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Shoot: Storytelling with a Bride and Groom

 

Fine Art Portraits

 

Lesson Info

Shoot: Storytelling with a Bride and Groom

We have a lot of fun coming up in this segment because well it's already looking fun over here because we have a bed we have dirt on the floor my special request they found when they brought me in that I pretty much constantly requested that dirt be brought in for various things so this is the first time that we're using it we're going to use it again tomorrow as well uh so what I'm doing here is a wedding shoot and it's something that I have actually done before like I've never done a senior portrait you know I don't typically dio commercial endeavors like that but with thiss you know I've got friends getting married and they want a photographer that's really cheap and that's me so s o I have shot a couple of weddings nothing nothing paid nothing that I'm trying to do you know just for fun but at the same time I got to learn a little bit about wedding photography and what the great thing has been about shooting my friends is that they say you know you can do whatever you want we just ...

need some you know keep pictures throughout the day but aside from not be creative so the first thing that I did when I shot my first wedding was I brought a bed out into a field and I decided that I would you know just do my thing but with a bride and groom so that's, what we're doing today, I'm doing a couple different setups that are really easy to do. It doesn't take a lot of time or effort to create this set. We're working on a seamless backdrop, which is something that I would not normally d'oh, but given that we're working in a studio situation, this was really perfect for what our goal is. With this set up, I wanted to have dirt on the floor because I didn't I want this to look like they were in a normal studio, I wanted it to look like a really cool set that sort of built around the couple instead of just using whatever space was available, so we have the dirt. I also coordinated colors as best I could. There are certain colors that I like to use in a picture I like this color for the backdrop for the bed. I'm going to be shooting them a little bit from above, so I wanted to have a really nice color palette behind them that was soft enough to read as a wedding, but still interesting enough so that it wasn't just white everywhere because I didn't want that to overwhelm the bride, I wanted the bride to stand out. So we're going to get started shooting here and this is just the first set up we're going to be adding vines in I'm going to be shooting this from a couple of different ways and posing the couple together so instead of working with just one model we're working with too and instead of working, you know, against a blank wall where I want to create tension I'm going to be posing them together in a way that's very elegant and so that's going to be more of the goal this time around so let's, grab the models in here awesome I got to buy a wedding dress for this very exciting okay, so I'm gonna have you guys hop up on the bed so yeah ride on that side if we want to get lots of light on her face here we go and I've already got my camera in place here oh, you guys look beautiful so I'm just going to take a shot to show you guys what this scene looks like through my camera you guys want to do anything but just sit there and look cute that's awesome and I'm just grabbing my focus, okay? So it's a little bit dark I'm going to need to switch that up a little bit but not too much and that's going to sound really weird because it is pretty dark in this image but I want to create that dramatic light so now that we have this main shot and I'm seeing that the couple looks great together, the lighting is how I want it I need to move on from there and figure out how to best show off their faces because I do want to get pretty light on their faces but I also want to create an interesting pose so I have it framed like this so then you can see the dirt on the floor I thought that was an interesting detail that I really liked but at the same time you can see the bed you can see the couple and I'm making sure that their faces are coming above this railing so we have the railing I don't want it to cover their faces in any way so the first thing that I want to dio I'm gonna have both of you guys on your knees and you can face me for now great, good, I know wedding dresses aren't easy, tio deal with okay good and move as close as you can together do you guys know each other? Okay? They know each other for cool. All right, so I'm just going to play with her dress a little bit and try to make it sorry it's a big wedding dress and I'm going to flow this out so that it looks really nice and elegant thank you. Now the reason why I'm doing this obviously is because she is a bride and on your wedding day you want to show off that dress because I know I've been married they I'm still married um they caused a lot of money and their beautiful so we want to make sure that we show that off. That looks really nice. Okay, now I'm going to see if they're close enough together through my camera. Okay, so I'm gonna have both of you shift over this way a little just trying to get you centered great. Okay, now, if I just have them sitting here staring at the camera, that could be a great shot to get you never know, so I'm going to go ahead and take that shot just while I have it here and I'm going to make sure that I'm getting my focus set, okay, there we go and they don't need to do anything but just sit there so that could be a really cool picture tohave just them staring at the camera, you know, on the bed but it's not something that I'm super concerned with getting that shot because to me it's boring, you know they're they are sitting there, they don't look happy, they don't look excited and I don't want them tio that's not what I'm going for, I'm going for love I'm going for an embrace something that's really really elegant so I'm going to keep positioning them from their now what I have to remember is that the white is a very direct source coming from the window so when I'm posing them I have to remember that I need to see