Shoot: How to Photograph Reception Details
I'm particularly excited for this lesson because I love shooting reception details. I wanna focus on how I shoot reception details so that you can apply it and see how it fits within your wedding day workflow. Now there are various stressful times on a wedding day and for each photographer, depending on your skill set, it changes. My most stressful time on a wedding day is the wedding reception. The wedding reception details. Because I have a very limited time to document the majority of the wedding budget, I feel this ... An inordinate amount of stress. Because an average wedding cost x. Now what popular magazines are telling brides is a bride should invest in their photographer eight to 10 percent of the overall wedding budget. What they're telling brides for food, decor, cake, dj or band takes up more than 60%. And what I'm having on my schedule if I'm lucky is 15 minutes to document all of that. That's a lot of stress. I probably am my most un-nice at that time in the ...
wedding day. So I have over the years developed a pattern in how I approach it. I think we spoke in a previous lesson about what I do to go in so that I can handle and get what I need and what I needed to do over the years was practice. But I only got more effective with practice once I actually had a list. A list of what I need to shoot and how much time I have to shoot it. We're actually going to get into that list, kind of like an abbreviated list because it is so long and you know that you are going to add to your list when your time comes. But here it is in its loosest sense. Most of the bride will spend the majority of her time and her budget ... I will be reading these out loud for those of you guys sitting in the back and we'll make sure that we're gonna keep you on point. So the food that they eat, the music that they hear, the basket that they keep their gift cards in. All of that she has spent time. So the rule of thumb for me is if it looks like she spent money on it or time, you shoot it. And you shoot it well. And the more original that element is a card table, a tablescape then you need to shoot more of that. Originality trumps the basics hand over fist all the time. I say hand over fist I don't know if that's a right analogy verbatim I should be using but we're just gonna go with it. So I need to educate my clients for the amount of time that they need. Because a lot of times brides will just say okay cocktail time and here we're gonna do grand entrance. Then I have to go back and I have to say well I need this amount of time to document everything that you have spent time planning. Now what is that? First and foremost what I need, that is so important that a lot of photographers omit after based on conversations with magazine editors when it comes to submissions is the overview of the reception. So what they want you to do depending on the layout of the room, is to stand in a corner and shoot the entire layout. Better yet, if you can get from an elevated point in the room and shoot down you get to see an entire overview of how many tables, chairs, the layout, the overall environment. Those are very powerful photos. What you want to do is you want to take horizontal photo and you want to take a vertical photo because that's what editors definitely want. Next, the tablescape. Now there are now weddings that are having multiple tablescapes but generally speaking tablescapes will all look the same or they will look up to three variations. So if there are three variations of the tablescapes you must shoot every variation. And the way that you need to shoot tablescape is vertical floor to centerpiece, vertical top of centerpiece down to the floor. Horizontal floor to the top of the centerpiece horizontal tabletop to the top of the centerpiece. So you have to get these or once I know boom boom boom this is what I gotta do then I need to repeat that same pattern three times over for the tablescapes. For the centerpiece, so the tablescape is the whole entire thing. The centerpieces just what goes on on top of the table. Vertical tabletop to top of the centerpiece. Horizontal tabletop to the top of the centerpiece. Vertical details of the flowers in the centerpiece. Moving on. I need to shoot the menu. What they're eating for dinner. Any sort of paper good. Their names or titles or thank you cards or desserts sitting at the table with it. I need to shoot the plate, the charger and the cutlery. Now basic weddings you have a plate and you have a napkin. The more complex ... The bigger the budget becomes you get a charger which is just like a fake plate to hold the real plate. You need to shoot that because they spent time on that. Also the cutlery. If the bride has invested in renting cutlery, specific to the wedding, that need to be photographed. The guest thank you gifts at each plate. A bride and groom may or may not offer thank you gifts at that table, you need to