I want to make this the most content filled course that you've ever seen before to me I don't want to be the instructor that shows you lots of slide shows or talks about how wonderful they are and ask you to clap you know the people at home can look at me and know this is pretty beautiful okay the fact is I want to give you content when I went to a workshop I always felt like this was missing and I wish I had seen that I want to put it all together for you so when planning nous we worked on that we worked on putting everything you can imagine in it so I'm going to take you through a twenty two year ride off ups and downs and everything in between I want to take you through and show you everything that help to make my studio what it is now I know some of you here may know about me and people at home don't like I said I've been shooting for over twenty two years I come from a family owned business this business started with my mom my dad and a credit card and a dream the truth is I'm a f...
ailed baseball player that's what I am I was very blessed at a young age I was able to throw a baseball of a ninety miles and hours of fifteen year old I had a cannon of an arm I thought this is what I was going to do with my life but it left me living with regrets I wind up getting hurt tor my rotator cuff most pain I've ever been in in my life but what I realized from it was they gave up on myself I had something secondary my dad worked so hard my dad was the dad who worked at the job during the day a job at night and shot weddings on a weekend he was the weekend warrior on the only way I could see my dad was to go two weddings with them and I loved it I loved watching my dad worked because I learned a lot about life in general I was able to be more experienced in life not necessarily book smart but life in general I learned with him being on the weddings I was also there to see the girls which worked out well later in life I met my beautiful like them she was a maid of honor at a wedding on dh she wound up although she did not realize that I was the love of her life initially it wound up leading to it three years later when we met in another wedding but the fact is I've learned so much during this time life is about taking chances so what we're going to dio over the next three days is we're going to talk about every type of posing imaginable we're going to talk about every type of lighting imaginable we're going to talk about business we're going to talk about work flow and we're going to talk about managing life in between he is the best part my studio when we started and went into our first store with a credit card in a dream we were doing fifty four weddings today twenty seven years later our studio is doing over a thousand weddings a year we do over five thousand portrait to year we do everything you can imagine from sports two schools tow bar about mitch first a boudoir to all of it I'm gonna explain to you how we got to that point I'm going to explain to you how to simplify not only the way you shoot but the way you operate your business because the fact is photographers tend to overcomplicate things we tend to think too much we tend to work too hard we forgot that as much as it was a hobby that we were fortunate enough to make money with we forgot that we have to make money and do things the right way and simplify them the worst thing you could do is a photographer and you're gonna hear me say it several times is overthink the situation so let's start where I'd want to go with it we're going to start with inspiration I want to inspire you I want to take you toe what inspires may so the question that I ask everybody is what is it that it's fires you what makes you do the things you do what is it that put you in a position to succeed it's about dreaming I told you I dreamed of being a baseball player it's great to dream big as long as you're willing to work for that dream everything you do start what having a dream everything you do start what having passion do you a passion are you excited about things if your passionate your clients will be passionate if your passionate everybody around you is going to be passionate if your passion you're going to get to what you want to do it's going to give you the choice I could either do this or not do it it starts would having courage see there's nothing people would look at me and say you were in current you don't have any courage I do have courage because I'm willing to take chances if you take chances great things can occur I'm not a worried about failure never worried about failure I'm worried about how to get there I'm worried about how much work I'm going to put into it see my dad took a major chance it was either going to he was going to swim or he was going to sink he took a chance and he said I'm going to make this work on he did because he put it all out there I'm not worried about what's gonna happen when I fail I'm worried about what's gonna happen if I don't try it's a matter of going in good directions you know what I've learned over time people just expect things to happen they're no longer interested and putting in what is you can't wait for it to happen you can't wait for it to come to you you got to go out and get it right now this minute this second it's a matter of going and grabbing it I live my life with we great every day last year I was given the biggest honor I'd ever be given in my life I was awarded a united nations leadership award one of only four wedding photographers in the world to ever receive this on as I'm driving home with my family after getting the biggest award that I ever got in my life were driving past citi field the home of my beloved metz start to cry because I realized that I let myself down I gave up on myself I got hurt and said it's over I'm gonna be a wedding photographer now mind you I've had a great life is a wedding photographer I love its greatest star up in the world but I'm always going to regret that I did not become a baseball player that I gave up on myself it's a matter of going out and getting it it's a matter of if I want it I got to go take it I was the guy in high school who never had a girlfriend I know it's really hard to believe but you see the way you girls looking very hard to believe but no I never had a girlfriend in high school you know why I was afraid to ask I was afraid to ask when I spoke to them years later they're like yeah I would've went out what you want like you now you tell may now you tell me but the fact was I was because I didn't ask people say why am I successful because I ask I put it out there it's a matter of changing if you haven't noticed society is quite different today than it's ever been before this people out there who are desperate everybody who picks up a camera says I'm a wedding photographer I can do this I'm a portrait try for I can do this I'm going to shoot on people professional in teo whatever the heck that means and be on my way clearly the rules of the game have changed they have I loved shooting film you know why because I couldn't fix it later on it was too expensive but now everybody thinks they can do it so what does that mean I have to do something different we're being redefined the rules