light on both of their faces so I am going to make sure that you come forward a little bit for me good that way the light's gonna hit his face and I'm going to have you guys turned towards each other just a bit good you can actually keep your butt back that way yep and then just turn your upper body towards there so move in as close as you can good really get in there with our keep coming yet you khun like sit on top of her I give you permission great okay so I'm gonna have you take this armed you mind if I move you around okay so let me take this arm right underneath her here and have you guys pushing towards each other good yep just like that now I'm gonna have you turn your head this way good perfect and we're going to see how that looks in the camera good. All right, you can look at me perfect. Okay, so I'm just adjusting my camera a little bit just so then I am not cutting their heads off too much getting my focus great and I should have really nice light on both of them so let me just see how that picture looks when it comes out and they are a little bit far apart for me you know I want to see them really embrace but they're looking very nice very editorial at the moment which is good so I'm going to continue to move them around now I want to create angles so I'm going to go ahead and push your shoulder back just like this and then have this hand like that it's and then if you can pull this elbow away a little bit and then shoulder down great okay that's what I'm going for there so that we can get some variation of light and shadow on her arm I think that looks really nice wonderful and if you could just push your face against her cheek um facing this by still yep exactly wonderful no I'm going to move her hair again just because I want to see all the light on her face good perfect okay, that looks really nice now what I'm noticing now is that this pillow behind her is sort of blending into her dress. I don't like that I want to make sure that we can see the outline of the subjects so I'm just going to take these pillows away for right now and throw them over here okay and take another shot beautiful okay so that's looking really really pretty to me I like that one a lot more because of the light hitting her face I like that we can't see the groom very well that sounds really mean but it's all about the bride so as long as he's looking extremely interested in her that's what I want you are doing a great job but I feel it all right so this is one of the poses that I would do but then I'm going to take it a little bit further and I'm gonna have you guys up on your knees so you're facing each other on your knees I know you have a really hard job moving around in that dress I'm sorry okay good so I'm just going to come around to this side and pose you so why don't you move into her and go up on your knees great now I can't even see some coming to this side okay, perfect now I'm going to have you put your hand gently on her jaw line there exactly and actually want to see more of your fingers so that's great good and then you can go right here perfect and I lean in together so you're turning your head towards me here good, perfect and then lean your chin onto her perfect just like that and now I'm going to go ahead and take a shot of this and he is a little too tall for me. So can you spread your legs apart? So you're a bit shorter it's an easy solution to the problem of not having them lose their pose. Okay, that's good. Now his head is back on the seamless. Great. Okay, so we've got great light on the groom's face. Not so great light on the bride's face so what? We wanted to cheat her away so I'm gonna have you pull your head forward so just lean in. Yep. Great. Good. And then you can do the same thing that you were doing and then we'll have you put this hand back a little bit more and then turn your face this way a bit fantastic. Ok, that's. Much better. All right, look down at her. Great. Yes, very good. Okay, now the only thing that I want to do is fix her arm a little bit, not there's anything wrong with it, but I just want to roll her shoulder back, so if you consort of arch your back a little bit yep. That's great. And then we can see the line of her arm a little bit better. Great. Okay, so that is the shot that I would be looking for on this bed because they are embracing and I love that about this picture and the great thing is that you already have a set so you know it's not just about them embracing its about where they're embracing the whole thing that you have going on here now I want to add something to this shop so I could leave it just as it is but I'm going to start putting vines in the space and I'm doing that for dramatic effect thank you start with one I'll come get the other leader um okay, so I am adding vines I'm adding a story because I'm adding props to this scene these air fake fines but obviously you can get bynes not anywhere so I found out I went hunting the forest for vines I was unsuccessful so I am just going to try to place these very naturally I'm just hooking it through here there we go and I will grab another one now I'm trying to bring nature into this space because that's what I like to shoot so when I'm thinking about decorating this scene I'm thinking about myself now if this were an actual couple that I was photographing out a wedding, I would definitely ask them what their interests are and then build around that you know, if they hated nature, obviously I would not do this it wouldn't make any sense, but in this case they don't have a say in it, so we're going to decorate them good brooke I just wanted to jump in and say that the internet is complimenting you on your posing chops oh also uh thank you how did you learn how to pose people? I don't know how to pose people and I can't get up is I go no honestly the most important there are two important things for me with posing one is the white I want to make sure that you can see what you're meant to see and the other one is creating straight lines in an image so if I see like that her arm is too curved or two pushed into her body that I want to pull it out to create a straighter line that's kind of what I'm looking for one imposing this looks crazy I gotta fix this okay