Some Shots From Last Week’s Wedding Shoot

Last Saturday I shot a wedding in Orlando, Florida and I thought I’d share a few pages from the Wedding proof book I put together in Lightroom.

This was about as ideal of a shooting situation as you’re going to get: The bride and groom, Ryan and Lindsay, could not have been easier to work with, and Linsday was a stunning bride (and both Ryan and Lindsay were both very photogenic, which made my job really easy). They were really a joy to photograph and they were incredibly accommodating. The groomsmen and bridesmaids were wonderful and the parents couldn’t have been nicer, and the surroundings were first class all the way. The pre-wedding and reception were held at the gorgeous Ritz Carlton, and the ceremony itself in a beautiful church in Winter Park.

I really wanted to do this right, so I brought some serious back-up: I had the wonderful Kathy Porupski as my 2nd shooter during the ceremony (she could only cover the ceremony itself, but she totally rocked it!), and I had Brad Moore assisting me with the lighting (and doing some 2nd shooting pre-wedding and at the reception) along with Pete Collins and we even got our buddy Kevin Graham (who lives in Orlando) to help us out, so I had everything well covered, and my crew did a great job during a long 16-hour day with only one 30-minute break all day.

Camera Stuff
I’ll leave the rest to the captions, but in short, I shot withthe pre-wedding images with a Canon 1Dx, and a 70-200mm f/2.8 and a 24-70mm. I also used the new Profoto B-1 Off-Camera Flash with a 5′ Octa softbox for the formals of the groomsmen, and for formals at the church, and some pre-wedding portraits.

For the reception, I used pretty much just one lens — the 85mm f/1.2 but I shot it at f/1.4 (I’m not sure I’m accurate enough at run-and-gun photography to keep enough in focus at f/1.2. I’m pushing it at f/1.4) with a Canon Speedlight 600EX-RT flash mounted on the hot shoe (aiming straight upward — seen a bit farther down below).

An Un-plugged Wedding
We sent the bride a link to the CNN article I talked about here on the blog about “un-plugged weddings” where the Bride and Groom ask the guests to NOT take their own photos at the wedding, and leave the photography to the hired photographers and the guests just relax and enjoy the day, and the bride loved the idea and rolled with it. I cannot tell you how much easier that made our job. Three cheers to the bride and groom who totally embraced the idea.

OK, on to the wedding album proofs:

Above: I used a 105mm Macro lens on a tripod for this one.

Above: Here’s the set-up for that shot, taken on the balcony of the bride’s hotel room right after the bouquets were delivered.

Above: The bride’s mom and dad on the right page. Lovely people (really made us feel at home).

Above: The flower girls were absolutely adorable — love the portrait drawn while the bridesmaids were getting ready.

Above: We had set aside just over an hour for portraits of the bride at the hotel before we left for the church, but as is usually the case, things ran behind and as it turned out I actually only wound up with less than 20 minutes with her and a long walk to here I wanted to shoot. The shot at the top of the page was made as we were walking back through the hotel’s convention lobby on the way to her limo to race to the church. I ran in front of Lindsay and asked her to pause just a moment right in the window light just long enough to pose her and get that shot. She was incredibly calm throughout, even though we were cutting it really close in getting to the church on time.

Above: Here’s a behind the scenes of the shot in the spread above, right page. Taken using a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens.

Above: The shot on the right is one of my favorites. It’s taken on the staircase leading to the spa, just outside the hotel (so he had to hoof it a bit to get there). I’m standing on a step ladder (the ladder cart I mention in one of my books), and I’m using the Canon 16-35mm lens at 16mm. I also over-exposed nearly a stop using just natural light. On the left: That’s the bride still laughing and smiling after walking pretty darn far to get there.

Above: I shot a few from the right side as well, without the ladder and a tighter lens. 

Above: More shots taken on the way back to the limo. For the shot on the right, I asked Pete and Brad to ask the flower girls to hide out-of-site for a moment and once the bride started walking, have them come out and follow the bride but not run up to catch her. That way I could have them out-of-focus in the background, as you see here (I was shooting at f/2.8). , and it worked out pretty well. They’re a little cut-off on the left side of the page just because of the page dimensions. If I wind up making this a two-page spread, you see all of them and lots of breathing room as well.