include that. The sweetheart head table. Where the couple is sitting. Sometimes they sit with their entire bridal party or sometimes it's just the two of them. Either way, I take the same approach when I shoot that. Vertical, floor to the top of the centerpiece. Vertical, tabletop to the top of the centerpiece. Horizontal, floor to the top of the centerpiece. Horizontal, tabletop to the top of the centerpiece. So what you're basically doing is I'm getting a wide shot then I'm cutting that shot in half. And if I have time, I'll go in and shoot it even tighter. So I'm thinking strategic. Horizontal, vertical. Step in, horizontal, vertical. Step in, horizontal, vertical. (clap) Move on. Um. Sweetheart table or the head table details. So once I shot the table then I'm gonna go in closer and itemize every single thing that I need. This is champagne flutes. This is the cup that they're drinking from. The table seat name cards. This is the first time the bride is taking on her fiance's last name. It is the first time she'll actually be seeing it technically. Take a photo of that. Floral decor specific to the bride and groom. Sometimes bride and groom will have decor on their chairs or they might have really nice flowers tucked into their menus. That needs to be documented. And if there's any sort of signage. Sometimes people will dangle like signs mister and missus. That needs to be documented. Now let's move on the the cake. Let's go into the dessert bar instead. So if a client has a dessert bar in addition to their cake, I need to shoot the dessert bar. Here we go again. We're gonna follow the same pattern. Vertical, floor to top. Vertical, tabletop to top. Closeup of various desserts. Usually shot vertically. From my opinion, those are the things that get reproduce the most. Horizontal, floor to top. Horizontal, tabletop to top. Cool. Moving on. This is the cake and the groom's cake. I shoot the groom's cake if there is a groom's cake the same way I shoot the overall wedding cake. So I'm not gonna get into details but vertical of just the cake topper. Vertical of the cake cutter and the knife. Vertical from the floor to the top of the cake vertical from the tabletop to the top of the cake. Vertical closeup of the cake. Vertical of the base of the cake. Horizontal, floor to table. Horizontal, tabletop to top. Horizontal, closeup of the cake and the cake base. So this is all the things that I'm doing in 15 minutes but I can feel so overwhelmed not sure what I'm doing and how I'm doing it but because of my list I feel so much more confident. In addition to other things, if there's bar signage. Sometimes the bride and groom have signature drinks or sometimes they use ... Make a list of their hashtag. That should be photographed. Bar decor. Sometimes people will have special bar tables, floral arrangements around the bar. Need to be photographed. Lounge furniture. If they rented lounge furniture, it should be photographed. And a personalized dance floor. If they have a monogram or if they have gobo lights all of that needs to be photographed. Now that you know the approach, what you're going to see now is a video of how I did it in relation to a shoot that I had at The Lodge at Torrey Pines. The Lodge at Torrey Pines is a luxury resort in the San Diego area. They were revamping their entire marketing campaign to go after a luxury bride and they put together a shoot. I was lucky enough to ... I was commissioned to shoot it and I was very honored because the team that they brought together were all people I respect very much. Now it put a lot of pressure on me because they wanted all the photographs to happen in a very specific time frame of the day, sunset. And I was okay with that but I knew I had to work really fast. So the Creative Live team came along and this is the exact same approach that I will take on a wedding day. This is what you will see me do at The Knot Wedding but I probably won't have as much time to explain what's going on but at least you'll see the pattern that I'm following. So on that note we are gonna move into our video. One thing to take into consideration is yes you wanna shoot for the bride and you wanna make sure that she's well taken care of. But another major consideration would be shooting for the vendors. In this particular case, the coordinator and the baker. She made the cake as well as the other desserts on the dessert station so I need to make sure that I'm getting photos and capturing photos that work extraordinary well for their portfolio. Yes the bride will benefit but more so I really want to create relationships with the vendors that I'm working with to ensure that they can market their services using my images. So what I'm shooting right now is going to be the cake station. I'm shoot this vertical. I'm gonna shoot this horizontal. But one of the things that I have to take into consideration is that the facade of this station is a bunch of mirrors so I'm gonna