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Lesson 14 from: The Wedding Project

Doug Gordon

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Lesson Info

14. Vows

Next Lesson: Post Wedding Photos

Lesson Info


The next sequence is going to be when they go into their vows, so they're turning towards each other. So from that standpoint, by them turning in their vows to each other pastor or whoever it may be the officiant would probably come in farm of the podium to talk to them. They're going to do their vows, there's a couple of different shots here that are actually very, very quick, and this is probably the only time where I'm going to move up. Can you go through the vows so they could watch what I'm doing? Excellent. So here's, my sequence, I'm going to talk as well if you don't mind to just go through the vows with them, if you would, sir full length no, I'm sorry I'm going to interrupt you, I'm going to keep talking, I'm going to say out what I'm doing first image is a full length image, the idea behind the full like damages to sequin eyes it get it in, then I go in for a horizontal and a close up against spot metering locking on them got my image third image, I'm going to move in to the...

hands, so as I move in, I change my focus point to the hands got it now I got three images. I have a story that's been told already don't I so from here is he's still doing the vows? I know that this total process is going to take me probably about a minute the vows will take longer as she's moving about is this will be the one time I move up through here she's going to he's going to tell her to look up at him get the image and now I ducked to the other side go underneath get him man look, you just gave her I hope you're not married to someone else they're going right there you just gave it a look so now I got both faces I gotthe are looking up I shook the camera this is going to happen from time to time the reason why is because I'm moving along quicker and I'm not always going to get it but is it a shot that if I don't get is going to kill anybody? No it's probably one of those times like look at that look ok, so you want a nice look maddy goods they right there so mats in there looking at her again right there just like that he gets the look and again it come underneath get right in here I would come down low if I had enough time in the small area on I wasn't tethered I'd probably go on the back she's looking up at him, smiling at him. Good, excellent. I got my image ok, nine out of ten times I'm going to get it. Sometimes I'm going to shake. So now, after this segment I go back to the center again and the reason I'm going back to the centers because after this, what comes next? It's going to be the rings it's going to be the rings so they start changing the ring so what's going to happen is people that old the ring immediately goes on what generally happens is awe groom would have the ring in his hand she'd have her hand there and she's going to put out at this point a left hand so what's going to happen here is going to go there he's going to hold her hand. He does doesn't slide it on because the officiant is talking through and they still have to talk to each other so I have three shots that could be done quickly and efficiently right there so they're looking at each other stay right and a good looking down if their possible. Then I go in there, then I go up into the face hole that a meter I expose on the face and then of course I try to get in right on the hands right in there and then I got my image to key is to make sure that my media ring is accurate is khun bay because on a full act image like this if I miss from their hands to him what's going to happen my exposure is going to be off so one full length right there and remember I'm going to crop this in and it's going to be a black and white of a story now this next part may seem quite insignificant but it's really really not because what's going to happen is you may say oh now it's time for him to put the ring on so how to put the ring on so when she goes to do it you may go back into your back position you need to stay right where you are and make it quick so if you take a look we go right in there she starts preparing bam we go one there on the hands to we slide back to a horizontal on then three we go right back into here and again on the hands and I hope that I get it all done in time I heard the camera it's going to be over exposed the full length because I missed my mark so I know that I missed the full length I got the rings by itself I'm gonna have a horizontal shot of them on the last shot will probably be over exposed by about a stop all because I missed my marked as even a chance that I shook the camera but here's the thing this area isn't that right? Is it but does it look brighter in the pictures because I'm exposing for what's there so I'm a tad over exposed on her because I know I slowed down yeah I was down at a thirtieth of a second so I got six shots of the sequence how much more do I need to get up that sequence? Do I need anything else? Do you think anybody's going to complain and say he didn't get what he needed to get it's a matter of moving around and efficiently covering and knowing what you need to get if I am working on doing a different type of ceremony it's going to be different so you need to know is a photographer every type of sermanni if you two can turn towards them turned towards I'm sorry the officiant if this is a christian ceremony me and him ever gonna be bro's up here not happening if this is a greek ceremony we're going yes this's greek ceremony um I allowed up here yes, I am it's important to know but I'm not here I'm going to be stationary back here we're over there because of the type of ceremony it is it'll work if this is a jewish ceremony and he is a rabbi eric cantor on my up here yes I am I'm allowed up here is well so the ceremonies differ and also