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Refine Your Craft

Lesson 16 from: From Images to Art: Storytelling in Wedding Photography

Jim Garner

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Lesson Info

16. Refine Your Craft

Lesson Info

Refine Your Craft

So I want to turn it over to you guys, I want to hear a couple night mere wedding stories, okay, I wanna tell you figure out if we could find a solution for and it could be anything really at this point, but I love to hear it. Does anybody have something to share that they'd like to have a solution for that we could talk about the workshop today? Yeah, go ahead. So I had a situation where the groom just was not having it, he was not want to be photographed, he doesn't just was not just that you have ten minutes to do the bridegroom portrait ce and the entire, too, even for that ten minutes, he has hands in his pakistan, not very stiff, and it was really hard to convince him to to to, to behave differently. So and what I did in many ways, but even the bride was kind of put off by that. So, yeah, I was one of the things I just didn't know what to do at that moment. Gosh, I've been there, haven't we all been there that the sort of the bridal party that is just not into it? Or, you know, o...

ne of the worst is your situation, thank you for sharing that one of the main players in the story, the groom has no interest in being photographed I have been there so many times and what that groom first of all, can we just say it? That cream needs to get his act together because it's not about him it's about the bride hey mended out, right? So but every once in a while we might even have a bride that's not into it. I will tell you that I've learned from experience that sum up skill couples upscale families are not used to being directed in their life, their directors themselves, their leaders and business owners, et cetera, and and they are they manage other people, and they're not used to that accustomed to being directed. And so I have learned from my early days photographing seven hundred dollar weddings how things change along the way, but I will tell you this what I'm about to show you in this segment is the solution to creating energy to creating expression, fun, emotion. This segment is all about that very important fact that we've been talking so much about you don't have to take perfect pictures, you just have to photograph the expression and that's the art of storytelling right there photographing expression so how do we bring out the expression? How do we make people happier or have fun? How do you make people or encourage people to show that they're nervous all right, we want to show their expression at that particular time of day, a time when they're nervous, perhaps before the wedding. Oh, my gosh, I'm just about to get wedding. Sorry, I'm just about to get married. I'm just about to walk down that aisle. I'm just about to stand in front of all these people and give my vows. Oh, my gosh! After memorize my value, their nervousness like we don't want to be doing some of the energy ratcheting that were going on at that moment we want to lower our voice we want to speak in a way that it's gonna be a wonderful letter you just gave me such a great day what's about to happen is absolutely beautiful. Have a wonderful time with it so I lowered my voice. My voice is with a cold right now it's crackling it's not very, uh, nice voice, but, um all intentional, everything along the way we're thinking about how the style of expression we want to project and how it will finally be shown in art piece that we're going to create for her a couple so let's dive in first by reviewing what step seven is step seven man, we're moving on I love this this is the big, big step, this is a step that we're gonna be working on for the rest of day for that matter we're going to practice and play this needs to be happening and this is all about refining your craft creating the expression created the emotion creating beautiful single images that will eventually be shown in story format so the timeframe season two quarter to and onward you are going to refine what you do practice and play what you do it's not all about creating images for clients it's also about doing personal projects for you in your studio all right, so let's read the quote whatever you are be a good one simple right? Abraham lincoln I'm going to be a storyteller I'm gonna be a good one and I need to practice my craft I need to learn my equipment I need to learn the tools to create expression of emotion because that's the most important thing in the story type studio story shooting studio so this is so much fun this will be the fun part of this program I loved that it was able to unload so much material on you yesterday. This is just going to get better from here because I know that was just a lot is just a lot of note taking etcetera today we're going to put into practice practice and play this's why we're photographers is it not because the joy of actually capturing images and put them in it is fun so I'm excited step seven practice and play the foundation of this of course is to set the ground work if expression technical skill understanding our equipment so we could stop thinking about it you gotta have that technique skill understand lighting I'm gonna give you short short cuts two truly understanding lining we have a spring day here we're gonna be shooting window light today and we're gonna go outside I'm going to deal with hard light to we're gonna deal with what it takes if your florida or california shooter southern hemisphere it it's always sunny how do you how do you deal with that? Okay, our problem here in the pacific northwest is rain, rain, rain, rain how to do without well, you heard tricia andrew last segment we make it an