Shooting with Intent: Romantic + Editorial Wedding Photography
We're gonna just be starting this particular lesson with shooting with intention and shooting with intention for my 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 going to focus on what my branding words are, you guys are gonna learn the efforts that I had 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 going to be a photographer and I'm gonna learn posing and learn posing with 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 and I would be like...
I've got this posing thing down and I would make little note cards about poses and I would feel great and I would ride up to this session and I would be like, so um uh, how about you guys kiss? (audience laughing) It's like I knew the poses and I would get back into the car and I was like why didn't you do that, you know all of them. And I just couldn't 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 want 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 often times we get into something, I see a lot of nods because we got into this thinking oh, it's going to 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 was 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 1000 poses was freeing when I saw 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. I 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 this particular lesson will outline my approach, it will showcase how I effectively move in this direction and hopefully act as the 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 gonna talk to you 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 the mistakes that I made on the back end. So I want to 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 not, 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 into the Knot dream wedding. Now because we've had conversations I said hey, I'm going to CreativeLive and I want to 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 and 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 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 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 going to 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 that 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 wished more photographers considered when shooting a wedding? What I'd love to see are more horizontal photos, which is a surprise to me because 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 in 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, 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 on either one, the right side or the left side. And she also says that the photo will have to be, the largest size photo that they will need to be reproduced in magazine would be 13 by 20 at 300 dpi. That's a pretty big photo. So if you have a tendency or acclivity to shoot at small raw, if you think 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's a total of four questions I've 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 an extraordinarly 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 start just 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 strap was undone because it looks like she had just put the shoes on or that 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 its 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 like 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. They give 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 doesn't if it's not tethered to a really great ceremony or really great portraits, 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 a 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 like sunset hills, and then the hills you take pictures of trees and hills and in the hills we'll 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 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 have 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 want to add a few more things from a photographer's perspective for tips. When it comes like for posing a couple editorially. One, refrain from full smiles. Most brides are extremely 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 kind of 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 like 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 it 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 to. Two, don't overly pose. It's easy to fall into the trap of over posing because when you think editorial, you think oh I got to 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 they're not auditioning to be the next America's Next Top Model, they're just a really pretty version of themselves naturally. Three, keep the movements 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 to carefully curated version. So by keeping your appendages close to the body that helps sell the idea. You want to ensure that the couple is not standing more than an arm's length distance from each other. I love and I can appreciate photos where the bride and groom are standing 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 the 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 want to 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 I have chosen are romantic, editorial, fun, and natural. These are going to 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 kind of dissect what I do, but my goal is for you to see both days to kind of 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 going to 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, 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 were 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'll be breaking up into two separate words on two different days. So right now we're me 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. Avy can I have your left, beautiful. What I want you to do I want you to hold the bouquet right here. Now I'd 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 on 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. Some 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 going to give me a lot more latitude in how I could shoot with wider apertures, as opposed to my clients being two 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. I'm going to adjust the dress. I'm going to start my shoot with just my favorite lens, which is the 50, will keep it nice and simple. Beautiful. So can have you guys bring your foreheads in nice and close. Gorgeous. Now I'm going to start in a location that I think is pretty but not like my most favorite and that's fine because I just want my clients to warm up, get comfortable and feel natural. Beautiful. Avy and Zack peel your foreheads away from each other, I switched my position so I'm going to compensate for the light. Just ever so slightly. Because they don't have that white wall in the back anymore so I went from 640th of a second to so I can pick up the nice natural background and what was going on in that first frame was 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 gonna be distractions later on. Avy and Zack you guys are doing great, beautiful. Now Avy can you look towards this camera right over there. Gorgeous. Relax that front shoulder, slight smile, and Zack can you lean and lightly and give her a light kiss. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. Gorgeous. Now what I'm going to do is I'm going to adjust Avy's hair so that Zack isn't in competition with it.
