Pre-Wedding Checklist


The Wedding Story: Capture Creative and Authentic Photos


Lesson Info

Pre-Wedding Checklist

Alright so pre-wedding checklist. So this is the one document that we do send to our brides and grooms before the wedding. We send it by email, about two or three months before the wedding itself. The timing is good because they might have gone in and out of wedding planning, and around the two, three month mark they kind of get back into it, and they're ironing out a lot of the final details. So it's a good time for us to come in and say what we need to say. The idea with the pre-wedding checklist is that we're bringing up things that are in their contract that they might have forgotten. You know, because time went by. And there are things that are easy to plan for ahead of time, but very awkward to bring up on the wedding day. So it avoids any kind of conflict before any potential conflict happens. And think about it from the client's point of view. It's easy for us, like we have things in our contract. They sign it a year, a year and a half before the wedding. Then we show up on t...

he wedding day, and they do something against the contract, and then we're mad at them because you know how dare they do this. And it's okay but, like, they're not reading all their contracts on the days leading up to their wedding. Let's be honest, you know? So let's help them to honor the contract, but also you know, help them to facilitate things for better photos because a lot of the tips we can give them will give them better photos. And I try to think about it, as team good photos. And this concept will come up a few times. We are all on team good photos, planners and decorators, and the couple, and definitely the photographers. We all want good photos. Our goal is the same. So, if we look at it that way then we can just help people help us accomplish our mutual goal of getting good photos. Yep, so on that list we talk about videographers. If you guys have a videographer just remind them that we have right-of-way. That we're the priority. It's in our contract. It's embarrassing. Yeah, we put it in our contract. It's in our contract. And it's because we know what our approach is like, and we just want to have control over positioning. When have we enforced it? I honestly can't recall a single situation because we're actually really nice in person. And you know, we interact really nicely with the videographers, and so the relationships are generally always good. But then the videographer comes on the wedding day, and like: Hey it's nice to meet you guys, so I know that you guys are really, you know, intense, and you have the right-of-way. The bride made sure we knew that. And we're like, oh no we're super cool, it's going to be fine, you know. But at least they go into it thinking, like, that they need to take us seriously, and those orders come from the head honcho, the bride. (laughing) Guests with cameras. So that, you know is something that we vetted. After that other wedding we showed you guys in Bhutan, you know. Live and learn. Just remind the bride and groom, nowadays everybody has a camera, everybody has a phone or an iPad. And everybody tries to be a wedding photographer as well. Try to remind your guests, Especially the ones who do tend to get up and take a lot of photos. Remind them that you've hired two professional photographers, and that we're in charge of documenting the wedding day. We're going to be sharing all the photos. So everybody will have access to them. They don't need to act as photographers. So I mean they'll take it or leave it, right? It's not, we're not forcing them to have an unplugged wedding. We're just telling them, from our experience what it's like. And just giving them the information, and it's up to them whether they want to talk to people are not. And sometimes there's a million people with cameras, and they're getting up, and they're doing all this stuff, and what are we going to do. It's too bad. But then, when you know, couples really do take that to heart, it's the opposite, you know. We do get unplugged weddings, and it comes from that. Yep, special people and customs. So we encourage them by email just to tell us if there's something specific that we should know about any of their guests, or if they're planning any special traditions. We like to know that step ahead of time, although it will come up when we meet in person, as well. Formal portraits, this is a reminder. Make yourselves a list. It's going to be easier. So when we go and do your formals, which none of our clients are excited about, ever. That's not what they hire us for, but again as we mentioned, it's something we want them all to have. So just talk to your parents, Like: Guys, is there anything that you want, any combinations that you want? Now is the time, let us know. Because we want to make the parents happy too. If the mom wants, like 18 combinations of extended family, sure we'll do that. It's an easy way to make her happy, right? And the rest of the time we get to focus on what we do well, and what we know, the bride and groom really want. And that's in our contract too. It says you know, formal portraits are done during one time, and one time only; during the wedding day, because we don't want to break up our documentary storytelling approach. and so, chances are they forgot what's in their contract, But we remind them two or three months before the wedding, so they organize their schedule with their planner accordingly. And they, you know, if they want to do a million combinations that's cool, we'll set aside one hour, But us, with our approach, we don't want to keep breaking our flow of documenting. If we need to take a break for formals. We'll take the break, do it, and then get back into it. Does that make sense? Meals, that one is the awkward one. Feed me. You know, If there's no place for you to sit, and there's no meal for you. Going up to the bride and groom and being like: I'm sorry, do you know where I'm sitting? Like, is there food for me? That's a super awkward conversation to have on the wedding day. Everybody hates it. But if you remind them two months ahead of time, Just hey, by the way-- Just a reminder. We need to be fed as well. We need to be sitting in the reception room so we can see the action that's going on. That's something we put in our contract. It's not an awkward conversation. Like, it's totally fine to talk about it leading up to the wedding. But we just want to avoid having that conversation on the wedding day, itself. It gives them a note too, to remind them to talk to their wedding planner about it. Like, all right, Divina and Daniel just emailed me about this. Can you make sure this is taking care of? And not a big deal. Yep. The sitting in the room thing. I just want to touch on that. That is in our contract, that we want to be sitting in the room where the reception is taking place. Not in some obscure vendor room in the north tower, or whatever. You know, where it takes 10 minutes to get down into the room. So you've missed, basically all of the good moments. Because the planners will always say, "We'll come get you when there's a speech." Yeah but, I want unscripted stuff too. You know, if the bride and groom get up, and go see the grandma, and have a moment with her. I want to be able to have eyes on them at all times. So that, you know, it's for them. It's not because I want to be eating a 10 course meal. We tell them that too. Give me a vendor meal or give me a smaller meal, I don't care, I just need to be in the room. And that's for you. Yeah. And then, social media. Just making sure that they are aware, that when they post the photos online, they don't crop them, they don't edit them, and that they-- No filter. Add a photo credit. Yeah. #Nofilter. (laughing) And, unfortunately that one is the one that kind of, you know, slips through the cracks, still little bit. And we do remind our couples, you know, we'll send them a quick message on Facebook. Hey, just a quick reminder, you know, make sure that you add a photo credit when you post the images. The good thing about the wedding checklist, which is available as a download with the course, is that you can modify it. you know, as you need, so if a new issue arises for us, we'll go in and modify the text, and just, you know, send that moving forward. Those have been the main points over the last few years for us, but it's not set in stone. Just adjust as you go along, as you should with any business.

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


a Creativelive Student

Holy Moly! I have been very familiar with Davina & Daniel for several years and I also work closely with Image Salon for the past 3 years. I loved their relatability, raw honesty, human connection, and their teaching method. It was also super helpful to see the GoPro footage on a real wedding day and walk through their thought process with them. A refreshing wind of inspiration has now flooded my mind and attitude. I am excited to begin my 8th year of weddings with a clear mind and full heart. These two are the REAL deal and I am so happy I made this investment. Thanks, CL for always bringing the BEST of the BEST.

a Creativelive Student

I’ve been following Davina and Daniel’s work for years and suffice it to say, they are in my top 6 all time favorites. I was so excited to watch this creative live and it didn’t disappoint. From their approach to shooting through the moments, to their stunning locales and minimalist gear, there is something for everyone in this class. Both Daniel and Davina have a tremendous knowledge of photography and their willingness to share and educate is second to none. Oh, and just so you know, they are also the nicest people on the planet. Super sweet, amazingly talented. Thanks for having them on.

a Creativelive Student

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!