Ceremony Coverage


Wedding Photojournalism


Lesson Info

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 for the first pew is the first row and will photograph the people they're seated right there because there's so much going on right now so many portrait 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 his 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 will just, you know, casually walk through and pop a few shots here and there? Then we'll look for details in this case, you know, if there's ah glass and a bottle of wine, and for a jewish ceremony that's being shot and and the flowers right there in the vase with the water and that th...

at's shot in this particular case, so little tiny little details that I might see then when it starts here's our rule, which is in the front in that first row on his knees and he shoots every couple walking down the aisle, the kids, everything, your parents, whoever is walking down, he shoots from the front. I'm nowhere in sight. 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're 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 your pants, okay? She just wants to walk down that aisle. Her heart's fluttering the groom. If he has seen her before before he goes, will read each 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 there 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 than dad walks over and stands into the door next and all of these air click like no brainers for me is like weird ridiculous is like shooting ducks in a pawn I'm shooting these wonderful moments 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 side 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 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 gonna walk I'm walking down the aisle I'm going to give you away today it's just an incredible thing so then I followed the bright and dad from behind lo wide angle lens 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 seventy two two hundred and I'm nailing tests face I want him out now so I gave rich the opportunity to shoot the bride walking down the aisle with dad while I'm behind and he 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 going to 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 one I'm there quickly quickly could click the minute they walk up onto the altar I'm out ah love handcuffs and everything you like that's awesome dude yeah what you're hearing is being the background with the real ring bear you had the handcuffs to the case where is this security open 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 god no it's all good her hands would be a detail shot for me so rich gets all these scene 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 want to hang out with the bride during this time with her father or whoever she's with even alone sometimes and that's where it's right there is 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 wait a longer lens available light I'm gonna fast forward thisa little although we're pretty close 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 grabbed 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. Yeah, no ah, here we go. So wide angle first and when she's about halfway down it's probably when I switched over to my seventy two, two hundred and look over her shoulder so I can see tess wait, thank you like a typewriter. So the next thing I would do but I'm sure questions how I felt. Hey, joe, so a 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 can you talk about your proximity to this event because you're in there pretty tight? Yeah, 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 and and that's the key right? It's it's we had a short space to work in under the tent, so we're more likely going to be close because to stand far off you're not you're not going to get it or you gonna get a lot of people in between and and that's just a little distracting for me um even though I have a habit of being very close but if you notice I move 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 and it might be on this side I move very quickly as fluid as I can unobtrusive I duck 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 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 going to be in the middle when they exchanged mouse, I'm going to be in the back or I'm going to be on either side 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 tests shoulder with the long lens, looking at shelia, I don't want to photograph the person that's speaking because their mouth moved and I get I have that a lot, right? So and what do I want? I want her expression because typically when he says his vows she's going to feel it so she's the one that's going to remote and yes, sometimes he will too. So that's why rich will cover one end of it? He might cover both parts right from the side, so one is emoting when the other one is just gleefully looking on its I've 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 may be 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's 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 have 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 aboutthe same moments were 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 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 butts 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 they? Creative life photographers were filming you and then elvis on there's an empty they're like ugo. Yeah, 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. Uh, the terminator I sniper, that 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 get familiar with andre cartier bresson work if you get an opportunity and I tell all photographers this go to museums and galleries and study the great work of some of the old masters. Robert robert, dueno percent 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 was an 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 open those doors on her okay, so there's waste different ways of shooting moments no problem now here I'm using the wide angle and flash and I'm bouncing in my hand's on the flashbacks I tend to move my flash allowance see I'm trying to get directional lighting again it's off to a forty five this way and coming back first found each other 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 now is just great the same traits and values, resilience, work ethic, magic of laughter and the value of family you're here today because you have touched the lives of this couple and they touched yours by participating in this day you have joy 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 land I'm all the way in the back over there just trying to get different angles I'm constantly moving the path that created who you are and led you to find the other 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 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 we're 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 a full canvass we already have it full and we get to say this is when I want documentum or this is what I want to document oh no, this is 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 hand it says, ah, lot it's a very powerful image. Just those three elements supposed to be don't get quite frame great. 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. My whole thing is all wrapped around about I want to do as much of it as I can in camera said that there's very little in 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 burnout rate on that much time spent in front of the computer, right? So I'd rather do it and then enhanced the image of all I have to do is shoot most of my stuff that I prentiss 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's it 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 going to 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 for it, so I shot it with the fourteen millimeter and then crop I don't know if you guys noticed, but they stood on a van. Yeah, okay, so my idea was the 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 going to go off at the back fence, shoot up and then it's going to explode in the middle of about one hundred hundred fifty feet up and I wanted to get approximate distances. Where was I allowed legally to stand at the edge know much you can one hundred fifty feet away, you can be on the edge of that grass. There were cars everywhere people were parked there, there weren't supposed to be parked there, but we didn't out you think about that so much, but anyway, so there is some thinking that I have to do in order to get the shots so her standing on that truck was ultimately because how'm I going to do that with the lenses in the space that I have that was all okay. I will show you that at the end here lives you've shared so far and the opportunity to commit yourself following the one you love so freely and you will promise not so now I'm over his shoulder approaching the responsibilities, challenges, rewards and joys of their lives together with integrity, love, respect, understanding, honesty and trust these air not promises to be made lightly, and I know you're both as certain in each other you are yourself today you will say out loud in the presence of those who matter you commit that was rich right before the camera to know the life with laughter contributing to the world around you, making your home a place of happiness. 