that have been a place forever no longer apply ah wedding photographer isn't as important stats say it in two thousand seven there were over two point four million weddings in the united states do you know over one point six million of them were photographed by professionals now you would say that's not so great only two thirds you're right it's not great but you want to know what's worse today we're doing two thirds of the weddings that we did then there's only about one point four million people getting married and less than six hundred thousand of being photographed by professionals why is that happening well I love talking to photographers and they blame it on everybody else but they don't take accountability for what it is it's a matter of accepting the back that businesses change because we have not changed with it we decided we wanted to make life easier and just give them files and do different things but this isn't about it's about changing it's about adjusting on adjusting to the rules because they are changing you know what I learned in time change in life is automatic progress is not it's the conscious thought decision that I'm going to do something different you're gonna walk out of here today when you walk out at the end of three days and people are gonna watch it and say oh my god I'm inspired I'm ready I want to do this and then you're gonna go back to your normal life it's the people who walk out of here and make that change make that adjustment I studied under legendary photographer monty sucker who most people don't know I spent ten years of my life with him and you know what I learned over time was I didn't listen to him as much as I thought but the fact is my parents would have to send someone out toe watch me shoe afterwards because I was so fired up by what he did I would change everything but I was willing to take that chance that's not what you gotta do you gotta add it in but it's about changing one moment is all it takes to change your life forever one decision one step one conversation one idea that's all it takes you have to make a conscious decision that I want to change I want to be better I want to be different I want to be unique I want to do something that nobody else has ever done before you came here today because you wanted that the question is not what you do today it's what you do a week from now a month from now will you change will you follow it around I didn't have creative life when I was learning for monty I had marty's dvds and videos I watched them so much that I wound up melting them because I wanted it that's what they were vhs tapes I had to buy them again because on friday before I left for the wedding I'd watch those dv be a chest states when I got home at the end of the night and watch him again because I want to know what I did wrong when I got left before on saturday morning before I left I watch him when I got home I'd watch him again and keep doing it every day why because I wanted it so bad I could taste it I wanted to be the best I'm striving to be the best at a job there really is no such thing as a past this there because it's all in the eye of the beholder I strive to be the best person every day I wake up and say I want to do more today than I did yesterday I want to do mohr today because I want to be better I want to keep inspired what is it that inspires you is it love is it money is itself worth is it family what matters most it's a matter of figuring it out it's a matter of knowing how do we change how do we change we change when we're no longer willing to accept what is good enough you've heard this term before if it ain't broke don't fix it it's the worst term on the entire planet I'll tell you why because if it ain't broke you're not looking hard enough because you could always do it better you could always do it better I do nothing perfect other than this body okay I don't do it perfect all I want to do is get better I have to accept the fact that I don't know everything you have to be honest about who you are and where you're going in order to change you have to be honest I remember showing monty my work on behalf monty monty I'm so excited look at this aren't I wonderful and he looked at me and say this is what you created this is what I've taught you you don't get it and I walk away and I'd be like what does he know he's an old man and it took me five more years to learning because I always thought I was better than I wass I thought that I knew everything I was a child my daughter has wonderful as she is I love you dearly you don't know everything your eleven you still have to learn and the fact is we act like children we think we can't learn anything you came here and something she going to disagree with some you're going to love some you're gonna be indifferent to the question is how can you fit it into what you're doing I was brought here for a reason because obviously I've had some type of proven success and track record it's a matter of you finding what works for you it's a matter of being honest about what direction you're going it's about commitment are you committed to what you're doing commitment is realizing that failure is not an option you want me to give you a stat that'll blow your mind most three probably know it already and the united states in two thousand eleven the divorce rate was a fifty three percent now was a wedding photographer I'm kind of excited about that but the fact is fifty three percent of people say it's easy to give up then keep trying guess what sometimes it may be it may say alright let me cut my losses and move on but it's not easier it's not easy to give up the only failure you have is giving up this is in life you're going to get knocked down it's not a question of getting hit and getting knocked down it's a question of what you do when you do get hit and get knocked down do you get up you move forward you keep getting hit you move forward that's what it's about it's about moving forward and being better commitment is realizing there's no expiration date on what it is you want to accomplish why do we set gates why did we set deadlines how can we move forward if we have deadlines on what it is we want to accomplish there's no deadlines in my life because if I put deadlines when I don't reach them I'm gonna feel like a failure it's a matter of saying okay I want to try to get here by the state am I saying don't develop a plan no of course you need to develop a plan the question is don't say if I don't hit it at this date it's over I go to w p p ay the biggest photograph that convention in the world every year and every year I make the mistakes same mistake of saying how's it going and you know what people say to me oh things are going well uh bye but I make that mistake and those people who tell me that this is their last chance they're going to w p p r and it's going to change their life forever it will change your life but it's not going to current and howard those are the same people that when I'm goingto work in the morning at nine a m they're coming home from a night of drinking and partying that's not working working his blood sweat tears dedication and commitment I didn't get to where I was because I gave up now maybe