Wedding Photography Weekend

Lesson 5 of 49

Portraits: Lenses & Light


Wedding Photography Weekend

Lesson 5 of 49

Portraits: Lenses & Light


Lesson Info

Portraits: Lenses & Light

all right so now we're gonna talk about portrait ce and the lenses we uses for portrait of the first ones that we use is the fifty millimeter one to that we need should earlier and this is really what your natural ices it doesn't warp things too far out and it doesn't compress things too much it's pretty much what your isis and then using the eighty five l my favorite it's so buttery only gosh it's such a beautiful ends this lens is great I call this sort of anything longer than eighty five or longer is more of looking in on a moment because it feels like you're far away but close at the same time so I love that for sort of sneaking in and peering in on our clients and as you can see from these two images shot from pretty far away it looks like they're so close together because actually long lenses compress reality fifty millimeters natural wide stretches anything longer starts to compress and push things tight into a tighter package so portrait's look amazing with very long one so you...

can shoot you know like full body parts a portrait like a shot before them sitting down but it's also really great we'll do really tight important it's like this right here yeah eighty five belle this is actually one point to very hard to do especially shooting cannon cannon doesn't focus so well and all the candy people are laughing on the internet now yes that darn five team are too terrible but yeah this was shot at the five day martine so it can be done you know one point to just take like nine hundred images you'll get one in focus and I but it looks absolutely breathtaking I mean that lens and close a beautiful life so then an amazing portrait lens is a seventy two two hundred that big honker that we showed earlier and what I love about that lens is it really lets you stay far away and peer into what's going on so for example I'll use this a lot during the first looks zack will have a lens that's more why kind of showing the scene of what's going on and I'll use this to appear in on a couple in on their moment so as you can see right there really has that feeling of we weren't really there we just happened to capture this moment from a distance and I love love that so this is an example where his back was kind of taking the lead from the front and shooting the girl this was not the seventy two two hundred twenty four to seven just shooting a fun crazy shot and sometimes we'll do this we'll ask our clients to do something crazy so that jodi from the side can capture these true genuine moments of her and her sisters having a ball together laughing and just remembering their wedding day and as you can see again we have that compressed look with seventy two so for portrait's the light source is that we're looking for our is window late but often times if we could get them outside it's even better so here's a porter we actually shot a week and a half ago um we were shooting taylor at her home and we set her up in front of this beautiful window light by the piano in their family room they obviously this means a lot to them and we turned her again you notice her face is let on the shortest side of her face you can see the broad a side of her face which is the camera right has all the shadow that's called short lighting and we're also just highlighting a sliver of her body which means all the part of her body that's in shadow is getting de emphasized so she's gonna automatically look twenty to thirty pounds thinner when you like her that way when you just like that one sliver of her so she just looks absolutely beautiful and she looks beautiful anyway but she's not a model she's just a regular you know cute bribe and she looks absolutely fantastic and it's our job as photographers and make people look their best so we need to know what kind of lens to use them make them look their best when we need to know what kind of lighting use which flatters then we need to know what kind of angled issue donut them so when we know those tricks they will love you all the more well that's what we're going to say that's what a lot of people are asking about in the chat room it's that these folks here look gorgeous thing and what was the word uh buff groom's bride so so again asking about what are some of those tips and tricks for you and definitely that over over yes and we'll talk about more sort of tricks for you know bigger brides and stuff like that but the the goatee lining that looks good on any bride again is this kind of lighting which is called short lighting it's a lighting where whatever side of the face you see the least un from the cameras perspective is the short side this would be the broadside the short side so if your light sources on the short side udm decide most of them and you only emphasize the least amount of them which makes them automatically go it makes round faces look thinner it makes bigger girls look skinnier and as you can see right there this bride you just you just see like the best parts and you kind of don't pay as much attention to what may not be so so great so you can do this on any kind of photography and the great thing is with flash you can choose I'm gonna put the light right there you can stand or anywhere you want with window lighter stagnant light sources that you can't move you have to position your client which is a little tougher but we I will literally walk over like in this case I knew the light was like coming from there and I walked over night and I didn't have her sit down first I said I'm gonna have you sit right here just like this looking that way can