Documentary Wedding Photography: Capturing Reality

Lesson 6 of 36

The Beauty of Being Pure

 

Documentary Wedding Photography: Capturing Reality

Lesson 6 of 36

The Beauty of Being Pure

 

Lesson Info

The Beauty of Being Pure

I'm going to talk about this kind of gets into it a little bit david actually that is a perfect greasing the wheels like that okay, so this is the beauty of being pure okay why I think this style is so good for me so you know, like I said, I'm not creative right? So creativity khun b at a minimum no it's just because I mean like it's so funny it's like on the wedding day it's like it's like it's you know, the ceremony is starting to end and I'm like I'm getting anxious and I got there I gotta be creative now I've got to cope with portrait ce you know it's like that's the part I hate because I just I don't know what to do I know what to do but I want it I know I guess I guess I don't know what to do I know what to do I can do really great portrait and you're going to see a couple of mine and these next three days but I know it could be more you know I'm saying like like, you know, the more you know, you know the more you know, the more you know, the more you're like, you know, man, it c...

ould be better to be better and when it's a moment I had no control over it, I can't change it to make it any different s o so I kind of like that you know the images in turn are really personal and very customized to the client they have meaning and they can stand stand the test of time right? Plus it doesn't have to do with anything about prettiness right? So sadly, only only maybe you can answer this is you it's got more than one wedding but you know how many times have you felt anxious when you get to a place like this venues there's no pretty light there's crap everywhere have you ever had that kind of happened to yeah, you know, it happens to a lot of people right? And I don't care it's great it's raining cool bring it on right? I have nothing can affect me on the day except for crappy light right? And I and the knights had to embrace it and I had some really hard light on that on that life shoot but I was really happy that I came. So so none of that stuff matters, you know, on dh so basically it's like it does like automatically customize this to them and that's what makes that my style consistent, right? But you know, not predictable, you know that you know that quote I was talking about because itjust customized it to them so this is one of my favorite stories of this and I tell this in almost every way and to this I got to change all my speeches because everything that you've been there you know I own that one but um s so so morra and brent came to me I love this couple and she's from her parents live in vegas and she's like we're going this awesome great wedding we're going to go to vegas we're going to this cool fun crazy stuff and did it I don't like awesome yeah fantastic so then I don't know a couple months later after book in me she sends me the most like change of plans I'm like oh all right what's up like um we're going to get married in cannes city like okay um and we're gonna get married at the church that I grew up in, okay, great and the reception is going to be in the gym, the basketball gym of that school that I went to and I'm like great, so so we're not going to vegas, you know? And she said no and I'm like all right, awesome, you know? And I'm like okay, well that's a little bit different and you know what? It was fan freaking tastic you know I love this wedding and because you know, maura is just awesome this is something she doing with her bridesmaids while she's waiting to go into the ceremony right it's just fantastic, you know? And so I finally it just proved to me that you know, moment driven photography is not dependent on just being pretty right I think that the wedding industry is so caught up in everything being pretty right and fashion driven and I just I honestly believe that it's about it's it's not it's kind of missing the point it's kind of not it's not the priority in my opinion it's certainly not my priority as you can tell, I am a fashionista right? This is like a gap shouldn't gap by old navy shirt from I don't know whatever right and so and so that's just not what I value right? I value family and I value moments and I value story and I value history, family history and stuff like that so therefore that's what I'm going to look for, right? And so to me it works out perfect because it doesn't matter plus everyone is different one waiting you have some brian doing something funny the next wedding you have maura in the bathroom trying to dry her face I'm one of those and you guys seen those right where you go like it doesn't work for a face, right? But but it's it's freaking hilarious, you know? So like I heard I heard some laughter's I just poked my head in the bathroom and like that's love photos like that like that's us so her you know and they have they have at least one kid now maybe to that question and you know if I was I mean can you imagine brandon my uh uh my film you know film guy the work and I say I say my film guy but he's not my film guy but you know from work in films he he says it best and he's he's he's much more eloquent about this than I am at meetings but but he says he says basically it's like he's like I want to approach films right because he does films