I'm mohr inspired because I did give up on something and I'm trying to prove a point to my kids to my family it's about making sure that you're committed it's about making sure you're not afraid people's deepest fear in life is not that they're inadequate their deepest fear is that they have power beyond anything imaginable you're not afraid of failure you're afraid of what you're afraid of success because when you get on top that's when the work really starts you have to work harder you have to want it maur you have to be more intense you have to be more excited you have to put more effort than you could ever possibly imagine because that's when it really starts look at the athletes with the big contracts how often after they get the months the contract does their stats go down it happens all the time doesn't it because they got what they were looking for to me it's not about the money it's about the love of the game it's about wanting to be the best because if you are the money is always going to follow you know what I've learned whips let me go back I don't want to see that yet dear wait wait I've been asked many many times how come your successful why you successful how you recommended by over forty different catering horse how did that happen you know why because I asked good luck just doesn't happen it's a matter of putting yourself in a situation for good luck to occur good luck is opportunity created what's the worst that could happen if I go to a catering lo and I say I would love to be your recommended photographer oh no we have someone so then I'll go back again and try again it's a matter of putting yourself out there I'm not afraid of rejection I'm afraid of not asking good luck happens because I put myself in a situation for good luck to occur magical shots occur because I take chances it's not about doing what's obvious it's about doing what's not obvious that's what makes photography green and I have the challenge of a lifetime over the next couple of days I'm inside this little area and I have to find a way to make it look good I have to find a way to make it look unique and I have to find a way not to bore you it's about being motivated it's about understanding what your biggest asset is as a professional not a photographer but as a professional what is it what is your biggest asset it's no doubt personality do you know why I'm successful because of personality I did my first wedding when I was sixteen years old sixteen could you imagine I wasn't very good but guess what the people liked me and you know what I learned over time if they like you know like your pictures business is built on that if you ask me where the best place to advertises in any business I'm gonna tell you one answer with the people you already have their there they want to tell people you agree people don't want to complain they want to say I'm great they loved him people came to me because they liked me my pictures were okay maybe even mediocre but they liked me they liked hanging out with me because I was fun on the fact is if you can do that build that into your business into your brand make your personality your brand your personality is a photographer whether you're in juiciest or whether a professional boils down to who you are as a person that tells the story and that's what makes it work our clients and know what they look like they've seen themselves a thousand times but the fact is are we showing who they are inside as a professional I'm gonna ask you this question do you know who your photographer do you know your client do you take time to get to know them when was the last time you cried at a wedding or a portrait session I'll admit it I'm a little you know what my little little them with this I cry all the time why do I cry because I understand the story how could I ever photographed the emotion if I don't have the story I know that her brother just came back from the war I know that her dad's dying I know that grandma is very sick tell you why this is important when I got married my grandfather died two weeks after the wedding and I remember the devastation that my mother felt wasn't it because his dad died when we were searching for photographs she didn't have a picture of her inner doubts and she was eight years old what does that tell you remember something your job matters you have to know the story from that day on I realized wait a minute I have to go in dept my job is a photographer is quite different than I ever imagined remember when I shot fifteen years ago in someone would come to me at twelve o'clock at night after a full day and say hey doug can you do this family picture big oh are you kidding may I ran out of film now I realize I have to take it no matter what because that could be the last time someone's in there it's important it matters you have to find out about your clients and guess what they like it when you know them when you know they're personality they know you there's more than just a photographer and guess what when you do make a mistake because you will they're going to be more forgiving you can't get what you want out of subject if you don't know them and your job is a professional is not just pressing a button it's knowing who they are you know what I learned over time what's up here doesn't always translate the paper it doesn't you can't photograph what's in your mind's eye because you walk in and the situation changes when we were talking about this creative life project they said to me how do you want to set it up how do you want to make the backgrounds do you want to see anything my answer was no I don't want to see anything I don't want to know anything and their response was oh my goodness you're so easy because I'm not about looking for the perfect spot because god knows when I shoot there's no such thing one out of every thousand I find the perfect location every other time it's about what happens it's what's there I don't want to think about it because for two weeks I'd be thinking about only goodness what am I going to do I don't care because I wanna walk in and be excited about it and I want to look at it it's a red wall what the heck can I do with this how could I make it and then I realized even further along it's not about what I do or what I plan it's about photographing from here the only emotion ah photograph from the heart where personality with dept is always going to be more value I promise you this and I've learned it over time emotion will always always always be technical perfection always it's a matter of whether or not you can create that emotion you know why because we forgot as a photographer we have the writer we have the director we have the cameramen we are everything we produce it on what is that being for us it means one thing that matters most what matters most you see this this is what matters most to me this beautiful woman a niece to little kids and my little puppy of course why does it why do they matter most you know why they matter because that's what makes me get up in the morning that's what inspires me to do the things that I do when I'm tired when I'm a key when I'm cranky I know that I'm doing something for them I know that I want mohr for them I know what