The Complete Wedding Photographer Experience

 

Lesson Info

Shooting with Intent: Natural + Fun Photos

(clapping) So, we are back again and we're gonna be talking about an extension of something that we had spoken about in a previous lesson. And that is shooting with intention. So, in the last section, I talked about my approach of shooting with intention, and in case you missed it, this is the entire lesson summed up in about two sentences. Early on, I chose three words to define my photographic style as I navigated my journey, and every time I approach a shoot, I think distinctively in those terms. Those words, instead of poses. Every time I pose a client, I must think does it adhere to either being fun, fresh or editorial. And if it does not, I must modify it so that it does. Now, this is going to guide our outline and approach as we go into this next section, and it's gonna act as a foundation as you start selecting the photos you want to keep as part of the overall cull from a shoot. Yesterday we focused on shooting with intention in regards to editorial and romantic photos, and ...

today I'm gonna be delving into natural and fun photos. So, the core tenant, the foundation of a natural photo is to create natural posing by way of moving. What you will see me do quite often in this video is to position my subjects where I want them and then I will say, "Okay guys, peel away from each other, "relax the shoulders, now come into that pose." Because so often, we get our clients into a pose that we like, and then we step back and they've been holding for one, two seconds, three seconds, and then it becomes stiff, stiff, stiff, stiff, and it looks insincere. And you look at this photo and you think it started off right, and somehow we diverted. It's actually moving them into a pose that creates natural movement. Now, few things matter as much as your client's bodies in motion. Part of natural posing ensures that you're going to get the type of photo that you set out to get, but you're gonna coach them in very specific ways. On a wedding day, I will pose the bride by herself and the groom by himself, and then the couple together. So, I'm gonna talk about a few posing tips in regard to the bride, a few posing tips in regard to the groom, and then a few posing tips in regards to them together. So, for the bride, what I want you to do, and what you'll see me do a lot in this upcoming video is to view your bride with a stylist's perspective. You will see me taking a look and adjusting her dress. You will see me ensuring that everything is neat. That her sands look the way they are. You will see me constantly readjusting her hair. And I say that yes I readjust her hair because it will save me time in Photoshop, because it will, but at the same time what I want to do is I want to do as much of that fixing on the front end to save me time on the back end. What I want to do is I want to talk behind my camera. This is something that I have said before and I will continue saying, that it's extraordinarily difficult for an average bride to be standing in front of a professional camera for multiple hours on one of the most important days of her life considering she's never done it before. So then more you can talk to her, the easier it'll come to loosen her up and to kinda get these really natural and organic smiles. Thirdly, I want you to give the bride something to do with her hands. You are creating an action specifically from the lower part of her upper appendages. Now, I just don't want one option for her hands. I want to give her four options for her hands, because as I'm leading her through what I want her to do with her hands, things happen naturally to her that I end up preferring because it's a division of her. So, for instance, what four hand poses might look. I'm gonna use this as if, because I'm not holding a bouquet, I'm going to do this as if I was on an engagement session. Sometimes, and you will see me do this at an engagement session in a future lesson, I put my camera down, and then I look. If I was posing Terra, I want to create a mirror to us. So I align my shoulders close to her and the say great, what I want you to do is copy what I'm doing. Pose one, we'll have your hands here. Pose two, I want you to address your hair, touch it here. Pose three, I want you to look down, have your hand in your pocket, eyes here. Pose four, I kinda want you looking this way. And because I do not have a camera in my hand, and then I feel awkward doing that. I felt very awkward doing that right now. I feel awkward doing it on a shoot. But by me saying I'm okay with my awkwardness, and if she just kinda follows me and she says okay, I got it, and she doesn't sell me that she's got it, what I'll do then is like, okay, perfect. Now, why don't you do it with me so we can walk you through it, so then when I start shooting, you're ready. So here we go. Like one, two, three, four. And she'll like, oh, okay, okay, okay. I pick up my camera, then I gave her exactly what I wanted to do. And what's going to happen is I might not nail one, two, three or four, but maybe pose 2.5 is a thing that I really like. And that's the one that I'm going to keep. So, what I want you to do is to stay away from dangling arms, dangling hands and give her up to four options, if possible. Now, a few posing tips for the groom. I want you to study poses, specifically female photographers, it would behoove you, it would make you a stronger photographer, to look through poses from GQ, from Esquire and J.Crew. J.Crew does a phenomenal job at posing men in very casual poses, but in formal wear. They do a great job with that. Now, once you understand how the male body works, and now, this is gonna be addressed to any gender photographer, just because you're a guy doesn't mean you know or understand how a guy body works. Once you start studying the poses and then you have an understanding, you can rearrange the male figure in a way that keeps the masculinity about the pose, and still stay true to the integrity of how he stands just naturally. So, often times during a shoot, you will see me do this throughout the course of the 30 days, I will start off with a pose, and then I will tell him, "This is where "I'm going to start, but if it doesn't feel natural, "then I want you just to change it, and if it works, "fantastic, and if it doesn't work, we're gonna fix it." So I'm giving myself