Shooting with Intent: Romantic + Editorial Photos
We're gonna be starting this particular lesson with shooting with intention. And shooting with intention for branding words. Now I understand that I could go through the same ideas with all of your branding words. But because we don't have time for that, we're gonna focus on what my branding words are. You guys are gonna learn the efforts that I have put towards that and then you will apply it to your branding words. Now one of the greatest things to happen to me as a photographer was the notion that I didn't have to know and/or do everything perfectly. I came in thinking I'm gonna be a photographer and I'm gonna learn posing. And learn posing was like air quotes around it, because I now know you can't learn posing. You can learn how to do it, but the only way you actually learn how to be effective at it is by actually doing it. Because what happens is I would go to workshops and I would go to conferences and summits, and I would take copious amounts of notes. A...
nd I would be like I got this posing thing down! And I would make little note cards about poses and I would feel great and I would ride out to this session and I would be like, so um, uh, how about you guys kiss? (audience laughing) You know, it's like I knew, I knew the poses, and I would get back in the car, it was like, why didn't you do that? You know all of them. And I just couldn't bring them, bring them to mind. So what would happen was if I took a step back and I thought to myself what is the type of photo I want to take? Because we often get into this and we're thinking, okay we're gonna go and it's gonna be awesome, but it's like, if you take a step back and you ask yourself, truly, and I don't wanna get this to be too theoretical, but I want this to be theoretical, what kind of photographs do I want to take? How then, can I bring them to life? Once I knew the types of photos I wanted to take, I found freedom. I found freedom to say I cannot be the master of all, but I can try to be the master of a few. When I first started my business I felt overwhelmed completely and totally because of everything I had to learn. I had just left law school and I made the decision to pursue photography. But, what I didn't realize in that pursuing this career, was that I would be actually doing photography 20% of the time, and I would be running a business 80% of the time. And oftentimes we get into something, I see a lot of nods, because we got into this thinking, oh, it's gonna be a life of like unicorns and fields and people in love and everything's just gonna be amazing. And what you realize is that the thing that you wanted to do, which is shoot, is the thing that you do the less of because I was buried under all these other things I had to learn. In addition to learning posing, I had to understand how to navigate email, I had to get a business license, I had to understand how to file taxes. I had to learn Photoshop, I had to learn post processing. I had to figure out what my business costs were. I mean the list went on and on. So, the time that I did have, time to dedicate to photography, I would leave my job, and I'd be like, okay, so today I have two hours and I'm gonna go home and I'm gonna read more about posing. And then I would get home and then I would realize, oh, I should probably learn how to do QuickBooks. So then it's me getting diverted. And so I couldn't devote the time that I needed to actually become better at it. Now the thing that I thought of, was I felt like the pressure of me thinking of poses was a bit much. The minute I changed the idea from I need to think of a thousand poses, was freeing when I said, I just need to think of poses on how to be fun. I need to think of poses of how I want my clients to look like they can grace the pages of a magazine. That really shifted my perspective in how I also calibrated the way that I shoot. So when I focus more on words, my branding words, the less I had to think about poses. Now early on, I have said this before and I will say it again, that my branding words were broke up into three things. Fun, fresh and by fresh, it has an idea of naturalism. I want to photograph the couple in their natural space and make it look like their own and furthermore fresh in a way that if I have shot at their venue before, if I had shot at the same engagement session location, I need to shoot it in a way that doesn't look like ho-hum I've been here, done that. It belongs entirely to them. And also editorial. Now, when I go to shoots, when I go to weddings, I think distinctively in these terms. I don't get caught up with everything else. Now the lesson, well this particular lesson will outline my approach, it will showcase how I effectively move in this direction and hopefully act as a foundation as you choose your words. Now, there isn't a clear definition of what editorial photography is. Like when I say one of my branding words is editorial, it's really hard to define what that is. But I'm talking about the process of how I've defined it and if it applies to what you want to do, fantastic, but the idea is to follow the steps. Now, when I think of editorial, I think of it as the things that I have seen in magazines that has an ability to resonate with people. Great, so we have the foundation of that. Now, I have been very fortunate to have the distinct honor of having my weddings featured in various magazines. So that has been great too. But what I've learned along the way by way of lots of mistakes that there are things that I have done, the way that I have shot, that precluded me from actually getting a feature, because of mistakes that I made on the back end. So I wanna talk a little bit more about what that looks like. If in the case you want to submit your photos for publication on a blog, on a website, on a magazine, let's talk a little bit about what it means to talk to an editor from one of the world's largest wedding magazines. Now because we're in conjunction with The Knot, I had the lovely conversation of working hand in hand with The Knot photo editor, her name is Rebecca Crumley. We have worked together in the past, and we will be working together as we head in to the Knot Dream Wedding. Now, because we've had conversations, I said hey, I'm going to Creative Live and I wanna ask you a few questions. And we have engaged with this topic before in the past. So, to save you lots of time, if the goal is for you to get published, and I think getting published is not only an honor, it's also a great way to actually leverage free validation in marketing. So, the first question is what is the biggest challenge you face as a photo editor? And Rebecca responds by saying "Photographers take photos "that are beautiful, but an editor needs a photo "that can be used on a full bleed page." A full bleed page is either a vertical picture on one side, or a full bleed horizontal, which is one photo over two pages. She needs to know that the photo that they choose can be reproduced over two pages and it doesn't have a distracting element in the background. She says that there's a lot of photos that really work well, but there'll be a guest in the background making a weird face unintentionally, like, and they can't use that photo. So as you're shooting, you might have a fantastic photo but you cannot look solely at the bride and groom. You must be looking on at what's going on in the frame in the background. So the thing that you want to do is not to have distracting elements, this could be people, it could be bushes, it could be graffiti, it could be things that are gonna take away from the photo. And sometimes she might have a photo that she absolutely loves, but the photographer has cropped it too tight. When thinking about how it works in submissions, is the editors are always looking for space to put text over a photo. If the photo does not have text, it cannot be used. So basically, leave room around photos for maximum usage opportunities. Second question, what is something you wish more photographers considered when shooting a wedding? What I'd love to see are more horizontal photos. Which is a surprise to me 'cause I have a tendency to shoot vertical because I think vertical does better in online submissions because when they can pair two photos instead of just putting one you actually can get more traction from those photos. So I realized I need to start shooting a little bit more of a balance between horizontal and vertical after having this conversation with her. Now, she wants to make sure again to reiterate that she would love to use those in full bleed. But she has a very hard time using a horizontal and full bleed because whenever somebody shoots a really wide photo, they have a tendency of putting the bride and the groom in the middle. And it's fantastic and it's beautiful, but when they go to publish, the couple ends up in the gutter of the magazine and they can't use that. So shoot the photo the way that you want it, shoot the photo that you think is really great, but then also try to shoot it using the rule of thirds so that the couple is in either one, the right side or the left side. And she also said that the photo will have to be the largest size photo that they will need to reproduce in magazine would be 13 x 20 at 300 DPI. That's a pretty big photo. So, if you have a tendency or proclivity to shoot at small raw, if you think that you're going to be shooting a wedding that has potential for a feature, it would behoove you to shoot large raw in that capacity. Thirdly, there was a total of four questions I'd asked her, we're now into the third one. What's something you wish more photographers did? Rebecca responds by every year there seems to be a trendy photo in the photo world and when this photo becomes trendy every photographer feels like they have to reproduce it. She said, for example, a few years ago it was really popular to take a photo of the bride holding up her dress with her shoes and having the groom next to her holding up his pants showing his socks and shoes. She's like this was extraordinarily trendy photo. She's like, and while the photo itself could be lovely, if the photographer is going to shoot that very trendy photo it has to be done right. Too many people have done it the wrong way that photo editors just start passing it over because it's like wow, you really missed the point. She said to think about what you are doing. To truly be cognizant and not just say I'm going through the motions, I got the photo, okay let's move on. She said don't be afraid to style the photo in a way that shows professionalism. For example, address the straps. She says we have gotten these pictures where the bride's strap was undone because it looked like she had just put the shoes on, or it looks like the groom had walked through a field of mud, and then they just did the photo for the sake of doing the photo, but it just does not look pretty. She's like the thing is, what she wants you to do is to take pride in what you do, because