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Shooting with Intent: Natural Wedding Photography + Fun Photos

Lesson 4 from: The Complete Wedding Photographer Experience

Jasmine Star

Shooting with Intent: Natural Wedding Photography + Fun Photos

Lesson 4 from: The Complete Wedding Photographer Experience

Jasmine Star

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Lesson Info

4. Shooting with Intent: Natural Wedding Photography + Fun Photos

Jasmine explains how to capture those non-posed, natural wedding photography shots.


Class Trailer



Jasmine’s Background and Wedding Photography Inspiration


How to Define Your Photography Style


Shooting with Intent: Romantic + Editorial Wedding Photography


Shooting with Intent: Natural Wedding Photography + Fun Photos


Overcoming Shyness to Find Success as a Wedding Photographer




The Best Wedding Photography Marketing


Lesson Info

Shooting with Intent: Natural Wedding Photography + Fun Photos

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 course summed up or 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 for, as we go into this next section, and it's gonna act as a foundation as you start selecting the photos that 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. A...

nd today I'm going to 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, 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 when we step back, they've been holding it 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 say like, it started off right, and somehow we diverted. It's actually moving them to a pose that creates natural movements. Now few things matter as much as your clients' 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, you'll see me do a lot in this upcoming video is to view your bride with a stylist perspective. You will see me taking a look and adjusting her dress. You will see me ensuring that everything is neat. That her hands look the way they are. You will see me constantly readjusting her hair. And I say that yes I will 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 I have said before and I will continue saying. 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 the more you can talk to her, the easier it will come to loosen her up and to kind of 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 of it's a division of her. So what for instance what four hand poses might look? Um, I'm going to do this as if 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 and if I was posing Tara, I want to create a mirror to us. So I align my shoulders close to her and say great. What I want you do is copy what I'm doing. Pose one, we'll have your hands here. Pose two, I want you to adjust your hair, touch it here. Pose three, I kinda 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 felt awkward doing it on a shoot. But by me saying I'm okay with my awkwardness and if she just kinda follows me and 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 with me so we can walk you through it. So when I start shooting you're ready. So here we go. One, two, three, four, and then she'll be 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 post 2.5 is a thing that I really like. And that's the one that I'm gonna 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 going to be addressed to any gender photographer. Just because you're a guy, doesn't mean that you know or understand how a guy body works. Once you start studying the poses and you have an understanding; you can rearrange the male figure in a way that keeps the masculinity about the pose, and stays true to the integrity of how he stands just naturally. So often times during a shoot, you will see me do this over the course of the 30 days, I will start off with a pose and then I will tell him this is where I want you to start, but if it doesn't feel natural than 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 back door, I'm giving him a starting spot and then I want to figure out what his body does naturally, I can make those 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 want them, 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 the result in a very clean result. Like same with a 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 up your legs a little bit? Great. Can I have your hands in your pockets? 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 at me like your at a bus stop waiting. So what that just changes posture into? Boom. Kinda weighted, 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 up as you adjust your tie, then I want you to button the top button of your coat, not both it takes too long and doesn't look neat. Top button of your coat, fantastic. And once you do your top button, your button neat, I want you looking up at me, I want you looking back down. I game him four. So one, two, three, what was the fourth? Button. Thank you. Thank you, that was a test, see if you guys were paying attention. So when you give them 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, 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 establish a relationship and rapport with my brides that I can say, oh let me shift your shoulders let me stand here dah, dah, dah, dah. 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 your four fingers out? That will rest 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 a thing I need to do as a female photographer. Now if you feel confident and have a rapport with your clients, great. Buck it. Own it. But me? I kind of like to keep it professional distance. 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, 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 having your hands like this. Small tiny changes. His hands too. And when 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 their, it's them. And that works 'cause they see themselves in that photo. So that's a cue, and probably not something, I don't know if I really, if I should have said that one. But you know you do what it takes to get the photo. Be aware of the fingers. Now one thing I want to do is to beware of prom poses. When it comes to natural photos, the key like I had 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 can kinda have the bride's back to his chest. So the grooming is standing here, it's so easy, it's two moves, it two poses removed from being a prom pose, right? So with his hand is either in his pocket or on her hip and then her hand is here with the bouquet; we went to prom, right? So it's like kind of like I want her to bring her bouquet down to this hand. I want her holding his hand, her thumb in his hands here, and I want him leaning into her and she leans forward. What we just change from here, two changes here, then we made it more into a natural flow. Then 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 Avi, 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 if 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 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 client slideshows and work. So that they when they see other girls giving me the smize, they know 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 that 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 things. 