Wednesday, May 04, 2011

All The One’s That Almost Got Away

Good Morning Everybody,

Ziser Class - Texas School 2011IMG_5675We had a great second day  at Texas School.  We spent most of the day on location shooting – some shooting around the hotel and finishing at a small Presbyterian Church just a few miles away.  I was really pleased with the images and will share a few of them with you throughout this post.

Last night was the big Concert in the Park.  I’ll tell you, after a long day it felt good to just sit down and relax.  The weather was perfect in the low  to mid 70’s, the band was great, and the camaraderie of the entire group was just plain fun.

Today is Image Review Day and then back out on location this afternoon.  Then you guessed it more festivities till 10 p.m. this evening.  Yep, we’re looking forward to another long, but fun day.

Time to get on with today’s post…

All The One’s That Almost Got Away

Yesterday was the day scheduled for our big on-location shoot.  I always look forward to these shoots because I get to work in a brand new location and really like trying to figure out exactly what I’m going to do. I thought yesterday would be the same as so many times before. 

Ziser Class - Texas School 2011IMG_5709That was, of course, till I checked out the website of our proposed location. Yes, it was a church, but not your regular traditional church.  It was much more like one of those BIG “sound stage” churches – all stage, big speakers, and video screens everywhere.

Ziser Class - Texas School 2011IMG_5695I’m thinking where are the pews, the cross, the stain glass windows – this is not a good thing.  Thankfully after expressing my reservations to Chastity, our class wrangler, she jumped into action to try to find us an alternate location for our shoot.

It’s always my belief that I’m working for the students in the class and and I want the shooting experience to reflect what I’ve been teaching.  That means shooting in a traditional church location.  Anyway, about an hour later, Chastity came back with “good” news – we now had two churches!  I thought we were home free.

That is till we arrived at the first church – uh oh, had we just made a lateral move instead of an upward move on our church location?  I think the entire class thought the same thing.  But hey, we’re here and I , as the instructor needed to pull something off in our new church – let’s get to work.

The church was quite small with no noticeable features that at first glace looked like we could not create any special wedding images in the space. That was, of course till I took a different tack, and switched to the super wide angle lens – my Sigma 8-16mm lens – the the place came alive with opportunities!

Ziser Class - Texas School 2011IMG_5712What was the lesson learned?  Never go into a location with an attitude of, “Oh my gosh, what a crummy looking place, what in the world am I going to do here.”  Instead going into a difficult situation with an attitude of, “This place looks interesting, let see what we can pull off – I love a challenge.” 

I’ll raise the quick question – which of these two attitudes prepares you best for creating the best result?  I think you know the answer.


Hey gang, that’s it for me today.  I’m running late and we’ve got another full day.  I hope to see you tomorrow, time permitting.

Have a good one and I’ll see you then,  -David


  1. That is what separates the pro's from the craiglisters. I probably photograph most weddings in the above situations than in the Grand churches.

  2. Great post as always David, Though I would have liked to have seen what you would have done in the initial "soundstage" location.

    We don't always have the luxury of shooting in the best looking churches (even here in Maui, lol). I really would be interested in seeing more of how you deal with EXTREMELY challenging situations, such as an early afternoon wedding on the beach, backlit couple with harsh sunlight and no cloud cover or open shade at all (I get this a lot).