position my body with myself in it as least as possible because it'll save me time in post-processing from removing myself from those mirror reflections. So right now my settings are at a 2.8. I'm at six 40th of a second in 200 ISO. I'm shooting this vertically and I'm gonna put the cake right in smack in the middle of my frame and then as I shoot this horizontally I'm gonna notice that there is patched light in front of this and so I just have to take into consideration. I'm gonna try to crop out as much of the mixed light as possible but then I understand that it's just part of the photo and I'm just gonna have to deal with it. So right now the cake is in the center-most of my frame. I wanna get it from top to bottom with the cake in the center of the frame. I'm gonna step up and shoot this again horizontally. But I'm not gonna include the entire edifice of the facade. My settings are still gonna be the same as I've kind of creep in. (camera clicking) But then as I step in a little bit closer, my settings might have to change because it's gonna get a little bit darker within the frame. (camera clicking) So right now the cake is center-most and what I'm noticing is that there are four plates on the right side of the cake and three plates on the left side of the cake. So I need to kind of take into consideration that it will seem a little off balance but I need always to keep the cake in the center regardless of how many items are flanking the cake. I'm going to shoot the cake vertical. And I will have some dessert stands next to it. I'm gonna be shooting the cake. The 2.8 1000th of a second at 200 ISO. Everything's in shade so I'm not gonna be too concerned about changing my ISO. I'm gonna be mostly manipulating my aperture and my shutter speed in these given situations. Now I notice there's a monogram on the cake. I need to make sure I'm shooting vertical and horizontal including the elements around it. But now I'm gonna shoot nice and close to the cake so that the cake in and of itself becomes the focus and less about the dessert station since I already have that well documented. I'm gonna shoot this straightforward as much as possible. And now I'm gonna shoot it off to the side. (camera clicking) So now I feel like I have a nice safe shot. I'm shooting it at a 2.8. I'm getting some nice kind of blurry backgrounds but because I can I'm going to shoot this at a 2.0 just right now as I shoot individual pieces. Because when I really focus on individual items I want the stuff in the background to be really blurred out. And when you shoot wide open you're afforded that luxury but because I changed aperture, I'm gonna have to compensate by way of my shutter speed. So right now I'm shooting it at a F2. I'm gonna go to 2000th of a second 200 ISO. (camera clicking) I'm gonna get in a little bit closer. (camera clicking) And the focal point will be on the monogram of the cake. And so this is great. I'm feeling nice and good about how it's just coming out. How it's like a nice, beautiful (mumbles) in the background. So now that I feel like I have the cake fully covered what I want to do now is shoot individual pieces of the dessert station. That's a panna cotta, there's a cupcake and there's a macaroon. I only need to shoot a single shot of each of these things and not have to worry about everything else. So I'm going to choose items in the best light. Because there's a light that's hitting the ground in front of this station bouncing back up into this as opposed to being more shade on this side, I'm going to shoot the elements on this side but in this direction so we're gonna be leveraging the natural light. Again, I'm gonna shoot this at a 2.0. I'm going to be focusing. I'm gonna get both a vertical and a horizontal. I'm gonna make sure that I'm lining up the backgrounds so that my horizon is as straight as possible even though I'm shooting at an angle. My focal point is going to be on a cupcake right in the foreground and everything else behind it will fade off. I'm gonna step in a little closer. I shot it straight on, now I'm gonna shoot it at a slight angle just for diversity within the portfolio both for the bride and for the baker. I'm gonna shoot the panna cotta and because I have panna cotta on both sides it's gonna be flanking it, I'm okay with that. For some reason the cupcake is lighter than the panna cotta so I'm gonna compensate by way of shutter speed. My settings are 2.0, 1600th of a second and 200 ISO. (camera clicking) Now it looks like there's these little tiny flake, gold flakes so I wanna make sure that I get a detail of that. So if you have noticed I'm shooting straight on and then I shoot down at a slight angle. Just for variation because when you shoot down into a cup or straight on to a cup you kind of lose that bit of the details. So when you shoot down you can actually get the details in a really different way. In a way that looks a little bit more editorial. I'm gonna switch my focal point to that ... the items right in the foreground become the focus. The last thing I'm gonna shoot is the macaroons. There's a flower on the macaroon plate. Now one thing I'm going to do because now that I shot everything I feel confident moving a few things slightly. I can't get a clean shot of the macaroons so I'm going to carefully move the cupcakes and I do this on a wedding day quite often just to get the shot that I want in a way that actually works. I'm gonna re-stylize what's in front of me. Get the cleanest shot possible. (camera clicking) And then move on from there. 