Weddings: Why To Shoot For You

Lesson 1/2 - Wedding Photography: Why To Shoot For You


Weddings: Why To Shoot For You


Lesson Info

Wedding Photography: Why To Shoot For You

I'm so excited to introduce our next instructor, sean flanigan. This segment is called wedding photography. Why? To shoot for you? This is such an important topic and I just want to say this man is one of my absolute favorite wedding photographers in for all time all time this man is incredible, so welcome, john. Come on up. So great, you guys that he did not know this man's photography please check it out. He is incredible. So take it away. Okay. Um hi, guys. My name is shawn plan again. I am a wedding photographer. Um, please give you a little ah, intro I guess about my journey into photography and how I arrived to where I am today I'm thirty two um I'm married to the pretty girl back there. Um, I see I I've always been kind of a creative person and I never really felt like I fit in in school, you know, doing the homework. I wasn't really good to get that in on time. Uh, when I was carrying jobs before I was a photographer, I worked at starbucks starbucks I did that for, like, five y...

ears, and then from there I went on to be a bartender. Those were my jobs. Before I was a photographer, I got my first taste of photography in junior year of high school I took a black and white photography class and that kind of stuck with me like I really enjoyed it the teacher was really fun she allowed me to explore a little bit I got to get into the dark room like all that stuff was really fun for me I had no idea what I was really doing but it was fun I like to see the images come to life in the dark room so that was good in the meantime, I was pursuing my dream of becoming a rock star because that's what I was going to do between the ages of twelve and twenty to maybe too late twenty one years old I really believe like that was the path that I was going to go down so I pursued that high school took a back seat it wasn't important what was important to me was to pursue my music playing in bands and touring and ended up getting a record deal. I think when I was eighteen years old from a pretty prominent seattle base independent label you guys out there don't google it it'll embarrass me but that's what I was going to d'oh um what ended up happening was that twenty late twenty one early twenty two some things were going on with the band that we had made an album and we toured and that was all good but our singer was going through a divorce um we did pre production for a second album and, uh, they and our guy, that label didn't like it, so we didn't sell enough records anyway is my dreams were crushed? I'm like twenty one years old and I hadn't graduated high school yet, so I went back to community college. I got my high school diploma, I got my associates of arts degree and what I was doing a community colleges, I was taking all the photography classes like I was just devouring it a tw this point in my life, I was getting more serious about school because I had slacked off so much in high school is like, ok, well, this is what people do, right? Like so my dream was crushed and now I needed to enter the real world in the real world from you looked like, okay, I gotta do college, and then I got to get a job that I don't really care about, and I just got to do the nine to five thing that everybody else does, like if that's if that's my path, I guess that's my path now and I always resisted it, but I started to just kind of, like started give into that like, this is just how it is, this is what people do, it didn't work out so I ended up once I applied myself like I was pretty good at school I still was a terrible employees I don't know about you guys but for me I'm completely stubborn and I only like to do what I like to dio and when I'd like to do something I do pretty well when I was your music I did that pretty well doing the photography and community college like I was really excel ng at that and then everything else took work and I like hated it and did everything begrudgingly so graduated with my a degree and the instructor says well, you need to go to the artists you to seattle you're really talented photographer like why don't you go ahead and do that it's like ok, yeah it's pretty expensive but I do want to do photography so I ended up going to the art institute of seattle and pursuing my dream of becoming a photographer but what what happened there what I found out was that my passion and my love for photography was ex selling me past everybody and I'm not bragging I'm not saying that I'm such an amazing photographer and I know how to use a camera so well obviously I know how to use a camera but the reason that I got I excelled so far past everybody so quickly is because of the passion and the drive that I had to do what I loved and I'm not I'm not bagging on the school or anything, but I think that what we do, what was happening here, creative, live as you guys were coming in and seeking out the information because you want to there's something that you want and a lot of the students there, we're just going there because, you know, it was the next thing to do is going to college and all that, so I'm there and I'm not really getting what I need, but I'm sure shelling out a lot of money I'm spending one hundred dollars a week on polaroid film to shoot ah still life with a four by five in the studio and I'm thinking, geez, will now this's photography? I don't even know if I like it, I'm not technical I'm not going to talk about technical aspects much today just a little bit, but that wasn't my thing, so I'm getting in here and I'm getting these assignments and I'm being told to reshoot these assignments that I just don't care about that just takes me back to like, you know, it could be anything I could be that could be mad after me, you know, because I don't like math or that could have been in english because I don't really care for english, so now I'm in school and photography is kind of boring to me anyways, I get up to the end and I'm about to graduate, and what I found out that I really loved at that time was photojournalism. So I start, um, interning at newspapers, and I start getting some work as a photo journalist it's like, ok, this is what I want to do on one photograph, people I love to be around people I love to communicate. I love to see what makes people tick like this is exciting. This is what I'm going to do. In the meantime, I get a call from somebody that I'd gone to high school with and they're getting married, and it kind of this may be the story for a lot of people, a friend or a friend of a friend, you know, knows that you own a camera kind of know how to use the camera so they hire you. I did it not wanting to, because what I was told at school was that, well, wedding photography is retail photography, you know, senior portrait is retail photography and that's like the lowest rung on the photography totem pole. All is if you're a retail photographer so like this is going through my mind it's like ok well from a photojournalist like I'm doing things right the instructors think that's cool or form of fashion photographer like I'm awesome but it like if I take this job and I become a wedding photographer like I'm gonna leave school of failure so this isn't like really what I want to be doing but like a couple dollars sounds cool I get to use my cameras that I spent so much money on getting so like ok, I'm going to take it so I had no idea how to photograph a wedding I'm just going to go the next live for fun I had no idea what I was doing right all I knew was that I wanted to photograph people portrait's were fun for me and I went into this wedding and I just did exactly what I wanted to do with no preconceived notions no I know mother of the bride coming down on me for something I didn't know about family formals just I told him line up I took a couple snaps but like what I did know and it came really intuitively is that I wanted to be a in the face and I wanted to be in the center of the action so I do this wedding oh here's the funny part two so I'm shooting it on a nikon d seven be so it's like two thousand four two thousand five it's like a six megapixel camera you guys google at home is not it's not a quality camera so I have one of those and at the time the compact flash cards were so expensive so I think that I had maybe two gigs worth of memory with me okay, so I go through and I get to the reception I don't even think I get to the cake cutting or anything on I'm like, hey, I'm out I'm out of data guys like it's essentially like I'm out of film so they're like, what do you mean is like, well, I just I don't have any more room to shoot, so I'm going to take off so I took off and they were kind of confused but it's like, you know, that's that's what I knew about weddings k anyway, I get home and I'm super excited about what I have um and just so you know, I had I had rebranded and I put up a new web site in december two thousand ten and I had shot that wedding maybe in two thousand five and I had portrait's from that wedding on my portfolio all the way up until I re branded so I was I was still proud of those pictures that I shot with a d seventeen a crappy twenty four or twelve twenty four f four lenses just like it just wasn't a good set up but like I did get the photos and I knew what I wanted back then so I attacked what I wanted to photographically and actually it took me a long time to get back to where I was at that point because when I was doing the wedding that I did the first time was really how I wanted to be shooting weddings now anyway I make this incredible slide show I process all the photos and I'm so proud to show my instructor ok and presented to him and I'm like hey well what do you think professor how is it I'm pretty proud of this I put music to it and everything and I was just pumped um and he's like yeah it's okay it's a web it's okay but you know just so you know you're just going to be like another mom with a camera that's I mean if you want to go do that and like all well f I'm screwed like that was kind of fun for me like I liked it so I'm completely discouraged I've got one class left have a portfolio class and I just say if it and I leave you know I'm not going to spend another five grand I don't want to shoot any still life you guys already told me like what I'm doing isn't good so that's what I do I just leave school and from that one wedding I got ten weddings the next year without trying to get any, any weddings