we're gonna put this I'm hopping up here with you guys we're gonna put this in between you so let me just say we go can I get this under your arm there okay, so we'll try that for now we'll see how it looks and I will take a shot there just like before you guys you were perfect. Good. Okay, so I'm liking these vines and I think that we could add one more going down the arch of his back just to accentuate that curves that I really like so I'm just going to grab one more here way got very russell levine I apologize and I'm gonna throw this over his back shoulder yeah if you understand what you did there would be great thank you okay well have a go off to the side there something else that I would consider doing is taping some vines to the background because that would add some depth step to the picture I'm not going to do that I don't want to hurt the backdrop for you know uh mess with tape right now but it's something that I might consider doing alright one more shot here great so I really like that vine going off his back and I like that a lot because it's in shadow so you just sort of get the suggestion of a vine and it's really not something where you know it's super obvious but it's something that looks really beautiful and it sort of looks like a continuation of the other vine which I really like okay, so I'm going to reset them a little bit here and I'm going to have them laying on the bed this time so you guys can relax perfect okay if I have any questions about this setup before I just moved them into the next one here just had a funny comment which I probably shouldn't read out loud but oh please I have to weigh all like to laugh glimpse studios said she makes dead couple wedding photography well happily dead married no fights or argue ah that's good I like that we could really find inspiration in that I'm pretty sure that was yeah okay so I am going to repose so I'm just going to move these vines they're irrelevant right now thank you and I'll put them back on them in just a sec so now I'm going to be shooting this from above so I'm not worried about what it looks like through my camera right now I'm posing them knowing that I'll be above them looking down so I want something very very elegant so I'm gonna have you guys stay on the same sides and I'm just going to have you guys away your head's down here good and I will start to move your dress around as well so don't worry about I think you're good right where you are perfect so I'm just draping the stress as much as I can to make it look really elegant and I actually want to see her feet so can you pop your feet out a little bit more greek I want to see feet because I don't want it to look like the dress is eating her alive all right so I'm gonna have you turn on your side towards your bride good okay now I want you guys to like spoon but facing each other so if you could like get her needs to come up in here yeah perfect and then you can sort of that's great okay, so now you guys can lay down and then I will pose the upper half now what I need to remember is the light obviously I don't want to block the light on their faces too much so I'm gonna have you open up and put your shoulder back this way and you could just rest right like that I'm gonna come around I won't do that again okay so you can stay looking at her but I want your head's very close together good and you guys are going to hate me but I want you to scoot down on the bed now so what I'm thinking about is the fact that if I'm going to get a shot you know with their heads nicely in the frame where I'm not like cutting them off right here well I don't really necessarily want to get the backdrop in this picture so I want to move them down a little so I can cut it off where the bed is that's great now they're looking pretty good I'm probably going to have to move them a little bit but let's take a shot first we'll see how it goes I have to switch my lens so right now I am using my fifty millimeter lens but I am switching to a twenty four millimeter lens that I get to play with wall him in seattle so that's very exciting thank you so I'm using a twenty four it really doesn't matter what lens you're using for this as long as it's wide enough to get their bodies in the frame that's really all that I'm looking for so I am just popping this lens on and I'm going to get this off of the tripod okay, thank you and then could you grab the stool for me and bring it around the side so I am very purposefully shooting from this side of the bed and I am doing that because I do not want the issue of blocking their light we already have a very, uh small light source so I don't want to get in the way of that as close as possible thank you um and actually maybe right here slap him in the middle so we're just positioning this stool so that I could be right in the middle of them and then I could just do this to shoot down and hope that I don't drop my camera on them because I don't have a strap for it so I apologize in advance if that happens, ok? All right I'm not good on ladders we'll see how this girls thank you okay, so now I need to make sure that they're in focus I am on auto focus and I am just switching my focal point to the center so that when I hold this up and try to hope that it you know focuses we have a better chance I'm just going to study myself here and I don't know what this will be like but we're going to try uh okay so that actually looks really nice I'm going to try to reframe a little bit on my part not for them they do not need to do anything differently but what I am going to do is turn our bride's face over to the light more so if you could be profile just laying like a normal person they're perfect okay that looks really really nice um I want to see a little bit more leg though could you yank your dress up yeah we're going to get sexy here perfect that's great ok and then separate your feet a little so when I'm telling them to separate their feet the reason is because I want to see as many lines running through the picture as possible so if she has her feet together she's going to look like a one footed bride we don't want that so you can take your right leg and actually just bend it anymore um you can stay on your side but yep just like