the types of ceremonies when I walk into this I need to know okay it's a christian ceremony are you doing a candle lighting yes are you doing ah homily obviously yes are you doing the communion? Yes I need to know everything they're doing it drives me crazy when I see photographers take four hundred pitches of people making communion nobody's buying it that's why they invited video that's why they made video there's a lot more things for me to do during that point if this is a jewish ceremony when I'm meeting with the kind I want to understand everything they're doing oh this is jewish ceremony okay what exactly are you doing? Is this reformed? Is it orthodox understanding the type of ceremony? Because then I'm going to know what the ceremonies are believe it or not there are two really important parts of the day in the jewish faith the party girl married before they ever walked down the aisle they sign what they call the jewish marriage certificate which is known as a co tuba on with the cat uber they are married officially before the rabbi does anything that is done before the ceremony on at the end of a jewish ceremony and more of a reformed fashion or every fashion the most important part is really what they call the breaking of the glass the breaking of the glass is crucial on what it is is at the end of the ceremony before they kiss the groom goes up I always see photographers let the leg go up and then get it as it goes down looks like used to standing there you need to take that when the leg is up in the air and get it to show exactly what he's doing the cat uber you're going to get the bride and groom signing it you're going to get the different people who service witnesses which may be a maid of honor a best man or different things like that in certain parts of the jewish face depending on how orthodox it maybe they're going to do what's called up a decade on what's gonna happen is the bride is going to be basically bailed at that point and the idea of the deccan is for the groom to come in look under the valence say oh it's hard I can marry her ok, so that's the idea of the ba decking by knowing these things and being able to explain it to your client nasa are you doing oppa decking and I don't know what that isthe well you're probably not going to deal with them do you know what a musica isthe and they don't know the more you can talk and educate them the more faith they haven't you you know so that's good stuff so all of these different things what imus inka is it's a ceremony during the reception for the parents of a jewish wedding when they are the lead when their last child is getting married where they put on a song and everybody dances around them and congratulates them these are important parts in ethnic weddings and in certain faiths you're gonna have dances in a jewish wedding you're going to have a horror which is the circular dance and what happens is the bridegroom generally the parents maybe even grandparents go up in a chair and an italian wedding you're going tohave the tarantella which is also a circular dance and a greek wedding you're going to have tons of circular dances where they give money and throw dollar bills that the bride and groom and all these different things you need to know these ceremonies in the asian faith they're going to have the tea ceremony and think it's salt or is that the polish ceremony all of these different things or things you need to know about so that you are always prepared to make your movement smoothly and efficiently if I do that I don't weigh shots you what's happening is I bet that the biggest reason you don't want to edit your images is because you're spending crazy amounts of time calling them down how long does it take you to an hour down your images forever how long does take me in an hour down I narrowed down as I read it because I'm not really shooting any extras but knowing the ceremony so if I wass during a jewish ceremony I would not be shooting everything from back here so I'm going to show you where I'd go for some of it I would move to the front and again the idea is to preserve the sanctity of what the ceremony iss I do not make myself a truce of truce if immediately after the bridegroom walk down the aisle and a jewish wedding this is where all big right here so they're looking at him as he says what he needs to say and now I focus their notice I'm focused on her notice their eyes air up and I get a much easy a beautiful ceremony shot from the front I love this and look at the depth to the background because I'm using the available existing like that's a nice ceremony image isn't it except for having this young lady in and it's nothing wrong with her but she winds up creating a distraction from what really matters so I'm going to come in here here and to really change it I'm going to go to black and white and changed the whole complexion of the image remember years ago when we used to do photo journalism it used to be someone shooting very high I s o black and white film fast speeds to capture things as they happen the only difference is I'm capturing those little emotions now if you two hold hands for a second when I see them hold hands all I got to do is focus on that one little element or right there and I got a story and that was an eighth of a second a two point eight why it's a dark area I'm no that it's love tip I get really nervous that I was slowing down the shutter speed no, but what happened which we really awesome is that the light blue throwing it looks like a great little thing, doesn't it? Do you understand all these storytelling little processes that occur ladies, do we have anybody asking anything from home? We absolutely do. So questions have been coming up a lot about videographers which we haven't actually really touched on. So alexis, fifty nine, asked our said I should a lot of greek orthodox weddings and cyprus we often have to work alongside videographers who usually