11:15 am - Ceremony Coverage
Okay, So, first and foremost what we tend to do Rich and I, when we get to the ceremony. Part of it, whether it's here or in a church setting temple, wherever it might be is we could both be in here in the front where the first pew is the first row and well photographed the people that were seated right there, because there's so much going on right now. So many portrait's. I see the guy with his hand on his chin with the little hat. I see the guy in the bottom clasping his hands together. I see the woman looking over her shoulder with with a smile on her face. They're all portrait's to me, and it drives me nuts because I can't get them all. But I see them all, and I'll do snippets of it. And Rich will do the same thing. We'll just casually walk through and pop a few shots here and there. Then we'll look for details. In this case, you know, if there is ah, glass and a bottle of wine and for a Jewish ceremony that's being shot and the flowers right there in the vase with water and that t...
hat's shot in this particular case. So little tiny little details that I might see. Then when it starts, here's our rule. Riches in the front in that first row on his knees and he shoots every couple walking down the You know, the kids, everything. Your parents, whoever is walking down, he shoots from the front. I'm nowhere insight. I stay with the bride. I'm behind the bright the whole time. And while all the people are walking, I also get the opportunity to photograph the people that are in the holding area as they were getting anxious. And they are. They're excited. They're all smiling there, giggling. The bride is just like on fire. She's got ants in her pants, okay, she just wants to walk down that aisle, her hearts fluttering. The groom. If he has seen her before before he goes, will reach over. Kiss her. If she's got a veil, you lift. And these are all great shots for me there moments. I don't direct any of it, and then when it's just her or her and dad, I get the most amazing photos ever because they actually become very reflective. They reflect Dad will reach. At last weekend's wedding, they were waiting behind glass doors looking out onto the ceremony side, and they were watching everybody walking through these glass doors. No one saw them and I'm behind them. And they were most amazing images. First dads and I'm using silhouettes. The bride's looking out. She's got the hand on the window pane of the door. Dad is standing there looking now because he's in deep thought. Then Dad walks over and stands into the door. Next, and all of these air click. It's like no brainers, for me is like Ridiculous is like shooting ducks. And upon I'm shooting these wonderful moments and finally Dad reaches out and holds his daughter's hand, and I have this most amazing photo of the two of them looking out onto the wedding site, and you may not know as the person looking at it what exactly it is right. It's just a dad and his daughter standing in the doorway looking out. But I guarantee you, when dad and daughter see that they remember the moment when he reaches out and holds her hand because they were looking at the ceremony and then they looked at each other. I'm a walk. I'm gonna walk you down the aisle. I'm gonna give you away today. It's just an incredible thing. So then I followed the bright and dad from behind low, wide angle lens. I get the whole dress riches shooting because I'm ducking. There's a reason for this because the minute he sees me pop up is when I have my long land 72 200 I'm nailing tests face. I want him out now. So I give Rich the opportunity to shoot the bride walking down the aisle with Dad while I'm behind and you can't see me, and I've got the wide angle shots and sideways seeing the crowd. It's wonderful. And then over the shoulder test, because again he's gonna cry. All right, that's who he is in this particular case, anyway. So I get to see that click the minute they get up front. And if there is an exchange of the father lifting the veil, kissing his daughter and taking her hand and placing it on his intestine, I should all of that while I'm there. Quickly, quickly click the minute they walk up onto the altar. I'm out. Yeah. What you're hearing is being the background with the real ring bearer. You had the handcuffs to the case. Where is such security? Opened the case where the rings were. I guess now I'm gonna fast forward a little bit until we get to the place where they start walking down. My God, it's all good. Her hands would be a detail shot for you. So Rich gets all these seen and they're not going to be interested in the back shots of the parents. So I don't shoot any of this. I just wanna hang out with the bride during this time with her father or whoever she's with, even alone sometimes. And that's rich right there. Notice he switches cameras. He starts with the longer lens with available light. And then when they get closer, he's on his wider angle with flash on longer lens available like fast forward. This a little, Although we're pretty close. Yeah, now already photographed him from the back while that well, they were in the back rather a little bit. So now I see available light right here. I grab a couple of shots and then I'll probably duck in behind him. If I can remember, I probably ducked in right behind them again. We got, like, here we go. So wide angle first and when she's about halfway down is probably when I switch over to my 72 200 