'Cause the thing I don't want is anything in the background compromising it or making it too cluttered. So now I'm backing up and what I'm getting now in the frame is a little bit of the panna cotta but because I'm shooting at a F2 it's gonna be out of focused and the focal point will be in the background on our macaroons. (camera clicking) So now that I'm doing that I'm gonna readjust. I'm going to shoot a few of these things in the foreground and a few of them in the background. Just so that I'm gonna get diversity within the portfolio. Make sure everybody else is covered and make sure that I'm getting images for the vendors that they appreciate. And be extra careful with the cake. (camera clicking) So this is the first time that I've actually worked with these vendors so I wanna make sure that the images that I'm getting, yes, are great for my portfolio selfishly but more so I need to make sure that I'm getting images for the whole team that works really well and that gives them the ability to market their services using my images. So I shot it straight on whish I always good and interesting in a way but at the same time it might be important for me to get a slightly different angle. My main concern at this point in time is that the light has changed so dramatically that right in front of the dessert station we have a really bright floor but the station itself is seated in shade. So I'm going to try to shoot this as much as possible cropping out the lighter floor because it adds as a distraction to eye. So I'm gonna back up. I'm gonna bring this to a 2.8. (camera clicking) So one thing that I want to make sure is that I got this straight on angle of the cake, both vertical and horizontal. Now I'm shooting it from the side both vertical and horizontal because I need to make sure that I can actually show the entirety of the station. I'm going to step in now and get one small final detail of just the dessert station. (camera clicking) Okay so I feel good with that. Right now I'm gonna shoot the name cards. What I like to do is I like to shoot them pretty wide open so that I can kind of distort that background. I'm gonna focus on one card and my settings for this are gonna be a 1.6. I'm shooting at ISO and my shutter speed right now before I adjust is gonna be 1600. That's okay, I'm gonna step it up to 1600. My focal point is going to be on the front card. (camera clicking) And then I'm gonna shoot at the front card and then I'm gonna choose the card right behind it so that I can blur both the front card and the back card and focus strictly on that middle card. (camera clicking) (camera clicking) (camera clicking) I'm gonna rearrange the cards so that I can get a single line. (camera clicking) (camera clicking) (camera clicking) (camera clicking) Great. What I'm focusing on now is a really far away pulled away shot. In this situation because it is tented I'm afforded this luxury so I'm gonna absolutely gonna ... Focus on that luxury. I'm gonna set this up at a 3.2. My ISO is 160. My shutter speed is 1250 and that looks exactly where I want it to be. My focal point is going to be on the chair. I'm gonna shoot this vertical and I'm gonna shoot this horizontally. I'm shooting with the 50. I could shoot it with the but right now I just kind of want the focus to be a hundred percent on the actual reception site and I've already had some really wide nice pulled away shots. I'm going to shoot this straightforward and then I'm also gonna shoot it at an angle 'cause anytime you can get down on an angle and shoot up you're gonna give it a little bit more of a glamorous appeal, a little bit of a rockstar effect. So right now I am in the best time of day. This is what I call god's light which is so beautiful you can't shoot a bad photo. I will take a bad location with great light instead of great location and bad light. So right now we're shooting in the best light. What I'm gonna do now is focus on the small details then get a pulled away shot. Then I'm gonna incorporate the bride and groom to come back into this. The things that I'm focusing on specifically are the small details that each individual vendor has played and made for this. So I have place cards, I have place settings, I have chairs. I have the main chairs which is where the bride and the groom. I have the overall chandeliers. I have hanging lights