come in with their video lights on either side of the couple. How do you deal with the constant harsh light in this photography? Well and how do you deal with videographers low here's the thank you in the dance my company obviously we offer videography people ask me all the time this brings up another question about fusion why don't you do fusion you have a camera that could do great video why not do it? I'm not doing that because I'd be losing money and the scheme of things because why do both myself when I could pay someone else to do it in charge more for it the videographer needs to be your friend you're not talking about a postman and a dog what you're talking about his two people that need to co exist that both have import jobs are you speaking to the videographer beforehand and my case is not too many people who don't know me or my team because we've done so many weddings but we're always having preemptive conversations I let them know that I'm staying out of their way I expect the same of them and if they have that issue you have to do just like you would in any other scenario and what that means is you need to deal with bad light bad situations if I see the videographer coming in from this angle with light well maybe I want to work from this angle because then from here I could get perfect profile light of them can I so it's a matter of still seeing the light of understanding the process I don't make videographers my enemies I make them my friend and I remind them that I am in charge because I have to freeze it they have to capture I am there for them in every way, shape or form it's clearly in my contract, when a bride and groom contract may that if there is another photographer, a video for outside the realm of my company, that we still will make the final decisions, we make that very clear, and most videographers will respect that. If videographer doesn't respect it, then you have to make him respected by talking to the bride and groom and bride a lot. You know, any of those people, but it very rarely happens. You want to try to keep those disruptions to a minimum, ladies. So next question, doug, is you talked about being able to with different types of ceremonies, being able to go up on stage or not say, you're this scenario where you're not w d photo wesley from vegas if you don't walk across and in front of people, how are you getting from one side to the other? What are you doing when you're shooting? When the bridesmaids and the groomsmen czar on the side of the bride room very suitable, other like, how do you actually get very soon? And I'll show you what our tether here's, how it goes if I'm going to do those cutaway shots, I know I've never seen vows completed and less than thirty seconds to a minute. So there's no reason I can't be bang bang and look, even if I'm walking and I go all the way to here could you to hold hands looking at each other? I can't walk all the way around here through a pew because I'll clear that pew looking at her damn got it then I break back to the center that's why used to seventy two, two hundred looking at each other? Damn horizontal! Damn! Look at each other hands bam! Over moving just like that around looking at each other. Done. How long did that whole process take me? A minute by minute. It was pretty quick and easy, isn't it? You need to have your pathways clear, there's nothing wrong with asking roll number seven to stay empty, there's nothing wrong with it. Because if it allows me to get where I need to go, then it's going to work and there's nothing wrong with me working hard and running a little bit. Obviously this body could afford to lose some weight. Okay, so I don't mind working in that case scenario. So, doug, you mentioned yesterday I believe that eighty percent of your of your weddings, they don't do first look, most of them don't you know what? I don't really I'm not the biggest fan of it, I don't love it when they see each other before because it effects are daddy in terms of editing times where we don't get to do a review because this is going to come as quite a shock, or most of our editing and retouching I'm doing on the day of the wedding on the job, and I'm proud of that when I go home, I'm done, I'm trying to edit retouch as I go along if I have a half hour, forty five minutes where I'm doing nothing at the church, waiting for the bride to arrive or whatever, why should I sit there and do nothing if I'm waiting during a cocktail hour? That's an hour and a half? Why shouldn't I be working and editing? Because I'm there, I'm getting paid, I should be doing something, so from that standpoint, when a bride and groom do a first look, it's very, very simple how I do it, can I have you come down? It would be very simple, it's all going to be a matter of positioning, I'm going to turn him around, and I'm always going to have the conversation and I'm not going to do it inside the church, I'm usually going to do it outdoors and perfect lighting condition can you back up to me a little bit beautiful? Can you clarify this is you're describing? You're describing the first look before the ceremony you're describing? Oh, I thought you were talking about if they see each other before the ceremony. Well, I didn't actually get to the question from chris, who was are there any tips for getting a good shot of the groom's first? Look, here it is. If if this was let me finish this point that go into it, if I'm having them see each other before that's what they chose, what I'm going to dio is set up and be here, and I'm going to tell him before whatever you do when you turn around, make some type of reaction otherwise gonna hold it against you do the rest of your life, okay? So as she's walking, turning around, I'm telling him to turn this way turned towards her. Bang, bang, bang, bang! Go there, they see each other for the first time. Now, if this was a case where she was coming down the aisle, she would be back at