Wedding Photography Weekend

Lesson 1 of 49



Wedding Photography Weekend

Lesson 1 of 49



Lesson Info


so we're second duty great for those of you who are just tuning in and we're based out of nashville um we're super pumped to be here we have yet to hit the first starbuck store ever so that is on our list of things sedating but besides that on our agenda we're gonna be covering how we tackle weddings and from the shooting challenges to the light challenges to working with the couple and then using to create your only and then also on the third day will be talking about the logistics of how to plan and prepare for a wedding so that it's not only a great experience for your client but also that it's a good experience for you so that you can have that time to shoot your bride which is the most fun important part of the day so alternately technical stuff is important and all that great stuff but even more important is the experience that your client has yeah we sort of mentioned this in the pre show banter we want to mention it again because this is actually a part that's going recorded is...

that you know it's very very important yes you know you have a lot of talk back and forth talking about deliver an awesome experience and then the other time was saying no you have to produce a quality product and what we talked about earlier was is that we now live in what's called an experience based economy according to tim sanders who wrote a book called love is the killer happen in that book he really talks about how important it is to deliver in an incredible experience for your clients were not shooting when we shoot weddings we're not shooting a commercial work where we're trying to impress tens of thousands of people with the quality of the lighting of every shot that we d'oh we're trying to impress one the bride and the bride's family and that's all going to flow out of you delivering an incredible experience for the bride because what that broad has dropped about from the day she was too or some ride since she was six or whatever it is is not that she would have perfect catch light in her eyes or that the boca behind her would be a certain shape right or that you would photograph her with an lc rezulin's she hasn't been dreaming about that she's been dreaming about the emotions and the way she's going to feel when her husband comes here she's walking down the aisle on her husband sees her and the way that her dad's going to feel when he finally gives her away is she is her dad gonna love her so much he's gonna cry those are the things that the bride's envisioning and if we can come alongside the bride and make her feel like we came and fulfilled that experience that she wants then she's going to put a huge value on what we dio and should we produce a great product at the end of the day absolutely but I think it should be a given it should be obvious that we produce an amazing quality products we're going to talk a lot about not just the technical aspects and all those things that we do to get the lighting and the color and the all those things put together but we're going to talk a lot about creating that experiential feeling for our bribe while we're shooting that day and while we're leading up to the wedding and all those weddings I think can be the most intimidating and I think as wedding photographers like we all have the challenge of not only are you a portrait photographer at a wedding's you're a landscape photographer because you're shooting the rooms and the scenery yura details photographer because you're shooting all this stuff you're a commercial and I feel like on weddings you have to be every single kind of photographer and you don't have an hour to set up a shot like some you know artists photographers do a commercial photographers you know they have two hours to set something up but you have five minutes and you need to know howto shoot things well so I think a big part of this workshop is we wantto bring you along and into our mental thought process of how we approach different parts of the wedding day so that as you come into those days yourself shooting weddings for those of you who are just starting out for those of you who have been shooting a long time we bring you along and you can see what we're thinking and why we're thinking why we're shooting it this way why we're capturing it this way and I know when we first started out we were just like I don't even know what to do at a wedding and so we want to kind of just share what does this button way want to share bring you guys alone for the right of kind of hope we do our wedding so before we get into all of that way want of course share a little bit of our personal stories you know why we're here how we got here and what our business has been doing lately yes so we'll start with my amazingly hot thank you so my journey with photography it started when I was really young it was my mom she worked in a photo lab when we were little and we home she always had a cameras we have like the bus baby photos ever which I'm super excited about but I'm home schooled for a couple of years and I remember my mom would teach us photo classes so she would have you know like these little paper frames weed like frame up the photo and so I always just carried that love of photography with me and it wasn't necessarily the love of like all the technical aspect but it was the love of capturing those moments I was always like the door chromatic camera with me everywhere even if it was a disposable or point and shoot I always had it with me and you know from high school at a summer camp and then into college um I worked on the yearbook staff and I've graduated with the speech communication degree and kind of my story just like growing up is my parents were always big encourage er's they always told us that you know you can do whatever you want and having that confidence and still to me from my parents helped me realize that I can do it right one aiken succeed I could do something great but the problem was I didn't really know what I wanted to do so I went to college got a speech communication degree and then I graduated and then moved to national because at that time that I was just about to get married and I started searching for a job so I got a job in the music industry down there so I worked on that