a backdoor. I'm giving him a starting spot, and then once I figure out what his body does naturally, I can make the small poses and measure it against the poses that I have seen in articles and magazines that I have studied before. Secondly, I want you to give your groom an action. When working with men, I have discovered that when I give them something to do, like look at your watch, adjust your tie, run your hand through your hair, they follow these pointed purposes, and they result in a very clean result. Like same way with the girl. One, two, three, four. If I'm with a groom and he's just not giving me what I want, I will put my camera down. Like, "Awesome. "Can you spread your feet open a tiny bit "because I'm short?" so if he lowers his body a tiny bit, that's great. "Open your legs a little bit. "Great. "Can I have your hands in your pockets." And we're gonna start here, kay? You have the suit, he opens up the suit. I don't want him to crumple the suit, right? "Open up the suit, rest your hands here, starting off "in this position. "I kinda just want you to look me like you're "at a bus stop waiting." So what that just changed his posture into, boom. I'm kinda waiting; I'm chilling. Now I'm gonna say, "Perfect. "Now what I want you to do is I want you to adjust your tie "and once you adjust your tie, I want you to look off "as you adjust your tie, then I want you to button "the top button of your coat." Not both, it takes too long and it doesn't look neat. "Top button of your coat. "Fantastic. "And once you do your top button, and as your buttoning it, "I want you looking up at me, I want you looking back down." I gave him four. So, one, two, three. What was the fourth? (mumbling) Thank you, thank you. That was a, it was a test. Seeing if you guys are paying attention. So, when you give him something to do, they deliver on those results far stronger than just saying hey, just stand there and look nice. Third thing that I want my groom to pursue is, or what I need to pursue as a photographer to get the groom what I want, how I want him to pose, is I need to act like a mirror. As a female, I feel a lot more comfortable once I've established a relationship and report with my brides that I can say, oh, let me shift your shoulders, let me stand here, da, da, da. When it comes to guys, I feel less comfortable doing that. I want to respect their space. So, if I am talking to them, I'm saying, "Okay, so what "I want you to do is mirror me, so shift "your shoulders towards me. "Shift 'em this way, perfect. "Now, stand this way. "Now, turn your hips out this way. "Now, turn out that way. "Can you comb?" And so I'll show them how I want them to comb. "Comb your jacket this way. "Stick the four fingers of your hand and leave "your thumbs out." If they have a longer arm, what I want them to do is "Can I have your thumb in your pocket "and have your four fingers out?" That'll rest the shoulder a little bit more. So, when I say act like a mirror, I really mean say follow with me, perfect, perfect, perfect. That's the thing that I need to do as a female photographer. Now, if you feel confident, you have the report with your clients, great, fuck it, own it. But me, I kinda like to keep it professional at the stints. Now, we're gonna move on to three posing tips when it comes to natural posing for a couple. One, be aware of their fingers. We've kind of said this before and I'm gonna say it again. Fingers betray the reality of a photo. It can be the most romantic photo, but if she has her hands on his chin like this, it does not look as romantic as her having her hands like this. Small tiny changes. His hands, too. And what I say, I often encourage a groom, can you put your hands on her waist, and a guy will go like this. We don't want that, right? Like cool, can you just bring your elbows in? Can you just put your hands lower? Can you put them around her booty? All the time, guys were just like, "Okay." And it's them. And that works, 'cause they see themselves in that photo. So that's a queue, and probably not something, I don't know if I really, if I should've said that one, but, you do what it takes to get the photo. I'll be aware of their fingers. Now, one thing I want them to do is to be aware of prom poses. When it comes to natural photos, the key, like I has started and now we're getting towards the end of it, is start them off in the pose. Peel them away and bring them back in. Now, we can set up a pose that looks pretty natural, but the minute they kind of have the brides back to his chest, so if a groom is standing here, it's so easy, it's two moves, it's two poses removed from being a prom pose, right? So, if his hand is either in his pocket or on her hip, and then her hand is here or with the bouquet, we went to prom, right? So, it's kinda like I want her to bring her bouquet down to this hand, I want her holding his hand, her thumb and his hands here, and I want him leaning into her, and she leans forward. What we just changed from here, two changes, here. Then we made it more into a natural flow, and I'm gonna say, "Perfect guys. "Peel away from that, now come back into that. "Perfect guys, peel away from that and come back into that." You will see me draw that cadence. Lastly, I want you to encourage them to relax their smiles. In this particular case, I needed to bring out more smiles in Avie, and the thing that I needed to stay away from, because her natural big smile just didn't work, and so I needed to tell her to smile with her eyes, and for some reason, that kind of resonated. And so, some people look at you like I don't know how, then you're going to have to show them and that's very awkward. It's called smizing, smile with your eyes, right? And so if somebody asks me how to do it, I will show them like at an engagement session. But, we have talked about a previous lesson, how to prepare your clients for an engagement session, and I have sent my clients slide shows and work, so that when they see other girls giving me the smize, they know what I'm expecting. They have either practiced it in the mirror, or they have said is this okay, or they just show up feeling fierce and then they bring it to me. So the more of the thing that you show that you want, the less you actually have to explain it when you're there. Moving on into the second component of posing. This would be how to pose fun photos. Now, you can't just show up to a