editors have to sift through so many photos that were there but not really there. It's like you entirely missed the point. So, by taking the time to clean up the photo, it enhances it's viability. Now when you submit photos to The Knot, you might not have an entire wedding be considered, but they might actually select a few of the photos. So, if you maybe not have the wedding of your dreams quite yet, that's okay, still submit. And if you take a really beautiful photo and it ends up getting featured, that's amazing to get photo credits where every photo is listed, that's another opportunity for you to move in the direction of your dreams. So, any other insights when it comes to editorial wedding photography? Rebecca writes that she wants a consistent story. To be sure that you're capturing photos from the day as a whole. Because sometimes there might be a really great wedding reception, but if it's not tethered to a really great ceremony or really great portrait, individual parts of the day don't usually stand up on their own, when they're considering the wedding as a whole. What you're trying to do is include environmental elements that help to connect the story. She's like it's also very important, by shooting let's say, if you're shooting in a church, and it's dark lighting and then all of the sudden you're gonna shoot an outdoor wedding reception, you need to have photos in the middle that take the viewer visually throughout the day. And this is especially important because she wants to make sure that you're paying attention to light and making sure that it feels consistent. If you're shooting in a dark church, then to go to an outdoor wedding reception, she's like it probably doesn't work unless there's a way for you to say, shoot the bride and groom exiting the church running along some sunset hills and then the hills, you take pictures of trees and hills, and then the hills will put them right in the wedding reception as where it should be. That's telling the whole story. Because what she wants to say is we want the images to drive cohesive stories. The more that the photos naturally go together when you look at, when you take a step back and say I see the narrative, not without details, not with all the stuff, just a lighting narrative, a story narrative, a color narrative. It has a stronger capability of getting picked up for a feature. So, now that we've heard from an editor about what she's talking about, I feel like Rebecca has done most of the defining of what editorial photography really is, so that's great. But I wanna add a few more things from a photographer's perspective of for tips. When it comes like for posing editorial couple, posing a couple editorially. One, refrain from full smiles. Most brides are extremely and excited on their wedding day, as they should be, and on a second note, most brides are very accustomed to smiling the same way that they would smile for Facebook, or their profile pictures. It's kinda like a single moment. But that moment happening again and again and again on their wedding day can be very tiresome and look very inauthentic. Now, full smiles, they convey like a posed or like a staged look. And if you go through magazines, what you see online, rarely you're getting that full smile pose look. Movement makes this easy. A look to the side makes this easy. Have somebody tell her something funny, makes it easy. Have her look off in a very distinct and specific point off to the side, bring her eyes down to her feet, and bring her up to you. You have one, two, three opportunities to shoot a bride in a way that could be potentially traditional, but kind of creating a natural movement to it. Two, don't overly pose. It's easy to fall into the trap of over posing. 'Cause when you think editorial, you think oh, I gotta go Vogue. And so you have like these big, strong angles. And so if a bride is like here, here, here, it makes it look like you're losing that natural appeal to a wedding day. And if that is reflective of your style of photography, you rock that, but balance it also with what works for magazine editors. And you want to remind your clients there not auditioning to be the next America's Next Top Model, they're just a really pretty version of themselves naturally. Three, keep the movement small. What we see a lot of is these big arm angles, girls hanging against a wall like this, and looking back with her bouquet. That doesn't work so well, because it doesn't sell the idea of reality. We want a carefully curated version. So by keeping your appendages close to the body that helps sell the idea. You wanna ensure that the couple is not standing more than an arm's length distance from each other. Now, I love, and I can appreciate photos where the bride and groom are standing and maybe she has her bouquet here, and the guy is like adjusting his tie or suit over here. And that distance between them is cool. It can make for an interesting photograph. But the farther that couple gets from each other, it looks more like they're at odds with each other. So a general rule of thumb, if you're going to place your subjects away from each other, about an arm to an arm and a half. Also, you want to remind your clients to not lock their appendages. The easiest way to make it look like a very uneditorial or unromantic photo is if you have a bride and groom and they're both standing with their knees, and they're kind of like, like the whole, every appendage every joint has to sell the idea that it's a photo. So having said that we're going to walk into me shooting a photo shoot with intention as part of this course. Hi, and welcome to today's lesson. I'm really excited because I wanna talk about shooting with intention. Every time I approach a photo shoot on a wedding day or even outside for today like a sample, bride and groom, I want to make sure that I'm shooting specifically for four words. These four words I have chosen to represent my brand. They might not be your words, but the goal is to actually see these are the words I'm shooting for, this is how I execute it and my clients know what they're going to get from beginning, middle and end. So, the four words that I have chosen are romantic, editorial, fun and natural. These are gonna be the things that I focus on over two lessons. Today's lesson will be focusing on romantic and editorial. If you tune in tomorrow, we'll be talking about fun and natural. So, come with me as I kinda dissect what I do, but my goal is for you to see both days to kinda see the full gamut of what I do. I'm excited for you to join. This morning, we are in San Juan Capistrano, California. This is traditional Orange County. This is an older part of Orange County. We're gonna be going to the left. And we're gonna be shooting, it's just before sunrise. So we're gonna be getting an entirely different type of light which I think is important. So if you tune in throughout the course of the 30 days, you're going to notice that our shoots have taken place on overcast days. They've taken place at sunset with great light. They've taken place in a wide field, and now we're gonna be shooting in the morning. We're gonna get a wide variety of light, light settings and the things that I will do to try to manipulate soft light like we have now and then as the sun breaks through the clouds in the morning we're gonna talk about how I can quickly change my settings, not so that the light, so that the light does not overpower what's going on. So how we're gonna be starting off the shoot. In every location I try to hit all four of my branding words. Words that I want to be associated to reflect the type of photography that I'm shooting on a wedding day. So we're gonna focus on editorial and romantic. And then in lesson two we're gonna be focusing on fun and natural. But whenever I move from location to location I will be shooting for all four elements. But over these two lessons I will be breaking it up into two separate words on two different days. So right now we're gonna be focusing on romantic and editorial. Now I'm going to start any session the way I start all my sessions, I'm going to put my clients close together. I'm gonna bring their torsos together, I'm gonna bring their stomachs together. You guys are gonna be facing each other, I'm going to be more focused on your profiles. So you're totally going to ignore me. Avey, can I have your left, beautiful. What I want you to do is I want you to hold the bouquet right here. Now I want to make sure that the head of the bouquet doesn't compete, right here, this is looking beautiful. And part of the reason why I'm choosing to have the bride this way is that the bangs are dissecting her face here. By me showing her open side of the face I'm gonna get her beautiful profile, but specifically I'm also going to be getting her beautiful wedding ring. Something small, little highlights that I like to pay attention to. I'm going to, just make sure that their bodies are relaxed, and right now you guys don't have to pay any attention to me. So this is how I would start any photo shoot. And it could be just a simple nice pose. I want to make my clients comfortable first and foremost. Now the best part of this situation is that the bride and groom are roughly the same height. So it's gonna give me a lot more latitude in how I can shoot, with wider apertures as opposed to my clients being too separate sizes. So because it's slightly overcast, the sun has not broken through our morning quite yet, I'm gonna be shooting at an ISO of 200. I'm going to be checking what my shutter speed will be in one second. I'm gonna test the light, I'm gonna adjust the dress. So I kind of like where I'm at right now. I'm at 2.5, 640th of a second, 200 ISO. Going to adjust the dress. I'm gonna start my shoot with just my favorite lens, which is the 50. We'll keep it nice and simple, beautiful. So can I have you guys bring your foreheads in nice and close? Gorgeous. Now I'm gonna start in a location that I think is pretty but not like my most favorite. And that's fine 'cause I just want my clients to warm up, get comfortable and feel natural. Beautiful. Avey and Zack, peel your foreheads away from each other. I switched my position so I'm gonna compensate for the light just ever so slightly. Because I don't have that white wall in the back anymore. So I went from 640th of a second to 500, so I can pick up the nice natural background and what was going on in that first frame was that I had a motor home, or a window of a car in the background, so I simply switch my position because I want to crop out and avoid things that I think are going to be distractions later on. Avey and Zack, you guys are doing great. Beautiful. Now, Avey can you look towards this camera right over there? Gorgeous. Relax that front shoulder, slight smile. And Zack can you lean in lightly and give her a light kiss? Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. Gorgeous. Now what I'm going to do is I'm going to adjust Avey's hair so that Zack isn't in competition with it.
