Gaining Trust

 

Documentary Wedding Photography: Capturing Reality

 

Lesson Info

Gaining Trust

Gaining trust right so this is really important okay? So it's not about the gear anymore it's all about now that we've got the gear we know how to use the gear how are we conducting ourselves while we're shooting right and you know courtney said it best didn't she? Where she's like we trusted you we knew you're going to be there but we were not that we didn't even notice that you were all up in our grill is as she says right and so how do you do that? And so for me it starts with um you know, I just you know, you had to ask questions you have to just have to get to talk to people right? You can't trust me unless you I am unless we're conversing and we're gaining that trust in that way and so I think you had a question about engagement sessions yesterday I should engage recessions right? I'd be lying if I said I loved him okay? But I do really I do really enjoy them because it makes such a difference on the wedding day with a couple if I should engagement session our trust and are comfo...

rtable with each other is like leaps and bounds better than if I don't you know and it's not the end of the world you know but it does help and so I used the engagement session to not only gain trust but also makes him photos for them but also like I keep I keep driving home the point of what I do all the time I'm like so they come in for engagement sessions and I do not do them in a documentary style I've tried that it doesn't work it's just totally looks canned and like oh yeah we're sitting in a booth enjoying wine which is fine but just in the end I think I think those images were fun but they don't really for me they didn't really get to the point of what people were needing or using you know so now I just treat like a just a just a portrait session and we just go make some cool photos together and you know I tell them because they get there and my clients are always like a little confused they haven't even at this point they never even seen an engagement photo of mine so I don't have it on our website I do now under the section you confined them they're our engagement photo examples but not but I didn't before and they're like so what we're gonna do you're just gonna he's gonna walk around you're gonna follow us or what's up and I'm like no no no no no we can't do that you know and so and so and so basically I'm like, you know, I know this is the opposite of why you hired me another reinforcements to what we do and how we do it I go but you know this would be fun this is going to get his use of the camera you're going to get a feel for how we do portrait so that when the wedding day when we've got like, fifteen minutes we could just jump into it and you guys know what to do right? So I so I use that I used the console tte like I talk to about courtney courtney said, you know, like, you know, we asked their family and stuff like that that's what's to gain trust from people because it shows you care the key is that you gotta really care, you know, you can't go in there and just be like, okay, what's up with your grand fall sick, ok, ok, so anything else you know, I mean, you can't do that, right? You got to care about people planned, you know, you've got to you've got to figure out a way to connect right like it's just all about connection and this is a really interesting situation and I learned a lot about this, so this was a console with these guys years ago and he walked in and, uh, they're both musicology majors, right? And I'm like I have no idea about that, and he walked in with his kind of like harvard or seriously, smart people like his little harvard like you know thing and and he's, you know, we're having our talk and and he goes, he goes back then there was a picture on my website he goes, I never get to see is there there's a picture on your website? I go yeah. And I go like I know what it is the guy's taking a leak in it and there's a picture of these two other groomsmen are the grumman and his best man in the bathroom taking a leak like not you know, nothing big just in the stalls and there's a cool frame and I did it right now that was fun. And I call the groom and prepped like like that's how the grooms get ready they just go to the bathroom basically hey brought this up and I go I go I bet it's the one he goes yes, I don't I don't care for that picture and I'm like okay that's cool I go if it really, really, really, really, really bothers you then you know we might not be a good fit for each other. I go however, I will say that it's not like every wedding I'm like two o'clock let's, go take a leak you know it's like I'm not that just happened you know, whatever you guys are doing is what your moments are going to be, you know? And so he was was interesting, right? So like I didn't know anything about what they do I'm like I'm asking them about like, so I was asking them questions about like what do you what do you mean you made how do you what do you do with musicology he's like I'm actually studying the history of percussion and I'm like holy moses you know moses boy play the drums but and so, um and I said and that's what I said to him I said I said, well, I'm a I'm a big jimmy buffett fan and he I think he threw up in his mouth a little bit at that point, but but it was just it was just one of those things, but you know what? I found a way to connect to them and I just just out of sheer curiosity, I'm just like I was honest, you know, I can't I can't lie and be like, I'm like, oh yes, I love the drums what's your favorite one, you know, and I'll be at the hotel we'll totally catch me in a lie, right? So just honest with the guy and we connected over that and over time and a