in the exact same way right there's no sliders there's no you know chibs um there's you know it's just straight forward documentary storytelling and he's like he's like the bottom line is he's like I think I want this film to be like if I I wish that I had found I wish I had a wedding film of my grandpa like this so I could see how he was I could see how he moved how he talked, how they interacted together you know it's like it's like that's the whole thing it's like that's for people down the road to watch this and really understand who they're people were you know and that and that's what we do and I think this is funny if I saw my mom doing this but that's so hilarious by then though, there can't have like dry I like like water that just like it's fine like water you know it's like your hands and then the kids make you used to have to actually dry your hands you know it's just gonna be kind of funny buddy so yes so they got they got they got married in a in a gym and so here they are getting ready to be announced right? And so you know, the other thing too is and I might be getting ahead of myself but they you know, you you have teo I'm basically shooting a wedding by myself I haven't assistance last second shooter but they don't they don't shoot they she shoots from the beginning of the day till the end of the ceremony and then from there she just assists me the rest time with lighting and stuff and you know, my assistants are are are newer to photography so they're covering it but I'm essentially on the hook for all the important big moment stuff like that and so I have to make decisions on where I'm going to be and I was like, well, I can either be inside the doors, which would make sense right? Because that's when they're gonna come in and be like hey married write but I decided I wanted to stay outside I wanted to take a risk and because we once said to me riskin risk versus reward right? And so I took a risk of being outside the gym and it paid off because I got this photo right that's welcome to stay in an home home of the tigers right and it's kind of funny gets her arms up and there's like couple arms up you know and it's like to me that says oh much more than just a wedding couple like any other wedding couple walking into their reception and I missed the facial expression of her doing that right? But but it but it's really fantastic to me to tell this story and that's the school she went to right? And then I went to the bathroom and I saw this right? And so I love this photo because it's kind of like I'm like come on people I know you're trying to put leg mints in the candle there but it's still it's kind of like putting lipstick on a pig you know, like it's still it's just not gonna work and I think that I think that's hilarious like I'm just showing what it is you know, there's the gym with all the, uh drapery on the basketball goals and stuff and there's plastic chairs and there's in there in the vacated in barbecue and you know, but it's like it's like it didn't bother me one bit those people were so amazing and their moments in their family and all that stuff was so great that it I'm like you know what but you know I was still was able to make some some beautiful images of them during their wedding you know and and I just it's just it's it's freeing to me not to worry about that kind of stuff here's another another example that I think is uh it was it was really huge for me um really really huge for me and I and I I have I have kind of kind of ah come to my a couple of my own conclusions about this because I just don't know that you know the whole truth but but I but I think I'm spot on so this is monique this is monique that's her dad that's their dog with as little talks thing on you see that andi I shot her wedding a few years ago and she's in a suspicious an amazing person and it was down in a small town right um and there wasn't really anything like visually amazing about this wedding in terms of like the venues or the venue it was basically like a community centre where they had the reception on the church itself like that but it was huge for me because I started to realize that you know looks aren't everything and it was a massive lesson for me because what happened was I was getting dressed and so I was I was sitting in there with her and she's and she's getting dressed and she's dressed and she's about to go to the ceremony and she looks into the mirror I'm trying to remember exactly actually she she looks into the mirror and she's like what the beep am I doing what the hell am I doing? You know and I'm like I didn't answer was not well, I don't know, you know but uh it was really it was it was it was really interesting to me because I am I just can't let go whatever happens people, they get nervous whatever, uh, we had some formals plan in some portrait time planned and after the ceremony after she walked to the sermon, she wants this certainly with her dad. So this so this is this is her kissing her dad in the uh, you know, before they went, um, you know, they got to the ceremony great moment when her dad gives her away, you know, it's pretty fantastic, but after, you know, have to the ceremony um, she, um she she decided teo cut all the portrait sw she's like, we're not doing any formal is we're not doing any portrait's and I'm like, wonderful great let's go, you know, I don't know why she did I don't I