I was gonna say it's hard to get, (laughing)
Okay, cool, cool, cool. Well, don't do the cute stuff quite yet. Lemme get that. That was really really, I know, that's true, that is true, beautiful. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. Gorgeous, relax that left shoulder, good girl. Good. Now, hang out there, pause for one second. Good. So what's happening in this particular situation is that just from the get-go I can already tell I haven't worked with this couple before. We've just met this morning and I can already tell that the dynamic that they share is very warm, it's cuddly and it's confident. So when I'm executing photos for an editorial and romantic style in nature, working with a couple like this is going to make it easy, but I need to make sure that I stay up to the cadence that they're setting. They walk into those romantic photos. They walk into those editorial photos easier. Now I need to slowly pull them back because I need to make sure that it's gonna fall into a natural type of flow. I'm going to stick with my and then I'm going to switch to the to kinda get a different type of feel. So naturally this couple falls into that romantic category easily so I'm just gonna peel them back to be a little bit more paced with the way that I shoot. I'm gonna drop to a 2.0. I'm gonna compensate and go to eight hundredth of a second. Gonna test my light. I'm gonnna go to 640th of a second. Avey can you bring your face, beautiful. And then Zack, can you just lightly, yes. Avey you looking down the way that you were. Gorgeous, relax that front left shoulder, atta girl! And then Zack can you come in and lightly kiss. Or actually, sorry, her face, my bad. (laughs) Good. Beautiful. Good. Can I get the 85? So romantic can kind of be, romantic you're just gonna have a voyeuristic appeal. So whenever I want to get a photo that doesn't really look like, doesn't convey the fact that there's a photographer in the room. I wanna look like it's a candid photo that I just happen to be capturing at the moment of them being nice and close. I'm gonna shoot with my 85, I'm gonna stand at slight of a distance. And I'm going to be shooting the couple individually. On each side. So I'm gonna shoot this right now at a 1.2. I really want that distortion background. I really love the boca that it can produce. 1.2, lemme get my settings. Avey you're doing great. You're doing great. Right now my settings are at 1250 to the second, 1.2, 200 ISO. And I'm just not, I'm just gonna test the light so you can just relax. Because Avey is giving me these really strong, really confident looks, I'm not getting the softer side of her, so I'm gonna tell her, hey I'm just shooting, but what's really happening is that I'm, I say I'm testing the light, but what is really happening is that I'm shooting. (camera clicking) See? This is great. So she just looks a lot more relaxed right now. She looks like she's herself and she doesn't look like she's even conscious or aware of the camera which is perfect. Beautiful, okay, guys I think I'm ready now to start shooting. I got the light where I want it. So Zack, can you put your arms just lightly around Avey's waist, and yes, yes. Now, Avey can you relax the bouquet slightly behind, yeah, that's it, that's it. And then, Zack, I'm gonna fix your collar. I'm just gonna bring the jacket, right there. Great. Beautiful. Now Avey can you look at the ground right in front of, yes! Now relax that shoulder, that a girl. And then look back up and Zack. Oh look at, beautiful. (camera clicking) Gorgeous. Can you look here, oh, that's cute. That was adorable. Can you look here at me Avey? Good. And then Zack, bring her in nice and close and then Avey, eyes here. Beautiful. Chin towards me, good. Beautiful, beautiful. You guys can stay there, I'm gonna peel it this way. I'm gonna have to compensate, and get the light right. Yeah, I'm gonna keep it, I'm still shooting at 1.2, 1250th of a second, 200 ISO. Good. Now, Avey can you soften your knees for me? There we go, beautiful. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. Good, and Zack, can you look out? J.D. can you pop over here please? Awesome, yes, yes, yes. Zack you just doing your thing, this is great. This is great. Beautiful. Now Avey can you come up on your tippy toes, oh you can just look hot like that, that's good. That's really good. And then can you get up on your tippy toes and lightly kiss Zack on the cheek? Lightly, there you go, good. Chin down a tiny bit Zack. There you go, thank you. Perfect. So in this particular situation when it comes to shooting editorial and romantic photos I feel like I no longer like this editorial that looks very strong, like two like really strong angular people. What I want editorial is to feel like I'm photographing a bride and groom that look like it can grace the pages of a magazine without it feeling like it's going to grace the pages of a fashion magazine. Those are two different styles of posing and in this particular situation, I think that the editorial simply looked strong yet natural, yet a connection between two people. When it comes to romantic photos, they kinda fell into that super naturally. They like to be cuddly, they like to be kissy. And so I didn't have to kind of hone in too much on that. Now Avey, I want your hand on the inside, Zack can I have your, here. There we go, beautiful. So you're just gonna be creating a cradle with your arms around her, so come in this way. I'm gonna do something just nice. (camera clicking) Avey open up your legs. All this is doing is lowering your body so that, don't lower in the knees. One thing I wanna point out is that I asked Avey to open her legs. I said because I want to have Zack a tiny bit taller than she did. And then what Avey did is she said, oh, okay, so she opened her legs, which was great, but then she also softened her knees, which made her body fall this way. That's never a good look. The only time I'm going to have my clients lower or get shorter or taller, is by spreading their legs, because it still keeps the upper part of the torso intact and natural. Any time this happens, it's just not good look. So Avey, no Avey, I don't want you falling backwards. Good you relax either side to side. Side hip or side hip, not front or back. The person who I'm going to be moving Avey would be Zack, so you get comfortable. And then Zack, tall, bring the shoulders back, exactly. Rad. Now, I want you looking down Avey. Beautiful. This beautiful light behind my gorgeous bride. Now Zack you come in and you kiss your beautiful wife wherever your lips went, thank you, thank you. Okay we're gonna move to a new location, but I'm going, what I was shooting in was like nice, safe, pretty diffused light. Just before the sun gets too hot and too crazy, I'm gonna put them in this kind of like light patch. What I'm going to shoot, Avey, and I'm going to look for light around her head. But what's in front of her right now is a natural reflector. If you tune in a few lessons from now, the thing that you're going to actually see is me talking and dissecting what natural reflectors are. So be sure to tune into that. We'll get more into that with specificity. The Cliffs notes version is that a natural reflector is anything in nature that