and then I have chandeliers on the ... Or candelabras on each of the tables. The light is behind my details which is how I like to shoot it the best. I'm going to start first with the monogram on the floor, the monogram on the chairs and then move from there. This gorgeous gold monogram. I'm at 160 ISO. I have this beautiful white light everywhere. I'm at 800th of a second. (camera clicking) So I'm shooting just the monogram by itself and then I'm going to incorporate the monograms on the chairs. I'm gonna shoot a horizontal and a vertical. Now I'm pulling back and this I have like tripped before so I need to make sure I don't kick it. So if I can have you guys scoot over this way. Sorry guys. I'm gonna shoot the monogram and the chairs. My focal point will be on the monogram. (camera clicking) I haven't changed my settings because I don't need to change settings in this light right now. It is just so beautiful. I'm shooting horizontal then I'm going to shoot it vertical. (camera clicking) (camera clicking) This is what's going to be the nice thing. If you can work fast enough and quick enough, you don't have to worry so much about the settings. Given the same light situation which it will always be for me right now back lit and then having this nice white floor, white chairs. I already shot the chairs during the wedding ceremony setup but I'm gonna shoot them here because this environment is slightly different. Again, my settings have not changed. I'm still at 800th of a second, F2, 160 ISO. (camera clicking) Great. So I'm still gonna shoot with the 35. I like to shoot my details with the 50 millimeter but since I have the 35 on I'm going to just shoot with this right now and see what it's getting me so that I get a variety of focal lengths. Because I shoot with prime lenses I wanna make sure that I'm shooting for myself but I'm also shooting for the vendors. I might prefer the 50 say and they might want wider shots to show more of their work. So I wanna make sure I have diversity within the portfolio. (camera clicking) My focal point will be on the thing closest to me which at this point is the plate. I'm gonna pull this chair back a tiny bit 'cause I feel like it's degrading the overall quality of the photo. You see my shifting my camera. I have the 64 point focal system so I'm gonna be focusing on lowest point but I shift and recompose ever so slightly. Because if I don't I'm gonna be including things within the frame that I really don't want at this time. (camera clicking) JD can I get, please individual shots of each pendant or I don't even know what those are called.
Each one individually or ...
Yes please. A collection of them and then individuals. Great and then can I get the 50. Pulling out the drink glasses. And ideally I'm gonna be shooting this. (camera clicking) Ideally I'm gonna be shooting this from up top but because I'm shooting on a white chair I have to be like extra careful. So I'm gonna see if I can remove the top of the chair. Right now my setting is a 2. I'm at 500th of a second, 160 ISO. I'm having a hard time focusing on the mirrored menu so what I'm gonna do is I'm going to find a focal point that's on the same focal plane. So I'm gonna go towards the knife. Focus on the knife and that should bring me up ... (camera clicking) to find the text on the menu. Now what I'm going to do is I'm going to ... JD can I bother you to put these flowers right here?
Yes. So what I sometimes do is I will shift elements within each setting to ensure that it looks nice and full. So a simple switch. (camera clicking) Shoot this horizontal. I may shoot it vertically. (camera clicking) (camera clicking) So right now what I'm doing is I'm gonna shoot the place card holder for each place setting. So right now this is always important because this is the first time the bride will be using her husband's last name so that's gonna be a really important element that I wanna curate both for the person who actually made the place card but also for the bride herself. So now what is happening is the bride and groom are gonna come in and they're going sit within ... You guys can come on in. Awesome, thanks. The bride and groom are gonna come in and I'm gonna actually shoot them within the reception details as much as possible. If I can get this to happen on a real wedding day, I absolutely do. And what I want to do is to kind of curate what the story will be. I want them toasting with their glasses. There obviously going to be smiling and laughing and enjoying their time. And I'm just gonna coach them through. Right now this is the last bit of amazing light and we can get the chandeliers illuminated in the background and we're gonna be talking through how that looks and the things that I'm looking for as I shoot the bride and groom. So here we go. I'm gonna change my ISO to 200. I'm gonna shoot this at a 2.0 because they're gonna be, again, profiles. I'm gonna get my lighting to where I want