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From Images to Art: Storytelling in Wedding Photography

Lesson 1 of 36

Evaluate Yourself and Your Business

Jim Garner

From Images to Art: Storytelling in Wedding Photography

Jim Garner

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Lesson Info

1. Evaluate Yourself and Your Business


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
2 Transforming Our Business Duration:26:59
3 Reinvent in 2014 Duration:25:55
4 Embrace the Philosophy Duration:26:20
7 Identify your Unique Style Duration:40:10
10 Unleash Real Profit Duration:34:18
11 Wedding Sales Part 1 Duration:29:58
12 Wedding Sales Part 2 Duration:21:17
13 Product and Partnerships Duration:38:45
14 Camera Gear Duration:22:19
16 Refine Your Craft Duration:24:46
17 Experiential Awareness Duration:41:41
18 Shoot: Groom and Groomsmen Duration:21:03
19 Shoot: Bride's Details Duration:17:04
20 Shoot: Bride and Bridesmaids Duration:22:46
21 Shoot: Bride and Groom Duration:19:37
22 Shoot: Group Shots Duration:23:21
23 Shoot: Couple In Bright Sun Duration:27:56
24 Goals in Post Processing Duration:31:00
26 Post Process: Skin Duration:20:18
28 Album Design: The Formula Duration:40:16
30 Take Control: Workflow Part 1 Duration:29:08
31 Take Control: Workflow Part 2 Duration:21:06
32 Work Enviorments Duration:13:36
35 Refine, Reinvent and Thrive Duration:14:04
36 Location Night Shoot Duration:32:42

Lesson Info

Evaluate Yourself and Your Business

We jam packed a lot of information to this programme in fact, I'm going to be given this click or work out there's gonna be a lot of slides were going to inspirational work, we're going to shoot together, we're going to show you tools and techniques that will simplify your life. A lot of people think moving to this art focus philosophy is requires more work. It's actually doesn't I'm gonna prove to you that I can do decrease your workflow by half by shooting two for the story okay? Not only that the benefits go on and on and on it's like letting go of this massive weight and the inertia just keeps tumbling down the hill, picking up pace you'll be sought after for your art, your have unlimited earning potential as a result, you'll oh my gosh, your creativity will explode it's a natural phenomenon when you store ito okay, all these things happen without the effort that most people think it's about. Okay? I don't want to tell you my story, I want to get into the hardships that that we had...

