Question #1: I recently watched one of Jerry Ghionis’ videos as you suggested, and I was really surprised to see how much direction *[almost all-posed candid’s of the groom prep].* During your prep shops, I normally tend to give a little direction but just let it happen. What are your thoughts on this?
Dave: That’s an awesome question because Jerry has influenced me a lot in my career. It’s certainly one of those things where I take inspiration, but I’m not a clone by any means, like the technique of slowing things down and setting up the “hero” shots that you want – like, the groom looking really cool. Jerry does this great thing where he turns the body away from the window and has the nose back over the shoulder into the window, creating a really skinny light on the short side of the face and drops the shadow, and making it look killer. And every guy wants to look awesome.
I personally believe that wedding photographers have a responsibility to create beautiful classic images and then do whatever they want outside of that. But I think there are certain shots that every photographer should be able to do well.
Question #1: As a vendor, what is the best way to work with photographers to get great images (or to ensure that you receive images)?
Dave: From our experience, we do our absolute best to look after other vendor – every vendor. We try to shoot images for their use.
Taylor: It’s photography 101, and often people forget or get too busy, but grab business cards from everyone that you run into. Take a couple cool shots, and upload them to Two Bright Lights, then send them the link and password and they can go download them. It’s great for collaborations and networking with other vendors.
Question #1: What are some of the best practises when the subject is backlit? (I had a ceremony, and it was at a dock over a lake, and it was tough to get any textures behind the subjects – no flash because they were 50 feet away.)
Dave: I shot yesterday that way at the Royal Canadian Yacht Club, and it was a little challenging. So the best practise I think is expose the skin tones and let happens what happens.
Taylor: I always step back for the wide shot to get everything – expose for the entire scene when you’re shooting wide. But if you’re shooting at 200 mm, just go for the skin tones and sacrifice the background.
Question #1: What are the best ways to learn the craft of photography? Workshops? WPPI?
Dave: I would absolutely swear by going to WPPI at least for a few years until you’re comfortable with what’s happening, and then you can sort of make an educated decision about whether you’re going to do it every year or every other year, etc. It’s great for networking, great to see what’s happening and great to see what’s new with photography technology-wise.
Taylor: I found that Skip Summer School was awesome. It was in Vegas, also at the MGM. It sucks because it is Vegas in August and that means it’s hot, but where it was in the year for me was perfect. I shot a wedding on Saturday, left Sunday, spent until Thursday there and shot a wedding on Friday. And the amount of people I met was fantastic. I didn’t think it benefited me then, but it laid a solid foundation for immersing myself in the industry.