic things, like say, a kiss. So I think in this particular case, I'm gonna take this from you. I'm gonna be shooting with the 85. I think the 85 has this beautiful beautiful compression. There's no distortion, I could stand at a distance. I'm gonna shoot this at a one point two because I'm gonna be focusing on details itself. Matt if you can lift up the front of Ashley's dress. Get the feet underneath.
A photo shoot or for real.
It is a photo shoot, but they look good.
You guys look great.
Guys are appealing to strangers. Now I want all of these photos to just be candid. I want you guys to be relaxed. Bring your bodies in, gorgeous. Now Ash turn out this way towards me, Matt you come in towards Ashley. You're gonna turn your body in. There you go. Oh Ash, you're good. Okay now, piece of instructional. Come back to where you were. Now what I'm getting from a photographer's perspective is arm and back, which is fine, but I'm gonna open Ashley up, boom, I'm gonna give her more of a curve, I'm gonna roll her shoulder open and then Matt's gonna come into her. So anytime I can make a slight adjustment, open her up and then give her more of that curve again is exactly what I'm gonna do. So this is where I want you to end up. Just relax, take a deep breath, come back to however you were, I'm gonna call you in for that. My settings right now, I'm gonna do a test shot. We can just kinda, I'm a one point two. I am at 1600ths of a second, I'm at 200 ISO. I'm gonna have you guys come in nice and close to each other, beautiful, beautiful. Ash can you relax your left arm, yes, there. Bring your fingers nice and close together. Nice, I'm gonna stand a little bit closer and we'll have to compensate by way of shutter speed. I'm at one point two. Oh darling, one thousandth of a second, 200 ISO. Beautiful, Ash can you look out this way. Now with your chin not just your eye. Now one thing I want to point is that Ashley just looked up and I got too much of the white of the eyes. So I want to use her chin as the point of focal so that I don't get too much white, so everything's going to faller. Faller. Faller yes. Beautiful, look out Ash. Beautiful, can you look out towards the cinematographer right over there, gorgeous. Now let's see Matt can you come in and lightly kiss Ashley's cheek wherever your lips may end. (laughs) Good. Good, good. That's really really pretty. Can you just kind of relax, turn in towards Matt. And then what I want you to do, is I'm still getting this really nice natural glow from behind Ashley that I like. I'm gonna compensate by going down to 800th of a second. Ash can you look up towards me, good. Let me try something. Let me just see what happens here. Okay so what I just did by a simple moving of her hair is I saw a lot of a white dress, a lot of her skin, by bringing in this really cool color, this could be brunette, it could be black, it could even be like a dusty blonde, I'm simply breaking up a lot of what I'm seeing here. I'm gonna reframe by using her hair. Kind of shape it in a tiny bit. And my frame is now existing here. It's gonna tell a very private, intimate story. Beautiful. Beautiful, gorgeous. Look out towards the videographer. With the chin, atta girl. And Matt you're gonna be looking at Ashley, bring her in for a nice tight squeeze. Good. Beautiful, good. Awesome. So now what I'm gonna do, as I'm gonna be shooting from this angle, I'm going to make a very clear intention, not to actually open up this entire side of the frame, because my goal always is to have it shoot complementary. I don't want to show too much of it. So my shot will then be composed halfway through her arm, it's going to get her profile, let's me more focus on Matt. But the reason why I'm intentionally cutting off a portion of her arm is because we're just gonna tell a tighter story and we're gonna make our bride look and feel confident with every aspect. Now what I'm going to do now with her hair is since I'm shooting with this angle, this hair is going to be a distraction. I'm gonna pull her hair back. I'm gonna do this nice, long, beautiful neck. I'm gonna get her earrings, I'm gonna get these small details and I'm going to be focusing, yes, beautiful. What I noticed is as I was shooting this way, there was a slight pucker of her dress here. I'm gonna pull it down here and yes I do this on a wedding day, beautiful. And then Matt you're going to be looking at your gorgeous, beautiful bride. And then Matt can you look out towards that area. And then how about something a little bit closer. See yep there it is, there it is. Hang out one second. And then Matt can you look at