early in our career. I know that many of you in the audience and many of you out on the internet are starting their career just getting into it you're picking up a camera and wondering what the heck to do? You're probably following the lead of the rest of the community everyone starting there they're coming in in a particular price perhaps in your region right there doing everyone's kind of doing the same thing but I'm going to show you a different path I'm going to show you a path that a suddenly differences change of thinking it's subtle but as you walk down this path you will diverge away from the hardships of what the wedding photography industry of currently enduring it's fun we're gonna have a great time along the way we're going to talk about so much so much in fact we have made the effort to break these what I'm gonna talk about today into ten efficiently completely doable steps I'm encouraged each and every one in whether it's your first year shooting or your thirtieth year to take the steps because if you do that if you do it and we're going to call it a two season process okay to within two seasons I promise you results that will blow your mind absolutely it's going to be a blast so russ described I invitation to come on creative live two years ago or a year and a half ago and I thought, you know what? I'm on to you this idea of really helping the industry but I don't want to go on and just, you know, be inspirational I want to do something absolutely career changing for the viewers I needed some time to figure exactly figure out exactly how to communicate that efficiently, and I needed time to have results by helping others along the same line, putting them on that path and seeing the results so I needed that year and a half toe walk that walk with people and then put it all into a nice program for you today, okay? And you know what? It's tried and true, now it works, the steps that I'm going to give you, I promise, will change your whole world. Okay? So let's, let's dive in a little about us where jay garner studios jay garner photo dot com if you want to the social thing it's uh, jim gardner for for twitter today, but we're going t j g p creative live instagram and my facebook guys go like like I said, jim garner, creative community that's where we share ideas share what we're doing talk about in the next year really going toe help people with this transformation that we're talking about today we really want to know you. We will love for you to like our page so that we can walk through this and walk down that new path together, okay sounds good, so nothing creative live this is such an awesome opportunity this is my chance you know we don't work shops all over the world we've we've talked to a lot of groups but this is my opportunity to talk to you all at once you know this is a really anything and I really thank you for this opportunity I don't know if you guys know this I don't think this was brought up in the production but I live in seattle my studio's two minutes from here on the opposite side of the space you know you know and my home is two minutes that way up capitol hill creative live I'm so grateful for them because they brought all my friends to seattle thank you creative you know and you're you're doing what makes me passionate that's help help so many people out there think you create a lot for that opportunity so it does take a village does it not we got this entire program is about raising the bar on the industry the more of us is why love communicated the more of us that subscribe to this transformation take on the art focus philosophy the maur the entire bar on the tire industry raises everyone comes with it okay everyone is well benefit as a result okay it's we'll talk about the history of the industry a little bit in recent years since the digital revolution it's gone the opposite way okay and this is the way out I promise you that so uh a little bit about our studio and love to introduce you know my lovely wife or husband wife team and now we have think thanks to this philosophy we have we have ah wonderful staff that works with us our philosophy is not have people work for us is to work actually together and you will be introduced to some of some of the wonderful people that have helped us along the way and how we not had this philosophy wouldn't have them in our lives huge blessing so first let's do ah quick tour on our studio what you're going to hear in this video is it's going to be my wife katarina on me husband wife team purposely marketed as a husband wife team so that the people when they come to our website and see this on the front of the website they relates they go oh there husband wife okay and they shoot weddings are beautiful you'll notice that's a destination wedding it was filmed in tuscany a boy I had no idea the results of that because of this released three years ago we have been sought after for destination weddings and and I never thought that would happen but it's part of this program what you show is what you're going to end up with when it comes to the creative world okay I want you to pay attention of few words in this video we mentioned experience we mentioned storytelling okay, there are a few more words that clarify exactly what we're talking about and at the end it really goes into the truth. My love for my wife is the most beautiful part about this business being able to work with the person I love that for me was one of the most powerful components of this this video and I believe is what's made it strong and made it successful marketing piece. I strongly recommend doing these video scots so let's take a look just great intro to our studio and internal an introduction to katarina and me and I guess our love for each other life is an experience, everything we do, everything we see, everything we feel these moments are like experiences way relished the good and we learn from the bad way live for today's experiences and it's just paid tomorrow over those experiences are merely moments they're gone just in an instant, they're fleeting so we relive our experiences through memory, your story and through imagery. I love the fact that he has on people beautiful image can light up somebody's, face single snap and change the mood of a person from one emotions the next because of the storytelling that hard for love to emphasize the experienced our couples have on their wedding day will take my breath away to see what he's able to capture and I often feel huge emotion images individually are beautiful it's, so much more important to describe the experience and tell a story and complete form in a way that it's able to capture them is truly jim has this amazing ability to connect with was energy transforms into a place that you want to be. You just want to engage with him and that's something that he's able to do every single time. He's interacting with our clients. It's really important that I have that connection. I want to know them. I want them to know me. Wait really get to know what makes them tick and what what they find beautiful so that we can help translate that on their wedding day. It all really comes down to trust because if they trust me, they're able to be themselves from the camera. It's a sliver in life that will never be. We lived, I guess it's part of that fairy tale and I worked so well together. We're just that good complement one another. She sees things that I don't. She picks up where I leave off. She is business, I just take. Pictures he's in amazing friends wonderful dad artists he's just a great partner. She really told to seoul together she's my life way do this together and get life is a string of moments and decision that creator life experience those experiences are merely moments pleading so we relive our experiences through memory, your story and for every drink how will you experience life on how will it be remembered? First of all, bring a couple points maurin that video um it's really? About it's about taking this is my first line of defense when it comes to the wedding industry it's about taking away the concerns of the couple house with how you will present yourself on your wedding day. This I have learned, is one of their main concerns. Okay, if you noticed in that video there was a lot of fun and playful interaction with the bride and groom got was completely on purpose. It's not a hug ings you know, this is fun. Laughter, playfulness, experience