Documentary Wedding Photography: Capturing Reality

Lesson 10 of 36

Moment Killers

 

Documentary Wedding Photography: Capturing Reality

Lesson 10 of 36

Moment Killers

 

Lesson Info

Moment Killers

Um guess we're going talk about now moments it's like I get it we've seen a lot of moments I got a few more I want to talk about, but we're also going to talk about some, uh, you know, so those questions we have been like, you know, when when things go wrong or you know how to approach that and how do you how do you shoot those and deal with those situations I got? I got some of those stories as well, but yeah, you know, it's it's just the same it's the same thing I I you know, I keep saying is is, you know, not setting things up is really huge for many reasons, but you know, if I would have set up this whole situation where the dad came in to see his bride for the first time, you know, I was right daughter keeps saying that seems so it's really bad to say bride anyway, so, you know, to see his daughter for the first time and, you know, I'm always looking looking past with one of the one of the biggest lessons I ever learned when I was in college was his name, I was I actually message ...

this guy he's, a photographer and kansas city, and I was hoping to get the photo that actually that actually like it's burned into my brain on this lesson but he couldn't find it it was too long ago but his name is dave hewlett and he's a photographer too can see star and he's just a really amazing photojournalists then he talked to our class at the university of kansas in college and I remember one thing one example and it just stuck with me for so long it's the idea of looking past would staring you in the face right? That has been massive lesson for me and I'm going to I'm going to mention that in a in a day threesome or talk about it but that's what this that's what this photo kind of exemplifies right it's like it's like when I go to a venue and like the venue persons like and over here we have a nice gazebo that everybody loves take pictures at right and I do a complete one eighty and my god that I think I'll go this way you know it's like it's like tryingto get be unexpected and look past with sarah me in the face and his example that there's this stuck in my brain was there's a photo of joe montana right? The football player right hey played for the can say cheese for a really short period of time, I guess and uh is a photo of joe montana's first day as a chief and he's coming out of the tunnel and the images shot from the back so you know, his jersey with montana, the tunnel and in front of joe montana is like eighty photographers and I love love, love love that photo I wish I could see it again and I'm like I'm like that's the epitome of looking past staring in the face every other photographers in the front shooting the expected photo of him coming out and I don't know if dave was the only one or maybe there's a couple, but he's in behind him and he's telling the story better because it's such a big deal and all the media was covering that and I think that's just an amazing example I've had a look past was staring in the face, and this is what this was it's like, you know, I got the images of ah, dad reacting to her, but then it's, like I started looking around and I saw mom in the back corner, you know, being being emotional about what's going on, I know you can't see right? And so, you know, it's, just a huge all these little lessons you know, I love showing you guys examples that kind of like, of all the lessons I've learned and how they paid off for me in the end, so hopefully you'll be there and it's just it's just you know it's all about those those those fragile moments and how quickly and how insignificant something can feel but it's really important I was I just shot this okay I'm sorry this one was shot on role so I just I just shot this I don't know a couple months ago maybe so I rode with her and her dad to the to the ceremony and and what happened though was is that her maid of honor rode in the car with us and she killed all the moments right? Not on purpose wasn't like you know and but having that third person in the car changes how people interact together does that make sense right? And so they were talking with her and I got you excited and you know and it was fun and everything but I could tell that the dad and daughter were wanting like there's a moment about toe happen I can just tell the way they're looking at each other but it would be awkward to be like, you know, start gushing about each other with that other person in the car let alone me right? And so all of a sudden he stopped at a stoplight and I'm getting ready and I got two frames of this and he just turns to her and he goes like this and then she just you know, fist bumps him and I'm like that didn't feel like your typical like yeah dude let's do this it didn't feel feel like that to me all right and I had no idea I didn't know that like that's what they do all the time no clue but it felt like a moment and I was watching anticipating something and turns out you know she loves that picture in it and it is something they do all the time together um and that was on her wedding day and it's just a really quick and I literally hit that image and I was like I got something of her and her dad and I was so happy for that you know? So the bottom line is just like that bridesmaid you know, there's a thing that brandon and I when we come back from weddings we talked about the idea of ah moment killers okay we're like oh uh that that coordinator she's a moment killer or so in such is a moment killer whatever right don't talk bad about people were just like yeah, they just kind of killed a moment well, I'm not talking about like don't be a moment killed her right? You know you think let it happen you know it's it's it's so so important get out of your head even if it's your style that you want teo you have to produce certain images for the client at least try and make that at least do that where you're not doing it right in the middle of a potential really good moment between people does that make sense right find a time to be like okay you know what? I cannot deal with the fact that you're going to put your dress on in a closet okay? I can't I can't deal with it I gotta I gotta have this beautiful light over here I'm not tyler working I don't care I'm going to do it like perfect right but get to that ahead of time at least I pray and I ask of you is get them suggested them where they want to start and then just let it unfold from there you know just don't tell me you did that right but you know that's that's what I'm asking because it's just like you know brandon who's with working films he he said it's so awesome because if he comes back he shoots with a lot of the photographers not just me and so he comes back with like all these stories and I think it's really fascinating to be quite honest with you he actually says that he was going toe eventually produce what he calls the are we done yet riel and what that is is he because he's not with the bride and groom doing portrait time right but the wedding parties all waiting for them to get done and he has like on film all these bridal parties are always like way done yet right and he's like he's like he's like I never ever once have I heard that from one of your weddings because when when we do wedding party photos we get him done ridiculously fast and move on because you know what in the end those guys don't want to run around take picture they want to go drink you know? So it just kind of funny but so this is he he sent me he would he would like kind of facebook and he sends me some clips on dh these air these were just really good examples I think that kind of show what he witnesses on dh you guys need to decide if that's an inn you know important for you you know I think