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 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 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, 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 could 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 in the light, what's going on in 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 of the doctors 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 up 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 is 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 portrays 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 clients face. 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 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." I said, "Taylor grab my hand." Now I said, "grab my hand really tight." And he grabbed it. And I said, "Samantha, do you see how much tension is there is between this?" "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 her to lead him, that their arms are not portraying any type of slack. That that tension works for them. Lastly pay attention to appendages. I've said this a thousand times before, but we've all gone through edits and culls where we're 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 processing. You'll see me go through the shoots 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 a casting, not casting. When we asked for people to come and be a part of the CreativeLive photo shoots, I put it out on Facebook, and they contacted the producers, and the producers outlined everything that they would need and that they would show up, and I was very hands off of that process. So when Avi came to the shoot with Zack 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, just because CreativeLive 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, then we did one at bright sunrise, and so they happen 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 at the 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 cannot. 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 wanna 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 kind of thrown in there. To have a 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 at a later point 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 have noticed that we were shooting romantic and editorial photos. Today, this is kind of my juzz, 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 couples unique and totally special to their love. Now the idea to show up to a shoot and say I just wanna 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 gonna to portray my pathetic attempts of having my couples have fun, but what I know I can do is deliver on results. 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 going to start Zacky, Zacky? (laughs) I'm just gonna call you guys Zacky. (laughs) Zack and Avi, I'm going to bring them back right over here, so Avi you can just walk backwards. I'm going to put you guys center to this, beautiful. Beautiful, beautiful, gorgeous. So let's see, I'm going to keep you here Avi, and Zack, I'm gonna have you right about here. Kind of just want your hands in your pocket, you're gonna be squaring off towards that parking lot. Right about there, great. Do you want the jacket? Umm I like this, I like that. Let's have both your hands... So Avi, I want you to do, is I'm gonna be shooting Zack and then I'm gonna count to three, then 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? Stay like this? Um hmm so it will be the element of surprise just wrap him in, bring him in, have fun. You're not gonna be looking at the camera, I'm gonna be shooting portraits of Zack first. Cool. Beautiful. So one thing I want to point out is there is a sign in this area, it's called the Butterfly Sanctuary, what I want to use, use Zack's body to cover that sign, to help me avoid post processing later. So I'm gonna shoot a couple portraits of Zack first. I'm gonna get my light and settings right. I'm shooting at a 1.4., 1250th of a second, 200 ISO. I see and feel the sun coming out, so I'm going to start shooting and working faster. Zack can I have your, uh let's see. Left hand? In your pocket? Excuse me, in your pant pocket. Is it okay like this? 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, Like this? And then yeah, that's great. Nice. Kay, great. So in three, two, and one. Nice, I love it. I love this. I love this. Good. Good. Good. Nice. So I'm gonna bring you back this way. Turn towards, yeah great. Good. Uh, let's see. Zack, I'm going to have your feet come underneath her dress, like this. Okay, do you want me to hold that too? Uh huh. And just as you get your feet under Can you grab that? Yup. And your in even closer, closer, closer, closer, closer, nice. Put your arms around, beautiful. And then Avi, 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 kinda fill in those like 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 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. But 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 wanna keep your clients on their toes. Talk to them behind the camera a hundred percent of the time, so 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, Avi. Relax, take a deep breath. Good. And then, Scott, what I want you to do... Avi, can you open your legs? There we go, but don't come back. There we go. And then Zack come in. I want you just getting nice, nice, nice and close. Beautiful. Now what I want you to do is I want you to kiss Avi wherever your lips land. If it's... Beautiful, beautiful. Peel away from each other, good. Now Avi, eyes here. Good. Now what I want you to do Avi is I want you to get away from Zack. Zack don't let her go, don't let her go. Avi, fight. Fight, fight, fight, fight. This way, this way, this way, towards me, towards me, towards me This way, this way, this way, this way. 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 that with this particular pose, you have to be very careful on how you fire off the frame because Avi, 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. And that's the 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 there's an angle between them that Avi, turn towards me, and that's why when I was shooting I was like, Avi toward me, Avi 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 like 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 that now 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 behind, 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 I would not be shooting with the 35 or vertical, so I'm gonna stay with the 35 and shoot horizontal. And what I'm going to do is I'm going to have Avi pull away. Wait not yet. You guys can't do that yet. (laughs) So Avi, now pull your body towards me. Towards me, towards me. Get away, get away, get away. Come towards me. Shift your body this way, Avi. 