couple of meetings and talking to him way really connected and and they booking for the wedding and you know I was able to get a moment like this where they were not allowed in the church to play the music that they chose and music is there life music is how they met it's everything but the church did not allow them to play the piece of music they wanted to play, right? I know I know it's a whole other discussion and so um after the ceremony, they walk down the aisle and that's when they were allowed to play the peace they wanted and they sat in the back of the church together by themselves on a bench and listened to that music together and I love this frame, right? But I was I got their trust and I was able to be right in there as they share that moment together, you know? And this is early on in my career and I wasn't good enough at knowing my compositions early enough. I didn't find this composition to a little bit later and I actually missed the best moment combined with the best composition and it killed me, but I went for the next best moment with the desk you know that speech picture what she's like this this is them and that wedding ended up being amazing you know it's interesting right okay um all right so set the expectation early right that's what I'm doing I'm always doing it you know it's like it's like you know talk to him about it get them set up so that way on the day of there's no issues of being like and it happens what there was one meeting years ago that my was out of town so my wife pam did the meeting for me and she didn't talk about any of this stuff and they booked the wedding I thought she talked about this and here I am in the room when the bride's getting ready to get dressed and the mom just looks at me she goes you staying for the show but it might be a typically I do okay like you know I mean like that was a duck right I was like yeah sure you know whatever right but it's so important to kind of step expectations you know and that's like becoming its being one hundred percent honest with people right? So what's interesting is it's always awkward for a male to approach the fact that I'm going to be in there when you get dressed right that whole thing about like then you're just a guy with a camera watching it's even more awkward when let's just say you guys are the couple getting married and we're in the meeting talking about this and I look at her and I say I'm going to be in there when you get dressed right it's awkward isn't it so I started looking at the groom in the eye and I'm like I'm gonna be in there when she gets dressed right and it changed things for me because it's like the guys like all right that's cool you know I mean it's just kind of awkward thing because it's kind of weird when you're in there but you know what there's amazing moments this one my favorite moments from last year that's her mom and she's like okay and she loves that photo like I just think it's hilarious and that's why I'm in there and that's why it'll be over you just gotta trust me you know I'm not there toe to make pictures that I shouldn't be making I'm there just to shoot the moments right and so that that's just all about being fearless you know just go for it but but what was interesting is years ago I would not I would not do that I would like excuse myself who does that guys in here who who excuse yourself from the room right yeah I like hey you just go get dressed and I'll be back and then what happens is I would walk back they would come get me and I would walk back in and they would be mom sitting there make you ready oh yeah go ahead and zip it up all right that's like silly that's a moment for me so I told me about mike if you don't want me in the room I am cool with that but you just won't get a photo of you get in your dress because I do know I am not interested in you fabricated a moment just for me and you're going to know that it was for me so just get dressed it's cool right and I have yet to have hardly anybody do that I've seen really creative ways getting dressed I seen like whole sweat suits like shootout armpits and I'm like how did that happen you know but there's ways to do it you know and so and so it's it's it's cool anyway so so trust trust gives you access right once because the and that's the key point to this kind of photography is you have to have access right how can you document moments when you're not allowed to be there right but you can't get access unless they trust you right so you have how has to come together and so therefore you got to spend a lot of time talking about your clients and educating your clients and getting that trust um so what's interesting about this is so I love this example I stay I say it all the time right andi it's just really a funny story so this was a wedding I shot in kansas city. Jessica um awesome big huge wedding like all the like the bigwigs from the city were there and it's like black tie whatever and is a jewish wedding and I went I went there early they set up this whole scene there was like a church it was like in this big arena not arena but you know like is that the theater actually talk to you about yesterday and they set up this whole stage and I went in there and I'm like I'm not gonna have any angles on the ceremony was jewish ceremony everybody it's awesome cause their bodies around them up there but there's like no angle usually and I'm like I don't have an angle on this and what am I going to do? And so I went up and I told I told jessica before the ceremony and I'm like I'm gonna do my best but I don't know if I can get in there you know and she says she's looks at me and she was do what you need to do to get the photo and I'm like okay all right I go what about the deficiencies that do what