opportunity all right? And that ended up that opportunity ended up in a double volume book because they valued what we do for them so much so technical skill client experience being the primary concern of what we do. We've talked a lot about experience. You saw it in the words of from the perspective of attrition drew no, we didn't prompt them on any of that. I love that and nailed it for us but, um quality of lighting good news, guys there's light everywhere there's always something that you can use to make beautiful photos I'm just looking in this room right now and I see it everywhere if the light was sunset, the light goes down the same thing you just have to ski need the skills to do it and the equipment to capture those images in low light so store shooting store shooting is easy story shooting is easier to do what you're currently doing okay, you get to capture images, simple images, put them next to other simple images and take people on a ride it is basically compartmentalizing what I what you perhaps used to doing what I'd certainly used to do I now instead of capturing single images oh, I got a good one of the there and then over here we got a good one there instead I'm thinking, oh, I need to tell a story of the bride getting ready click click, click good groom now I'm going to the same vertical vertical horizontal okay compartmentalizing stories okay? We're definitely considering background colors and tones. We went over this yesterday a little bit the camera orientation where it is because remember these images are going to be seen next to each other vertical, vertical, vertical, horizontal uh also this head size is we're not gonna zoom in zoom out so much anymore, we're just gonna keep our camera right there and let things happen within the frame cat's called motion framing people walk through it or you can pan with it whatever but we're considering that before we shoot it all right black and white color and see pia it's not we don't think about treatments afterwards and I know there's a lot of people out there that love action says and what they delivered for their clients are siri's of uh okay typical workflow could be for ah picture studio is you come you photograph a wedding, you come home, you pumping through light room perhaps and he picked three hundred say images that really speak teo and I know there's studios to two thousand images that really sing and they photoshopped each one of them some r c peotone some are black and white, some are, you know, high color contrast etcetera using different action sets and then we provide them to the client often without workflow we'll post them online hope people purchase them but that's a difficult process considering that we're often giving them a disc in story shooting it's different we're shooting for that art book, right? We're shooting for that wall and black and white and see pia and color are all considered during at the moment that we're shooting it we know exactly what the treatment for those specific images will be okay, so you know hey, I might want to say all the ceremony photos we're gonna have in black and white because that room has a lot of mixed lighting there's you know often gosh will get scenarios where we have green fluorescent light that's a black and white scene for sure in my opinion or see pia depending on on the theme of the book that were providing part me with it um but do you notice that tricia drew's book had the de mask which is a graphic art as the design in their background right so that was the theme of their entire book we kept reappearing and disappearing and I have to say in the slide show it's a lot more pronounced than it is actually in their book it just I was a little more contrast in my opinion my isis oh wow the damask is really over pronounced in this particular slide show it's really in there subtle and in the background in their actual book um but that became the theme of the book okay when I enter this space here the first thing I think is what will be the theme of this story in this room and right now around the walls in this location I see this beautiful wood texture I see tan colors I see this beautiful green glass over here I'm not sure if we could pan around I doubt we can but you'll be seen it later during the shooting section over here green green glass okay translucent glass okay, I see this frosty glass up top to see what light behind it. I see light through it. So I think we could do a cool silhouette up there through that a time translucency, translucent glass who you love it, love it, love it. Okay, uh, also I see reflective floor. I see reflective areas. I see texture. I see pools of light. I see light fixtures above. I see a lot of opportunity for photography here, especially since we have a nice spring day were hard light coming in through the windows. Hey, that mexico pattern on the ground, we've created a theme in our our head. Okay, I know I want the backgrounds for this particular location. We're going to celebrate color because we see a lot of color. We're going to celebrate texture, and I see this subtle greenglass look playing a role in the theme of the story being taken place in here. So my mind is on it, so you have themes within themes within themes. Okay, the theme of this location and interesting drew the theme of the overall book is the damn ask ok, do you underst does that make sense? It becomes a fun game, it becomes a fun uh, putting a puzzle together, but once you start doing it and practicing this you know exactly what you do when you arrive to location perfect here a new location I need to show the whole space I need show the elements of the space and you show what's happening within this space and then hey I just did three albums spreads and I knew exactly what I have it's liberated me from that stressful I