that that looks beautiful and is there any way that you could bring your feet in my groom I don't I don't know if it's possible cause you're real tall but that's good yeah and then separate your feet for me great perfect and I'm gonna take another shot and then you can turn your head back great and then you can actually just look right up here perfect and we're getting a nice catch light in her eye okay I'm cutting their heads off a little right I'm going to try to get a little bit taller on the stool and not die I'm really not not good with stuff like this okay, this is going to be much better though I can already tell so I'm actually going to be turned your head even more that direction perfect that's great and then open your eyes a little bit wider through looking up yeah that's great a little bit more yeah oh perfect that's great. Okay, okay, so that's more of what I'm looking for a very very good thing that I am up a little bit higher so I'm going to see how that looks on the monitor not bad but she's looking a little bit stiff you can see it in the way that her neck muscles are sticking out so we want to make her look really, really nice and soft but I want them to still stay together you know? I don't want a situation where we're goingto have them sort of separated not looking at each other so uh groom movinto her a little bit more I keep calling you groom I'm sorry for that uh good and now I'm gonna have you let see turn your face a little bit away from him but keep your head towards him yeah just like that and then let your chin fall that way uh chin up great okay stay there that looks really nice and then you can relax this arm a little bit so you're not pushing it so far over to her you spend at the elbow get me up there you go great uh can you guys hold hands down there with your free hands there we go that looks much nicer okay great okay so now obviously these vines aaron the shot we don't want that or we dio either way we have to choose so I would not use this exact picture but what I'm going to do is place the vines around them I'm not gonna actually get down from the stool but if I could have you I'm good up here if I could just have you place those vines a little bit yeah so what I'm going to try to do is just surround them in a very natural way good yep just like that so I want this to look as wild as possible I do not want this placed I don't want anything to look like you know we intentionally put things around the frame but I also don't want it to look haphazard at the same time that would be really really bad so we can weave one yet that's good covers leg and take that one and we're just going tio leave this in between them so could one of you guys pull but up through and then off the end of the bed great. Okay, number four I like this okay. Very, very, very nice good. And now I'm going to have you both facing that way with your heads so much as you can turn your heads that's great. Perfect. Okay, so let's take a test here just gonna throw that over my shoulder. Okay, okay, we're gonna take one more and oh, perfect that's good and then can you turn your head anymore that way good. Ok? And I like your lips open so that's really nice. Okay, now that's looking more how I like it. So in this picture what I am liking about it, you just take another look. I am liking the fact that I'm getting most of them in the frame and I like where the vines air going. I'm still not loving the way that the light is hitting our bride's face, so I'm going to go ahead of reposition them a little bits in there both facing the window white so why don't you just flip over and face the window well actually force you guys to spoon here a little bit you're good. And could you actually move closer to her son? You're more in the middle of the bed. Yep. That's. Wonderful. Good. You can put your arm underneath her just like that. Good it's like you're married or something. Perfect. Okay, that looks really nice now, both of you guys, if you could bend at the elbow and bring those arms and so they're not sticking out so much perfect. Okay, now I'm not gonna be able to see your hands so a little bit further out that way. Yeah, just like that. That was great. Good. Now we have really nice light on both of them. So I'm going to see how this looks. They're good. Okay, now that's looking really pretty, thanks to the light on their faces. So that should pop up in just a sec. Good. So now I'm liking that a lot more because the light's really, really even and that's what I hope to see on their faces. You know, I don't want to get any strange shadows on their eyes or over their noses or anything. So I really like how that's looking. But I want teo sort of pool. Can you pull your sorry, my bride, can you pull your elbow up a little bit? So back in that pose and you can still rested but just yep just like that good that's so much nicer line, I think, which looks really nice. And, um, can you pull her hair out over her pillow on the other side? Just drape it really nicely. Oh, yeah, that looks nice too. Yeah, just a little bit more, so I'm trying to create some interest here, fix the little details because it's stuff like that that you know, it might look just fine how we have it, but can you pull it up even more just to the ends of the hair visible good, but it's details like this that I'm really looking for because that is what your eyes going to go to. You're going to go straight to the bride's face first in this picture, so I want to make sure that all the details are there that looks really nice. Okay, one more shot here and then I'm going to move on. And this is also great because you can see her ring really clearly in this shot and she's going to love that good. Now, if I could have you looking out the window, both of you guys yep, perfect, okay, stay just like that and, um, if you could turn your chain away from me a little bit oh, sorry my bride just turn in your head that way a little bit more great now I'm getting a much nicer line on her face. Okay, good. So no, that is much more what I'm looking for and I would probably stop there if I was posing them and probably keep this is my main image. What I really like about this shot is the fact that I have really nice lines going