Skip to main content

Managing The Wedding Day

Lesson 26 from: Master the Business of Photography

Sal Cincotta

Managing The Wedding Day

Lesson 26 from: Master the Business of Photography

Sal Cincotta

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

26. Managing The Wedding Day


Class Trailer

Day 1


Class Introduction


The Agenda


Why You Will Fail


The Changing World We Live In


Biggest Competitors For Weddings and Portraits


Day 2


Defining, Understanding, and Connecting to Your Clients


Day 3


Legal Issues


Day 4


Shoot and Share vs Shoot and Sell


Day 5


Pricing Your Work Part 1


Day 6


Pricing Your Work Part 2


Day 7


The New World of SEO


Day 8


Social Media - Facebook


Day 9


Social Media - Instagram & Pinterest


Day 10


Building a Better Portfolio & Attracting the Right Clients


Day 11


Proactively Developing Vendor Relationships


Day 12


Get More Publicity


Day 13


Booking More Portrait Sessions


Day 14


Booking More Weddings


Day 15


Understanding the Initial Sales Consultation (In-person vs Skype)


Day 16


The Engagement Shoot - Shoot To Make Money.


Day 17


Engagement Pricing and Sales


Day 18


Destination Shoots


Day 19


Working With & Training Second Shooters


Day 20


Growing An Alternate Brand


Day 21


The Wedding Day Timeline


Day 22


Managing The Wedding Day


Day 23


Post Wedding Sales and Pricing


Day 24


Post Production - A Real World Workflow


Day 25


Wedding Albums - Their Importance, New trends & Selling Them


Day 26


Ways Not To Suck At Customer Service


Day 27


Video - The Future of Story Telling for the Photographer


Day 28


Packaging & Final Delivery To Your Clients


Day 29


Lessons Learned - Where I Have Failed Over The Last 8 Years


Day 30


The Journey Of You


The Journey Of You: 30 Day Plan


The Journey Of You: 60 Day Plan


The Journey Of You: 90 Day Plan


Student Examples


Interview with Warren McCormack


Interview with Lenny and Melissa Volturo


General Q&A


Lesson Info

Managing The Wedding Day

We're going to dig into managing the actual wedding day, and we're talking about managing the wedding day, it's it's more along the lines of just kind of a shot list, what I'm looking to produce from that wedding day, and I will be honest, when I started off in my career, it was so much confusion for me. Teo, what? What had to happen on an actual wedding day? And I think as you grow as an artist as you grow and you've done more weddings to get him under your belt, you start, you just become confidence builds, right? So part of this is just too I'm gonna take you through an actual wedding. I mean, that's the again, the only way I know how to do things, you're going to see a wedding, good pictures, bad pictures, whatever you think, but these are the pictures that our clients saw so there's a real job just photographed in a few months ago, and so I think it's important understand that every part of the day you walk into in the back your mind you have to have this kind of shot list of thin...