need to get a new shot I need to get a new shot I need to get a new perfect shot no it's simple stuff it's a much easier than what I used to do as a picture taker so symbolism and would just describe a symbolic image um from a picture taker perspective versus on art shooter perspective okay a common shot often see is a bride and groom holding hands walking down a pathway now without the story line it's just a bride and groom walking down a path way it's a picture put it into an album in a strategic location within the album it's the bride and groom moving forward into a new story in a new place in their life together that the power of storytelling and too simple images one all by itself second strategically placed in the storyline and you get it entirely different experiences true it's pretty powerful but easy anyone could do it that's the fun part about this message yeah I just showed you a beautiful book trish andrew refining this crap for quite some time don't be intimidated if you know if that's you know, out of your skill set at this time because you would be surprised how fast this transition in the stories shooting will happen for you it happens quickly. We heard from guzman yesterday the guzman's oh my gosh, they're launching into this day and they're taking it by storm they're gonna own it and their portfolio they will go so far beyond what I've ever shot I guarantee that because they're hyper focused on on the message that I'm telling you through this workshop, so symbolism gotta have it so the foundation is simple shoot for the wall art shoot for the book so that's actually really interesting because we started off today talking about all the products that you sell to people and back there were some people who are questioning, like, why are we spending so much time on this? Aren't we supposed to be learning how to shoot for storytelling? Well, it seems like you are shooting for the products that you're selling. I mean, is that is that accurate is you're going through the day you're thinking like, okay, this is a thing that I'm gonna start today with product exactly why the steps are laid out as they are, you need to know what you're shooting for in order to take those pictures, all right, you must have something you're shooting for in order to know where those pictures will be displaying how they'll be displayed okay, I'm so glad you asked that this whole thing is laid out in a really tight format for a reason we have to now we know we're shooting for that beautiful book commit to uh your partners you need a lab and he needs someone to buying your books and you might find some other wonderful products that you that really resonate with you that you love to represent you gotta have your partners before you start refining your craft towards that partnership also jim um keith in the us do you have a pretty defined format for this album that allows you to take these photos I e groom getting ready just kind of the whole plan or does all of his groom getting ready follow this format say like actual layout like one vertical for horizontal or is it is it that like this is from keith keith? Good question really great question it you'll really enjoy tomorrow's uh program because we're gonna go over exactly that we're gonna break down every type of story you could possibly imagine that would go in the book I'm gonna show you my formula on I'm going to show you groom getting ready here's fifteen examples of how I've shown that in the past how I personally my personal formula and I welcome everybody to watch that emulate or take it make your own find your own unique style of doing it. Um it's fun when you have that personal formula it's no longer fifty campos is it's it's story techniques for each time of day and we're going to go over that tomorrow. Big time. I love that question great segue way so let me share with you a really simple technique. Teo quickly create a story. This is motion posing style of creating a new album spread we're going to create a film strip of action taking place motion posing naturally produces naturally produces expression so to answer your question we're going to so get into this about that groom that stale groom if that guy's group first groom is stale the first thing I do is go guys let's go for a walk come on and I do a technique like this because motion and movement will bleed too expression isn't it true a guy cannot help smiling cannot he cannot help smile if his if his bride comes up in squeezes them give us a big hug, it's impossible! You're gonna be like oh, I love that I love being hugged right now, okay motion and movement suffering people bringing them back together expression expression in russia every time that's how you lose him up first thing you do is moving but I'm gonna show you a simple technique using that technique in motion posing which is the next section here and we're gonna talk about it uses motion posing and it filmstrips and this is how easy it is to make a single spread in one minute or less and here we go so watch my camera here we go camera stage one spot I'm feeling kind of steel let impose click click like I'm not even looking through the camera okay I ask the bride come on twirl around and hit me with your dress when you spend perfect okay so instant smiles instant smiles okay love your love your groom go back and get him cracks up laughing my camera has not moved I'm not even at five six and a wide angle lens and she's just playing with the camera now and go hug your man he's big smile look he is laughing gilda hug snuggle snuggle perfect all of that was their natural body language is their national way of moving it's how they see themself in the expression that happened as a result of that quick fifteen or twenty snap so easy to do that now in a digital world click click click I'm just