Ashley. And then Matt can you look here. Slight smile. There you go, thank you, that was great. Good, so the frame became here and then the frame became here. These are all intentional decisions to make my bride look the most complementary and flattering. Um, oh, one thing. I'm gonna get the 35, Jay can you get the 35. And Matt could I have you here. Good. (laughs) Alright, Ashley approves. So Matt, I'm gonna have you here and you're just gonna kinda lean but I don't want you leaning down so that we lose height. I just want you to lean so you're comfortable. Then what I'm going to do, the intention, I'm gonna talk to the camera now, the intention is what I want Ashley to lean into Matt. They're gonna be nice and close, he's gonna have his hands here he might rest one hand or the other on her body, which anytime you can compress two bodies without smushing the bodies, you're gonna get two smaller forms, which is going to be specifically within the kind of hourglass curve area. So Matt I'll have you here. Now again I'm gonna be focusing on two main things. I don't want to shoot directly onto my subjects. I want to slightly shift, come up this way Matt, good. And maybe we'll have this hand up here. Yep. And then switch a little bit more Ash. Good, cool. And the reason why I'm doing it, I'm gonna open up her body again, we're gonna get a nice, complementary figure. And what I'm going to do is I'm gonna use hopefully this fence as a leading line to what I want to shoot. I'm gonna be shooting this, I'm gonna be shooting this at a one point four because I'm not gonna have my subjects both be looking at me at the same time. I will either just have the bride, just have the groom or they will be looking at each other. In the case that they're looking at each other and they're both the same height, their eyes will be at the same level, again focused on that focal plane. I'm gonna get beautiful boca with this light in the background and a lot of distortion. So the focus will be on the person who I want it to be at any given time. Nice, good I want you to relax, I want you to take a deep breath, nice. Ash I want you looking up at Matt, and then Matt eyes here. Cool. Looking back at Ash. Ash beautiful. I'm gonna step in. Beautiful. So one thing that I'm focusing on is I'm making sure and Ashley's doing a great job at this naturally is that she's rolling that shoulder open. Anytime she rolls that shoulder open, it naturally comes into one hip, weight comes more into one hip and then it kind of brings her abdomen in nice and close, nice and close to Matt. Now you're gonna see that I'm inching a little closer, a little closer and a little closer. I'm going to see if it's at any possible way for me to get up on things that are around because I am a shorter girl. I'm gonna get up and then shoot down on my subjects. The reason why I'm going to shoot down is because it's a complementary angle. This definitely works, but this is something that I would do, and do, with all of my clients. As we progress through the 30 day course you're going to see that I will stand on anything around me to give me any sort of height leverage. Which I'm going to do now. I'm going to hope that I don't fall. Good. Woo. Now I'm going to reposition Ashley. Now that my angle is up, I don't want her turning her body too open because it's gonna make her look wider. Turn it in towards me, gorgeous, gorgeous. Now what I'm going to do from time to time, is I love the way her hand is positioned there on his chest. But I might have her move her arm slightly, I'll be calling for it. Move her hand slightly from his chest out maybe to his arm. It's changing the shape of this arm. I want to give my bride both options, that was beautiful. So we're gonna start with your hand here, one, two and three, exactly what you did. And then I'm going to give myself three options and I'm going to choose the most complementary. Hang on for one sec. Let me get my lighting right. Good, I'm shooting at a one point four. Ashley take one step towards me. There we go. Now I'm having Ash taking that one step closer to me so that they can be on that same focal plane. When I'm shooting at a one point four I need to be very conscious of these things. Beautiful. Heck yes, so I just kinda work through there, Ashley this is beautiful. Eyes here at me. Beautiful, eyes looking at Matt. Good, switch the hand. Atta girl. Beautiful. And then Ash can you have your eyes down here, take a deep breath, relax that front right shoulder. And then Matt can I have your left arm around her waist. Beautiful. Beautiful, eyes here. Good. Good. Eyes down here and then Matt