Above: Here’s a behind-the-scenes of the shot on the page above left.

Above: I saw a small bench in front of this window and I asked (begged) Lindsay to let me just take one more and I promised it would be the last one before she jumps in the limo. She gladly obliged and I’m so glad she did.

Above: The shot on the right is on those circular stairs leading to the spa, shot using just natural light. I’m down at the bottom of the stairs, shooting up towards her.

Above: Here’s a behind-the-scenes of the ring closeup in the previous spread. That’s Pete Collins holding a white card to bounce some window light back onto the rings to create a highlight. The shot was taken on an end table in the hotel room.

Above: Here’s a wide angle shot with my 16mm of the bride and groom walking down the aisle in a two-page spread. The church doesn’t allow any photographers near the front of the church during the ceremony whatsoever, so I went either really wide or 200mm tight. Honestly, I wished I had brought at 300mm, or at least a 1.4 tele-extender.

Above: This one’s just using the available room light and me cranking up the ISO, which worked amazingly well. 

Above: After the ceremony, right before we arrived at the Ritz Carlton, I stopped for just a minute to jump out to get this shot, thinking it would make a great transition in the album between the ceremony and the reception.

Above: The bride and groom make their entrance to the reception ballroom.

Above: On the right, the groom’s father gives a warm welcome speech. He really looks like a star in this shot (and his welcome speech was one of the best!). That him below dancing with his daughter.

Above: Here’s me shooting directly into a video light to get a lens flare effect.

Above: For all these shots I’m either just using that one Canon Speedlight, aiming straight upward (so just a little light goes forward toward the subjects), or I turned off the flash and just shot at a high ISO to get the shutter speed up high enough to freeze motion. My strategy was to position myself directly across from the moving lights the band put up aiming at the dance floor. That way, I could get a lens-flare effect when the light aimed right at my lens. It didn’t work every time but when it did, I thought it looked great (that’s how I got all these shots with the exception of the top right where the lens flare didn’t work, but I really liked the shot.

Above: Here’s my set-up for shooting the reception. 85mm f/1.2 and a Canon 600EX-RT Speedlight.

These are just a few of the pages from the album (I didn’t include any of the formals at the church here, or all of the reception shots, or getting-ready shots, and so on), so these are just a few of my favorite spreads from the book.

A wedding like this is a lot of work
Even with a whole team (my thanks to Kathy, Pete, Brad and Kevin who were all very professional and a huge help from start to finish), but of course, my work has just begun — I’ve got prints to deliver, a final book to create, web proof pages, and a myriad of things before our work is done. We had a really great time, thanks to a Bride, Groom who knew what kind of images they wanted, and were very accommodating to make sure we had the opportunity to create them.

We were honored to have the opportunity to share in Lindsay and Ryan’s special day, and their willingness to request an “unplugged” wedding from their guests made our job so much easier and less stressful for everyone. It was a beautiful wedding of two lovely people, and I feel very fortunate to have been small part of it. Here’s to the Bride and Groom — and to love and laughter, happily ever after. :)

      1. I think it was the higher ISO for his sports shooting. I also believe he loves photography and isn’t bound by brand. I would bet he still shoots that D4 too :)

      2. I asked him the same question a week ago, I believe he uses both Canon & Nikon, not necessarily a switch, but an addition to. He said that he explained it in an episode of The Grid, and it was mainly due to Canon being better for sports.

        The Canon 1Dx shoots 14fps and the Nikon D4 shoots 10fps.

      3. In a post full of beautiful photography, why is anyone concerning themselves with what brand he used? Who cares? Few things irk me more than when the point is completely missed in favor of arbitrary discussions like “Yeah, yeah, wedding photos, blah blah…now explain your equipment choices!”