matters most and if I on ly do it half way who am I letting down I'm letting them down I want to be the family guy I want to be the guy that shows them what to do I never lose sight of this one simple fact that I've heard it god knows how many times I've said it never lose sight of it people remember their lives through your eyes your feelings your emotions everything you are is a person long after you're going I'm going where the subject's gone you bring history to life always oh yes I'm doing a project for a friend right now he's collecting all of these different images of his entire life his parents are getting up any older years of their life so what he's doing is he wants to take all the photos of the entire life and he's almost sixty years old and he's going to digitize them and he's going to make the family album that history you want to know what's changed when I first started photographing twenty two years ago I'd walk into someone's home and it would be beautiful prints all over the war you walk in now you know what you see chair away and empty walls don'tyou and occasionally they plug in their elektronik frame we forgot what a photographer really is a photographer used to be nothing more than a glorified paper sales person our job was to sell paper that's how we made our money that's what it's about it's about creating art it's about creating a story it's about remembering you create history so today I dare you I'm wishing you were there remember when you were kids something I dare you to do it I dare you to think outside the box I dare you to do something you've never done before idea you to take a chance years ago when I first started teaching fifteen years ago my idea of doing different was okay I'm going to lay the groom in the grass on his belly I'm gonna lay the bride on top hugging and everybody's a cool dip right now is you could now if you could tell I've graduated to making her look ah little bit more extravagant to say the least but the fact is I took chances is this image going to be for everybody when a bride walks up into the studio and sees what the legs up on the wall and everything she's going to be sexy and my mom's going teo and you know what she's going to say but the fact is it's not about that it's about drawing attention if you do something unique you're going to draw attention to yourself and that's good attention you know why because when people walk into my studio do you think I have an image of anybody staring at the camera no I have the images with wow factor I have the images they're going to make them talk whether they book they don't book or anything in between my job is that your attention and make them talk about me I create something in between it's about being different how d be different well if you ever seen me in a live performance on stage you know that I start my seminars off by dancing now do it for two reasons number one I want to give you ladies a little bit of a treat the other reason is how many photography seminars have you been to before whether the leader of it did the y m c a to start it off in front of a couple of thousand people they don't do it I do it because no matter what you're going to remember I did something different do you know the only constant of my program in fifteen years is getting him up and doing a dance routine because people love it they're excited they're having fun I could do the whole thing what you look at this year everything we do the whole thing because that's how you create impact laying a bride down in the middle of a park holding a subject down in the middle of the park with their legs up on the wall is it going to draw attention it is you create impact by doing things that nobody else is doing when I walk into a park when I'm shooting a wedding and his other weddings there the photographer's literally start to clear out because they know I'm going to go out of my way to draw attention to myself I want them to say I want the other brides to say to their photographer wait a minute why aren't you doing that because that's how you advertise you create impact it's about making the invisible visible taking this wall on making it look interesting in telling the story it's about seeing things it's a about making ordinary into extraordinary seeing things that nobody else sees it's about using emotion and energy and excitement if I'm excited you're excited if you're excited to clients excited now most of you are probably scared of me who was sitting here you think I'm going to attack you by week's end but I won't but I'm excited I'm passionate because I'm passionate everybody else around me is going to be if I'm enthusiastic everybody else is going to be and if you can those of you at home don't know this the six of them here they're totally rocking my world your excitement is overwhelming making you tone it down just a little bit he's a little bit okay it's a matter of being excited it's a matter of not being pray don't be afraid to fail be afraid not to try be afraid not to take chances be a freed I cannot say I can do this it's not a matter of saying I can't do it maybe I could do it you can do it when you walk out of here after three days or you're home watching this after three days and you say there's no way I could shoot a two thousand years ago or six thousand or so or two point eight fact is they did not make your camera so that you can't do it they made your camera so that you can do it don't be afraid to fail make your mistakes learn I'm the guy who never looks at directions why number one I can't read that well no fact is I don't look at directions because I want to play I want to have fun I want to be a child I want to make my mistakes so I learned how to do them I'm bored when I read I'm visual this is why creative live is wonderful because I could watch it over and over and over again I'm watching until it just keeps going until it sinks in you can't watch this one time you need to watch it a thousand times you have to want it so bad that you're sick of may that's how it works it's about creating impact it's about doing the impossible it's about emotion and energy it's about not being afraid it's about taking your heart and putting it into it and if you throw your heart over defense I promise you everything else so follow I promise you it's going to follow I promise you it's about changing you know why we need to change because everybody's doing the same thing and if you keep doing the same thing you've always done guess what you're going to get the same results you've always gotten I told you before I'll tell you again everybody picks up cameron says that I can do this I could do this I got this under control look at this I just machine gun buy it what's the term spray and pray okay it's not about spraying and praying it's about controlling what you do it's about doing something different you want to do something different that nobody else is doing in the photography field I'm gonna give it to you very very short you want to do you want to be so unique nobody else is doing it here it goes learn to pose learn to pose people learned to create a story learn to make the story why why is this important do you know why it's important I'm going