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The Knot Wedding: Wedding Ceremony Photos

Lesson 17 from: The Complete Wedding Photographer Experience

Jasmine Star

The Knot Wedding: Wedding Ceremony Photos

Lesson 17 from: The Complete Wedding Photographer Experience

Jasmine Star

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Lesson Info

17. The Knot Wedding: Wedding Ceremony Photos

Jasmine shows you how she handled the obstacles thrown her way when shooting wedding ceremony photos.


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

The Knot Wedding: Wedding Ceremony Photos

So what you're about to see is the beginning of the ceremony. Now, if we back things up a tiny bit, you will see that most of it, or how I felt anyway, was it was like a hot mess. So this is exactly what went down. Because I got delayed from the bridal prep, that actually ate up time for the bridesmaids photos. As I was quickly trying to shoot the bridesmaid photos, I realized that I had about 30 seconds to shoot the entire ceremony. So I ran like a wild banshee, I didn't even have time to bring the camera crew with me, I was just like go, and everybody followed me. So what you're about to see is how all of that comes to fruition, then you'll see a beginning, a middle, and an end. We're gonna come back, we're gonna recap exactly what happened, and how we were able to overcome it. I'm sorry, can I get a quick photo? May I have everybody removed from the situation, just for one quick photo? 30 seconds. Thank you so much. So I need to make sure that I'm shooting the wide shot. I'm sorry, ...