shoot and say, "Okay, guys, have fun." If you've been shooting for more than a year, you know that that just doesn't happen. An engagement session is the most artificial fun setting that anybody could participate in. So what we need to do is we need to do a few thing. And what I like to do, first tip for posing is to pre-visualize. Pre-visualization is thinking of the photo before it actually happens and then bring it to life with your clients. So as you're walking, you see the light, you see this and you say, oh I see this happening here. Now, I don't know how to say this is how you pre-visualize but I can give you tips. First, what I want you to do is to feel okay sketching out on a piece of paper what's going on in your mind. It sounds really simple and really silly, and I am by no means have any sketching ability whatsoever. But I can say that when you think of an idea and then you transcribe it by words, by sketch, there's a higher likelihood of you remembering it. It's true, the statistics show. Then what I want you to do is to collect magazine ads for inspiration. Pinterest, yes, is great for this. I get it. But there's something awesome about something tactile. Something that you can look through, something you could flip to. It creates a very different experience than scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll. Okay, got it. No. Let me figure out what's going on, like what's going on with the poses, what's going on with their ankles, what's going on with their knees. Finding all of those things by magazine ads are very valuable. On that note, I want you to study and dissect what is going on in the photo. Were they using artificial light? Were they using reflectors? If they were using reflectors, were they artificial reflectors or were they natural reflectors. What is going on? What do I think the photographer told the models in this magazine ad to do? What do I think he or she told them? Can I find the words to actually get them to emulate this type of emotion or pose? Lastly, I want you to keep all of your inspiration in one place. So often, we're just like I clipped that out at the doctor's office, what did I do with that? If you find fonts, typography, photos, clips, like anything that you like that will help you pre-visualize a photo, keep a folder of it. Do it old school. Bring it out before a shoot and be like I am ready. For fun posing tips, what I want you to do is to create movement and tension. And what I really mean as tension is by legitimately pulling their hands, because you can have, what you want to do is create a fun photo, and if their hands lay limp, it totally betrays that it was fake. Now, even as we go through, and I shot the not dream engagement session, Taylor and I had just met, and I had just told you right now that I like to respect my client's space, but because I was working in such a small area, on such a limited time, in crazy, gnarly wind, and crazy bright light, I actually asked him, "Taylor, can you give me your hand?" it was going to take me so much longer to articulate what I wanted, and to me, a hand is the most space that I want to engage in, because I would shake Taylor's hand. I shook it when I met it. So I said, "Taylor, can you give me your hand." He said yes, and I said, "Taylor, grab my hand." And I said, "Taylor, grab my hand really tight." And he grabbed it. And I said, "Samantha, do you see how much tension is "there between us? "I want you to trust that he will not let you go." So that when I ask her to walk in front of Taylor, when I ask him to lead him, that their arms are not betraying any type of slack. That that tension works for them. Lastly, pay attention to appendages. I have said this 1,000 times before, but we have all gone through edits and calls where were like, this photo works but oh, my gosh. Why was he locking both his knees? I have been there; I continue to be there. But it's an active process, and you'll see me as we go through the shoots, softening body line. Softening body lines. Now, the thing that I need to say is that sometimes, despite my best efforts to get what I need, it doesn't work. I have started this, and I've been doing this about 10 years, and I put my business out online in such a personal capacity, that it's easy for me to assume that when people come to me for a shoot, they know what's in store. Wrong of me. When we started casting, not casting. When we asked for people to come and be a part of the Creative Live photo shoots, I put it out on Facebook, and then they contacted the producers, and the producers outlined everything that they would need and the day they would show up. And I was very hands off of that process. So when Avie came to shoot with Zach, and they woke up at four o'clock in the morning, they drove from San Diego to be at the studio by 5:15 for hair and makeup because, just because Creative Live is awesome that way, we put my, intentionally put myself in very difficult lighting situations so we did one on a really overcast day, we did one at a sunset, and then we did one at bright sunrise, and so they happened to be the lucky sunrise shoot. So, I appreciate them epically. I could not do what I do without them. But I know that this particular shoot pushed me to extreme limits. I didn't do enough to prepare them because I assumed. So the thing that we need to walk away with is never assume that your clients will know what you want. You must tell them. So, the very thing that I preached and have been preaching, I failed to do with this shoot, and I think that it actually showed itself. So, the thing that I want to point out is you will see me struggle. There will be a point in time where I say I'm stuck. I'm trying every trick in the book, and it's not really working the way that I need to. But I know that if I tried my best, if I did everything, that at least her portfolio will be diverse in such a way that it would be more had I not tried that hard with all my efforts. So, now what I want to do is we're gonna take this idea a little bit further to actually show you how things fared. This is the second lesson in Shooting with Intention. We now have a full gallery of images. Because it was a slightly longer session, this gallery, to the best of my recollection, I wrote it down, has about 125 images. Of the 125 images, more than half of them fell squarely into the editorial category. Usually my shoots will be broken up