to give it to you in a nutshell someone comes into my studio and I like my goodness I love your website I love this wedding album you show me this is awesome this is everything I want and they're looking at an album where the couple is getting married in the dominican republic there's only twelve people at the wedding it's beautiful it's ken and barbie everything about it is perfect but this couple who sitting in front of me they have no personality that families hate each other they're a little overweight okay we're talking like tag team wrestling overweight ok they walk in on that that's what I want my pictures to look like so if I don't pose when they come back after the wedding and I'm like oh my goodness what happened doug my pitches looked nothing like this can I say them are so sorry your wedding sucked and oh yeah you're huge can I say that I can't say that can I because the fact is my job is not to show the world as it is my job is to show the world is what we wanted to be people come to me because they have a dream they have a fairy tale of what they really want to be do I want to look like this actually kind of the fact is I want to look better don't I I don't want to look like myself I want to look better I want to live the fairytale that's why glamour shots is still around after all these years it's a matter of creating it it's a matter of creating the story so what is posing have to do with it do you really think that a bride and groom or anybody looks at each other's gets hold hands let's frolic does that really happen it never happens does it has a bride or a subject ever said you all my goodness look at the way the light's hitting may let's spin it doesn't happen does it it's not a matter of showing what is it's a matter of creating a better and it's only one way to do it pose pose pose I remember when I started lecturing fifteen years ago everybody said to me whoa you're going to be short lived you're an old fashioned photographer your traditional you're boring you and your boy marty over there you guys you're old school photo journalism it's a way to go things have changed haven't they guess what monty circle would be coming back into style today more popular than ever why because he knew how to make the body look good he knew how to make people feel good he knew how to make them look better than they've ever looked in your life and guess what over the next three days I'm going to show you how I'm going to show you how to put people in the most uncomfortable positions they've ever been in a narron's higher life but they're going to look better than they've ever looked simple things look at me if I stand here like this it's the way most people standing oppose you look at me and you think ok he looks all right but what you're not realizing is I make my belly look bigger I give myself twelve chance but if I do a little thing here and lean forward just like this I've gotten rid of my belly have tightened up my face thes air all little rules that you're going to learn but it's a matter of learning to pose because I could promise you weddings portrait event they're not really fairytales it's kind of fake when I got married I trained my whole life I was doing wedding since I was eleven years old my dad like oh my goodness the first dance is gonna be the most romantic moment in the entire world oh my goodness and it's what dancing it wasn't that way it was like can you believe they got the cake wrong why's your sister wearing the stress your friend over there is an idiot what's going on here so was I started doing weddings after that I realized wait a minute they're not really romantic she's yelling at him she's yelling at him she's made at a wedding it's not about romance it's about creating the illusion that it is you're going to learn how to fake it you're going to learn how to fake those moments and afterwards when your clients come back to you and say oh my goodness I don't know I don't even remember this happening how did it happen you could be honest with them be like yeah listen I'm kind of like a ninja I'm nowhere but I'm everywhere it's not a matter of being wheeled because a wedding is not really it's a fairy tale just watch the tv shows people are crazy your job is to create the illusion it's about doing something different and that's thoughts were posing now depending on where you are in the world this may or may not work for you but you've always heard the term sex sells on the fact iss it does now more than ever people want to look sexy today's woman is more sophisticated than she's ever been in her entire life much more powerful their executives their leaders in the community they're the main breadwinners in household women want to look sexy it's a matter of creating that sex appeal now he is what happens years ago when I first started doing it I remember being about eighteen years old and me saying to my dad dad this wedding photography thing is not gonna work out I'm bored I can't have her in a mirror putting on lipstick and a hairbrush and faking it he said well what are you going to do and I said to him I'm like I want to something different I said they were all that sexy lingerie they go undergarments I said I want to shoot that so we said to me he's like you're probably just being like an eighteen year old pervert or something and he may have been right but the fact is little did he know it would turn out to be such a huge business do you know out of the thousand weddings we do a year eight hundred of them do boudoir sessions before do you know that all boudoir sessions ah book literally from june through february we're booked solid you're both eight months to ten months out to get a session with us were doing over a thousand boudoir sessions you why because women want to feel special my job is the photographers to make feel special and you may say well it's kind of a crazy brand of photography it is what I want my wife to do it without the photographing it probably not but my job is not to live in reality my job is to create fantasy same thing what maternity it's about doing something that matters I just had something and it was so special to me the woman came in for a maternity session and she was bed ridden and she had a catheter and everything that the baby's beautiful and everything came out good but everything before that could make her uncomfortable and feel not so good about herself was happening the veins everything but when she left and saw those photos hysterical crying she goes I never felt beautiful this whole time you made me feel beautiful that's what this job is about it's not about the money the money is just an added bonus but if I do it with love if I do it with compassion if I do it with personality that's a heck of a lot better isn't it and it starts with understanding that sex sells personality cells and it's about creating that moment you have a choice is a photographer you could either take the moment or you could create the moment I choose to create it why do I choose to create it because the fact that simple I really really believe in my heart of hearts that romance must be created romance has to be created like I said first stance is not romantic it's what happens in a pose