you do that and then put your arm out like this because as soon as the arm comes away from the body as you can see that creates space makes her look thinner women look better with mohr lines mohr turns more tilt because if a bride stands like this she can't get any bigger but as soon as she stands like this and puts her arm out she just got thirty percent smaller and then if I liked thirty percent of that how much smaller did she just get I don't know what the math was there writing graduate high school but um so all of a sudden you can see this is not a thin tone super skinny she's just a regular bribe that looks great you know she's very cute but we'll let her in a way that flatters her the most when she looks amazing that way and then never using a wide lens on a big bride ever longer the better and shooting from higher up be emphasises everything below remember that and then something we're also watching for is you know the not that girls have fat all the time you hear a lot of brides have strapless dresses so whenever I'm shooting brides and very careful of that so what I'll tell them it will be like you put your shoulder backs all a sudden this gets stretched out when they put their shoulder back so that's always someone looking because it could be beautiful light we think their face is beautiful but if they don't like this how this looks then I want a lot of times you just say a number of great posture because if they're kind of rocking their shoulders forward again get this but if they go oh all of a sudden they just got thinner I don't have to go in and try to liquefy that in the album or something no one wants to do that so reflected light is another light source that we're looking for poor kids and this is probably the biggest light source that we're looking for and what this is it's light bouncing off the wall and this is a great example this was a courtyard so you know we had the walls of the courtyard and then the sun was actually coming over their heads hitting this big wall and then reflecting back all of this beautiful life we didn't use a reflector we didn't do anything the sun was doing its job by reflecting off this huge light source which made it the light really soft same thing here we had actually very bright sunny day and that it was raining and it was bright and sunny and as you know bright sunny days can be very scary with digital photography so we put them sort of in this area where we have this giant wall to camera left and we also had big huge bright open sky that pushed all this light it was reflecting off the sky into this area so we were kind of looking at our hands actually joanie found the spot she went zack it's on my hand I see it so put them over there we shot it actually at one point to a lot of people like you should portrait's of eight people at one point to yes and it makes them look very compact that's what the eighty five millimeter and you can see that beautiful light they all look fantastic zero retouching of any kind down and they were actually under an overhang so we have them just to the edge of the overhang so we had all this light bouncing around and hitting them if we had moved them further back under the overhang then they start they would have started to get shading and shadows on their face so that's why we kept them at the tip of the overhang with all this ambient light hitting their face of being reflected around this next one obviously not too pleasant looking this bribe there was nowhere to run from the sun so we were in the shade but the shade was awful because there was no great light bouncing around in the shade there was some light behind her some direct son so what we did was he grabbed a reflector busted it out and use our reflector as a reflected light source to bounce light back into the bride's face and as you can see both of these have the same exposure but this one actually just has that reflected light you can see that beautiful catch liner on we moved it as close as we could to hurt because it makes it super soft and pretty and that's the white side of the reflector yeah people are asking know mzee and cs for crystal is how did you get that group shot at one point two we just put it at one point ways ari's that's a great question you know obviously ideally you wouldn't want to shoot at one point two for any group shot because certain people can be out of focus very easily but we're looking for relative focus and focus is relative anyway if you shoot it f sixteen it doesn't mean everything's in focus there's still only one focal point everything else is relatively focus and you can sort of get online and do the math with different lenses and how much actual depth of field there is but when you're back I was about twenty feet away from those brides maids because there was like eight of them and shooting at one two even if I have that much actually in focus and one bride is slightly forward they're never going to see the difference in that shot as you could see and looked fantastic everybody looked like they were in relative focus so if I'm seeing them in relative focus and I like the way that one two looks I'll go ahead and shoot it but most of the time I'd probably shoot it to eight or maybe four with that many people the rule is yeah like if you're shooting at an aperture like that like one too if you're really in tight on the subject your focus is critical but the further you move your subject away in the focus you have more leeway so like everyone take your finger if you want and like put it on your nose and you can see that your fingers super and focus and then it's like right out you know everything behind it is like blurry is old but then as you start to move your finger out you