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 a 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 cue for this portion of natural. If for instance, I can talk to them behind the camera and get them to laugh, that would be great because 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, Zack can I just have you do, 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 Avi, 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 a cadence, you're just gonna relax. You're in no rush so one, two, three. And Avi, 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. (laughs) Nice. Beautiful. Avi, take one big step towards me. Zack, pause. Beautiful, beautiful. Now I what I want you guys to do is to continue walking. Now Avi, walk a little closer to Zack. Nice. Now I'm gonna call for it in three, two, and one. Gorgeous. You guys are looking at each other. Avi, eyes down at the floor in front of you. Nice. Good. Now pause. Avi, walk towards me. Walk towards me, walk towards me. Beautiful. Eyes down. Relax the bouquet around your waist line. Gorgeous. Beautiful. Now pull Zack from behind. Just waist, good. Now looking down. Eyes to the floor. Cute. Beautiful. Okay, so what I wanna do is I wanna keep my clients on their toes. Anytime 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 get a truer reaction. What I've seen so far is that Avi is a gorgeous girl, but what I want to do is kind of get this warm and fuzzy laughable face. What I think I'm gonna have to do is give Zack things to do along the way to actually extract that from her. So let's try. Okay so Avi, 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 Zack, you're gonna be coming from behind, 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 Avi. You're gonna wrap your arms around her and then just whisper something to her that you might 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. I like you right there. So Zack's gonna come from behind you Avi, but I'm gonna be shooting from the waist up so I can have your dress off to the side. And so that Zack 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 Zack. Nice. So what just happened here? This was fantastic, that was so, so good. One thing I want to point out was that I had asked Zack to come in and whisper something into Avi's ear that might make her laugh. It could potentially, it could potentially, it could potentially make her laugh, be silly, whatever it was. So her reaction just kinda came through and I wanted to just 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 gonna 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 was... (laughs) Good. Now what I want you to do is Zack, 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? Uh huh. Cool. So you're gonna have, you're gonna be holding her dress like this so you gonna make sure you're nice and comfortable holding it above your feet so you're not gonna be walking on her. Then you're gonna wrap your arm around Avi. 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. Shakin' with her, you know kinda moving, keeping your bodies connected and whatever transpires. If 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 I can show it quicker than I can explain it. And let's see, Zack, relax the left hand a tiny bit and all I'm going to be doing is I'm going to be shooting a little bit, kind of a little, a little bit close. I wanna shoot it a little bit close. Actually Zack, I like how you rested your chin on her, yup. Cute, good. So now what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna keep the focal point on Avi 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 that one more time. Good. Good job, guys. I'm loving what's going on. So kind of just take a deep breathe, relax your left shoulder, beautiful. Now you're just gonna be focusing entirely on each other. You need slightly a slower cadence, until I call for you to change how quickly or slowly you guys are walking towards me. This is beautiful, relax that front shoulder. You guys are gonna start walking and you're smiling. Good. Avi, eyes down at your bouquet. Good, thank you. Cool. So now that I got a natural pose, now they're gonna be walking in these frames on video. But what actually photos are gonna 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 intentionally chosen my location based strictly on light. Because I would much prefer getting great light in an not so great location, instead of a great location and a not so great light. So I found the light that I like, I like this beautiful halo light that's coming for my bride. It's absolutely stunning. And 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 gonna be because then it's gonna tip off what my bride and groom are, what their reactions are gonna be. So I just wanna keep them on their toes, this is something I come back all the time to. And I'm gonna state the obvious, this is gonna 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, I'm gonna say, this is what I do to get the reactions that I get. So whatever. So Avi, 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 the back and I'm just gonna own that. I'm gonna be putting up my hand to be using it as a ghetto fab lens hood. Yup, and that's what I want. I'm gonna be shooting this at 2.5, 400th of a second, I'm at 160, beautiful, ISO. Nice, Avi. Avi, could you look over towards the cop? At the other end? Yes, beautiful. Now move your chin towards the cop, beautiful. Good. Now Zack, I'm gonna bring you in right here. Now I understand there is cactus behind Avi; 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 positioning Zack; Zack 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 what I'm gonna do, see Avi just worked it. She just looked up at Zack and just made the best of this photo. Now what I want you guys to do, I'm going to actually, so Avi you, yes your hair looks gorgeous. Relax your, okay 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, the funniest face, you guys could think of. So just give me a weird, a weird face. Good. You guys look hot, that's not weird. (laughs) 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 this scene, what just happened was I gave my amazing, beautiful, wonderful clients an opportunity to, I gave them a prompt. And I think 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 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 them 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 amazing, but their not as emotive when it comes to just laughing and natural photos. It's not their inability as subjects, it's my ability 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 back on your tippy toes, I'm want you