can you lean and give Ashley a kiss wherever your lips land. Good. Now this time I want you to do a slightly bit softer so that she doesn't blink out her eye. (laughs) Good. Good good, pause for a sec. When my clients will laugh I will shoot a whole bunch through and what I see a lot of photographers do is when they see their subjects laughing, they'll be like oh, ha ha ha. And they put their camera down, and instead of getting that nice natural laugh. So anytime, I intentionally do that. I said oh Matt you don't want to kiss her so that you're gonna poke her eye out. They start laughing and I knew that that was coming. So instead of having a lot of really harsh, haute couture beautiful angles, I'm gonna get something that's really natural. Any time you can make a bride of any shape or any size look natural then great, she's having fun, she's going to love the pictures as a result. But now that we got the fun photo out of the way, you're going to kiss Ash a little bit softer this time to keep it nice and light. Beautiful. Eyes down Ash, there we go. Lips a little closer together. Good, this is beautiful. So we're walking now to a spot probably 10, 15 feet from where we originally were, but I'm gonna change the position of our location so that I can avoid things that are in the background, like a hiking station, or a doggie poop bag station. And this area right here is really pretty. I'm gonna create, I'm gonna kinda set up a natural type of area for them to walk naturally towards me. Effortlessly towards me. And at the same time what I want to do is I want to create movement, because brides are attracted to my work because it looks and feels two main things, natural and fun. So I want to make sure that a bride feels as great as she possibly can, but at the same time it will be in a way that's both complementary and true to herself. Most of my brides of curvy nature know exactly what they look like. They just want a better version of themselves and Ashley is a perfect depiction of that. She embraces everything, we're gonna pause here. She embraces herself which means she's gonna have fun along the way. What I'm noticing is I have some light in the background. I also have sunset in front of me. I'm gonna have them walk towards sunset, even though I don't have sunset because it's fallen behind the canyon, but this nice dew light is going to look great on my subjects. Again, good light makes everybody look great. So Ashley will be here, Matt will be here and we're gonna start the process of simply walking. So, a couple seconds ago I said I was going to have my subjects walking in that direction. And I stepped on the other side and I took a picture and I realized that light's not what I want. Specifically because the light is bisecting the ridge behind me. So again there was a broken light source, and so your eyes are gonna go to the illuminated portion of the picture which I don't want. I really just want nice, soft light on everybody. So I simply flip them, the ridge is behind them, which is sunset, where we were originally but we're still getting that nice, dewy sunset light. I'm going to have Matt, again, very much like how we started this. There's a slight little dip in it. I'm putting Matt on a slight elevation which will give him a little bit more height, and I'm going to bring Ashley's body into Matt. The thing that I've noticed that she's doing right that she just understands is that she's going to be putting her left leg just outside of Matt's leg, which is going to bring her body even closer to Matt, therefore giving her curvy figure even that much more beautiful curvy figure. I'm just loving what she's doing. I'm loving this just naturally. Beautiful. Eyes at each other. Hang on, I'm gonna fix my settings. I'm at two point five. This is pretty, two point five, 500th of a second, 200 ISO. I understand that there are gonna be bikers that are gonna be coming in. Bring your foreheads in nice and close. Good. Good. Now what I want you to do is you're gonna turn towards me. Shoulder to shoulder, holding hands. All you're going to do is you're going to walk towards me but I understand this path is really small, so Matt you might have to walk on the incline, you're just gonna make it look as natural as possible. You're not gonna be paying attention to me whatsoever. The thing that I want Ashley to make sure that you're going to do is to put one foot in front of the other. Very slow, take your time, the path isn't even. Part of the reason why I'm having Ashley put her feet in front of each other is that every time a female walks with her feet in front of each other, it's