The Wedding Story: Capture Creative and Authentic Photos


Lesson Info

HTCG in 10

So along the same lines of mental state is How To Cover Guests in 10 minutes. I thought it sounded really snappy like that. (laughter) HTCG in 10. And what that is is basically fulfilling a responsibility well, but also as rapidly as possible, so that we can get back to documenting and working on our moments, and working on our photos to create the best images possible. So.. In our, sorry, In our segment on creative portraits, you'll see how we apply that same idea to portraits. How we get like safe stuff out of the way in a really organized way, and then it allows us to just focus on, you know, storytelling. So this is a sped-up version of all the photos we took at the beginning of the dinner. This is from one of our cameras. But we both did this. They had three very long tables. They had maybe about 80 guests. So, still a considerable number. But we took ten minutes just to go around while nothing is happening, and get candid photos of all of the guests. So this is what it lo...

oks like. (purring sound) It's a really fun sport. You're like, "Alright let's do this!" "Get in there!" bambambambambam Very simple, just like long-lens candid photos, so that all of the guests are represented as much as possible. I actually find it to be a really fun challenge to give myself. I try to picture, like, would this guest want this as their Facebook profile picture? So, it allows me to, like, not just knock it out and just get a mediocre picture, but actually, it'll try to get, like, a good moment where they actually look nice and that guest might actually really like that photo of themselves. I really--we never promise our couples that we will cover all of their guests, but it's always a mission that we give ourselves. We always try, like even in huge weddings, we will cover as many guests as possible. And a really great time to do that is here. Yeah. So, someone mentioned before cocktail hour, how, you know, should you be at cocktail hour if your couple is doing something else? I don't really too much pressure on myself for cocktail hour, because I find it an awkward time to photograph guests, often. It's like, almost too new, you know, they're still feeling things out, they're not warmed up yet. Whereas at the reception, they're more relaxed. The couple might be going around and talking with them. I'd rather get them in the context of, you know, that more relaxed atmosphere. Although, when they're eating, that's not great, either. So, not while they're eating. (laughs) So all of these photos, you know, to cover 80 guests, took us 10 minutes. We just committed ourselves to it. It's done. Now this whole pressure of needing to cover all of the people at the wedding dissipates, and we're free to go in and just document the good moments between the bride and groom. Still showing a lot of the other people as well. Like, we want those people to be present. Ah, thank you. Such good service around here. I highly recommend this place. (laughter) Yeah, just, you know work on these kinds of photos, which require a little bit more time and a little bit more patience, and a little bit more dedication. This'll be extra grainy. Yeah. It's only ISO 16,000. And then, you know, during toasts, again, focus on storytelling, details. Having that mental space to work on this kind of photo is so liberating, and we have that capacity because we covered all of the guests. So we don't need to think about fulfilling our responsibility. Because we did that already. I take a lot of pride in the fact that we never hear that anything is missing. Like, brides are never like, "Oh, do you have more pictures? Do you have a picture of this person?" Or, "Did you photograph this, and did you photograph that?" Because I'm very aware of my obligations, and I knock them out, and then, I get to focus on everything else. So, if anything, if the expectations are met, then everything else is so exciting and so much more fun, right? Yeah. So again, just waiting for the peak of the moment. The whole aspect of needing to cover other things is not messing with our head. It gives us that inner patience to really stick to our moments, stick to our shots. More storytelling details. You know, spending a minute documenting the hands connecting. That requires mental dedication. And, the only way to get that is by getting some of the other stuff out of the way. That brings us back to our formula. Which is all the way at the bottom. So, other guests and responsibility. It's not part of our slideshow formula, but it is part of our shooting formula. And it's such an important part to allow us to do all of these other things with a very clear conscience. Just a question: how do you decide who of you does go with the bride or go with the groom for getting ready when that comes about? We used to really switch back and forth and call dibs on stuff. And I think now it's more, we're more set in our ways. Because we know what our strengths are, I think. You know, I think that's what's important, is like, not just switching back and forth for the sake of it. But, you know, look. You're good at this, so embrace it, and go with it. And you're good at this, so embrace it, and go with it. So, I think that's really more what it is, right? I think so, yeah. So, Davina will usually photograph the bride. Oftentimes I'll start with her. I'll stay there 30, 45 minutes, maybe an hour. Then leave for about 45 minutes. Get the groom getting ready. Make sure that he knows at what time I'm coming. So that, he doesn't start getting ready without me there. And then, try to time it also with the bride putting on her dress, so that we're both there for that. So I come back, so. Yeah, Davina stays with the bride, I usually photograph the groom. But, sometimes we'll switch, on purpose or by accident. Yeah. We did recently accidentally switch. Yeah. We got our addresses mixed up. It was our first local wedding in years. And we're like yeah, slept at our house, you know, that never happens. And, I showed up at the groom's. I'm like, "what are you doing here?" He's like, "what are you doing here? This is my house." I was like whoops, call Daniel: "By the way, you're doing the bride today, bye." It was fun, though. I liked it. It was a nice change of pace. And on this notion of sort of the safe shots versus the creativity, if you're a photographer who's not shooting with a second shooter, how would you frame that up mentally, in terms of how to go about getting the combination of both? I think similarly, making a time and place for those shots. I would make sure that if, when I'm going to do details, the bride's not doing anything important. So definitely communicating that, or working with the timeline, working with the planner, just to make sure that that's time that I can take away from being with the bride. Or, at the reception, when the bride and groom are just sitting around. Then go around and cover the guests, just keeping an eye on what the bride and groom are doing. But the same mental aspect of getting stuff out of the way I think, but in a, at the right times.

Class Description

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.


1Class Introduction
2What Are "Epic" Images?
3The Slideshow Formula
4First Client Meeting
5Establish Client Relationship
6Expectation vs Preparation
7Pre-Wedding Checklist
8Gear for Photographing Weddings
9Capture The Subtleties
10Show The Connection
11Importance of Capturing Transitions
12Sidelines & Story Telling Details
13Anticipation & Patience
14Let The Scene Develop
15Sequencing in Numbers
16Successful "Anticipatience"
17Examples of Poor Reaction Time
18HTCG in 10
19Giving Direction
20Have Variety With Light & Composition
21Capture The Mood
22Take Advantage of Natural Light
23Be Creative With Video Light
24On-camera Flash For The Dance Floor
25Find Flattering Ambient Light
26Don't be Afraid of Tough Light
27Composition & Framing
28Lens Choice
29Keep it Simple
30Purpose of the Creative Portrait
31Scouting for the Creative Portrait
32Maximize a Location
33Unique Posing for a Creative Portrait
34Experiment with Your Photography
35Make The Image Personal
36Post Production Overview
37Stay Organized in Post Production
38Full Gallery Edits
39Lightroom Workflow Overview
40Bring Out Detail in Lightroom
41Black & White in Lightroom
42Landscape Images in Lightroom
43Bold Images in Lightroom
44Slideshow Edits
45Importance of The Slideshow
46Selecting Slideshow Images For a Large Wedding
47Culling Slideshow Images for a Large Wedding
48Complete Slideshow Example for a Large Wedding
49Slideshow Images for a Small Wedding
50Complete Slideshow Example for a Small Wedding
51Build a Business Around Storytelling
52Portfolio for Clients
53Importance of The Inquiry Reply
54Price List Best Practices
55How to Price Your Work
56Final Thoughts