reflects light back onto my subjects so that I can shoot in rather kinda tough light. So now we're getting full sun, but the light in front of my subjects are gonna bounce light back into them. We're gonna talk more about that in a future lesson, but for right now, Avey, I'm going to take you here, and I'm going to position Avey so that I can see, thank you so much Zack. Now come out, come back, go back. Go back, go back, go back, go back, boom. Now I'm looking for specifics within her hair. I kinda want halo lighting. But if I did not have a reflector, a natural reflector in front of my beautiful bride, thank you, if I did not have a natural reflector in front of her, we would have muddled lighting. So now that we have a natural reflector we can really focus on some beautiful light. And the best part of this is that this dirt is kind of like reddish in color and tonality. Orange, but it's just dirt. But right now with the sun hitting it, it's going to help me balance the light that's going on. We have a lot of green tones in the background. When it comes to shooting editorial, when it comes to shooting romantic style photos, I need to find a way, I don't want the tree directly behind my beautiful bride. I'm gonna shoot this at a 1.2. Avey, can I have the bouquet up, can I have, beautiful. Now I want you to shift your weight from one hip to the, thank you. Now Avey when you shifted your hip, you brought your shoulders back. I want your shoulders, not, don't bring your shoulders forward, bring your chest forward. Like I have a string, I'm pulling your chest towards me. Good. Bring the core in. Anytime you're going to relax, it's going to be in your hips and booty. So hips to the side, booty back and there you go. Beautiful, that was gorgeous. I'm gonna shoot this at a 1.2. I'm gonna shoot this at 160 ISO, I'm going to get a test. Test frame. So I'm gonna be shooting this at 1250, at 1250 to the second 1.2, 160 ISO, eyes up here Avey, chin up a tiny bit. Beautiful, look over at Zack, wherever Zack is. Good, atta girl! Okay, there's a person passing in the background, I'm gonna pause for one second. I have a full shot here. Beautiful. Now I'm gonna do, to incorporate a romantic photo in this gorgeous light, Zack I'm gonna call you over. Look over at Zack, Avey. Good. Zack I want you to come into the frame, I want you to be perpendicular to your beautiful wife. You're just simply gonna pick up her dress, you're gonna come in this way. Your chest is going to be in her arm.
With the right hand?
Mmmhmm mmhmm, mmhmm, mmhmm, mmhmm. You're gonna get in nice and close, but it's gonna be this way, beautiful. So Avey what I want you to do, watch coming back. Rest, bring out your, beautiful. Good. Bring your bodies in.
Oh okay, so I'm not walking into the shot.
Oh no, no, no. Oh, I mean you were walking into the shot, literally like I need you to walk over here. (laughs) That's beautiful, that's beautiful. I'm just gonna tuck this small little hair, because we have sunlight behind Avey. So whenever we have sunlight behind Avey I need to watch for very particular stray hairs. 'Cause it becomes a distraction. So come in nice and close. I'm gonna shoot this at a 1.2. Any time I'm gonna be focusing on a romantic photo, I feel at full liberty to crop out certain aspects. So, the camera shoots at an aspect ratio of four by six. A lot of times what I like to do is when I shoot my pictures, I like to give space around my photos for cropping at a later point. But sometimes for a romantic photo, you jut wanna shoot the photo in the camera exactly how you want it. And if a client wants it at a different size, you can encourage them to get it mat, or you can encourage them to get it in four by six, or we can talk about all different types of printing options but for right now, I just want to shoot the photo for exactly what I want. So you come in nice and close to Avey. Avey you relax into one hip. Beautiful. Hang out. And then Zack, I would just need you to keep your face nice and soft as you look at Avey. Avey take a deep breath, relax the shoulders. Beautiful! And then Zack I want you to come in, you may have to get on your tippy toes, get on your tippy, there we go, there we go. Yes! Beautiful! Beautiful, good. And then Avey can I have your eyes here. Beautiful, chin up slightly. Turns towards me, atta girl. And then eyes down at the bouquet. Slight smile. Zack come in for a light kiss, Avey eyes here. Avey eyes here. Beautiful, so let, good girl! Good! Good, hang out one sec. One more time, that's beautiful. Relax that shoulder, bring that right shoulder towards me. Right shoulder towards me. (laughs) Good girl! Good! Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. Hang out here, hang out here. And sometimes when we think about romantic photos, we think about romantic photos in every sense of the word, which is lots of kissing, but sometimes a romantic photo can simply be their hands. Relax your fingers. You can put your hand, put your hand around your bouquet, Avey. Beautiful. And then we're just, beautiful. Come in this way. We're just gonna shoot a small little detail. And a detail is actually of the bouquet but now what we're gonna see are their rings in the frame. Good guys, good. I'm seeing just a tiny tiny tiny bit of them at occasion. With this beautiful natural reflector popping in light for their gorgeous bouquets and details. We have church bells ringing, friends. We have church bells ringing. Beautiful. So we just finished shooting romantic and editorial photos in this particular location. We're gonna try shooting in an entirely different location to ensure that the portfolio is diverse for the clients and to see if we can challenge ourselves a little bit more. So let's get started. So we just walked probably 10, 15 feet from where we were. But right now I have a tree diffusing the actual nucleus of the sun, but I'm just getting this nice light. I'm going to be getting a profile shot as we start now here for romantic and editorial photos. This is a highly densely populated area. We might be moving for cars and bikes and people. And this is how it happens on a wedding day. So I'm just gonna shoot right on through it. So now what I have positioned the bride to be facing the sun, I want the sun right behind her face. And I want Zack's body to be perpendicular. Now she has this beautiful kind of like low back dress that I want to highlight in this particular frame. But I don't want to span the dress too far out, because portions of the dress might be too highlighted. So, in light of that, I'm placing it right behind her as much as possible so that it falls in her shadow and I can expose from head to toe as best as possible. So, Avey can you look towards, yes. So I'm gonna be getting a distinct profile shot. I'm going to be adjusting her hair, because what we see here is a patch of skin and a patch of skin, and a middle hair. I either need all the hair here, or all her hair to the side. I'm going to shoot, aim for getting all her hair to the side. Good, so Zack, can we have your hand right here at the crest of her back? Or just like relaxing it, just across. Nice, just anyway that you can get your body in nice and close to her, nice, nice, nice and close. Nice, nice, nice and close. Beautiful