see how your finger in the background seem to get more and focus to each other so it's kind of the same thing like when you're shooting a subject here it's like super critical but the more you cart start moving out the more leeway that you have yeah so that's a little I wouldn't recommend shooting at one two for portrait just you know don't necessarily do that way don't do it a lot you don't do it a lot I do shoot enough too a lot like that which is also pretty shallow martin some basics is wondering if you use manual focusing on difficult lighting situations yes we definitely do usually it's a ring details and stuff where it's very hard to focus because we're very tight on that certain other times yes I will switch to manual focus but not probably five percent two percent of our shots ran most of the time that's auto focus on again you should can't next one of course is open shayne and by open shade we mean we're standing in shade but we can see this guy straight above us that means you're open shade it just means that whatever you're standing near is casting a shadow over the top of you open shade is awesome because what open shade does is save this this was a wall behind me and it was blocking all the sun hoops that goes my water and I was sort of standing up against this wall and there was a shadow going right over the top of me and I could see the sky coming from sons behind us it's bouncing off the sky out there we're actually standing in the shade the great thing about open shade is that you're in the shade but all the light that's bouncing around out here is getting forced into this area so we have directional life almost all the time when we have open shade open shade is awesome if you face the wall it's going to look terrible for your portrait but if you face into that open sky that pushing all that like in an open shave you can get images like this with great directional light on super this is like high noon practically lily shop as the sun was just blaring but they were in the shower feeling the sun was right over the head of them casting a big beautiful shadow on pushing the sun's bouncing off the atmosphere pushing all that light on their faces and as you can see we get this great let shot very even soft lighting which is awesome and today we have some sun poking out so when we actually go out and shoot we might be doing this exact thing we don't want to be in a sprite son that's harsh we're looking for open shame nice light sir is that we're looking for us we were shooting a wedding on time in alabama and the portrait's just how the day happened happened to be in high noon and there was nowhere to run there is no open shade anywhere to go to so it's like ok what do you do you don't want to shoot them in the broad sunlight the sun's going down like this and they have recognized so use will diffuse shape so this is an example of def you shane and so what we do is wait don't so we'll bust it out later we have a diffuser that we'll use to block the sun hitting our subjects and then it gives a really soft light and all it does is it diffusion doesn't make any light softer that's kind of a myth you know you put a uh something on top of your flash that you know diffuses the white somehow makes it softer really doesn't the size of the light source makes it softer so what we're doing is taking a small sun we opened a diffuser and when it hits it it spreads the light out makes it bigger that's what softens the light is that big light source and the more even it comes out of that big light source of softer prettier looks so this is using a wescott seven foot parabolic umbrellas a diffuser we also use a seventy two hop in open diffuser in a forty two inch papa diffuser for doing sort of like headshots great thing too is if the sun is coming straight down overhead I can sort of put it up here but then angle it remember the angle of that lights very important I can angle it in and make it go from straight down to forty five degrees and create a highlight and shadow and make beautiful light out of nothing basically you can sort of created out of nothing yeah so here's kind of ah walk through portrait's before we break for lunch kind of the things that we're looking for I'm looking to capture so starting off with our fabulous bride kelsey here yeah so we're going to just walk you guys through like some different detail shots that we try to get during fortress we always want a beautiful portrait of the bride something that makes her look great something a little more casual so we'll move in close with longer lens while she's sitting in the opposition will hop in and grab a great detail she doesn't so far she hasn't had to move yet which is all hustle jody's shooting from the side with the seventy two hundred gets another great shot of her um same thing he was this bride were always trying to get one that's kind of on our to do list one stellar portrait of the bride where she just looks absolutely fantastic and the softest most beautiful white so here's a couple of images that just trying to capture these amazing images of a bride here's one that jodi took seems like a candid moment but it was at the fifty millimeter up close and we were coaching her having fun with her laughing and she started cracking up and we got this beautiful portrait and it's great to have two people because oftentimes like I'll be shooting and zac's like holding the reflector if we don't have our assistant holding the reflector and he's just like saying stuff to her and then she just starts laughing and then we get these natural moments instead of like okay give me a laugh and then it's just awkward yeah laugh now smile smile bigger I'm trying so here again you know the bride had just