I was going to say it's hard to give a kiss. (laughing)
Okay cool, cool, cool. Well don't do the cute stuff quite yet. Let me get that, that was really, really, I know that's true, that is true. 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 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 this editorial photos easier, now I need to slowly pull them back because I need to make sure that it's going to fall into a natural type of flow. I'm going to stick with my and then I'm going to switch to the to kind of 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 800th of a second, I'm gonna test my light. I'm gonna go to 640th of a second. Avy can you bring your face, beautiful. And then Zack can you just lightly, yes. Avy you looking down the way that you were, gorgeous, relax that front left shoulder, attagirl and then Zack can you come in and lightly kiss? Or actually sorry, her face, my bad. (awkward laughing) Good. Beautiful. Good. Can I get the 85? So romantic can kind of be... romantic photos can 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 want to look like it's a candid photo that I just happened to be capturing at the moment of them just 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 in the background. I really love the bokeh that it can produce. 1.2, let me get my settings. Avy you're doing great. You're doing great. Right now my settings are at 1250th of a second, 1.2, 200 ISO. I'm just gonna test the light so you guys can just just relax. Because Avy 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 say I'm testing the light, but what is really happening is that I'm shooting. 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 a Avy's waist and yes, yes. Now Avy 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 Avy can you look at the ground right in front of, yes. Now relax that shoulder. Attagirl. And then look back up at Zack. Oh look, it's beautiful. Gorgeous. Can you look here, oh that's cute. That was adorable. Can you look here at me Avy? And then Zack bring her in nice and close and then Avy, 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 Avy can you soften your knees for me? There we go beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. Good and Zack can you look out. JD can you pop over here please? Awesome. Yes, yes, yes. Zack you just doing your thing, this is great. This is great. Beautiful. Now Avy can you come up on your tippy toe, 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 know 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 looks like it can grace the pages of a magazine without it feeling like it's going to grace the pages of a fashion magazine. There's 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 kind of file into that super naturally. They like to be cuddly, they'd like to be kissy, and so I didn't have to kind of hone in too much on that. Now Avy I want your hand... Zack can I... There we go, beautiful. So you're just gonna be creating a cradle with your arms around her. So come in this way. When you do something just nice. Avy open up your legs. All this is doing is lowering your body so that, don't lower in the knees. One thing I want to point out is that I asked Avy to open her legs and then I said because I want to have Zack a tiny bit taller than she is. And then what Avy did is she said oh, okay. So she opened her legs, which is great, but then she also soften 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. Anytime this happens it's just not a good look. So Avy, now Avy 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 Avy would be Zack. So you get comfortable and then Zack, tall, bring the shoulders back, exactly. Rad. Now I want you looking down Avy. Beautiful. This beautiful light behind my gorgeous bride, now Zack you come in and you kiss your beautiful wife wherever your lips land, thank you. Thank you. Okay we're gonna move to a new location, but 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, but I'm going to shoot Avy 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 tuned 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 in to that. We'll get more into that with specificity. The cliff 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 kind of tough light. So now we're getting full sun, but the light in front of my subjects are going to bounce light back into them. We're gonna talk more about that in a future lesson, but for right now, Avy I'm going to take you here and I'm going to position Avy 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 kind of 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 a kind of like reddish in color, in 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 going to shoot this at a 1.2. Avy can I have the bouquet up. Can I have your body... Beautiful. Now I want you to shift your weight from one hip to the other, thank you. Now Avy when you shifted your hip you brought your shoulders back. I want your shoulders... don't bring your shoulders forwards. bring your chest forward like I have a string. I'm pulling your chest towards me. Good. Bring the core in. Any time 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 frame. I'm going to be shooting this at 1250th of a second, 1.2, 160 ISO. Eyes up at here Avy. Chin up a tiny bit. Beautiful, look over at Zack, wherever Zack is. Good, attagirl. Okay, there's a person passing in the background. I'm going to pause for one second. I have a full shot here. Beautiful. Now what I'm doing to incorporate a romantic photo in this gorgeous light, Zack I'm gonna call you over. Look over at Zack Avy. Good. Zack I want you come to 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. You're gonna get in nice and close, but it's gonna be this way. Beautiful, so Avy 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. I meant you're walking into the shot like