that door. You don't need to go there, but she'd be back at the door, which is roughly about seventy feet away. I just tell him to look and when not to our opens seventy two, two hundred bam, bam! Doesn't really matter at that point, does it? I'm getting the reaction because I'm using a longer focal length lens. I could be back here to catch the opening look towards the door just like that. Got it. Got it. Everybody waits for that first look, reaction in all your years of photographing, have you ever had a great first look? Reaction doesn't occur to often does it doesn't happen as often as you would think, because the nerves there kicking and they usually look like they're scared out of their mind. Okay, so you could go back up any questions, ladies? Yes. So another question again, just clarifying about the because this is such an intimate moment, the rings and how close you get so again, this is from nbc fourteen. During that re exchange, the couple might be up on stage, which makes shooting that bring difficult. How close do you get? Well, I'm not going to go, we're saying they're here, I'm never, ever going to intrude on those first two, rose, I'm not if I see that that I may put a two x converter on to just get myself and turn that lens into a four hundred, we'll go from there, but most cases because I'm so confident in my clarity I have no problem cropping up I'll get his closest I can go on crop up because I just need to feel it I don't really need to be right on top of them and if I don't get it I could always fake that later on right it's not the most crucial shot at that point when a bride and groom are sitting on the author I've never understood why photographers taken image of it you're not seeing the gown you're not seeing anything good when I may do it is if they were kneeling and praying that's one thing if they're getting ready to kiss that's another if the but if the officiant has his hand above them and he's looking to bless stump then I may go from there now from here what's happened during this time which you don't even know during the time of the ceremony at the very beginning I've moved my light so my lights at this point have generally gone from facing the front corner to moving to the back of the church and squaring it up in this case it's really easy actually so all I'm going to do right now is coming right here I'm going to bring this down I'm gonna point it right and he'll get it right on top on what I'm looking to dio is blast that light right back at me so it's really really simple but I'm not going to turn that light orn until when until they're coming back so here's the thing I know that I have probably twenty to thirty seconds after they kiss before they come back why what needs to happen alley yes you need to give her what up okay so right in there again so here's what's gonna happen so right in here they're set they're looking at each other and what's gonna happen I'm still using available light I'm gonna lock in on the exposure on them I'm going to center it up just like I wass and then I'm going to ask them the officiant will grant them their first kiss you may now kiss the bride got it you see how quick that is it's one of the only times I fired double and I missed I only got one I got them kissing and then I missed the second one on a pole back most times going to say so now at this point everybody is clapping ali's going to stand up she's going to give our the flowers they're going to turn around and face me and during this time I need to switch everything up into emanuel mode I need to turn my flesh on and go from here and what a seventy two two hundred they start walking back towards me how long is this process take its next to nothing looking right there hold it on let's see stop whips forgot it was behind me so the first one is going to be them walking towards me the second sequence is going to be stopped right there guys give a kiss close your eyes tilting and now everybody else starts the filter out so you guys walked past me this becomes the most important element could I have mom and dad start to walk towards me so everybody's rises mom and dad walked towards me in a as I take the photo of them come to may you gonna stay right there keep walking keep walking I tell them come right you keep going mom and dad congratulations. If you would please make sure you tell everybody who you want family pictures to police stay we're going to do them immediately after the bird seed or rose petals mom walks out because she's like dad in that woman your mom whatever you do you're going to make sure you tell everybody to stay for family pictures congratulations, dad. Keep going. Do you notice how I keep telling them and remind you congratulations that whatever you do make sure you tell everybody to stay for family pitch is very important to him right outside and then the rest of you I don't care about because I've told the sequence do I need couple shots so I need a shot of them not really. Does anybody ever buy it? Go? I take images that I know people are going to buy, you can hold out for eric surely like, sure, good getting close to you understand the whole sequence, so the idea behind it is to stay in complete and total control on is they're doing? They're receiving line. I've already reminded them I wanted to family pictures right there. I've already reminded him at that point to tell everybody and before I like all of you leave, they should be telling you on the receiving line, and if they don't, I'm going to remind him as we get there. So the key crucial thing again is to make sure that you keep reminding them that family pictures must be done after the church. I can't stress that enough it's about controlling the event and control in a situation you don't need to run around here and a susan said spray and pray it's not about how many images you take it's, not about the quantity of the images you get it's about the quality of what you