to come around, and I want you to cover his eyes, and I want you to be sassy, fun, I want you to be a bit of a brat. Like anything that's gonna to keep Zack on his toes. So I just prompted Avi to come over, now let me see. So in just the span of a few minutes, the sun has come out in such, 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 Avi to come up from behind Zack and cover his eyes to kinda see what's going to happen. But I want you to sell it, I want you to be saucy. I want you to be sassy. And in the count of the three, and your 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, Avi. Now this time what I want, everything that was perfect. I want you to cover Zack's eyes kind of be like a brat, and then I want you to look at the camera, as you did it. And three, and two, and one. Zack you're looking good too, don't worry. Cute, one more time. Now instead of peeling Zack back, I love what you did, but you peeled him back, peel him to the side. And kind of just like peel up and look at the camera back at me in three, in two, and one. Cute, good. Avi, can I have you pick up the side of your dress? And I'm gonna get the bouquet. You're gonna hold that. Yup, okay cool. So it's gonna feel silly, but if we put in our mind, like an idea of what was actually happening during this point. So the idea is that you guys just got married, you guys just walked out of 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 gonna talk to you and I will change your cadence as I need it. I'm gonna look behind me and make sure 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. You guys are excited. Thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I'm gonna do that one more time, that was great, guys. One more time. Thank you, thank you, thank you. But Avi, Let's just have a moment, 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 adjust the hair. I'm adjusting the hair outside of the dress line. Great. Zack step in a little bit closer to Avi. 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 a way that there's movement. So Zack, if it at all possible, can I have your hand? Avi, I want you to mirror, when it comes to it. So making sure that you're holding Avi's hand nice and firm because she's going to be pulling on you. So can I have your hand in your pocket? Nice. So Avi, I kind of just want you to lean back, or actually you're gonna stay positioned, Zack. So you're gonna stay positioned. Kind of want you leaning back, and then Zack you're gonna pull her in close. You guys are gonna get in nice and close, and you're gonna peel back again, and then Avi you're gonna show me the back of your dress 'cause it looks fierce and fabulous and if you want, you can raise her hand and she's gonna kind of flip around and she's gonna do this. I'll talk you through it. But the goal is to 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 ability, is in front of them, but I still want that dynamic lighting behind them. Square your shoulders a little bit more towards me. Zack, bring your ankles in a tiny bit. I am loosing bits of the ground in front them, I'm just gonna be okay with it. So then Avi, go ahead start pulling. Nice. Beautiful. Good, now Zack bring her on in. Bring her on in. That's cute, that's cute. Pour on out, yes. Good. Now Avi, relax your hand, relax your hand. Beautiful. Now relax that shoulder, you're over extending, I want you to pull, there you go. Nice, hang on one second. Let me adjust, there you go, Zack. We're getting a lot of, we're getting a lot of this, I kind of wanna tug it on in, and I just want you to look back. So bring the shoulders back, the torso, kind of lean back. Not lean back, sorry not lean back, I want you to turn back. Beautiful. And then Zack, 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. (laughs) 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 Avi, no, no I loved where it was. I loved where it was, Avi you're just perfect. Now flip the bouquet in the other hand, Avi. At a girl, at a girl, at a girl. Beautiful. Now Avi, lean back, lean back, lean back, lean back, Zack go in for her. Try not to let her get away. And then Zack you're leaning in for a kiss, you're leaning in for a kiss, whoa, whoa. (laughs) Okay, okay, okay we're going deep, we're going deep, y'all. (laughs) Let's do this, let's do that one more time, but Avi, you don't have to lean all the way 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. Avi, look down at the ground in front of you. And over your left shoulder, Avi in the ground, yes. Thank you, thank you. Lean back a tiny bit, lean back a tiny bit. Zack same with her. Thank you, boom. Okay, okay, okay, okay thanks guys for hustling. You guys are doing this. So that's how we're gonna close this particular lesson with fun and natural poses, thank 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, contortionist-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 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. (soft romantic music) (humming) ♪ What is a bird without it's wings? ♪ ♪ What is a kite with it's string? ♪ ♪ What is a city with no people? ♪ ♪ What is a hand without a hold? ♪ ♪ What is the world without no love? ♪ ♪ 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. ♪ ♪ Dah, dah, dah, ♪ ♪ dah, dah, dah, dah, dah, dah, ♪ ♪ Dah, dah, dah, ♪ ♪ dah, dah, dah, dah, dah, dah, ♪ ♪ La, dah, dah, ♪ ♪ Dah, dah, dah, dah, dah, dah, dah ♪ ♪ What is a bus without a street? ♪ ♪ What is a heart without a beat? ♪ ♪ What is a church without a steeple? ♪ ♪ Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, ♪ ♪ What is a sky without the sea? ♪ ♪ What would we be without no love? ♪ ♪ 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 going to tie up what we just saw, I'm gonna review some of the things that we just went through. You saw me adjust Avi's dress and her hair on countless occasions. I was thinking about her appearance from a stylist perspective and from a creative perspective and a curator's perspective. I had to work extra hard, to get Avi 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 worked them into a pose. And when the 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 happen 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 the groom, and posing the 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 is creativity, this is fun. Now I don't want you to go back and shoot the sessions, like you are shooting them now. If you set the shoot up 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 the show, Put on this, I'm professional, I've got this all 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, then 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 having walked away from the shoot having becoming stronger. And knowing that you're shooting with intentionality for your brand. On that note, we're done. Good.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials: Shooting Guides