literally like I need you to walk over here. (laughing) That's beautiful, that's beautiful. I'm just gonna tuck this small little hair because we have sunlight behind Avy, so whenever we have sunlight behind Avy, I need to watch for very particular stray hairs because it becomes a distraction. So come in nice and close. I'm gonna shoot this at a 1.2. Any time I'm going to 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 a romantic photo you just want to 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 a mat or you can encourage them to get it at a 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 Avy. Avy you relax into one hip. Beautiful. Hangout. And then Zack I would just need you to keep your face nice and soft as you look at Avy. You can take a deep breath, relax the shoulders. Beautiful. And then Zack I want you to come in, and Avy you have to get on your tippy toes. Get on your, there we go, there we go. Yes, beautiful. Beautiful. Good and then Avy can I have your eyes here. Beautiful. Chin up slightly turn towards me. Attagirl. And then eyes down at the bouquet. Slight smile. Zack come in for a light kiss, Avy eyes here. Avy eyes here. Beautiful. 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 hands, put your hands around your bouquet. Avy, beautiful. And then we're just.... Beautiful. Come in this way. We're just gonna shoot a small little detail and the detail is actually of the bouquet, but now what we're gonna see are their rings in the frame. Good, 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 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, 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 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 is this beautiful kind of like a 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 Avy 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 aim for getting all her hair to the side. Good so Zack can I have your hand right here at the crest of her back. Or just like relaxing it, just across, nice. Just any way 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 Avy's arm here. I might have it crisscross his body, but not yet. Not yet, I'm gonna see where it's going because right now I can get her gorgeous figure. Zack I want you to peel her into you, peel her in. Anytime I'm going to have my subject for a romantic photo I want their bodies nice and tight, but what I see here is a gap between Avy's arm and... (laughs) Zack, there you go, I just want to connect appendages. Any time we're shooting for a romantic photo, you want to make sure that it actually looks and feels romantic. Avy I need you to relax that left shoulder. I'm going to be shooting this, JD 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'll 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 am at 2.0. I'm gonna guide a car around my subjects because I don't want them to move. I'll 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 Avy, good. Zack can you kiss Avy'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. 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 Avy 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 shoot this at a 1. just because I really, really do. Hang out one second. I really want to distort everything around them. I have to adjust my lighting. Now shooting at a 1.2. I'm gonna be at 800ths of a second. I have beautiful light going on behind them. Good now Avy can you look down here at my hand? Gorgeous. 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. I actually want you to kiss her here on her forehead. No, not yet. (laughs) So why I had Zack change the position of his kiss was that he was healed tilting his head too much. I really wanted 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 85. So there's a car coming, I'm going to pick up your dress, and the guide the car around my bride and groom. And because I'm shooting with 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. Avy open up your body a little bit more towards me, beautiful. Come in just like that, gorgeous. Avy can you look, JD can I pop you in over here please. ASAP. So I'm just going to 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 Avy can you look at JD? Beautiful. That's adorable. That's so cute. JD pop it over here a little bit more. Now the reason why I'm having JD move is because Avy's eyes got too much of the whites of her eyes. Beautiful. 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 so now we're gonna move on to the next. So what I 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 when it comes to shooting an editorial style photo, I want to make sure that I'm getting an editorial style bridal, if that's a bridal portrait, if that's kind of reflected of the bride. I can tell that Avy has that kind of editorial flair naturally so I want to 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. It's dark and patches and bright in patches. So we have this really mixed lighting, but I think that we can kind of create some dynamic light as long as I had some sort of natural fill. The natural fill would be this little light patch in front of me and I'm going to have to bring up her skin tones and dress a bit in post, but we're just gonna kind of 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 want to shoot from this angle directly because I have a light source of 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 thing that's going to be behind her is a fence. The fence isn't ideal, but at least it's not going to 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 Avy's right shoulder. Beautiful. Now by placing Avy 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 Avy 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 your chest out like I have a string from your chest and I'm going to be pulling you this way. So come towards me, come towards me, come towards