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Shoot: Family Portraits

Lesson 30 from: Wedding Photography Bootcamp

Sal Cincotta

Shoot: Family Portraits

Lesson 30 from: Wedding Photography Bootcamp

Sal Cincotta

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Lesson Info

30. Shoot: Family Portraits


Class Trailer

Day 1


Class Introduction


Introduction to Sal Cincotta Studio


The State of the Wedding Industry


Legal Entities


The Business Plan


Marketing Plans


How Brides Find Photographers


Lesson Info

Shoot: Family Portraits

let's talk about the posing here we've got to be able to pose these groups in order to get what we want right now and we're gonna deal with some scenarios here we've got divorced families right we've got people people who don't talk uh parents that won't stand next to each other what does the shot list look like here's what we don't do we do not take a shot list from the client you know what I'm talking about right bright it alter bride with her dress fanned out with flowers on the edge of her dress bride and groom bride and groom in little girl no no no stop the madness we are the professionals I am going to control the day here's what we have to get I've got to get the bride groom alone brian greene with the priest the bridegroom with their parents the bridegroom with their siblings the bridegroom with both sets of parents the bride groom out two grand parents and then maybe one giant family picture that is my shot list and I get out of this church and fifteen to twenty minutes and I...

have never maybe not never one time in five years I've had a client asked for additional shots that maybe we didn't get but I'll show you how we get around that so with that being said can I get my bridal party to sit down you sit right here you two are going to stay there you girls sit down okay aside you a little bit this way so I want to get them centered perfect right nothing drives me more bonkers then when we take family pictures at the altar and they're off center okay get them center your nothing's happening this isn't photojournalism right now get them center this is a portrait get them the way you want them to be and so I mean do now the bridegroom uh here's another thing this is my this goes different ways depending who you talk to take your hand out of your pocket can we get a shot elin I hate this by the way you see land with his hand out of his pocket I don't like the way that looks just drives me nuts now there's a school of thought where that's how all the groomsmen hand should be I like to put the groomsmen hand in his pocket go for it and the reason I like it is because it seems and looks and feels more natural I don't know if you guys caught it I had actually tell him to take his hand out of his pocket why because that's where he wants his hand I am a guy and naturally my hand is in my pocket all the time I don't like the thumb in the pocket okay so I don't like the way that looks I like the thumb out of the pocket so this tends to look really weird I like this I don't want this that's too casual I tend to like just this so that's the way I have my groomsmen stand that is my personal preference you figure out your preference but whatever you do be consistent nothing drives me more bonkers then watching all my groomsmen across a row one guy's got his hand in his pocket one guys jackets on button next guy standing there out of the pocket that looks sloppy be consistent whatever your formula is make it work all right so where's her flowers all right so here we go so what we're gonna do is you two and this is exactly why we talk to my couple you two are not going to move all right everybody's gonna move around you so the two of you'll stand there I want you to hold you okay right here up in front um yeah about that stand like that I like that maybe you put your hand around her waist perfect good that's going to be their position so from there and of course guys you know we're doing this on the web this is not a real wedding we're not gonna have every single family member here so I'm gonna walk you through what your shot list should be so write this down so here's gonna be my first shot guys and I'm gonna announce to the couple that this is in fact a test shot because I want to make sure I've got what I'm looking for all right zoom in I wanna make sure I like the way everything's looking and I do and now uh chris I want you to turn in tow in a little bit more there you go good now just put your hand around a small robot I like good and then I'm gonna get her hair right good all right you two good smile one more time I like the way this is looking hit something on camera by accident I'm sure this is working good now what I'm gonna do to you to stay there is I'm going to bring in I'm gonna take you through the shot list the groom's parents okay so you are going to be the groom's parents so you are mom mom I'm gonna put you on this side okay dad you're going to come over here did you give birth from when you were like six months old all right so what I want you to mama's I want you to grab onto his arm yeah both hands grabbing there you can hold on to your flowers crabbing there and then mom when I want you to just kick that leg back in their snuggle with him good good love it mama good dad get in there put your left hand around her waist right hand in the pocket perfect that is the instruction I've given the parents now everybody looking to me good smiles one too okay awesome here's the thing dad I need a better smile out of you all right here we go one two awesome and I would do that if dad's not smiling dads are notorious for not smiling they look like they're on a death march look not bad as a bad smile first one dot boom next when he's happy he's happy to be there we've got to coach our clients notice how I go in boy girl boy girl right that's my way I don't put mom and dad on the same side well now next up in the family should be the siblings okay we're going to take to sibling shots were going to take just the kids and then we'll take the kids with their with their wife husband kids with their kids right so dad want to take you over to this side get right next to your wife there awesome guys and what I want to do is I want to pull you guys for just a half a step so you can all be on the same plane there you go grab onto his arm dodger in there okay you are sister guys who get in their sister but you are brother so brother I want you hear first and sister you back out with your brother in there good yeah right hand in the pocket for me left hand around her waist and grab onto your brother's arm form perfect grab on with both hands love it good good okay so now I'm still trying to go boy girl boy girl and it's not always gonna happen that way