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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.
Next, we are going to take a look at a few photographs that will help us think about some issues to consider whenever we are photographing groups of people together, when we are photographing family. In weddings, family is so important. In many situations, this may be the only time that these family members are together, and as time passes, these family together photographs become more and more valuable. So let's first start off with this picture here. This is another transitional photograph, it's out of focus, it's not well composed, but again, it's important.
The bride all of a sudden noticed that some of her family members arrived, and I love her smile. I knew that there was a picture there, so you take a transitional image in order to get to the next photograph just recompose a little bit. Again, a great candid expression. And then of course, you capture the family members that are arriving, like these little guys, the kids. You know, kids at weddings are so much fun. They are dressed up, they feel the excitement of the day. You want to capture those pictures. Here, more family members arrived, a hug with a little girl and the bride, I love these little moments.
They're nothing, let's say, incredibly artistic and perfectly composed, yet they're so important. You also want to look for kind of the side pictures, when one of the family members steps to the side, capture those images as well. Eventually, of course, you need to bring everyone together. Now this is a really complicated. In this case, you really need to direct and start to sort of position people. Say hey, let's capture an image here, and in this case everyone said we only have 5 minutes, we need to go, and I said before we go, let's just capture a few frames.
The first image, it's not a success, and the reason is because the gentleman on the right, his face is blocked, and sometimes rather than asking someone to move as a photographer, you move yourself. Here you can see the next frame, I got closer, and I just changed my position so that I can see everyone. And really as you're capturing these images, you are almost sort of multitasking. You are trying to look at everyone, pay attention and capture a few frames, and you're always capturing more pictures than you need, because inevitably, someone's eyes will be closed or head will be turned in the wrong way. Let's take a look at a few more photographs.
This one I think is important, and this one is important because we had the complexity of all of the family together, and then I asked a few people to step aside, and I just got a smaller, quieter, more simple photograph, those are important. Then from here I brought in different family members, and in this case it's the bride's parents, that's a really important photograph, yet I didn't quite like how they were standing. The bride and groom were separated. So I just said, "Hey, let's mix it up a little bit." I took this picture and then the next.
And you always want to be thinking about mixing it up, shooting more than you need to shoot, directing people, giving them advice, why don't you stand there, let's come together, let's capture these photographs. Here is another family picture. In this case, I am down low and just capturing these family members and relatives. Next, it was the grandparents and their granddaughter, and they are goofing around and being silly, and in this case, you want to be okay with that, you want to even take pictures of that. It is because of course after you capture fun and happy photographs like this, you can always get those, more well- composed kind of formal pictures.
You want to capture both sides of that. With this particular family, the bride and groom, they wanted those different types of photographs, and I wanted to capture them myself. Here's another picture of a family in a different place. Again, getting family to walk around is so important. Next, from there, I decided to photograph this mom and daughter, and I just thought it was a fun picture. So again, sometimes it's a group, sometimes it's those sideline photographs. From here we then went to this little cushion and captured another photograph of them, the bride and the groom were off doing something else, getting ready to head to the ceremony.
And then I captured her by herself on this little cushion and she just looked so cute. And when I was taking that picture, I noticed over my shoulder that the bride was watching, everyone was watching, and I saw the lights on the bride, it just was beautiful, and I captured that photograph. And so, my point here showing you these pictures is to help you begin to think about photographing groups, photographing families and how sometimes you need to direct, you need to give advice, stand there, let's do this here. And other times you want to capture those candid in-between moments, because both types of photographs are equally as valuable.
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