Skip to main content

Watch Trailer

Documentary Wedding Photography: Capturing Reality

with Tyler Wirken

Log in or Sign up for FREE and get full access to these and thousands of other Open Lessons in our catalog! Watch 1 Lesson For Free

  •   Trailer

  •   10 Moment Killers


Class duration: 15h 14m

See all 36 lessons
  • 16K students

    100% satisfaction guaranteed

  • 94% recommended

    21 student reviews

  • Access anytime


Get the Pass

starting at $25 $13/month*

Unlock this class plus 1500+ more >

Watch Now

You already have access!

Buy Class


About The Class

Focus on real life.

There is a magic and beauty to wedding days that doesn’t have to be posed or fabricated. You can take photographs that are authentic and dynamic by drawing on classic documentary photography techniques. Join Tyler Wirken for a class exploring the practice of documentary-style wedding photography.

This course will teach you how to take unique, distinctive images that break away from standard styled shoots and set-up poses. Tyler will encourage you to think deeply about why we take wedding photos and then help you use those insights to create an actionable roadmap for getting the real moments during weddings. You’ll learn how to get up close and capture the more intimate moments of a couple’s wedding day without feeling like you’re intruding or disrupting. From being more present in the moment to getting through family photographs in twenty minutes to developing your one-of-a-kind perspective as a photographer, you’ll build strategies for ensuring the moments you capture are beautiful and real.

If you want stand out in the sea of wedding photographers and take photographs that more meaningful than meticulously-posed, then this course is for you!

Topics Covered

Lesson Plan

  1. 01

    Introduction and Background

  2. 02

    My Path to My Why

  3. 03

    Finding My Why

  4. 04

    Getting the Proper Clients

  5. 05

    Exude Confidence

  6. 06

    The Beauty of Being Pure

  7. 07

    Think Beyond the Wedding

  8. 08

    Favorite Photo - The Client's Perspective

  9. 09

    Moments are Fragile

  10. 10

    Moment Killers

  11. 11

    Tell it Like it is

  12. 12

    Make it Feel Like it Felt

  13. 13

    Skype Interview with Bride and Q&A

  14. 14

    Be Fearless with Your Gear Part 1

  15. 15

    Be Fearless with Your Gear Part 2

  16. 16

    How I Shoot Manual

  17. 17

    Back Button Focus

  18. 18

    Setting and Using Back Button Focus

  19. 19

    Gaining Trust

  20. 20

    Trusting Yourself

  21. 21

    Wedding Day Start to Finish Part 1

  22. 22

    Wedding Day Start to Finish Part 2

  23. 23

    Vow Renewal Shoot

  24. 24

    Vow Renewal Interview and Q&A

  25. 25

    Building A Photo: Composition

  26. 26

    Building A Photo: Lighting

  27. 27

    Building A Photo: Backgrounds

  28. 28

    Building A Photo: Hard Work

  29. 29

    Student Single Wedding Critique: David

  30. 30

    Student Single Wedding Critique: Diwas

  31. 31

    Internet Critique With Ben Chrisman Part 1

  32. 32

    Internet Critique With Ben Chrisman Part 2

  33. 33

    Internet Critique With Ben Chrisman Part 3

  34. 34

    Post Wedding Workflow: Culling

  35. 35

    Post Wedding Workflow: The Edit

  36. 36

    Post Wedding Workflow: The Album


Meet Your Expert

Tyler Wirken

Tyler doesn’t consider himself a wedding photographer. He’s simply a family historian who documents weddings. Starting out as a newspaper photographer, he discovered a passion for documentary photography early in his career and never looked back. After almost ten years ... read more

See instructor's Classes

Bonus Material

Access your course materials here!

Get access to exclusive bonus content when you purchase this class.

  • pdf Promo Code
  • pdf Gear Essentials

94% of students recommend this class.
See what some of them have to say.

  • Creativelive Student

    November 2014

    Tyler calls 'em like he sees'em. He gets it: capture the emotion, the expression, the feelings of a wedding without preoccupation with perfect posing, perfect lighting, perfect camera settings. An image of a father's expression seeing is daughter in her dress for the first time is far more important than trying to get it framed just right. Anticipate. Watch. Don't interrupt a moment. This is a great series to refocus on the true meaning of why we shoot weddings.

  • CardinalGary


    April 2015

    Tyler Wirken clearly has a lot to say, a point of view worth hearing, and a photographic talent worthy of our admiration. He is not a classroom instructor. His whole three day presentation could have been done in a day, maybe a day and a half, with spectacular results by a talented instructor . In a course about visual results he uses mostly redundant words, missing repeated opportunities to get his good points across by visual example. His video showing him shooting the couple and family in a reconfirmation ceremony was excellent and the points well reinforced by an interview with the couple while reviewing their pictures. The three sessions in which he was joined by Ben Chrisman to critique submitted photos was also informative and valuable as Chrisman added a crispness to the presentation that Wirken most often lacks. Even in these thirty minutes sessions, they could have included more photos. It may well have helped, if they'd prepared rather than ad-libbed those sections. Prior to the joint sessions, Wirken critiques the work of selected members of the live CL audience in 30 minute segments. His comments while valid, instructive and worthwhile became too harsh and even a bit petty as he spent too much time on a very small sample of the work. That section would have been more valuable had he been more selective in his critique so we students would walk away with one or maybe two memorable items from each photo. As a CL fan and owner of many of their courses, I have to say this is one of the more poorly presented. To the interested student, watch the free example and what you see is what you will get for three days. Yes, the subject is a valuable one and the results of the photojournalistic approach are wonderful, but you'll fast forward the last day and miss all the salient points.

  • Jivefree

    December 2014

    For anyone interested in shooting a wedding from a true documentary style approach, this class is for you. Tyler's style may not be for everyone, but I seriously loved this class so much and found it so inspiring. I've attended many in person wedding workshops that were heavily focused on shooting editorial style and capturing the details more so than real moments, because thats what seems to get you published in the wedding industry these days, but I find so much of that lacking heart. Tyler's approach on the other hand is all about capturing the real moments that unfold during the day. His images are so full of heart, emotional and tell a beautiful story.

    Similar classes you might like

    You know who’d love this class...?

    When gift-spiration strikes, grab it. Give this class to a friend who’d love it. For their birthday or just because. (Or just because you missed their birthday.)