Documentary Wedding Photography: Capturing Reality

Lesson 3 of 36

Finding My Why

 

Documentary Wedding Photography: Capturing Reality

Lesson 3 of 36

Finding My Why

 

Lesson Info

Finding My Why

So you know now I've started to change my path right I'm starting to kind of figure out I'm I'm I'm I'm I'm like okay I get it I get it I get it um and then I had some key things that have happened to me throughout that process right and I need to sit down is that cool all right I'm tired of walking okay don't try and move as much spots we'll see if I can get these camera guys teo hiccup anyway so um I'm starting to have like little little key things that happened to me along the way that are really helping me understand my purpose and why I I make photos right and so this was one of them so when I was at the columbus dispatch in columbus ohio I got there and they and they were like and they're like hey we got we got we got something to shoot over there like awesome let's go and so I went and and I and I and I shot a peewee football game right so I'm there I'm shooting some photos you know making some fun stuff got this you got this uh um and I and I shot I shot this photo of just this...

team won and that's the grandfather picked up his grandson it just ran at a three hundred to eight shot it's simply not an exciting picture it's just got great moment right well years later I got an email on our contact from on our website and it was that girl asking, she says, hey there's a photo that you shot in nineteen ninety seven and I want I want to see if I if I get a copy of it and I'm like, well, could you narrow that down a little bit and and she told me and news angry is talking about it she says, well, the fire air the fire the photo was lost in a fire and I'm trying to get a copy of it for my fiance so her fiance is in the photo, right? And so he he had this photo cut out of the newspaper and stuck in his room I'm imagining for years and it was lost in a fire and she said she said that literally because his grandfather has passed away now that literally that photo that moment is his favorite moment in his entire existence with his grandfather that's it that one photo and I have a record of it right to remember, you know what I mean and that's like massive to me, you know? And I didn't know it at the time I just shot a photo of somebody carrying their grandson, you know? But I fortunately I had a copy of it and I and I and I sent it to her and it's like, you know, I started to realize that, you know, pictures can make a difference and I could make a difference with my photos and then I finally I came to my why my my kind of ah ha moment. And so this is my parent's wedding photos, right? So I looked at my wet parents wedding photos about three, three or four years ago, and I was like, when I was like, why haven't I seen you before? Just kind of weird, but I'm looking through him and I'm like, okay, alright, well, I get it. You know, this is what they looked like. Mom was really pretty kind of look like dad, right? Which is here? He had a lot of hair and then but he's gonna kill me for that. But, you know, but, you know, it was helping me start to kind of find my wife, right? And the formals would show up, and I was looking at the formals, and it was like, all that did for me was, uh oh, that's what? That's? What? Mom looks like her that's. What my nanny looks like, or her uncle ron was run a funny suit, right? But then I came to some moments, right, and this moment is amazing to me, right, and and and again I wish I could like you know, scramble my parents internet right now is they won't watch this but because I'm going through one of the bus but it's really funny they can handle it so this is my my mom throwing the bouquet at the end of the night so so back then they threw at the very last thing right? And and I'm like this is an awesome moment, eh? I think this photographer nailed it right one frame probably one you know the whole story in one but I'm like I'm like hey, whose hand is that whose hand you're holding onto and she's like well, that's your dad's hand and again I might be embellishing the story but I'm pretty sure this is what I heard and she says I wanted to throw the bouquet off of a retaining wall but I was a little too loopy to do it on my own so your dad had to hold my hand, which I find to be amazing story, right? And then I'm like I'm like whose car is that? C c that car over there that's my aunt that's aunt marie jo's car named marie jo is right over there hiding behind the plant, right and and way actually that was like around the year that we lost aunt mary jo year two ago tio to cancer and you know now it's like that photo has a lot of different meaning of course and she like anne marie jo throw my parents to the airport and and they were late and they went right up to the airplane got on and then they're like my dad's like drinks for everybody you know always kind of something I just think that's an amazing story and what that moment photo did was it not only told me what they were like back then but