gs you know you have to you have to produce for the client super important, and so if we think about it what are my must have shots if you don't have must have shots and you're walking into a room? Well, there you go. You're already starting off in the wrong spot because you just kind of shooting without purpose makes life a lot easier when you have this mindset of okay, here's, what I have to get I know I have to get this this shot now I'm not saying that that has to be the only thing you shoot, but it sure is nice to walk out of a room and no, you got what you needed. You want to know the truth? I do this for video, so for video, we use an app what's the apple used for video wonder list so we use wonder list. I'm sure there's better raps out. Therefore, we actually have a shot list for video on wonder list right from a photography perspective been doing it long enough I know what I got to get it's easy with video I'm still not confident with two video people shooting that we've gotten the shot we need video gets a little more complicated, right? I don't need you can't just say I need a shot of the ring when we were doing video I need a shot of the ring a tight shot of the ring and extreme close up of the ring ah slide of the ring right so that you start needing more than just a shot of the ring that's why we have this wonder listen, we work off that and so it makes life so much easier when we're getting ready to leave the room wonder lis sinks right? So whatever my team were also subscribed to that same wonder list now we get ready to leave the room I actually take thirty seconds when we're doing video on I look at that list and I go okay, we got this we got this guess what we missed way didn't get thea ok here so let's go let's get the ok so now we're leaving that that site and we know we've gotten everything we need for for at least at a base level well, same thing can help you with photography especially if you just kind of starting out you may be more advanced, but you never really thought to put a kind of ah just lose shot list together for you and your second shooter, right that's what we were talking about previous segment is making sure you and your second shooter and sink this becomes more important if you're bringing in random second shooter's if you're bringing in random second shooters I've got second shooter's coming in, they're producing horrible shots. I've got second shooters or I've been a second shooter, right? Actually, you were telling me about that I've been a second shooter and they have no direction for me whatsoever. Okay, well, this this list can at least help the two of you stay in sync on who's got what? So at least you're confident when you walk away from it. And so we'll talk about understanding my shot list, how I drive the day bridal prep, groom, perhaps ceremony, reception creatives those of the five parts of every single wedding day, so just kind of understand my mindset, and then what I'm gonna do is take you to the the the subsequent shots that I've gotten from an actual wedding, and I think you can kind of see them translated, I don't think you're going to see like, okay, he said he needed a ring shot at twelve pm with hard like that's, not what I'm looking for rights just I need to know, I know I need these shots mostly to produce the album and so understanding everything is about ah, formula we spoke about this earlier all when a client hires you to produce a wedding. To produce a high school senior to produce a family they're hiring you based on what they've seen on their website they want those results that is something we have to deliver so to a certain extent there has to be a formula a recipe so to speak and that recipe is not only about the images we create it's about or everything that goes into that write the final image that's after all these other things have happened the posing the location, the wardrobe, the editing then you get to that that's all your recipe right that's the recipe for for the good final result we have to follow that eighty five percent of the time confidence builds from repetition so the more you repeat a process, the more confident you become anything about walking at this point we walked we don't really think about walking at least I hope not uh and so that's that's kind of the point we want to get to with photography if you find yourself on a photo shoot whether it's it doesn't matter what it is. If you find yourself on a photo shoot and you're struggling with settings, then you don't really understand what's going on so for example now cameras are much easier to use they've simplify things as it should be, but when you have to do everything emmanuel emmanuel focus and you have to understand lighting ratios and fall off ratios but harding I don't know that it was necessarily fun it was just way too techie to make an image right and then the old guard will be like, oh yeah, that are the good old days right? Hey, it is what it is here's where we live today and it is what it is but in the spirit of all that I think it's important that my shooters including myself understand the relationship of the triangle sort of be right aperture eso shutter speed we have to understand that that triangle doesn't matter if you're shooting an aperture priority shutter priority uh manual mode none of that matters because if you don't understand the triangle you don't really understand what's going on right as you move one you're moving others what about f stop so many times I talked to that don't understand what a full f stop is or even understand what f stops or aperture is in general they don't really understand they just hear words like boki right folke is not a word stop saying boki what is that? Is that a bogey? What are we doing? We're like in, you know top gun what are you talking about? It's not boki spoke like, well, what do you say? And so they don't understand apertures they don't understand the relationship, so for example you walk in a church okay, I I had a situation where one of my second shooters was outside I saw thirty two hundred taking pictures outside the church shutter speed one for thousands of a second what in god's name are you doing? You know what you're doing you don't understand the relationship right and there's a trade off for these relationships so when you walk into a church if you're a guy so thirty two hundred this is a quiz I do eliza would twitch when I would do this to her because we could get in the car and you guys can all feel bad for her right now we would get in the car did this to taylor I've done this to elissa I've done this to every second shooter who's been who's worked on to me we're going to the church I go what? Your settings and you're like they'll read their settings to me they're like thirty two hundred one two hundredth of a second one three hundredth of a second before let's play along this game play along at home see if you get the right answer you at four I so thirty two hundred one two hundredth of a second what's wrong with this equation right now settings with settings exposure's exposure so it's not there's nothing wrong with that I saw you gotta remember I'm running down who's gonna remember at four write it down I so thirty two hundred call it one, four hundred of a second. Making shit up right here. What's wrong with this equation if you have that kind of if it's a proper exposure it's proper exposed assuming proper that's right then I mean, you have all kinds of headroom in your speed. You could easily lower your speed. Drop your exposure. I mean drop guy is so not what that's a problem. Then tell me what the problem is. You know it's really too noisy to me too noisy so it's too noisy. The exposure is the exposure. Now the question is without messing with your camera and auto mode and p for professional. Okay, can you tell me without moving a single dial? What can be done to adjust this by one stop? And when you make the adjustment of one stop because you just told me the problem is noise correct. So the problem's noise, which means we have to adjust. What? Okay, so I says what we have to adjust. How many stops of light? Can we move on it? So everybody shot what is he talking about? Stop math south. I just want to take pretty pictures, right? What? How many stops we like to have we said it's at one, four hundred of a second so and that for tea to boot, right? This is where they were having meltdown at home and nobody knows what's going on right now, they're likewise he doing this just talk business, it's. Much better when south talks business. Okay, so wait for hundred of a second at four. Thirty two hundred. How many stops can we move? What do you feel comfortable shooting out? Speed me? I feel comfortable at hundredth of a second when we get there. When we all agree to that, I feel like I could get a state stable shot at one hundredth of a second, right? So how many stops when we move? Who can tell me to get to one hundred seconds? Four hundred? How many? Walk me through it, jonathan. Two stops. Where? Where am I going from? Well, from for hundred to two hundred, two hundred wonders to stop that's, right? From four hundred to two hundred. We're having it. Four hundred, two hundred is one stop, two hundred to one hundred is another stop and