look over her shoulder so I can see test. Now it's the long ones way, I think like a typewriter. So the next thing I would do, But I'm sure questions. Yes, I felt, Hey, Joe. So question and I was when I was watching yesterday, I kind of noticed this and saw a little bit more of this today. I'm noticing that both with you and Rich, could you talk about your proximity to this event, how you're in there pretty tight. And I noticed that Rich was also, like, right on the behind those bridesmaids for his shots. Could you talk to about proximity and how it might change for different events? Different people in different venues, please. Yeah, And that's the key, right? It's We had a short space toe work in under the tent, so we're more likely going to be close because to stand far off, you know, you're not gonna get it or you're gonna get a lot of people in between, and that's just a little distracting for me, even though I have a habit of being very close. But if you notice I moved very quickly, it's It's I've never had a client come back and say, Man, I really noticed you the whole time because they don't it's I shoot, I'm out But then I'm shooting here. I might be back. It might be on this side. I move very quickly, as fluid as I can. Unobtrusive. I ducked under things and hopefully behind people most of the time. If I could do it, if the church is too far and the rule is that you have to circle all the way back around, I'd rather station one person on one in and me on the other so we don't have to walk back and forth behind the last pew of people, right, which those rules exist in some churches. So I like close and then at this point here, I'm not gonna be in the middle. When they exchanged vows, I'm going to be in the back or I'm going to be on either site and what I have a habit of doing and there's a reason for it is when Test says his vows. I'm shooting over test shoulder with long lens. Looking at Julia, I don't want to photograph the person that's speaking because their mouths moved and I get I have that a lot, right? So and what I want. I want her expression because typically, when he says his vow, she's going to feel it. So she's the one that's gonna remote. And yes, sometimes he will, too. So that's why Rich will cover one end of it. You might cover both parts right from the side. So one is emoting when the other one is just gleefully looking on its I got one. He's got another or another, and so we change off that way and the minute he sees me circling, I'm kind of the lead guy on this because it is my gig. But if I switch positions, he automatically switches to another. I don't even think about where he is. I have a reason for moving over to maybe where he is because I'm seeing something. So the minute I shift myself over to another position and he happens to be there. He automatically subtracts himself and goes elsewhere. That's just something we do. If we see each other in a reception, here is our rule. If you see me or I see you go somewhere else, we're in the wrong place because we'll be shooting the same thing. And even though we have two separate sets of eyes, Maryland will always come back to me saying, You know, those five minutes, You you guys were crazy because you were shooting the same thing and sometimes we don't remember that we were doing that. So he says, I had to edit a lot more than I wanted to because you have the same shots. And so we find now that Rich and I know each other. If we are in the same position, we're pretty close and getting about the same moments. We're nailing very similar shots because we're comfortable with each other and we shoot the same way now, kind of sort of. So that's the rule I see looks, I'm going the other way. You see me if I'm doing something and I'm in the middle of it, don't interrupt me. Go somewhere else and that's the rule. So proximity? Yeah, I like being close, but it's fleeting. You can't stand. You can't just hang out there and continue to shoot and be in the middle of it and attract attention. It was kind of laughing yesterday because there were a handful of shots. Where are creative life? Photographers were filming you. And then there's an empty frame like radio. Yeah, I move very quickly. It's funny years ago when I started, I'm not so much today anymore because I'm getting older. But I they nicknamed me the Ninja, the Terminator. I sniper the bunch of different names because it is about moving very quickly because these moments, like I said, it's all about the split second timing of it. If you wait and you can wait for moments, you know, percent used to do that. You gets familiar with Andreia, cardia and percents work if you get an opportunity and I tell all photographers this go to museums and galleries and study that the great work of some of the old masters. Robert Robert doing no bursts. Thant Elliott Erwitt. I mean, any of those even alive today, you know, study their work because phenomenal, phenomenal stuff and percent used to sit here and say, You know what? If I sat here and a kid on a bicycle would go by here and he would frame it all out, do this would be an amazing shot and he would wait for three hours and that would be the shot some kid would write by on a bicycle with a loaf of bread under his arm, exactly where he wanted to. So there's a way to wait for the moment. Weddings don't allow that you get, you know, it's it's done. I mean, if you're not in that moment, it you can't prep it that way. Very difficult. That