and I'm just I'm taking the wedding's what I'm doing in the meantime is on making some connections and I start working for some pretty prestigious news outlets I start working for the wall street journal like fairly regularly, I get some good assignments and I have fun doing not got a photograph bill gates sr at his house he's like six foot seven super intimidating I got to do some fun stories on travel and it was cool and I and I enjoyed it and then all of a sudden I started to get some assignments that I don't really care about I'm like huh? This isn't fun this is starting to turn into work, you know? And I like the reason that I love photography and wedding photography so much is like, you know, eight times out of ten it doesn't really feel like work because I'm doing what I want to do. I position myself in in the wedding photography arena too get clients and attract clients that allow me to do and shoot how I want to shoot and I'm super bless and I'm going to tell you guys my techniques and kind of how I got there and hopefully that'll work for a little bit so just let's backtrack just a little bit, so I'm doing the newspaper stuff. I'm interning all of a sudden a photo editor that I didn't turn for gets a job as an editor at a different paper, and he calls me up and he's like, hey, we've got a staff job for you, do you want it? And that was kind of a dream, like, I want to be a staff voter, journalists, because from there I can take some steps and become like a real photo journalist, and I could do crazy stuff, and I go all over the world. They have these big aspirations dreams, and I had to say, no, I had to say no, because I have thirty weddings on the books. Um, so I said no, and then I was so bummed out because it's like, ok, now I'm just letting my dream going, I'm just shooting weddings, and I'm such a loser, and I'm just like a mom with a camera, and it doesn't matter and what am I going to do? S o I shoot weddings like, fairly miserably for, like, two years. Ah, and I make photos that I like a lot, and you know, I'm having fun a lot of the time, but inside of me, I just kind of feel like, geez, like this isn't this isn't what I'm supposed to do, because that instructor told me that I believed him on dh, it took me, I think, until two thousand nine to kind of let that go, and once I let that go is really when my business took off and everything started to excel from because and I started putting effort into communicating with my clients, and I did a little bit of extra homework, and I started scouting locations and like I made, like I made the wedding, exactly what I wanted to d'oh and once like that got in line with what I wanted to do, I was shooting what I wanted to shoot, everything came together for me, and everything got better, and I even got happier. Um, so so I would say that this isn't the lowest type of photography, I think we make a pretty good living, and we make way more money than then a lot of the newspaper photo journalists make, we get a set our own hours, we get a beer own boss, and we don't have anybody really telling us what to do, except for a lot of mothers of the brides and all that, but we take that with a grain of salt, um, so today I do get to do a lot of what I want on dime not going to say that I get hope none of my clients are watching I don't get amazing clients all the time, you know, but I have positioned myself to attract a certain kind of client and I'm gonna get into that a little bit more so that's my intro, any questions about me being a rock star or anything? Okay don't don't go don't google that guys, you're not going to tell us the record level no, I'm sure everybody is out there on google they're on it so one of the biggest things for me that I'm so lucky to do is that I get a work with creatives almost all the time I'm just going to pause here for a second I'm gonna let you guys know like I'm a terrible business person I'm not good at business you guys would never want to like model your business after me I just I just kind of do what I want and things tend to work out for me, so if you want to like, ask me rhyme or reason or why anything works out, I'm not gonna have an answer for you, but I'm just going to kind of tell you what I do and hopefully you can glean something off that so um majority of my clients are creatives whether they be art directors, musicians, graphic designers, other photographers I shoot photographers, weddings all the time, like, I we get to go to pittsburgh this weekend and shoot a wedding for ah, really talented photographer, and we're super excited, and the thing that's so great about that is that they're going to be on board with what we want to do creatively, the photographs we're going to be important to them, like they are to us on and that's what I find with a lot of creative is that I work with is that the photographs are so important to them like they are to me. I remember a long time ago, starting out when you're there at the wedding and you want good photos so bad, and it feels like you're up against something all day long you're up against time, you're up against the bride, sometimes you're up against the mother of the bride, you're up against wedding coordinators and planners and you're up against, you know, maybe the forces late, uh, what else think caterers, you know, because you've got to get declines back for dinner on time, I mean there's so many things that that we have to navigate through to be successful at our job and it's super hard, I'm like I said, doing photojournalism. Like we got to show up and we get a kind of stand there and just take photos of like things happening, you know, we're not really up against much other than making a connection or getting access when you're doing commercial work, you know, you're there within our director and you have a whole team established to help you make pictures were like our own team trying to come away with incredible stuff weekend and week out and we have all of these external factors blocking us off from good photos that's what I feel like, you know, so if we can get if we can get the clients on board and they can be our biggest advocates for photography that's amazing, you know, if they can talk to their wedding coordinator no like, hey, this timeline isn't going to work because the photographs are important, we want to do the photographs at this time or that time they can go to the caterers and say, like, look, you're gonna have to put dinner on a whole because this sunset out here is banging and we need some photos there's there's a lot of things that they can do for you like they can champion the fact that we need good pictures and when they want the photos as much as you do that's when the magic starts that happen, so um I'm going to get into that more but like it's just one of the biggest blessings that I have is to work with creative people um again, like I'm not much without my clients I know how to work a camera super good and that doesn't matter like I can I can come in here and weaken I could take photos of this glass of water all day long and it's just going to be a photo of a glass of water we need we need our clients and we need them on bored with us, so treat him as such, you know, let them know how important they are to you when you get him on the phone, let him know like, hey, I understand, um, we need to work together, I feel so grateful that you you're going to allow me teo, do what I love for work, you know, you don't have to say it's so cheesy like that, but like it's really true, like they allow you to do what you love for work on dna again, not every wedding uh, I will say, you know, I have some jobs that have shot that I wouldn't want to share and then I don't share on my web site because they're not going to try the right kind of clients um hopefully that nobody's watching, but anyway, these this is the most important part of our business is our clients, because they allow us, I mean, they put food on the table, but they also allow us to do our art, and they allow us to do our the way that we want. Tio, for the most part, I'm going to show some slides of a wedding that I shot. I think it was two thousand ten in manitou springs, colorado. It was the sister of a friend of mine, and I had he had actually done my website, and he told me his sister was getting married and I said, yeah, I would love to do the wedding let's talk and like, we set some things up and all the way throughout the process, I was in communication with her, and I kind of knew how everything was going to go, and I knew that she really loved my work, which, you know, obviously feels good and because I knew that she loved my work so much, you know, you you feel like you have free rein in those circumstances, you guys all she weddings here. So, you know, when you go to a wedding and when the bride has made it a point to tell you how much she loves your work, do you feel a little more free to get in there and do what you want rather than somebody that's been a little standoffish or hasn't been so communicative with you that you feel like you need to ease your way? And well, in this instant instance from the very start, I was just free to go in there and shoot kind of any way that I wanted tio and one thing I'm gonna go back, we'll cook. One thing that I want to discuss here real quick is that you guys can see that I'm using a wide lands. Obviously, I don't use anything really longer than an eighty five millimeter in eighty five millimeters, the longest lines that I own right now, so for the most part, I'm with a twenty for a thirty five for fifty ah, and the reason for that is that that's going to get us in there, it's going to get us where we need to be if I'm over here and we haven't established, like, good relationship, I'm going to be like, sniping, sniping, you guys off and the images, they're going to look cold and disconnected there's going to be like a barrier there s o that's one thing that I'll tell him is like you know, you guys have seen my word you've seen my website, like one of the things that you probably notice is that, like, I'm really in there that takes a lot of trust, and that takes you guys allowing me to be in that space, and I say it all the time, but it's, that I need to photograph the wedding from the inside out rather than the outside in and the way that we get there is that they allow us to be in a situation where their close friends or their family member would be. So this is a bright sister law mom comes over, bring some sandwiches and some snacks and it's, me and my second