Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Wednesday: Analysis of A Wedding Shoot Part 5

Good Morning Everybody and Happy New Year's Eve,
Wow, I feel a whole lot better today than these last few days around here and am getting fired up for the new year! Well, can you believe it- LaDawn and I are heading out on yet another trip super bright and early this morning. We are heading to Orlando, Florida to bring in the New Year and work some more on my wedding book. My deadline is the end of the month so I've really got to get a lot of the major editing wrapped up on this trip. I'll continue to keep you posted.

Being in Florida allows us to give a little different look to some other projects, Tour plans and studio procedures I've got lined up to review for the next few weeks - at least that's my hope. Anyway, I took a little break from my series, The Analysis of a Wedding Shoot during all the holiday happenings - but joyfully it is back again today. Hope you enjoy it. Off we go...

Analysis Of A Wedding Shoot: 5 More steps for shooting “Altar Return” and Limo Photographs:
A few weeks ago I discussed basic group shots you need to take of the wedding party, families, and friends. This week, we want to add some sizzle to that series of images. I call them my “Signature” images – a short series of images that are definitely a part of all of my wedding coverages. These images signal the style that my clients seek out and have become familiar with DAZ Photography over the years. Let’s hit it with 5 more steps for shooting the “Altar Return” images.

1 -- These images usually include compositions that are quite more dramatic than just standard wedding photographs. The first one is a back-lit aisle photograph. My assistant simply gets about 12 feet behind the couple, with a flash about 4 feet off the ground and points the flash at their shoulder blades. I've actually covered “Backlighting” in an earlier post here at Digital ProTalk – here is the link.
2 -- Next, I'd like to get a couple great photographs of the bride and groom within the beautiful surrounds of their magnificent church. We move about two thirds of the way back down the center aisle towards the back of the church. Here I set up a few more dramatic photographs -- dramatic because of the composition. I want to show the bride and groom in this wonderful location. I only allow myself about six or seven minutes for these images. Once I've captured the images were heading outside the church.
3 -- My assistants and I are pretty well rehearsed at this point, my assistant is grabbing the gear, and we are making our way outside the church first so that I can get a shot of the bride and groom as they come down the church steps. My assistant knows to be behind the couple and I quickly shoot off a few more photographs.

4 -- The next shots I need to capture to continue the wedding day story is inside the limo series. Once they are seated in the limo, I peek in the back door of the limousine, ask the bride to fall into the groom's arms, have them both looked back at the camera giving each other a big hug. This is my last photograph before they drive off.
5 -- Next, if I can, I try to get one more photograph of the front or the rear of the limousine in front of the church building. This basically wraps up the ceremony coverage and the next images I'll be making will be at the wedding reception.

Folks, I tried to move through this fairly quickly but, it still gives you a pretty good idea what I'm trying to capture in those last few minutes I’m with my clients before heading for the reception. I work quickly and try very hard not to detain the couple more than about 10 minutes for these images.

Check in tomorrow for my New Year's wrap up here at


  1. D:

    You are amazing. Thanks for this insightful look into your work and the detail that you have provided. This really helps to put things into perspective. Great topic and series of posts.

  2. David, I am so looking forward to your book!

  3. Thank you for everything you have done for all of us this year.
    I know I speak for the others when I say job well done.

  4. What an awesome analysis! Thanks so much for everything you do for the photographic community. Your friend, Crash