it made me ask questions which then made me understand them or does that make sense right and I finally realized it I like that I think that's my wife my wife is the photos I make it a wedding they are not for the bride and groom right there number five well who else it before right? They are for people that don't exist yet I thoroughly thoroughly thoroughly believe that because I wasn't there and now those photos are explaining to me who people are and were in the stories of life back then and that's why I do what I do right and so we're going to dive into that you know you know quite a bit quite a bit this today and and these these next three days so anyway I get into weddings I'm starting to figure out my wife right? This is a this is a story I shot uh bride keira she her and andy were getting married and up in iowa and two weeks before her wedding her dad was in a tragic farm accident and they lost him the week of the wedding and they decided to put everything off for a year to try and get everybody in the right place to have the wedding, which is impossible but you know, the other photographer that that that couldn't do that like the one that was already high, they couldn't do the wedding, he couldn't do it or something I don't know exactly happened, but she found me and I and I was like, you know, this story has to be told like we can't we can't just cover it up it's the elephant in the room, we can't just make it look like a happy, joyous wedding, and this is one of my first examples of of of this really starting to hit me of of how I should document weddings and my my dear friend brooks whittington he's out of dallas, texas he's amazing wedding wedding photo journalist in a huge influence on me he actually him and I went up and shot this together and it was a crazy day it was from her friends and you know, the story is not just about dad being gone, but it was about the support of her friends and family, you know, getting them through this I love this photo. This is her looking at herself in the mirror before she leaves for the ceremony and she never once, like fixed anything if I can remember, she just sat there and I just felt like she was thinking of her dad. So I just quietly made a photo that could remind her of that maybe, um and that you know, the light coming in and then somebody once told me, like, yeah, look how that seat is empty and the lamp is turned off it makes it feel like somebody's missing and I'm like I had that was no intention of mine but it's just interesting how how people can reese, you know, respond and react to photos. So anyway, um, mom, taking her to the ceremony, um, dad on herb, ok, I worked really hard to get that photo um, her waiting to go down the aisle and you can see the emotion, you can see what it feels like her older brother walked her down the aisle with a candle for dad, and then they all lit the candle together as a family balloons released after the ceremony on our way back to the house because we had a break in to do portrait's and I'm like, I'm not gonna drag you around iowa doing portrait forever. So I said, just go to your house like that's on their way back up to the house, that's, the wheat that her mom said paid for the wedding. Um, her dad on the mailbox, I waited a long time for this to come together, says, if tears could build a stairway and memories the lane, I'd walk up to heaven and bring you home again. You know, it's, like trying to show what this means and show what this man meant to people is really hard when he's not there. Lots of emotion at this wedding younger brother, did the father daughter dance, you know, and I just shot it, right, and that's, you know, that's, that's. What? I'm starting to get traction, you know, and starting teo starting to really get a feel for what I'm going to be doing, you know, as as a wedding photographer.

Class Description


There is a magic and beauty to wedding days that doesn’t have to be posed or fabricated. You can take photographs that are authentic and dynamic by drawing on classic documentary photography techniques. Join Tyler Wirken for a class exploring the practice of documentary-style wedding photography.

This course will teach you how to take unique, distinctive images that break away from standard styled shoots and set-up poses. Tyler will encourage you to think deeply about why we take wedding photos and then help you use those insights to create an actionable roadmap for getting the real moments during weddings. You’ll learn how to get up close and capture the more intimate moments of a couple’s wedding day without feeling like you’re intruding or disrupting. From being more present in the moment to getting through family photographs in twenty minutes to developing your one-of-a-kind perspective as a photographer, you’ll build strategies for ensuring the moments you capture are beautiful and real.

If you want stand out in the sea of wedding photographers and take photographs that more meaningful than meticulously-posed, then this course is for you!

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