you need to do to get the photo okay okay all right and so this is the scene right horrible that's that's what you get from the back how many we have dealt with that before? Everybody on the international raising their hand okay so right so these you saw that first photo I showed you tonight and this is that this is that same angle okay, right you see this now what's interesting is that I was up there and I was not out there in the beginning did you notice that in the first firm I was not up there I was like over on the side and you know, like chevy chase in that movie you know, vacation this is crazy this is crazy he's trying to jump in the pool right? You sound just like himself up I felt like that, right? And so I'm over there this is what I wish I was like the road runner and I have like a you know, a flower pot or something and I'm like I got to get up there I got to get up there like I have to get on that stage it's the only way and get that photo who got to do this right and the only way to get up there was teo was to walk up the steps. All right? So what I did is I dropped one of my cameras and it just took one camera and just kind of slow decided like inching my way over towards the steps and then I waited for my opportunity right? My favorite definition that I've ever heard is the definite you know, the definition of the definition of luck is luck is when preparation and opportunity come together right I totally one hundred percent believe that right? So I prepared and then the rabbi goes and over here we have the code tuba and everybody for a split second looked at the good tuba and I ran up on stage and I sat right next to the mom right and here I am okay? And I'm like I'm up here oh my god this is crazy right you know and she even moved out of my way she's like mama am I in your way? I don't think you're fine just like you or me you know and I'm getting that angle and I was up there for a while and like you can obviously tell I had some issues are trying to hide myself right it's like you can't see me I'm not here you know and and I was just like what I'm like I'm like she told me to do it she told me to do it she told me to do it told me to do it I'm going I'm going I'm going I'm going and I don't know if I would do that exactly and I was younger lad back then you know but you know she loves loves loves this photo and her parents love this photo with her parents looking at her and there's no way I could have gotten this angle and this image if I hadn't done that you know and it freaked me out but she but you know, I used that as, like, fuel to get me to do what I need to do because she's like you do it basically is what she was saying I'm like, I can't let her down I can't be a wuss about this and let her down so I decide to go for it you have to use your own internal radar on if you can do this stuff or not, but you know what? In the end, the photo is forever right and that's the way I look at it so trust in access at churches that's always, always, always an issue, right? Um and you have to respect obviously what's going on, you have to respect the ceremony and everything but there's, I'm always trying to get you guys out shooting churches, you always shooting these amazing outdoor mountains and stuff, but I'm always I'm ninety percent of the time shooting in the church where I have an outdoor ceremony, and so I have to really fight a lot of those those those restrictions on dh you know, there's times where I just have to accept it and do my best, but I'm always trying to push it and being like, hey, so so can I be here? No, no, no maybe maybe here you know, like I'm really trying to like explain how to do it and I'm like it's not about what I want it's about what the couple once I'm always saying that because they do want it that's why they hired me right and so and so they're like they're like, you know it's it's basically like can I go? I go I need to figure out a way to kind of make this work is the couple really wants me to get these photos in any way that we kind of work together and kind of kind of figure that out on dso they nine times out of ten it's no sometimes there there there is yes and I just get myself in a position just stay there and to get a good angle often times it doesn't work though right and they're like no you need to be in the back of the church can't do anything for you sorry if you mess up we're going to kick you out it's like okay, well I guess I'm going to do that right but there's one way there's one way that I love to do that and that is with remote cameras so has anybody dealt with remote cameras? Do you know what I'm talking about? Yeah yeah and you done it I'm planning to be one at my mid september wedding yeah so I'm gonna yet awesome um this is perfect timing then yes. So when I was a newspaper, I would do that all the time, right? I would like mount cameras. Teo basketball goals, right? I wouldn't. I would mount cameras on roller coasters go karts. You know, I just think it's an interest. I mean, I'm a mama, I build stuff, and I'm like a rigor like macgyver, so I love to do all that kind of stuff, and I use it at weddings all the time and it's really fantastic. And so this is an example. New year's, eve wedding that's, the angle I got from the back, right? This is the angle I got with a remote camera, right? This is what I got with a roll camera, right? Remote cameras are awesome. I love doing it. They're hard to do and they're kind of risky, but they pay off bigtime, right? So what I did was I I hid a camera inside. These point set is right. Nobody saw it, right? Brandon and I joined all the time, like let's. Put like, a little gopro in the bouquet or something, but that's kind of silly. And so remote cameras are really fantastic