for three years in the last position I've held there was international fields in marketing and I loved what I did but it was about that time that our photography started taking off so I kind of let zach tag in and pick up on his story so my story is a little bit of the opposite of judy's like where they sat around and read books and had candy once a week and mine was like I sat around watch tv my whole life so my story has sort of little bit different I grew up in a tiny town in northern minnesota a place you've never been and I promise you probably never want to go to um very cold and the very cold but the interesting thing about where I'm from is that it's a very depressed economy built around an industry that's kind of faded out over the last twenty years and so no I didn't grow up around a lot of people that were like I'm going to college and I'm gonna do anything I want I'm gonna start a business or anything like that my parents split up when I was three we were super poor was just my mom with us four kids and she worked her butt off just to keep food on the table we didn't have family dinners are house was a disaster she was always working so hard just to keep us together I remember when we were kids literally we couldn't afford to buy new shoes all the times we'd go by shoe glue and glue our shoes back together as the souls were coming off of our shoes and you know that for me to grow up and feel like I could just get a job doing something would have been huge but unfortunately I didn't graduate from high school I got my g e d when I was twenty one and that one thing in my life became a huge barrier this lack of education and feeling like there was always this mountain in front of me going I can never succeed I can never do anything and when I was seventeen I was very depressed very down and I had the hot for this girl who is the youth pastors daughter of my small church and I love playing music so I was always at church all my family's I was at church all the time and I love being there but this you fastest daughter it was like you need to come out on this retreat and do this thing and I was like now that's lame I don't want to go do that so I just wanted to hang out with her because she sang and I played guitar and I love playing music and we were sitting around one day I remember planet playing music and I was talking about something about my relationship with god or my christianity my faith and she said well you're not really a christian and I remember when she said that it like it was like this searing knife shot through my heart and I realized I had no way to come about what she was saying because I knew she was speaking the truth to me I went and hung out at church and I love the idea of it but I didn't really live it at all it's a long story short I went on this retreat with her it was the only person that raised my hand that's what I actually want to live this instead of talking about it and it literally changed my life it felt like this huge weight came off my shoulder I feel like I can now do something but I didn't like jodi mention didn't know what to do so I sort of just kept trailing on I know I need to get my education I got my g e d still playing music at shirt still limited in this tiny town selling ties for some and a half bucks an hour but I didn't have a person in my life is a mentor someone to go zac you can do anything you want like jodie had with her parents and one day the youth pastor from our church who had moved into town he wasn't from northern minnesota so he knew there was life outside of northern minnesota he took me out to a free lunch and I was like free food I'm there because I'm broke and he took me out to lunch he said zach you need to go do something else and I was like I could do something else he's like yes you could go do this and he told me what to do to join this internship and she caught near chicago and I literally within three months to change my life it rocked my world I left paradigm shift in my life and I realized at that moment that I wanted to do this for other people I wanted people that felt like they couldn't succeed in something to go succeed so long of the short of it was during that time when I was interning at my wife fell in love with her um I started playing music professionally moved to nashville a drug jody out there we got engaged we're about to get married did that for a couple of years and then realize that music wasn't panning out either I was still broke you know is the starving artist you know I'm sure there's a few people that live in this house that don't like how why are we always starving you know we need to make some money around here and s o I decided to quit my job two weeks before joining I got married did not tell her parents because they were already like he's a what a musician get a job you know get a job and I I didn't know what to do it's twenty seven now at the time to know what to do and I got a day job shooting school portrait's has anybody ever done that and you guys thank goodness it's not very fun got a day job shooting school portrait ce and I went mad I don't like this job but photography this is cool and I read this book during that time called forty eight days to the work you love by dan miller and he said you can have a creative tendency music which is what I had but you can fulfill that itch a lot of different ways and I realised photography could fulfill that need in me to create so jodi and I started our business june of two thousand seven who shot our very first wedding for a friend and our sunday school class for five hundred bucks and we thought we were rich because here like a wedding's only one day and five hundred dollars in a day it took me years to take me two weeks to make five hundred bucks this is these guys are suckers here so like once we booked that way to me book their wedding in the end of six were like you know what I think we could do this and so we just decided that we were gonna do weddings and that is what we pursued so from our first paid wedding until the end of december we had a total of nineteen weddings booked on the calendar like also when we had you know the one size fits all package like fifteen hundred dollars you got everything the kitchen sink plus our firstborn child s o but we were doing the math kind of like in that