gonna give her more of a tick in her hips. I love that and I want to be very conscious of her form and figure as she's walking for me that we're still keeping that shape that I really really find so beautiful. So I understand that there are signs behind her, I'm gonna shift over to cut out one of the signs, I might keep the other one in the background but I will be able to fix that later in post. We're gonna start with our left foot forward. And the cadence will be three, two, one, three. And I'm going to be walking with my subjects at the same cadence so I can track and keep the same distance between us, so I can focus in between each shot and ensure that each shot is in focus as they're walking toward me. In three, two and one. Looking at each other, good. Good, good, good Ash. Looking up at Matt. Beautiful. Uh oh. (laughs) Uh oh. (laughs) Yeah, we're good, good. Now what I'm gonna do is I'm not gonna have my subjects change too much position except I'm going to flip Ashley this way. I'm going to step into this grassy area once I adjust Ashley. I'm gonna turn Ashley towards me this way. Ashley's gonna turn towards the ridge that way. I'm gonna be shooting them this way, but there's a slight inclination and that's where I'm going to have Matt. You're gonna turn back this way, you're gonna scoot back a little bit, right there. And you're gonna be looking that way. Good, this way. And then Matt you're going to be here. Beautiful, you're gonna get in nice and close. Gorgeous. What I want to make sure that I'm doing is I want to put my bride and groom within an environmental element that's going to play into the story of their love, their day and in this particular idea, just the two of them hanging out in a beautiful field on their wedding day enjoying their time. I'm gonna shoot this with the 50 first, I'm gonna incorporate things into the background to make it part of the story. Ryan can I have you take one step this way, sorry. Beautiful. Beautiful, relax that front shoulder, roll that left shoulder out, boom. Gorgeous, gorgeous. Always just making sure of those tiny little tweaks in her body, in her form. Beautiful. Looking at Matt. I'm gonna be shooting now with the 35 millimeter. I shot with the and theoretically I could take a few steps back to get more of a wider photo, but the 35 millimeter lens is the lens that is truest to what the eye naturally sees. So from periphery to periphery. And that's exactly what I want to do right about now, I want to put my subjects and my clients in a nice, beautiful area that they feel really good in. Gorgeous, nice and wide, making the environment a part of this photo. Cool. What I'm gonna see if Ashley is willing to do is climb up to this rock. I'm going to have her sit and I'm gonna talk about how I would position a bride to be in this position to make it the most complementary in nature. I'm going to, how about right here. I want your bum here on this corner. Here. Let's grab that.
Do you want me to stand out.
I think, I might, let's have you just get down first. Good. I think we're going to the very very tip because I love for your, beautiful.
Yeah, that's good. And then Matt I'm gonna have you here. Have your hand in your pocket just right about there. Thanks guys. So I'm changing what I thought I wanted to do because it just wasn't working, it wasn't complementary. So I'm just gonna cut my losses and not fight for it but have them in this beautiful area that I still want to keep. I'm going to give Matt the inclination on this point. I'm gonna have Ashley step two, three steps this way. Good. Matt I'm gonna take you here. You're gonna turn in towards Ashley. Turn in towards Matt. Good and because I'm up here right now. I'm going to still keep you in this formation, so I'm gonna have you guys together and then Matt I'm gonna pull you back right over here. And you're gonna have your hand right about there. So I'm gonna put first pose, second pose. So instead of yelling from a distance, let's kind do that. Yeah, yeah I don't want you moving too much. So, what just happened now is I stopped a particular pose because it just wasn't working. What I want to do is anytime that I can put distance between me and the subjects, putting them into the environment. It's going to be less focus on say, physical form. And the physical form within the overall environment of the photo. So I'm going to have the couple look at me. Or at least look at each other. Beautiful. Matt can you turn your body in a little bit more towards Ashley, come down a tiny bit toward me. Ash roll that, yeah Ashley your angle's beautiful. Now Ashley popped her hip