photographer who came and and that's all it is, and we're just there documenting and we're with the access that we have is wherever we want to be so it's really pretty incredible again. They knew us, they were comfortable and they wanted to be, you know, playful with the cameras so, like, I would call this like a role ward. This is like something that, like, we got rewarded with photographically, like people playing, playing to the camera. Um, this one here is I believe with an eighty five shot through the window so this is this is pretty rare for me to do that, but I like the detail of her lashes so sometimes I will pull that eighty five millimeter lens out just to get that compression so again they're so comfortable they're not really noticing that were there were able just to be wherever we want to it's pretty great this is one of my favorite things to do so obviously I'm not that tall so I'm always doing the hail mary all the time yeah, yeah I didn't worry about focus when you do that yeah it's just that I worry about focus but I want that shot so I'm willing to risk it I mean it would been so easy just to kind of like bend down and, you know, get the detail of her back but I had already got some detail shots of her back, so I thought that kind of gave it more of like a like an epic you I guess but yeah, what I'll do is I use the back focus on my cannon saw, you know grab it, you know? Oh aim and hopefully I got and just snap snap look okay, snap, snap so I looked probably like an idiot like I'm following your don't like this with my camera, but it was worth it and I don't think anybody else saw me um this is just after the first look and so is this one so we worked it from wide and we brought it back in close same lens though um lot this was very do yourself so they were kind of putting everything together ah and we just we just followed her around all that ceremony location was incredible um I remember speaking to her and this was I believe she said it was a state park and I think she said she paid fifty dollars rental fee for the state park so probably one of the best places I've shot close to if if it is and it's it's very close to one of the schools wedding spots that are shot and for fifty bucks so she was very resourceful I'm just playing around you know, like during the ceremony you're getting so many of the same shots it's like why not like why not get a detail the trees with um blurred out not that that's just an incredible photo but it's like, you know, play around you know don't be afraid to try things eso again this is us getting right in there this is with the twenty four millimeter lens we're I mean inches away from them and everybody's okay with it a lot of times you're going to run into at churches especially you know they put the exes on the floor you guys need to stay here or the officiant it's like ok, you can come over here you could be over here but not back here um I have a questionnaire that I sent out to clients and I asked are there any rules pertaining to the wedding photography during the ceremony just so I know and if there are you can talk to the bride to see if she's into having a conversation with somebody about maybe maybe we can bend the rules here because the wedding photography is super important, you know, like I'm paying this person quite a bit of money and I want them to be able to do their job. So it's it's about the communication so much obviously here wasn't an issue. Yes, so when you're this close to the clients like, are you just like popping in and and then kind of popping back out again, you're not just like hanging right there? Yeah, I'm not parked, ok? I'm different I'm definitely in like not parking there got it, but I will I will say I will say, I mean, obviously I'm down low and I'm waiting for something to happen and I knew that I've been to enough weddings no one the ringing changes happening, so I'm there and I'm waiting for the ring exchange and what happened to snap snap snaps out up and then you know, I look at my camera real quick don't do that a lot though don't look at the camera and miss stuff but make sure have a sharp one back it off and then you know, continue to shoot but yeah that's a good question e I remember the very first time that I got really close during a ceremony and I was thinking to myself, why don't do this more? This is amazing, you know, I was in kabo come on mexico and had a twenty four on and they're at this great catholic catholic cathedral and there was just like, beautiful details up the ceiling so I got down real low aim in my twenty four up there and they're you know, literally like a foot away and I'm just I'm just kind of sitting there making it happen and nobody seemed to mind so I was like, well, people who really care they don't really notice, you know, we're walking around all the time during the wedding and I used to think jeez, everybody's like worried about me, it's like I need a tiptoe around, but I don't think that's the case people are like very interested in their loved ones, you know, exchanging vows and they could really kind of care less I did run into a problem last year getting in there was a father of the bride he ended up grabbing me and getting my attention it was like, hey, you need to cool it so it happens, but for me it's worth it, you know, all that happened was I got slightly reprimanded by the father of the bride. I did get what I needed beforehand, and he probably doesn't think about it anymore, and they got the kind of photos that they see on my website and that's, the most important thing is like, if I can't deliver what they see on my website, then it's going to be a problem, so I didn't argue with him, I had already gotten really what I needed. So then I backed off, and then I threw on the eighty five, and then we were fine and sean question from photo girl, do you only use prime loans? Is no, I don't only use prime lenses, I used to only use prime lenses. Now I'm using the twenty four to seventy a lot that the old version, maybe because I'm lazy now, I just don't like to change lenses so much. I feel like a missing shots aa lot changing the lenses. I don't like to carry two cameras, but when I have the prime lenses on, I'm always carrying two terrorism, you know, I'm like this all day long or like, if I need a switch things happened so fast, so what I've been doing now is I've been carrying the twenty four to seventy on one camera, and then, you know, a fast prime on the other and that way I'm not switching as much, and I always have with the twenty four to seventy I have what I need all the time as faras range goes funny you say that I have a friend that calls it the lazy girl. Lynn yeah, it's yeah, yeah, maybe maybe it is, but I think for me is that is allowing me to not miss that it's a beautiful and I love it. A lot of people don't it's probably my favorite lines. Oh, no. Can I ask one more lens question? Yeah, I noticed in a lot of your work, it looks like you're using a tilt shift, and I'm not sure if you're doing that in post or if you are actually rocking the ship at weddings. Yeah, I have the forty five till shift lands on the twenty four, and I use them all the time. Accidentally I did, I did a portrait session. Oh, in february, I think, and I had two cameras and I had the forty five in the twenty four on the whole time, and I didn't realize it until I got back home. Oh my god I'd use a tilt shift the whole session on both cameras and turnout cool and there was super happy and I thought it worked out fine but um yeah, I use I use them a con I love them if you can afford to get a total shift uh I would get one yeah is I'm still reason how come you don't crop that um you wanted the photographer to be in the picture yeah, this is my really good friend I hope he's watching his name sergio and because this wedding was so small was like eighteen people we really felt like we were kind of a part of it and, uh I don't think they mind that that he's in the frame also he's the friend not like a set your second. Okay, well, he's my friend but I felt like we were so close to them that it was okay. Um otherwise if, like, this was just somebody I picked up off the street and like I didn't really even know if I would have cropped it out and to be honest with you might even got rid of the photo but yeah, we we were there with him for a couple days before the wedding where they're from all the festivities so I kind of felt like hey, it's ok on I remember intentionally taking it like that well, sean it's interesting because you said originally that you wanted to be more of a photo journalist photographer and that you would be sacrificing that in wedding in wedding photography but it has such a photo journalistic yeah element to it and when you bring that into your photography, which is a photo like this as it does it's just amazing yeah that's one of the big draws and that was kind of how I justified it to myself that weddings were ok is because I could document it and at first I was so strict about it, you know, when you're doing photojournalism if there is like a wrapper on the ground and if you pick it up like that's not ethical I mean, I was like really by the book I wasn't moving brides closer to the window for the better light, like if they're in crappy light, I was just doing it probably shouldn't have, but I just was like I wanted to be a photojournalist so bad and that's like how I had learned photography and that's how I learned to document people. So I thought that I was awake miller, if I could make better photos without intervening whatsoever on it just doesn't work like that and I mean, for me it doesn't work like that and then I found out too is that I love doing portrait so much that I guess I'm not really photojournalists because you have to interact so much with clients is there another question? Yeah this's the wedding that I found your work oh, really? I was in a search for a wedding dress and I found your work through a wedding blogged on actually bought that same trays you did and I was at my wedding amazing that's beautiful and I wanted an outdoor wedding too. But you know, seattle november doesn't happen. Yeah, known address the dress is incredible and actually, if I remember right it's a ball gown and it was like four hundred dollars right north show it was north from four. Yeah, yeah, and it is amazing, right? Do you love it? I do love it when I mean, when I first saw it, it was just it was love at first sight, you know, on her and I envisioned myself in it and on, so I love it, so we'll se