crazy time and I was like all right to make an average income at this rate we need to be shooting fifty to sixty weddings a year and we're like there's no way we're like that's ridiculous and so we knew something needed to change in we had worked really really hard on getting our craft where it needed to be we knew it was good uh still felt something was missing and what we realized was missing was the business aspect of what we did yeah so going into sort of that winter hibernation that all of us a lot of us go into in weddings we said let's focus on the business let's take people out successful photographers and national instead of asking them how they do their cool lighting let's ask him how they make money that's how ask them how they became successful how do you make a business out of photography so many amazing photographers in national just poured into us gave us all this free information showed us their pricing and talked about business practices and all this stuff again we were listening to david nancy and he kept saying where you're going to be in five years depending on the people you meet the books that you read we realized we didn't know anybody successful we didn't know anybody that was winning so we wanted to surround ourselves with people that were doing that so we started working on the business we started working on the branding and all that stuff we said a five year plan to say in five years we want to be making a six figure income which oh my gosh I never made more than twelve grand in my life in a year so this was like a pretty big stretch you know and we wanted to have clients that were working for us instead of us working for them anybody ever feel like you're working for your client's oh my gosh s o by february re launching our business in january of about weight by february we were on our way to hitting our financial goals that year or five year plan it was unbelievable you know the next couple of years our business grew every year we kept making more money we kept having more more amazing clients and a lot of those things that we did to make our clients extremely happy to shoot really well to make it business really work for us or the things that were going to be talking about today so the ultimately goes back to like the photographers who shared so much with us and people ask us you know and some people who are outside in the industry they're like by sharing information and it's like well one of us matters to begin with you know we didn't like create the stuff like zach and jodi secret lab it's information that people openly shared and learned with us so that that is why we do what we do because people are so open with us we want to do that as well and it truly goes back to you reap what you sow we've seen that time and time again in our lives and our photography business I mean that's one of the reasons why we are where we are today all right you guys ready to do this sweet christmas like I'm so ready awesome okay so here we go so starting with our approach to weddings the very first thing is really our priorities what is our main priorities when we go into a wedding yeah and so it's definitely about we yes we want to get good and just but we want to give our client it's a great experience and we have to remember to that not only when we're doing weddings do we come in contact with the client we also come in contact with people on the wedding day that is a big marketing opportunities so our priorities aren't necessarily just to get good images like we had talked about it's also too great really really great experience yeah we've been talking about him a little bit and I tim sanders says your network is your net worth and what does he mean by that what he really means by that is um the people you know like dave ramsey kept saying the people you know the people you know in the book she read is important but it's not just the people you know but it's the people who know you and are willing to do something for you and why are they willing to do something for you because you're willing to do something for them because you made their life better in some way so if you're willing to do that for them all of a sudden a whole new door of things opens up so we want to share this amazing story in two thousand seven were first starting out jody and I got a call from a friend of hers and she was like I love rita shoot my wedding but I could just pay for your costs and we said oh my gosh we'd love to do it one of joey's best friends growing up so we went out there to shoot a wedding basically for us for free but we said you know what when we gotta shoot we're going to blow her away we're going to do we're going to do times ten we're going to make sure this is an incredible experience we're going to shoot the best that we possibly can we're going to go above and beyond even though we're not even getting paid a dime to do this thing so let's just rock this out so we did that just because out of and tim sanders says this to do it because you love people do it because you actually care that's why we did it we shut up we did it we deliver the images gave you the disc for free and we're like share um do whatever you want with um we hope it's awesome and never thought twice about that wedding and then a year later we got a call from somebody who was at that wedding which was one of her cousins and she said you shot my you know my cousin's wedding it was amazing can you shoot ours and at that time now through this you know you're passing by we went from charging five to fifteen hundred the wedding is starting at four thousand dollars shoot a wedding and I was like way kind of raise our prices they were like that's cool and I was like well you know it's a lot we're doing things a lot differently shoot that's cool like I gotta have you guys I gotta have you so long story short they ended up booking us were blown away and through that wedding we ended a booking for two five more weddings in that down an alibi you know this wedding was up in michigan these ones were down in alabama and over in atlanta north of atlanta and all of a sudden we're making tens of thousands of dollars because of the network that we had the amount of energy that we put into taking care of that bride brought us a huge result later on and it wasn't even our intention to do so