      4. Lots of people change brands,I’ve done it a few time’s.. a change is as good as a rest dude.. ;-)

      1. Neither of our parents have a lot of money and we didn’t want to go into debt. :) I’d still rather have a more fun honeymoon. We ended up in London for 10 days! :)

  1. Scott, is there anything you can’t do, photographically speaking? Amazing shoot (the pictures really pop when you look at them full-screen), and the detail shots are terrific. I’m surprised you didn’t do the heart shadow on the shot of the ring on the Bible, but that has been overdone a bit. You should have brought your 400mm lens for the church shots and scared a few guests!

    What font did you use for the book, and where are you sending it to be printed?

    Have a great weekend! –John

  2. Wow Scott you really inspire me each and every day in this filled of photography.! that was creative and inspiration to the rest of us in the industry..keep up the good work..

  3. One of the most beautiful wedding albums I have ever seen! I am glad I just renewed my annual subscription to Seeing this, I realise I still have soooo much to learn!!!

  4. Scott, you didn’t find the 85mm 1.2 lens too slow for the reception? i have the same lens and i am afraid to bring it out for anything other then formals cause i find its focus ability is super slow…

      1. I didn’t notice any focusing speed problems at all, but I wasn’t looking for them. I’ll be more aware and see if there seems to be a lag, but I didn’t notice anything during the wedding whatsoever.

  5. Stunning! I just shot my very first wedding this past weekend and I loved my photos but someday I hope to be where you are at!! Thanks for inspiring us “newbies”!!

  6. Hey Scott, As we say here in the UK – that must have cost them a pretty penny!
    Amazing job; they must be so happy with your gorgeous results. Can i ask you two questions please – do you feel the 85mm 1.2 (even shooting at 1.4) is worth an upgrade from the 85mm 1.8. Second question – which lab do you use to print albums – and do you add print sharpening before sending it to print? I shot my daughter’s wedding in the summer and we are about to do the album and I have no idea whether I need to add extra sharpening or not for a printed album. A recommendation for albums would be amazing as i have never done one and don’t want my daughter to be disappointed with the results. A US company is fine, cos my son is another British actor living in LA, so i could have it printed and sent to him to bring home for Christmas.

    1. I think most if not all pictures we take can benefit from some slight sharpening. If you have Photoshop, and were shooting in camera raw, in camera raw it adds some sharpening to it before you open up in PS. You may want to undo the sharpening in Camera Raw. In PS, just select Filter -> Sharpen -> Unsharp Mask, then you can adjust the sharpening to what you think looks best. Hope this helps.

      1. Thanks Harry, I do sharpen in PS, but was wondering if photos for albums need extra sharpening like prints do. What do you think?

    2. HI London: Here we go: (1) I don’t think it’s worth the upgrade — I’d stick with the f/1.8 personally. (2) I send my books to Blurb directly from Lightroom. (3) I always add sharpening — a good bit of it, too! :) I create my books directly in Lightroom 5. Hope that helps (and thanks for the kind words). :)

  7. Scott, Amazing work, you are so talented. Makes me just want to throw my camera in the dump. Hope someday I can get to your level. Also as a second comment I have been to many of Kelby’s seminars and not to take away from the other guys but your always stands out from the rest. Keep up the momentum.

  8. These are fantastic, you must have used an amazing camera! *Snicker* All joking aside, these really are wonderful. (My favorite was the bride and the flower girls all under her veil together. What an awesome idea for an adorable shot!!!) Thank you so much for sharing so much of how to do what you do. I have learned so much and am a much better photographer for it (no where near pro status, but definitely worlds better!) :0)

  9. Amazing pictures! Thank you so much for shooting the behind the scenes for us newbies! And sharing how you did it, and the equipment and your thoughts behind why you shot how you did. In the name of the perfection that these pictures are, I urge you to proofread this article. You have a few typos-in the first sentence under Camera Stuff there is an extra ‘with’ and one of the captions under the father should say that’s him instead of that.

    But the pictures are absolute perfection. You should do a book on wedding photography!

  10. The old quote (I think by Woody Allen), “Those who can’t do, teach.”, doesn’t apply to you! A great teacher AND a fantastic wedding photographer! These are seriously great pictures.