and good. Now, I'm going to make the editorial decision right now to keep Avey's arm here. I might have it criss-cross his body, but not yet, not yet. I'm gonna see what it's going, 'cause right now I can get her gorgeous figure. Zack, I want you to peel her into you, peel her in. Anytime I'm gonna have my subjects for a romantic photo, I want their bodies nice and tight. But what I see here is a gap between Avey's arm and (laughs) There you go, I just wanna connect appendages. Any time you're shooting for a romantic photo, you wanna make sure that it actually looks and feels romantic. Avey I need you to relax that left shoulder. I'm gonna be shooting this, J.D. can I get a card on deck? I'm gonna be shooting this because it's gonna be profile, and they're roughly the same height. So I'm gonna be shooting this first with the 50. Oh Zack, you just continue to do what you do, lemme get my settings right. I'm at 160 ISO, I'm at 2.0, I'm at six, I'm going to have, I'm gonna guide a car around my subjects because I don't want them to move. I'm gonna have them come this way. I'm gonna pick up her dress. Thank you. So these people look pretty pissed that I'm standing in their way and that's fine. You just smile really big and you just apologize. You ask for forgiveness, not permission. Good Avey, good. Zack, can you kiss Avey's forehead? Good I'm gonna do the same thing, I'm gonna peel it on in. But peel away from each other, peel away from each other. I'm having them peel away from each other, because it looks like Zack got stuck to her forehead, which is the last thing I want. I want him to move into it naturally. We're gonna come in this way, not you Zack. It's totally, totally me, nice. Beautiful! Come in Avey, you have your head down, relax it. Yes, beautiful. Actually bring it back to how you had it, just relax your left shoulder, relax it. Beautiful beautiful beautiful beautiful. I want you just to relax that left shoulder. Now, Zack bring your beautiful wife in close to you, nice and close to you, nice and close to you, nice and close to you. And then kiss her forehead. One more time. Good, hang out one second. I want to, I wanna shoot this at a 1.2. Just because I really really do. Hang out one second. I really want to distort everything around them and to adjust my lighting. I'm gonna be now shooting at a 1.2. I'm gonna be at eight hundredth of a second. I have beautiful light going on behind them. Good. Now Avey, can you look down here at my hand, gorgeous. Oh actually, this way, this way, eyes down a tiny bit. Beautiful. Now Zack come in for a light kiss on the forehead. Light kiss on the forehead. Actually, I want to, I actually want you to kiss her here on her forehead. Now, not yet. (laughs) So why I had, why I had Zack change the position of his kiss was that he was tilting his head too much. I really want it to feel natural and real. So by changing the position of her hair, he can then change the position of his lips. Slight smile Ave, good. I just abbreviated your name, sorry boo. Nice, good. Now what I'm going to do is shoot with the 85. So there's a car coming, I'm gonna pick up her dress. I'm gonna guide the car around my bride and groom. And because I'm shooting with the 85, I'm not gonna be so concerned with the bottom of her dress at this point because I'm not gonna be showing that. Avey, open up your body a little bit more. Towards me, beautiful. Come in, just like that gorgeous. And Avey can you look, J.D. can I pop you in over here please, ASAP? So I'm just gonna call it out for what it is right now. Right now I am in like go mode. I'm not like that warm and fuzzy kind of fun girl right now, I'm just like get it done. Because the light is going, is like burning in the back of my mind. So forgive me if I'm not like, hey guys. I'm in go mode, so Avey can you look at J.D. Beautiful. That's adorable. That's so cute. J.D. pop on over here a little bit more. Now the reason why I'm having J.D. move is because Avey's eyes got too much of her, too much of the whites of her eyes. Beautiful. (camera clicking) Good. Now what I want you to do is squeeze her nice and close, Zack, squeeze her in, squeeze her in, squeeze her in. Good, okay, I got what I wanted for the romantic and editorial photos in this particular location. Now we're gonna move on to the next. So, what I've kind of found by looking around was just simply, I'm going to be looking, again, for a natural reflector. I kind of felt that, and it comes with shooting an editorial style photo, I wanna make sure I'm getting an editorial style bridal, if that's, a bridal portrait, if that's kind of reflective of the bride. I can tell that Avey has that kind of editorial flair naturally so I wanna make sure that the portfolio would reflect who she is as a bride. What I did see is this area is a little dark. It's a lot dark. But we have this, well, it's dark in patches and bright in patches. So we have this really mixed lighting, but I think that we can kinda create some dynamic light as long as I have some sort of natural fill. The natural fill would be this little light patch in front of me. And I'm gonna have to bring up her skin tones and dress a bit in post, but we're just gonna kinda see, I'm gonna see if it works. And this is how it is. Move your hand up slightly more towards, yeah, beautiful. Have the tip of the bouquet down towards the ground. Relax this elbow. And hey, if this works that's great. And if it doesn't, it's not gonna make the edit, so it's all good. What I want to do is I don't wanna shoot from this angle directly because I have a light source, an illuminated field behind her, which is going to be a distraction. I'm going to shift this way so that I can hopefully shoot it at an angle where I'm still getting that fill light, but the things that's going to be behind her is a fence. The fence isn't ideal, but at least it's not gonna be as much of a distraction, I don't think. Heck, I might change my mind. No, I absolutely won't. Beautiful. So since I've shifted my position, I've lost Avey's right shoulder, beautiful. Now by placing Avey against a rock, I'm naturally going to give her body more formation. Pull away from the rock. We have a beautiful silhouette of her, now lean against the rock. Now lean into your, yes. And so what Avey did naturally, she came away, she fell against the rock and then distributed the weight unevenly in her hips which is what I prefer. But I needed to see a bit of both her shoulders. Personal preference, but I like to see exactly across the shoulders, thinned out torso, weight distributed unevenly in her hips. Bring you chest out like I have a string from your chest and I'm gonna be pulling you this way. So come towards me, comes towards me, come towards me. Good, now take a deep breath and then relax the shoulders. Relax your arm, bring you arm down a little bit. Mmhmm, beautiful. Now look down at your bouquet. Yeah, feel free, whenever you adjust your hair, feel free to make it a part of the photo we're totally okay, I will shoot right on through that. Now I've noticed that the hair adjusted it in a way, yeah, nice. Can you scoot your feet closer to the rock? No no, you don't have to get up on it. Just shift your feet, the base of your feet closer to the rock.
