Wedding Photography for Everyone: Fundamentals
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Wedding Photography for Everyone: Fundamentals

with Chris Orwig

Video: Creating the shots of the first family group

In the next couple of movies, we are going to be talking about how we can photograph the family and how we can photograph groups of people together. Sometimes you will have the chance to photograph the bride and the groom and the relatives before the ceremony. Other times it will be after. Regardless of when you capture these pictures, an important thing to keep in mind is that what you're trying to do here is to capture family togetherness. This is a really significant moment. Sometimes this is one of those moments where these family members are together for the first time in their lives, that may be the only time that you're together.

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Watch the Online Video Course Wedding Photography for Everyone: Fundamentals
1h 32m Intermediate Mar 01, 2013

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If you're a photographer (an enthusiast or a pro), you'll eventually be asked to photograph a wedding: a task that's both a privilege and a challenge. You're capturing one of life's most significant milestones. You're shooting an event filled with unpredictable moments that can't be re-created, and you need to be involved without being intrusive. It's a balancing act that professional wedding photographers work hard to perfect.

Chris Orwig has been in exactly this position, and in this course, he shares his experiences and creative insights, all liberally illustrated with examples from weddings that he has photographed. The course begins with details on preproduction—your gear and equipment decisions and the importance of talking to the bride and groom about their goals for your photographs. It also explores some key strategies for documenting the ceremony and the celebration afterwards. Lastly, Chris reviews some postproduction strategies for enhancing your images and delivering them to the happy couple.

Subject:
Photography
Author:
Chris Orwig

Creating the shots of the first family group

In the next couple of movies, we are going to be talking about how we can photograph the family and how we can photograph groups of people together. Sometimes you will have the chance to photograph the bride and the groom and the relatives before the ceremony. Other times it will be after. Regardless of when you capture these pictures, an important thing to keep in mind is that what you're trying to do here is to capture family togetherness. This is a really significant moment. Sometimes this is one of those moments where these family members are together for the first time in their lives, that may be the only time that you're together.

Your goal is to try to capture this. So first we are going to talk about capturing the family, the bride and the groom together, and then we will look at adding in some of the other relatives. Let's take a look at a few photographs that I think will help us start to think about how we can capture good family pictures. Well, this first image that I am going to show you is going to make you very impressed with me, you are going to think that I'm a great photographer. Well, actually that isn't the case. This isn't a good photograph, but it's a really important photograph. In my mind it's a transitional picture.

Whenever you're photographing more than one person, what I like to do is to capture a picture that doesn't count so that I can look at the back of my camera and double-check my exposure and my composition and just get familiar with how the scene looks when it's photographed. So this picture is one of those. Well, after the door was closed, after the transitional image, I then moved in a little bit closer and captured a bit more of a formal portrait. Whenever you're capturing family pictures, you always want to be thinking about the family's story.

In this particular case, the family, well, they are really good friends, and the bride and the groom, they had gone through some really significant loss, and it was my privilege to now photograph the forming of this new family. I wanted to capture that togetherness. Next the groom showed up, and he showed up and all of a sudden his cell phone started ringing like mad, because one of his relatives was lost, and things like this happen in weddings, and you want to keep shooting, document those moments. I love the way that the bride is looking at her future husband here.

Well, after the cell phone was put away, I then directed the couple and the family to stand together and captured this picture. Whenever you are capturing photographs of people or groups of people, typically they stand in natural ways, so what that means is they stand a little bit separate or apart. You always want to bring them together and capture that togetherness. Next, what happened was the daughter Sydney started to kind of have some fun. You want to shoot through those pictures, and here she is just goofing around.

Rather than asking her not to do that, to stand still, I said, "Oh, Sydney, that's great." She had some photographs, I said come forward here a little bit, and I captured this image. I said, I want to capture a photograph that's all about you, and she loved that. And there are her parents in the background, kind of proud and smiling, and they loved this photograph as well. It was a fun picture which was an important part of this particular family story. And I captured some variations of it. Here you can see the bride and the groom are a little bit more out of focus.

Next what I wanted to do is I wanted to get them to move, so I asked them to walk over to the other side of the yard, and here you can see they are standing on these steps. I'm a little bit lower, and I love this candid moment, and in this case the bride and groom, they wanted pictures which were formal. They also wanted some of those candid photographs as well, and I wanted to capture those. And you always want to get people moving because it helps you capture more natural expressions. Next, I moved. Rather than being at the bottom of the steps, I changed my position.

Here I'm at the top of the steps. I had them turn around, and again, I am just capturing a different perspective. Well, after you capture a few photographs, say of some of the key family members, next, you start to integrate in more family members, the relatives. Let's take a look at some of the things that we can think about when photographing relatives in the next movie.

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