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Shoot: The Knot Couple’s Engagement Session

Lesson 9 from: The Complete Wedding Photographer Experience

Jasmine Star

Shoot: The Knot Couple’s Engagement Session

Lesson 9 from: The Complete Wedding Photographer Experience

Jasmine Star

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Lesson Info

9. Shoot: The Knot Couple’s Engagement Session

Watch Jasmine conduct a live engagement shoot outside.


Class Trailer



Jasmine’s Background and Wedding Photography Inspiration


How to Define Your Photography Style


Shooting with Intent: Romantic + Editorial Wedding Photography


Shooting with Intent: Natural Wedding Photography + Fun Photos


Overcoming Shyness to Find Success as a Wedding Photographer




The Best Wedding Photography Marketing


Lesson Info

Shoot: The Knot Couple’s Engagement Session

I am so happy to be here talking today about how I shoot an engagement session. Now, I'm excited because in a future lesson, I'm gonna talk about why and how I structure my business to book about half my clients online. So most of our email transactions are what set us up for the engagement session, and this is exactly and precisely what happened today with Samantha and Taylor. The lesson I'm gonna be focusing on is how I shoot their engagement session. But before I get there, I want to introduce, again, Samantha and Taylor to you guys. Now you at this point, may or may not know they were The Knot magazine's dream wedding couple. They were voted by the audience and at a later point and time, I as chosen as a lucky wedding photographer. Now to make things even better, CreativeLive joined me for this engagement session, because they wanted to give photographers a behind the scenes look at my approach and what I do. Now, we're gonna get into those things. And yes, I will be talking about ...