me. Good, now take a deep breath and relax your shoulders. Relax your arm, bring your arm down a little bit. Beautiful. Now look down at your bouquet. Feel free, whenever you adjust your hair, feel free to make it a part of the photo, we're totally okay, I'll shoot right on through that. Now I've noticed that the hair adjusted 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. Mm-hmm. So come away from it. There we go. This is where and there we go. Cool. Good. I like to her position of her body here a little bit more. It looks a little less too like edgy like she's trying, like it's going to be Haute couture and just a little bit more natural editorial photo. I want to make sure that my horizon line is straight from behind my camera. I'm gonna shoot this vertical. I'm gonna shoot this horizontal. Avy look down at your bouquet again. I want to make sure that I have her looking down to bouquet. Then I'm gonna have her look at my camera. Avy can you look here at my camera? Nice, can you bring your chin towards me? Chin towards me, beautiful. Slight smile. Hangout, gorgeous. Beautiful. Now instead of coming back, come forward, just take a deep breath, shake out your shoulders, shake out your knees. 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. 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 at 1.2. I want to distort everything that's going on in the background. Beautiful. Eyes here. Chin up towards me, this way towards me, chin down a tiny bit. 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. 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 like these hot spots and this is just the nature of fighting against the sun. I'm gonna have a Avy 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 pullbacked 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 bridal portrait, and the bride her mom and her grandmother will all be really happy. So I'm gonna be focusing on shooting some romantic photos in light that I'm hopefully picking up from a natural reflector. I had 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 overpower her. I'm gonna hopefully be shooting in a direction where their shade from between myself, the back gate, and the bride. I'm addressing 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 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 have to scoot you over Avy. Good and then Zack come up right over here and then Avy 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 Avy's hand because it does look like it's a floating hand. Zack you bring Avy 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 bring 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 disjointed. I will take the bouquet because I don't think it works in this particular frame. Zack you just put your left hand right out there. Beautiful and you're not gonna pay any attention to me. JD. I'm gonna be shooting this at a 2.0. I'm gonna be shooting this at a 160 ISO. I'm gonna see what my... I'm gonna have to use my ghetto fab lens hood and I talked about why I don't use a lens hood in a future lesson. We 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 the lighting and kind of move on from there. Beautiful. Now Avy's face got lost as she turned in towards him because 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 JD? Chin down a tiny bit. Beautiful, good. Good Zack, good. Beautiful. I'm gonna switch to... Good. There it is. Nice Avy. 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 kind of get from there. Hang out one sec, let me just adjust the lighting. 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, a 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 we're editorial and romantic and I feel as a photographer I executed on that particular portion and we'll be able to put it together. You guys will see photos as they come straight out my camera and then what I'm going to do with them in post and how I'm going to connect both of those lessons into those four words and the type of portfolio my clients would get from a day like this. (folk music) ♪ What is a bird without it's wings ♪ ♪ What is a kite without it's 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 ♪ ♪ Because of love, love, love ♪ ♪ It's a beautiful thing ♪ ♪ 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 without no ♪ ♪ Love, love, love keeps us all connected ♪ ♪ Love, love, love when you least expect it ♪ ♪ Love, love, love ♪ ♪ everybody sing because of love, love, love ♪ ♪ It's a beautiful thing to give ♪ ♪ and take and make mistakes ♪ ♪ 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 Avy, which is good in some respects, but it's not so good in other respects in that 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 its 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 Avy. 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 have to give me a little bit because the thing is is that people come in to shoot thinking they know what they want and then if they see a portfolio full of a 100% angle, angle, angle, angle, softness, like 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 am not gonna lie. Now as a quick wrap-up, just to kind of close it all, what you saw with 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 Avy, I didn't have to say calm your smile. I just say give me a smile. Like make me happy. Sell it with your eyes. And now I didn't want their moves to be too Haute couture or avant-garde or angular, right? I had to just kind of soften that look and I loved that type of posing, but I don't think that it's gonna round out my portfolio the way that I needed to. I keep the movements light. I move them into the pose and I avoided bringing their bodies too close together to smush. Smush? Smush, smish, what? Smash! Smash, it's 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 were 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.