thanks, christina, what a cool story. What a cool story that that happened. You got it from this photo. I love that. Yeah, the dress is great and they did this was super affordable on dh itt's this was such a beautiful, beautiful wedding again, this is me just hold it over grabbing a shot with twenty four I do this a lot when people are the groups or family members are praying, you know, I'll take a couple shots where I'm like, right there in it, but I think like the bird's eye view is pretty nice, so if you guys air encountering situations like that, you know, I would try a few different things, not like you're not, but this tends to work out for me pretty well, uh, the kiss everybody's so happy we're right there in the middle of it. And again, this is what I love about the wide lenses that I could be so physically close to the couple, but I'm getting so much, you know, if you guys know anything about layering, I'm getting so much information and the images, you know, we got mom and dad to the right got big brother behind so proud, and then we got sergio just making, making it rain with photos back there happy, happy, more prayer on and then this is going on to the portrait, so, you know, during, like, the loose change time, I'm still making pictures, you know, I'm making photos all day doesn't cost money to take a digital photos to just make it happen, just keep it going we talked about till shift this's a till shift, this is a forty five this one wasn't my favorite portrait that we did like this just because you could see the horizon so I ended up taking another one where I cropped him just their heads until in the clothes arise o we're going to talk about this briefly um a lot of the times I will have the clients I'll stand right so they're just in the center of mere just off center so how the bride here the groom here and I'll get him with kind of a blank stare because I think it's kind of interesting is it's ah interesting expression tohave like just a blank stare on such a happy day it's kind of ironic but what I'll do in this situation for these portrait ce I guess it's kind of my secret I will have I'll have if the brides here I'll have a look over my shoulder and the groom right past my shoulder because I think there's something interesting about that disconnect and I know like I told you guys that I wanted to be really like intimate and impactful and up close with sometimes I wantto make kind of a quirky awkward photo and that's how I do it so you know when you're watching a movie or cinema nobody's ever looking at the lens and that's kind of where I got that idea from I don't want to photograph people from the side I'd like to shoot him straight on so much well what am I gonna do? They're not gonna look away so just haven't looked right past me or I'll just say hey look at the cannon instead of the lens or something like that let's just try it if you want to question sean let's see katie john asked if you pose your clients during your engagement sessions and I'm just wondering as well when you were so strict with your photo journalistic style if you actually kind of cross back over into some sort of middle ground where you do have you do pose people or you do bring them close to the window did you kind of change that yeah I absolutely did I absolutely did I change that whole philosophy really once I accepted that I was going to the wedding yes and that I was ok with it and I kind of kicked myself too because it took me so long tio I realized that I love doing weddings it's my favorite thing it's not always easy and it's it's a lot a lot of work and you know you're making photos of abroad who wants to be super beautiful and I mean you're up against that and there's a lot there's a it's it is heavy being a wedding photographer is heavy um but the reward is worth it you know when everything just comes together and you just make something like magic it's it's so worth it so um yeah but I did I did step over the line and became just a wedding photographer I'm not worried about moving rappers I'm not worried about moving clients I'm going I'm going to move them if they will sometimes you're working with makeup artists and like they don't want to move they want the funky lights on just asked nicely and and see if you can get you know the situation to improve just a beautiful spot just some intimate stuff uh one thing that happens of super cool for me is that clients will hire me and then they will keep up with me on my block well keep up with me through instagram or twitter or whatever but when I when I go to do portrait's with my clients they have seen my work so much that they like go to that pose or if you guys have seen my work before I don't know if you have I do a lot of poses where they just hold hands and they're just like real static um nine times out of ten when like if I'm going to photograph him up against this wall or like this wall here they're like come and like they'll just throw a hand out I'll just stand there like automatic and it's sze like feels good because it's like ok like they look at my stuff like they like my work like they're pumped up about hiring me that's great so um and again and I'm gonna get into it's like because I'm showing on that that's what's on my site like that's what they see so they see it they like you we're ready take her picture eso here it's like you know snuggle up with each other ok I mean they're like right there four is pretty amazing I don't really really think I set this up but it just turned out great um yeah that's just them that's just me being there I'm just hanging out I didn't set that one up at all but I think that's one of my favorite portrait's from the whole thing from the whole wedding um again this is super intimate we're very lucky to be invited this is the father praying uh just super special moments and then same scenario this is this is with the twenty four this is with the eighty five so that's my whole that's my whole range that's my whole range right there um just kind of parting portrait the life started going down it was twilight I said hey guys the lights pretty nice outside he has up for like five or ten minutes a portrait one thing that I do every single wedding because we d'oh the first look situation right so we're getting images that like one pm one thirty p m it's like hard light we're gonna put him in the open shade it's like the same thing every time so I'll let him know like hey guys I'm going to grab you when the like it's good and just be ready and it's going to be like ten or fifteen minutes like fifteen minutes max and just so we can get like something else and that's when you're going to get the good photos like if you think about it like how much does the bride have on her mind like oh my god do I look okay like do I look fat in my dress like is my veil right like my shoes kind of her uh is everything you know and I got a trip going down I mean you're photographing the bride with all that anxiety right? It just it's not it just isn't right you know, like I would prefer to photograph the bridegroom after they get they get married like oh my god I just married the love of my life so happy like let's throw high fives but for some reason were set up all the time to do this first look and it's just like this nervous, anxious energy and that's what we're photographing so always hey when the like it's good I'm gonna pull you away it's going to be ten minutes it's going to be painless and it's gonna be awesome and that's what you just need to let him know that and then all that anxiety is gone like they've had a couple cocktails lt's people lose like she knows she looks pretty it's good so that that's that's my best tip for you today ok s so that was kind of getting what I want to talk about his first contact with the bride and groom unless you guys have any questions right now I have a ton of questions coming in online they're kind of like more more technical, more technical questions so I'm not sure if you want to take you know maybe I'll feel some of a couple of those ok so people are asking if you uh if you post process all of your own photos or if you outsource anything yeah I post process I'm going to give a little plug to my friends visual supply co um I use the visco film presets they're amazing and process everything a light room and then occasionally I'll use photo shop but for the most part I'm using visco film um and if you guys want to know the specific presets that I use I love the tri x pushed twice with fayed and then I like the poor tra n c plus plus those are like my top two in and uh this is not a technical discussion or all but since we're on the topic what I would recommend to you guys is to find a look that you like a post processing look that you like a black and white and color and use those when you're all over the board there's no cohesiveness to your work and you're going to look at one session and it's going to look this way and the other session is going to look this way so it's very important that you find a looked at you like it's cool to experiment so you have this look and you're like, well I think I can make that better, you know, always trying to make it better but if you're bouncing around all the time it's not going to be good because with that with those presets there's so many options and I understand that is difficult just to pick one because maybe this one looks pretty good so I would spend your time first finding out the look that you really like and then and then using that all the time all right? You answered most of the people's questions just then and people had questions about this co and so thank you definitely answer that so I have one more question maybe this will lead into your next segment yeah yeah rocks out asked do you credit end up timeline with the bride and groom beforehand? And if so, how closely do usually end up following it? Um I wish that I was that organized to do something like that because it's amazing I have some friends that do that I know it works out really well for them I do not do that I allow them to make their own timeline and then when I have issue with the timeline that I bring up the issue like hey, this isn't gonna work let's just rearrange that the another reason that I love weddings so much is that we get a show up and we walk into this amazing situation right like there's love there's excitement there's anxiety there's all these emotions happening and we'd like you to sit there and photograph it but on top of that usually it's a beautiful setting like there's beautiful flowers like