said that one shot that you saw in there, I knew it was coming. So that wasn't instant where I had a couple of minutes where I could actually prep for a shot, a moment that I knew was gonna happen when they opened those doors on her. Okay, so there's waste different ways of shooting moments. Now here. I'm using the wide angle and flash, and I'm bouncing it in my hands on the flashes. I tend to move my flash allowance. See, I'm trying to get directional lighting again. It's off to a 45 this way and coming back. And there's Rich. He's at another angle. He's looking over her shoulder at him and he's getting all of those expressions. Test has, right? It was just great. We're getting magic of laughter, are you? We're here today because you have touched the lives of this couple My on this day, short space. I don't have a lot of room to be far away. I need to be right in the center of this at a church. I wouldn't be this close for that long A and test. Today is a day for reflection. I'm wall the way in the back over there, just trying to get different angles. I'm constantly moving. I do now the hands. So this shot right here, I want you to see the framing of this. It's a split second, but all I'm shooting it's from the book to the flowers to his hands. That's my framing. It wasn't about any of this Elsewhere. It's a detail shot detail Shots are everywhere at weddings everywhere there, constant zoom in on things. Look for the little details were very fortunate. I like and what we do to what painters do when they have a canvas. However, a painter starts with an empty canvas and he or she sits and ponders what they may fill it with. We as photographer, start with the full canvas. We already have it full, and we get to say, This is what I want Documentum or this is what I want. A document. Oh, no, this is the little details. How awesome is that? We have so many choices. It's everywhere, constantly. So that shot I'm taking it slow because all I'm shooting are the flowers, the book in his hands, it says a lot. It's a very powerful image. Just those three elements posted. You don't get it quite framed, right? Never issued a little loose. No. Yeah, I'm not opposed to cropping it except my whole. What little thinking I do is how do I get this in camera so I don't have to do it later? A My whole thing is all wrapped around about. I want to do as much of it as I canon cameras so that there's very little and post to do because now that we have to do it ourselves and is no longer my lab that does it for me. I'm thinking, you know, hourly. I'm thinking all you know, the headaches of how many images and how fast is the burnout rate. If that's all you do all the time, you're gonna have a burn out rate on that much time spent in front of a computer, right? So I'd rather do it and then enhance the image. If all I have to do is shoot most of my stuff that I prentice full frame, it's full frame stuff. It's exactly what I saw in the camera. It doesn't really get crop that much. That said, Do I crop? Absolutely. You'll see the fireworks shot the only way that I could shoot it to make it look the way it's gonna look when you see it. It's the crop it later on because where I was positioned, I didn't have the room or the right lens Ford. So I shot it with the 14 millimeter and then crop I e. I don't know if you guys noticed, but they stood on a van. Yeah, Okay, so my idea was Teoh stepping up onto a car because I wasn't sure. I was told that that. So here's the prep time. So here's some thinking that you have to do. I was told the fireworks was gonna go off at the back fence, shoot up and then it's gonna explode in the middle, about 100 150 feet up. And I wanted to get approximate distances. Where was I allowed legally to stand at the edge, Know much. You can 150 feet away. You can be on the edge of that grass. There were cars everywhere. People were parked there. They weren't supposed to be part, but we didn't think about that so much. But anyway, so there is some thinking that I have to do in order to get the shot. So her standing on that truck was ultimately because How am I going to do that with the lenses in the space that I have? That was all. We'll show you that at the end here you shared so far and the so now I'm over his shoulder in response challenges my back for us. They're not. You say out loud in the presence of those that was rich right before the camera have you. I'm also on the woman in the background. So what I tend to do sometimes is the focus might be on Shelia first and she'll be out. And then the next shot is she. Leah's out and she's in. I often find that photography has layers to it, and I'm most interested in my images that have multiple layers that I can stare out for a while. So the ones that last the longest that I say would be my favorite quote unquote photos that I've done and others as well, for that matter, is the ones that I can come back to year after year and hang out and see something else in it. And that's layering, right? So it's It's more than just a two dimensional picture, right? And the thing is, this, too, is what I tried. Teoh provoke in people is is not. It's not only about the photo, it's how I feel about the photo or that moment, you know. So that's when people ask me about what why're moments so important as well? It's not just about the moment it's about How did I feel about that moment? That's also enough. Okay, you guys get that? Do you get that? You. Every time