don't I don't have any idea to be going to be quite honest with you and so I was like, okay, we just kept rolling with it and we got some just great great moments you know, here she is in the back here they are in the back of the bus with her woodchuck hard apple cider or whatever that stuff is right um and and I'm just I'm just like I'm just going for it I love this photo by the way I totally love this photo and and you know, it just exemplifies totally what's going on and what happened that time and who they are this photo's fantastic um k kidding like I just love stuff like this right? I'll move over here and I want you so um I just totally, totally love stuff like this and you know, I just I just I just I just need to embrace it right? This is this photo does not look like much to you, okay? It's very it's. So, um I'm going to call a spade a spade, right? And so were paper town at this wedding this wedding's in a small town in missouri it might be a couple of rednecks there and and get old boys and so they were trying to at this community center they were trying to figure out a way to show there to turn on the projector to show their slideshow you've seen that right where they also do they do that yesterday so what they do just get they do a thing and whatever but they couldn't figure out how to turn the projector on and they couldn't find the organizer for the community center so literally their friends take took a butter knife and they're trying to jimmy the lock to get into the closet it's it's like that is hilarious like that's that's something that I would be telling people for years to come about my wedding but yeah, we had tto jimmy the lock to get the thing you know? So I love and this and these air in there bruce I love stuff like that and so and so anyway so, uh we go you know, wonderful great moments of all her stories sisters around her you know, um then laughing during the toast love this guy on the right because it's so funny this's always what happens that I don't know I said duty till ares but all these people is totally what happens at weddings, right? Nobody cares like nobody gives a crap that something's going on look at this girl's overhere talking this guy's totally bored, right and that's usually what happens when the first dance isn't it like first dance and then everybody in the background just like is the bar open yet you know so anyway unless it's a really nice first dancer really great speech nobody really pays attention you nobody likes so I find somebody that really funny um speaking of hers dances you know here's here's the first dance um fortunately for me they turned a row of the force and lights off I was like nice this is literally force that we lit thing right um but I just went for it you know I got in there and just show really great moments of of humanity and people and what it means to be alive that was really cheesy but you know, I'm kind of cheesy sometimes um embrace what you've been given you know and I learned all these lessons for other people we we did a workshop at my studio one time and he he showed a picture that he put into people's proofs of an empty dance floor right dance was empty he goes what was happening sure like it's happening right and so you know, embracing you've been given I really liked this photo of the kids dancing I was ableto really work the light you know and people like most evil like that's horrible light no long as there's light like like what's your favorite kind of light like light you know it's like I don't care I don't care where it's coming from I don't care what it is as long as it's there because I was shooting that valerie here on thursday right? And I live in and there's all these photographers were in the crowd like a couple for a gal from foundations set meal with these people and I'm like it was like this amazing light and I'm like is this is this what it's like to shoot in seattle and they're like yeah pretty much it's either this or it's great it's easy you know mike wow I go why don't you come to kansas city where I'm at sixty four hundred at one eight at like six feet of a second all day long? You know, I just want I just want light right? And so I'm just trying to tell stories and trying to make images that matter to them she totally loves this photo of her dad right he's huge into cigars and that's just what he's about and I went down there and so I knew that so I saw them out there smoking cigars so I went out there and I shot with the flash and just you know, try to do some like, you know, cool back light smoke shenanigans you know, I'm saying right and then I and I finally just like you want to try something and I just sat up there and waited for this to happen and waiting for you to take a dragon that little number you know but he knows she loves that and she didn't know and it was not on her list to me I want a silhouette picture but my dad smoking a cigar you know it's like, you know it's just it's just what it is and so and so what's what's really awesome is you just kind of show what's happening? Is that the end? Because that guy's in there holding the chinese lanterns I love stuff like that right? I love stuff like this um and then we went to a bar afterwards and for me totally love this photo, right? So look at that guy on the right like there is some interview beer bottle and they're just and they just went to the bar and they just and