Mmhmm. So come away from it. There we go. This is where, and then, there we go, cool. Good. This is, I like her position of body here a little bit more. It looks a little less too edgy, like she's trying, like it's going to be ho couture. And just a little bit more like a natural editorial photo. I wanna make sure that my horizon line is straight from behind my camera. I'm gonna shoot this vertical, I'm gonna shoot this horizontal. Avey look down at your bouquet again. I wanna make sure that I have the looking down at the bouquet. Then I'm gonna have her look at my camera. Avey can you look here at my camera? Nice, can you bring your chin towards me? Chin towards me, chin, beautiful. Slight smile. Hang out, gorgeous, beautiful. Now, instead of coming back, come forward. Just take out a deep breath, shake out your shoulders shake out your knees. Shake out your, beautiful. Good. And I actually liked how you kind of, yeah. Actually, now the rock is not there. Fall, fall, good, beautiful. Now what I want you to do, is to pop the bouquet in the other hand. Now with your right hand can you pick up a bit of your dress? So that just that your fingers are holding on to something. Gorgeous, now wiggle out your ankles, don't come back in the hips, come forward in the hips. Beautiful. Now just shake it out, good. Cute, can you look out maybe in that direction? Nice. (camera clicking) Beautiful, eyes here. I'm gonna pop right in. Because I'm shooting closer, I'm going to have to compensate for the light in a very distinct way. Because the closer I get to her the less light I'm going to be picking up from a distance. I'm going to be losing portions of her dress and I'm gonna have to be okay with it, given the drastic situations of our lighting differences. Gorgeous, beautiful, I like how you're holding your dress. Look down at the bouquet, nice. Look over to that direction. Yeah, yeah, you can hold your hair, that was cute. That was really good. Beautiful, gorgeous. Bring your bouquet up to your chest, relax your arms. Look down at the bouquet. Again, I'm still shooting at a 1.2. I wanna distort everything that's going on in the background. (camera clicking) Beautiful, eyes here. Chin up towards me. This way towards, chin down tiny bit. (camera clicking) Beautiful, can you just relax your elbows a tiny bit. Take a deep breath, shake out the hips. Nice. Now look down at the bouquet. (camera clicking) Nice, and then bring your eyes here. Beautiful, chin towards me. So this is what's happening, every time I ask for her chin towards me, I'm getting these hot spots and this is just the nature of fighting against the sun. I'm gonna have Avey step towards me, beautiful. Step towards me. There we go, nice. No, it's still too spotted. And that's okay, I'm gonna be able to just say I got the best that I could given the lighting situation. I liked the pulled back shots a lot more. But this is how I would approach a situation in kind of like really harsh mixed lighting. As long as I have a natural reflector in front of her, as long as I'm metering for her skin, I use spot metering and I focus in between every single frame. I don't use evaluative, and how I gauge whether or not my exposure is where I want it, I simply look at the back of my camera and see what are the hot spots. I might be losing portions of the dress. I might be losing portions of the sky. And I'm just going to deal with it, but I think at the end of it, what I can save in post, get a beautiful bride a portrait, and the bride, her mom and her grandmother will all be really happy. I'm gonna be focusing on shooting some romantic photos in light that I'm hopefully picking up from a natural reflector. I have the sun behind her. And then I'm going to be shooting at a direction that the light in the back field isn't going to over power her, I'm gonna hopefully be shooting in a direction where there's shade from between myself, the back gate, and the bride. I'm adjusting her hair because the curls have fallen slightly. So now my objective is just to kind of make sure that her hair stays together from top area the best I possibly can. Because I'm having the sun behind her it's going to be picking up on just like the smaller hairs up top, and I'm okay with that, but anything I could do just to kind of minimize what it would be in post is going to be super helpful. Good. Beautiful. So when it comes to my style of romantic photos, again everybody has their own flair. I'm going to have Zack, I'm gonna scooch you over Avey. Good, and then Zack come right over here. And then Avey I want you, putting your hand up right about here. So Zack, can you scoot in a little bit more? A little bit more, a little bit more, beautiful. Now I'm going to reposition Avey's hand, because it does look like it's a floating hand. Zack you bring Avey in. Beautiful. So what Zack just did is he brought her in such a way that it actually cinched her waist, gave her this beautiful nice curve. The dress is laying exactly where it is. And from here, Zack's body is open, which seems like there's going to be a disconnect between the two, so I'm gonna roll his shoulder in a little tiny bit. Actually, brings your hips towards me. Nice. So simply changing the position of his hips, he just brought his body back, but without bringing his hips, so it still looked a little, a little disjointed. I will take the bouquet because I don't think it works in this particular frame. Zack, can you just put your left hand right about there? Beautiful and you're not gonna pay any attention to me. J.D. I'm gonna be shooting this at the 2.0. Be shooting this at 160 ISO. I'm gonna see what my, I'm gonna have to use my ghetto-fab lens hood. And I talk about why I don't use a lens hood in a future lesson. I get into the reasons behind that, but for right now, because I'm fighting the light, I'm not gonna get too into it. I'm simply going to adjust for lighting. And kinda move on from there. Beautiful. (camera clicking) Now Avey's face got lost as she turned in toward him, 'cause she had her hair in her face, so I'm going to coach her. And have her just shift, can you shift your chin out towards J.D., chin down a tiny bit? Beautiful, good. (camera clicking) Good Zack, good. Beautiful. I'm gonna switch to, good. There it is. Nice Avey, beautiful. I'm gonna switch to shooting at a 1.2, because I can and because I'm not getting the type of light that I normally like to get, I'm gonna shoot with a really wide aperture and see what we kinda get from there. Hang out one sec, lemme just adjust the lighting. (camera clicking) I'm at 1.2. 2000th of a second, 160 ISO. Relax that front shoulder love. Beautiful. Yeah, Zack, I love your hand there, that's great. That is great. Lean in, leaning her, nice, beautiful, there we go guys. Beautiful, thank you. Hang out there for one second. I'm gonna take one step in. I'm going to slightly shift my focal point and my camera. Slight smile Ave, nice. Slight smile, good girl! Relax your front shoulder. Beautiful. That's great. Good. So we, kind of just cruising through this particular section, section of this day, but I feel like what I've captured so far for as far as romantic and editorial poses go is where I'm gonna call the shoot for the day. I feel like my clients will have a wide variety for these type of photos. So just as a recap, the four words that I focus on in general are natural, fun, editorial, and romantic. What we saw today were editorial and romantic. And I feel as a photographer I executed on that particular portion, and will be able to put it together. You guys will see photos as they come straight out of my camera and then what I'm going to do with them in post and how I'm going to connect both those, both of those lessons into those four words and the type of portfolio my clients would get from a day like this. (upbeat music) ♫ What is a bird without its wings ♫ What is a kite without its string ♫ 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 ♫ Da da da da da da da da ♫ Da da da da da da da da ♫ La da da da da da da 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 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 in ♫ And know they'll love you
So, before we move in to Q&A, what I want to do is state the obvious. Editorial posing came easy for Avey. Which is good in some respects, but it's not so good in other respects in that it could make you, it made it difficult to peel her back to find a balance. So what you saw her a lot of is she came in with this intention of just like here, here, here, here, and she's a beautiful girl. If there's anybody who could rock that look, it was Avey. She did a fantastic job. But it was my job to really try to bring her back and say I know what you want, I got your back. But you gotta give me a little bit. Because the thing is that people come into a shoot thinking they know what they want. And then if they have, they see a portfolio full of 100% angle, angle, angle, angle, soft look, like you're not giving them the entire experience. And that entire experience from my brand is to include fun and natural photos as a result. Now in the next lesson we're gonna talk about shooting with intention to get fun and natural photos, but you're going to see the things that I have to do to actually bring it out of her. And I'm gonna tell you, this girl gave me a run for my money, I'm not gonna lie. Now, as a quick wrap up, just to kinda close it all, what you saw was my goals for my posing tips. Then you saw me go through the shoot. And the tips that I applied were that their smiles were not overly big. You heard me again and again to say, and actually it was the opposite for Avey, I didn't have to say calm your smile. I had to say give me a smile. Like make me a little happy. Sell it with your eyes. And now I didn't want their moves to be too ho couture or avant garde or angular, right? I had to just kind of soften what that looked. And I love that type of posing, but I don't think that it's gonna round out my portfolio the way that I need it to. I keep the movements light, I move them into the pose, and I avoided bringing their bodies too close together to smush, smush? Smish? What? Smash, smash. It is not smush or smish. It's smash. I didn't want their bodies to smash each other. So I just had to kind of create ways to kind of create angles in her body without losing the bodice of her dress. Now, in the next lesson we're gonna talk about the things that we have to do to add on, to expand our repertoire. But, are there any questions right now in regards to shooting with intention? I see you boo. We're gonna go one, and then we're gonna go two, and then we're gonna go three. This is fantastic. I actually worried that there wasn't gonna be questions about this, I'm like great! This is fantastic. Okay great. So we're gonna start back there.
