Documentary Wedding Photography: Capturing Reality

Lesson 20 of 36

Trusting Yourself

 

Documentary Wedding Photography: Capturing Reality

Lesson 20 of 36

Trusting Yourself

 

Lesson Info

Trusting Yourself

Another thing about gaining trust is you not only have to gain trust from the couple once you gain trust from the couple, you have to trust yourself that's, big, big, big, big, big, big and so you gain trust, you get, you get their trust and then you trust yourself, right? So this is my favorite wedding to talk about my favorite wedding to show, and I think, quite possibly the best wedding I've ever shot, all right? And I got paid two thousand dollars to do it, ok? I'm not kidding like it was awesome. I had a good friend of mine eyes pass student and she's up in minnesota, shelly and she wrote me and she's like, hey, friends of mine are getting married in kansas city, but they just don't have much to spend. Do you have any recommendations? It's on a thursday? And I'm like, I don't know, not really, and I'm like I was quite frankly, I was building a land rover at the time and I needed two thousand dollars for a rear axle I kid you not that's, how I got the money and the price and I said...

, you know what, let me meet with them and it's on a thursday, I'll meet with him. And I came in and I and I told him that flat out I know you're probably wondering why I'm meeting with you because you know, they're like yeah, you charge more than two thousand dollars and I said I said, this is the case I I need money for part for my truck and on thursday I thought I'd talk to you and they appreciated that right? And then I was like and then I started talking to me and I'm like, oh my god, this is gonna be an amazing wedding, right? They are very faith driven um they're basically a d I why what? And everything was being done by them, right? And then she told me yeah you know the kiss at the end of the ceremony and I was like, yeah that's really an unimportant picture I tell this almost everybody I meet like the kisses like michael jordan you know, when michael jordan the picture of him like this it's not of him dunking right it's of him like this, right? So the peak moment of the ceremony is not the kiss the kiss is it's over is that you're married done dung, right? So to me the kiss pictures kind of pointless I shoot it anyway, but whatever I go but if I miss it I miss it's no big deal and they go well you know it's kind of important for us it's gonna be the first time we've ever kissed I don't like all right all right all right all right all right you know what right you know and so I'm like you know that was a big deal so I had to I had to shoot this by myself I had no assistant I had just me and my cameras and it was amazing to me because there was no wedding things around it there was no like you know venue coordinators all these people having to do what they do of course but that kind of starts to affect the scene just me shooting this wedding and had to trust myself and had to make really good decisions and so I'm looking at the story and like so here's them you know her walking down with their dad and then her grand parents are on the same frame right um this next photo is quite possibly one of my favorite photos I ever shot during the ceremony during the prayer I get one tear roll down her face and this is when left is your left his light right his dark was happening because you know that first picture with airplane like this they would be up in the light down in the shadows up in the light down in the sense that I stood like this things and do things and go zing, zing things english, right? That's what I did because I knew how many clicks each way had to go, right? So that's, what happened? She went in the light and I shot that. I got it right and I was right up on stage. And I'll tell you how I how I cloak to myself, right? But it's awesome stuff. I mean, awesome, awesome stuff with the with the, you know, communion and then the kiss comes along and I'm like, oh, boy, I gotta get that right so I didn't I didn't want to stay up on stage, but this is why I was able to be up on stage so much see that curtain of, like, strands it gave me a shield right and gave me freedom to not be worried about being in the way, and I could just sit behind that. And then when it and then when something happened, I would just kind of took up through their shooting, and I just kind of returned back, right? And I was thankful for that because it gave me that freedom, so but what I had to do was I had to make a decision. Do I shoot this from the front, I shoot it from the back door, I shoot it from the side and I knew it had to get it so I didn't go for a great composition eyes ran out there don't you know, when I was getting close, I got out there, I got my position and I went for the kiss right? And I actually didn't get the kiss because the kiss is the dunkin this one when you kiss somebody, is it that it's that excitement right before you're about to kiss them that's the moment you know what I mean? And so and so I did that once they kissed they were so happy right? I love it anyway love this photo tell so much about him and how much he loves her and cares about her they were going to go into the reception and do some dances in that cup is red kool aid because they don't drink and they went in there by themselves and just kind of dance real quick together with the kids watching and he danced, holding the cup away from from her dress love that moment, write her and her sister with the with the bible holding hands I'm in the exit, right? You know and I had to do this all by myself and I walked out and I called my wife pansies how'd it go on like it was really good and I go I made a lot of really good decisions today I didn't say got great pictures. I was more proud of my decisions I made and what's funny is shelly told me later that she was talking about the photos, and she sent the photos to some friends of hers that, like, we're there and I look at these photos, look how great they are, and I was wearing this thing at the time and the person's like, who shot those photos and she's like, was it the guy in black with the fanny pack like it wasn't a fanny pack and she's like, wow, that's really interesting, because all day long, I was just really surprised at how many moments he was missing, right? It just goes to show that there's probably a bunch of stuff that I miss at a wedding, but you know what? When you, when you focus in on the story, it can lead aged to the photos that are going to really matter, you know, right? So I trusted myself. I trusted my instincts on that one. Um, so final example almost done, uh, wedding day, bride and groom. So this is trusting me that I trusting myself when