The Complete Wedding Photographer's Experience Keynote
Gallery Access
Shooting Guide: How to Pose a Curvy Bride
Shooting Guide: How to Shoot a Tall-Short Couple
Shooting Guide: How to Shoot in the Worst Light
Shooting Guide: Shooting with Intention

Bonus Material: Syllabus


Ratings and 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


Remember when Magicians kept all their secrets to themseves ? Well its as if Jasmine said enough is enough I'm doing a 30 day class on the A to Z of Wedding Photography and I'm not holding anything back baby!! I'm even going to wear a mic and speak my thoughts out loud! Is this really happening? Creative live said its free the first time around? Am I dreaming? Jasmine your giving us a wealth of knowlege and I cannot thank you enough I love and look forward to your teaching everyday Talk about step by step! Jasmine your the Tony Robbins of Wedding Photography, You've inspired me to pick up my camera once again Thank you so much for doing this course for us and explaining everything so clearly and sharing every tip you know with us I feel like i'm shadowing you on the shoots :) Thanks to creative live and JD too An awesome class that I will be buying Highly recommend!

Charlie Ketchen

WOW! So inspiring! This course really shook things up for me! I've never seen a live wedding, meeting, engagement/bridal shoot before and it was so valuable. Edited nicely, easy to follow and so relatable. It's been truly inspiring to watch this over the past few weeks. I purchased the course and I am so glad I did, the course materials saved me making 1,000s of notes, but I still had documents open to make notes because EVERYTHING she says is helpful/moving/game-changing. Don't skip the Q&A's at the end of each session, or the last sessions as she either recalls and compounds what we learned over the 30+ lessons and there is value in all of it! I can't be thankful enough for Jasmine, JD & the CL team for bringing this to us in a shiny, clean format for us to enjoy. For bearing all, for wearing your hearts on your sleeves and pulling back the curtain on how the J* brand operates and came about. So so so so inspiring. BUY IT!!!

Student Work