get in a story that's unfolding within it. If you do that, you're going to be in great shape, I don't take a lot, but it doesn't matter. I once worked with a very famous photo journalism on a photo journalist on a program, and one of the questions during the program that was asked was how many images do you take on a wedding in a photo journalist said I averaged between four to five thousand they said, doug, how many do you average? I said I average between four to five hundred so everybody laugh think it was a joke, but the next question was the most important that question is simple how many? How many images to your clients fitness an album they asked the phone of journalists, he said my client's average about one hundred twenty doug how money to your average my client's average almost two hundred doesn't mean I'm a better photographer no, it doesn't what it means is I pressed the button when I know it's going to make the money I pressed the button to create an album to create a story and if you do that you're going to be successful as a photographer and more importantly is a business person ladies wow well, the questions keep coming in, but first let's check over here and see if there are any questions yet trina I have to you talk about doing black and white photos it sounds like maybe you do a lot of that declines ever say can you convert that backed color? No, not generally and the rule when I photographed myself is I don't allow them to change it my studio are a little bit more flexible, but most cases no, I would say that I'm probably about a forty percent toning I wouldn't just say black and white it's an atoning area so it's in a black and white it's in a cpr it's in a red tone blue tone or some type of muted tone but now generally they don't ask and then the other question you talk about editing during the cocktail hour does that mean you just get a a few shots at the cocktail hour? You don't shoot it ideo I shoot the chute obviously the displays I tend to shoot the wide gathering and most important I shoot little things going on, but I'm not going to spend an hour to an hour and a half doing not because again they aren't things that apartment to this story you know there's only so much would you want to be photographed while you were eating? Would you want me as your waiting all day to sink into that cocktail food to walk a bit? Can you put your arms around each other and how many pitchers can I take of you laughing if I have the bride and groom in conversation with them? I shoot through and get a couple, but that's all I need to tell the story good questions from online anyone else have a question? I have a question from charges memories who would like to know if you've ever missed anything big and says I had a bride and groom that were so nervous and their first kiss was literally one half a second pick and I missed it yeah, I would be lying if I said I get it of course I've been with you then I'm human I do what a professional should do at that point and restage it I could take them right up on the altar and just reshoot it real quick you know we all make mistakes back in the day when I shot film we usedto have what we call it film backs and they would slide onto the camera they'd have what was called the dark slide on one time the camera's not supposed to fire with the dark side and my dad always said if you make a mistake once you'll never do it again so I left the dock slide in for kate cutting and for the parent dances and it was just in enough but it was out enough for it the fire do you think I ever made a mistake like that again? Yes, but that's ok which just the fact that I did learn and tried not to do it but the difference was me walking up to the bride and groom cowering and saying, I'm sorry. I had a camera issue. I'm going to need to repose some of these things because that's, a part of life, there's. Nobody here who is not going to make mistakes ever. The difference between getting a professional is the amateur is recognizing you made the mistake and sucking up, sucking it up and walking up with the tail between your legs on fixing the problem. That's life. I'm going to make a mistake.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Bride Alone Photo Editing
Bride her family and BP Photo Editing
Full Family and BP Photo Editing
Groom his family BP and the Ceremony Photo Editing Video
Doug Gordon Creative Live Shot list.pdf

Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

Doug is one of those teachers who combines the right blend of humor with knowledge to keep the learning process inviting. Doug's heart is what draws me in...his passion for photography as an industry not to mention his personal desire to see those around him excel in their new-found skills. I have witnessed first-hand Doug's ability to transform an ordinary environment into an extra-ordinary work of art. Don't miss an opportunity to learn from someone who studied with the great Monty Zucker and who offers a system for integrating posing with an understanding of classical lighting. Don't miss a wonderful opportunity to learn from one of the best!

a Creativelive Student

Highly recommend to any wedding photographer, be you experienced or new. Although based in the Uk, most of what doug taught is relevant and has helped boost my confidence when posing and making adjustments to peoples pose. amazing depth to the way an image is created and lovely to see the images then used in an album to tie everything up from start to finish.

Sherry Callahan

Loved and bought Dougs first Creative live workshop and learned so much from it that I intend to watch and learn from this one as well! Just from watching the first creative live workshop I can see a big improvement in my work, so I am looking forward to this workshop and learning more from Doug. This one looks very interesting and more real to what us as wedding photographer encounter in real life. Cant wait!

Student Work