between my three main words, equally, and then we have romantic kinda thrown in there. To have such a large proportion of editorial kind of just goes to show definitely, this client wanted one specific thing. She came in with a vision for what she wanted. And I hope that I did my best to diversify the portfolio in a way that she's happy and proud of at a later in time. So, having said that, we're gonna go into what that video is right now, so you guys can see precisely what I'm talking about. Yesterday, you might've noticed that we were shooting romantic and editorial photos. Today, this is kinda my zhuzh. We're gonna be shooting fun and natural photos. So join me as we focus on how to make our clients comfortable, have fun, bring out natural smiles, flow posing, and really focus on highlighting what makes a couple unique and totally special to their love. Now, the idea to show up to a shoot and say I just want my clients to have fun is great in theory but it's not great in practicality. The thing that I want to focus on the most is that you must give your clients things to do and hope that fun transpires as a result. You want natural posing to transpire as a result of the instruction that you are giving and the thoughts that you have in your mind. In this particular situation, in order for me to create a fun photo, I must give them something fun to do. Now, I understand that with video, it's going to portray my pathetic attempts at having my couples have fun, but what I know I can do is deliver on a result. I might shoot 10 frames, and of those 10 frames, only one or two might work, and that is something I'm totally okay with, because when people look at the photos, they think, "That couple looks "like they're having fun." If that is what results, then I'm totally okay looking and acting the fool. I'm gonna start Zachy, Zachy? (laughing) I'm just gonna call you guys Zachy. (laughing) Zach and Avie. I'm gonna bring them back right over here. So, Avie, you can just walk backwards. I'm gonna put you guys center to this. Beautiful. Beautiful, beautiful. Gorgeous. So, let's see. I'm gonna keep you here, Avie, and Zach, I'm gonna have you right about here. Kinda just want your hands in your pockets, you're gonna be squaring off towards that parking lot. Right about there, great. Do you the jacket open? I like this, I like that. Let's have both your hands. So, Avie, what I want you to do is I want you, I'm gonna be shooting Zach, and then I'm gonna count to three, and I what I want you to do is go over to this side and then just put your arm around him like this, so he's not gonna expect you. Kay? So it's gonna be the element. Mm-hmm. It'll be the element of surprise. Just when you wrap him, just bring him in, have fun. You're not gonna be looking at the camera. I'm gonna be shooting portraits of Zach first. Cool. Beautiful. So one thing I want to point out is that there is a sign in this area. It's called the Butterfly Sanctuary. What I want to do is use Zach's body to cover that sign which will help me avoid post processing later. So, I'm gonna shoot a couple portraits of Zach first. I'm gonna get my light and settings right. I'm shooting at a 1.4, 12 50ths of a second, 200i. So I see and feel the sun coming out, so I'm going to start shooting and working faster. Zach, can I have your, let's see, left hand in your pocket. In your pant, 'scuse me, your pant pocket. Is it okay if do that? Yeah, yeah, yeah, great. Perfect. Open up the coat. Nice. Great. Can I have your eyes here? I'm sorry, I like your body there, and then your, yeah, that's great. Nice. Okay, great. So, in three, two and one. Nice, I love it, I love this. I love this. Good. Good. Good. (train bells ringing) Nice. Okay. So, I'm gonna bring you back this way. Turn towards, yeah great. Good. Let's see. Zach? I'm going to have your feet come underneath her dress. Like this. Okay. Do you want me to hold that, too. Mm-hmm. Just as you get your feet under. Can you wrap it? Yep. And you're gonna get even closer. Closer, closer, closer, closer. Nice. Put your arms around, beautiful. And then Avie, let me get your hair. So right now, I'm just adjusting her hair because I think, later on in post, it would be difficult to kind of fill in those empty spots. So, I just wanna make sure that as I'm giving my clients actions for fun and natural photos, that I'm gonna kinda try to get things that I want in place before I actually move them into it. The romantic photo will quickly transition into a fun or natural photo, after the direction that I give them. And I'm not gonna say what the direction is quite yet, because then they'll have time to think about it, and I don't want them to do that. In order to get natural poses, you want to keep your clients on their toes. Talk to them behind the camera 100% of the time so that they don't feel alone, and they feel confident with what they're doing. I'm still going to keep my aperture at a 1.4. Eyes down, Avie. Relax, take a deep breath. Good. And then. Scott, what I want you to do. Avie, can you open your legs? There we go, but don't come back. There we go. And then Zach come in. I want you just getting nice, nice, nice and close. Beautiful. Now what I want you to do is I want to kiss Avie wherever your lips land. If it's, beautiful, beautiful. Peel away from each other. Good. Now Avie, eyes here. Good. Now what I want you to do Avie is I want you to get away from Zach. Zach, don't let her go, don't let her go. Avie, fight, fight, fight, fight, fight. This way, this way, towards me, towards me, towards me, towards this way, this way, this way, this way. Get away, get away, get away. Good, good, good, good, good, good. Thank you. Beautiful. Good. So, all we did was created tension and energy between the couple. One thing I wanna point out is that with this particular pose, you have to be very careful on how you fire up the frame, because Avie, I'm gonna have you lean out towards me, lean out towards me, lean out towards me. If this then becomes the angle, and the bride is leaning towards me, but her booty is back towards her groom, in a way, I think it could lead to a different type of implication in the photos. So it's one thing I want to avoid. I don't want my bride this way. I don't want my groom directly behind her. I want to pull away. I want to position my body right in front of them, so that there's an angle between them. Now, Avie turn towards me. And that's why when I was shooting, I was like Avie, towards me, Avie, towards me. 