that creates the naturalness of the moment it's that little hand squeeze that he makes tour it's that little whisper in her ear it's me saying something funny it's me creating a story what do I mean romance must be created remember I said it's about the personality you're going to hear over the next three days how my temperament changes according to what I want at that moment now I'm loud I'm boisterous I'm full of personality do you think when I want that soft seductive moment I'm going to talk that way or am I going to bring it down turn your head and beautiful just a little bit nice relaxed just press your lips don't touch just press excellent now I want you to go in and tear him up and now like a two different images don't I I get the soft personality I get you get all of it because of how I control the moment with personality you're going to hear this debate you see this is one of the things that excited me most about creative life this wide audience because over the next three days when not chat room heats up later today and tomorrow it's going to be oh my god he touches them way too much there's going to be oh my god he's touching him and then there's going to be the people say are you out of your mind of course he's touching them he's touching him because he wants to be able to go in and control what he's doing it's a debate but it's a good debate but the fact is I'm going to talk about touching because I think touches good touch creates softness touch creates personality I've done over thirty six hundred weddings in the last twenty two years I've done I can't begin to count how many portrait sessions nobody's ever got mad at me for touching him they liked the fact I go and get a haircut the barber shave my neck at the end he touches the back of my neck and my cool maybe it's a little weird but I like it anyway thie fact is it's about creating the moment it's about letting it feel it's about letting it be we think too much we think way too much and everything we do you know who the best photographers are the ones who had a big why do I have to sit there and think here's the thing that you're going to find out about posing years ago they said nobody wants to pose any more photo journalism's the way to go they don't pose because it takes too long it takes too long it takes a whole day and you know what they were partially right I learned a lot like I said working with my dad at a young age my dad was the best people loved him but he was slow and he was very meticulous when he shot so what would happen is all of a sudden when a cocktail hour reception started and he was still shooting which usually was no fourth of hiss people would say oh my god I don't like him anymore they be angry he would be like the worst human being on the planet because they felt that took too long so my goal was I couldn't believe people with disliking my dad I said I got to do it in a way that people don't like so as fast as I talk I'm gonna teach you to shoot even faster that's going to be part of the flow that's going to be part of the personality is making things happen quick what's the biggest complaint that people have about photographers were too slow we take too much time I promise you when you walk out of here at the end of three days that will never be a question again we're going to make it happen but you gotta study and it's a matter of practicing you know what's terrible most people now their idea of practicing is on a job you can't practice on a job that's not what happens practice on a job is what kills you practice on a jobs we create get someone dressed up find someone to model for you anybody I took one of my dearest closest friends in the world I said please get dressed up okay and I said I want to prove that I can make anybody look good look at him he's beautiful he's absolutely gorgeous but it's the way I created him not mind you if you do walk into a scenario like this don't question it just move on but shoot away but the fact is it's about practicing the fact is it's about going and doing something above and beyond its about moving in a direction where you realize that everything you do is based on making yourself a better photographer I practice still I take my daughter and I dress her up why because I know she's going to be a pain in the behind and make me struggle through it but it makes it better because that I find a faster way to do it you have to practice it's about creating it now he is one of the worst things I've found over the years with photographers and it kind of drives me crazy just a little bit we don't think in terms of operating like a business even big businesses should operate small businesses should operate like big businesses you have to create systems you have no choice everything you do is about a system let me ask this question each of you and be honest do you have a plan do you have business blend ah plan period a business plan a shooting plan a personality plan a work and family plan do you have any of them it has to be a well thought out plan goes for you at home you're thinking about what your plan is for today and what I'm going to eat later I have my year planned out I know exactly what I do and that's why I've been able to get where I get where I've gotten my plan is very simple I planned everything off what I'm going to dio like let me ask you something he has the biggest sign you're doing something wrong email could be very consuming cannon when are you checking your email do you check it every time you fall comes in your head do you do with that and disrupt what you doing e mail should be done at times of the day it's not a matter of doing it at that immediate warm it's a matter of getting things done the only way you could really truly accomplish anything and get things done is what you have a plan do you have a plan do you have a system everything in it what I do is a system we're going to talk about that over the next a couple of days we're going to talk about how I'm able to manage life in business do you think photography is the only thing I do I have many other things I coach a thirteen you traveled national travel baseball team on top of my lecturing which I do almost forty to fifty cities here on top of my weddings which I do sixty weddings a year I'm involved with the p t a and I coached baseball team about eighty games a year so how do I manage all of this because I've created a system that works you have to create something that works for you it's about efficiency what's the biggest killer of people's businesses efficiency you don't have a system in place it's important you have a system because when you do systems will create consistency systems will create a guarantee systems will tell a story systems begin with what we call the float everybody thinks flow posing is this thing they think it's a small little thing I created it's a way of life for may it's a way of doing everything that I do everything I do is about the flow it's about making sure that I don't have to stop it's making sure that I'm able to adjust do you think about your catastrophe plan do you what happens when the camera goes down when she's walking down the aisle what do you do the sign of a professional is not what