back, she came in, pulled the core in. Matt step in towards Ash, there you go. Beautiful, looking at each other. Right now I'm at two point eight, 400ths of a second. The sky is gone, this is what I'm getting for not having a true sunset, foreheads together. Beautiful. Good, Matt can I have you flip to position number two. Cool and while you're getting there, yeah. That's great. So one thing I'm gonna focus on right now, specifically with Ashley is I'm going to make sure that I can see the tip of both shoulders, because the minute I can see the tip of both shoulders, good, good, is the minute that I'm gonna get that nice beautiful curve within her waist. Ashley naturally put her hand on her waist which is something I love, again we're going back to that natural course and feel of bringing in her hips, her waist and her shoulders. One thing I don't want, is for Ashley's shoulders to get locked, so I'm gonna have her pop one shoulder, or the other. The minute she can do that I'm gonna even get more of that thunderbolt. So, oh you got it. You got it, beautiful. Beautiful. I'm going to be shooting this at a three point two. My ISO is 200 and I'm at 250th of a second. Beautiful. I'm gonna switch over this way just so that my subjects don't have to switch but I'm now going to be framing them by a rock on the right side, a rock on the left side and then the last frame will probably be them walking through the field. Here we go on three, beautiful. Now Ash, because I switched my body I'm going to have Ash turn a little bit more towards me so I can see. Beautiful. Now see if you can, I think you're locking one knee. Good girl. I could already see, good. Thumb, there we go. Beautiful. I'm gonna have you guys, Ash do you feel comfortable walking down this.
Yeah, I just have to carry my dress.
Absolutely or Matt, can you pick up the back of her dress. So what I'm going to do now is Ashley is going to be coming down in front of Matt, which is great, which is what I want to do. I'm having an inclination. So I'm going to make the groom, taller, bigger in the frame as she's coming down toward me, I'm going to be angling it slightly up so that we're gonna be getting the light at a one point four and I'm not going to move. They are going to walk through me and my goal is to get one frame that looks candid, photojournalistic, nice, easy, walk straight here I will be talking you guys through that look. Make sure Ashley you kind of keep that light smile. I know it's not careless. I'm sorry I'm making you work for it. Beautiful. Can you look back at Matt. Beautiful. Good, we're good. Thank you. So this is the end of the shoot. As a quick wrap up, three main points to be focused on. And I'm going to use Ashley in real live modeling form, because she was so phenomenal. She was so, so beautiful and naturally fell into things. Made it easy for me but also made it easier for viewers to actually see how they can coach their brides into this. One thing to always be conscious of would be the idea of a thunderbolt. So Ashley's shoulders are here, gonna shift this slightly towards me, you're gonna shift your hips. Beautiful. You're gonna bring the bouquet in here. We're gonna have the bouquet around the abdomen, not in competition with the God givens. We're just gonna relax your shoulders and we're gonna peel it back. Point number two, would be very conscious of shoulders. We don't want to pull the bride's body in or even turning it in this way. Having more of this shown, there, see she's just making me look good, I don't have to do too much. Another point, Matt, I'm gonna bring you into the frame. I'm gonna turn Ashley in towards Matt. As Matt and Ashley are standing in nicely together, the closer they stand, the more complementary both figures look. But specifically a female, that's always gonna be my main focus. So then the two of them coming in together, bringing her that nice hourglass figure, and then lastly we're going to focus on creating a natural corset. I don't want to over use this, but she did it so wonderfully, where she distributed weight unevenly in her legs, popped the booty out, the chest up, the shoulders back and then she brought her hand in. I am more of a fan instead of this, because we see this too much in selfies. But we see this more in editorial work. I'm saying this, hands on the hips, but what I want to do is flip the thumb out. Atta girl she just makes it look so much better than I do let's just be real. So those are the tips that I want you to walk away from. Thanks so much for joining us at this shoot. Thank you to our beautiful models, I appreciate you guys very very much.