No, I mean the quick answer is no. Like I think it's really, but I want you to finish your question, I don't want to cut you off, sorry. (laughing)
Well that was the whole question, like you have to do the trend photos or like if I look it up at my client's Pinterest boards like do you ever go through and like recreate photos that they have like pinned, like oh my gosh, I love this. Like as far 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 thousand 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 my 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'll 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 legitimized that by way of the engagement session. I had a bride recently, she shared with me about eight to 10 photos that she thought were really things that she really wanted. Just the overall idea. She did send me, now 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 you like because I know there's no pine trees in Laguna Beach or there are but not in this capacity. So what it is and then I 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 it's we live in a pretty... I don't want the 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 and like how do you get your 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 that 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 to me 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 want to 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 would 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 doesn'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 bridesmaids dresses are yellow. Shoot for bridesmaids in a window, back lit, tell that story. Get the bride holding her bouquet with yellow wrapped daisies 'cause that's not known. 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 but 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, here we go. And so then I need to shoot it in a way that showcases more personality. What can I do at 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 shoe here, on some brick. 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 would appeal to an editor? Does that work?
Okay. Cool, there was another question.
So my question is Avy 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 for different couples in addition to The Knot 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 want to look at JD 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... so the clients that we worked on and we get into this in the future lesson, but the clients 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 in to a romantic pose. And for me I am not traditionally romantic so romance in a form has taken soft-touch. Fingers light, the thing that I 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 like can you bring your noses together. Now most times grooms are taller than the bride so then she tilts her her face up, which is great for an angle. He comes down and if 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 leg, 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 outside the arms don't look good but hands on the inside 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 photo looks romantic and then her hands are like this, then it just feels fake . 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 JD isn't in the room at the moment, but if he comes back in I would be like romance, I'll show you romance. (audience laughing) Is there another question? Yes.
What's the time line usually for submitting to a publication, like say if I have a wedding from last year, can I still submit it this year?
There is a, traditionally, a 12-month cycle. So they don't really want to showcase weddings because styles change so quickly and print take 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 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 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 because I know a lot of times when you try to submit you're only allowed 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 US and the US. dominates the market by far. It used to be that there was almost 20 national magazines, but because the advent of the Internet people are no longer buying, the advent. I mean because sharing your photos from your weddings have 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 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 to over to a wedding blog editor and feel confident that I think it will stand a good chance. Yes.
So you said submission for blogs, do you still put the wedding's 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 off 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 and I convey it to my clients, this is what's happening. My clients now know for the weddings that 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 blog it. So I was 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 like I'm not sure if that's even a 100% what it is, but I saw that they charge like a fee to be able to submit to it. So I was kind of 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 he was great in that 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 to 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 can have editors look through them. So you might make it exclusive. I only want to 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 into 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 that The Knot purchased Two Bright Lights because they have so many submissions. So if you have a personal goal of getting featured 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 want to deal with the lengthy learning curve?
I would. Absolutely would and its 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 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 the wedding who I thought had a really good opportunity, she's like do you think that I can post for my profile and I said absolutely because most my client profiles are private and I don't want to say like... because I feel like if I were to say you can't share your images, it's going to sully her experience and a print feature is not worth it. I will get more from that client who's really happy with their experience then I would from the 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 a 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 can't think of one. If you guys would like to see a completely edited gallery from what this shoot look like, if you purchase to download the course, you will get access to the gallery. You'll 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 see how I worked with a client that didn't come so naturally for. Thank you guys. (audience applauding)