come out we walk downstairs and did a great backlit shot of her to create one really stellar portrait same thing here jody this actual candid image that jody took the bride was coming down the stairs and by image three she took three shots the light was in the perfect position and it just looked like it painted onto her face as he could see and I think it's so important to you be ready for moments toe happen often you know you're running behind a little bit and so you're just like all right we need a book it uh where zack is and we're gonna start the portrait but oftentimes weaken miss these moments and then I turned around and I was like you know like treating it like walking on the set such a great moment so don't be afraid just even stop them and be like oh my word the light looks beautiful take a shot of you and so that's exactly where this next little came from a swell same thing here the bride you know I'd shot the dress there for her and I was like this looks amazing can you stand in that doorway and just kind of open the doors you come through sure booth and they got this great shot of her and so the next night here is you know we want to engage when we do our portrait you know we want the personalities of the girls to come out and so often sometimes yes this is their personality yeah thats funny story behind this is all these girls are pageant girl ls and so when we sense that they're like fun and whatever will be like okay we're gonna yell out on yell out we're going to say an emotion and just give it to us you know pouty too angry to surprise and so they give it to us and then we're not looking to shoot the emotion we're looking to shoot them laughing at themselves afterwards but this was priceless kazakh genius were broken like uh motion we can think of anything and he's like all right why don't you just won miss america and there are like you know and that's where that came from something in this kind of just naturally came out of this bride this is her personality she was just sort of doing this all day which was great jody's capture these really died but the great thing is in between moments too they're just feeling so relaxed and having fun that we get great candid images of and even great portrait so they feel relaxed same thing here these bridesmaids were just all great girlfriends having a lot of fun we just have them do something simple like walk towards us um bridesmaids from earlier that you saw there walking it's engaging with each other laughing and smiling and capturing these great images from the side and if you're in the only photographer like there's been like a random situation here and then zac's like either changing winds or something um and I still want to get a moment from the side so I'll tell everyone keep looking straight ahead you know and then so I'll get that moment so if you're just one photographer and you want those moments from this side just tell them he keep looking at that tree pretend there's something awesome in there and smile editor whatever then you can still get you know moments from the side it's just you but I love this you know jodie's always get it just sort of being prepared this is a completely candid not set up in any way the bridesmaids were walking out to get their portrait taken and the bride was just having a ball she was a very bubbly bride and she walked out the wind started blind she spun around look at her girls they were holding her veil there and this great candid image of them all just sort of kind of funneling out getting ready then we always try to set up some cool you know stage portrait's shots where each bridesmaid looks a little different kind of doing our own thing and we go in and give him a few posing options you know and then they always laugh at me because I'm way too get opposing like yes it looks awesome and then while that's happening will run in and grab little details or I'll be shooting from the front and jody will have the seventy two hundred capturing from the side all these different little details that are going on around us we always make sure to get a photo of the bride of every bridesmaid a photo the groom with every grams and it's just it takes two seconds to do this a filing through really quick and then they have that yeah it's a nice keepsake and some people just really love to have a portrait so now getting a handsome portrait of the groom you know we always try to grab some natural candid images of him smiling and laughing jody will usually come in to get some nice overhead shots and some details I like jodi to shoot close to the groom because it's more comfortable when I'm closer grew it's like all right buddy give me a nice lot on it's just creepy you know what if jody does it it's like he's smiling back at a cute girl and how hard is that you know girls I think having easy but you know these ones are easier for me to get like dude give me uh give me the money isa or whatever you know and they're they're looking like you know really cool and I usually use longer lenses when I'm shooting portrait's of guys I don't like to get in close to them because I don't want them to feel uncomfortable and that I was trying to get something really cool of the guys if there's a unique situation in this case they had this beautiful thing in the backyard that I could sort of pure through and shoot a really interesting portrait the groom and guys they're sometimes the hardest to shoot because they're like insert role of eyes don't want to get my photo taken so we'll talk about will show tomorrow what we start off with the guys which is a cool stroke shot riz acts like this is easy just look like you hate me and then when zach showed a photo that looks really dramatic and