my posing. And yes, I will be talking about different aspects of it. But what I wanna focus on specifically is getting a lay of the land when it comes to creating engagement session and walking your client through and at the end, making them confident as a result. Now, I want to talk a little bit about what an engagement session outline looks like from my perspective. And this video we'll talk about posing, yes, but we're gonna get into actually the theories and my approaches in regards to posing. We address this in a future lesson, and that was how to shoot with intention. So if you've been with us for the 30 days, you will now see the words that I choose and how I implement them. But the things I want to focus on today will be one, finding the best place to start the shoot based on the location that you're given. Secondly, I want to teach you and show you how to create a photo map. Now a photo map is just a way, in your mind, not to share with your clients, but for you to know where I'm going, how I'm going to get there, and where am I going to end the session? Now myself, I usually create these maps based on where I think light is going to be the most favorable at any given point and time. Thirdly, I'm going to talk about how to deal with a difficult location and/or difficult weather considerations. Now I was not planning on talking about this, but when I got to the session, I realized that two things had happened, it was so much brighter than I had anticipated, because there wasn't any trees to cast any sort of shade, and also it was so inordinately windy. We were shooting along the coast, and everyone's hair was flying everywhere. And I kinda had to take these into consideration as we headed into the shoot. Fourthly, what it looks like to actually meet the client for the first time at the engagement session. It's gonna be slightly disconcerting for photographers, so you're gonna see how I do it. And I'm not saying that the way I meet clients is the best way. I'm simply showing how I do it, so that maybe you can take the things that you like and omit the things that you might not. Fifthly, I want to explain what the client should expect from that session. Up until this point, you know how I prepare my clients. And you know that I have set those expectations via email. But now I will set those expectations, as a reminder, in person. Lastly, I'm going to be outlining the shoot. And once I outline the shoot, outline the shoot that I want them to have a good time, that I want them to have fun, that I want them to relax, that I want them to get great photos as a result, and I better deliver on that promise. Right now, I'm gonna show you the video and how exactly all this shoot has unfolded. Hi guys, I'm extra amped today because we are in Los Angeles, California. I'm here to be shooting an engagement session, but not just any engagement session, a very special engagement session. I'm excited because I'm going to be working with Samantha and Taylor. Samantha and Taylor are going to be the couple that's getting married for The Knot dream wedding that's going to be filmed as part of this course. This is going to be the first time that I'm meeting them, meeting them in person. We've corresponded only via email, so that's going to be a little bit, it's a little nerve racking, it's a little exciting, it's a little new, and I'm excited to get it all captured on camera. But before we get there, I wanna bring us up to pace. This particular engagement session won't be so much about posing, I don't think. I think what I'm really gonna focus on is the logistics behind planning for the engagement session. Yes, I will be going through poses, yes, I'll be showing what I'm doing, but let's start at the beginning and kind of build the building blocks to get to ultimately where we're going to be. Now, I request that all of my couples choose a location for their engagement session. Today we're at Abalone Cove in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, which is Los Angeles. And what we're going to do is walk you through where I'm going to shoot the couple. Now I'm going to be really honest and let you know that I had a minor panic freakout attack because it's so bright right now. It's so bright, it's so windy. And when I arrived to this park and cove, that I've never shot at before, I realized there are no trees. Or there's like one tree and a big massive field. And you're gonna see what I'm talking about, so I'm gonna kind of walk this way and talk about the things I'm going to avoid. And then we're gonna walk back and talk about where I think I should start the session based on light. My first and foremost consideration would be light. So kind of let's take a look at what we're given and then how I'm going to map things out. As I'm walking, what I'm thinking is, I have to take wind into consideration. The wind is blowing in this direction and so I know if I shoot backlit for my subjects, her hair will likely come into her face. The minute I got here, I texted her and I asked her to bring bobby pins and a rubber band if it was all possible, because it is so darn windy. So as I'm walking, I'm squinting, which indicates to me it's far too bright to have my subjects be looking in this direction and that's okay. Knowing this, I think in the back of my mind I'm gonna start the session a little bit slower. And I'm gonna start the session slower so I can buy myself time to let the sun drop. Now, I'm gonna come over here and I'm going to kinda take a look about what I've been given. So we're actually on a cliff, which is very common in California, and then it descends down onto the beach. Now, traditionally, I like to save the beach photos 'til the end. I like to save the parts that I'm really excited to shoot in at the end of the shoot, because by then, my clients are warmed up and they feel confident, they feel great, and they've had a little bit experience, but given my light options. So she had said there was two locations. One location was going to be here in this like upper area, kind of like a park area, and then towards another part of the session would be down towards the beach. Well, I assumed that when she had said park, that there would be some trees and we don't have that luxury. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to ask, I'm gonna take charge and I'm gonna say I think we should start down by the water and part of the reason why I think we should start by the water is because I can use some rocks and some shrubbery to actually kind of create more softer light. Hopefully I'll be able, once I get down there, to see the light diffused in a different way. So instead of walking all the way down the cove with the cameras, I'm going to wait until my clients get here. We're gonna talk about a few things, and then I'm going to ask if we could shoot the session down by the water first. I'll kinda sell that idea, let her know why I think those reasons are, and why I think they would work. And then secondly, I'm gonna ask if we can end the session up here, which I think would actually work really well, because since we're gonna be elevated, I could shoot at a distance and what I can get, since we're elevated, I can get the ocean, the endless ocean off in the background. And then hopefully, sunset will work in our favor so that they can be walking and then we get some nice shrubbery up here in the park area. So just initially, looking at what I've been given, the photo map would consist of probably three main locations. The three main locations would be this park area, that I've already discussed I will probably save for the end due to light and limited areas to create open shade. The second location will be the trail leading us down to Abalone Cove, which is the beach. So there's areas that have like switchbacks along the mountainside. So I'll probably be shooting them there. It'll probably be the area that I could leverage as much kind of shaded light as possible, which is my number one priority. And then the third location on my photo map would be the beach. Once I actually shoot through the switchbacks, I'm gonna get down to the beach, I'm gonna place them in very basic poses. And as I'm putting them in basic poses, I'm keeping in the back of my mind light and location and then, once I have those two things down, I'm then going to move into what the poses will look like. So knowing where you want to start, end, and where you want to go in the middle, always relieves stress in a very big way. And so I'm gonna talk you through when I'm in doing that. So I wanna have somebody off camera reminding me where I'm going in the photo map, and why I'm choosing those locations, and we're gonna outline it later on, points one, two, and three and then fill in the gaps with the poses in between. I hope that helps. Okay, so right now, we're just gonna kind of just chill, hang out, you guys are gonna be looking at each other. And I'm gonna be adjusting the light at this point and time. So you guys can just like relax, enjoy. I'm shooting at 2.0 1/800th of a second, 125 ISO. Ooh this light is pretty. Now Taylor and Sam, can you, so Taylor can you come down and Sam can you get up on your tippy toes, you guys are gonna bring your foreheads together. Yes, yes, that's so cute, that was great. (camera shutter clicking) That was fantastic. (camera shutter clicking) That was beautiful, (camera shutter clicking) beautiful, good. (camera shutter clicking) Now peel away from each other, relax. Relax your calves, yes. Good, good, good. Now this time, what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna have you guys come back together, bring your foreheads in nice and close, you're gonna take a deep breath, and then Samantha I want you to look at the floor right in front of you, and then Taylor, wherever your lips land on her temple, on the crest of her head, wherever they land, light light light kiss. Not yet. I'm gonna count you down in three, two, and one. (camera shutter clicking) Come up, beautiful. (camera shutter clicking) Good. Beautiful. That's exactly what you do, but Sam your bangs got caught behind. No, they're good now. Oh. So Taylor, you just land your lips. On her hair? Yes. (laughing) Beautiful. Sam, relax that front shoulder. Eyes here. (camera shutter clicking) Beautiful. Eyes here, Sam, good. Good, relax, good. I'm gonna change to 1.2. 