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 photog effie 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 teo evoke in people is is no 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 well why're moment so important as well it's not just about the moment it's about how did I feel about that moment that's also no photo you guys get that do you get that you every time you click the shutter you leave a piece of yourself in that image because you do when you go home and I said that's the last time I'm going to 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 them look at them intently and I'll 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 them 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 peking so my whole thing with peking alright so little voyeuristic okay what I do 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 his 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 a mirror and I'm not straight forward but I'm peaking at the mirror when she doesn't know I'm peaking space 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 you 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 what people look for all their lives your style I can now go into a gallery unsigned princes say that's a person that's a guano that's a ruth bernhardt how do I know that I know they're style why? Because I can see them in the photos I know they are you can do the same thing I tend to take you sure, leon to be my way I promise 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 right? And I photographed that already she's not the one that's going to cry in this relationship he is I'm all over that like a cheap suit you promised to be honest I always promised to stand by your success and struggle through laughter and tears and when you embarrass me in public you embarrassed me. I promised to nurture our love as it changes with and I happily into the chance to grow and evolve together no that's okay, you know what I'm saying? Is it on happily and and I have a chance to grow and evolve. So as I was watching you photograph yesterday 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 here's the thing it's the close up shots they're gonna have ah 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 and another one you know? So we adjust it somewhat it's not going to look exactly and 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 because 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 a mere right he opens the window and boom he's got that light coming so there is a difference in lighting 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 okay with it it's gonna look pretty close good question do you educate your bride about you know quality of pictures you might be able to get if you're allowed to use a little flash or versace don't flash it all you know another good question uh I educate the bride by virtue of showing the work if she asked me the question is are you using flash all the time? Bingo light goes off in my head we start talking about it right? Because it now it's important to her if she likes what she sees see here's the thing if you hire me based on the images I shown you were 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 flash bounce this is available lights a little mounier 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 questions about flash versus available light or she may be starts to describe you know I'm gonna have a thousand candles are you okay with that? We're going to talk about lightning if she says you think I need pin spotting on the tables, lighting is important, so I start we'll talk about it so then then I will say things like when this comes up my ceremonies at eight p m and she just saw a wedding that was in daylight I will automatically without her asking a question say to her you realize that when your 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 going to look like the book you just saw okay, that was a middle of the day in big sur california and the lining was flawless and there were no external lights used and I will show her the difference come then I will pull up a moody or darker church kind of evening kind of a scenario for her to look at it and you know, sometimes you go 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 nine 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 and what you're going tohave it as an experience I'm going to show you the difference and are you okay with it? He absolutely otherwise if I get that the timelines around the same thing that I'm showing them boom we're fine yep joe, is there ever a time that you don't shoot like, for example during that they're praying or there's some special part of the ceremony that it might not be respectable to photograph and also similar question that's when mr bill similar from pro photographer have you ever had a problem with inefficient telling you that you cannot shoot in a certain area uh most good questions? So yes, the first one there are certain times when they say let us pray I know what 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 the 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 going to 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 a videographer there, they're rolling the whole time so if they wanted that part of it it's fine, but I feel the shutter interferes 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, eh I respected b I let the client know that that's their wishes and if they don't know about it on 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, uh, 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 it's the minister excuse me? Uh, father uh listen, I'm going to be very quiet my client really loves these shots that I do with the long lens I'm not going to be in the first pure oh, I won't get near the altar. I won't step up here but do you mind? Could I stand by the pole thing over here on the ends I concur behind behind it and see from the side and if I come in approach this clergyman or woman with the heart that I have to do this ninety percent of the time they say yeah, sure that's fine fi asa cheerfully needs no 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 the 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's say out to one of the family members know but they have done it two photographers they will stop the service but not because the family member is picking up a little point and shoot flashes going up they never stop it for that they stop it for us so few times I've been uncle joe works great are you going in terms of timing when are you going over this with the officiant if it is a religious ceremony before so when we get to the church that's the first person I looked and here's the brilliant thing about being a second shooter the church lady will come to me with my cameras around my next how you the photographer and I looked no no rich he's right there she goes right to him okay now it's my time for the minister so she goes after him jimmy van okay and rich goes huh uh and then joseph t so I will find him in the back with the groom typically right they're 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 the click, click, click, click, click, well, 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 a long lens there really not going to 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, yep.

Class Description

Learn everything you need to know about telling a gorgeous wedding story from start to finish using photojournalism techniques. Award-winning photographer Joe Buissink will guide you through the process as he shoots a longtime creativeLIVE employee’s real wedding, live and in real time.

This three-and-a-half day course will begin with Joe posing, lighting, and shooting every step of this creativeLIVE family wedding — right before your eyes. You’ll have a front row seat as you watch Joe’s unique style in action as he deftly captures the portraits his client expects while still documenting the overall chorus of emotion throughout the day.

After the newlyweds head off to their honeymoon, Joe will explain why he made certain lighting, posing, and angle choices during the ceremony. You’ll learn his techniques, workflow, and on-the-fly tricks for dealing with unexpected developments. This intimate, interactive experience will invite you into the creativeLIVE family and empower you to photograph weddings with the eye of a photojournalist