Hi, I would love to get published, but I was wondering, do you have to do the trend photos? Like I feel like it's one of those things.
Okay, you don't have to.
I mean the quick answer is no. Like I think it's really, but I want you to finish your question, I don't wanna cut you off, sorry. (laughing)
Well, that was the whole question. It's like do you have to do the trend photos? Or like if I look at all of my client's Pinterest boards, like do you ever go through and like recreate photos if they have pinned like, oh my gosh I love this? Like as far as recreating photos, do you ever do that or is that not your style or?
No and no. Because no matter how hard you try, you will always under deliver. Because you weren't shooting that same bride in the same dress in the same location, same time of year, same anything. And yet, you have brides curating a highlight reel from 50,000 photographers and say can you please make my day look this good with one third of the budget, terrible light on an indoor wedding and I'm wearing tennis shoes with no wedding dress. Like, you know? It's like you can't. As far as trendy photos go, I don't think that Rebecca was saying do the trendy photos. But she was just cautioning photographers if you're going to do the trendy photos, please do it right. Like respect my time so much that you will just dust off a shoe a little bit. Take pride in what you do. So I have had one bride recently, most my brides I think are pretty cool. They really respect the creative energy that I've created, and I legitimize that by way of the engagement session. I had a bride recently, she shared with me about eight to 10 photos that she felt were really things that she really wanted, just the over all idea. She did send, she was getting married at a beautiful resort in Orange County, but it's a resort. I mean it's a hotel by the water. And she had sent me photos of 12 bridesmaids frolicking in the woods. Like, I mean pine trees. And I'm just like tell me what specifically about this photo that you like. 'Cause I know there's no pine trees in Laguna Beach. There are, but not in this capacity. So what it is, and then I come to find out, she really likes the back lighting, she likes the natural movement, so I said great, and I told her, I won't be able to capture these photos exactly, but thank you for giving a framework for me to work in, I will consider it as I curate your day. So you kind of like give yourself a little bit of space, but find out the root of what she's asking for. Question there.
This is really similar to what she's going with. But I mean, we live in a pretty, I don't wanna say unoriginal world, but I mean, there's been a lot that's already been done. So how do you find your inspiration? Like do you just take the environment or the people? Like how do you get your engine going to be inspired?
To be inspired in regards to creating like a submission for editorial publication?
In a different lesson somebody had asked if I take time for myself and I think I'm gonna bring that back into what this looks like. If I'm constantly in the photo world, if I find my calibration and my worth is comparing myself on social media to what other people are producing on social media from a stylistic perspective it's so easy to kind of turn inside and be like, you're so good at what you do. You shoot the most amazing weddings. There was this one wedding blogger who I follow on Instagram and she had said something along the lines, and please don't search for it, but she had said something along the lines of just like, this wedding on a hilltop was so picturesque and they had a mandolin player to perfect the day. And my thought was, a mandolin player? Who has a mandolin player? I wanna shoot weddings that have mandolin players. The thought was why don't I have a mandolin player? Why don't I attract that bride? And it took me a minute to kind of parse myself back and say people who want a mandolin player in a forest wedding will probably not hire you, because that is not the portfolio that you had put out. Once I give myself that level of grace, when it comes to being inspired, it's watching foreign films, it's taking time to practice yoga, it's walking through the beach. And then the last thing that I would do that is a real life application is you walk into the wedding and you have to understand the story. Now it's easy for people to assume oh, well you shoot in a really nice place, everything you shoot there looks great. But then the counter to that is yes, but myself and hundreds of other photographers have shot here. So this place that it's nice in and of itself, is not enough. What you need to do is tell the story. Now the story can be a series of great details. That's the best case scenario. But if you're shooting a wedding that probably didn't have the best details, but you think that there's a color story going on, start shooting the wedding in a way that conveys a continuous stream of color. So for instance if we're using yellow, the bridesmaid dresses are yellow, shoot four bridesmaids in a window, back lit, tell that story. Get the bride holding her bouquet with yellow wrapped daisies. 'Cause that's not known, right? Shoot things in a way that have not been done before. Because it's going to be very difficult to get a white peony bouquet wrapped in burlap of a bride holding it here. Very difficult because it's been done a thousand times. I actually rally for the girls to do the bright colors, to use the unused flowers, to put fruit in your centerpieces because that's the stuff that inspires editors to produce it. So if you can control what people are putting towards their details, you talk to them about doing things that are totally different. But I will say that quite often I get the bride who's like we're having blush and cream tones with a beach feel that's classic and relaxed. And I'm like, okay. (audience laughing) Here we go. And so then I need to shoot it in a way that showcases more personality. What can I do with the bridal party that makes it an interesting photo? What can I do with the paper goods? Paper goods are a way to kind of position yourself. How can I shoot her shoes in a way that has not been just the shoe here, the show here on some brick, right? Shoe here, shoe here, back lit against a window. How can I shoot things that are different, that are still pretty, but entirely unique in a way that it would appeal to an editor. Does that work? Okay, cool. There was another question. Awesome.
So my question is Avey was the name of the bride?
Okay, so she very naturally was very romantic and fell into that very naturally. My clientele is not very romantic at all. We tend to have a lot more fun, and that is my personality, therefore I understand why I'm getting that, but my question would just be very practically, how would you pull out a romantic feel from the session if that wasn't natural to them?
That's absolutely fantastic, great question. And in previous lessons and in future lessons, you're going to see the dynamic that I work with four different couples in addition to the not couple. So you're going to see the dynamics. And I connect more, I resonate more with the being, I want to be romantic. I do, I just wanna look at J.D. and be like rawr, from across the room. (audience laughing) That's not really me. So I attract the clients who aren't really like that. So you're gonna see me, the clients that we work, we get into this in the future lesson, but the clients that we work with, I put a call out on Facebook and they responded and whether or not they truly understood my vision and voice to the way I approach a shoot, maybe I should have worked a little bit more into getting them to that point. But you're gonna see in other shoots how I work couples into a romantic pose. And for me, I'm not traditionally romantic, so romance in a form has taken soft touch. Fingers light to, the thing that I kind of just kind of go back to, fingers light to a chin, beautiful, keep these two fingers together, bring in his chin down or I have him grab her waist, she looks down and he kisses the top of her forehead. That's kind of like a big one for me. Also if she has her hair parted here, I will say oh, can you just prune your hair behind your ear and can you bring your noses together. Now most times grooms are taller than the bride, so then she tilts her face up which is great for an angle, he comes down, and I he's too tall I have him bring out his legs a little bit, lowers his body without having to do this which is not very complimentary. He opens his legs, I crop from an appendage, a joint, either a knee or the thigh. He comes down into her, she's lifting up, she has her hands, now I've noticed that hands on the outs of the arms don't look good, hands on the insides of his arms, connecting her two middle fingers which is what you'll hear me refer to in other shoots as princess fingers. Disney Princesses are connected here. So the worst thing is this looks romantic, and then her hands are like this. Then it just feels fake, right? So princess fingers brings them in and softens what that looks like. So what I just talked through is five or six romantic things without changing too many positions, simply by selling the idea. Soft fingers, chin up, chin down, hands in, hands around his neck. And we're gonna talk more and show more and if I don't I want you to repeat this question again because J.D. isn't in the room at the moment, but if he comes back in, I'll be like romance, I'll show you romance. (audience laughing) Is there another question? Yes.