the makeup and hair the groom's handsome the family's air palms like I don't know a situation we're like you gotta walk into something like without really having to planet I kind of I'll talk about this a little bit more but I kind of think of like my bride is my art director like hey, this is like how I'm setting things up and like, you know, I want you to photograph this and like this is how I'm doing I mean it's really pretty incredible but uh I wish that I did that I just I just haven't done it yet, you know and that's an amazing thing and like when I would say to you guys if like you guys, if you guys can make an in depth timeline working with the bride like that's a great idea but usually I'm just on the phone with them are on skype and I kind of know how the day is going to go and then I'll have some piece of paper that's telling me where show up and the address when they're getting married and when dinner starts I mean that's really what I need are you doing a first look? Are you not just situations like that uh and I'll talk to you guys more about it as we go on, but, um nothing is guaranteed in the wedding nothing is guaranteed we like I said like we are up against so many different elements like we don't ever know, eh? So what I would say to you guys is be prepared at every moment and when you have an opportunity to make pictures just just to make him just to make those photos when you have an opportunity don't see something and be like, ok that's going to be good I'm going to grab the bride when we have a second like she's gonna walk down to get married and two minutes I've got thirty seconds come on girl let's get these photos because you need to make that that happened to me last week were in california I would never have gotten any portrait of the bride it unless I was like, ok, this needs to happen right now come on like let's do this um so with the timelines for me, first of all, I don't want to be the bad guy and be like, hey, let's go, we're not on the time line like we made this timeline like let's let's be on top of this like, I'm not I'm not going to be that guy, and second, I don't think that it za guarantee thing anyway is like, um, you know, you know, the coordinators and planners like love him to death like it's great, like we need him, but it doesn't really mean much to me because I know that something's going to go wrong or something is going to change, so I just make my plan. I talked to the bride and groom like we know what we're going to do, and we just make that happen. I want to talk about what it's like when they first contact me, they're contacting me through my web site on a contact for him and there's two ways to respond, you can pick up the phone and you can call him or you can respond to the email, and what I found to be more effective is to pick up the phone um sometimes a call off guard sometimes they want to call you back, but if you make phone calls to them, they're going to feel like you care more so that being my first advice to you is tio the way to get the ball rolling with your clients is toe pick up the phone and give me a call I know it takes like I mean you don't know it's like they're really not interested or what but like when somebody is super interested it's the best way really what I found I mean you may get a crazy on the phone and might not work out very well but for the most part is pretty good okay? So access way talked about it earlier but the most important thing for us is the access of the clients like what kind of access we get during the day in the communication is going toe is going to let that happen so again if like we're like the awkward photographer and we're not too sure what the client wants and we're going to be a little more careful about like getting in there are being in somebody's away but if we know one hundred percent that they want we have photographically we're going to go in there we're going to start attacking those pictures and we're going to know that like what we're doing is ok, we're gonna know like the bride is on board with it and we're going to come away with what we want I'm sorry I'm getting over a little bit of a cold eso collaborating and setting the expectations I let them know like I told you earlier that I let him know how important it is for me to get good pictures like I let them know that I don't just do this like put food on the table and eat and fill up my gas I do this because I love it there's something in me that like needs to go out and needs to make photographs and the's clients allow me to do it I make sure that they know how important it is for the most part I want amazing photos more than them, but when you get the artistic type like they're on board, this is peter. This wasn't a lone man in paris, it was it was amazing they invited me out, they were from toronto, it was seriously just me in them and a rabbi, and after they got married and did their ceremony, we hopped in aa french version version of a beetle and we drove around paris for six hours and it was like the best thing ever. The photographs were important to them and they knew that photographs were important to me, so they were like, hey, what do you think I was like, I've never been to paris like, I don't know anything about he's like, well, we've been a couple times and I was like, well, I want to do everything and I want to photograph everything I do we have enough time he's like, well, we don't really want to spend, like, all day, all day how six hours like you wanted to porches for six hours. That's amazing, yeah, all the airport like ok, that's ok, I know there are like, that was my clear, like they're on board and then like, um, he e mails me he's like, hey, we've got a chauffeur and we're just going to drive around all the hot spots. So, like eiffel tower, like the luv, like some freakin ferris wheel where there was a whole view of paris um it was amazing. And then, ah, one thing that he asked me to d'oh was he's like, hey, he's, like, I know your camera takes video. Can you just make some video for me? I was like, well, I don't even know how to turn the video on my camera. Seriously, I just don't and he's like, well, I'm of video editor for the I think I don't know some channel he does video and he's like, if you could just take some video for me, that'd be great, it's like, all right, I'll just turn it on, so I was just turning video on throughout the day and at the end of at the end of the job once I completed the edit I've just like here, dude, here's all the raw footage hands off he's that's what he wanted so he, uh, like a week and a half later he sends me a link to this incredible video that he added that was partly stuff that he had taken with his display not disposable, but compaq digital camera video and then the stuff that I taken with my five d and it was incredible. And if you guys want to check it out, you just go to my go on my block and type in chen and peter I linked ah post of his video that he made and it's amazing it's like seriously, it was really incredible. So again, like that is us working together there's no way that I ever would have been able to, like shoot that footage and how the edited the way that he did it. And like now, like we came together, we made something great and that's what I tell my clients is that we get to come together and make something great. It's not me with a camera and it's not you guys with this great idea it's us as a team yeah, I just have a question about have you ever gotten to a point where you with your clients and you realize that you're not going to be a match but you've had how did you handle that? I think your your expectations and their expectations are just not going to meet yeah, those circumstances you do your best and then you move on because you have a wedding next week or do you mean that I mean in the prospect in the process or beforehand yeah what were you like you've been hired but the wedding is like, say, thirty days away or how do you go about handling that? Oh, so I've been hired in the wedding three days away and I know that it's not gonna work yeah, we're just not fit um so many questions no, no, no that's that's a legitimate question like I said, not every like you guys are seeing my best stuff, okay? I it's not it's, not about me I'm just a dude with the camera that likes to take pictures just like you guys like your girl of the camera you're a guy with a camera you like taking photographs, it doesn't work out all the time it just doesn't, but the thing is is that like we get a going show up and do our very best I mean there's times that this does feel like a job and there's times when it just feels like I'm having fun and it feels like I'm having fun more often than not but sometimes it's just a job sometimes it's just about getting paid taking the best photographs that you can for those clients and then going home and processing him um I was going to say had we had something really awesome ask me a question able company guys have questions I'd like to see more photos of this wedding if you want yeah I mean if you guys go to my vlog sean planning in dot net bog have a big post its awesome I'm definitely going to this's my dream to take you to some crazy town and get married and lope yeah happen I mean for a photographer it was a dream come true yeah did you get any releases because you were shooting at the famous sites because you're a small enough that you kind of flying with the radio I think I don't know I mean there's so many realities that like I probably just kind of blow by among camera you know? It was just the three of us hanging out I mean I'm just from the states I live into coma like give me a break e didn't seem like an issue, you know, maybe there's a way to do different and getting releases and all that but I didn't know where I was going I was just hopping in the car and this guy was taken us so, um, it was just real quick and easy, just a tourist taking picture, a couple, then a wedding photographer, right? So I don't have, like hair and makeup, like, um, like, what is the way that I was like, describe, like the way that I do. The photography is like it's, it's, like, really honest and genuine. You know, I'm not having, like, a big, elaborate set up, like a lot of my my brides are, you know, just like going crazy with, you know, like gowns and, like super long trains and, like amazing veils like there, you know, she's wearing a short dress and like some ray bans, and they're just having fun. Like a lot of my clients were like that when I wanted to mention, too is, you