we're at f four so I can move three stops. Can I not? I can push down to wait. Here's where it's going to kick in the ass three stops, what is that math look like, what can I do to my eyes so three stops I go on my thirty two hundred sixteen hundred sixteen hundred eight hundred four hundred eight hundred four hundred you see that? Okay this is what I do to my team right it's like it's like a massive quit you're at thirty two hundred four hundred or seven two point eight what do you do what do you do right now? This is like no stop right I can't figure it out right dot equation if you if you were sitting at home and you were stumped and you were sitting in here and you're like please don't make eye contact with me south if that was you that's ok figure this out because this is really important to being a professional photographer you have to understand this you have to understand this equation and the relationship that triangle too much of that is gone today a lot of people don't understand that now I'm not saying it necessarily comes into play and every time you make make an image that's not what I'm suggesting at all but if you don't understand that part of it you're missing a big part of what it means to be a professional photographer it's kind of funny I know how the light I know how to pose I know how to do all these things right I understand all these things about photography but when people around me all they want to talk about business right? And that that's because that's my thing but at the end of the day, I know how to be a professional photographer, you've got to invest and understand all all of that relationship that becomes the formula that becomes part of the recipe. You have to understand what those settings are on your camera, what all those dials do, right? So spend that time and like I said, from where I'm going with all this is that starts building confidence, I know that I can walk into any scene and not panic that's where the confidence comes from doesn't matter what the lighting situation is, I understand what I'm dealing with. I understand what my options are. I understand how my camera's going to perform in some of those situations that builds confidence. Panic comes from uncertainty you don't you don't know what's going on, you don't really understand what your cameras doing it's overwhelming to you the numbers are overwhelming to you you don't write this is where I got to see you spend some of your time just take a little bit of time, figure out that relationship what about moving full left stops? That's another problem, right? Just because your camera goes from to wait two, three, two, that is not a full stop right to eight for, oh five, six aito eleven, sixteen, twenty two these are full stops you gotta understand what full stops are right. This is where you gotta invest some of your time be surprised how many photographers I run into that don't understand that having your eyes so is a full stop move, right? Going from thirty, two hundred, sixteen hundred because they're too busy paying attention to what the camera does but your cameras typically set up to move in third stop increments okay, confidence comes from repetition. So a wedding to me is the super bowl of events. This is when it all comes down to right that's it that's saturday for our bribing our bridegroom that's their super bowl I don't want to screw this up. I don't want to mess this up for me I got to be ready to perform it's game day so if you're gonna practice and you're going to learn about off camera flash and you're gonna learn all these techniques, you shouldn't be doing it on the wedding day, you should be investing your time ahead of time goto workshops do things I creative live go practise on your own go to events like shutter fast right where you're shooting, figure out a way, but learn and invest so that you're not practicing on the actual wedding day I have not nothing but positive feelings for new photographers photography is this really cool thing that I think we all have an opportunity to be part of every body should be a photographer. In my opinion, everybody should be a photographer, but not everyone should be a professional photographer. You see the difference? I think everybody should enjoy photography in their life. I think that's a really cool hobby, but it's it's understanding when that transition is to becoming a professional there's a lot of other things that go into it so let's keep going. So the bridal prep so we're gonna do is we're gonna dissect each part of this on then I'm gonna come over here and I'm going to actually show you pictures inside of light room so let's, start dissecting the different parts of it. So let's, talk about the bridal prep where are we don't want to talk about what happens when we walk in the room. All that other stuff where are we? Okay, is the first thing I got to do? I got establish where we are, so I need an establishing shot, a room number and mentally just so you know, my mind set is the same when we're doing video. So if we're doing video it's the same thing, where are tell me the story I got I'm thinking about the album. Where are we in this in the sequence of events or we had a hotel are we at their house? Is their balloons on the front of the law and tell me the story about where we are? I need candids of the group in the room just goofing around doing whatever they're doing sometimes we work with groups and there is nothing candid teo even be to be looking at it right? It's just it doesn't exist details everything they spent money on must be shot dress shoes, jewelry headpiece, garter cards, getting in the dress putting on the jewelry and then I need to bridal portrait if it's one thing I'm super weak on, I get yelled at every time after innovating after an event is getting a bridal portrait at the hotel I'm really, really bad tale yells at me all the time in the room so part of what I want to do going into next year's make sure that I get a gorgeous bridal portrait of all of all of my bride. So I've been practicing shooting through veils and doing things like that so that I'm much more confident and what I need to do to produce it right? I kind of kind of choke a little when I'm trying to produce that bridal portrait in her ugly hotel room how do I make that look good? I've been really good at it there's an area I'm we got and I need to get better at it so let's jump into this I want to show you on my laptop now I want to show you some pictures from the bridal prep that follow along this line and so this particular wedding the challenge was the challenge was reflection that's what I wanted us to look at and so now we've got shoes in jewelry you're seeing different angles right as I'm shooting this solicits off girls get air in their robes and now you're seeing some more candid stuff as I'm photographing the jewelry right and I'm isolating the jewelry working on reflections right? Everything is not going to be a print comp shot everything is not going to be a wall worthy shot that's not how it works in this world right? Candid shots are candid shots you've gotta have this mix I want you to see what we're getting out of the entire wedding day now are there going to be five staple shots that I think to find this actual wedding day? Absolutely so I think one of the shots that's going to define the wedding day is this this little girl holding some random bag? Of course not, but I still have to take that shot I don't know how artistic I can make this look I got a wedding to run right? So their shots that are just grab shots, snapshots and then their shots that are a little bit more artistically posed and thought out and so you're seeing everything that we're getting right so we're getting garter belt we're getting a cool shot of the garter isolating this anything sent money on I'm going to photograph I don't know how they're going to use a shot like this are they going to put it on their wall? Of course not this isn't going on the wall but maybe this is super important to them and it's gonna go in the album okay, maybe it's gonna be one of the details in their album much like a shot like this I've never run into a client that's going to take their wedding invitation and blow up twenty by thirty print of it but I'm shooting it thinking this'll look great is a detail in the album so on the wedding day a lot of what I'm doing is I'm thinking about their their actual wedding album there that's something you should be thinking about because you're gonna want them after this wedding and we're gonna talk about this toe add more pages to the album well, they're not gonna have more pages to the album if you don't have enough details to put in that album little girl's goofing around graham on the background more details hangers dress right remember that shot list I just said we went through just random candid shots ring shot now we're paying attention. Look, the reflection I told you this was a day of reflection. I challenged myself on this particular day. I wanted to look for reflections. Girls just looking in. Guys, this is a real wedding. This isn't a wedding that's at, you know, some this isn't a six figure wedding. This is a real wedding st louis, we're dealing with real people. They're not models she's beautiful