you click the shutter, you leave a piece of yourself in that image. Did you do when you go home? And I said this the last time I'm gonna say it again. I want you to pick out your favorite images that you've ever taken saying with you out there, take your favorite photos. Go to the bedroom, lock the door, bring a glass of wine, turn on some beautiful music, study those images earnestly hang out with look at them intently. And I guarantee one thing you're gonna find yourself in every one of those photos. So you want to know who you are? Take out those favorite photos and look at feel them and you'll find you. And then you'll figure out why do I shoot this way? Why do I follow the bride from behind? The Why do? Because as a child, I was locked in the bedroom and I wasn't allowed out to mingle with everybody. So I was had a habit of Peking. So my whole thing with Peking all rights a little voyeuristic. Okay, what I But it's based also on the fact that as a five year old kid. That's all I was allowed to do. I was only allowed to entertain this idea on my own by sneaking peeks at things. I shoot the same way now. So that's how I figured out. Why should between the arms, why I hide myself where I see reflection in the mirror and I'm not straightforward, but I'm peaking at the mirror when she doesn't know I'm peaking based on who you are. So if you see a similarity in your images and you repeat yourself a certain way and you wonder why think about your childhood? Think about the environment you grew up in, whether it's the family or the outside environment. Where did you grow up? How did you grow up? How did that affect you today? All these years later? Because it affects your work. And if you can tap into that the strength behind knowing and having the knowledge of who you are when you shoot and coming from that place at an instant now because you recognize it defines with people, look for all their lives, your style. I can now go into a gallery, unsigned Prince ing say That's a person. That's a guano. That's a Ruth Bernhardt. How do I know that I know their style? Why? Because I could see them in the photos. I know they are. You can do the same thing. I promised to stand by your I won't leave him. You see how beautiful he is and everything that he's saying because I know who he is. I'm going to stay on him for a little while. Normally, I would be on her to see her reaction. She's got a smile on her face, all right? And I photographed that already. She's not the one that's gonna cry in this relationship. He is. I'm all over that. Like a cheap suit. Probably always. I promised to stand by. That's in you left here. And when you there, I love was it all together? No, that's okay. So what is it? Have camps to grow. So as I was watching you photograph yesterday, uh, you're switching between two cameras. One had a flash. One did Not. So many people in the chat rooms are wondering about lighting consistency because of switching from available light to flash and how you approach that right and So, um, here's the thing. It's, um, the close up shots. They're gonna have a different lighting, obviously, than the wide angle shots that are flash. But now remember that I'm bouncing the flash, so I'm adding just a little more available. Like what ends up happening in post is that we may open up one image or dark in another one, you know, So we adjust it somewhat. It's not gonna look exactly saying I don't want it to, but the adjustment is minor. It would be a little more difficult if this was direct flash and they're lit up like a Christmas tree. Okay, that's why I like bouncing it, cause all I'm really doing is adding a little more. I'm opening a window. Basically, I'm taking the curtains back off, which is the white curtains that the swags that were hanging there, that is to me, a window. When I throw my flash on it, that's all I'm doing is like opening a window, like for mirror right? He opens the window and boom, he's got that light coming, so there is a difference in lining. But there's minor adjustments, and that's part of the post production So if that's all I have to worry about, this is the open one up versus the other. I'm OK with it. It's gonna look pretty close. Good question. Do you educate your bride about the quality of pictures you might be able to get If you're allowed to use a little flash or versus don't flash it all, You know another good question. I educate the bride by virtue of showing the work. If she asked me the question. Hey, is you using flash all the time? Bingo. Light goes off in my head. We start talking about it right? Does it now is important to her if she likes what she sees. See, here's this thing. If you hire me based on the images I've shown you, we're reading the same book and we're on the same page. This is what I've been finding that that's what they expect. So if I show them this is lit the a flash bounce this is available lights a little Mounir. This has become black and white because the color at the reception was horrid and I just switched it over and there's no questions raised. Then I'm going to shoot the same way. If she starts to ask question about flash versus available light or she may be starts to describe, you know I'm gonna have 1000 candles. Are you okay with that? We're going to talk about lightning. If she says, Do you think I need pin spotting on the tables? Lighting is important, so I will talk about it. So then then I will say things like when this comes