2,000th of a second. I'm gonna shoot horizontal. We've never done anything like this before. You guys look like pros. Like you guys look like pros. Really? I mean the fact that I don't have to talk too much. I mean, I am a talker though, just naturally. This is great. Beautiful. Now what I want to do is yeah, Sam you just relax. Now can you bring your head to Taylor's chest. Yes, beautiful. Now relax that front shoulder, good. (camera shutter clicking) Beautiful. Can I have you guys both look here at me? I'm shooting set at 2.8. It's good being in wedges when I'm just like fully leaning on you. (laughing) Good and it was all part of the plan. Beautiful. Oh this is nice. (camera shutter clicking) Beautiful. We have a very small like walkway, but what I'm going to do is you guys are just gonna take your time, as you guys walk and you guys are gonna be enjoying each other, not paying attention to me, and Taylor, you're gonna have your hand in your pocket. You actually have really long arms, so why don't we take your thumb, outside, yeah, there we go. So now, instead of your hand just kind of dangling, now we have just kind of connection to your body and Sam you are going to be looking at Taylor. Nice, this is beautiful. So I'm gonna be using this area right here, but you guys are gonna be taking your time. You guys are just gonna be. You have to take your time. Yes, you have to take time, yes, you do. Beautiful. (camera shutter clicking) Beautiful. Sam, look in front of you. Beautiful, and yes. Then eyes back at each other. (camera shutter clicking) Nice. (camera shutter clicking) Beautiful. (camera shutter clicking) Good, perfect. You guys, that was great, Are you sure? That was our first stop, that was amazing. Please tell us! No, no, I mean, that was like such a great start. Okay, good. You know it takes people a while to warm-up, but you guys just kind of fell right into it. Okay the light right here is really pretty. So let's see, Taylor I'm gonna have you here and I'm just gonna be looking at the way, nice. Now if you could shift your shoulders towards me a little bit and with your feet pointing at me too. Nice, nice, nice, nice. You're so handsome. I agree, and I'm happily married. (laughing) You can stand right here with him, nice. I'm sorry, your back is in his chest. Okay. Yeah, this is just, exactly. This is so pretty. Can you guys look out towards the ocean? Nice, beautiful (camera shutter clicking) And then, let's see. So Samantha, can you just kinda like look down a little? Yes and then shift your chin this way. And then look down, beautiful. (camera shutter clicking) And Taylor can you look maybe at her ring hand? Nice. (camera shutter clicking) And then Taylor can you lean down and give her a nice, big bear-hug? (camera shutter clicking) That, that. Thank you friends, beautiful. Now peel away, that was so, so, so beautiful, but as he came down, everything was perfect Sam and then you brought your shoulders up. So this time when he comes down, just be conscious of just relaxing, just enjoy it. As you tip your head that way, I love that too. Okay. So every kind of pose that you come into, feel free to hold it, and if I feel like it's not working, I'll let you know. Okay. But the way your body just laid was perfect, perfect, perfect. (camera shutter clicking) Yes, thank you friends, that's it. (camera shutter clicking) Beautiful. Wooo, okay good. Now what I want you to do is, I wanna create a little bit of movement so that we don't get too many pictures that are all just like very posy. Okay. So you're gonna be on this side. Okay. I like this side 'cause the sun, the light. You guys are gonna be holding hands. Now, exactly. Aww, you have such petite hands compared to him. (laughing) oh my gosh, that's so beautiful. Okay, so as you guys are walking, I wanna create a little bit of tension and you're going to be leading him by like maybe one step. And then every so often, you're gonna get both hands. Can you hold this in this hand? Great, and so forgive me. I'm just gonna hold your hand. Great, you're gonna hold hands, you're gonna turn and you're gonna bring him this way. And you're gonna kinda create a little bit of tension, you're gonna pull some body weight so that she has to kinda pull you and then you're gonna look back at me and kinda have like a cutesy. So if your hands, his hands are gonna look back, kinda smile, Okay. Look back at him, kinda smile and we're gonna do this one or two times. If we get one shot from this Okay. I will be so, so, so happy. Great, so right now my settings are at 2.5, 320th of second, 125 ISO. My focal point will be on Sam's eye and I'm ready for you in three, two, and one. Turn back Sam. Atta girl, attagirl, attagirl. Pull, pull, pull, turn back. (camera shutter clicking) Woo hoo! Okay, that was fabulous. Really? It was so good. She's so positive, I love it. Yeah, right? (laughing) Well I'm very honest too so. Okay, good. I'm gonna have you guys do that one more time. Okay. and as you guys walk Taylor can you have your thumb in your pocket? Yes, yes, yes, yes. And I'm ready for you in three, two, and one. (camera shutter clicking) Turn, baby turn, nice, nice. Turn back, yes, good. Now turn back at me. Turn back at me. (camera shuttering) Cute, cute. Ooh we have good options. Ah, this is so good. Go team. Okay let's head down. So what I'm gonna do now is I'm gonna stop in this area, because it's really bright light, but I wanna see if I can leverage an entirely different lighting scenario to kinda get the background really blown out. It's nice and golden at this time of the day and also we're on this like dirt path that has just tiny, tiny, tiny bits of like clay-ish or terracotta that I really think is gonna be beautiful. We have some people walking behind our subjects, so I'm gonna set them off to the side and then we need to set them up with the focus to be on her ring and just slight portrait. So I'm gonna crop this like pretty tight, just so that I get this general idea of just maybe the bottoms of their faces and her ring. So you can just relax, take a deep breath. Always make sure that this shoulder is, beautiful, beautiful. Then bring your bodies closer together. I'm gonna shoot this at a 2.0. (camera shutter clicking) Great, so my settings are a 2.0, 12/50th of a second, 125 ISO. Sam can you look at the floor? Can you look at my hand right here? Beautiful, now just relax. Did you want me to smile, when you had me to look down? I want you to give me a couple looks. Okay. I want you to be completely confident in yourself. I want you to smile, but if you do smile and you're looking down, it seems a little bit inauthentic to be, right? Okay. Yeah. So it's like a slight smile, pleasant face. Okay. And I'll let you know when I want those kinda nice, big, smiles nice. Look there (camera shuttering) beautiful. (camera shuttering) Beautiful. (camera shuttering) It's okay, yeah take your time we'll get that hair back. (camera shuttering) Yes Taylor, yes. Relax that front shoulder, beautiful. (camera shutter clicking) And then squeeze her nice and tight Taylor, yes! (camera shutter clicking) So we're gonna get your hands back to where they were. Bring those torsos in. Actually Sam, you stay up, Taylor you come into Sam, boom, yes. And then Sam can I get your, yes. Do we still look down? Yes, yes, yes, yes. (camera shutter clicking) Beautiful. (camera shutter clicking) Thank you guys, thank you! Woo, good! Ah, this is so cool. Okay guys, let's hang out here. Yeah. So depending on where your body lands in relation to this, just kind of lean and then as you lean, kinda fall into the weight of your thighs and knees. I'll bring your body down a tiny bit and we'll get Sam in, nice and close. Okay. It is a little cold, I know. Oh it's fine, no. Is your second outfit a little bit warmer? No. Okay, (laughing). So what I'm looking at right now is that she's really cold, we're in the shade, and I don't really have a really awesome, natural reflector in front of them. So I'm just trying to buy some time right now. It's really stinking bright and I'm putting them in the little bit of shade that I can find. I'm going to do a test shot. (camera shutter clicking) I'm placing them within the frame of the palm tree. She's leaning into Taylor. Now what I'm doing is, the sun's behind them, but there's this palm tree that's actually blocking the center, or the nucleus of the sun which is allowing me to shoot backlit without too much sun flare which is fantastic. I just need to make sure that this is my position so that I don't have to use my hand as a lens hood. Which means I'm gonna go on and I'm gonna switch her position ever so slightly. This is fantastic guys. So Sam, actually that right there was exactly what I was gonna ask you to do. Oh. So what we're basically doing is opening your profiles 'cause I'll be shooting it from that direction. Okay. So this is great. Now I love (laughing) your hands here and then if after a while you want to rest them here, or rest them here, you totally do that and I'll be talking to you guys from a distance. Okay. Cool. I am at 2.5, I'm at 1/1000th of a second, (camera shuttering) I'm at 125 ISO. This is where I'm going to kinda stay, 'cause I don't want to blow out too much of the