it. I'm gonna go up to 320 ISO. Now what I want you guys to do is just to bring your faces in nice and close. Beautiful. And looking at each other. These ones are all gonna be as candid as possible. Beautiful. Can you get your hands under Andrew's chin? And you're gonna guide him in. Both hands underneath his chin. You guys will be looking at each other. Beautiful. And guide him in for like just from your foreheads together. It's gonna be a nice ... Actually like this. Here you go. Hands together. You're just gonna bring him in like this. Like that. Yes but not yet, not yet, not yet. And then Andrew can you put your hands on her knees. Yep, there we go. And in three, two, one looking at each other bring it in nice and soft. Nice and soft. Relax the shoulders. Relax the shoulders. Looking at each other. Bring your foreheads in. Bring your foreheads in. Noses to touch instead. Noses to ... There you ... Nice. Beautiful. Beautiful. Good. Now relax your hands on the crest of his elbows. Nice. On the inside bring them in closer. Beautiful. Now what I want you to do is someone's gonna be calling you from that direction and Andrew you're gonna hold her hands. Yeah. You're gonna hold her hands. Bring them down. Yeah, there you go. Now you're gonna look over as if somebody's calling you and he's gonna be pulling you in for like a little secret. (laughter) That's cute guys. Hey we can do that. That's it. Whoever that is, I owe a drink. I mean that's just fantastic. Oh, that's fantastic. Hang on guys. Peel away from each other. Oh was that really, good job. (laughter) Okay we're gonna do that just one more time. Fantastic. Good, good, good, good, good. Nice. Good. Now what I'm gonna have you guys do is I'm gonna have you guys standup. I'm gonna have you guys standup and then I'm going to pretend like we're gonna do the first dance. You're guys are gonna be pretending like you guys are dancing. Bring your ah ... Beautiful. Andrew put your feet underneath her dress so you can get in nice and close. Beautiful. Now you're gonna actually hold each other's hands. Yes just like that. Beautiful. Looking into each other's eyes. I know guys. This is a job. I know. Can you guys actually dance? Just kind of like sway a little.
It's your wedding day.
Looking at each other. Enjoying it. Beautiful. Beautiful. (chatter) (laughter) Oh this is so freaking beautiful you guys because I'm not only focusing on one person at a time according to my angle. That's gonna be my focus. Relax your arm Adrienne, your right arm. Beautiful. Bring your faces in nice and close, side to side. Now look over there at Stuart. Yay, nice. There you go Stuart. Your bringing in clutch homie. (laughter) This is so nice. Good. (camera clicking) Good. Beautiful. Now what can I have you guys do is relax your arms Adrienne. Yes, JD. Now what I want you to do here. So you're here. Dance with me. Beautiful. Now I kind of want you to peel back peel back, peel back, peel back, peel back as much as possible. So I want a nice curve and then I'm gonna coach through what I want for the rest of it. Beautiful. Bring her in nice and tight. Edward. Have I been calling you Andrew the whole time?
Oh this is epic. So I want you to relax your arm Adrienne. Edward I want you to hold her nice and close. And then I kind of want you to lean back as if somebody's calling you from over there. Now Edward I want you looking at Adrienne. Now bring her in. Baby can you can you get me real quick. And then lightly here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here. Okay. And we're ready in three, two, one. Nice. Oh cute. (laughter) That was adorable. Looking at each other. Nice. That was so cute. Good. You are gonna hold it in your right hand. Beautiful. And then if I ... Yes, you're gonna bring your right had Edward.
Do you like that they're different or do you want them the same?
Oh I would love them the same. I'm gonna take this hand. Your right hand around him. Yep. So um Adrienne arm around him. Beautiful. And you guys are just going to be looking at each other. Yes, enjoying a toast. Yeah, nice. Looking at each other. Yeah, cute. Clink your glasses. Good. Can you toast to somebody at the end of the table. Raise your glasses and toast to them. Hey. (laughter) Cute. So instead of bringing it out in front of your nose drop it in front of your chin. Now yes but bring your hands back. Just relax them and then we're gonna call for the toast in a sec. Then your guys are gonna look out for two and then each other for two. So it's gonna be cheers out for two at each other. So three, two, one cheers. Yeah, smile and you're smiling now, good. And looking at each other. Good. Nice. Good. Now we're gonna get a little bit more comfortable. Can you sit in his lap? Nice. Can you bring your left arm around his side? Do, do, do, do, do. Thank you love. Thank you, thank you. And then rest it down, yes, from his shoulder. Nice. Looking at each other. J you're shooting tight?