awesome and they're like oh you're cool and then we get them walking and more relax and then we shoot these really cool moments really amazing you guys do a lot of location scouting beforehand actually we don't and the reason we don't do location scouting a lot of people ask us even clients to say hey the wedding's at her house you want to come out look at like we don't say no but I'm like oh that's no problem we don't need to because we're really looking for the great light and if I go there in august of the year before your wedding I don't know what the light's gonna look like that day and we've been on location or not you know ten minutes beforehand I'm looking around good like they're good like there and then in ten minutes light changes we're not shooting there anymore and all the sudden we're shooting somewhere else so I cheese is she writing cool ideas in this case we have this beautiful flare coming through the snow and that wasn't the best location actually if you if you actually knew where that location wass they were walking out of a tunnel with this ugly stuff behind them and in a back alley was a back alley it wasn't the most attractive place but when it's shot with great light all the sudden it turns into something and with the great lens if you shot this with the sixteen to thirty five and everything would be in focus and you'd see all the nastiness in the background because of the ones they use the seventy two two hundred and I just captured sort of vignette with the groom being the focus got that flare and all of a sudden it turned and it looks like this killer location but really it wasn't this one this one was a killer location this is a great location we had a much of beautiful lines and I was I saw some good light coming through the window and I saw these amazing lines and once I tilted the camera to sort of make this into sort of this a frame it looked really really interesting so that's sort of the senate for that but again notice all their faces they're sort of pointing in the direction of that light source which is coming through the big window to camera left always your guy walking shot super easy they always have a way out I always say have you seen reservoir dogs and every guy says yes and as soon as you say that they think you're cool I've never seen that movie I don't know why that is so cool well when I save you ever seen reservoir dogs they go yeah go it's gonna be like that they're like oh cool and then whatever I do becomes reservoir dogs and I guess it's a walking shot is rather more dogs I don't know somebody on twitter tell me what reservoir dogs is great but then I said that right before this and these guys all sort of walking going like and I was like I guess that's reservoir dogs for some reason and I tell them not to look at me look at each other you know you're just walking being cool and they're like we can do that and then once they see that shot they feel so confident he'll smile for you or they'll they'll let you get a little closer to him and so again just grabbing little vignettes from the side little stories that are fun that complement the story and great for the album as well and also a quick portrait I say we're gonna do a chick shot and they're like ok we can do one smiling one and then they'll have it up and they'll laugh and they'll do it and we have won them over by that point so they trust us so they're like okay this is for the every plate you know like you know we're on their side we're doing this for the ladies like you know and then they go with it a lot better and then again I'm sheet the guys together I always want to do something that looks like an album shot because when I show it to them they automatically just trust everything that I do even if I ask him to do something quirky so this was simply just a backlit shot actually my flash happened to not go off on this shot but we're in a tunnel heavily backlit very very heavily backlit so we get this completely blown out background because there was no light inside the tunnel and all the light was outside so he gets really great and again with guys I don't shoot them straight on uh we don't excuse me we don't shoot them like this guy's on the cool that way we shoot him a lot more straight on because we've noticed that guys and even bigger guys they don't mind being big you know they want to look masculine and tough we don't necessarily always shoot him perfectly square as you can see there's a little bit of turn and each guy but they're not kind of giving us these shoulders none of this you know we want to look masculine so we want to show a couple photos of a first look and then of supporters of bride and groom so this is erin and paul and it was snowing outside this was the guy shot from previously with the snow that you saw it was snowing outside and they don't want to do because it was just so cold so we set this up in the lobby um and you can see that you still get great moment even bride came down the elevator the lighting sucked and we just exposed for their faces and shot away and it could have been more amazing lighting but clients care about content not quality that's something very very important to remember and that's exactly why the bride orders the picture that you you think is the worst picture ever order and she goes on my hair though for my face full expression that you don't understand was in that job or this is how I felt in that picture something you don't know and when a bride sees this the room turned around and saw her look at her face this is what's in their album making care if it was perfect lighting in the eyes and this guy's a photographer so this is what's most important clients effect that content over quality and then