like a model, but not models. And this is the same set of pictures that they would see when they come in to see their pictures. Now they wouldn't see it in this sequence, right? I'm showing these from an instructional instructional perspective, but this is the sequence of pictures they would see to a slide show in our studio and what I love about this particular wedding. I'll share a little story with you. When they came to my booth at a bridal show, it was her, her mom, her sister and her grandmother. So the four girls came to my booth at a bridal show looking at my work fell in love with the work. They're like, we want to book you, and so I'm filling out paperwork on a table like this if you know how we should set up our boost were filling out the contract in paperwork. And all of a sudden grandma passes out behind us just falls onto the concrete floor out, right? So everybody's like, oh, my god. So we get grandma up, she sits up, and as soon as she sits up and comes to turns out she has low blood sugar so she just kind of got weak from walking around, falls down, she sits up and she's like you're gonna give us a discount now, right is the funniest thing in the world. This is the best grandmother I have ever seen in my life on dso we had a blast with her on this wedding day. We're just goofing around, having fun with him on. So you start connecting with your clients and the the oddest of ways. And that was grandma. You're seeing all these shots different moments all about their day putting her shoes on and these air the one she's ultimately gonna pick from right. Her favorite wan, her favorite expression. Okay, from that sequence of events, that's it. Okay, so we isolated the details, we got address, we got air getting in her dress. And what am I ultimately looking for out of that? If you think about the album and we'll talk about the album it's bridal program prepped ceremony, reception creatives there's five parts to the day if you think about it, a thirty page album is only gonna have an image and a half to two images per page pages so they're going roughly be I need about seven or eight pictures from this part of the day to fill the album that's what I'm looking for out of here seven seven eight solid images from this part of the day and then some of them might even be re edited so I really I'm not a big fan of putting a mix of black and white and color images on a page it happens from time to time but I hate when we have to do it I just don't like the way it looks so we have to re edit images for the album we'll do that as well we do that for reclines okay so now let's go back to our slide deck let's talk about the groom prep and so on the groom prep same thing where are we? We need establishing shots. Room number okay this is going to go in the album are clients love putting that and by the way the more images you can come with up with that they want in the album the more likely you are to increase pages in the album the less images you come up with less pages are going to sell so our clients are typically going to see seven, eight hundred edited images to fill that album I want to overwhelm them I want them to have too many pictures if you have the mindset where you're gonna hand over three hundred images to your clients or show them three hundred images it's gonna be really easy for them to now of those three hundred down to their best fifty right or to their best one hundred and so you're better off showing them more than showing them less I need candids of the group in the room encourage them to do something fun, play cards, smoke cigars, have whisky do something okay, the last thing I want them to do is just nothing sit there have you been in the groom's room and they just they just sit around and they're like so what's up it's not fun girls tend to be when they're girls air in the room they're all having fun the music's playing but guys for whatever reason dudes get together and it's just not fun, eh? So we try to encourage them to do something everything they spend money on its gotta be shoot tuxedo shoes, cufflinks, jewelry, any cards they've given to each other and gifts they've given to each other getting his shirt on his cufflinks, his tie and then of course I want to try and get a portrait of him from there and so this is what we're looking to do from each one of these these sessions so now in the spirit of that now that you know what I'm telling you, we're looking for it. Let's go back and look at the groom prep. All right? So from the groom prep, right? Where are we while we're at the chase park hotel, take a few shots of that lobby. We're shooting the lobby rights and natural it's a historic location. We walk into the room, guys, they're getting ready. But this is just picking off candid shots of people getting ready, right? My groom who's in this picture is helping a little boy get ready. So of course I'm gonna grab some of that. These are all just kind of candid photo journalistic moments that we're docked commiting here's, dad! All right, so he's got a burberry watch but he's got the tuxedo cufflinks that come with the tuxedo drives me bonkers go spend fifty bucks on cufflinks, but, hey, I'd rather spend more money on my photography and I'll try and make those cufflinks look good so that's where I'd rather see the money go dad's getting ready candid shots now he's putting his tie on his brother's there and by the way, when we look at these shots were just standing right in front of the window that's it and so we're not using flash we're not using anything like that we just want to be right in front of available light and that's the world we live in this is another reason why I'd rather than get ready at a hotel in them get ready at a house when they getting ready a house usually got furniture in front of it it's very small kranz spot now when you're at a hotel at least you're opening up the curtains on your going right into it shooting two cameras we're not really overly posing them at this point and so at this point we just kind of I guide them hey guys at this spot we're gonna have you put on your we're gonna have you put on your cufflinks just here's the light just operate go and then we shoot we wanted to be somewhat journalistic in nature we're having a good time or goofing around with them and he starts looking out the window more reflections see this particular shot here you go so I'm taking this melissa took this this looks like a snapshot I hate it right it's in the final selection that's fine but this doesn't look a strong as the other shots you saw right and they're not always going to be perfect but this to me looks more like a snapshot and this to me more than likely will not be used in the album that's okay this's so from an educational perspective this should not be coming off your second shooter's cameras this is no good. You've got to show him how to get a better shot now, in the spirit of this all I cared about was getting this reflection shot right and she's off here in this corner on we're on the right hand side camera right kind of hiding and staying out of my way now they sit down we get all the dads sitting down goofing around with one dad on the right which is my groom's dad refused to smile. He just would not give us a smile all day like dad you gonna smile and and he was like, that is my smile that's his look right there um and so again, working in the hotel room if I had to, uh for something like this and ends up in the album it's either going to get cropped up here the vents thie you know, the fire alarm, the all the other things that are up there the sprinkler system you gotta edit that out. But I'm not editing that out when they come in to see their pictures that's a complete waste of time they have enough vision to know what that's going to look like right? So if I want to edit, edit that after the fact or crop it after the fact that's fine but I'm not doing it if they don't select this image to use in their in their album or print it for some reason why would I do that why would I invest that time it's a waste of time black and white then we isolate our groom right so I needed a group portrait smiling mean mug in room number I forgot her room number so I had to run back and get it you're seeing the sequence of events okay then we got way got his ah he got a gift so we got him opening that gift and then we went to her so we actually photographed him first and then went to her is making sense there's nothing magical it's not that complicated and so this is the way we photographed every single wedding uh this is our recipe this is our formula let's go back to the slide we need the establishing shots again where are we? I need a big shot of the alter any details in the church? The ceiling the glass, the programs the flowers anything that they spend money on in that church sometimes we roll into churches there spent no money on details there's no no decor in the church whatsoever no flowers no nothing okay that's fine but if they spent money on it we have to go we have to go there and photographic I need guess key players grand parents parents, parents coming down the aisle the bridal party the bride I need the groom's first look that's really, really important. I need a tight middle wide during the