know, when this starts to feel like a job is, um, when you get back in the office or into the studio and like you have to sit down and you gotta process images that, like, you're not proud off or you don't wantto. I mean, how difficult is it to get through a job that you just it's like uh and then when you have so you have that job and then say like you shot another job and that was amazing and like now you're like importing those and like you have like oh here's this amazing job in a shop but then I have this like what I think like we need to do in me too is that we need to try to eliminate those jobs that just aren't fits and the best way to do that is by what you're showing on your portfolio on things like that but I'm going to get get back to that later however this is total collaboration I've never been to paris I've never been to france they had scouted for me and the reason these photos were success isn't so much me with the camera it's me positioning myself, attracting creative people and allowing us to work together um again uh I lived in seattle I grew up in seattle I live into coma now like I've lived in the northwest my entire life um this is danny and this is stephanie and danny and stephanie were from dallas and they got married here in seattle and super creative he's our director he owns his own ad firm a small boutique out firm he's amazing guy and we have been talking and he said hey I know you know the area, but I just did like a little walk and I found two spots that I really want to take pictures that and are you cool with it? And I said, well, yeah, we're a little crunch for time but like let's just do your spots like I trust you so we this is a theatre office up and this is just across from the library and never see like I'm walking by that so many times, but I have never really seen it and he's like, well, what do you think? Like I was like, dude, this is perfect like let's just hit this. So this is another instance where I'm open to my suggestions of my clients like I I want to know what they want I want to know, you know what kind of creative ideas they have and it doesn't hurt to say yeah, like you can say yes to anything and just be like, ok, it doesn't work like let's move on it's not a big deal, but as long as you try like you're open to it, I think that's really good place to be. Occasionally you may know for sure that it's not going to work and that's your decision like to humor them or not, depending on like what kind of time you have, but more often not when the clients have an idea. They tend to work out pretty well for me. So this is again just me having, like, a collaborative effort with my clients I never would've came away with these pictures unless it were for the groom question from easy photos do you are you a natural? I should are are you using strobes? What do you know? Yeah, I just use what's available to me. I think I really learned to see light growing up here in the northwest because we don't get a lot of it. I mean, all right? Like when, when the sun comes out like we tend to, like get pretty excited, especially january february like when it's real dreary. So when we see light, I tend to, like, gravitate towards it or we get creative with the light around here because we have to yeah, I used the national light in the summertime here is amazing. I don't really feel a need to put any artificial light in my work. I just it's simple like for me as a photographer and a business person, I keep things as simple as possible, like lugging lights around, setting stuff up like I'm just not into it like, I don't even own a tripod like maybe I should, I just don't I don't I just don't like gear like it's, nice to have all, like the fancy lenses and the great camera, but like, um, I still use I still have a five d that I bought in two thousand five that I use, like it's, like the the gear isn't like the most important thing, you know, obviously, the light in the connection I have with my clients proceeds any year that I have, you know, like he could have made I could have made these with a phone, obviously they wouldn't have the blur, but like, I would have been allowed to see it. So, um, it's not so much about the gear, but yeah, a cz long as I can keep things simple and easy and quick, that's what I do and tough total wants to know if you have any problems with dark reception halls or anything like that or you just you always seem to figure out a way to make it work. S so what I do with what I do when it's dark again, like I'm super blast like a lot of you guys, if you gotta shoot in the places that I get a shoot out like this next one, like you guys, come away with amazing photos like I'm being set up for success with my clients. You know, in the past I've been set up for failure a little bit like I'm shooting ah wedding reception in a dungeon basically like a basement of a church with no windows and there's paper plates and there's mustard ketchup packet I mean like okay, like I'm going to do my very best and it and and I'm not saying that to be um just say like everything needs to be so beautiful but it's like that's difficult right? Like that's super difficult so in that situation like, I'm either crank in the ice so or I'm throwing my flash on and when I throw my flash on, I keep it simple like I just put it on and aim it straight at him and I get close so when I'm using a flash I'm using my twenty four millimeter and I'm using the five eighty version too, and I'm pointing it directly at him and I'm zooming the fox you consume your flash, so if I'm using a twenty four millimeter lens zoom, I flash to fifty millimeter so creation that creates a national vignette and then I'm shooting at a pretty wide aperture like after two to create the blur on dh not forces me to get super close, so when I'm doing my reception work, I'm literally like two feet away for everything does not answer the question ok um again this this was I showed you their wedding this was the day before we just went out to do some scouting because I really wanted to see it so they took me out and then I didn't get paid for for this like just like hey like I love photography like I just want to make some photos and I ended up putting a block post together of this you know I listen to john keeley yesterday and aa lot of his work is personal work right? And he gets a lot of work from doing personal work it's not it's not a bad idea or it's not bad to take on a job for free if it's going to benefit you later on um you know, like I'm not saying take free weddings but like if this wedding is going to benefit you or this like doing engagement session with this couple is going to be an amazing location, we're going to do it on top of a mountain we're going to go out to the ocean it's going to be beautiful perfect do it you know even even just to fulfill like your creative craving do it you know and then you put it up on your block and be like, hey, look, I just take some awesome photos check it out it's super important oh inspiring create I my what I want to do with my photography is I want to continue to be creative and it's difficult this is my eighth season doing weddings um and doing the same thing over and over sometimes you know, I remember two thousand ten was the busiest year for me and I had like a couple weekends arise doing three weddings in a row and and some of them one one time I did a wedding in chicago and I took a five a m flight to get back here to seattle and then after I'm not wedding and seattle, I was down in l a and just like the amount of images and I'm taking and it's just like the same thing all the time is like I was losing sight of what was important and how to be creative. It was just like I was going to the easy stuff I was doing I was just doing it was like a routine I was like on autopilot s o I had to take a step back and like two thousand eleven and even two thousand twelve and trying to get creative a little bit and figure out how to slow down and they're being more deliberate with my photography and that's what I did I mean, I have a talk tomorrow it's on mammography, but this is where I brought in mammography into my my wedding working, so I'm not going into into that today so it's outside job what gets you excited like things that are important for me is to be around inspiring people tio always t taking in like beautiful artwork whatever it is if it's cinema like cinema super good for me to see how the directors of photography is air like phone together shots like that's like one of the most inspiring things for me photo graphically magazines it doesn't have to be wedding photography you know I'm not like sitting at home casing wedding photographers blog's and be like, oh my god, what is this amazing wedding photographer doing like jonas peterson is like super good and talented it's like um what is jonas doing like can I just focus on like, you know, number one like it's going to discourage me because he's so good and two I'm gonna want to copy him, you know, so it's like it's pretty important for me to stay away from that and for the most part, I don't look at wedding photography that much. Like I said at the very beginning, I went into that first wedding that I did I didn't know a thing, but I came away with the type of pictures that I wanted, teo I mean, I didn't know a thing to the point where I just got up and left one of my cars were full um so that's that's really where I want to be back at the like, hey, I don't I don't really care about the rules too much obviously I've got to take your family portrait so I'm going to do that and our uncle and auntie over here need a photo for the christmas card like happy to oblige but for the most part I'm not trying to play by the rules and I'm trying to push the boundaries and I'm trying to be as creative as possible with the wedding photography and the one thing that I always go back to you with that is how would I want my wedding shot? Well, what I want for my wedding photography um and that's helping a ton also I would say if you have a significant other get your photos taken by somebody so you can be on the other end of what it's like to be photographed and what it feels like to receive the images. Melanie and I had our photos taken and it was eye opening for me because I was able to see and feel what my clients feel but also I gravitated towards like the super smiley and the really playful images that I don't really shoot that much so it was like, oh my god, like, I've been like neglecting a lot of clients of this type of photography or this sort of photograph