    1. I started shooting Canon a few months ago and haven’t looked back. Lots of fun! I talked about it on “The Grid” on a recent episode, but I’ll probably do a video for the blog about it. It’s a fun story, but it’s longer than just a response to a comment. :)

      1. Which episode of The Grid? Recently I have been curious about Canon’s 1Dx and would like to hear more. I use to shoot Canon till the D3 and there is a different look to Nikon. Scott… great shots. You just prove what a pro is, not only to adjust to a situation and come out on top, but being able to shoot different venues and events. You are the consummate pro. Thanks for all the posts and opinions.

  11. What IS relevant here, is that the proof is in the pudding, and apparently it’s gourmet. If there ever was a definite guide, personality, and leader to follow, look no further.

  12. Scott, I read your blog daily and todays is one that makes you go back and look at them again and again. Great, great shots! Kudos to you and your entire team for all your hard work. Thanks for sharing your experience and your expertise with the rest of us.

  13. Scott, your prior involvement with publishing, and now with Kelby.. Really shows in not only your shooting style. But your book editing choices. It’s almost as if…. it was suppose to happen this way, ya know what I’m talking about?

    Some days I get miffed at you, some days I learn like crazy from you and the gang.. But there is never a day that goes bye that I don’t thank God I found Kelby.. Just really nicely polished work.. as usual.

    Made me think of your book choices in part 2 the Paris shoot video.

  14. These photos are just phenomenal. Absolutely stunning. Great job to you and your whole team. Definitely raised the bar with these! Cliff Mautner would be jealous!

  15. Wow. In the Shoot Like A Pro Live tour, you said we should specialize. To me weddings and sports are very far apart. These are just gorgeous!!

    And, as usual, thanks for sharing. You are such a generous teacher.

  16. Scott absolutely amazing pictures!!!! You did a great job. My only question is Why did you decide not to use off-camera flash at the Reception? So many Kelby training videos recommend off camera flash.

  17. Scott, Fantastic work! Thanks to you and Kelby training, I have become well trained and practiced. I just shot my second wedding this weekend and had great success. I can’t thank you and your team enough!

  18. I say again… where were you 16 years ago! These are incredible… I know I’m just saying what everyone else is here, but seriously Scott, you manage to capture people, objects, landscapes, street shoots (receptions… same thing) and they all come out looking incredible. Some things can be taught, some things are deep in our souls. You my friend have a gift.

  19. wow, Scott! I am floored!! These images are incredible!! You are one hell of a good wedding photographer….well, one hell of a photographer, period! Good job! How do you have the time??

  20. Congrats Scott, that’s really one of a kind shoot! I totally liked the feel of the picture of the bride’s father with the blurred green lights behind the subject.

  21. Gorrrgeousss Daaaaling!

    In all serious though, you work usually makes my jaw drop and I get teary eyed (in a good way) on occasion too. What a great location and subject matter. It looks like the light wasn’t too bad either. Thank you for sharing the behind the scenes.

  22. Scott, do you just present these proof albums straight out of LR5 or do you use another presentation tool? And phenomenal shoot as well!! Hope my upcoming gig comes out this nice.

  23. HEY Scott! First, i love your photos in this wedding. Colors and composition is topnotch. My only comment is that you did not have as much photos of the groom. 8-)

  24. Scott is that St Margret Mary church in Winter Park? I was married in that church and we had a sorts photographer from the Sentinel shoot the wedding. Wish it had been my fav sports photographer .. you. Want to sell the stock images so I can photoshop my wife an I into your pics? No one will ever know. I am serious btw. I am in Tampa.

  25. Excellent images and thanks so much for all the BTS info! I do have a question if you’re still following this thread: Why did you choose the 85mm for the reception instead of something wider like a 50? I would have thought an 85 to be too wide for a reception.

  26. Thanks for being generous with your time and sharing knowledge with others Scott … better books on Adobe PS and LR than yours……..Keep doing what you do !

Leave a Reply
Previous Post

It’s Free Stuff Thursday!

Next Post

Just Released: My ebook on Pro Sports Photography Workflow