ceremony I'm gonna try and catch the parents it's not always easy. Some churches start getting really, really pissed off when you step up way too close to try and shoot back and get the parents. But if I can if there's a place for me to hide and not be disruptive, I'll do that. We're never going up on the altar that's just disrespectful. We stay away from going up on the altar. We've hurts way too many horror stories from photographers he's going up on the altar and taking pictures just it's just unbelievable to me that they would do that. There was a church in st louis as soon as I walked in the church lady was like on me and I just she was just way too aggressive. I've been shooting here for five years what's what's going what's going on like you've never had to have this conversation with me for a sec. I'm really sorry she was a wedding that was in here before you that the photographer actually went up on the altar during the ceremony and and started telling the bridegroom what to do during the ceremony like a dumb ass that's not that's disrespectful to the church you don't do that right use common sense so she was wound up because that that had happened I would make the argument this person's probably a professional photographer were full time photographer and just somebody doing it on the weekend. All right, we need that first kiss tight and wide we need them walking down the aisle and then family pictures now we go out to the grand parents for family pictures so if you had problems with with uh grand parents oh, I'm sorry if you have problems with family pictures or just family pictures that just go get out of control this is why you're not controlling it we have this conversation early on we're only going to go out to grand parents now if they want to go wider that's fine but we're trying to educate him on why you don't go wider right? So it's it's bride, groom bride groom bride's parents bride groom bride's parents groom's parents, bride groom bride's parents, siblings, siblings and their signal if in others then add the grand parents and so we start trying to take his many groupings as we can but there's a rhythm to it okay, so there's a progression to it so that people are coming in and out every wedding I've ever worked people will come up to me after we do the family group in jingo, thank you for being so organ ized with the family pictures. I refused to work off a list, so I will not let my clients give me a list of shot list unless there's an absolute reason for tom. Look, we know we're doing. We'll go out to grand parents, but if they're like, no, I want this shot with my sorority sisters or any of that other stuff in the church. For whatever reason, all my aunts or all my cousins that's something that comes up from time to time. Every wedding, they'll tell me has all the girls from the family at the altar we want that shot. Okay, great. Give me that list. Let me start calling names to get it. But the rest of that time, you've got to move really, really quick. So let's. Go and take a look on the laptop. Let's, take a look at our set ceremony. Now for this particular wedding. They did a first look, so we had to run up to the top of the chase park plaza. Okay, you're seeing shots come off a two different cameras love this shot, by the way, love the leading lines of it, two different cameras. Right then I moved so I took this wide shot day. I wanted to get my wide shot of this moment before she walked up to him through on my seventy two hundred came over here so I knew I needed to get her coming up from behind in that moment and then elissa stay there and continued to shoot the wide shot uh of them turning around and getting this moment right then I came running around so I can get some of him next maybe who? Beach ball, right? So now we've got this wide shot I wanted to do some stuff up here uh maybe maybe work towards a signature write it so if I wanted if I want to edit this I love all the leading lines maybe I'm gonna convert it to black and white maybe over here on the left I'm going to remove this ah, little hump to make it all completely straight. I'm not doing it. No there's no reason for me to be doing this now unless I determine this is that one signature at it I want from the event. Okay? You can only do so almost so much post production before you show this to the client unless you're showing the client forty images if you showing the client forty images and you want to do like heavy editing on each one of those forty more power to you, but, man, you're gonna have a really tough time getting his turn around in two weeks, and so I want to get it to them as fast as I possibly can show them some nice at it and move on from there got some tight shots, right? So that was there, then she she had a gift. Our he had a gift for her that she didn't have in a room. So now we had tto do something on the fly. We took her downstairs, so let her open that right. And then for creatives, I'm kind of jumping ahead because their day they did a first look, someone get you here? We're just talking about thea church. Correct? So we get to the church is all about details. Everybody's following, right? We're out of water because they did it first. Okay, so we're just shooting all the details that air there, they got the little bells, a little programs. We got this picture of the church, the altar. Something like this would be used as a background in the album, right? I'm a big fan of that, putting an image in the background, fading it a little and then putting images over it, I like doing stuff like that. We got all the little kids in the family mom and grandma talking in the back of the church right keep going through we got all these details she's sitting in the back room sitting on the floor right very candid moments details of the church remember I'm just roaming the church looking for things that they've spent money on looking for these candid moments when I can find them right? How durable that is that picture right now of them of them coming down the aisle maybe you're going to sell that picture too their parents ok, maybe that picture is going to go inside the album with these air very candid moments at this point just absolutely adorable these kids were about what most well behaved it is I've ever had at a wedding okay again just just documenting the day people coming down the aisle this is coming off my camera now right where I'm sitting there and this is coming off my camera he's walking down the aisle with his mom now that's coming off a list, his camera she's picking him up as they come by me she got that hug that hand off right now if this is something we want to use great maybe it's being used in the album maybe you're gonna crop in and make that a little bit more a little more powerful right? So we're not paying too much attention to cropping during the initial sales consultation there's no reason to I have no idea how they're going to be using these images now we've got horribly crooked horizon lines and bad leading lines of course I might spend a few extra seconds and crop that when it comes to coming in to see their pictures there's no reason I'm going to crop in and do stuff like that to me, it doesn't make any sense whatsoever right now we've got people mom's coming down the aisle there going up there, lighting the candle again everything at this point is just documenting what's happening in that moment every bridesmaid I got to take this picture makes me twitch never makes it to the album doesn't make it to the album doesn't make it to the side show, but if you don't take it right, you know that bride's gonna ask you where is that picture? Well, here it is we took it this is coming off elicits camera I have to have that picture of the groom looking down the aisle now this is interesting. This is probably the c y a part of the conversation is he looking at her right now? Do you know you don't know, right? We have no idea what he's looking at that's good that's how it should be so I've trained my second shooters to realize that yes, I want the exact moment he looks at her. I would love that. But what if you miss sit? You have no backup and so we know that he's going to be smiling as each one of the bridesmaids is coming down right as the parents are coming down. Safety shot take that shot. So you have it because the bride will never know the difference. Normal the groom on what exactly they're looking at in this moment, right? So we're gonna go with yes, he's absolutely looking at her it's the most amazing thing he's ever seen. This is how you protect yourself, right? C y a you've got to make sure you get that shot and so will this has been trained taylor's been trained lauren's been trained get the shot no matter what they're looking at. Look for that moment this way if you miss that other one, you're good to go. Okay? Turns out he wasn't probably looking at it, right? What she smiling at? Who knows? I don't care it's a happy moment it's a candid moment we've gotta look for those moments and grab it. Kids are coming down now here comes the bride I've got this this this was so hard of a church so there's one set of, uh, tungsten lighting here and when she steps here it's natural light so she was standing under can lights here and then here so