because you can get these different angles because at like catholic ceremonies that's what the moments are and if you can't show their faces then you can't show what this felt like and you can't tell this story but see to the church people they're like but you can still take pictures from the back but I'm like but that's not and then they're like well the ceremony is the most important part of what I could not agree with you more that's why I had to document it for them you know and show what that felt like they can remember this commitment they've made to each other you know and sometimes works on this doesn't so remote cameras are great got the kiss right? Which is awesome and so the cool thing about a remote camera is especially like the five d mark three you khun you can put it on silent mode and you can hardly hear it right? But what you do is you set it up and I have I have I actually have because I know you hear so here's the kiss here's a kiss from the back this has much mohr thing the other one doesn't it because you're closer right? We're going to talk about that tomorrow it's like get closer the difference of shooting a moment with the long long lens telephoto lens or wide angle lens and to me that's it right there look at that energy you can feel the energy you can see the people you know I wish your sister was doing something more but what you gonna do so remote cameras are wonderful too to be in two places at once yeah great so how do you focus on remote cameras? I get there a little bit okay it's really complicated we actually because of this we actually produced an entire pdf on remote cameras I it took me it took me like six hours just to write everything down on what I know about how to set up your own camera and so I couldn't go into in this class sadly so there is a pdf for that and I'll and I'll show you that you know but it's so it's really great and so we have to pre focus you have to like think about where things are going to be it to think ahead of your picture and all that kind of because you can't change anything right there's some new cameras out there's keenan has a an app now that you can actually like like changed you got change focus like on the seventy or something like that you could actually do it remotely with your phone you know but most cameras you can't really big process of going through this I just wanted you to understand that it's it's awesome to do this and I can't take the time to get into it right now and so that's why I'm like hey let's make a pdf of it you know but it also it also allows you to be in two places at once, right? So this was so I got there and they're like yes she the bride's going to enter from the steps and I'm like how am I going to shoot that that's like an amazing entrance right? What I do do I do I see her come on the steps and then do I shoot the parents and then do a you know what about? You know I don't I mean, how do I can't be everywhere, right? And so we mounted a camera on this on this railing using my favorite toy it's quite a magic armor you guys ever seen one of these right? So magic arm is one actually on all over the place which is great this is a magic arm and so what you do it's it's made by bogen are manfredo right um all this information on all this stuff is in that in that pdf you gotta pay for it but you know what that's right now so much you know, but so you khun basically because you can mount this thing you know wherever you want, right and you can and then what you do is you khun manu you mount the camera to hear you say that and then what you can do is you can maneuver this and put it wherever you want and then you tighten it up and if you're not mounted to a stool you're english right let's see how that's all you know right it's really tight it's like crazy type but tighten up for a camera right? And so the cool thing so I'm not into magic you know a magic arm I'm not magic arm up there and had another camera and I was actually triggering the camera so every time I took a photo with my camera took a photo with the remote camera the exact same time yeah that's what I did with that kiss shot that's why I got both of the exact same moment that's pretty cool so yeah um but it allowed me to be in two places at once it's like I could be down here waiting for because here's the problem is if I in this situation if I was trying to get her coming down and I shot from up here I'm screwed right? I put my assistant up there but my assistant needs to be in the back shooting her come down the aisle just in case the remote camera didn't work right so then I bit it and if I was back here then that means I have to. Now, after she comes down right before she comes down and now run all the way down the aisle and get myself into position. Right, you can actually see me right there. You see me? That's me right there. See that right there? Yeah. And so I was able, teo, I was able to get her parents watching her come down the aisle are down the staircase, which is, like the whole point, they had the ceremony there, you know? And so it just kind of thinking around it and making and making a new a new wave of ah, of seeing things right. So, um, this is another way I do it reception's a lot of time to get an overview, you know, and mounted camera there, which is which is really awesome. So so, yeah, yeah. There's the remote camera at weddings I show kind of like how I rigged everything up. Um, and I show the whole back story, this whole photo and how and how I did that with a couple other options as well. And so again, you know, I was gonna put this out there because, you know, I like to there's the story, right?

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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