because I didn't like it but when I got it I loved it so I've been I've been getting like a little more playful with pictures a lot more smiley and that's been super good for me so I would encourage you guys you got do you have a question? I wasn't said that's just such a great story you learned that that valuable lesson yeah yeah we're operating it yeah it was super good it was super good can't shoot for you this is the most important thing is that we're getting to the wedding and I would say to try to come away with one image that would be like a personal image to you whatever it is if it's grandma and grandpa on a couch like stuffing their face and there is too cute like get up in their face and shoot the picture apologize later they don't really care because you're there you're hired to take the pictures anyways get the corky stuff if that's what you're drawing tio or um I don't know play around with like whatever it is to you, whatever gets you excited about the wedding or the pictures out the wedding like I don't think it's family pictures um I don't think it's maybe love reception photos, whatever, but whatever it is like just just make it happen and again like I alluded to is that we're up against so much and we don't get guaranteed um, we don't get guaranteed time for porches with the clients, so when you have an opportunity, if you see something, just get it, because if you hesitate like you're going to kick yourself later on, I sat down downloading carbs so many times to be like, why didn't I do that? Why don't you? Why don't do that anymore? You know, if the lady, um that's trying to get everybody to dinner is freaking out and she's like, hey, you know, you're supposed to be back five minutes ago it's like, hey, I didn't get what I need yet can you please give me five minutes? Can you please work with me? Just let him know like, hey, they hired me to do this job just like you guys were hired like I want pictures help me out and, you know, if you like, plead with them will be like, okay, thiss guys like, okay, but he needs pictures, okay? Like, I'm going to help this guy get pictures like he's desperate like I am one photos so about I want good pictures like, I want to come home and I want to show I want to show you guys like something amazing, like I want to do that, but I can't excuse me. I can't do it if like if I hesitate or if I'm like so super polite and I am polite and I'm very agreeable and I'm very laid back but when it comes to like, hey like, don't screw me out of my pictures like I need him on dh then what I would also say is too is that you guys understand so many amazing things happen at the wedding just like be on your game like if you like to document weddings are the perfect thing to shoot because there's so many opportunities for you just like just be so aware of what's happening around you get that access that you need to get in there because what I call it as I call it mid distance mid distance see so like, if something's happening here and I'm photographing you girls on the couch it's like, well, I'm kind of like a guy walking by just like snap snap it's like I'm not really getting in your space like for me, it doesn't feel like a photograph unless, like I'm right here, you guys were having a laugh and I'm getting it with my camera up close and personal that's where the pictures, the pictures in this space it's not back here like kind of cold, kind of like standoffish so that's that's how I shoot for me it's like I want to be in that space that's how I'm making a personal that's that's my vision for the wedding photographs so and whatever it is for you guys just like you know obviously I'm telling you like probably the hardest thing like artistically but figure out like what makes you guys tick what gets you excited about photography? Um the standard I got to talk about this so there's so many good talented photographers out there especially here in seattle like it's not even fair there's so many good photographers um the standard has been raised like average quality is just like average quality is like average is no longer average it's like poor right and good is just average like we need to be in a position where like were exceptional like we're an exception to the photography rule like whatever that means for you to get to that level like that's when your business is going to take off is like when we become exceptional when we become um well, you know when the bride goes to your site and she cannot say no to your work because it's so good it should speaks to her so much it's so emotional, so impactful that's where we need to be because we're just going to be like a part of the masses of the standard of photography which is pretty f in good right now I mean everybody is good especially these young kids coming in there just digital cameras and they're amazing it's just it's not fair plus for like fifteen hundred dollars for a wedding it's like how do you compete with that um so I just be aware of this rising standard and it's going to continue to go up and people are going to continue to get better so we need to we need to rise to the occasion as photographers and and continue to get better with the mass of photography that's improving so whatever that is I feel like everywhere I go everywhere I look like there's just amazing photography like if you hop on instagram you're seeing like my twenty two year olds like post on their photos and you go on they got like thirty five thousand followers and then you go to their website and oh my god, they're shooting weddings and this kid's incredible what's going on s o b you know, very aware of that and just continue to push because I don't think there's another way to make a living out this and to be above the standard I'm just going to drill home make a personal like whatever you're shooting may get personal work because that's when it becomes important to you that's one is near and dear to your heart that's when you're going to really excel it at what you do like I mentioned uh I was a terrible, terrible employees, but when it comes to making pictures and being a photographer like I'm kind of good at it and it's just it comes natural and it comes easy and I can outwork people at it because I love it so much like I can sit down and the third computer and go to town on some pictures and make everything perfect and five hours will go by and it's like, wow, where the time go, and I just don't care because I love it so much like, I can be extremely meticulous about how my website looks because I care so much about it. When I'm pouring people, shots, bartending or I'm making you a cappuccino like I don't really care, like I'll be enjoying a cappuccino like I didn't pour my heart and soul into it, so have a good day you'd see tomorrow like not a big deal, but what comes to this, like my passion and my absolute love and one of the one of the things that makes me take and drive I can, I can, I will work it almost anybody, and I think that if you guys know what I'm talking about, you know what I'm talking about? This should be obvious always have a camera with you, I know you guys have your phones so that's cool. But I would I would be very disappointed myself if I didn't say it one of the things I do is always almost all the time have a little film camera with me you never know what you're going to encounter you never know what you're gonna see obviously the iphone or whatever kind of phone you have is good but if you can get something you know smaller, better quality you know iphones great qualities not perfect um but how about with you obviously everybody's on instagram instagram's been super inspiring for me it you know I'm going outside and like I'm taking pictures with my phone or or whatever it is a big o this is amazing like I want to instagram it like it's almost getting me outside and pushing me with my mobile photography on dh that's keeping me sharp and that's keeping keeps me thinking about photography all the time so super important to kind of live and breathe photography if we want to do this is a career and we want to make a living at it just it's just what we are we are photographers were documenting your life state today um talk about this we show we want to shoot our absolute best if you have one picture that you're proud of just one that should be the only photo on your website and I'm not kidding I'm completely serious you shop just one photo the first contact a bride is making with you probably one hundred percent of the time is your website, maybe your facebook, but, like whatever you have online that you're showing needs to be amazing, it needs to be it needs to be so you photographically it needs to show exactly what you're about as a photographer, so if you just have one image like that, like, go home, run home and take everything off and just have your one image because that's that's where you need to be, because you're going to be hired to shoot the kind of photos that are on your web site if you don't want to shoot a whole bunch of grouping shots like, don't have those on there if you take if you go to a wedding and you're not real proud of it and it's just like it doesn't feel like type of wedding you want to shoot again, or the clientele or the reception venues like really working for you don't show it don't feel obligated, teo. I know clients occasionally we like kind of breathe down your neck. I've had people say, hey, you didn't blogger our wedding, you know, what's wrong with it well, nothing's wrong with it, first of all, busy second of all, like this is my this is my professional portfolio so nobody's going to dictate what goes on it but me but like I do like appreciate that you want to see it on there like I get all of that like maybe throwing on facebook or something but like even that like I mean people are finding me on facebook also so it's kind of like a like a touchy situation but like you need to do is going to be best for you and I believe what's bus for us is that we are only showing our absolute best we're on ly showing what we want to shoot again doesn't make sense yeah you guys have brides like hey you know why didn't you bog us? You guys block everything questions? Well, I had a question as faras when you say just put up one photo and I just want to challenge you a little bit because because when I went to your web site a few years ago and there was just the one photo of you and your about me section and I just wanted to know more about you so what do you think? Can I kind of ask you what you think about and you talk