background. (camera shutter clicking) Beautiful, can you guys bring your foreheads in, nice and close to touch? There we go. (camera shutter clicking) So I'm switching, but I'm gonna keep my body in such a way that the tree will then block the nucleus of the sun. I'm gonna put my subjects, hopefully in the last third of the frame. (camera shutter clicking) Can you guys both look here? Bring your faces in a little bit closer. Oh, that. (camera shutter clicking) Relax that shoulder, relax the smile Sam. Atta girl, beautiful. (camera shuttering) Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. So now what we're basically going to do is just have you guys walk with the palm tree behind you guys. But I'm gonna start with Taylor here, so that I get some nice, beautiful sun behind him. Beautiful. Okay. Yes, let's see, actually Sam, let's get you on that side. Let me see how that looks. Okay, so guys, what I'm gonna do is I love the position that you guys are in right now. I love it, so Sam you're a tiny bit behind Taylor, that's fantastic. I'm gonna shoot this two ways. I'm gonna shoot it, one, from that perspective so I get the sides with everything behind you guys and then Ima come in the front and shoot it this way Okay. So just make sure that you guys kinda keep that. You want us facing that way or this way? Great question. You're gonna be walking this way, but I understand that you guys are gonna take a few steps and then kinda go around there, that's okay. So hang out one second. (camera shuttering) I'm shooting at a 2.5, 1/1000th of a second, 125 ISO. (camera shuttering) My focal point is on Sam. (camera shuttering) So Taylor can I get your thumb in your pocket? And you guys are gonna start walking nice and slow and you're gonna be looking at Sam. Sam, you're going to be looking at Taylor, on the ground in front of you, or at the ocean. If you have to hold your hair as you look out, totally fine. Okay. Work with it, we're just gonna let the wind go and however you feel great is exactly what I want, exactly. Hold my hair. (laughing) your hair is good, still looking good Taylor. (camera shuttering) Fantastic, I'm ready for you guys. Take your time Sam, take your time. Actually, I want her to take her time. The sun is way too bright. The slower she moves, the better I feel. Beautiful, beautiful. (camera shuttering) Beautiful Sam, look out towards the ocean Sam. (camera shuttering) Heck yes, great. I'm gonna have you guys peel back. (camera shuttering) Beautiful, looking out towards the ocean Sam, nice. My focal point's on her and I'm switching my focal point (camera shuttering) as she walks or I'm just gonna stand with them. (camera shuttering) Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant, brilliant, awesome, I love it. So Sam, I'm gonna take you here and I'm gonna do, throughout the shoot, maybe just some shots of Samantha and some shots of you. So Samantha I know it's gonna feel weird and these are a little prickly. I'm just gonna have you stand Okay. right about, let me try to open this up a bit. If I can have you right about here. Sure. Wedges in the wild Taylor. I know. (laughing) Good. I placed Samantha up on an incline which means because I'm so short, and she's up on an incline, I would be shooting up at her and I don't wanna shoot up at a girl. I kinda wanna be eye-level. So I just kinda looked around and thankfully, there was a rock here. So I'm gonna stand on the rock, which is going to give me about four to five inches which is fantastic. Now I asked Sam to stand in the weeds and I'm going to be using the weeds and the fence in the background to kind of create a horizontal line. I'm gonna be shooting this really on the wider side. I'm gonna just do a test-shot real quick. (camera beeping) Here it is, hang out (camera shuttering) beautiful. And you ought to let me know if I need anything. Oh no, you're flawless right now. I mean, I know you guys have been kinda kissing a little. (laughing) Maybe before we go to the next spot, but right now, Okay. it's just gonna be like a beauty shot. Sure. Just the wind's gonna be going. So if you could just relax a smile. (camera shuttering) Because we have this like lots of wind going on, I kinda just want you to well one, feel beautiful behind that camera, I am behind the camera not thinking "oh what is she doing?", "why is she doing that?". I am behind the camera thinking I want you just to like let go right now Okay. and get a beautiful shot that Taylor will put on his desk, keep on his phone, just like a nice, beautiful portrait. The sun is behind you. We have this nice, beautiful wind going around. If the hair whips across your face, I'm gonna let it roll with it Okay. until I stop it and we pat it back down. Okay. But right now, it's fine. So I like the way your hands are here. Okay. In a couple of seconds, in a couple minutes, whatever you want, you can cross them. Okay. Yes, beautiful. And then once you cross them, you can hold a bit of the hair. Oh yes, that was great. I always do that. That was great. That was great. I love that and as you do it, you commit, you hold it here then bring it on down 'cause we're working the ring finger. Beautiful and then just kinda hold the edges. And then you're gonna kinda tilt your head a little bit this way and then bring in the chin to me, yeah. I'm gonna be talking you through all of this. Okay. There's not gonna be a right or wrong, so, cool. So I'm standing on a rock that is off (laughing) kilter. So we're gonna try to do the best we can, given what we're given. (camera shuttering) There we go, (camera shuttering) beautiful. Relax the smile. (camera shuttering) Can you look down at your hands? Take a deep breath. (camera shuttering) Ugh, then just bring your eyes to me. (camera shuttering) Thank you, this is it, beautiful. Eyes down at your hands again. (camera shuttering) Eyes here. (camera shuttering) Heck yes. Ah, good. My face is okay? Oh that face is good. Really? Its so funny. I'm so used to smiling so much Of course. So it's so weird to not smile. Of course but when's the last time you really had like a professional photo session? I've never (laughing). Exactly, so now that we have that nice, solid look that I absolutely love, Okay. now we're gonna be moving the hands this time. Okay. (camera shuttering) Beautiful. (camera shuttering) Eyes here. (camera shuttering) Adjust the hair with your hand. (camera shuttering) Beautiful. Now this time as you adjust your hair, there was a slight change in light. Okay. The clouds came in front of the sun, but I think so far we're still okay. (camera beeping and shuttering) Beautiful, yes. Now look down, (camera shuttering) beautiful. Eyes here. (camera shuttering) Well, no, let's yeah, good. 'Kay, I'm just waiting always until you tell me. Yeah, yes, yes, yes, yes. And then can you just bring down the back, there we go. There we go, there we go. Yeah, bring all your hair. Maybe get all of it. Yeah, that's beautiful. That's beautiful, that's beautiful. (camera beeping and shuttering) Relax the smile. (camera beeping) (camera shuttering) Beautiful, eyes down. (camera shuttering) Good. This light right now is so stinkin' beautiful. Now I'm gonna shoot this vertical. (camera beeping and shuttering) Eyes here. (camera shuttering) Can you get back of your hair and just comb it back this way, just beautiful. Yes, yes. (camera beeping and shuttering) Hang out one second. My focal point is on the eye closest to me. Good. (camera shuttering) Eyes down, take a deep breath. (camera beeping and shuttering) Good, eyes here. (camera shuttering) Ugh, woo, good, yes. Really? So JD took Samantha and Taylor off to a different location real quick, just to give me a few seconds to bring us up to speed with what's happening so far. So I started the session, I'm gonna be completely honest, I had a complete freak-out moment of this is too bright, this is too windy, I think the odds are stacked against me, but so far, so good. I'm taking the very limited space that I have and trying to make it work. But more than anything what I feel like I'm trying to do is make them really comfortable and give them the confidence that I think they need to really shine. We just came off the session of watching Samantha really bloom in front of the camera. I absolutely love the portrait that I got of her and I think it will look fantastic in black and white. Now my goal for this next part of this session is to focus a little more on Taylor. We'll do a couple more movement shots with them, but up to date, so far, on our shooting map. Our shooting map has just been the trail back and down to this area, that's point one. Now we're gonna head out, a little bit more, towards point two, which is by the ocean. So that's kinda where we're gonna head right now. We'll do Taylor, we're going to do an outfit change, we're gonna be by the beach, and that will kinda work us through the second part of our photo map. So let's go. Let's just try this first. I kind of like it kinda going up. Okay. So you can scoot as far back, as close, yeah, yeah, that's nice. So I love the way that your hands are crossed right now and then in a few seconds, I might have you just open them so that they dip down in between your legs. No, still with the hands in the knees, so like that. Kind of just, exactly. Put it first here. Okay. Second here and we'll just have you like look out. So were thinking of like kind of sitting court side, but extra pensive 'cause you're at the beach. But don't worry, I'll make it look cool. You gotta trust me on this one. (laughing) Okay. You want me looking out here the whole time? No, I'm gonna have you rotate, yeah. Right now, I'm just gonna test the light, exactly. And then if I want you to look at me, I'll let you know. But for right now, we're just gonna chill. I'm gonna test the