I had to try and shoot through that drives me nuts this church coming through big wide shot hand off now details now mean elissa just roam throughout the church right? So they're praying where she's taken up one of the other um gotta keep it interesting man so we're roaming around the church right? We're getting shots of the church don't overshoot the church that's the worst thing you can do, man we used to do that when we're starting out we would just shoot, shoot, shoot are they exchanging vows right here in this shot? I don't know, maybe they are is she talking or is he talking? I don't know maybe they're both talking you see what I'm saying from a still image perspective you don't know what's going on don't overshoot the church look for moments be ready to anticipate be ready to get something that's a little bit more journalistic but don't overshoot the church so I want to make sure I'm getting that tight middle and wide shot right? So I go over, I want to get a shot of him looking at her I want to go to the other side of the church, get a picture of her looking at him all right there lighting candles okay, now I've got that wide shot of them kissing we have the tight shot of them kissing they're celebrating now they're gonna leave get some candid shots the family pictures ah the famous family pictures here's the groupings very, very fast through them when we go outside and bunch better lied much nicer outside we get the kids out there then when I like to do this isn't necessarily on my shot list this depends wedding but wedding by wedding if I've got kids who are willing to cooperate I will isolate the kids it really does a good job for the slide show so we get the kids there and I make him smile and then I make a make a silly face uh we see what we get you never know what you're gonna get with the kids right? So I try to get a nice portrait of each of the kids you figure their parents are gonna want that maybe it'll make the album then you have to make a silly face on it's usually gold will come of it uh and so sometimes they make horrible faces and sometimes they make really funny faces that was cute. Okay, so you've gotta have fun with everybody, right? You throw a picture up like this during a slide show everybody at the event is just cracking up laughing right and that's that's what I want I want to showcase some personality uh in the things we're doing that becomes a lot of fun for me right so now let's go talk about let's go back to the side deck let's talk about the actual creatives what I need get out of the creatives for me this is the witching hour this is where I make my money everything else up into this point has been pretty much candid real loose just like directing telling them where to be I'm just paying attention alight at that point that's not where I'm making my money the creatives this is where I'm making my money this is why they booked me this is what they're seeing on my website so I've got to get just kind of what I call just standard shots each guy so I need each guy separately I need all the guys together group shot I need each girl with the bride one on one I need all the girls together kind of group shot of the girls I need a giant group shot two different ones if you have time if you have the location and then I need my signature shots this particular bride wanted to make sure she went to the art so let's kind of let's take a look the pictures again okay, so we took that we stop by the art around we got some, uh, cool shots here actually, I'm lying this is actually on washington campus I love stuff like this, you know? Where did I take this? I'm like, I think I'm making stuff up. Forest park. Ok, so three's a charm? Uh, so went out to forest park, took some pictures here. Started having some fun. Ok? Working with her dress, playing with it right shot like this much stronger, right? We don't want to see those trees. So if this ends up being something, they do something with right? Maybe we're going to fill in this area with trees. I hate when I've got that big, bright, hot spot up there showing off her shoes a little. All right, so you're seeing a little bit more heavier edit on a shot like this first, this? Yes. Were you putting the two cameras together? Ah, and the fouls at what point are you re numbering? So they're all in sequence or at what point are you? Yeah, that's a good question. So what we do to keep the cameras in sync is we will, uh, before the day trying to get him in sync to the second, as best we can sometimes, you know, even if you're five seconds off, sometimes images will be out of sync, but they're they're in sync, then in light room, you're sorting by day, created so in theory, no matter what camera they came off of, they should all be in alignment. And then when we selected our final eight hundred or six hundred images that's, when we'll finally rename all the files on, we talk about it and work. Flo, what are naming convention is but the naming conventions tip is going to be client name underscore event initial so client named smith underscore w for wedding b for bridal uh e for engagement underscore zero zero one so they did a first look, and we went off to do creative. And so now we went to busch stadium, right? She's taken a little selfie there, so we made sure we documented some of that, right? I got a nice badass shot of all the guys together on top of one of the dugouts you're seeing what's coming off one camera, this is probably me on the wide shot, and then this is probably eliza on the type, right? Then I want to get another big shot of just the guys together. Then I've got to get each of the guy each of the groom, uh, and each of the groomsmen again, they don't do anything with these, this doesn't make it to the album in their album, they want to put the bigger dramatic portrait's in there. But you got to take it if you don't take it with each one and one of their guests they're going to like where is this in fact I encourage them when they get these as a gift give this to your to your bridal party for being your wedding given a nice thank you card with the five by seven of you and them like say thank you to them in in that way and so right same thing we went here uh and did all the all the girls on the dugout I think it'll sassy shot of all the girls just my bride and this is the difference on what's coming off my camera something like this first what alice is catching to complement each other right way don't I want to just I said she's isolating the flowers maybe it's going to be in the album we're going to just see this and then we'll cut to a tight shot of the flowers right? So things like that right they start you can start doing things like this all right? We're coming tighter so you've got to start thinking like where and how are we using this in the album or using his background things like that right now we've got the entire bridal party up here you've got that wide shot you've got some tight shots of them get them kissing this is the tight shot that's coming off this wide right, so now we've got these shots all working together. I had a little bit of time, so we got all the guy sitting in the chairs, we had her sitting in the chair, dad, me taking a picture of them. Are you seeing the groom rights got massive razor burn on his neck, and so this will be something, whereas if we're printing big porches for them, we've got to go in and retouch that out. I don't want him putting that on his wall, but this goes back to that original conversation. When you're saying you're handing over all these edited images to me awfully edit an image is taking care of that. I can't go in on eight hundred shots and remove razor burn from his neck. I mean, I just can't do it, none of us can, we can't afford to do it. So you're seeing real riel sequence of events from a wedding and what we're looking for produced from an actual wedding, and then of course, we're going to go through here now in the in the outfield, and I want I know as I'm walking out here, I know I want to get a signature shot, she had to pay money to be here. And so this is this is their signature shot. This is the one they got monster in their home so we went out here I had one of the bridesmaids I don't have any pictures over. So this particular bride's maid here I was helping us throw the veil so she was throwing the veil. Elissa is holding the off camera flash you can see it in the shot, right? That was the one we loved loved the way the veil looked loved the way their expression was loved the off camera flashes lighting them up boom that's that final shot that's the one they're spending money on that's a little muted hear on the tv screen but that's the one they're they're spending money on that's what we're known for if I come out of a wedding and I don't have something like that out of the creatives I've got problems because this is what they want to see when they walk in and see when they walk in it looks like this all right, lights out. Taylor sitting in the living room this is what's up on the screen that's what they're looking at when they walk in and they're like, oh my god well, this is setting the tone for the rest of the sales presentation if I don't have that oh my god shot sitting up here the rest of that sales presentation