Awesome. (upbeat music) Isn't Ashley a dream to work with. I mean somebody had even commented like her hair looks good. She just shines, and I think that one of the things that happened, the difference between the start of the shoot and the end of the shoot. She just started having fun, she started getting sassy and she started blossoming in front of my camera. Now, just to kind of recap, that I modified each pose in each location by keeping the following things in mind. I'm going to angle the bride's shoulders slightly away from the camera to avoid that straight on perspective. So women of any shape and size look better by simply shifting and turning. We've created a natural angle in their abdomen. Relax the shoulders, take a deep breath, bring them on down. I want to pull the core or the abdomen in and by that her body center gets strong and her shoulders are pulled back. I also want her to rest her booty back. Because often times it's easy for brides to want to lean forward, because it's a natural inclination. They want to step forward. I want to bring the ankles close, I want the booty back. Rest this back and that brings up the chest, brings out the chin. Then what I want to do is distribute the weight into one leg or the other. This is a constant reminder. These are the five things I'm asking every single bride, every location, or any shape or size. Now let's move into the homework. What I want you to do is if you have never worked with a curvy bride before, I don't know if that's something you really want to experiment with on a wedding day. So why not release all expectations and create a fun shoot for you. Ask a friend, go on Model Mayhem. Look for a curvy girl. Go to TJ Maxx, go to the thrift store. Heck have her wear a white dress and put on a floral crown. It doesn't matter. What you want to do is start articulating what you want to do after setting up the shoot and you want to practice how you are speaking. Not what you are saying, but the fluidity in which you are offering positive feedback and encouragement. Now what I want you to do is lastly find ways to accentuate her curves, and the more you do it the easier it will come. And once you realize that you can do it with any bride of any size, you approach every single shoot with confidence. Thank you guys so much, we are gonna move into Q and A right now if you guys have any. Any questions.
How do you respond to the question that we all get. Are you gonna Photoshop my arms skinny.
Are you gonna Photoshop your arms skinny. Um, okay let's role play, because I can go into theoretics, or I am shooting you, I'm shooting you and what do you tell me.
I don't like my arms.
You don't like your arms, oh your arms are beautiful. They look good. Now usually, so I'll put my camera down. So the way it usually works for me is I'm gonna find poses that I feel make your arms look the most complementary. I might and possibly can do Photoshop retouching to the best of my ability, but if it's something that you want I can put you in contact with a great retouching company and they can handle it for you and you'll just pay them directly. Then you smile. Because I'm not paid to be your retoucher. I'm not paid to be your plastic surgeon. You know what you look like. I am not here to change you, I am here to document you. And even though I know that I could do it, it doesn't mean that I should. My personal beliefs, people can rock however they want after that, awesome. Uh, mic.
Another arm related question, so having the groom or future groom kind of rest his hand on the bride's arm. I get a lot of guys who if they're interacting, they're squeezing their bride, they're kinda cuddling with her and so it's not always flattering even when their hand is on her arm. So do you step in then just say, gently have your hand there and not making those shapes.
Yeah and it's become an art form of learning how to speak in affirmatives. So I stay away from don't do this or try not to do that. I will say oh I love when you just relax your hand. So why don't you just go and squeeze her nice and big. Awesome beautiful people. And take a deep breath, relax into her and just lean in nice and softly. So I basically said I didn't like what you did the first time around let's peel it back but I spoke three times in affirmatives. Yeah of course.
So this situation's a little bit different in the fact that I have a bride who booked me a year ago and then two months after she booked me she found out she was pregnant. So come next month she will be seven months pregnant. So she doesn't want to hide the fact that she is pregnant but she doesn't want to accentuate it. So I'm wondering if you have any tips for not accentuating curves.
