Preparing for the Wedding | Transcription

Ding dong, ding dong. Those are wedding day bells. Kinda sounds more like a doorbell. I don’t know, sorry. All right, so checklists and guides, they are crucial to consistency and they are crucial to being able to execute on the day of the wedding. Just like with our engagement session preparation on the day of, we want to have these checklists, we want to get into the zone. And part of that includes visualization of how the day is gonna go. So, review the information before you go out. You can do it the day before or you can do it the morning of, several hours prior, but review that condensed itinerary and visualize different parts of the day and how it’s going to go. Because I guarantee visualization is one of the biggest keys to a successful shoot, regardless of whatever the subject is that you are shooting.

Specifically, when I look at the condensed itinerary, I’m looking at my arrival, my concluding times. I’m looking through and kinda thinking through the locations that I might be using for these types of shots and these kind of things, specifically if I’ve been there before at that venue. I’m looking at my notes on the couple and kind of envisioning what they have in mind for the types of shots and kinda thinking through the kind of lighting setups and so forth that I’m going to be using for it. I’m looking at their engagement mood board or their engagement session and their wedding mood board, just so I can again get into that style and feel and the emotion that they’re looking for in their imagery. These are the things that we’re doing to get in the zone.

Then, we’re using the equipment checklist to make sure that we’ve prepped all of our gear. Guys and gals, we have a ton of gear that we take out to weddings, and of course you all are going to vary in terms of what you are taking out. We have prepared for you Gear Template Number Two, which has a complete listing of the gear that we typically take out to a wedding, and that’s actually my gear listing. I think Justin and Chris’s is a little more simplified. Sometimes I’ll take things like a ProPhoto instead of my Photix Metros. It just depends on the day and what type of stuff that I’m going to be shooting.

With that gear list, we make sure that we have back-up gear. Make sure that you have enough lenses that if something goes wrong with a 100-millimeter macro, you can still have a 24-70 to get that shot that you need. Make sure that if something goes wrong with the 24-70, you still have a 35 or a 50 or something that’s gonna help you to get the job done. We want to make sure that we have back-ups for our lenses and have enough adequate lenses to cover the event and also a back-up camera, back-up flashes. Just think that, if something breaks, no matter what it is, it could be a memory card that all of a sudden isn’t working, just whatever it is, do you have a sufficient back-up in that case. If you do, then fantastic. Make sure that you have enough.

We also want to take snacks and water, things like that. You know, our wedding days could be 12, 14, I’ve done … I think the longest wedding in one single day that I ever did was about 22 hours. It was a South Asian wedding. We do tons of South Asian works. I think we do about 100 South Asian weddings a year and they’re long days and they’re multi-day events. So we’ll have a 14-hour day followed by a 20-hour day followed by a 12-hour day. And so we need to make sure that we’re taking snacks, we’re taking water. Recently, we had one of our shooters go through the day dehydrated and she actually had a heat stroke. It is not worth any type of issue. Don’t treat these types of events as bragging about, oh, I went this long without eating, I went this long without drinking or using the restroom. Need to take care of yourself. Drink enough water. Take in enough calories. It’s a hard day’s work. Be prepared for it.

Next, dress appropriately. And by the way, just think of how your clients are going to feel if you pass out. And the person who had a heat stroke was actually the second shooter for that event, so we were able to get another second shooter out there. But if you’re the lead shooter, that would be absolutely awful. Your clients would be very concerned, I’m sure, but then they’re also going to be concerned for, are we going to be able to have images and so forth for the rest of the events.

The next thing is to dress appropriately. So we have a couple different dress policies. One is all black with a tie. The problem with all black with a tie is, especially in the summer, it gets very, very hot. But this is an appropriate dress. And the nice thing about all black with a tie is that at nighttime or when doing shutter drags, if everybody is wearing all black you can do shutter drag-type shots and light painting and not be caught in the frame. But more often than not we’re dressing with black pants, white shirt, and black tie. This is preferred because in California, it’s generally pretty warm and so this helps keep us a little bit cooler, especially our core area. With a white shirt, we can stay a lot cooler.

Also, at nighttime, I like to frequently pull my assistant nearby on the dance floor when I don’t have a reflector or something, and just bounce my flash off of his shirt. It totally works as a bounce whenever you need that. So, black works great for light painting, white works great for bounce and for fill flash. Who’d have thought?

Okay. Next, we have black Nike Roshe Runs. People always ask us what shoes we use. That rhymed, by the way, which is cool, because I didn’t really intend for it to rhyme, but when it does happen, it just makes me feel special and warm and fuzzy. We’ve gone through so many shoes. We’ve gone through a ton of shoes. One of the most comfortable shoes that we’ve worn is the black Nike Roshe Runs. I think they’re also called [inaudible 00:05:19] and they have all different versions, but the current version is Roshe Runs. You can actually purchase them in all black. If you have a hard time finding them in stores, you can go online and purchase them in all black. Sometimes in stores they have white soles, so go to the Nike ID store. You can buy them in all black, so they almost kinda look like a dress shoe. It’s a running shoe, but people aren’t gonna notice that it’s a running shoe because it’s all black and they’re extremely comfortable, very light-weight, and so forth.

That’s a golden goose tip right there. Not golden goose but golden egg, and once again I’ve laid another golden egg for y’all. Sunscreen, tie clips, these are all additional accessories. I myself like my cologne. I like to wear my cologne, have some extra deodorant, have an extra shirt, extra pants, all those kinds of things in my car, just in case something happens. I once split my pants on a wedding. Wherever, getting a drink or something. Ask me how that happened. It was a terrible experience and it was in front of an entire wedding party and I didn’t have a change of pants, so now I always have spare clothes.

Okay. Next thing, on the day of the wedding, we make sure that we leave early. Once again, have enough gas in your car for the full day, and here’s the reasoning. If you’re bouncing from location to location and you’re like, ah, I’ve got a quarter tank, I should be good, if I need to I can stop and fill up. But then you’re going to one location to the next, the wedding is running 30 minutes late, and you’re going around and you’re like, ‘holy crap, I gotta get gas and we’re already 30 minutes behind schedule.’ Just make sure your car is all good to go.

Make sure also your car is reliable. We’ve actually had associate shooters go to gigs and their car has broken down on the way somewhere. So don’t delay maintenance. Don’t delay those things. I’m a car guy, so I like to say, take care of your car. Plan for traffic and double your travel time, so if it takes an hour and a half to get to Santa Barbara, double it to three hours. We always want to make sure we arrive early anyway, and if you hit tons of traffic you’ll still get there on time.

We’re going to have our team planning walk-through once we get to the location, and we’ll talk about that in just a moment, but for now, let’s go on to the next slide.


The Initial Meeting

Prepping for the Engagement Talk Through

Engagement Shoot Prep & Communication

Prepping for the Wedding Day Talk Through

Wedding Day Preparation & Communication


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