they're kind of looking for it they want to wait to be wowed well, I want to wow them the minute they walk in the doors that's making sense you could even take it a step further you can have art print printed you can pick up a naps in printer or a canon printer the smaller ones right there like three hundred bucks something like that for hundred bucks and you can print up to eleven by sixteen I mean I have ah giant twenty four inch deck apes in seventy nine hundred you don't need that you could just print on a sheet of paper go get off matt sixteen by twenty for math and then cut down to an eleven by sixteen or an eight by ten or an eight by twelve and have this sitting on an easel when they walk in that would blow them away. You want to talk about service and your cost on that actual cost is like ten or fifteen bucks it's not expensive but a cool way to get him to stand out to get it to stand out from the crowd questions about this is making sense easy I hope yes please when you change and you do a color change or do a c p a or a different type of luck do you only do that with the one post or do you keep it in color and then you're sort of the same one in cpr and yeah I don't know what I'm doing c p a it might be I don't keep it color and cpf I decided to do cpr or special added to it unless it's a signature at it it's just that image gets edited on and I'm going to show you what I do and from a workflow perspective there's two ways we can do about it you can outsource everything you're doing or you can do it yourself and so in the next segment or the one after that we're gonna talk about my work flow and I'm a show you two different work flows wants to outsource and then the other work flows here's what I would do to an image to take it from just write out a camera to working it in light room two working it in photo shop and just kind of show you what that workflow looks like though for me what I would do something like this is I would just take uh here's a good way to see it this is another signature reddit form so they wanted the arch was very important to them right she said to me this is part of the reason I hired you I need that I want that are shot so what they would see when they come in to see this is there would you see normal lighting k shot, shot, shot and then boom signature at it. And they're going to see that being a right and when they see that being a there going oh, my god, that's incredible. Yes, I want them to see that I don't want them to see every image look like this. I mean, it's just not possible for every image to look like this, nor should it be. What I'm doing is through my shooting everything's related through what they come in, and when they see when they originally booked me to what they see after the engagement session to what they see after the wedding eyes, I'm training them to start thinking about when they see this edit that signaling to them this is one we should be getting big. They understand that this should be big in their home, so I'm not having not really have a hard sell on it. Everybody with me, all right, let's, go back to slide deck. All right? We're going to talk about the actual reception now, and so what do we need to get when we go to the reception? And so at the reception, we need the establishing shots again, where are we and how you should notice I'm not telling you how you should shoot it. I'm not going to sit here and put a place card out and say here's the best way to shoot a place card not gonna put flowers out and say here's the best way to shoot flowers do your thing then you're on your own photographers, you're all artists figure out what your style is figure out how you're going how you going to do it but for me ultimately I just I know what I have to get to tell the story in their album how it's cropped how it's edited it goes on and on I need the empty room if I can get it it's not always easy to get the empty room but when you can get that empty room that's not a shot that you can present back to the menu so it's really, really nice when you when you can get it I can't remember if I got an empty room here I don't think I did. We need the details at the table flower place setting cake anything they spend money on. We need them walking in. We need the cake cut. We need toast when he dances, we need to book a gardener and then just random dancing pictures and that's gonna round it out I don't need drunk dancing pictures, right that's uh, that's never useful in our in our album, so I've got to make sure I get this now some wedding zone to bouquet guard anymore. They're stopped that's, actually, you guys seeing that trend or no more, more people are not doing bouquet ge garter, which makes me happy, it's never mens up in the album, I really don't have my bride's wasting pages in the album on a bouquet garter toss rights just one of those older things, so now they're starting to get away from from that the dancing pictures it's a hit and miss? Sometimes I do weddings in the bride and groom, they do their first dance, and then they never get back on the dance floor. They're doing something else if there's a photo booth at the event, the dance floor is typically empty most of the night because everybody's goofing around at the photo booth, so it makes it a little bit of a challenge to get those dancing. So now you've got to go hey where's, the action at go find the photo booth and get pictures of people just in and around the photo booth, right? I'm not looking to replicate the photo booth, but just document that that's kind of where everybody is, so let's look at that, lets go back to my laptop here, same kind of thing. And so what we're getting is we want place card settings right? You notice I liked to shoot this stuff with a very shallow depth of field I'm looking isolate things document things we know you would be here today if heaven wasn't so far away so they had a table set up with loved ones that had passed away in their family so you know, I don't know what do you need to put a picture of a picture in the album? Probably not but I just want to document it so that they see that we were there and we took some pictures of it ah card table table settings anything they spent money on fair game right so he went to mizzou that was the groom's cake just your standard stuff right? Nothing here is overly complicated everything they spent money on make sure you're photographing it every shot that comes out of your camera cannot be a signature at it that is not what you're looking to dio uh if you want to waste your time doing that and trying to do that or beating yourself up because you're not doing that I think you're making life way too difficult and so is this boring stuff right? I mean, as far as I'm concerned shooting the room is not overly exciting you just gotta document we needed for the album they're ultimately decide what goes in there you know this particular uh, event. Everybody was outside for a cocktail hour, so I thought that'd be a neat shot. Uh, document from one balcony to the other, showing everybody outside. Right, that's a little bit better. I like that composition, I think it's a little bit stronger mom's hamming it up now we're going to show their announcements. Ok, people just walking in. Come on, now we got to show the cake. Cod. So in the spirit of all that, those are the details we have to get. Uh, I wish I had off to see if I can pull it into another segment at the end of the night. What I did was I took them outside because I wanted one last parting shot, and I wanted to be able to show that to whatever reason all the images didn't copy over, but there was one last shot I wanted to show you and I took a nice light, right? So jerry's ice like I took them outside the sun was setting the sky was orange on their outside. I put them both up on a chair on that balcony. She saw that with that balcony was where they had their first look and I shot and you have the skyline back behind them all orange, warm city lights in the background and then they're being lit with that with that ice light so those are the kind of things we can end up doing right to end the nights that was the last shot of the night before I walked out I want to give them one more one last artistic shot so the moral of this and the part I'm hoping you're taking away is be organized right? Especially with your second shooter put a list together use like wonder list especially if you're just starting out or if you're at ah medium level just get get going so that everybody's in synch especially if you're bringing in random second shooter's if you're just bringing in random second shooters right? We were we were talking over the break up many of you were saying yeah, I'm not in sync with my second shooter it all if you're not in sync with your second shooter at all, this is an easy way to get to it right? Just a high level wonder list, not a shot list that's like groom tying shoes that's not what I'm looking for I think that's overkill just simple stuff all the details just like that shot list I showed you behind me that's the kind of stuff I think you should be putting together and then eventually just become second nature you know what you need to be doing but there's confusion when you're not both getting it