light. (camera shuttering) So right now, I'm overexposed and the sun is really high in the sky, so it's gonna be competing behind Taylor's head. What I want to do now is just kinda compensate for the light. I'll be using my hand as a lens hood. (camera beeping) (camera shuttering) Yeah, this light's now fantastic. I'm at 2.0, 2000th of a second, 125 ISO. (camera beeping and shuttering) Nice, so kind of like a slight smile. (camera shuttering) Nice, can you look up towards the cliff. Yep, there we go. (camera beeping and shuttering) So because the sun is behind him, it's getting a littler harder to focus, but and now once I lock in, (camera shuttering) great. Can you release your hands? But then less kink, there we go, there we go, there we go. Now I like the way that your right-hand is placed. With your left-hand, can you maybe put it up on your arm or your knee? Yeah, I think that's good, that's good. (camera shuttering) Oh this is nice. (camera shuttering) Can you look here at me? (camera beeping) Chin down a little bit, nice. (camera shuttering) Yeah. Okay, so now by me shifting this way, I'm not gonna have to use my lens hood so much, or my lens hood, my wanna be lens hood. (camera beeping and shuttering) I switched my settings to 16/100th of a second, went slightly a bit darker. (camera shuttering) Look out towards the ocean, yeah nice, nice. This is it. This is the one I'm liking, I can already tell. (camera shuttering) Eyes here, (camera shuttering) slight smile, nice. Thank you, fantastic. I'm gonna come back to this spot because I really like what's going on with it, Yeah. But I'm going to bring Taylor and Sam into this little nearby area. It's called Portuguese Bend Nursery School, but it looks like it's been abandoned. So we're just gonna kind of take a walk and see what's in there. I'm going to place my subjects in an illuminated area and then the things around them are going to be underexposed, but I'm gonna try to do it in such a way that it conveys like a candid, voyeuristic kind of appeal. So let's see how this works. Sam can you back up? All the way, put your back and then Taylor you come into Sam. Let me see if I like that better. Ooh, hey. (laughing) Okay, I like point one first. So this is what just happened is that Taylor, his body in the middle was bisected in such a way because I have his leg up to level out their heights a bit. He just looked like he was stuck in the middle. Now that I have him resting and he's relaxed, I'm gonna bring Samantha into that frame and we're just not gonna have them pay any attention to us whatsoever. I really want this to be a candid moment. I'm gonna check my settings. Yeah, I'm gonna keep 'em like this. I'm at 2.0, 1600th of a second, (camera shuttering) and 125 ISO. Again, I'm trying to build a frame within a frame. So now what I want you guys to do is bring your bodies in nice and close. Yeah, yes. Now Sam I like where your legs are there and then after a while, I want you to put your hands around his neck. A little bit further back, yes. That and then you're gonna bring that in. So that's point two. Okay. Perfect, so I'm gonna start off now the light did change. Ima do a test shot one more time, because the sun is coming in, I have to compensate. I'm gonna go down to a 1,000th of a second, that's from 1,600 down to a 1,000. Beautiful, friends. This is so beautiful. (camera shuttering) For a few shots, I'm letting the sun come in. I'm gonna step in, crop the sun out. I'm gonna see what it's gonna do later on in post. (camera shuttering) Beautiful and let's see, let's bring your faces back so I can get both your profiles. Yes and Sam, go to pose two, hands around the neck. Beautiful, (camera beeping) bring him in for a light, yes. Woo, friends, we're looking fierce. (camera shuttering) I'm gonna step in a little bit closer. (camera beeping) I'm gonna do a test shot, let me see where my light is. I'm gonna keep my light there. Now Sam, I'm actually gonna drop it to an 800th of a second. Relax that arm, yes. And then bring the elbow just slightly, rest your elbow on the lip of his arm. Yeah, right about there. (camera shuttering) Beautiful, woo, good. (camera shuttering) Beautiful. Oh, I'm just so dang happy right now. I'm so dang happy! Okay, great. This is actually a perfect spot for you guys to change. Okay. So what's going on right now is Samantha and Taylor brought a few outfits. So they're asking, depending now, that we did the switchbacks down the hill and we're gonna be actually headed down to the beach and they said what outfit would probably work best in that scenario? I'm gonna be partial and think, just due to the light, and that it's an engagement session, we have two options or a couple options for dresses, but because it's so windy, I'm gonna stay away from the shorter of the two and kind of err on the side of maybe going for one. Now because we already have a fitted dress, ooh, sorry. Oh, that's okay. These two are very similar, but this is cute. I like the cutout from the back. Me too. Yeah this is really cute, let's do this one. Okay. Yeah, let's do that one. Okay. we'll keep these really casual, I know that you've a pair of flats. You can go barefoot or flats, Yes. because we're gonna be walking on the beach. It'll be barefoot. Wherever you feel most comfortable in. I'm gonna stick away from the white shirts instead of wearing a white dress, because it will be just too matchy match. Okay. Maybe go with the black shirt, if that's okay? Yeah. Yeah, great, awesome. Thanks guys. Yeah. So Taylor, I actually want you to sit the way that I had you, yeah. Nice, and then Sam I'm gonna have you right about there. Beautiful and I want you to interlock your right, see that's beautiful. Now because you're so petite, I don't want you on the decline, I want even higher. Okay. Yes, and so due to my angle, you just make sure that your knees are kept close. Yeah. And you're fine though, but right now it's beautiful and it's fine. So you're gonna interlock your arm around, yeah, beautiful. Bring the hair out a little bit from behind his arm, yep, there we go. Beautiful, oh this light. I'm gonna shoot this at a 2.8. I'm at 125 ISO, I'm gonna go up to 160 ISO. I'm gonna do a test shot real quick. I see that there's a trashcan in the background so I'm gonna reposition my body to crop that out now so I don't have to deal with it in post. I'm gonna do a test shot. You take your time Sam. (camera beeping and shuttering) Take your time, this is beautiful. This is absolutely stunning. (camera beeping and shuttering) So they're laughing, this is great. (camera beeping and shuttering) This is great. (camera beeping and shuttering) That's cute. Actually can you guys go back to looking at each other? And Taylor, you fixing her hair was adorable, so you guys just own that. That's cute, good. (camera shuttering) Now Taylor can you put your hand underneath her chin and guide her in for a light kiss? (camera beeping and shuttering) Woo, good people, this is it. Good, hang out there for one second. (camera beeping and shuttering) Beautiful (camera beeping and shuttering) beautiful. (camera shuttering) Okay, so I'm gonna switch my settings. I'm at a 1.2, 1600th of a second, 160 ISO. Beautiful, (camera shuttering). Sam you just relax the smile, beautiful. (camera shuttering) Eyes down. (camera shuttering) And then Taylor can you look out towards the ocean? Or actually, look at my finger, chin down a tiny bit, good. (camera shuttering) Slight smile Sam. (camera shuttering) Eyes here Sam. (camera shuttering) Oh, yes! Okay, let's get down to the beach. So what I want to do is because we're going down an incline, let's see, Taylor, I'm gonna have you like maybe two steps ahead, 'cause that'll even out your heights and it's more like a chivalrous shot. You're making sure that Sam is coming down nice, it's very light, He's good at that. Okay good, good, good, good. So I'm gonna position Taylor. So Taylor you go down. I'm gonna shoot this at a 2.5. The focus will be on Taylor, because Samantha's back will be to me. I'm shooting this at 1,000th of a second, 2.5, 160 ISO. Great, okay so I'm ready for you. And then you guys are gonna slowly start walking down. (camera beeping and shuttering) So start walking, yes. Yes, yes, yes you pull her. Look back at her, nice. Good. (camera shuttering) Good, beautiful. Now let's see, Sam, lean back a little, both hands. Yeah, beautiful, good. Hang out there. Taylor can I have your thumb in your pocket? Yeah, just like that, just like that. So what I did was I put them on steps to roughly put them at the same height. I'm shooting at 800th of a second, 160 ISO, 2.5, beautiful. Now what I want you to do is Taylor can you come in to Sam? Come in to her, nice, nice, nice, nice, nice, nice, yes. (camera beeping and shuttering) Oh, this is cute. He's just kinda looking at her, laughing, beautiful. (camera shuttering) Good, Sam can you look over at JD? Yeah. Good and then Taylor you're looking at Sam. (camera shuttering) That's cute guys. Yes, take your time. (camera shuttering) Good, okay, let's walk. The light is changing, it's so nice. Yes, the light is changing and this is so beautiful, but I'm afraid I'm gonna lose too much of it, so I wanna be extra, extra, extra careful about what's happening and I know that she's getting cold and I don't want this experience to be ruined because of the weather. So I need to work as quickly as possible. Rad, so you guys just stay there for a sec. Ah, this is so darn pretty. I'm gonna shoot backlit. (camera beeping and shuttering) Ah, yes, okay. Yes, yes, stand on the rock. You're so brilliant. Turn towards each other. (camera shuttering) Get up on your tippy toes. (camera shuttering) Yes, lean down into her Taylor. Yes, kiss her forehead Taylor. (camera shuttering) Yes, thank you. (camera shuttering) Beautiful, good. Now for this photo, Taylor I want you to wrap your arms, yes. Oh actually, just stay there, that's really pretty. Just relax, bring all the hair to one side, yes. 