I think that first and foremost, my knee jerk reaction is to send her a very detailed email, outlining expectations. Be like I'm so excited, being pregnant and starting a family is one of the most beautiful things and you get to have your baby there at your wedding. Positive, positive, positive and then say I just also want to point out that due to the nature of an ever expanding belly, I want you to understand that this is what it is. I won't put you in poses that accentuate your belly but I also cannot be held responsible to come up with poses that detract from your belly. I will make it a part of the photo and then I will also focus on getting photographs both full body but also half body at a later point in time. But I'm telling you, girls who get pregnant around that seventh and eighth month, and maybe this is just me from my experience, they will be extra critical, because they know that their body is being inhabited by a wonderful new alien, but they don't look by themselves. So there is a good chance that she's gonna come back to you and say I'm not happy with the way that I looked. But if you set the expectations and say this is what I'm responsible for, then at the end of it you can say maybe let's arrange, I will offer a discounted rate once the baby is born and you feel like you're gonna get back into pre-baby body shape, that you feel good, we'll do another shoot and I'll give you a 40 percent discount. Because then it works for you. You get another opportunity to work with great clients, then you make them happy and you get a very happy endorser. Yeah. Yes.
So two questions, one you were talking about distributing the weight on your hips and would you primarily do that on the back hip, would be question number one.
To answer this question and then you can get into the next question, because there's two right.
I'd tell her to choose the hip of her preference. Because I don't want...
Do you, even if it's towards you.
So if I'm standing, if you're Jasmine and I'm the bride, I'm going to have her distribute her weight here or here. If she is standing to me here, I'll say put the weight back into your right foot.
And then with the arms you said as romantic poses go, you like to have them in close, all the appendages. But with a curvy girl would you try to get some angle and some negative space in there or do you still tend to stick with...
My poses are my poses for my brides. I have shot, I have shot curvy brides. And I have shot curvy brides who are extraordinarily self-conscious, but after she saw the photos and here's the thing. I do keep my appendages close as a preference, but that's not to say that I don't have my brides as you saw in that later part of the clip is as we tied it up, is the thing that I want to stay away from, from a personal aesthetic thing is what I used to do a lot in my career was this. And that's okay but with the big advent of Instagram every girl in Vegas is like, Vegas baby. I don't want to be a Vegas baby photographer. By simply switching out where the thumb goes on the inside and then relaxing it back and instead of having it here, pulling it back, that right there is a pose that I'll give a curvy bride, any bride. So the things that I do are the same things that I do for all my brides. But yes I will offer close appendages as well as a slight extension of appendages, but that is for all shapes and sizes. Awesome we're gonna pass the mic over.
Do you have any tips for curvy grooms or if there's a better term for that, but curvy grooms.
Yeah, curvy grooms from my experience has been walking in and most of my curvy grooms assume that I don't know how to work with curvy grooms. So if you guys see a pattern, my pattern is to manage expectations and over explain. So here's the thing, by the time I work with the curvy groom, I have engaged with him at the engagement session. So we've established a relationship of trust at that point. But let's function that we had not had that experience and I show up on the wedding day. I would be like, let's give him a name. Jonathan. Jonathan you look so handsome today. You are looking sharp. There are few men that will look as good as you do right now. That's the same thing I say, not verbatim, but I always say you look so handsome, congratulations and JD would be like hey man, you're looking really good. So that's where we start, and this would be the same conversation we had in engagement session. Okay so Jonathan, what I want you to do is I don't want you to think about me. I don't want you to think about us. I want you to look and feel like Jonathan at a ball park, at the grocery store, but you happen to be wearing a really nice tux. I'll be making small modifications to what we're doing, but I want you to look and feel like you. If you look and feel like you and I add my jooj, my magicness, you're gonna look really sharp. So what I just need you to do is I need you to turn your shoulders away from me, I need you to take a deep breath, I need you to comb your jacket off to the side, and what I want you to do with both hands is maybe have both hands in your pockets. Secondly I want you to have your back hand away from your pocket, I want you looking at me, I want you looking off to the side, take a deep breath, roll your face on over to JD. I'm talking him through this whole thing. It's the pauses and the lapse of silence in between that make people second guess.
Yeah. Cool, so on that note I think that this would be a great place to end this particular section. Thank you guys so, so, so much. If there's one thing that I could say to end the session is that every girl is beautiful, regardless of their shape, but my goal, as a photographer, is to enhance what they naturally have. I look forward to seeing how you guys approach these shoots with confidence and thank you guys so much. (applause)