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Master the Business of Photography - Workbook
Master the Business of Photography Slides
5 Tips to Finding and Booking Your Client

Ratings and Reviews

Brandon D

Sal isn't disgruntled and angry like someone below said, and he doesn't have time for people constantly whining about why their business isn't going good. He's from Brooklyn, so he can come across as harsh at first, but after watching several of his classes and even getting to meet him in person and talk a bit I can tell you he is a really nice guy who truly does want you to succeed. He was very encouraging to me after I thanked him for helping me and my business get to where it is now. Growing up, I can remember photographers grabbing us and posing how they wished. They are often in a hurry to get things right, such as at a wedding, so I am not sure why one reviewer stated he would dismiss them. Sounds like he is just looking for a reason to feel powerful. Anyway, this is a great class to get you on track with your business. Yes, its a bit wedding heavy, but the concepts are the same no matter what. Just apply them to your niche and you are good to go.


Amazing course. Sal is such a great photography educator. Terrific course. I'm not usually big on watching business courses, but this course as taught by Sal was terrific. Down to earth, entertaining, packed with real life experiences do's, don'ts and lessons learned. This courses business A to Z and Sal is very entertaining to watch/listen to. Thanks CreativeLive for getting Sal.

fbuser 0af5cf47

I have been a long time fan of Creative Live and have sat on the fence with all of Sal's classes because I already attend Shutterfest every year and get loaded with valuable information there, so it was hard to pull the trigger on a $300 course that was filmed 5 years ago. Also, in my earlier days of hearing about Sal, I'd heard a lot of negative opinions about how he comes across. Still, I'd heard he's a marketing guru, and my background is in marketing as well, so I really wanted to see what this class was all about. Now that I've finally gotten it, I'm completely blown away. There is just SO MUCH MATERIAL in this class that its actually difficult trying to decide what to implement first! It is good stuff too. It is all about marketing, sales, and workflow. If you're looking for a class teaching you how to take better photos, this one is not it. This is the class that teaches you how to get your work where everyone is seeing it and convincing people to book you and tell their friends about you! Now as far as others have already said... this class is definitely geared toward wedding photographers. Yes there are bits of information that work for other types of photography, but it is so heavily wedding oriented that there might be a better fit out there for another type of photographer. If you do weddings though, this is an amazing class! As far as Sal's personality goes.... he's a New Yorker transplanted to St. Louis. So expect that NYC no BS type of attitude. Susan Stripling is another one of my favorites and she is similar in attitude (and also extremely talented), so if you like her, you should like this. If you have a hard time with her, you might have a hard time with this. Regardless, its stuff y'all need to hear and implement to be successful. Obviously because the class is a bit older, you may have to make small tweaks to a few things (even though he says don't jack with the recipe), but the marketing principles are solid and timeless. Shoot this course is worth it for the SEO advice alone. Just buy it already!

Student Work