'Kay so the sun is coming out, so Ima have to fight that. I'm gonna switch my settings. As she's fixing her hair, I'm gonna get a test shot. (camera beeping and shuttering) 'Kay, I'm at 1250th of a second, 2.5, 160 ISO. (camera shuttering) So I'm getting a lot, a lot, a lot of haze which is not my friend right now. But I'm gonna try to find a focal point that's gonna lock in. You guys take your time, beautiful. Actually Sam, you just let your hair go, it's fine, it's beautiful. Yes, eyes out, come in. Yes, there we go, there we go. Hang out one second. This sun is behind you so it's making it a little bit difficult. So it's nothing with you, it's just how long it's gonna take my camera to focus. (camera beeping and shuttering) I'm at 1000th of a second. I'm gonna use Taylor's body to block the sun. (camera beeping and shuttering) Beautiful, there we go. Good, now what I want you to do is if possible, I'm gonna see if it's gonna work, is Taylor can you bring your ankles a little closer together? And then Sam I want your hands around his neck. And then Taylor I want you to wrap your arms around her and pick her up a little, but don't pull her all the way like this. You just kinda pick her up so that she's elevated a tiny bit and then just be conscious of your legs. Don't lock the knees. Okay. Kinda flick your legs ever so slightly, not like half bent. Yes, yes, yes. So hang out one sec. I'm gonna get my settings right. Okay I love this light right now. This is beautiful, good. (camera shuttering) (laughing) That's good, let's try that one more time and this time, he'll lift you up and then you kinda flick your legs. Let's try that, let's try that. (camera shuttering) (laughing) (camera beeping and shuttering) Good, good, now this time, get on the rock. Now Sam, I actually like that better, you leaning back with all your hair and then Taylor you come into her. (camera shuttering) So this time can guys bring your foreheads together? (camera shuttering) Oh yes, there we go. Forget the leg flip, just didn't work. (camera shuttering) Beautiful, oh hang out one sec. Whoa, the sun came out. I should've been at 1,600th. I was actually at a 1,000th of a second. (speaking Spanish) That was so pretty, hang out there, hang out there. (camera shuttering) Sam can you get the little hair that's in your face, right here? Good. (camera shuttering) There we go, now we're playing with fire. (camera shuttering) Sam can you look in front of you? Yes, there we go. (camera shuttering) 'Kay, the light changed again, I'm gonna have to compensate tremendously. I'm gonna all the way down to a 1,000th now. (camera shuttering) Beautiful, so now now what Ima do, I have you guys take a couple steps towards me. (camera shuttering) So when you guys walk, (laughing). When you guys walk, careful for your hands not to come up, they're just gonna be nice, there we go. And then Sam you take all the time you need. Okay. (camera shuttering) Looking at each other. (camera shuttering) Beautiful. Taylor, I'm gonna have you sit as comfortable as possible and then Sam you'll be right here. So pretty. So take your time, take your time. Okay. So this is what's going on right now. The sun keeps on in and out and in and out which is beautiful, but I really want a cloud to come over it, 'cause then I don't have to fight so hard for my focal point. I feel like my camera's trying to bite at the focus and we're gonna see what transpires right now. Taylor can I have you put your hand on your right knee, Taylor? Yes, and then Sam you put your hand, no, no, no. No, no, no, no. Yeah, I got that, I got that. And then relax your hand. There we go, nice. And yes, you guys are just looking at each other. Okay now the light is exactly where I want it. This is exactly what I want. I'm at 2.5, 1/1000th of a second, 160 ISO. They're not looking at me either. Close to the same plane of focus. I could shoot it at 2.5 so I can get this nice, beautiful bokeh and light behind them. Now what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna shoot at 1.2, getting reactions from her and then I'm gonna flip it and get reactions from him, which makes a great story in a slideshow. (camera shuttering) Beautiful, yes, good. Do that one more time. Bring the hair from the side, wrap it around. Yes, yes, there we go, good. (camera shuttering) Good, I'm gonna flip. Now I'm gonna get Taylor talking and chatting with Samantha. I'm cropping you up from the waist up so you don't have to worry about that right now. And so let's see. Taylor you're talking to Sam. Sam you're talking to Taylor, there you go. (camera shuttering) There we go. I'm at 2500th of a second. (camera shuttering) I just need one shot of him looking at her, kinda laughing, smiling, there we go. There were there. (camera shuttering) Almost, come on. (camera shuttering) Sam can you whisper something to Taylor in his right ear? (camera shuttering) Cute,(laughing) good. You guys can peel away from each other. Nice, nice, there it is. There it is. (camera shuttering) Work, work, let's do this friends. Let's head out. Actually I'm gonna just do one shot of you guys looking out, standing here looking out looking into the ocean. I'm gonna shoot it from up there. (camera beeping and shuttering) I'm at 4.0, hold on a second, let me get my settings. Okay I'm at 4.0, 500th of a second, 200 ISO. (camera shuttering) I am getting a tiny bit of the staircase in the lower right-hand corner. I'll drop down to 400th of a second and I'm okay with that. Can you guys just hold your hands, center? Yes. (camera shuttering) Beautiful. Looking at each other. (camera shuttering) And then lean down for a kiss. Taylor lean down, yes. (camera shuttering) Ah, that's great guys, that's fantastic. That's fantastic. Okay, let's head up. So sunset was stated for 7: which we're not gonna really get 'cause the clouds came in, but I'm thinking if you guys are okay, maybe changing into one last outfit and shooting up top with some nice, flat shrubbery and we'll get views of you guys up top coming down. Sure. There's maybe 10 minutes left up there Yeah, that's perfect. But so far, you guys, we could've ended the session like 30 minutes ago. (laughing) So this is fantastic. So we just ended part two of our shooting map which is down in the beach. We got some great light, but what I noticed as I was shooting was that the clouds and the fog are coming in really quickly, so we're not going to get a true sunset. Sunset today is slated for 7:30. It's now about 6:45, which means I won't be able to take the shoot as far as I wanted. So as a way to manage my client's expectations, I told them, hey we're gonna end at sunset. Sunset should be around 7:25. I now know I cannot possibly end at 7: 'cause it'll be far too dark. So as a way to kind of manage your expectations and exceed what they're expecting, I said since you brought a third outfit, why don't you guys change into the third outfit and we'll end up on the field. So in case we don't make it to 7:30, which we probably won't because of sunset, at least they'll have a third outfit and feel really great about having enough diversity in the portfolio so they won't feel like they were chinced or cheated as a result of just what the weather is. So we're headed up and we'll see you guys up there. I'm gonna shoot a little bit wide, so you guys will be small within the frame. Okay. Wanna kinda just set the scene. Okay. So we'll have you guys walking this way. I'll be talking you through what that looks like and then I'm gonna put you guys here in this small field and then I'll shoot you again, the tree Okay. and then we end it. Okay perfect. There's vision, there's vision here. Okay, So Taylor I'm gonna get you closest to the railing and so Sam you'll be on the inside of it. Good and so, yes, Taylor both hands in your pockets. You guys are gonna be walking alongside the gate. Now I do know there's a sign in the background now. (camera shuttering) And I'm just gonna wait for that to roll out, nice. (camera shuttering) Yeah, let's get you guys out of the side of the tree. (laughing) I saw you run into that one. (camera beeping and shuttering) So these shots are basically just gonna be to set the scene, tell a story as part of the slideshow. (camera shuttering) Taylor can you look at Sam? Sam can you look towards the sun? Beautiful. (camera shuttering) Sam can you look back, yes there we go. Beautiful, beautiful, good. So now what Ima have you guys do, if possible, I know we're not supposed to climb the fence, but if you guys can do it safety. Yeah. I just think if I get you on this side of the fence, I can get you right here and get all of the ocean behind you, which I think would be something to fight for. Taylor's that rebellious Midwestern. Okay but I don't want you, you're so petite. I want you being extra careful. Let's get Taylor on the other side first and then okay. We hop fences all the time. Okay. Nice, okay. I'm gonna get you guys right over there. Careful with the cactus though, that's the scariest part. Right there would be great. I don't want you going any further. Good, now Sam scoot over to the left a tiny bit and then Taylor you get on that side. The sun just came out so Taylor turn your chest towards Sam. Yeah, there we go. So because the sun came out, I wanna make sure that the sun is behind them and then Taylor will be blocking the sun from Sam. (camera shuttering) Taylor can you turn your right shoulder in towards Sam a little more? There we go, there we go. (camera beeping and shuttering) So I got more of like an aerial kind of perspective standing up on the gate. (camera beeping and shuttering) Now I'm