Please. Fire in. Nice. Looking at the candle lighters again. Nice and back at each other. (mumbles) Yes, yes, yes. You guys, can you guys toast? Slightly to ... And you guys now what I want you do to is relax the hands. Peel away from the toast, look at each other. And toast and smile, yes. Yeah, look, talking to each other is great. Thank you. And it's working so good. Can you guys look out towards the opposite big chair and cheers? Raise your glasses, raise your glasses, raise your glasses, raise your glasses, raise your glasses. Yes, nice. Good, great. Hang out, hang out, hang out. Now drop your hands again. Drop them, relax them and then JD I'm tossing in again. Here we go. And you guys are just gonna do the same thing all over again. Oh Adrienne delivering it now. Whoa. Okay good. I'm gonna put you guys back here at this chair and this will be the closing shot. You're gonna bring your right leg here. I'm sorry. You're gonna kind of straddle like a tiny bit. Just like that. Beautiful. Hands on her hips. Beautiful. Come in a little bit closer and you're just gonna bring your foreheads and you guys are not gonna look at me. This is a private moment before your ceremony. Looking at each other. Yes, yes, yes. Relax that front shoulder, relax that front shoulder. Put your hands underneath his chin. That a girl, beautiful. Good. Relax your left hand down Andrew ... Andrew really. Oh my gosh. Adrienne relax your left hand down Edward's back. There we go. Eyes at each other. Um Edward can you have your right hand, your left hand on her leg instead? Yes. And then Adrienne your hand ... Yep, there we go. And they eyes at each other. Nice. Foreheads together. Foreheads together. Foreheads together. Nice. Good. (camera clicking) Good. Okay great. Turn you this way. Fantastic. There. I'm gonna have you sit on this side of his lap. I'm going to get the 35. Okay. You're guys are gonna be looking at each other. I love where your hand is Edward. Adrienne can I have your hand on his hand. Yep. And you guys are looking at each other. Just relaxing. (camera clicking) (camera clicking) My focal point is on the bride and groom. It is really dark around them but I'm picking up silhouettes up from around the trees. I'm metering for them inside the tent and then I'm gonna bring their portion of the photo in post but for right now I'm just gonna get nice overall look and feel. Eyes at each other. Nice. Foreheads to forehead. There you go. Thank you. Awesome. So as you saw in the video there was a lot of basis to cover in a short amount of time. Even as we ended that video, you would see how dark it got and how quickly it became dark. So in both of the situations, you saw what I would do. And that's very close to how we would photograph things at an actual wedding reception and which is what you guys will see happen shortly at the (mumbles) wedding. Now, I explained in the session that it's really important for me to shoot these images obviously, selfishly for my portfolio. But that is the 3rd concern. My main concern is for the bride. My second concern is to give the creative team images to market their own business using my images. I'm always thinking first and foremost in marketing. My approach to marketing is I am not so concerned about getting weddings right now. I'm thinking about the weddings that will come by way of a recommendation from a future coordinator, vendor that I had just met at that time. Foster that relationship, prove myself and give as much as possible as I can. The general rule of thumb when it comes to things like this and shoots like this, is when you care other people care. And when you give, people give back to you. So on that note, let's move into our homework. I want you to make a list of reception detail photos. You now saw a peek of what the looks like for me. There are more things that get involved but just for the sake of brevity you guys got a very good sense of what that was. Now you have to make one for yourself. Now you could see my detailed shot list on JasmineStarStore.com in case you just wanna save time or just use it as a basis and then add your photos to it. And what I want you do is I want to stay accountable to the list. There's gonna be times that your tempted to just move away and divert and say oh I see something shiny, I see something pretty. Stay to the list 'cause you know priority wise, that's where you need to be then work faster and get ultimately the things that you think are going to make you smile at a later point in time. This also goes back to a very, very powerful thing of working with a second shooter. What the video also showed is how quickly and efficiently both JD and I work. And the photos at the end I was shooting wide. I was shooting with the 35 and JD was shooting with the 85. What was interspersed in this video were actually his images because he got more focus on the bride and groom. But overall what the creative team will probably want is a photo that I was getting which was wide showing of all their work in addition to the bride and groom in it. So we're shooting two ways but being very cognizant of what we're doing at the same time. So are there any questions in relation to shooting wedding reception details?
How often are you restyling tables or anything?
