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Tye the Wedding Story Together

Lesson 6 from: Wedding Photography: Capturing the Story

Rocco Ancora, Ryan Schembri

Tye the Wedding Story Together

Lesson 6 from: Wedding Photography: Capturing the Story

Rocco Ancora, Ryan Schembri

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Lesson Info

6. Tye the Wedding Story Together


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

Tye the Wedding Story Together

So once again, sequences of images. Documenting what's important. So this was, I think it was a Hindu temple. Vietnamese. Vietnamese, yeah, I'm not sure if it is Hindu I apologize if I offend anyone with... But it was documenting the outside of where the ceremony's gonna be. Documenting details of the fact that the shoes need to be left outside the temple before you walk in. The bride leaving her shoes there and then we continue the story. We bring it inside the temple with a nice detail of the shrine itself and then of course the family bringing in gifts. Anything that's customary to that particular faith needs to be documented. Then there's always gonna be a shot that ties that all together and for me in this particular sequence was the shot of the dad. No, you don't really do it like that. (Ryan chuckling) That was the expression. There is someone always at a wedding. Always at a wedding to just say. That's like no, no it doesn't happen like that. In the bottom the groom...

did something and he goes, no that's not the way. I can't believe you're getting married. What are you doing? No, not true. And then, I guess using peripheral vision to be able to react quickly when things happen and once again, deciding what you include in a frame and what you exclude out of a frame. Like this beautiful image here of dad even though there was a private sign there and he wasn't allowed in, once again, we get back to tying in what dad's are all about. So, really be ready once again. Absolutely, yeah. Be really wary of your surroundings. Yeah, when we talk about capturing the emotional side of a wedding and how to be in tune with that. I often relate to it back to my own wedding. And we got married now, I'm gonna be in really big trouble if I get this wrong. Seven years, yeah, did I get it right? Yay, okay good. (laughing) I was gonna be in really big trouble. Seven years and I remember looking back at our wedding photo's and I was quite fortunate. I had one of my best friends photograph my wedding, Jerry Jonas, and he did a great job. But I remember looking back through the photographs straight afterwards and being that we had all these beautiful, creative, wonderful landscape moments and fashionistic type of shots and everything else. But, the ones that really hit home were the ones of our family and that was what I keep drawing back to now I think. Absolutely. When I photograph is that I remember, yes at that stage in my career I was all about these beautiful landscape, crazy photographic moments but it changed. It changed straight after I got married and it changed to looking and being in tune with the actual emotions of a wedding and who these people were and who is really important to them. For me, it was mom and my dad. They'd been through some really rough times up until that point and I still remember to this day there's a photograph in our album that's a double page spread and it's my dad with his arms wide open and he's singing. And I remember the moment at the wedding and it was one of the happiest moments because my dad used to be in a band and they used to sing together and his band member mates there and they just broke out into song. Just midway through the reception. There was no song on, there was not music. They just break out and sang it. And I can relive that moment and it's joyous to me to look at so I have to be able now to look at that at every wedding. And understand what's happened with these people and what's the key emotion throughout this day? Is there anything I need to be aware of? And I ask all these questions so that I can be really in tune with what's happening. Yeah. So we look at our own life experiences, I think, that's the key message here as well. Yeah, and once again, I mean this next sequence of images is about really doing your homework before you shoot the wedding. Now, in this set of images the bride wasn't well. Okay and they decided to go with the wedding anyway. The great news is that she's still with us and this was many, many years ago. It was a happy ending in the end, but on the day it was always this under tone of something not quite right, what the future would actually hold. So during the father daughter dance and I thought this was gonna be one of the most emotional scenes I've ever shot in my life, and it wasn't. Because they were very, very composed during the entire dance until the music stopped. Until the music stopped and then we had this beautiful embrace of father with his daughter. And just her little, frail body I think just says it all about the love of a parent with a child. Then leaving the moment and I shot this... When I'm shooting moments like this on a dance floor, 70 to 200 mil, long lens, get way away from the action. Let everybody enjoy it. Don't become the center of attention. The center of attention is the bride and groom or bride and dad. Use a long lens and just capture the moment and wait for things to happen and they do happen. The minute then I turn my lens 90 degrees, I saw this beautiful image of the bride's brother and the two little girls crying because they were also moved by what was happening which was just so beautiful. Leaving that moment then to find parents of the groom in the reception room and that shot says it all. And then finding, eventually the bride's mother which is the lady in the middle just proud but somehow distraught at the same time. So, this all comes down to doing your homework and knowing, number one, events in a family. But also, we'll go through this tomorrow when we go through the interview with the couple, so we'll actually do an interview and we'll execute it like we'd normally execute it in our studios. And the questions that we ask and why we ask those questions, at the end of the day it's about understanding your couples as much as you possibly can before you go out and shoot. So with weddings, we capture the beautiful emotive side of weddings which is great but then there's also the fun side of weddings. Being able to capture the quirky, silly moments. And also I'm a great big fan of that as well. I love the quirkiness of weddings too. You can here this bride as well. I do. You can hear it through this shot. She'd have that typical Australian accent of, how's it goin'? How's it goin'? G'day mate. Done. (Ryan chuckling)

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