then they just were dancing together and it's like I love totally loved that photo and that is a photo of their wedding but it's not of their wedding, you know, and it's just totally brings you into who they are and where they're from and what they're about and then you throw in some funny dude dancing like this and it's and it's and it's awesome, you know? And so the reason why I talk about monique ce story and why this is a huge lesson for me was she so uh a few months after seeing your wedding I was meeting with another client, a potential client and I ask she asked me for references and I said all right so I sent her monix name I just shot my niece named go talk to monique that girl ended up hiring me and and she said and she sent me monique email okay, right and I'm like that's cool whatever I never get this kind of insight so I'm reading it you know and it's all about like tyler's amazing but nobody ever lasted that joke but maybe I need to change it up but so they're like like you know, you know blah blah blah blah blah and there's just one sentence that leapt off the page and like slapped me in the face and my stomach just sink and it said it said monique said to her I would say that about eighty percent of the pictures I don't like the way I look and in my home right? Would you freak out if you got somebody that said that right? And then the next sentence said but it doesn't matter to me because I remember how I felt and that's more important than how I looked and I'm like that was a massive shift for me where I'm like you know what? I can't worry about this I can't worry about a double chin or ah funny face or whatever you know and I think that that's the complete opposite of what most people who do this business think about you know, do I want to make flattering pictures of people? Of course right? And I will and I do make flattering pictures of people but if it's not flattering in the moment strong enough I don't care and I'll put it in their proofs you know the moment trumps everything and even trump's focus which is not hard for me to do but it so you know and that's and that's and that's ultimately you know, that was a huge huge huge lessons for me and I wonder I wonder if she cut her cut her portrait's because of that you know, I don't know I don't know when they like to find out anybody'd be and be kind of hard tio bring that up you know but she's such a strong, amazing, wonderful person she's a nurse now she's just at the wedding she got she got sort of I was a nurse and she's just such a great human being you know that I think she would be okay you know, but I don't know I just thought it was a huge lesson for me and and hopefully that will inspire you guys as well, you know? So end of segment well transition part of a segment transitioned are you up for a few questions? Yeah, great cool all right, so this one has been reading to make sure you're not like embellishing no it's here, it's one of the comments was like, how did tyler get so to be so sexy? That was one of her comments. Really? From I get her phone number. Yeah, yeah, no. It's okay, so all right, so lindsay wolfe photography says and a lot of folks have voted up this question how do you feel about pinteresque brides? I have a lot of clients who pin a lot and want those images on their wedding day. How do you approach this? I had to do with it. Okay? I'm quite frankly, I've never had to deal with it. It's part of the conversation, right? I never bring it up. Nobody ever brings it up. Pinchers I've never gotten a photo. I've actually heard of other people, other photographers getting my photos and people say, can you shoot like this? You know, but it's no, but I have I don't never deal with it, you know? Because I don't think my my brides, quite quite frankly, I think a lot of my brides are kind of like anti brides. Yeah, you know, like some of them, I just don't think they I would basically how how would I deal with it though I don't know, you know, I I probably be like you know well, you know that's great now but I need you to explain how I do it and then you know, I think it's just best if you just let it let it be yeah, and then we just allow ourselves to be surprised awesome great that's great. And if we're going if any of these questions we're gonna get to later in the workshop just slap my hand okay, so bogner would like to know what about those bride's they're dreaming about their vision, the vision, the vision brides same kind of a thing or how do you how do you have that that talk like what? You mean the right the brides were like, okay, so here's how I want this all to go? And then they just like tio, we're the ones that bring in the big binder tio I deal with it. I deal with a lot of things in humor. I've found that when I critique and when I mentor people you know, like like I could say something like really kind of like, touchy to you but then if I say kind of in a way that's kind of funny, those glasses are nice, but you know, but you know, I uh I would just you know, I would have to say something, you know it it kind of like if it doesn't fit my vision I guess is what I'm saying right if it's like because I've had I've had you know I do that in that in that console I start off in that console and I basically one thing I do is I ask everybody go what do you want from your wedding day? Okay, right and that they answer that rock then I either