yes we're not saying shoot everyone every now and again to remind you that your network is your net worth meaning the sum of all the people that you know that are also willing to do something for you because it's it's not going to just have two thousand facebook friends and think that that's a network it's not if you can put something on facebook in two thousand people start doing something for you that's powerful and what we really wanted people that are willing to do things for us in our field in our industry so jody and I shot a wedding for free actual when he first started out for one of daddy's friends she didn't have the money for us tow to pay us to shoot the whole wedding but she had enough money to fly us there so we said we're going to go there we're gonna rock this out we're going to make this amazing even though we're doing it for next to nothing and because we have that attitude because we invested in her as a a single person of a network and we thought what's the return on something like that going to give us we didn't care we did it because of what tim sanders says out of love out of compassion because we wanted to because we wanted to bless her and sure enough a year later we got a call from ah groom actually who was a cousin of hers who attended the wedding and he said you guys in amazing job I was so blown away I loved what you did I saw the slide show at the wedding I saw the images you guys were awesome and he booked us at our higher rate we were now like seven times more expensive than we were when we shot her wedding for free you know and that wedding that booking from the referral turned into four more bookings and we ended up making tens of thousands of dollars based on the power of that small person in our network so the network is very very powerful and I was and those referrals cup coming because we kept giving all this people such a great experience so we kind of wanted to talk about earth three and main points of kind of our focus as we're approaching wedding so one we want to esteem people we want to make sure that everyone feels important and loved and we love this quote by dale carnegie that reads you can make more friends in two months by becoming genuinely interested in other people then you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you so buy a steaming people we feel like man this is a critical area of business when we're trying to create a great experience because like jodie mentioned people's deepest needs are to feel important and to feel loved we have this whole conversation earlier about social media and this kind of like addiction that we all have to social media because it's sort of in a fake way makes us feel important it makes us feel love when somebody likes our photo or leaves a comment so we want to try to do that in a genuine way when we're out and about and we use the dale carnegie approach all the time dale says people aren't interested in you they're interested in themselves so if you can focus on other people and making them feel loved and important all of sudden people start to see you as the most important person in the room and become willing to do things for you they start to come into your network and they're willing to bend over backwards sometimes I go out of their way to do something incredible for you and then also what we want to do is we really wanna serve our clients we want to give our clients more than what's whether it be the product delivery or how fast we turn things around and our attitude and our posture even when we're at the wedding we want to be servants to our brides because that will ultimately make them feel really great when we know that there are first priority and sometimes it's easy to forget that we're in a service in the street with photography we're serving people it's our job as show up into serves that we need to have that servant attitude I think is really important in the last one which is also supercritical is capitalized we want to capitalize on the fact that we're in this awesome situation with future potential clients and we're you know hyper supercharging the clients that we already have so jody and I always say that we want to give people a reason to talk about us and then a tool to talk about us so we're going to get into you know slide shows and facebook and all these tools that we use but just remember that yeah sorry on sunday but remember give people a reason to talk in a tool and judy and I using that simple little system has helped so much because sometimes you do a great job around a wedding and people come up and patch up the back and go you did an amazing job like thanks but if they don't have a way a simple way to refer you they never will they have to have an easy way to be able to talk about

Class Description

Being a successful wedding photographer isn’t just about taking gorgeous shots, it’s about creating an incredible experience for your clients. If a bride feels great about the services you provide—from your first meeting to your wedding day demeanor to the final delivery of the album—then she’ll be a happy customer for life and recommend you to her vast network of friends and family.

Zach and Jody Gray not only produce beautiful photos, they take great pains to ensure that every aspect of the wedding day is well planned and executed. In this weekend course that includes actual shoots of a bride and groom, Zach and Jody cover all the components of wedding photography, everything from marketing your business to finding the perfect lighting sources to posing your subjects to picking the best shots.

By describing their humble beginnings and explaining how their modest start-up grew into a thriving business with clients across the country, Zach and Jody will inspire you to pursue your own wedding photography dreams.

In this class, you’ll learn how to:

  • Establish a strong connection with your clients.

  • Identify the essential gear you’ll need for your shoots.

  • Use light rigs when natural light is unavailable.

  • Understand lighting ratios, strobe lighting, clamshell lighting and more.

  • Figure out which lenses to use for each part of the day.

  • Build up your network and attract more clients.

  • Market your business with your website, sales calls and word of mouth.

  • Review your images and find the best shots.