that's what we sell is waiting for harper's. It has nothing to do with what the camera produces were to present ourselves in a beautiful way and we're too brought provide an experience if we do that oh my gosh, you can't go wrong with the pictures. You absolutely can't go wrong with the picture so I want to talk about our story right now where this change in our philosophy we came through very difficult times I'm going to get into that but now things are really good and I don't like to share that in a non boastful way before we dive into the hardships so this is what this philosophy is enabled for us now we are jay garner studios now where multiple studios not just wedding we do commercial work architecture product there's a lot of things we dio lifestyle photography catalog that would have never happened had I been stuck photographing the way I did back in two thousand and one and I'm going to tell you about it in the second but look we shoot commercial work lots of different things who have done fragrances over the years seattle's of food city so I've done food of course for magazines et cetera this is an image for a box at costco okay um architecture lots of it houses etcetera for real state we've done that as well and catalog work catalog work is so much fun especially the northwest lifestyle it's not to fashion it's just fashion enough that I love it but stock imagery um working for various companies helping there with a website where a technology city so we jump on that battling here's catarina we and my daughter lana that we threw in this image for a technology company called snoopy which just came out amazing product right there shot this in the studio tabletop product and other stock imagery for various companies companies we love the diversity of what we get to do now. This wedding philosophy has enabled that that has enabled diversity has enabled us multiple studios to grow within one studio and you know what? This is attainable by everybody. Okay, very exciting news for you. So this is recent northwest catalog that we do it's a dealer catalogue so they got a lot of images on it it's playful it's fun it's right up our style but it's right up your alley we're having a great time. Life is really good and you know what quality of life quality of life we've achieved now that I have to say I'm not sure I would have had had stuck with a different philosophy oh, we really are known for our very large images both in the retail world you'll see images like we're going to show you wedding photography that is delivered in huge format okay huge this is in line with chris is a garage this is these are the garage uh parking and those elevator doors this image spans twenty feet it's unbelievable but we do a lot of this stuff for people because they because of this phenomenon what you show is what you end up doing okay it's a real simple phenomenon it's part of the sales strategy that we have okay other really fun work other retail work retail photography is when a when a non commercial client hires you okay, so that could be moms okay, that could be brides, etcetera that's when I say retail this is what I'm talking about it's started I had no idea I'd be a family photographer I knew I was a commercial photographer starting out work for dotcom shot product and then katarina I were married and of course and we had a great time with our wedding retire for which sparked my interest started the whole thing and then of course children came and this is my daughter's little feet okay? And here she is a little bit a few years later this is gabriella. We have two girls eight and ten now. Gabrielle elena okay, and suddenly I'm a family shooter. Okay? People are calling me to take pictures like this. This is a client and I want to show this image because what's important to see here is that this image is not perfect it's not absolutely perfect but there's expression and emotion between the players okay, the nonverbal communication that you've seen between the daughter and the mother and the sister there that is what I learned cells those are the images they choose out of the group of images which way would take that is a very important fact and let's see some more look at this this is a very important image to to the this client and it's got problems you know, there's a blown out areas you know it's not perfect at all, but it has expression we're going to talk about that with the retail photography you don't have to take perfect pictures anymore guys, you just need to focus on expression which means you have to focus on experience experience of the couple which means you're no longer I would encourage you all through this workshop to not were so much about posing so it's a real liberating process story shooters concerned the self primarily with experience of the couple to get the expression the client finds value in which leads to a sale it is setting free that boulder letting it roll down the hill it's inertia it's gonna pick up pace if you start story shooting you're gonna have a lot more fun your creativity is gonna explode you are going to find yourself in a revolution that you never thought would happen but you gotta let go a picture taking how do we do this? We gotta study it understand it we're going to really explore the different areas here the two unique paths you can go down you can't go halfway down a path that's why I love that analogy of a path you have to commit to one direction to go entirely or not at all. How do we do that? That's? The whole purpose of this program so mohr expression filled images, expression expression doesn't have to be laughter and playfulness. It could be just unspoken words between two people that represent love. Oh, a man from my family work understand? I'd learned that motion and movement creates that expression tools that they're so easy to work with, get people moving not till you get natural expression. So these are some high school seniors? Well, I sure enjoyed doing those once once we hit that stage in our career. That is fun. That's like shooting fashion. Oh, but this is a new studio. We just formed people in seattle and I think around the world needed headshots and we said, heck yeah, we'll do head shots. It sounds like fun. This is a group shot, a composite of multiple shots and then, of course, they'd come in for individual image headshots and then they use on the website easy stuff. We developed a five looks five unique looks. This is our business professional look! And then we played. We had fun, we put up a new website this site is now called flash folios. So you could check it out flash folios dot com we have five looks we have testimonials talked about our studio doesn't have my name attached to it it's an additional studios one of jay garner studios now way launched this last year and our goals to have three day rates in the headshot world per month by the end of this year so we set a goal talk about gold setting that's a big thing we're going to talk about during this programme goal setting and the path to get there you listen do backward engineer anything if you want anything in your life maybe something ten years twenty years from now backward engineering go to ten years where do you need to be go to five years where do you need to be? Three years caution six months I need to have this website up and we did that and a one year period our goal is to have a three day rates per month just from doing head shots which my associates in the studio are associates are team can photograph not necessarily me so it's really fun all of this because I'm no longer captive of my wedding business so I hope that you and the audience can see that there's a lot we could do in the photography world if we have balance if we set our set our goals and moved towards those goals oops I would have to go through this whole siri's again three, two, one and I want to show you this slide first here's the website. Okay, here's one of the looks so you click on the looks this is called a personality we're going to photograph your personality section and we have, you know, the rock star the hairdresser reaching you, marcus, but utilizing storytelling in it ok, it's a lot of fun. Okay, this is a personality type shot. Busy professionals fun personality shot a little more simple, but, hey, you know how we got most of these shots? We said we're gonna get our website up and we're going to report fully