it's certainly important in my opinion. Right? So anyway, this is this's, the maid of honor and she's she's she's crying while while there I think they put the veil on maybe or the or the bride was looking in the mirror at herself okay, but she's so she's off off off to the side crying and so you know, she's crying for a moment and then the the photographer noticed that she was crying and then asked her if she would move and walk over in front of the bride so it made it look like they were having a moment together and I know you know in the end is it you know you could debate if that's really a problem right? You could be like it's not a big deal I mean there it's her maid of honor or whatever I mean they're really close they probably had moments like that together, you know? But you know, I just don't know I just don't know if that to me it's not right because I don't know what their relationship is I don't know if there's a cz close as they really are, you know? And you might be like forcing something that's like maybe not happening I don't know but I just I just think you need to work hard to make that photo happen on your own without doing that and so try and get a frame of her crying with her friend in the foreground or something like that it's doable you just got a you just gotta kind of hustle, I guess, but even so this next thing is a clip andi it's it's kind of not like crazy obvious of what's going on but I need youto watch the moms face okay, this isn't my example of how to anticipate when moments are goingto happen is you have to watch and get pay attention to what people are doing right? So if you watch the mom's face, you can see how she's starting something's starting to build when she's getting her daughter dressed but then there's ah ah the moment gets stopped because the photographer said okay everybody get together let's take a photo during during that moment and I just want you to kind of watch and see see how how on the cusp she wasn't something and then how it all of a sudden it gets stopped because the the because the photographer you know jumped in and and that control thing okay uh ford lovett um mom there is no actually it is okay for under the palms uh yeah, they are there on the floor by the window waiting did you see that? Did you see her face she's a god and then as soon as that photographer chimed in she's she got snapped out of it. You know, and missing moments are so so fragile. Yes question like going back to like what? You get the shot of the father and daughter in the car and you're driving the car with them to the ceremony do you just like, shut up and not say a word and kind of like a fly on the wall type of thing so you're just trying not to run it yeah so they almost forget about you they told you forget about me, okay, right, you know, like kelly said in that video and she's like I mean they don't totally forget about me I mean it's pretty obvious that I'm there like like it's like who's that creepy guy in the corner with the camera you know but you know I'm not I'm not a fly on the wall to be quite honestly I hate that when people said well I'm a fly on the wall mike I'm like I cannot hide myself you know so but there's certain things I do that kind of you know let them forget about me you know and and you just you just can't you can't break that you know and so there's there's there's there's often mean many, many, many, many times when I shoot I during a moment like I literally eye reacts to nothing I say nothing I don't look at them none of that right because what that's going to do is basically that's going toe it's going it's always like what have logs dawg you know where it's like you keep doing that people are going to apparently they want me to look at him you know, it's just training these people about what, what, what that means and then often times and you'll see it tomorrow on that live shoot when I was when you see me shooting happens a lot right on dh there was and there's times were like something bad will happen or even something but I don't like a little story the girl from fromthe live shoot his her son ran into the back of me and my lens hit his face and he started crying and I didn't say sorry I just started shooting even though I shouldn't because it was because of me but then a little bit later I'm gonna tell mike anybody has your head you good sorry about that you know so I always make sure it's like shoot first ask questions later it's like shoot first connect later does that make sense? You know I mean it's hard because you're human but you know what? I get to the point where I'm like you know what though they'll get over it and if I can if I can fix it before I leave then they're not going to remember that they were pissed off at me that makes sense yeah so anyway um another one this one this one was just from the air day and this really blew my mind and a funny thing so I showed this clip to my son alex who's eight right is he's actually going to be nine tomorrow around to say so why should I showed this clip to alexa's? I was just like showing pam and alex my son and alex is is why and he goes, what just happened and he goes he goes, did that photographer ruin that moment? And I said maybe I don't know it seems like it you know, I don't know exactly what happened and I go I would imagine that that's who's did that and he goes I saw it I thought that was pretty interesting, you know? But anyway, um and again is that moment ruined technically no, right? I mean, it really isn't you still have a photos of her dressing them but you just never know how much better that moment could be and something might happen that might come about does that make sense? You know? So anyway, this one is like, ridiculously crazy so they are doing a shot of diet coke. All right, why would you do that? So and, you know, the photographer did not come up with this idea. It was a groomsman that's that's. So basically my whole thing is don't let others big moment killers either, right? It's like friends don't let friends drive drunk you know friends don't let their friends the moment killers on dh so it's like the groom where the prison was like, hey, this be awesome idea let's do a picture like we're doing a shot and he asked the bartender teo poor diet coke into the shot glasses and they took the shot even patrons in the bar were like and literally you can hear in the back and be like that's, not riel right? And the photographer took a picture of it because because they wanted the photography a picture of it right? So you can't fall to the photographer by any means but it's like this happens to me all the time all the time some bridesmaids like have a great idea and I have two very nicely figure out a way to get around it because you know, brandon even said he's like the photographer is totally fine I mean, the photographer shot it because you know, they asked her to take a picture of it and it's like it's like I go I go yeah, but dude, I go do you think that I would have let that mike slide and he's like no, you would have figured out a way and so how do you how do you get around situations like that without being a jerk? You know, and completely ruining every referral base you have on and I probably what's happened to me to be quite honest with you, but it just it just it just goes against the core of who I am, you know, so I would have been like a man, you know what? Don't worry about that let's just what you just hang out and I'll capture a real moment between you and your friends there's something like that, you know, like, oh yeah, good point every time I say that, they usually I can usually figure out a way to be nice about it and kind of work around the situation. But it but it's. But it's, usually a big deal for for people in this service industry, it's. Almost like I have to just, like, be like, okay, I know better. So let's not do it.