gonna pull back to get a little bit of a wider perspective, but the problem is the gate will still be in the way. (camera shuttering) Can you guys look out towards the ocean? Yes, yes. (camera shuttering) Okay, this is it, I like it. She's so tiny compared to him, (camera shuttering) but I think it's working. My settings are a 2.8, 400th of a second, 200 ISO. (camera shuttering) I'm gonna change my perspective, I'm gonna slip in through the gate. There we go, okay. (camera beeping and shuttering) I did, I slipped through the fence. I wasn't as brave as you guys. Now Sam can you have your back in Taylor's chest? Yeah. Like this? Yeah, beautiful and then get all the hair. Yeah, Taylor, yes. Yes, Taylor yes. Yes, yes, yes. Taylor's on hair duty. He is on hair and he's so good at it, he's so good at it. (camera shuttering) Good, Sam bring your right shoulder more towards me. Oh, right, other right. And then put your arm in the inside, there we go. Yeah, there we go. (camera shuttering) Beautiful, ah this is really nice. Bless you. (laughing) (camera shuttering) It's great, I wanna make sure and shoot through those laughs, these were great. Okay so now what I want you to do is Taylor can you get the hair that's up on top, just kinda pat it, yes, there we go. Good, so because there is such a height difference, I would love, let's see. Taylor can you square your shoulders towards me? Yeah, there we go, beautiful. Your arms are gonna be around and then Sam can you just have your hands, yes, there we go. So here in this photo, (camera shuttering) I'm just gonna be using your body Taylor as a frame, for Sam, 'kay. I'm gonna shoot this at a 1.4. I'm at 200 ISO, 35mm, 1,000th of a second. (camera shuttering) Beautiful. (camera shuttering) My focal point is on Sam and actually I can't shoot this vertical I don't think. I'm gonna shoot this horizontal 'cause I was losing it. Taylor can you rest your head, open up your legs, careful, there we go. (camera shuttering) Good we'll let that hair whip around, it's all good. We're just gonna let it go. Look down, relax that right shoulder, take a deep breath, shake it out, beautiful. (camera shuttering) Eyes here. (camera shuttering) Beautiful. Now I want you on the incline. This is the last shot, so careful, there is a cactus there. So you're on the incline, you're gonna turn towards Taylor. Taylor there's a cactus right behind you. There we go, turn towards Taylor. Thank you guys so much for doing this. Oh yeah. And this is our last shot. Put your hands underneath Taylor's chin and then guide him, hang on, there's a person walking, hang on one sec. One, good, now you're gonna guide each other's faces in for a nice, light, yes, there we go friends. There we go. (camera shuttering) I'm still shooting at a 1.4 because ugh, this light. Beautiful, that again and then relax that front shoulder, yes, attagirl, yes. (camera shuttering) Woo, we're done friends. So two weeks before you guys see all the photos, but I'm gonna really try to expedite it, I wanna show you guys as soon as possible and get a sneak peek at minimum a week from now, if not sooner. You guys, thank you. Thank you so much. So we just ended the engagement session. I could not be more happy with how things fared. I'm gonna be honest and for the video crew and to my amazing husband who joined this shoot, I extend my sincerest apologies to y'all 'cause I wasn't the happiest camper. I think I had a little bit, or a lot of an attitude and I can say that now. But I think that the stress that I was compartmentalizing was the fact that I felt like I was up a creek without a paddle. And I think it kinda goes to show that even if the clients, there was about to 14 inch height difference, even when it's so bright and there's not any open shade, and even if you really don't know exactly where you're going and how you're gonna get there, at the end of the day, if you set up a photo map, if you approach a shoot with confidence, and if you try in every situation to find some sort of positivity, it does end up working out. I think just kinda changing and recalibrating where you're going with the intention of saying I'm shooting up in the field, I'm shooting at the beach, and I'm shooting through the switchbacks as we go down. That's gonna make the biggest difference. So having said that, the takeaways would be stay positive, stay focused, have an intentional plan, and be definitely open to how things might renavigate, and then get recalibrated as you go through the session. I'm so excited for today, I look forward to kinda delving into the befores and afters as we get into post processing and what the shoot looked like in it's entirety and I'm excited to share the gallery soon. Thanks guys so much for joining us, have a great day. I am absolutely smitten with this couple. Samantha and Taylor were so incredibly nice and they were so incredibly kind. Even though it was very cold and even though it was very windy, they made the best out of it and because they made the best of it, they absolutely loved their photos. In a future lesson, I'm going to show you how I cull the images from the shoot. I'm also gonna show you how I edit the images from the shoot and the things that I use to make the photos look the way that I want them. Also I will be talking about how I use these images as marketing resources. Yes, for my business and yes to make my clients happy. But what I want to do is I wanna empower the creative team in advance and give them another reason to support and get behind this wedding. Now on that note, I wanna share an email that Taylor had sent after they had seen the images from the engagement session. As a photographer, it's easy to feel, you know, a little worried about what their response will be. Well when I had released the slideshow to my clients, I got a phone call from Samantha and she was in tears and she said "thank you, thank you for showing how I love Taylor in a way that other people can see", which was moving and was lovely. But then Taylor, being just Taylor the wonderful guy that he is, emailed. He said, "Jasmine, this is Taylor. We just wanted to send you a quick thank you note thanking you again for your absolutely incredible work. The fact that you got this done this quickly is simply amazing and Sam and I feel absolutely like the luckiest couple on earth to get to work with you. With that said, these photos are out of this world perfect. I don't know how to express to you in words, how happy these make Sam and I. It literally brought tears to our eyes when we had the chance to go through them together. We are so excited to share these with friends and family and we'll surely look into purchasing some prints from the gallery. We can't wait to work with you again. Seeing how happy you made Sam with this shoot is one of the best things I've experienced so far during this journey. So thank you from the bottom of my heart for providing that for us. The pictures are beautiful, you were an absolute delight to work with, and we couldn't be luckier to have you as our wedding photographer. Lastly, Sam and I feel it is only right to extend an invitation to you and your husband to a welcome event the evening before the wedding. It will be at the blank in Sonoma from 6 to 8 p.m. with light snacks and drinks provided. We would love for you just to come as you are, get to know everyone, and enjoy yourselves. I'm sure we'll talk soon, but once again, thank you for all your hard work and providing us memories that will last a lifetime, Taylor and Sam." I don't know why I get a little choked up. (laughing) I feel like it brings so much satisfaction and gratification to actually reach to people, show their love, but what I think I get a little bit moved by is that Sam and Taylor share a simple love. And the fact that they are inviting JD and I into that, the fact that The Knot is covering this wedding, and otherwise they would not be able to afford to get married. So the fact that they're having a small, intimate welcome dinner with their closest friends and family, and they invite my husband and I to join them without any preconceived notions of us shooting, means so much to me. It means they value me as a person as much as they value me as their photographer. And I hope the same for every photographer. We have prepared to get us to this point. We have set our expectations. We have outlined what we wanted and then we deliver on that and because we do it so articulately, our clients feel loved and they feel supported and I want the same for you. On that note, totally had a girl moment, (clearing throat) we're gonna get to our homework. I'm gonna do this in a manly voice as much as possible. What I want you to do at your next photo shoot, I want you to arrive at least 30 minutes early and create a photo map. It's easy to feel overwhelmed and completely like life is against you when it comes to light and weather and maybe location. But what I want you to do is I want you to assess the location, I want you to establish where you're gonna start the session, where you're gonna pause the session, so that your clients will have the opportunity to change, if that's something they want to do. Then I want you to also know where you're going to end the session, because if you could tell your clients and keep them up to date, it lets them know that you are prepared and then they trust you. Lastly, I want to remind you, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. What I want you to do is I want you to know where you're going. I want you to know where you're going, I want you to create a mind map of how you're going to get there. It will make you feel more confident and assure that you can deliver on the end product. Thank you guys so much.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials: Shooting Guides