shoot anyone's welcome come, we're gonna we're gonna play for the day boom new business. Okay, so let's move into the topic of passion sharing the path I love you mentoring individuals I love helping people move from this philosophy of picture taking two story shooting I've learned that it's it takes two seasons it's not something just go I'm gonna do this, you're going to set a goal of two seasons now let's define what a season is a season is whatever it could be for me like in seattle we're coming into our season that's why this is the perfect time to be talking about this this is why I chose this specific time period to bring this topic to all of you because it's your chance to say, I'm going to reinvent it's something special this year going for it fantastic all right? And you're going to set the path you're going to start your journey and you're going to do it over two seasons because for us the season is once a year but for much of many of us a season off wedding photography khun b quarterly it is what it is for you and you need to determine that you need to set your goals this structure will work for anybody, okay, but I love this concept of sharing my goal is to help individuals one at a time individually but this is my way this workshop is set up so that you could be you can access this you could view this you could perhaps owned this programme and refer back to it as we outlined the steps because it's going to be something you need to do it each portion in the season. So season one you need to do the following season two quarter one you need be doing exactly this and we're going to lay those steps out okay? So wedding photography though let's get into it now I'm ready enough about me let's talk about the passionate work that we get to do the wonderful work it's all about expression it's all about fun these amazing moments moments like these would happen here this isn't this an actual image? How do you how do I get this shot is nothing to do with me. It's the magic of a wedding day only on the wedding day can you get pictures like that? The wedding world it takes you to extraordinary place you see amazing things you're required to create a beautiful image even when it's raining out the celebration of it you know what I love the adrenaline rush of shooting wedding there's no re shooting you must deliver you've gotta make beauty out of nothing. I loved that challenge. You meet interesting people. All this is to represent the energy that comes from the group. Oh my gosh, if you go in with the right energy and that energy is given to your group, it comes back to you tenfold. All right and that's what I'm talking about look at all these guys we have very large bottle parties and seattle these days making something out of nothing storytelling would you get this image on a rainy day or would you run in that's what I learned when I started story shooting? I needed transition images and I'm need need to make him beautiful rainy day make him make it stormy looking because that's the way the bride remembered it storytelling can't wait to show it shares some of these entire stories these air individual images but we're going to show you stories simple images put together in story format okay, I love these images I love this particular image than most all I've shown you because this is two sisters after a toast a beautiful moment captured for them to see forever absolute memory we can't these we get to search for these we get to be a sleuth and find these moments captured them and evoke emotion the viewers it's so much fun I think you'll agree it's fun, it's hard worked all right, but this workshops gonna liberate all of you from thinking it's hard work, right? You're going to have a different goal now and it's not going to be oh my gosh, I have to capture the best portfolio image because they've seen all my port phillip folio images on my website so I have to I have to capture port fully images all day long for them. Okay, let's set up lights let's do this dramatic pose I'm gonna liberate you from that. I mean, instead they're going to come to you for the art that you produce, you're gonna be able to go click click, click oh, I just told a story and step back watch them enjoy the day come in, snap a little story, step back, watch them enjoy your experience will be better shooting it. You'll have more fun. You won't be stressed out, you'll be liberated from getting the shot. You will be producing amazing art pieces out of simple images that you captured no longer do you need to search for the lightning bolt shot because lady bold shots don't happen naturally they come when you're not expecting them. Isn't that the truth? They come when you're not expecting them. Totally gonna liberate you guys itself. Passion! All right, here's a here's a fun shot! Oh my gosh is taking me to this is a single image capture people don't realize that this was was shot they think it's a composite but this is me hanging out of a helicopter with a mono pod and a fish islands and not kidding I'm strapped in in the front seat and my assistant is next to me holding the flash toe light subjects I'm gonna break this down and show you how this was done so oh wedding work you get to do the most exciting things of your life I would never give it up in a million years because it it ensures a passion will be in my life yes it's hard work, but again, I'm going to liberate you from most of that okay, so our two thousand let me give you a quick story about the hardships that we went through come into this industry and a lot of people in the audience are new to this and I get that how what we did in two thousand and I'd say nineteen, ninety nine we came in and by two thousand and one we were like totally busy we're in expensive for the market were like, hey, we got to do this we've got to make this work so we undercut all the established photographers that we're delivering albums they're shooting medium format there delivering matted albums for each client so came in thirty five millimeter we're going to shoot we're gonna just try something different see what happens hey, you know we're doing something different and by two thousand won were forty to fifty weddings the phone was ringing off the hook it was busy and we're like we're making it his wedding for tire first okay, this is working out I got known for being inexpensive, hard working and able to take pretty good pictures. I'm like trevor I'm like picked up my camera at age twelve never put down so I knew how to capture pictures you nothing about weddings I went in his kind of a photo journalistic approach um by the way, I know that the people in the audience everybody watching there's a many different styles and your genres of photography represented what I'm just going to back up a little bit one about talk talk to you about this philosophy will work for any genre photography issue. Okay, delivering art is absolutely absolutely in line with what we're talking about today. I'm also going to show you our particular style off it. Harvey, our particular style is what works for us and what attracts the type of clients that I want to shoot some of you in the audience might not like these simple images I put in this story perfect. Create your own look and attract your own type of clients that value what you do. It's a huge part of this message, a huge part of this message. So again, I'm gonna show you bread and butter images for us, meaning the type of images that have made us successful. I'm not up here to impress you in any way, shape or form, I'm gonna show you some of my most amazing lightning bolt hanging out of a helicopter, those type of shots but it's not to impress you just show you what naturally happened because I was story shootings crazy. I mostly want you to see the type of images that make a successful and it's not those is absolutely has nothing to do with those big images. It has to do with simple images. I've shot that are put together in sequence that we're about to get into. Ok. So my point in telling you this is simple. This philosophy and the success that we've reached, is attainable by all every one of us, especially if you're just starting out. Or have you been doing it for thirty years, everybody. So that encompasses everybody was just starting out, and you've done it for for many, many years. You got to reinvent, or you gotta just get on the right path. We're gonna talk about the path.

