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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.
Photographing the bride and the bridesmaid is one thing, photographing the groom and the groomsmen is something completely different. This group of guys, well, they've somehow come together, and there will be a different dynamic or energy. Often what you have to do in these situations is you have to really lead and direct. You have to kind of become one of the gang, get them on your side in order to create some sort of an interesting photograph. So, let's take a look at a few pictures which will help illustrate some ways that we can work with grooms and their groomsmen.
The first photograph that I want to show is this one here. It's kind of setting the scene. The guys are sitting in this room. They are kind of fidgeting, they are almost a little bit bored, they are just waiting, they want something to happen. So, I stood up on piano bench and just captured this shot. You know, it's these waiting moments which are kind of interesting. Well, after having captured this, I just started to chat and hang out with the guys, because I knew I wasn't going to make any great pictures until I got them on my side.
So, I was shooting the breeze, I was having some fun. One guy said he played the piano, I said, "Well, can you play the piano for us?" And so he got up and went over to the piano and started jamming and playing some fun music, and I captured a few pictures of him doing that. That instantly changed the overall mood and tone. And then I said, "Hey guys, we got to take some pictures. Let's go outside and get this over with." They were like, yeah, let's do it. One of them said, "What if we take our jackets off?" I said of course, and so they took their jackets off, and they all kind of stood together.
And then I climbed up on this little bench thing, and stood above them and just started to capture some images of these guys together. And again, all that you're trying to do in this case is just do something unique. You know, guys are interested, they are pretty stiff, they stand tall, and their shoulders are kind of straight. So somehow you have to position them in unique ways to try to create some sort of a group shot, and in this case I was doing that by trying to change perspective. Then after having captured those images, well, the bridesmaids, they came back, and we needed to photograph with the groom and the bridesmaids. That's one of the pictures that they wanted.
So, I put the groom in about the middle and captured this image, it's okay, but it wasn't that fun. This was a fun group of people, and weddings typically are fun. So I said, "What about if you guys hold him?" They loved that idea, and here is the shot. So again, as you seek to work with these different types of groups, in a sense you have different roles. Sometimes you need to direct and lead, other times you need to hang out and just get people on your side, and then you look for creating different types of photographs.
Some photographs will be fun and curious, others will be a little bit more formal and well composed. And by trying to capture different types of pictures, many times it will give the bride and groom and their families different options, different pictures to choose from, and also, it'll help you capture and even create moments that would have otherwise been missed.
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