we already know that but I'm gonna mix it up his best I can all right great family and you're grabbing onto his arm too hard let your hands slide a little bit for me thank you so muscular but let your head let your hand come just come down in here yeah perfect love it all right here we go then I'm gonna go through fix your banks for me I'm paying attention all my couples alright I'm establishing myself as an expert on making sure that everybody looks good that's building more and more trust all right here we go guys good smiles everybody one two one more one two I'm a liar stay with me here we go good job and now I've popped off three quick frames moving very very quickly through the scene these are my family portrait we can do the same thing okay even if we we're going outside right so if you live look if you live in southern california if you live in a why if you live in a warm part of the country you can absolutely go outside to the same thing find a great green background find a great color door right something artistic but the process is still the same so merge your shooting style into this system and you will move so quickly through the church I don't care what's going on remember yesterday sara we're talking about what do you do with that person who's behind you they cannot keep up with how fast I'm moving so you could try god bless you get the shot good for you but you're not going to be able do it because I'm moving way too quickly so now what I would add to the shot would be all of the siblings spouses and kids okay so uh you're the wife come on in here you're his wife your little underdressed for this function darling all right so we're gonna we're gonna keep you there grab onto your husbands are great hold on with both hands awesome okay and then what I want to do is we need a husband for you all right so lisa you look like a good husband your same sex marriage come on up here I'm not judging you lisa all right so here we go now here we are clearly in a situation where we're gonna be off balance okay and and that's and that's okay so what we would have to do in this situation we could surely try and shimmy everyone down but I'm not going to do this because I just can't I don't want to move my bridegroom uh no matter what I do I don't want to move center here so let's go get in there close everybody we love each other okay and here we go good smiles one too good smiles everybody one two and everybody do me a favor just talking to each other you love talking to each other family event awesome good guys are horrible story tallies with each other right so what we're trying to do now is now we've gotten that picture now I might come in and grab the whole bunch of other people to be part of this shot right the entire family in now okay everybody sit down except mom and dad I need you to stay up here for me okay everybody sit down ok and now what you're gonna do okay you're uh who are you her mom you're his mom now you're lin's mom now okay s so now you're her mom okay and I need to do come on aaron arent you are hurt ur chris's dad okay so here's what we're looking to do grab onto her on for me mama yeah chris get in there put your arm around your wife's waist and right hand in your pocket and I'm brought in this bottom button for me okay on to be suits we want to keep that on undone good you're good all right thumb in the pocket formula there you go especially for this all right here we go so everybody's looking good for me I like the way this looks now what I've done is I'm taking her family and his family and getting a nice parents shot all right so let's get this guy's good smiles one to one more one two and last one and that's how quickly I'm moving through that set all right you guys can all sit down great job I would then take this with these air the must have shots I'm giving you right now we need to add grand parents to that giant family shot we then need to take the same thing we did for his family we need to do for her family okay and then that is all I'm taking in the church I am not taking that traditional bridal party shot along the front of the altar that is not our style we don't take that shot I've been in business for five years I've taken that shot once so we will not take that shot questions sarah if this was outside and would you and doing like the family portrait outside would you still use the flash for phil phil I would not use the flash phil unless I had really bad shadows what I would be doing though is looking for open shape that's what I want to be doing so if you find open shade you don't need you don't need any of that stuff right I'm not getting a reflector out anything like that but if I've got bad shadows I will absolutely use this for phil on and of course in that case there's nothing to bounce it off with I'm going to have to find some sort of diffuser and fire right at him but at a very very low power setting the flash might actually be it like minus one right just to get that fill in their eyes good question anything else we good internet internet so quite a few people are asking about the crop we could talk about where you crop the group photos like this if you crop them at the neat above the knee or you know above the feet yeah the rule of thumb is to never crop at the at a joint okay that's the rule of thumb we don't crop off fingertips we don't want to drop off at the knee you know the thighs okay but my mind set on this shot just because I know my clients most of them are printing eight by twelve eight by tens of this um I've had we had one family pride about four years ago I got a twenty by thirty canvas oven alter picture talk about not being with the right client that was not my client our clients today this is not what they're blowing up I know they're doing eight by eight by tens eight by twelve so that's where you see that mid level shot I don't want to pull back because if you pull back too far and eight by ten they're gonna be tiny in the frame so they like seeing their faces this is after years of feedback from our clients on what they're looking for so again find your own style and what works for you thank you cool so another question is how do you handle really large crowds like two rows for the group shot is that what you would do yes so this would be this particular situation for us would be an absolute nightmare right here right now if we were trying to shoot two rows of people in here we would not really be able to do it because there's no we don't have risers right we're not walking around with risers so we have a couple options we have to try and find a wall where we could go somewhat wide but I wouldn't go any deeper than two layers now at a church we've got the steps up to the altar almost every church has that we're going to start