Class Description

What techniques turn a single wedding photograph into a powerful, multi-dimensional storytelling tool? In this captivating course, professional wedding photographer Jim Garner will teach you how to transform your photography business by thinking like an artist.

Jim will share hard-won industry secrets — learned from decades at the helm of one of the nation’s leading wedding photography studios — guiding you through the creative journey from picture-taker to storytelling. You’ll explore tools and strategies that will make your workflow more streamlined and your studio more profitable. During live action photo shoots, you will watch Jim’s “story shooting” philosophy in action — as he demonstrates how posing, shooting, and lighting contribute to the strength of the visual story.

By the end of this course, you have a full grasp of the art of storytelling and be able to apply this new way of thinking to every aspect of your business.


Ester Knowlen Photography

LOVE LOVE LOVE all the bits on how to create a wow shot without stressing about getting it/catching it by chance. So SPOT on!! A little bit of planning, a little bit of vision, and great ideas/recipe for amazing "wow" shots that are prompted and genuine (unique just like the people we shoot), rather than stressed over and chased. :) Amazing video!! :) Thanks Jim Garner!!

222 N 43rd Pl

This is such an amazing course. It is my first purchase that I have made with Creative Live and I couldn't be more pleased. Jim shared so much information and so many insights. It's great to be able to watch the segments over, picking up something new every time. Taking volumes of notes! I am starting to implement Jim's approach to photography—storytelling. I am just starting out in wedding photography and am so excited to have found this gem tutorial! I would highly recommend this to any photographer who wants to take their work from photographs to art.