'Cause she was coming out this way, leaning her body back this way, and he was here, and that's not the type of photo I wanna take. I wanna make it look likes it's fun and natural, not anything otherwise. I'm gonna try that just one more time. Our lighting has changed, and because our lighting has changed, I'm gonna give the same type of instruction, but in a slightly different position, only because, part of the reason why I'm doing that is now that I'm fighting the sun, the sun is coming up, my clients are in shade, the sun is behind them. It's going to be a distraction. I want to have full and clear light at any given point in time. By simply moving my subjects back a tiny bit, I'm gonna be changing the background, but I'm not gonna have the light source behind them illuminating what's going on in the behind the situation, which could then be a distraction. There's a light post in the background. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to shoot and crop it out, which means that I would not be shooting with the 35 or vertical. So I'm going to stay with the 35 and shoot horizontal. What I'm going to do is I'm going to have Avie pull away. Wait, not yet. You guys can't do that yet. (laughing) So, Avie, now pull your body towards me, towards me, towards me, get away, get away, get away. Come towards me. Shift your body this way, Avie. There you go. Beautiful. Beautiful. Good, roll it. Good. Now, instead of coming this way, come towards me, come towards me. Good, eyes down. Cute. There's a car in the background which is making me so upset, but dang it, good. Good, thank you. When it comes to shooting fun and natural, sometimes just natural photos are the couple walking towards you, enjoying themselves and looking good at the same time. That's gonna be my entire queue for this portion of natural. If, for instance, I can talk to them behind the camera and get them to laugh, that'd be great, 'cause I'm killing two birds with one stone. If it happens, awesome. If it doesn't, nothing's missed, I just have to work a little harder on the next go around. So here we go. Can I have you guys both face me? Can I have your hands together? Perfect, nice. And actually for this frame, Zach, can I have you just button the top button? So, I have people in the background, and there's nothing that I could do about that. I'm just gonna try to work with what I am given. My settings are at 2.5. This light is great. Can I have your hand in your pocket? Beautiful. Now, what I want you to do is Avie turn towards me a little bit more. Beautiful. What I want you to do is I want you to start walking towards me when I count for you at three, two, one, but with your left foot forward. So we're gonna walk with a cadence. You guys are just gonna relax. You're in no rush. So, one, two, three. And Avie if you can make sure that you're putting your feet right in front of each other. We can't see your feet underneath your dress, but it changes the position of your hips. So in three, looking at each other, in three, two and one, and we're walking. Beautiful. Oh, that's good. (laughing) Nice. Beautiful. Avie, take one big step towards me. Zach pause. Beautiful, beautiful. Now, what I want you guys to do is to continue walking down. Avie, walk a little closer to Zach. Nice. Now, I'm gonna call for it in three, two and one. Gorgeous. You guys are looking at each other. Avie, eyes down at the floor in front of you. Nice. Good. Now, pause Avie. Walk towards me. Walk towards me, walk towards me. Beautiful. Eyes down. Relax the bouquet around your waist line. Gorgeous. Beautiful. Now, pull Zach from behind. Just why, good. Now, looking down. Nice, at the floor. Cute. Beautiful. Okay. So, what I want to do is I really wanna keep my clients on their toes. Any time that I'm gonna be shooting for like a fun or natural kind of photo, I really want to do a few things that are gonna shake things up, so that I can kinda get a truer reaction. What I've seen so far is that Avie is a gorgeous girl, but what I wanna do is kinda get this warm and fuzzy laughable face, but what I think I'm gonna have to do is to give Zach things to do along the way to actually extract that from her. So, let's try it. Okay. So, Avie, can I have you hold your bouquet right here in front of your belly. You're gonna be looking right over there. Now, I'm gonna have Zach, you're gonna be coming from behind, but I'm gonna have you walk into it. Okay. So, let's back you up a tiny bit. You're gonna walk up from behind Avie, you're gonna wrap your arms around her, and then just whisper something to her that you think might make her laugh or smile, just keep her on her toes a little bit. Even if it's inappropriate, we're not gonna hear it. Okay. So, hang on one second. You want me to-- I like you right there. So, Zach's gonna come from behind you, Avie. But I'm gonna be shooting from the waist up. So I can have your dress off to the side and so that Zach can feel nice and comfortable to squeeze you on in. I'm gonna get the settings to what I want first. Right now, I'm gonna be shooting at a 2.0. I'm at 500th of a second, 160 iso, and I'm ready for you, Zach. Nice. So, what just happened here, this is fantastic. That was so, so good. One thing I want to point out is that I had asked Zach to come in and whisper something into Avie's ear that might make her laugh. It could potentially make her laugh, be silly. Whatever it was. So her reaction just kinda came just through and I wanted just to kinda get a pose that was really revealing of who she was. There are cars coming by and that's all good. That's what we're going to do. I'm gonna do one last pose before we kinda get into. So, I don't know what you said, but it was totally great 'cause she really laughed in a way that it was. (laughing) Good. Now, what I want you to do is, Zach, can you pick up the back of her dress? Cool. So, you're gonna be picking up the dress with your left hand and then with your right hand around her waist. So, this is what I want you to do. Let me just show you. Can you hold my camera? Cool. You're gonna be holding her dress like this. So, you're gonna make sure you're nice and comfortable holding it above your feet, so you're not gonna be left on her. And then you're gonna wrap your arm around Avie, and yes, this is what I do with my clients. I will