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!

Reviews

a Creativelive Student
 

Tyler calls 'em like he sees'em. He gets it: capture the emotion, the expression, the feelings of a wedding without preoccupation with perfect posing, perfect lighting, perfect camera settings. An image of a father's expression seeing is daughter in her dress for the first time is far more important than trying to get it framed just right. Anticipate. Watch. Don't interrupt a moment. This is a great series to refocus on the true meaning of why we shoot weddings.

CardinalGary
 

Tyler Wirken clearly has a lot to say, a point of view worth hearing, and a photographic talent worthy of our admiration. He is not a classroom instructor. His whole three day presentation could have been done in a day, maybe a day and a half, with spectacular results by a talented instructor . In a course about visual results he uses mostly redundant words, missing repeated opportunities to get his good points across by visual example. His video showing him shooting the couple and family in a reconfirmation ceremony was excellent and the points well reinforced by an interview with the couple while reviewing their pictures. The three sessions in which he was joined by Ben Chrisman to critique submitted photos was also informative and valuable as Chrisman added a crispness to the presentation that Wirken most often lacks. Even in these thirty minutes sessions, they could have included more photos. It may well have helped, if they'd prepared rather than ad-libbed those sections. Prior to the joint sessions, Wirken critiques the work of selected members of the live CL audience in 30 minute segments. His comments while valid, instructive and worthwhile became too harsh and even a bit petty as he spent too much time on a very small sample of the work. That section would have been more valuable had he been more selective in his critique so we students would walk away with one or maybe two memorable items from each photo. As a CL fan and owner of many of their courses, I have to say this is one of the more poorly presented. To the interested student, watch the free example and what you see is what you will get for three days. Yes, the subject is a valuable one and the results of the photojournalistic approach are wonderful, but you'll fast forward the last day and miss all the salient points.

Jivefree
 

For anyone interested in shooting a wedding from a true documentary style approach, this class is for you. Tyler's style may not be for everyone, but I seriously loved this class so much and found it so inspiring. I've attended many in person wedding workshops that were heavily focused on shooting editorial style and capturing the details more so than real moments, because thats what seems to get you published in the wedding industry these days, but I find so much of that lacking heart. Tyler's approach on the other hand is all about capturing the real moments that unfold during the day. His images are so full of heart, emotional and tell a beautiful story.