you're doing while everything's good the sign of a professional is what you do when something goes wrong how do you react I remember it was quite fun this was ah great experience with my dad and may my dad wasn't very technical like myself but his way of fixing things were quite funny uh I'm about twelve years old and he's outside the bride's house and his cameras not working so in the color and we're outside the car and he's looking at it need to know what to do technically so we ranters troubleshooting and his way of fixing it wass shaking it shaking it so as she's walking out the brides walking out of the house he doesn't know is he shaking it and it's still not working he yells u b word you know what the b word is so I said dad he looked so because not talking about you he's shaking the camera because he did it he got to be able to just move on common it's work that's why you have another when you move on you worry about it later camera doesn't work I'm prepared to move on oh my goodness it didn't come out when she's walking down the aisle let me forget about it and pretend she doesn't notice it here's what I do when training my personal photographers from my staff and as you can imagine we have quite a big staff we've over thirty employees and I just get it to one of them the other day there's a girl jen who's training for us on the other day I made her screw up and changed the settings on the camera as thie bridal party was walking down the aisle and I need it so that the camera didn't fire why would I do that to her because when she goes out on her own she needs to be prepared for it to happen so she couldn't focus the flashed and fire what did she have to dio she had to go up to him take this and I don't like the way you came out I need to re shoot you again after the ceremony coming down do you go up to today I blew it you look terrible didn't come out I don't know what I'm doing when you grow up and listen I don't really like the way it looked like just re publish this but just redo it it's a matter of dealing it it's the person who doesn't redo it that has the problem it's a matter of teaching her jen what happened I don't know what happened then you're nowhere near being ready to go out fortunately she didn't know what happened she's like my settings changed I must have hit this or that and I'm like no you didn't hit anything I changed him before you shot so she's like what is that teaching may that's teaching you to check everything before you actually pressed the button don't assume that you didn't rub the body of the camera up against you and are setting change it's about systems what exactly is flo posing it's something that I created quite a long time ago and little did I know it would be this thing that followed me around what you're seeing is over seventy different poses of the bride and groom flow before your eyes now everybody thinks that flow posing is just the bride and groom floor posing is everything do you know more than seventy percent of these poses here this couple can be used in various different types of entities of photography you can use someone pota graph photographing families when photographing maternity tze when photographing communion kids with their parents when photographing the bride with a parents all of them because it's about making that story and everything for together isn't it it's about finding a way to make this unique now other variables or their changes yes but here's the thing theseventy poses occurred to you in a matter of seconds how long do you think it takes me to shoot down on a wedding I have a question for you how long does it take you to normally take ten completely different images of a couple most people say it takes me about ten fifteen minutes right does that's inaccurate ten fifteen minutes you lost them they're gone they're done I could do this in five because it's simple subtle changes just watch this can I borrow my beautiful couple here for a second I know you've been dying to get up here with me take a look at these little things you guys going to come right over here for a second you're going to switch sides for me though beautiful just watch these little things these entities now I want you to look they're photographers there standing next to each other and they look completely clueless okay because that's what people are I'm a photographer but when someone comes up to you do they automatically go oh look take a look here go they don't do that do that they're all looking for leadership I saw that here's what I've learned people are starving to be like any absence of real leadership they'll listen to anybody my dad always told me he goes this is how you control your events whatever you do don't stop talking if you stop talking what does that mean nobody's listening and they're thinking something else so no matter what I don't care if you tell them a story keep talking and keep their attention on you and second part do I ask for their opinion about what they want to dio do I have any interest in your opinion no I could care less why because if I hear stuff what can they say they could say no watch this two people here I want you two to hug like you going to take an image okay so let's take a look at what he did and this will get into poser did he do anything to flatter himself or hard did they will oppose the post little things make the difference that we're gonna learn this a little bit later on our seconds in our segments later today hear her arm looks bigger but now he made her arm looks smaller but more importantly what he did which he connected them and we're gonna talk later now bring your heads close together I'm just going to touch you okay the emails have stopped coming in now they think he's touching them come right here heads together leaving their bodies together not lean forward tilt your head a little bit beautiful relax let me control you okay relax turn your head now you look at this this is one pose watch how easy it is to create many I want you to turn to but you know is right on his cheek beautiful chin down a little bit stretchy churn out a tad good he's looking smile okay now look at each other don't look scared look at his forehead it's big agenda now here watch this that straight turn your head here just like that lean forward stretching out I just created for police is how long did it take me second that's the idea of flo thank you you guys did spectacular especially you nice work okay the fact is that ah plan it's a system if you shot those four poses of any couple would they be happy they would but here's what's happening this is what people are doing now today and it's a killer they'll take the bride and groom will take the sub put your arm around each other hold here hand in your pocket your hand on his chest now smile now look at each other now kiss now hug and then they're going to do the same exact sequence over here I'm going to do it over there and over there the problem is if you keep doing the same thing what are they gonna buy it's not a matter of that it's a matter of taking all of these you see all of these they all look different and it's based on what it's based on the fact just little subtle quick movement if you do that