holding it down here wide angle that's keeping the camera in one place knowing that the focus was locked on the foreground okay boom I just told the spread our shot of spread and I created energy that will go into the next image okay so let's just show you and we're gonna do this personally together tomorrow okay from the images we shoot today but I'm gonna lay out album spread for you show you how fast this is okay so I would use fundings album builder and drop all these things in right it lays him elin and this is my simple design I make some simple tweaks to it I want to make head size is the same to see how I just shrunk that one image on the right and now I'm gonna expand the image to make it like stretch it out a little way so it's a square at the end and bunch of verticals so this section on the right is ah film strip a filmstrip khun b when holding the camera's something happens within the frames and then this is what we'll call the closing image to the spread head sizes are the same and less intentionally different or they need to be because right there the further back in the year that she's closer all right then I shook them down there so it matches everything else it is a clean simple theme the theme is this blue wall texture wall they're doing something that simple simple simple right two seconds to create this now watch this now lets photo shop it and we're gonna do this together this is where the time savings come in now I would finish all of the layout for the book before I do any of the post production work because I might want to change the image here that one doesn't quite fit that was not part of the theme I have too many one two, three I need to go a block of four and then one more or something like that I'd make all those adjustments later okay? And then we say retouched time I retouch all the images on the spread is one I call that one retouch unit just like one picture by itself would be a retouched unit one picture by itself is a retouched unit one spread by itself and I'll teach you how to do this is our retouch unit so I could have a three hundred images in my album over thirty spreads in theory and I only have thirty retouch units to complete design makes sense for a time savings at all to anybody now the picture taking philosophy here is what I used to do when the digital revolution took hold I did my first wedding digitally and I want to do what I did in the film era I'd go my gosh, I'd reach exactly that three hundred images that would take me five days okay to retouch them right and then hate when I goto create an album I throw images in they don't have the same continuity do the photo shop take a different between image to image oh my gosh I have to re retouch it what a nightmare I get why people don't like our I understand while it's hard to think how can I add albums into my work flow how could I do that how am I gonna find time to add books into my work flow as well as deliver these images on disk my friends the time savings alone for us and I'll show you later I'm gonna talk about this later in death ten months time saving ten months by not photocopy and instead doing what I'm about to show you right here so watch this they're the images I just flatten them up I you know you have questions about this we're gonna get in tomorrow so don't worry I took all the images and I flattened them together and I if you move them they'd move all in one okay so I can add a stroked all the images at the same time can I it's now one image it's just a floaty thing so I just added a stroke to everything with one click now I'm going to let's vignette let's finn yet so I'm gonna bring attention to a brightness center I've gotta marquis around the center of each image and I'm gonna use levels or curves to brighton the center and then I'm gonna select the opposite the outside area and I'm going to bring that down okay of each image all at once. So a couple more techniques that will get in tomorrow I might lay a texture over the top might lay a diffuse glow over the top, huh? Gosh, guys, easy took me three seconds. And when it comes to album retouching it's basic research when it comes to individual retouching that's advanced retouching if I'm gonna do something like this that's advanced retouching I interpolated up first and then do my techniques on it. Is it not true that we should be photoshopped images at the output that there will be viewed? Isn't that quality photoshopped skills? The why are all of us if we could educate our clients on that which I do, I say we photoshopped on ly for the art if you would like an image outside of the art that we produce, we're happy to take care of you will work with you and all that if it's a big projects are hourly is the following or if you just need one here and there just a show or you want to frame something yourself that's okay too. But you know I'll give you a work with you on the price for framing, you see if we educate them that it's actually bad policy to photoshopped images until you know what the final output put would be you don't have to photo shop a million images. You don't, um, we're gonna get into that in the workflow. But I hope for many of you, it's a revolution in thinking that's, why art focus, storytelling studios, people that work for the studios have home life's, okay? They have quality of life, that's, different because we work on just the art, and it were not inundated by time and photoshopped that we're not being paid for, and that's what I want for everybody. That's, a huge reason teo, follow this path! Follow us into this art shooting community.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Foldable Field Guide
10 Steps to Success

Ratings and Reviews

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.

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