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Capture Stories in Wedding Pictures

Lesson 7 from: Wedding Photography: Capturing the Story

Rocco Ancora, Ryan Schembri

Capture Stories in Wedding Pictures

Lesson 7 from: Wedding Photography: Capturing the Story

Rocco Ancora, Ryan Schembri

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Lesson Info

7. Capture Stories in Wedding Pictures


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


Define the Goals of Wedding Photographers


The Importance of Wedding Photographers


Shooting Philosophy


How to Build a Shot List - Bride, Groom & Formals


Tye the Wedding Story Together


Capture Stories in Wedding Pictures


Get the Right Exposure


Lesson Info

Capture Stories in Wedding Pictures

It's being in tune with that day, but also what's surrounding you, and what is around you at the time, and I found one of Rocco's shots the most intriguing within this genre, and let's show 'em the image Roc, because there's so much happening in this image that it brings everything together for me. Looking at it outside or in, I didn't shoot it, I don't know much about the wedding, but there's so much happening to read into, and he had to be aware of what was happening around him on that day to actually get this moment. So this is pure PJ, in terms of, the bride's just grabbed her dress, come down that hallway, but the inclusion of mum and dad, and the normal life of making the bed, and getting that room... they were probably getting that room ready, I can imagine. They were, 'cause eventually we ended up in there to do formal. There you go. [Rocco] For the bride, and mom and dad and stuff. And you always get that mom and dad, that are really like, "Oh my god, "the bed has a crea...

se in it, "You cannot photograph in here." We're not actually photographing the bed, FYI, it's not gonna happen. So being in tune with all of these surroundings, I think that needs to happen, in order to get images like this. Absolutely, and for me, when I'm shooting, I'm shooting with two bodies. One body has a wide angle on it, and in this particular case, we were shooting with a 14 to 24 Nikon lens 2.8. Ny-kon or Nikon? Well, it's Nikon, but I gotta say NY-kon just in case. So that gives you the ability to capture, a lot of environment in a very tight space, and I just love that lens, and the same with this shot here, what was happening, when everyone's looking for the little girl, and I knew exactly where she was. She was upstairs, and mum and dad... The videographer is outside, doing a mock shot of them leaving, and just this ability with the wide angle lens to be able to split the scene, so that you get two stories within the one image. And one of my favorites, this one, the PJ Grand, I done with PPI a few years back, but it's this beautiful moment, of the bride coming down the stairs in this moment, that just happened with mum and dad to the right hand side. This beautiful hug, and we've got the little pussy cat on the ground, you can see it coming up, and all these elements just came together, just being ready. Now, if I had any other lens on me, rather than the 14ML, this shot would not exist as you see it, because that area was tight, very, very, very tight. And one of the tricks of shooting with a 14ML lens, is to keep the vertical straight. So don't point it up or point it down, keep it very straight, to be able to get the environment. In that particular scenario, you've really gotta be able to be in tune with what's actually happening around that space. And waiting for it, waiting for this moment to come about, picking the right lens, being in that right space, having the right light. Preempting, it's about preempting the moment. As wedding photographers, there are moments that will happen week-in, week-out. Another great example is, dad and bride will walk down the aisle, and the minute the groom comes into play, they will go and sit down somewhere, or stand somewhere, and there's always gonna be that lean, of that whisper from the groom, into the bride's ear, "You look beautiful." Or something along those lines, or, "How much did that dress cost, and can we afford that?" "Oh we're not paying for it, that's great." So these are all the things that happen week-in, week-out. They happen slightly different, but guess what, they happen. You don't know the bride was coming down the stairs, well I knew she was eventually coming down the stairs, because I'd said, "I'll see you down stairs." She goes, "Right, when I'm ready I'll come down." Because we'd done the shots upstairs, so I'm waiting. At the end of the day what I wanted was a shot of the bride coming down the stairs. I don't exactly pose those moments, they happen. You don't wanna be a pose Nazi on the day, and meticulously arrange everything, all the time. There are times where you just leave the story unfold. This time, we just let the story unfold. This is how it unfolded. Now, a nano second after that, that moment did not exist anymore. Mum and dad got all conscious about the fact that they heard the shutter button. "We just got busted in a quiet moment by ourselves, "this is not really nice." So that moment didn't exist, but it was a pure moment. It was beautiful, and just being aware of your surroundings, and how we capture those. Hey Kristy? Yep. I think we're right on time. There maybe time for one quick question. I've got one from the internet here. Somebody was wondering about, in tight spaces, or spaces where there's difficult lighting, do you approach that shot list with the essential getting ready shots and portraits the same way, or do you adapt depending on what's happening? Ultimately, you've gotta adapt to the light, and the location that you're shooting all of that in. Does it change the shot list itself? No, you've still gotta keep to that list, make sure that everything's done. What you are adapting to, is purely just down to the light and the location that you are in. So you're just trying to find either the best light, or create the best light. So, that's more of a lighting issue for me, and something that we will tackle a lot of in the next segment as well. Absolutely, if the light isn't there, you have to create it. It's having the skill to be able to create, and still make it look natural, rather than just having a flash on camera, and blasting everything. Which is a great seg-way to the next part of what we're actually talking about. (laughter) Definitely, good.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Posing Guide Book Chapter

Ratings and Reviews

Jerry Willis

Ryan & Rocco, in my very humble opinion, are THE best wedding photography instructors in the entire industry! I've been watching their work for years now, which just so happens to win a most grand-scaled competitions, and they somehow continue to keep getting better! I first drilled Ryan at WPPI inquiring about what made his workshop different from all the others. His response, me paraphrasing, "If you're looking for tools to learn, come to my workshop. If you're looking for inspiration and smoke blowing, don't come." That's exactly what I needed to hear. Straight tools, no fluff. THE BEST photography workshop I've EVER taken, by far. You want the best photography education, learn from the best. This CreativeLive workshop is the PERFECT complimentary refresher and companion to what I learned! Thank you so much for having them! It's not the same as the workshop, which it shouldn't be, but they ARE reinforcing many things that have slipped my memory! I'm for sure buying this! :-)

Neeraj Arora

WOW!!! I have started a few CL courses but not finished as I got distracted by "life" and it took me a while to get back and finish them. But these guys!! They were simply superb. I finished this course really fast. Amazing artists, they explain things so well, Ryan is such a charmer and engaging teacher, Rocco is a fountain of knowledge. I am an enthusiastic photographer with aspirations to start my own business soon. I learn't so much from this class that will help improve my photography even if I don't become a professional wedding photographer. Great job guys, keep it up. I will need to come back to the lessons and I very much appreciate the key note pdf. All CL courses should include the slides like they did here. Thanks CL.


I am a newborn photographer by trade, but I really want to venture out and photograph more weddings so I decided to purchase a wedding class on creative live. Of course when I typed in wedding, quite a few classes came up. But when I saw the image and title "capture the story" I was definitely intrigued. I've always been touched by the photographs that have emotion and that's what I'm passionate to photograph! Always a little nervous when you purchase a class because you don't want to feel like it was a waste of money, but this knocked it out of the park for me! Thank you to Ryan and Rocco for explaining so much, showing the pull backs, and moving your subject and explaining why! This has opened my eyes so much to how beautiful photographing a wedding can be and not so terrifying as I've been making it out to be. I'm really so thankful to hopefully being a great wedding photographer and making more income for my family, while having fun creating something beautiful

Student Work