The Wedding Story: Capture Creative and Authentic Photos


Lesson Info

Don't be Afraid of Tough Light

And then we have tough light. This is when... Not our favorite. (laughs) No, no definitely not. When things are not really aligning very well for you, like at Susan... And to demonstrate bad light, we'll talk about two of the best photographers with light, Susan and Cliff Mautner. They got married in very dark, loft space and it was extremely, extremely challenging to get the light just right on them. I mean, for very difficult situations, this is what it looked like most of the time. And this is a good photo of the light on Susan but if you look at Cliff in the background, he has sort of this Zorro strip of light on his forehead. Most of the time his eyes were in complete darkness and it was nearly impossible to work with. So the key here is to just be really, really patient and wait for things to move and fall in right place, like here with Susan and finally here with Cliff. Again, that's that mental aspect of... If I start moving around and try to do something different, the l...

ighting's not gonna change. If I feel like this is the best photo that I need to get in that moment, be extra patient. Wait for someone to move their head just up and down a little bit and really get the best version of that photo possible. In a tough lighting situation for a ceremony, you're probably gonna end up with even less photos, because you have to be extra patient and you're spending extra time on each photo. But this is especially important in this case, because you don't want to end up with a whole bunch of different angles that you did, but the light never worked out so you end up with nothing that really worked. You're better off working on five different photos that you got the good moment, the light was right, and then you're ready to move on to something else. And sometimes tough light is interesting light. It's not perfect by any means, but it allowed us to silhouette one of them against the background, while getting good light on them. Again, just waiting for them to turn towards one another, the situation changes and get the best version of that possible. And then when they stepped away from the chuppah where they were standing, the light quality was again very different and it was good in that instance. And then as they walked out, well there was just a matter of being ready with a bounce flash and lighting them on my own, because I knew that that was complete darkness and there was not much to be done there with the ambient light. Sticking with tough light, high noon is some of the worst light that you can possibly work with, but there is still a way to make it work in the photos. And sometimes we really have no choice. We often, for a ceremony, they'll time their ceremony maybe with sunset. That's great, that's what we want. But then working backwards, if they have a first look, their first look ends up being at a less than ideal time of day. We have the option to do it inside, or if we want to try to kind of work with that light it's just a matter of, again, taking some control and making sure the light is gonna be working for us instead of against us. A lot of times the first look is gonna happen early in the day because they need to do the first look, they need to do their own portraits, they need to do the formals. They need go through all of those official things on the schedule, and so the first look ends up getting bumped to 12 or 1:00, which is when the light is really the hardest. So, in this case, we really took control. We scouted exactly where we wanted them to do their first look. The reason why we chose this spot is because we knew that it would give the bride a long path to walk down, and that when she would walk in that specific spot she would frame against a dark background. That's all we were looking for. We just wanted light on the bride against a dark background. Simple as that. And then we made sure that the groom was on the left side, so that his shadow would complete the frame at the bottom. This is at a different wedding but same scenario. With a really long lens, we just placed the groom so that he had the sun behind him and he was against a dark background. And then as she arrived, the moments are happening in that spot, in a situation that we've had some kind of control over. We actually had the bride walk all the way around the block just so she would walk in the right direction. So again, control in tough situations is really really key, as well as staying very patient with it and allowing the light and the moment to really come together.

Wedding Photography is a hard and sometimes exhausting business. Finding ways to stay creative while continuing to capture timeless and classic imagery is important. Drawing from their own life experiences, Davina and Daniel Kudish capture the subtle nuances of their client's life stories at every wedding. In this course, they’ll discuss techniques to personalize each individual wedding to capture the stories and moments that make each couple unique.

They’ll discuss the formula to capturing stories and teach:

  • Pre-Wedding Conversation techniques with clients to help build your shot list
  • Utilize what you know about each couple to help approach capturing the day
  • Research and location scouting techniques
  • Capture the details that matter most
  • How to work with various lighting situations
  • Preserve the mood and capture natural moments
  • Composition and Framing
  • Shooting with variety
  • Create personal and creative portraits
  • Edit a slideshow and how to create an album

Davina and Daniel are known for capturing creative portraits and important moments that tell every unique love story. Join them to learn how to implement their formula to find and capture the creative story with every client.


Class Introduction
What Are "Epic" Images?
The Slideshow Formula
First Client Meeting
Establish Client Relationship
Expectation vs Preparation
Pre-Wedding Checklist
Gear for Photographing Weddings
Capture The Subtleties
Show The Connection
Importance of Capturing Transitions
Sidelines & Story Telling Details
Anticipation & Patience
Let The Scene Develop
Sequencing in Numbers
Successful "Anticipatience"
Examples of Poor Reaction Time
HTCG in 10
Giving Direction
Have Variety With Light & Composition
Capture The Mood
Take Advantage of Natural Light
Be Creative With Video Light
On-camera Flash For The Dance Floor
Find Flattering Ambient Light
Don't be Afraid of Tough Light
Composition & Framing
Lens Choice
Keep it Simple
Purpose of the Creative Portrait
Scouting for the Creative Portrait
Maximize a Location
Unique Posing for a Creative Portrait
Experiment with Your Photography
Make The Image Personal
Post Production Overview
Stay Organized in Post Production
Full Gallery Edits
Lightroom Workflow Overview
Bring Out Detail in Lightroom
Black & White in Lightroom
Landscape Images in Lightroom
Bold Images in Lightroom
Slideshow Edits
Importance of The Slideshow
Selecting Slideshow Images For a Large Wedding
Culling Slideshow Images for a Large Wedding
Complete Slideshow Example for a Large Wedding
Slideshow Images for a Small Wedding
Complete Slideshow Example for a Small Wedding
Build a Business Around Storytelling
Portfolio for Clients
Importance of The Inquiry Reply
Price List Best Practices
How to Price Your Work
Final Thoughts


  • Davina and Daniel are fantastic presenters as well as an exceptional photo team (plus they are super nice people, too!). I love their approach and methods and felt like there is so much value in this course. Even though I've been photographing for a long time, I took away a lot of great value gems from their course and look forward to applying several to my own business!
  • It has been a couple of days since Davina and Daniel's Creative Live course ended and I can't stop thinking about all the amazing information and inspiration they shared. I'm filled with so much inspiration I can't wait to utilize everything I have learned. I learned so much and know I'll learn more each time I re-watch which I plan to do often. I believe this is Creative Live's best wedding photography course.
  • Davina + Daniel, this is a wonderful class. I've enjoyed your teaching style and watching your banter between each other. The images are simply beautiful. I'm portrait photographer with no desire to do weddings, but this has opened my eyes to a whole other view of wedding photography that's rather enticing. Your storytelling is amazing and I'm going to definitely incorporate what I can into my own photography style.