piling people up on the second step on the third step to give us those uh give us those layers I'm not sure if you talked about this but the stephan in the chat room had asked what is your second shooter doing during the formals I had not addressed this my second shooter is doing absolutely nothing there's nothing here I want from a second shooter perspective that's a great question my second shooter is helping me get my bag together so as soon as this is done we can leave here uh and go get some better pictures so great question great so gosh there's so many there's somebody coming in what I'm what I'm hoping everybody out there guys I'm hoping the only part I want to impart on you so to speak is the settings with the flash right you are going to take your style of photography and just use our system with it so again the settings on the flash our key this is how we train our shooters you're going to go into about iso a hundred uh five point six manual mode sixtieth of a second e t t l on your flash bounce it off the ceiling bouncing off a light source pull that little white card out don't fire straight on your client with it and I guarantee you if you practice and then you're gonna love the way it looks okay so question on that uh jerry and gonzales photography and a holloway had asked about diffusers such as the gary fong diffusers rogue modifiers would you use those in this situation I would in this situation I wouldn't use him I'm ah I love robe by the way I've got some light modifiers from rogue we're going to use them later at the reception but in this particular situation I don't I don't use any light modifiers at all of the family in in a certain sense by reflecting off the wall off the ceiling the ceiling becomes my light modifier so to speak I'm making the ceiling a giant soft box ah and that's what I'm using for that okay should we take one more yeah okay jason says ciao why not off camera flash with umbrellas and flash manu mode for consistency set it and forget it set it and forget it you're not setting it in forgetting it you need ten to fifteen minutes to set up your umbrella carrier extra equipment open up your light stands and it turns into a three ring circus I don't want to be that guy I am guys if you haven't figured anything out about me I'm about speed and efficiency these are not what cell prince for me let's let's stop there I know yes I guess in a sense we're doing wedding portrait I don't sell a whole lot of these so why would I want to invest any more time than I have to to photograph something I know my client's not going unnecessarily by anything bigger than an eight by ten it's too much extra work for not enough return on investment are alli baby this is business all right one one more really short one which is because a lot of people have been asking about your cf cards and how many gigs on your cf cards do change them throughout the day awesome awesome questions those are the kind of questions I love getting tells me people are thinking the right way we will typically use nothing larger than a sixteen gig card in our camera I don't wantto forget what number it is because as cameras continued to evolve they're going to have the ability to the file size going to get bigger and bigger here's my measuring stick I don't want to put more than three or four hundred pictures on any given memory card whatever size that maybe and here's my thought process there if I lose the memory card which I never want to do by the way I don't want to lose two thousand images I mean they're making now I don't I can't remember I think it's lexar he's making a two hundred fifty six gig card two hundred fifty six gig card that means I could probably shoot three weddings on one card I would never want to risk losing an entire wedding because of card went bad it fell out of my pocket my my car got broken into so my rule of thumb is to try and not put more than three hundred four hundred ish images on a day where I'm shooting three to four thousand images so you know I don't want to lose any but I'd feel a hell of a lot more comfortable telling my bride I only lost three hundred images then I lost four thousand images all good questions okay all right let's keep going so uh here's what we're gonna do next this is a live broadcast so as you can imagine I'm being extremely um handcuffed if you will on where I can go what I can do but you know what we're going to make the best out of this because it's easy for me to take you to a park and show you this gorgeous background this gorgeous set up and you go although you're lucky sal you get all these beautiful venue as well I can tell you right now where we're being forced to shoot I've got an alley m about to go into on I've got a window like that we're going to use what I want to do are two things I want to show you how we deal with adverse conditions everything isn't always gonna be rosy and we still have to be able to perform so how could what what do you do when it rains what do you do when they give you fifteen minutes and you don't have a limo to take you from location to location how do you respond in those situations we still have to get certain images and then what we're going to do is we're going to shoot in these adverse conditions and then the creative live team we're going to go to lunch and over launch they're going to let me go do whatever I want to do with the bride and groom so we're going to show you this bonus segment later tonight I guess it's only if you download the broadcast if you've purchased it you'll get this bonus segment where you can see me outside doing my thing in muchmore natural surroundings so we'll go with that so what are the must have shots from the creatives again get a piece of paper out to me this is our must have shots I must have a picture of the bride with each one of her bridesmaids I don't want that at the altar I must have a picture of the groom with each one of his groomsmen again don't want it at the altar I'm thinking about this for the album I need to have all the groomsmen together I need to have all the bridesmaids together I need to have all the groomsmen and bridesmaids together I need to have a giant group shot right for the album then I need to have of course the bridegroom alone the bride alone the groom alone that is my mental shot list do not start carrying around a piece of paper with things like cause I've read books and the shot list is like bouquet uh okay with hands okay with rings little don't make me nuts right what you need to do is just right down the generic high level list and then use my system of tight middle wide seventy millimeter one hundred thirty five millimeter two hundred millimeter and you're going to pick off all those various shots with you and your second shooter