about how you're uncomfortable talking about yourself online but I'm wondering as a wedding photographer, what do you think about putting yourself more out there as a personality? Yeah that's that's touchy, I know like I'm kind of reclusive, I'm a little bit of a reclusive person, like I have, like a few followers on twitter and facebook and stuff, and, um, I want my website to be about the work and I wanted to be about the bride and groom like I want I want them when you come to my side, I want you to see first and foremost the work second, like if you're going to find out about me, I'd rather like deflected put it back on like, hey, we'll get to you excited like here's, my work, this is what I do like I don't want to be like, hey, I love the sea hawks like I love watching football like I have a super pretty wife, I have a three and a half year old like, you know that stuff like maybe maybe people want to know what about me, but, you know, there's facebook for that, like I want to keep it super professional and I almost I almost wanted to keep it kind of like out of commercial level my my website. So when, you know artists are going to it, like I feel like I'm trying to play to the artist community more than just just like the standard bride I wanted to like I wanted to cater to brides obviously but in a more artistic way and I felt like that was one way to do it I don't know if I answered your question okay thank you yeah first of all this has been really interesting everything you've shared are there certain types of creative things that you do personal photography projects, music things like that that inspire your wedding photography or fuel your creativity so you can keep bringing it back to your wedding photography that's super good yeah I think one of the things that I'm doing is that I'm trying to turn my brain off a little bit and shoot reactionary and what I mean by that is like a little pocket cameras um I don't like carrying a bunch of gear around it's like my least favorite thing is like showing up at the airport going to travel and like all I want to do this photograph but everything so cumbersome because I gotta rip it out of the bag and get into it and then pull it out like I got the big twenty four to seven twenty four to seventy millimeter lens that I told you about it's like everything so cumbersome so I just wanted to get back to basics um I'm inspired by so many things you know, music inspires me a ton um ah food like I love food I get excited when I see a big heaping burger with bacon and like, hey, I'll take a photo I mean everything is kind of inspiring to me ah hustle and bustle of cities beautiful lie it's just for me that the important thing was that I was taking photos all the time whether it be with a pocket film camera or my iphone or at a wedding but but what I'm trying to do is make it all for me all those things that I'm doing it is for me and I'm getting hired based on you know what I'm showing on my website uh so again go home, pull this stuff off your portfolio like if you have stuff seriously guys at home like if you have stuff on your portfolio that you would not want to shoot again and you're just using it to fill there's no point in filling your portfolio up unless you have the content that you want to shoot again, pull it off put a few photos that you feel good about and then build it from there because if you have a whole bunch of stuff that you're not too excited about, you're going to get to shoot all of that again and again and again did you have a question? What is so inspiring about you is that even though you shoot a wedding for your client but you actually creating art for yourself to you know in the process and the client hire you based on that art to sew it, they get what they wanna need. But you also get what you are out to do, too. So I love that so thank you. Yeah it's really it's really super I mean it's special it's a really good feeling. Eso accountability and drive we can't do it on our own, so photographers are amazing. There is such an incredible community with photographers like we're willing to help each other so much like I'm here today. I don't have everything figured out, but like I'm giving you what I have this is just like what I've learned in the past eight years, I'm not a great business person, but I do know how to take a photo that I like to take an intern get hired to take those photos again, so I'm trying to help you guys out with that. One of the biggest helps for me in the past has been community with other photographers, people that I admire it's really important that you find people that are even better than you that can raise you up to their level don't be afraid to ask for help don't be afraid to ask for jobs. This is not something that just happens, I don't get to take these photos of like really interesting artistic people at their wedding day. On on accident like it's not a mistake like I got I position myself there to do that but by showing what I wanted to shoot by being artistic by explaining what I wanted to dio on and people will help you get there uh healthy competition one thing that might sound kind of crazy but is super helpful was helpful for me was to like make a competition making like a game you know? Ok, this photographer in my area is doing like all this work and like their amazing I'm going to be better than that person like set a goal like that for me helped me out a lot I'm not going to tell you who it was but it was super helpful for me so that's one thing that I did is like, hey, I'm going take this person down that's why I'm gonna dio better than this person and then and then all the sudden it was do your homework ok scout like we need to scout we need to know like where we're going to be what's going on if we can't be there the bright like I do most of my work out of the out of washington state and out of the country so hey, I'm not going to be able to be there for the wedding can you go and take some photographs will mean something to me so I know what I'm I'm going to get into s o I saw this, this was in aruba are jamaica, I don't remember, but I saw this and I wanted to put the bride's head there and she wasn't into it, so I took a photo of it and I kept it and kept it on my desktop, and I looked at all the time. So next time I saw something similar, I was able to take it. Obviously this one is not as good, but as soon as I saw that, I was like, oh, I know exactly what I'm shooting today, that's what I'm doing, I'm getting ready, uh, there's, just a few getting ready shots. I just want to take you through like a wedding day, like, really briefly because of the the communication and them allowing me to be where I want to be like I'm able just to get these kind of things like they're not really paying attention to me doesn't matter, sean, just he's just here and he's hanging out and he's just getting photos. In the meantime, first look, so these happened? Yes, probably shoot for his looks all the time. What I try to do with the first look is to get a front on and then I try to get one from the side and it says let him play like they're super pumped up that point like he's just saying his bride and like her dress like he's excited she's excited like it would be really a bad idea in my opinion till I run up there and be like, ok, guys now it's like pose this way because you're going to miss these kind of moments loose change time this is what I was talking about like this photo like we're on our way up to the ceremony but I stopped her said, hey, your apartment's amazing weaning to take some photos she gave me like fifteen minutes over time and we left I got some great pictures again this is right before the ceremony like I didn't even see the reflection there I don't even see that's how I got home that was just lucky like I'm not not good. However these kind of things would not have happened unless I was like, ok like, hey, I know you're stressed out like I know you're about to get married like you're freaked, I get it but this is going to be amazing like let me take this photograph so these air happening like during the portrait session these air happening like in the think of it like we're in the heat of the moment like we're in the middle of this this battle of like all these things like going on like oh my god like we're late no this crap like hey you know what? Like I'm with the bride when it's time for her to walk down I guarantee someone's going to come get me so like I'm ok as long as I'm hanging out with her not my fault you know the bride s o try to make this happen if you see something awesome just just do it just make it happen do me a favor and do that portrait's during the day again like this is this is actually post ceremony lights still out like they're super pumped up they just got married I just wanted them to play so I'm just there with a thirty five millimetre sometimes like I'll have like their friends behind me and like you know, saying stuff to them as far as like jokes go because I'm not really that funny like hey can you talk to him? Can you crack him up and just be over my shoulder and like in this situation I think you know that was going on or there was people around me so they were distracted and I'm just there shooting so that's also the beauty of like being able to be in their personal space um just just a super pretty bride oh, actually, I did put this on for a reason, so this is like one in the afternoon, it's like super, super hard light, so I put her in the open shade, but across the street there was like the wall was white, and it was like a tall building, so the light was bouncing off the wall, coming back into I think someone was talking about that again earlier, anyway. That's incredible lights. I'm going to see light bouncing off here, coming back into her face. I just wanted to leave you with this. This has collaborate, it's, not about your cameras much. It is about the relationship and access you get with your clients, shoot for you, make it personal, explorer. Thank you, guys.

Class Description

Stunning wedding photos are the result of more than just technical skill behind the lens. It’s all about knowing — and connecting with — your client. Pop Photo Wedding Photographer of the Year Sean Flannigan will show you that the heart of every moving, gorgeous photo is a strong photographer-client connection. Sean will teach you how, just by being yourself and listening to your creative vision, you can build quality relationships that result in powerful, timeless images.



Just amazing and inspiring .