eh try to like sabotage the meeting because I don't want to say we don't we're not a good fit you know I had I had one girl one time say to me I just want to look good and I said I'm sorry, but I can't I can't guarantee that you and I go and and in the end she's like I don't think it's gonna work and I'm like I don't think I'm good for you you know? And so I just honesty like one hundred percent honest so you've had those conversations with folks and said, hey, you know, you know it's not it's not me it's you teo yeah, you know, I have you know, I've had to a few times but I also hive ways of I think it's awkward at a meeting to be like, you know, this is not working for me artists by situation you mean and so and so you know, deep down quite frankly I am a people pleaser on dh so I you know I don't want to make them feel awkward I don't want to make it weird moment and so I will honestly start just like really harping on points that I know they're going to hate okay does that make sense yeah so basically when they leave they're just going to be like yeah that's not gonna work for us you know but there's no there's no like embarrassment is no great that makes sense you know totally one of her folks want to know as a documentary photographer how do you anticipate the moments yeah that's the number one thing that is so hard to do yeah I remember learning that myself and this is why we because he's taught me what it was like you know it's got like you know like yellow notice it better what am I gonna teo just something's gonna happen here you know but actually it it totally comes a time I should talk to her her him sure we're not sure yet but uh you know it comes a time you know it's like it's like I won way you anticipate moments as you people watch all the time like I love people watching and I love trying to kind of like like you know just because I think people are funny so I do that but I think you know it so is it and then eventually you'll start to kind of start to see queues of how people are doing doing things and we're actually going to talk about that in the next segment I think pretty soon today okay? Point and I have a little video clip about that but it just comes from experience and from mike studying the human condition you know and just reacting to things and watch pay attention how you react to moments maybe you know, like like like how you can build up a moment and what's gonna happen and then how you hug and then how that hug ends you know, weddings are great testing ground for this yes, because the moments like somebody once said that doug has guy once said like I love weddings there's like there's like there's like a year's worth of moments in one day yeah, you know, so so it's kind of cool love it love it so yeah. So this is from okay the henning have you ever received negative feedback from a brian groom? And how do you do react to it and how do you deal with it? Yeah, that's happened. Um it's usually I'm trying to think how you deal with it is you is you you you just you just have to move on yeah, you obviously do with the client to make them as happy as you can, but you have to just you have to just move on, you can't win them all right? And that was another huge lesson for me from greg gibson. One time I thought I blew a wedding and there's my cousin's wedding, and I was like, in a panic attack and I go home, my god, it's not good enough and, you know, he says he says so I asked him because he's told me a whole little story about, um, how actually jackie onassis funeral, how he was him and one of the photographer, we're shooting it for the world, and it was almost over and he didn't grate didn't change a roll of film out because he's, like I got a had enough, you know? And he was shooting and then that's when visit john little john at the end when over and kissed his dad's grave, right in no film and then the other guys, right? And I'm like, I remember that I do. How do you deal with that? Like, how do you get past that? And and and you know, his his editor called him and he's like he's like, can you tell me how the photo journalist of your caliber can miss the photo of the century? You know it's like so my little problem was really minor so I called him and asked him and he says he says, you know you can't win them all you know, you just got to do your best and he says in your work he says the problem right now is you're in between levels so my work wasn't good enough for me but for me where I wanted to go it was good enough what I was doing you know? So so with the bottom line is you know, you just can't win them all you do everything you can to make them happy and then if that's not enough but you're like well, you know I don't want us to do and you learn you learn you learn from it totally but we're actually right yeah yeah yeah yeah you look next time you know, usually the only complaints I get r r r over not certain people not pictured somehow okay? Right? Yeah. You get a picture of my aunt so in such who sat at their table the whole time of the reception units everything I get those kind of complaints I never get a complaint about somebody about a moment, okay? You know, so that's that that's interesting it's usually about a portrait or something like that but used to your best move on and just learn

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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