again here another image that I just love he grabs her in his arms jody captures us in from the back of him just ecstatic to see her the lighting and the color was terrible so we turned black in a way they look great content it's all about that when it's time to fight finally start which is also bart starr we'll start shooting them um that should be a quote giveaway just dandy s so we'll start with something easy we tell them this is gonna be super easy we're just going to walk so we always start with them walking yeah it's the easiest thing to do long lenses and always say is room all you got to do is make her smile and we know you do this really well so they're walking shoulders turned towards each other making each other smile and then if they stop really quick or we say oh grabber and give her a kiss and they'll get together and kiss or put their foreheads together we grab a nice little portrait so here's a little siri's of images and we were doing steven violence fortress just the different things that we're looking for as we're shooting a couple so so this entire session right here this is actually kind of cool because we get to see a huge sequence of images that we want to show we're photographing their wedding we had a little bit of time right after the ceremony the sun was setting we had that golden hour of light were like yes we ran out of time the wedding around this we probably had fifteen or twenty minutes that we shot all of you there's a whole bunch more that they got we're going to show you a good sequence of what we did in that short amount of highlights again we started him off walking this is um walking off to the location or the part of the field that we wanted to shoot and then the next shot is when we situated them together so when we have them together we're looking for smiling we're looking for funny moments we're looking for very tender moments were trying to capture all of these for them so we're just instructing even though we had beautiful light this is the light that it's a no brainer just start taking pictures that looks good we still wanted it better so I got out the reflector and just added a little extra kiss alight into her face so she got a little bit brighter than everything else boom she just looks fantastic and then we now that they're feeling comfortable with us we shot a sequence we they can feel a little more romantic saying things like oh my gosh you guys just got married we're so excited for you and almost kiss each other and they start almost kissing and we get this amazing shot then we simply sit them down on the field really quick to get a whole another siri's of images so then we get wide and then we're also pulling in tight let's get you know the eyelashes let's get the bouquet and let's get a smiling moments so we're just trying to get a variety of different images not even moving them around this is great too the least amount you can move the bride the better she's the hardest one to situate easy to move the groom around her so if she just has to turn a little bit awesome move the groom over there don't make her pick up or hold your ass and then you're doing the fluff and then you're doing the hair it's a whole song and dance again and it kills time so then we have them standing and while they're standing let's get in close and get a great detail this is beautiful in the album now let's just turn them towards each other in panto one side boo and then the same time of day these air literally shot seconds apart let's bust out our off camera light which we're talking about tomorrow so make sure you tune in tomorrow and you could turn that into this and this is what I get really excited about it these kind of portrait this is literally seconds apart minutes apart shooting these two images very cool anybody excited about that talking about that tomorrow yes we'll break it down make it super simple show you one more sequence from another wedding amazing wedding that we shot in two thousand ten same thing we start off with them walking because it's so easy to do it's the golden hour beautiful light we put the bride in the foreground the groom in the background photographed an image we bring them together and set them down interesting thing about this couple he's shorter than her so we wanted to make sure that everything we did didn't give away that uh problem a lot of times if we have a really short bride I don't mind they know she's shorter and they're cool with it but in this case she wore flats he stands up very tall and she a little bit more like that so we did those kind of things we had her lean real heavy tow one side or lean into him because the guy wants to feel manly right and then you don't want to call them out on me like yeah you're shorter way so you know so we don't want to make him feel insecure about that either says photographer we know tricks of what we can do of how we can guide them how weaken sit them in position them how we can tilt the camera and they wouldn't know the difference that we're trying to de emphasize the bride tight and emphasize all these things that you see here that we've done great just such subtle movements subtle camera changes getting close until the camera if they're both standing up and he's taller if you told the camera you don't know who's supposed to be taller so all of a sudden you don't realize that he's a little bit shorter than she when we have some sun kicking a loan to get flare shot that's my absolute favorite soul put their back to the sun will light the flare come in the lens and will actually take a reflector and reflect some of that light back so maybe we'll get to do that today what should be done

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.