Good question. All day, everyday. (laughter) Let me just take this back. People ask well how did you start shooting weddings that look like the weddings that you're shooting now? When we first started shooting weddings, our weddings were literally in the basement of churches. Our 4th, 5th wedding was at a church in Korea town in Los Angeles that was so dark, every person sitting in a pew was silhouetted. Then we walked across the street and we had their wedding reception in their gym. So there were streamers hanging from one basketball court to another. And it was a Korean style potluck and all of this that was going on I'm thinking in the back of my mind how can I make this work to my advantage. And what I discovered was that the harder I worked to create pretty photos in a less than desirable arena, that was the thing that helped me moved forward. Because the bridesmaids that were at the wedding they saw a slide show of the wedding photos that I made that day and I put it up and they saw that and their reaction was if she can shoot that here, imagine what she could do at my wedding. So what I started realizing when it came to reception photos was if I saw a table and it was decorate sweetly I needed it to look fuller. So I might collect other flowers from other tables and decorate, stylize one table. I know people have different approaches but I view myself as much as I am a photographer, I'm also an art director. I will take time if there's a cup with a chip in it, I move that. It the forks look off centered, I do that. There might be a flower that I might take from somewhere else and insert it in the menu to make it look like something a little bit more. I am constantly restyling. Now less with weddings that I have these days because they're of different budgets. But still I still shoot very simple weddings. In fact there was a couple years ago, JD and I ... We don't broadcast it, now that's gonna be in Creative Live it might, I should be careful. No. There was a girl who had emailed me and just wrote the nicest email. And we kind of corresponded a few emails and then she had just said the reason I'm writing is because of x, y and z. She was going through really personal things with her family and her friends. She's like I've been reading through your blog. We connected and then she said I would love for you to be my wedding photographer but I can't afford it. Can you recommend someone in my neck of the woods? I'm leaving her city out. And we got to talking and we came up with a creative arrangement so that she covered the cost of us shooting the wedding but not what we would charge. And so basically as long as she covered our cost that we would eat any sort of profits that we would get on it. And we shot it and I adore her and I adore her husband. I think they're doing amazing things with the trajectory and the hope that they want of their lives. But nobody knew that that wedding was a budget wedding. And nobody knew that we shot it anything other than what we charge our other clients. And I think that is a testament to how hard we work to curate the day in a very different way. So if you are shooting ghetto weddings, you make them ghetto fabulous. You work twice as hard to get what you want. You're laughing 'cause you do that right. Like you do that. Like we do that and that's what makes you good. That's what makes you great. Because again, you cannot book a client based on what she does not see. Are there any other questions? Great. Well that was a good closer. Thank you so much for asking that and clarifying. I look forward to seeing how you guys totally rock and totally restyle your reception photos. (applause)
Running a wedding photography business is stressful work – you are on the hook for capturing one of your client’s single most important (and expensive!) days. But if you do it right, wedding photography is also a whole lot of fun. Learn how to balance the books, get the shots, and deliver the magic in The Complete Wedding Photographer Experience with Jasmine Star.
The Complete Wedding Photographer Experience is an all-inclusive wedding photography bootcamp that gives you all the tools you need to run a wildly successful business. You’ll learn the marketing, shooting, posing, and branding skills you'll need to thrive as wedding photographer.
On the business end, Jasmine will teach you how to:
- Create an effective business plan
- Attract new clients
- Establish and communicate pricing
- Build a referral network
- Get free marketing
Every day, for 30 days, you’ll get a 30-90 minute comprehensive lesson designed to inspire and help you build a wedding photography business that thrives.
You’ll also learn all about Jasmine’s shooting and editing techniques for wedding photography. You’ll learn how to:
- Prompt clients to get natural-looking poses
- Leverage natural light so everyone looks gorgeous
- Deal with unexpected events and shoot under pressure
- Cull, edit, and market on social after the event
Jasmine will take you on location as she shoots a real wedding, narrating her on-the-fly decision making and how she keeps clients happy throughout the day.
This comprehensive class offers powerful insight into how one of world's leading wedding photographers runs her business and gives you the tools you need to pick up your camera, follow your dreams, and develop a rewarding career in wedding photography.