The Complete Wedding Photographer's Experience Keynote
Gallery Access
Shooting Guide: How to Pose a Curvy Bride
Shooting Guide: How to Shoot a Tall-Short Couple
Shooting Guide: How to Shoot in the Worst Light
Shooting Guide: Shooting with Intention

Bonus Material: Syllabus


Ratings and Reviews


Do not just watch this video. Eat it up, live it and breathe it. I am a recent Jasmine Star convert (a.k.a. evangelist) and a newbie photographer. I was looking for inspiration online and her name had come up before in conversations with another photographer and I am SO GLAD I stumbled upon her blog, her store and her Creative Live classes. I have to say that in the 9 months now that my business has been in operation, she's been with me every step of the way (in internet spirit) and although I've never spoken to or corresponded with her, her online presence has served as a guide for many steps in my business. I am not a high-end photographer or teaching my own classes, like I said I'm brand-spanking new to the industry, but her blog and this class has helped me develop a clear vision and plan for my business, and to me that is half the battle. If you want to feel good about your business, know what you stand for, your style of photography…if you want to know your 2-minute why-hire-me speech in an elevator full of brides or whoever your audience is, listen, really listen to what she has to say. Then DO DO DO what you need to do for yourself a successful business takes a lot of work. But if you love it and it's a passion of yours, then you can make your business what you want it to be. Thank you, Jasmine Star and JD for being an amazing beacon of light to many photographers around the world and for being my wedding day warriors who amp me up on the mornings of my professional shoots! All the best from Ohio, Donna May


Remember when Magicians kept all their secrets to themseves ? Well its as if Jasmine said enough is enough I'm doing a 30 day class on the A to Z of Wedding Photography and I'm not holding anything back baby!! I'm even going to wear a mic and speak my thoughts out loud! Is this really happening? Creative live said its free the first time around? Am I dreaming? Jasmine your giving us a wealth of knowlege and I cannot thank you enough I love and look forward to your teaching everyday Talk about step by step! Jasmine your the Tony Robbins of Wedding Photography, You've inspired me to pick up my camera once again Thank you so much for doing this course for us and explaining everything so clearly and sharing every tip you know with us I feel like i'm shadowing you on the shoots :) Thanks to creative live and JD too An awesome class that I will be buying Highly recommend!

Charlie Ketchen

WOW! So inspiring! This course really shook things up for me! I've never seen a live wedding, meeting, engagement/bridal shoot before and it was so valuable. Edited nicely, easy to follow and so relatable. It's been truly inspiring to watch this over the past few weeks. I purchased the course and I am so glad I did, the course materials saved me making 1,000s of notes, but I still had documents open to make notes because EVERYTHING she says is helpful/moving/game-changing. Don't skip the Q&A's at the end of each session, or the last sessions as she either recalls and compounds what we learned over the 30+ lessons and there is value in all of it! I can't be thankful enough for Jasmine, JD & the CL team for bringing this to us in a shiny, clean format for us to enjoy. For bearing all, for wearing your hearts on your sleeves and pulling back the curtain on how the J* brand operates and came about. So so so so inspiring. BUY IT!!!

Student Work