grab the bride. We're gonna walk this way, and you're gonna be holding her just like this. Shaking with her, you're gonna be kind of moving, keeping your bodies connected, and whatever transpires, we get one photo as a result. I just want you keeping her nice and close. Beautiful, beautiful. So why I just chose that to show is that I can show it quicker than I can explain it. And let's see, Zach, relax the left hand a tiny bit. And all I'm going to be doing is I'm gonna be shooting a little bit, kind of a little bit close. I want to shoot it a little bit close. Actually, Zach, I'd like how you had rested your chin on her, yep, cute. Good. So, now what I'm gonna do is I'm keep the focal point on Avie, and they're gonna be walking towards me. Now, you guys can peel away from each other. It's all good. Now, bring her in, bring her in, bring her in, bring her in. Ugh, cute. Eyes at her, eyes at her. Good, thank you. Cool. We're gonna do it one more time. (mumbling) Good. (laughing) Good job, guys. I'm loving what's going on. So kinda just take a deep breath, relax your left shoulder. Beautiful. Now, you're going to be just focusing entirely on each other. And you're stepping a slightly slower cadence until I call for you to change how quickly or slowly you guys are walking towards me. This is beautiful. Relax, different shoulder, and you guys need to start walking and you're smiling. Good. Avie, eyes on your bouquet. Good, thank you. Cool. So, now that I got a natural pose, they're gonna be walking in these frames on video. But what actually photos that's going to show is their bodies formation. I need one single frame of them that actually looks like their bodies are melding together for that nice, natural appeal. We're gonna start this portion of the fun and natural posing in a different location, and I've intentionally chosen my location based strictly on light, because I would much prefer getting great light in a not so great location instead of a great location in not so great light. So I found the light that I like. I like this beautiful halo light that is coming for my bride; it's absolutely stunning. What I'm going to do is I'm gonna get a portrait of her and then I'm going to add different layers. Now, I'm not gonna explain to the camera what those layers are going to be because then it's going to tip off what my bride and groom, what their reactions are going to be. So, I wanna just keep them on their toes. This is the thing I come back all the time to. And I'm going to state the obvious. This is going to look and feel stupid. And I'm not doubting, whatsoever. I'm gonna look back at this footage and just cringe. But I'm gonna own it, and I'm gonna say, this is what I do to get the reactions that I get. So whatever. So, Avie. I'm gonna get the camera settings to where I want them. I'm gonna be shooting this at a 2.5. I'm at 160 iso. I have some haze coming through to the back. And I'm just going to own that. I'm gonna be putting up my hand to be using it as a ghetto fab lens hood. Yep, and that's what I want. I'm gonna be shooting this 2.5, 400th of a second. I'm at 160. Beautiful. All right, so. Nice, Avie. Avie, can you look over towards the cop at the other end. Yes, beautiful. Now, move your chin towards the cop. Beautiful. Good, now, Zach, I'm gonna bring you in right here. Now, I understand that there is cactus behind Avie. I don't want her to be put in front of the cactus bush. I'm actually using the cactus as a frame around her head. I'm gonna be position Zach. Zach, I want you to stand, actually right. Shoulder to shoulder. You're gonna turn this way. Nice. Cool. Now, can you have your hands just right about here? Perfect. I'm gonna back up a tiny bit to accommodate for them, for both of them in the frame. Now, I'm going to do. See, Avie just worked it. She just looked up at Zach and just made the best of this photo. Now, I want you to do, I'm going to actually, so Avie, you, yes, your hair looks gorgeous. Relax the bouquet a tiny bit around your abdomen. Gorgeous. Now, if you guys can both look at the camera. On the count of three, I want you guys to give me the weirdest, funniest face that you guys can think of. So, just give me a weird face. Good. You guys look hot, that's not weird. (laughing) Yes, I'm sorry. A funny face, a funny face. I said weird, my bad, my bad. Okay, so give me a funny face in one, two, three. Funny. Good, now look at each other and give each other the funniest face. Good, nice. Nice, nice. So, I wanted to step away from the scene. What just happened was I gave my amazing, beautiful, wonderful clients an opportunity to, I gave them a prompt. And I think that they did the best they could and it was my job, my failure to articulate what I wanted from the frame. So, I shot that, and it's beautiful light, and my clients look great, but I didn't get the ultimate reaction. So, I'm not a funny face photographer, but what I wanted as a result was for them to laugh. And I don't think that they laughed in a way that actually comes across as something that I would put in my portfolio. So, the educational learning in this particular situation is that not every prompt will work. So now that I know that it didn't work, I need to give something else to actually fulfill this particular portion of the shoot. I'm going to go back. I'm going to try something different to see if I can get a natural reaction, because what I've noticed so far from this beautiful, amazing, gorgeous couple is that they're beautiful and they're amazing, but they're not as emotive when it comes to just laughing and natural photos. Now, it's not their inability as subjects. It's my inability as a photographer. So, I need to try twice as hard to get the results that I want. So here we go, attempt number two, in really crazy light, with non-emotive clients. Let's see if we can get one frame that I'm really proud of. Let's go back. I want you to get up on your tippy toes, I want you to come around him, and I want you to cover his eyes. I want you to be sassy, fun. I want you to be a little bit of a brat. Like anything that's going to keep Zach on his toes. So, I just prompted Avie to come over. Let's see. So, in just the span of a few minutes, the sun has come out to such a degree that I might have to change a couple things because it's so strong within my camera. Okay, cool. I actually will just try to save what we have going on. I might have to