up my ceremonies at 8 p.m. And she just saw a wedding that was in daylight. I will automatically without her asking the question. Say to her, You realized that when you're ceremony happens, it's in the dark. It'll be flash on camera and it will be available light with a long lens if it's inside the church and it's not gonna look like the book you just saw. Okay, that was a middle of the day in Big Sur, California. The lighting was flawless and there were no external lights used, and I will show her the difference. Then I will pull up a moody or darker church kind of evening kind of a scenario for her toe. Look at it. And, you know, sometimes ago. Well, I'm thinking we should back up the wedding a couple hours now. So you do need to educate them if what they're looking at and they go wow over. And then they tell you in their timeline that but I'm getting married at 9 p.m. That. Okay, then you're gonna have different photos, so I'm always mindful, toe. Let them know that what you're looking at, if it's different than what you're gonna have as an experience, I'm gonna show you the difference. And are you okay with it? Yeah, absolutely. Otherwise, if I get that the timelines around the same thing that I'm showing them boom, we're fine. Yeah. Joe, is there ever a time that you don't shoot? Like, for example, during if they're praying? Or there's some spiritual part of the ceremony that it might not be respectable to photograph. And also similar question. That's where, Mr Bill and similar from pro photographer. Have you ever had a problem with inefficient telling you that you cannot shoot in a certain area? Yeah, um, both good questions. So, yes, the 1st there are certain times. So when When they say let us pray. I don't. I don't need to shoot that. I really don't need to shoot. Let us pray. Let let them have a moment where they don't have to hear this shutter. You know, it's not a real moment for me. It's a prayer and it should be in private, and I'm not gonna document that. I will stand down completely. All of this just stand down on that and honestly speaking, it's on video if there's any hour for their there rolling the whole time, so if they want it, that part of it, it's fine. But I feel the shudder in affairs with that, and it's not necessary. It will never end up in their book, so I don't worry about that. Number two. I get a lot of times where the efficient minister priest, Rabbi will tell me that I'm not allowed here. There, there a. I respect it be. I let the client know that that's their wishes, and if they don't know about it and they've seen my work where I am allowed to do that and that's what they want, they either need to work it out with the efficient that's doing the service, or I step in. I tend not to look for the, um I tend not to look for the, um, church lady. She has a job. The job is no. No and no. So I don't even bother asking the question. Right? Who? I go after us? The minister. Excuse me. Um, Father, listen, I'm gonna be very quiet. My client really loves these shots that I do with the long lens. I'm not gonna be in the first pew row. I won't get near the altar. I won't step up here. But do you mind? Could I stand by the poll thing over here on the ends? I can kind of hide behind it and see from the side. And if I come and approach this clergyman or woman with the heart that I have to do this 90% of the time, they say, Yeah, sure, that's fine. If I ask the church, we need to know flat out. Then there are the times where I am, Uncle Joe, because the bride insists to get some of these shots and I will never shoot a flash in a church. And I am in the first row with the family. I've done that a couple times where I'm actually Uncle Joe and I have my camera here. Okay, Because have you ever seen a minister say out to one of the family members note? But they have done it to photographers. They will stop the service, but not because of family members picking up a little point and shoot flashes going up. They never stop it. For that, they stop it for us. So a few times I've been Uncle Joe worked great in terms of timing. When are you going over this with the officiant? If it is a religious ceremony right before. So when we get to the church, that's the first person I look. And here's the brilliant thing about being a second shooter. This church lady will come to me with my cameras around my neck. Style. You the photographer and I look No, no, rich. He's right there. She goes right to him. Ok, now it's my time for the minister. So she goes after him. Jamie. Okay. And Rich goes, Uh huh. Uh and then Joseph didn't. So I will find him in the back with the groom typically right there, off doing their thing and I will come very gently, and I like to do it in front of the groom because they know each other. This is also Hiss ceremony, not just the minister, and I understand their reasoning for this. Most of them don't a like the flash that goes off or be the shutter that they hear interrupts their flow and what they're saying. And sometimes they lose track of where they're actors that keep hearing and click, click, click, click, click. While there's a mode that you can use in the drive that actually dampens the sound of the shutters, Number one. But number two is if you do it from far enough and with the long list there, really not gonna hear that much of it. But again, my approach is very humble, and if he says no, I respect it and I said, That's fine and I figure out something else