The Wedding Story: Capture Creative and Authentic Photos


Lesson Info

Have Variety With Light & Composition

Alright, so we're gonna talk a little bit about variety. Variety comes in many ways and forms. It's as much visual, when we're shooting, but it's also when we're editing the photos in post production, it's just the way that we balance certain photos with other types of photos to keep the viewer engaged in the final product, in our case the slideshow. So we talked about anticipations and we stressed that it's about one shot at a time, staying focused on delivering that or nailing that one photo. So when we talk about variety, it's kind of looking at the whole body of images from the day, so try to put those into two different categories, so your anticipations is for one photo at a time and nailing that one photo, and then overall, you wanna strive for variety. Max is gonna lead us off with the exact tip. That was his favorite one, obviously. (both laugh) So yeah, anticipations, don't jump around. So variety doesn't mean I have to be here, I have to be there, I have to cover this o...

ne moment in several different angles, that obviously is not what we're saying. So that's very important, and I have to remind myself of this a lot too when I'm feeling overwhelmed in a situation. Don't jump around, commit to one shot at a time. So let's look at Alfee and Geoff, they got married a few years ago in Miami, and we'll just go through the sequence of images. So starting at the getting ready, abstract color image, silhouette. Vertical. Vertical. We can't photograph the entire getting ready this way, but photo this is good. When we're taking this photo, we're committed to it, we're not jumping around, we see it all the way through, get the best version of it possible. But then, in the final product, we do need to balance it out with something a little bit more literal, which is more documentary and shows more of the people. Horizontal, wider lens, more literal, more storytelling. Tension, again. (laughs) In the context of a first look, same idea. This is, we spoke about taking control already, this is the perfect time to take control is for a first look. We like to do that, pick our spots where it's gonna be really simple and straightforward to shoot, so there's not gonna be a ton of distractions. In this case we placed the groom, bride's gonna take the elevator, she's gonna walk down the hall, simple. We know we're gonna have that photo of her walking towards him. And while Daniel was doing this, I was working on something a little bit more abstract. There was a table there that had all these mirrors reflecting, so it was my opportunity to do something a little bit more creative, which breaks it up a bit. And then we have the moment that they come together, it's vertical, it's black and white, it's very simple. So those three photos of the same general moment are broken up, visually they look different basically. If everything is photographed from the same angle, and framed the same way, and you put those three photos of the same moment, each additional photo takes away from the previous photo because visually it becomes less unique and as a viewer you become almost jaded to what you're seeing on the screen. So it's important to keep that visual variety. Just to note, we are talking about the slideshow here, so we're not talking about what you're delivering in a full gallery. There will be other options, other versions of those moments, 'cause I know you guys are probably thinking that question now. So yes, we will deliver other versions of the same photos if they're equally good moments that add something, but we are talking about the slideshow here. During the ceremony, I'm really close with the bride and groom, down the aisle, documenting the moments as they're happening. Again, the color doesn't add anything in this photo, so in post production this goes in black and white because the moment is strong, we don't want colors distracting from it. Meanwhile, Davina is hanging out in the back of the ceremony site and working on something more creative that is gonna give us a lot of that variety. This situation, specific situation, was really teamwork played a huge role because I was stuck in this spot, I couldn't move, so it's kind of what we were discussing earlier about the church and the church ladies. In this case I was self-imposed to prison that I had made for myself, so I communicated with Daniel, make sure that you are covering because you're basically on your own, I'm shooting this entire ceremony from one angle. I had three lenses, but I was very limited. So I shot through the candles a little bit with a long lens, did straight on with a long lens, but I basically committed myself to this one spot because I wanted to make sure that I had this photo. So my commitment to that spot was really just for this one image. That was made possible by my decent teammate over here, we also had our friend Robbie helping us, he's come quite often to help us at weddings and he was able to switch places with Daniel so they were covering things. Let's go to Mexico, also San Miguel de Allende, but another couple. Different wedding. Mariana and Alfonso, they got married there in couple years ago as well. And same idea, during prep, abstract photo of the bride, this is shot through her wedding dress, just playing around and trying to create one abstract photo that is gonna be interesting. So she had her wedding dress hanging and I was able to get behind it and shoot through the lace, that's what this is. I rarely, our f stop is usually gonna be at 2. with this lens, with the Sony, we are at f4 usually. In this case, f5 was kind of my sweet spot to make the lace seem abstract, but not a complete blur, so it's just like that sweet spot. And then it's a matter of anticipations, getting my alignment proper, all set up, and waiting for her eye to be not covered by a makeup brush or something and just looking up. Then balance that out with something more literal, so the bride, her mom came into the room and there's no need to photograph this through her wedding dress, it's only gonna distract from the moment itself. Go more literal, vertical here made sense. Again, colors don't add anything, so stick to a black and white. So also moment versus abstract. Okay, going into the first look, storytelling detail, she just happened to hold the veil in the light, so good moment to just focus on that. There's nothing else happening, so give yourself the liberty to photograph it a little bit more abstract in that instance, and then balance that out with-- This moment for the first look. What's that? Sorry. It's a moment for the first look. You know, it's similar in terms of darkness and the light being in one spot, but you know, completely different in subject matter in terms of abstract, and in terms of more literal. Sorry, I didn't mean to cut you off. That's okay. You're just talking too much, it was my turn. (both laugh) Going into the ceremony, so church, outside really show the landscape of the scene, of where it's happening, and then balance that out with, obviously the teamwork here really plays a major role. But meanwhile, I'm inside photographing it very, very differently, showing more of the guests, showing more of the architecture from the inside. And then closer and tighter, more literal, they're having a moment here, there's no reason to shoot a wide, environmental of the architecture, just stay focused on the two of them. So variety is pretty straightforward, mixing color and black and white, that comes in post. Vertical, horizontal, environmental, tighter moment, abstract, and the idea really is, as we've mentioned now, for the slideshow to just flow in a way that you're not still hung up on the last picture, because it's similar, but that you're taken to kind of a new visual situation with every photo, but without it being jarring or distracting. So it's kind of a tall order and there's no, it's kind of hard to almost articulate how it works, and hopefully when we go over actual selection of slideshow photos, we'll be able to demonstrate that point even clearer, but that's basically the essence of variety. Yeah, when you see us piece the slideshow together, you'll see that it doesn't have to be perfect when we're taking the photos, it doesn't have to be in the exact sequence as we're taking the photos. Certain photos can happen at different times of the day, it's really when we piece it together, we wanna make sure that we have that visual variety. It's kind of along the same lines as taking control, give yourself the liberty to play with the timeline ever so slightly to make sure that it flows visually as well as possible. So when you guys are, as far as your process goes, when you're shooting a wedding, do you go in shooting the wedding with creating an album in mind? And as well as the slideshow? Is that what you guys are thinkin' about as you're shooting? Or what's your thought process on that? It's a great question. So we photograph the wedding, our formula is really our whole, what our brain looks like at the wedding, and that's for the slideshow. So it's really to knock out those points and those parts with variety in mind, with mood in mind, with emotion and connection in mind, and then everything else. And everything else is details, photos of other guests and just formals, family formals, and just obligations. The album to me, so we're not traditional album shooters in that our spreads would look really consistent, I see our albums more like individual images that stand on their own. So you won't have these four similar, really pretty photos that lay out really nicely on a spread, does that make sense? I see it more like the photo books that have one strong image, and one strong image, and that's more the way that our books look. So I think aesthetically, they don't always look as good as maybe it would if we're shooting super consistently, but I think story-wise, it's pieced together the same way that our slideshow is pieced together, if that makes sense.

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.