make some minor adjustments. Cool. I just prompted Avie to come up from behind Zach and kinda cover his eyes to kinda see what's going to happen. But I want you to sell it, I want you to be sassy, I want to be sassy. And then, the count of three, you're gonna get up on your tippy toes, and you're gonna wrap your arms around his eyes in three, two and one. Good, good, good, good, good. Good. Now, peel back, peel back. Beautiful, Avie. Now, this time, what I want, which was everything that was perfect, I want you to cover Zach's eyes, kinda be like a brat, and then I want you to look at the camera as you did it. And three, and two, and one. Zach, you're looking good, too. Don't worry. Cute. One more time. Now, instead of peeling Zach back. So I love what you did, but you peeled him back, peel him to the side, and kind of just peel up and look at the camera, back at me. In three, in two, in one. Cute. Good. Avie, can I have you pick up the side of your dress? And I'm gonna get the bouquet. You're gonna hold that. Yep, okay cool. So, it's gonna feel silly. But if we put in our mind an idea of what was actually happening during this point. So the idea is that you guys just got married, you guys just walked outta the church and you're excited to get away from everybody for one quick break. I don't want you in a full out sprint, but I don't want you in a walk either. I'm going to talk to you and then I will change your cadence as I need it. I'm gonna look behind me and then make sure that nothing is behind me that I can trip over, although there is a strong possibility that I possibly could because that's just how I roll. I'm gonna get my settings right. I'm at a 2.5, 400th of a second, 160 iso. And come towards me, come, come, come, come. Run, run, run, run, run, run, run. You guys are excited. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I'm gonna do it one more time. That was great, guys. One more time. Thank you, thank you, thank you. But Avie, let's just have a moment, 'cause your hair's looking so good. Right here, beautiful. Right here, turn towards me. Beautiful. You're gonna pick up one side of your dress. You're gonna be holding the other hand. Let me take, adjust the hair. I'm adjusting the hair outside of the dress line. Great. Zach, step in a little bit closer to Avie. Beautiful, and you guys are running towards me, looking at each other. Keeping the faces nice and light. Good, thank you. Perfect, perfect. Okay, so let's continue shooting some more fun photos at a different location. We're coming into the last parts of capturing, making sure that my portfolio reflects fun and natural poses. Now, I'm going to give my clients something to do, and again, I give them an action, and I hope that one or two frames yield what I want. And so in this particular case, I'm going to guide my clients into simply showcasing the bride. But in away that there's movement. So, Zach, if at all possible, can I have your hand? Avie, I want you to mirror, when it comes to it. So, making sure that you're holding Avie's hand nice and firm, because she's going to be pulling on you. So, can I have your hand in your pocket? Nice. And so, Avie, I kinda just want you to lean back, or actually, you're gonna stay positioned, Zach. So, you're gonna stay positioned. I kinda want you leaning back, and then Zach, you're gonna pull her in, close. You guys are gonna get nice and close, and then you're gonna peel back again, and then Avie, you're gonna show him the back of your dress, 'cause it look fierce and fabulous. And then if you want, you can raise up your hand, and she's gonna kinda flip around, and she's gonna do this. I'll talk you through it. But the goal is to kinda get a little bit of distance between you, and I have to understand, as a photographer, I'm going to probably get a couple frames from this, and then I'm just gonna be okay with that. Now, my light source, to the best of my ability, is in front of them, but I still want that dynamic lighting behind them. Square your shoulders a little bit more towards me. Zach, bring your ankles in a tiny bit. I am losing bits of the ground in front of them, and I'm just gonna be okay with it. So then, Avie, go ahead, start pulling. Nice. Beautiful. Good, now Zach, bring her on in. Bring her on in. That's cute. Pull her on out. You can, yes. Good. Now, Avie, relax your hand, relax your hand. Beautiful, now relax that shoulder. You're over extending. I want you to pull your, there you go. Nice, hang on one second. Let me adjust. There you go, Zach. And then, we're getting a lot of this. I kinda want to tuck it on in, and I just want you to look back. So, bring the shoulders back, the torso, and kinda lean back, not lean back, so do not lean back. I want you to turn back. Beautiful. And then, Zach, hand in your pocket. 'Cause you're just admiring your gorgeous wife. Nice. Beautiful. Now, why don't you give her a nice little twist? All the way around. (laughing) Beautiful. Good. Now, just come in, bring it in nice and close, nice and close, nice and close, nice and close, nice and close, nice and close. Good, now what I want you to do is, Avie, no, no, I loved where it was, I loved where it was, Avie. You're just perfect. Now, flip the bouquet in the other hand, Avie. Atta girl, atta girl, atta girl. Beautiful. Now, Avie, lean back, lean back, lean back, lean back. Zach, go in for her. Try not to let her get away. Zach, you're leaning in for kiss, you're leaning in for a kiss, whoa, whoa, whoa. Okay, not, okay, okay, okay, we're going deep. We're going deep, y'all. (laughing) Let's do that one more time, but Avie, you don't have to lean all the back. Just kinda lean from the chest up. So, keep your hips stationary. This will be it, this will be it, this will be it. Beautiful. Thank you, friends. That's it. That's it. Hang out there. Hang out there. Avie, look down at the ground in front of you. And over your left shoulder, Avie, in the ground. Yes, thank you, thank you. Lean back a tiny bit, lean back a tiny bit. Zach stay with her. Thank you. Boom, okay, okay, okay, okay. Thanks, guys, for hustling. You guys were doing this. So, that's how we're gonna close this particular lesson with fun and natural poses. Thanks you guys for following along. A few tips to remember as you go along. You wanna create natural movements. You wanna talk behind your camera. You wanna keep your camera, if you guys noticed, I was