What's the timeline usually for submitting to a publication? Like say if I have a wedding from last year, can I still submit this year or?
There is a, traditionally a 12 month cycle. So they don't really want to showcase weddings because styles change so quickly and print takes so long to actually get it done. So about a year is good. What you want to do is you don't really want to submit if you have a traditionally summer wedding with bright colors, you don't want to submit that wedding to the magazine in say December when they're really looking for what, like winter weddings would look like. You want to submit it in about three months prior to when they will go to print. So let's use The Knot for example, they are a quarterly submission. So each season. So if I shot a summer wedding, I won't submit it until January of the next year, so that they can consider it for their spring or summer edition of the following year. However, if I shoot, if I shoot like a summer wedding early in the year, but it has deeper, richer colors, I can consider submitting it at the end of summer for a consideration for a fall publication. So usually you'll see that as you pursue magazine submissions, colors play a big deal. Pastels, lights, brights, traditionally summer and spring, darker, richer tones, fall and winter. So when you take those things into consideration you'll now kind of follow a submission calendar. Each magazine has their own submission calendar and their own qualifications, but like I had shown before in a previous lesson about a shot list that they're looking for, as long as you're getting those shots, curating them according to color and story and uniqueness, then you follow the submission guidelines. And they'll list them widely on their website. Awesome, we're gonna pass the mic back.
What percentage of your weddings do you submit? And do you divert, 'cause I know a lot of times when you submit you're only allowed to submit to one magazine or another, how do you choose which one to submit to, and what percentage do you submit?
That's great. So that's a two part question and I will answer the latter first. How many weddings do I submit? I'm at a point in my career where I can submit the majority of them at least to a blog. Now, print features are very very very rare. There are six or seven national wedding magazine publications in the U.S. and the U.S. dominates the market by far. It used to be that there was almost 20 national magazines, but because of the advent of the internet, people are not longer buying, the advent, because sharing your photos from your wedding has become so popular, the demand for print magazines has totally decreased. In light of that, an average national magazine will print about five or six weddings in a magazine per season. So if you have six magazines, six or seven magazines, each showing six or seven weddings, that amount of weddings that actually get to print are like .002 of the photos of weddings that are actually submitted. It's super difficult. However, if I feel like I will shoot a wedding that I think is unique, that the details work, that tells a color story, and that I nailed a few bride and groom photos, then that becomes what I call my unicorn submission. If I feel like it's gonna be a unicorn submission I won't blog it. Because magazine editors are so protective over the images. They do not want to see one photo on Pinterest or on Google, before their magazine goes to print. So right now I'm holding off on two weddings that I think are really strong contenders for print. I will be blogging another wedding at the same venue that was equally as beautiful, but it was done in that beautiful traditional pink palette peony way. And that's not enough to make it a competitive submission. I will try for an online submission, and I think it'll do a very good job in that capacity. But I will absolutely blog the images and then send it over to a wedding blog editor and feel confident that I think I think it will stand a good chance. Yes.
So you said submission for blogs, do you still put the weddings that you submit to print on your own personal blog?
Yes, when it has been accepted for print. So if they say Jasmine we're gonna take your wedding, and we're gonna print it for summer of 2016. I have to hold up on those images for months until I can get to that point. And once the magazine hits the newsstands, what I do first is I do my own blog post, and then I go through the same thing, I tag my clients, even though I'm late to the game, it's all good, I'll be like oh, it's almost a one year anniversary post, like it's okay, because, and I convey it to my clients, this is what's happening. My clients now know, for the weddings I'm trying to submit, I'm not blogging your images because I think you have a really strong chance for print. And they're all the sudden like okay, great. Well we'll look forward to when you blog it. So it's like okay. So that's kind of where I stand right now. Awesome, yes.
I had a question about Two Bright Lights. I'm not sure if you're familiar with it, but I recently just discovered this, and I had seen it all over the place, I had no idea what it was. I thought it was a blog, but I found out it's actually like an avenue to get on blogs and print. And I'm not sure if that's even 100% what it is, but I saw that they charge like a fee to be able to submit to it. So I was kinda wondering if you had some input on that.
The input that I have is that I respect what they do. Now I came into the industry and I had created relationships with editors outside of Two Bright Lights even existing, so it was great in the way that you had to hustle in a very different way, and I was able to kind of get my name out there just by merit of submitting, learning, submitting, learning. What Two Bright Lights does is completely shortens your learning curve. And you do one submission, So the way that Two Bright Lights is, it's a submission website. So you get your photos that you think would make a good submission, you upload them to Two Bright Lights and then you an have editors look through them. So you might make it exclusive, I only wanna submit to The Knot. And then you select it and then someone at The Knot is notified to look through it. And they can either accept it or decline it. If they decline it you then have the ability to put it out in the public forum and have various editors look through that. So it's a wonderful and viable, amazing option. And I will be completely honest, it was such a great option The Knot purchased Two Bright Lights because they have so many submissions. So if you have a personal goal of getting feature with The Knot, it would streamline directly with what the Knot does, and I know that the largest wedding bloggers do use Two Bright Lights. In addition to accepting submissions on their own.
So you would say that it would definitely be a good avenue for somebody who's maybe never submitted before, isn't familiar with the process, and maybe doesn't wanna deal with the lengthy learning curve?
I would, absolutely.
And it's best because it's a subscription. So if you find that it's not benefiting your business great, go through the run and then you can kind of move on from there.
Cool, awesome. One last thing, you mentioned things about not posting anything without it, if it hasn't been published yet, but is Facebook included in that?
From your business page. So my client, when I told her about the wedding who I thought had a really good opportunity, she's like do you think that I can post from my profile? And I said absolutely. Because most my client profiles are private. And I don't wanna say, because if I were to say you can't share your images, it's going to sully her experience, and that's, a print feature is not worth it. I will get more from that client who's really happy with her experience than I would with a print submission. And you have to understand that print submissions are wonderful and they're amazing, but do I book weddings as a result? No. It's a matter of legitimacy. And it's an honor and I do it to balance it. But I get more inquiries by way of online submissions on wedding blogs.
Cool, awesome, thank you so much.
Thank you. Awesome. So this is great. We're gonna go into homework. I mean, am I just a nerd? I'm just gonna own it, like I love homework. Like let's stay on top of this! Okay, what I want you to do is I want you to choose three words at minimum. And then what I want you to do once you have your three words is I want you to start shooting with intention. This will start changing the way you approach a situation. And these words may change in time, but the thing is, instead of getting overwhelmed and thinking of poses, if you think in your words, it will help you then define your poses. And you don't feel like you have a hundred poses in your mind and you can't think of one. If you guys would like to see a completely edited gallery from what this shoot looked like, if you purchased to download the course, you will get access to the gallery. You will get access to see from beginning, middle and end how I shot for my three words. And then you will be able to see the variety in which I would give a client. We're gonna come back in a future lesson and we're gonna talk specifically about how I captured fun and natural photos and you guys will se how I worked with the client who that didn't come so naturally for. Thank you guys. (audience applauding)