the client doesn't always trust me completely, okay, so bottom line is I'm the professional. I know what's gonna work I learned this from a broad that came in and just had a meeting with one of the best or the probably the best one of the best florist in kansas city's name is dan miners and I learned a lot from him and she says I don't know a damn myers michael that's awesome how to go she's like it was really great awesome is kind of weird though because he's like I told him I wanted white roses no red roses and uh and he goes no you don't you think of course I do he's like no, I'll show you what you want and she's like he was right an interesting right? So you're the probe so I go in weddings happening on the day of the wedding I learned that great grandma and grandpa paul married her hair in the hospital that day they grandma had a heart issue or something got into the house hospital thirty or so minutes later an hour whatever grandpa had the same problem he got into the same hospital so that they couldn't come to the wedding so after the ceremony is over grandma are the couple goes hey instead of portrait's, can you go see my grandparents in the hospital and now like inside? I'm like jumping up and down like a you know I'm like yes, that will be perfectly fine right? So we went grandma I come in and grandma you know it's just kind of like you know you know grandma's are like I don't look all right you know but she was really cool cute cute, awesome moment she's showing her toes that she got painted for the wedding too all the all the people there I wish I would've shot this little bit better but I love it it's just still awesome right? So then we went down to see grandpa grandpa was a little out of it um we were in there and he was I was shooting whatever it was kind of didn't understand was going on and finally the groom looked at me and he goes and there's nothing worse right? I just broke that trust and I'm like yeah, no problem no problem so I back out but I kept shooting and I kept shooting through it from the outside of the room and and I think that that picture ended up in the album right? And so I trusted myself that I'm the pro and I know that this picture matters even though you said no it's like I'm still going to say I'm so gonna listen to you but I'm still gonna keep shooting right and I can always in the end excuse myself for something big easy to ask for forgiveness than permission you know deb nothing right always trust yourself so just getting close getting in there a friend of mine janina talked about his her son bought this with his own money to school fair to carry the ring in and my other friend virna was the officiant she's a photographer and I literally was like so in there for this photo that vernon felt me like rubbing up against your leg but I wasn't it the whole time, but I had to get this photo, you know, just getting in their trust yourself that photos like this with a thirty five in the face is going to matter, right? Mom hugging them mom and sister hugging her after she got a dress put on right in there on the ceremony of my friend eric showing the story you know you can't shoot this from the other side of the couple in my opinion, it has to stay there, so that is, I kind of like I went a little fast at the end, but you get the trust, you know, you got to trust yourself, you gotta be like, you know what? What I'm doing is right. I really believe that, you know, I'm not harming anybody, I'm not, you know, no blood, no foul, you know, just go for it and get in there and trust yourself once you get there trust, though, as you saw as you heard from courtney, it basically, in theory, it's? Like, if I get the head honchos trust and they and their permission, I can go for it, you know? So so, uh, leading to the building to trust before the actual wedding day, you know, you should use the engagement shoot is part of that. But do you also, um you have, like questions I think you mentioned about you do a questionnaire? Like how many, like, kind of correspondences tickets do you have? Yeah, when I'm initially just, you know, inquire with you should do question, but I'm lazy. No, I think you know, we have we have the console, our consulates take about two and half hours. Questions no that's the first consul when they first come to meet with us about shooting their wedding. Ok, right that's the person close that way also have a planning meeting which takes about two and a half hours or so before the wedding and then just general like engagement session. So in essence, I'm spending almost more time with them before the wedding that I am with them on the way. Okay, all right. And that and that's where that trust comes through, you know, and so people always ask him, like, why are you more expensive? Well, because I'm spending three times more time essentially on this then you know then I then they're not you know so yeah ok good thinks so rainbow is would like to know how you gained the trust of the parents you know I don't trick there and often times I don't think it happens like it should on died had to believe that they're going they're going to get it when when when when they see the photos right like what kelly said on that video where like you know her father in law was adamant about doing this way then when he saw the photos he's like you know so the other way I do things is I just am very respectful to them obviously I'm rescheduling everybody but I'm very respectful to them and I always like talk to them or if something you know after at the end of everybody and I make sure to say goodbye to mom and dad and I say to them your your daughter's amazing or whatever you know just kind of rio and I got some really great moment say thank you for letting me be be a part of your life right right right how are you how often are you asking permission as opposed to apologizing and what's what's that what what do you think I think it's probably think it's probably got a lot of that yeah that's what I'm asking forgiveness how often do I ask permission? Like the time I asked permission is, I never asked permission during the day, except for, like church people or whatever. I try and figure that stuff out. We're like, if I need a ride in a car like, hey, you mind if I jump in there, whatever, but with the couple. I never asked her in the day, because as soon as I asked for that permission, the moment it comes, it becomes about meat, right, and doesn't become about their moment. Does that make sense? Absolutely it's like, hey, can I come with you, you know? And then they're like, oh, yeah, now it. Now it becomes a photo shoot in their mind, right? You know.

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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