talking a lot behind my camera. Keep your camera up and shoot simultaneously. That's how you're gonna get these natural fun photos. Yes, I did have the clients come into some weird, contortion-like poses, and sometimes they worked and sometimes they didn't, and that's okay. That wasn't what I was going after. The going after for the natural poses was them actually coming out of the moment, laughing at each other, enjoying it. Some prompts that I gave them worked. Some prompts that I gave them didn't work. And I'm okay with that. So, don't hesitate to act like a fool on behalf of your clients, and thanks for tuning in today. I appreciate it. (guitar music) ♫ What is a bird without its wings ♫ What is a kite without its strings ♫ What is a city with no people ♫ What is a hand without a hold ♫ What is the world with no love love love ♫ Keeps us all connected ♫ Love love love when you least expect it ♫ Love love love ♫ Everybody sing ♫ 'Cause love love love ♫ It's a beautiful thing ♫ La la la la la la la la la ♫ La la la la la la la la ♫ La la la la la la la la da da da ♫ What is a bus without a street ♫ What is a heart without a beat ♫ What is a church without a steeple ♫ What is the sky without the sea ♫ What would we be with no love love love ♫ Keeps us all connected ♫ Love love love when you least expect it ♫ Love love love ♫ Everybody sing ♫ 'Cause love love love ♫ It's a beautiful thing ♫ To give and take and make mistakes ♫ And know they'll love you So, I'm gonna tie up what we just saw. I'm gonna review some of the things that we just went through. You saw me adjust Avie's dress and her hair on countless occasions. I was thinking about her appearance from a stylist's perspective and from a creative's perspective, and a curator's perspective. I had to work extra hard to get Avie to smile in a way that was a half smile and have her look pleasant and fun. You saw me work at particular angles, and work them into a pose, and when a pose wasn't working, I would try fighting extra hard for it. And the way that I would try extra hard was keeping the camera in front of my face the entire time. Because I would see a break in her facial expression every so often, and I noticed that it happened every blue moon, that I had to be ready. I did not want to miss that small break of getting that natural, light, fun pose that can manifest itself. So, having seen me implement the tips for posing a bride, posing a groom and posing a couple, what I wanna do now is work into our homework. Now, the homework is I want you to arrange a shoot for intention. So, free yourself of expectations of payment. Free yourself of expectations of sharing them online. Free yourself of any sort of expectations. This is homework, this creativity, this is fun. Now, I don't want you to go back and shoot the sessions like you were shooting them now. If you set up the shoot for intention, and you shoot the session exactly how you shoot it now, you did it wrong. The idea is to say what are my words? How can I shoot my clients to get there? And if I'm going back to the thing, like my safety zone, you need to invite your friends or perspective, yeah, your friends. Somebody you trust and say, I need to experiment with something. Will you guys work with me. So, now you feel no pressure to kind of put on this show. Put on this I'm professional. I got it together all the time. It's let me find the right words to say let me work with you through that. Secondly, I think that it's easy to think that money is the form of a successful transaction. But I will say that money is the last thing when it comes to other things that you get as a benefit from doing what you do. So, sure, you might not have gotten paid for a shoot, but what you walk away with having learned is so much more valuable than what you've gotten paid for the shoot, outside of that opportunity. And lastly, when you set up the shoot, the thing that I want is about learning how to do the thing that you need to do. It's not about payment, it's not expectations. It's just doing what you set out to do and walking away from the shoot having become stronger in knowing that you're shooting with intentionality for your brand. On that note, we're done. Good. (clapping)

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Reviews

  • Do not just watch this video. Eat it up, live it and breathe it. I am a recent Jasmine Star convert (a.k.a. evangelist) and a newbie photographer. I was looking for inspiration online and her name had come up before in conversations with another photographer and I am SO GLAD I stumbled upon her blog, her store and her Creative Live classes. I have to say that in the 9 months now that my business has been in operation, she's been with me every step of the way (in internet spirit) and although I've never spoken to or corresponded with her, her online presence has served as a guide for many steps in my business. I am not a high-end photographer or teaching my own classes, like I said I'm brand-spanking new to the industry, but her blog and this class has helped me develop a clear vision and plan for my business, and to me that is half the battle. If you want to feel good about your business, know what you stand for, your style of photography…if you want to know your 2-minute why-hire-me speech in an elevator full of brides or whoever your audience is, listen, really listen to what she has to say. Then DO DO DO what you need to do for yourself a successful business takes a lot of work. But if you love it and it's a passion of yours, then you can make your business what you want it to be. Thank you, Jasmine Star and JD for being an amazing beacon of light to many photographers around the world and for being my wedding day warriors who amp me up on the mornings of my professional shoots! All the best from Ohio, Donna May
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  • Had the chance to be a part of the in studio class to film some of the sessions for this class. Jasmine was simply amazing. Full of helpful information gained through her years of experience. Some of the tips she provides in the social media segment are truly eye opening and worth the price of the class. Her whole approach and helping manner is so sincere, I just can't say enough about her as an instructor and mentor! JD, you are a great source of information also, thanks for being there in the background to help! Caitlin Martin Photography