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

The Business Blueprint.pdf
The Business Blueprint.doc
cL Sal Cincotta Wedding Bootcamp Keynote.pdf
creativeLIVE Sal Cincotta Bonus
SCP Wedding Contract.pdf
SCP Copyright Release.doc
SCP Copyright Release.pdf
SCP Wedding Copyright Release.doc
SCP Wedding Copyright Release.pdf

Ratings and Reviews

Carlos Rosa

This class is Gold!!! This class is a must, I have purchased around 20 CreativeLive classes, I'm building my own curriculum, but I did purchase this class because of Sal Cincotta's name, little I knew how good it is, it's a mind blowing and it contains so much key information to be a successful photographer. I was still a little "afraid" to start my business, but after this class, I feel confident because it was like put the puzzle together. Yes, Sal really insist in his blue print, how he calls, to implement in your business and you will be successful, and I do believe that. However, I can't do that at moment, because I'll need more money then I have, but I do believe I can implement the idea and slowly works towards implement all his system. Yes, in this class you'll have all, from engagement section, to bride reception, to SEO, everything you need. Sal is a Genius, an amazing mind, I truly admire him as a person, artist/photographer, amazing Educator, but man, as a business man, he is just a mind blowing, I mean, look at him, he had practically built an Empire in only 10 years and that's enough for me to listen to this guy. With all he has, he could just quit photography for good, he totally don't need, but he is still behind the camera, and that shows how much he really love photography. Totally recommend this class, it will change your life, and I mean it. I just wish CreativeLive would do some update, even if is just in pdf, because a lot of recommendation he does in the course does not apply anymore, website does not exist, the iPhone app does not exist, etc... just an update it would be truly appreciated. And that goes for all classes, you guys could just contact the educators and ask them for an update in those areas, that's all.

KR Productions

In 2016, I decided to try and start photographing weddings. I've been a wedding videographer for 16 years now, and have consistently been asked to do this, but never have. Last year, the number of requests was unusually high, and so I decided to explore what all is involved in doing wedding photography. I actually bought Sal's 30 day photo business class here first. Watched it over and over. There were principles in that class I was able to apply to video. Great! I then decided to buy this class to get the actual "day of" mechanics down. I've watched this over and over as well and started wading slowly into the wedding photo waters. I have the benefit that my second shooter, is actually a photographer and has been shooting all his life. So, having him to back me up with his already trained and creative eye is a huge benefit on the day. (We do the one camera has a wide angle, one camera has a telephoto technique like Sal discusses, and it works amazing) So far in 2016, I've shot one wedding for $350, the next one for $1,000, and now I'm up to $2,000 on my third for just basic stuff. Incredible. Working on moving into IPS, but right now I'm focused on making sure we're capturing the right shots and doing great impressive edits for marketing , and that's already paying off. I had 4 requests yesterday! Thanks to Sal and CL for helping jump start me on this amazing journey!

Paul Marcus

Once again.....Sal proves he's the man! Wow. What a great wealth of knowledge. I wish I had seen this a few years ago when it was fresh. It makes me cringe at all the money I have left on the table. Thanks to Sal and Taylor for being so open and sharing their business model with us. I hope to have great report to share with you in 2019 as I put a lot of this class to work in my business.

Student Work