through it that is a plus for me I like that you have the vines in there, I like the purple obviously later on I would get rid of my stool in the edge of the bed and things like that, but what I'm looking for is a shot where they're both centered its frame nicely and the lines are looking really pretty along with the light. So any questions about this one on a hop down from here? Yeah, lou most studio from columbia, south carolina says, um would you describe how this process would be different if you were working the way you usually do with diffuse outdoor light? Yeah, absolutely. I mean, in that case it would almost be easier because you don't have the issue of the light being so directional, so that way you can play with them on their backs with the light hitting them very naturally and the great thing is that the light is really going to be anywhere that they turn their faces so you don't have to worry about posing them for the light because the light is everywhere so it really wouldn't be much different aside from the fact that you wouldn't have window light and that's good and bad because the window lights very dramatic it looks really natural really soft, but if I were outside I would have a little bit more freedom with how I could position their bodies question from jasper jasper sixteen how long are your photo sessions with models typically with all the changes in details as well and then just for also asked do you ask your models to our certain makeup tire or do you provide it all for them? Yeah, I asked them to not wear anything special cause I provide the wardrobe I told them not to wear make up or if they do just light make up a lot of you know, a little bit of mascara maybe a little bit of foundation nothing else I don't do make up for my photos I don't do hair for my photos I don't provide wardrobe that's anything like you know big and from a designer or anything I just bring my own vintage dresses and I dressed him in that uh what was the first part of that question? First out of the question is how much time otani typically right so in this case, if if this were an actual shoot that I was doing with these models say it was for a magazine or something I would spend longer on it because I want every detail to be perfect and this is the kind of thing where you know, I'm working with people that I've never met before I'm working in a situation that I don't work in typically so would probably take me another twenty minutes to perfect every little thing about it, but if I'm doing a shoot, you know, with a model on my own that's going to take about five minutes maybe ten minutes tops and the reason is because I know exactly what the poses need to be like and part of that is understanding the white you know, I'm used to working outside and very diffuse light, so I understand that if they have their heads is tilted up, the light will hit their faces evenly and things like that so I part of it is just experience doing it and the other part is knowing exactly what I want so I'd just maybe another question because I'm seeing a lot about this um and I think you actually already talked about it a little bit, but if you could just go into it just a smidge more fashion tv is asking about using reflectors and you said that you often work alone so have you ever used reflectors and your work? Is that something that you enjoy and weather wise that your choice too? Maybe not yeah I don't I have done it once and I did it when I was able tohave an assistant for a fashion shoot that I did and it was just a necessity we're just shooting in a little I say it was a necessity it was a necessity to the producers on the shoot because they felt like I wasn't going to be able to brighten the image so so in that case you know I had an assistant they held the reflector I did it that way I would not normally though in that case I would just make sure that there are enough details in the shadows to pull it up later in photo shop on dh if not then I would just try to find more light you know, move them to a position where there is more light but I really have never run into that issue of not being able to fix that thank you all right, so you guys look comfy but I'm gonna have you guys move so we're going to do a little bit of a set change now and I am going to get the bed out of the studio and we're going to bring in some sticks so let's take a couple more questions now while while we're making that set change okay, I have a question, another question from fashion tv who had asked, um, do you always put the bride closer to the light source, or does it matter, and especially when they have a white gown, are you thinking about all those things are? Is it more just the composition I am? I'm thinking about those things and the reason why I'm thinking about those things and herb, I'm not in this one is much is because our bride has really pale skin, so her skin was exposing very much like her dress. So in this case, I could put everything closest to the white and it exposed evenly. But in a situation where you know you might have a model with darker skin, you have a situation where, yeah, the dress is going to be a lot brighter. In that case, I would very simply move her to the other side and then have her lift her head and shoulders up. That way, her face would still be getting the right amount of light on it.

Class Description

Forget flashy studios and expensive props. Join award-winning photographer Brooke Shaden to learn inexpensive ways to create elaborate, gallery-style works of art from scratch.

This fine art portrait photography course is dedicated to teaching you how to add fine art sensibility to your portfolio. Through the use of her creative techniques, Brooke shows you how to transform mundane images into dramatic, eye-catching works of art. Intended for motivated beginners and experienced pros alike, this course walks you through everything you need to know to create jaw-dropping fine art portraits and have them hanging on gallery walls in no time. After taking this course with Brooke, you will have mastered new, innovative lighting techniques, Photoshop editing, pitching your images to a gallery rep, and much more.

This class is part of the Fine Art Photography courses