you're goingto have tons and tons of success but flow posing is not about the bride and groom it's about a guy alone it's about learning how to pose a guy long let me show you some of the classic guy alone poses I've seen over the years he has a second one give me a third one fourth one this one of my favorites captain morgan there's nothing flattering about this is like goes up you see things you shouldn't be seeing and his butt looks gigantic there's absolutely nothing good about it a guy wants to look strong he wants to look powerful take a look just watch you put me here on a war sorry okay you bring me here these are widow subtle differences there posing makes you take a look people post someone on a wall they're afraid of the lighting which we're going to talk about next but do I look good here so matter of understanding here we go up and down straight do I have a great picture of a guy if I cut from here over horizontal do I have a great guy do I look down I have a great guy I turn in profile I have a great guy four poses in a matter of seconds just by making little subtle adjustments a guy wants to look strong he wants to have personality it's a matter of doing things can I grab that one stool over there real quick if someone doesn't mind I'm sorry um now the idea here again is keeping things simple it's about flowing I'm sorry I should taken an earlier thank you okay if you take a look right here guy alone this does this look good look it may doesn't work does it but if I come in here if I sit here and lean forward and turned my head I now got great light got great personality I got strength but do you know just by sitting here I could create seven different types of images without him ever moving just by moving eyes chin and really comma cropping it's that simple it's about creating a float everything you do needs to be a flow give you an example did you ever see the movie sleeping with the enemy well if you saw it there was a scene where the guy had everything alphabetized and the closet and everything that's the way I two things it's a matter of flowing from one thing to another every day I walk into my office I checked my email then I move on to my other checks of what I need to do for the next half hour then I do this project for a half hour then I do this I do this I do this and then every day this is important this is part of the flow I take a half hour to do something that I've never done before I take a half hour walk so that I can clear the mechanism I clear it clean it out and I move on to think about something that I've never thought about before I create a journal how many of you keep a journal so it's a lost art isn't it why is a journal important was the greatest gift my wife ever gave me you know why because with the journal how many of you have trouble going to sleep a night because your mind is racing you have a thousand different that he's going through it like oh my goodness I'd love to do something but then what happens is you forgot it the next day so every night I journal when I can't think of journal when I take that thirty minute walk to create my journal it's a matter of moving along with the flow so here's what you need to do first thing whether your home whether you're here wherever it may be you need to number one develop a plan developed a system you need to number to define a vision what is your vision for what each one of you want to accomplish with what you're doing just now what you're doing right here what is your vision what is the vision of what it is I want to become you know what my vision is I want mawr my life always gets mad at me she thought it's quite a bit we have this conversation her question is always the same when said enough when do you have enough she's not talking about materialistic things because you could look at the way dress and no I'm not very materialistic she's looking at the fact that I always want more I want more notoriety I want more fame I want more personality I want to be the guy she I do ever problem in my life that some people face I put myself out there so when you put yourself out there what's gonna happen not everybody's going to love you it's going to make yourself quite vulnerable the times actually isn't I want everybody to love me so my dream is to keep working so that I can keep doing things that I know are helping people I want to be the guy that people know they can count on it's not about money it's about helping people I want to do something that leaves a legacy my photographer is going to be able to see long after I'm going but I see the bishan is bigger I look at this industry right now I look at photography in general and I really worried about it it's in a bad spot it in a dangerous spot so what can I do to help it on what people aren't realizing is sometimes in order to move forward you have to take a step back and that means going back what made us who we were when was photography successful when we could do something that other people couldn't do and that was posing so be prepared for the ride of your life time I'm going to take you to a simplification of light I'm going to take you to a simplification opposing I'm going to take you to a simplification of every part of photography and life that you could ever possibly imagine I'm going to make you want to get up in the morning and do this job because you know you could be better I'm gonna make you want to get up in the morning and do this job because you know that what you do matters because it's important
Doug Gordon is a New York based professional photographer, writer, and speaker. Doug runs Patken Photography, a family-owned studio with a staff of 27 shooting 1,000 weddings every year. Doug has been a professional photographer for 22 years and a
I loved every minute of it! I watched and re-watched the Live show 3 times and now have the video version to burn into my mind. I don't get sick of watching it, I learn something new with each viewing. I have notes upon notes, inspirational quotes and I was truly inspired. I saw you live at your workshop and I wish we would of covered the business section a bit more in depthly because after watching you here on creativeLive I was floored! I can't wait to attend another one of your workshops because you are a wealth of knowledge, energetic and you inspire me to be better! I'm so glad I wasn't afraid to try even though I was terrified at first. Thank you, thank you, thank you for being such an amazing mentor!
a Creativelive Student
Doug is AMAZING! The way he teaches makes it fun and easy to understand. The way he poses his couples are so fast and easy to learn, I have taken my photography from mediocre, to world-class. I would love to meet him and thank him personally one day. Thank you Creativelive for introducing me to Doug, and thank you, Doug, for introducing me to CreativeLive! The best community for learning!!!
Doug has so much enthusiasm, it is beyond measurable. He is truly a fantastic motivator. He helps you understand the best ways to work with the light you have and shows you some very simple yet effective posing techniques. I highly recommend watching and buying this course if you want some great advice on improving your photography.