excuse me, sir, could I have you get back? Thank you. I need you away, thank you, okay. (camera clicking) Oh my god, you're here, I'm like... Thank you guys so much. (camera clicking) So I'm doing a full, and I'm doing a half. Horizontal, vertical. Great, thank you so kindly. You guys can sit down, I appreciate your time very much. Thank you, thank you guys. Thank you, thank you. We'll move them in, thank you. (camera clicking) Tammy, I need individual shots of the paper goods. Sorry. Oh no, please, thank you. (camera clicking) 50, I'm using the 50 millimeter right now, my settings are 4.0, one thousandth of a second. 100 ISO. I'm gonna go to sixteen hundredth of a second, at 4.0. I'm getting the winery in the background, it's really bright right now. So I'm gonna shoot it from one side, and I'll flip to the other side. This is not the side that I want, I can already tell. The shadows are way too pronounced, so I'm gonna flip it on that side. I already got that shot. I'm gonna get some... (camera clicking) (camera clicking) We need individual photos of each piece. I always make sure the piece is in the center of the frame, and the lower portion of the frame. This light is not ideal, like remotely, and I just have to deal with it. (camera clicking) I have nothing to reflect back light into the shaded areas, I'm just gonna try to expose for the highlights, and then bring up the low lights later. Okay. Can you do guest shots? Yeah. So what just happened was you saw a full out sprint to capture ceremony details. I'm sure it probably wasn't the nicest person, I think somebody might have even got a little miffed that I asked them to move, but if I pissed off one person to get the photos that I needed, I'm gonna be okay with it, and I'll make sure and make it up to her at a later point in time. I'm gonna ask her to pose for one of my photos, and hopefully make a friend out of a potential enemy. So we're gonna back up. We're about to start the ceremony, guests are seated, the bride should be coming out in the next five to eight minutes, depending on how close we run to The Knot timeline. The thing that I'm really noticing is how harsh the light is. It is noon in June in Sonoma, it is hot and it is very bright. I'm gonna try to make the best of it as I can, but I have to know, truth be told, we're gonna get harsh shadows. We're gonna get a lot of people squinting. Let's see, they're gonna be exposed differently, like so Taylor will be looking at Samantha, and Samantha will be looking at Taylor, we're gonna get odd shadows on both their faces. There's nothing I can do about it. I'm gonna try to expose for the highlights, and bring up the low lights later. That's the way I have a tendency of shooting. But if there's any possibility of them looking out into the audience, when their faces turn and they're exposed, both at the same, that's gonna be my preference. I feel like I'm a little bit stressed, because The Knot magazine is wanting sneak peek photos from the ceremony by 3:30 today. We've done the math, it's noon, and they want photos in about three hours. So we have a lot of work to do, we have our work cut out for us. But I'm just gonna hope for the best. The wind is a factor, it keeps on bringing down some of the flowers on top of the ceremony, on top of the altar. If that happens, we're just gonna roll with it, and as quests keep on coming in, I'm gonna try to shoot them as candidly as I possibly can, but because the timeline got so cut, I had about three minutes to shoot the ceremony, and I didn't get the usual ten to fifteen minutes that I usually get. We're just gonna roll with it, and hopefully during cocktail hour we'll be able to get candids of guests. So that's where we stand now. I'll be positioning myself for the bride and groom to walk down. The way that we're gonna position it is I will be standing at the front using the 7200, JD will be standing at the back using the or the 24 to 70, depending on his angles. We're gonna head to that now. I'm gonna be at the end of the aisle shooting tight, Tammy will be next to me with the 50. So she'll get the wider shot. But I think it would be a cool shot for you to be to the left of the altar so that you get their kiss. But facing the background is the vineyard. No, the back is their guests. Got it. So just a kiss from the back, and then shooting it tight, and then shooting it wide, and then as they walk back, getting people like all excited, and then you run and pick us up back here. Got it. Okay, cool. Got it. Okay. Thanks. Are you gonna stop them for a kiss mist likely? I will try. Okay. Okay. So what's going on right now with the frame is that I usually don't shoot with a third shooter. So since I have a third shooter, I'm gonna go for a shot that we don't normally get, and I'm gonna see if it works. So I'm gonna keep Tammy, our third shooter, back in the back of the aisle, even though I know that I can get the shot that I want, and I'll feel good with it. But I wanna give JD a cool angle from shooting something that we don't normally, which is behind the bride and groom, to see if he can get the guests and the venue in the background. If it works, that's great, but if not, we're gonna be totally solidly covered on both ends. Right. So be it. So one thing I just wanna take into consideration real quick is I will always position myself in relation to where the videographer is. Anise, the videographer, was located behind the altar, so I just wanna stand wherever she's standing. I don't want the two of us to be too different anchors within the frame, so I will probably be shooting from behind the altar as they walk down. That is gonna be extraordinarily difficult, because I don't have a natural reflector bouncing light back on them, unless it's the grass. And so I just need to be conscious that the photos may have a green tint to them, we're gonna try to fix that in post as quick as possible. I'll be standing behind the altar and get them a straight-on shot, and the minute that the exchange is done between the father and daughter, I'll get out of the way, and I don't really stand up to the front too much after that. For the rest of the ceremony, I'll be standing in the center of the aisle once or maybe twice, and I usually stand on each side to get reaction shots and details as it unfolds. So that's the game plan as of right now. (soft instrumental music) So I'm just behind the scenes of the coordinator being interviewed, and because the coordinator will want these photos later for social media, I wanna make sure that I take care of her in that respect. I'm shooting with a 7200 2.8. Because the sun is overhead, I need to be shooting... I'm shooting at 640th of a second, 125 ISO. (camera clicking) Thank you. (camera clicking) Right here. (soft instrumental music) (camera clicking) (soft instrumental music) (camera clicking) They're so extraordinarily side-lit right now. (camera clicking) (soft instrumental music) (camera clicking) (soft instrumental music) (camera clicking) (soft instrumental music) (camera clicking) (soft instrumental music) Squeeze in, squeeze in. (camera clicking) So JD's getting the shot of Taylor right now, JD's getting Taylor's reaction, so I'm not feeling pressure to get that. I'm gonna hold my crown for this position of the bride walking out with her dad. (soft instrumental music) (camera clicking) (soft instrumental music) (camera clicking) (camera clicking) Welcome, everyone. Please take your seats. We are gathered here this afternoon to celebrate the love and marriage of Taylor Sinclair and Samantha Carisch. Speaking of love, on behalf of the couple, I'd like to thank all of you who have come from near and far, or in this case, more like far and farther, to be here for this special day. To those that don't know me, I'm Tim Owen, and I had the pleasure of being friends and a roommate with Sam and Taylor for the last few years, and I was honored when they asked me to officiate today. I feel like I'm a good man for the job, because I was able to know them each individually, and also see their relationship up close. And sometimes in that little apartment, it was a little too close (laughing). But any relationship that started with baseball is perfect in my book. In my time living with them, I got to see the qualities and quirks that everyone that knows them will recognize. I saw Taylor as a calm, quiet, stereotypical Midwesterner, at least when he wasn't watching or playing sports or stuck in an L.A. traffic jam. (woman laughing) Samantha is a cute, bubbly young lady with a great sense of style and a heart of gold, but can be quite the dictator in terms of closet space. (guests laughing) But I was most lucky to see, living with them, was the things they did for each other, the way they treated each other, and you haven't seen true love until you've seen a girl try to swing a golf club the size of her, and a man's man from Iowa straighten 19 turquoise couch pillows because it's important to their partner. (guests laughing) Lastly, but more seriously, Sam was a rock for Taylor when she helped him move out to Southern California and start his life and his career, and Taylor has done the same in return, when Sam has had to quit her job to be with her mom in a time of need. It was for these reasons that as soon as I got to know them that I saw that Sam and Taylor had the foundation of love and friendship that all couples need to succeed. Each and every one of us has beared witness to this, and have seen how easy it is for them to love each other. It is this simplicity that reminds me of a short excerpt of advice that I would like to share from the literary classic All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten. (guests laughing) "Share everything. "Play fair. "Don't hit people. "Clean up your own mess. "Say sorry when you hurt somebody. "Wash your hands before you eat. "Flush. (guests laughing) "Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you. "Take a nap every afternoon." Did Taylor write this? Right? (guests laughing) "Learn some, and think some. "Draw, and paint, and sing, and dance, "and play, and work every day some. "And last, but not least, no matter how old you are, "when you go into the world, "it is best to hold hands and stick together." At the end of the day, that's what marriage is all about. Grabbing your loved one by the hand, and knowing that you are taking everything in life, all the challenges and the accomplishments, together. (guests laughing) So with that said, we need to bless this marriage. So will you two take each other's hands, like you've already done. You guys are way ahead of me. Check. Yup. These are the hands of your best friend. Young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever. These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as together you build your future. These are the hands that will passionately love you, and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch, will comfort you like no other. These are the hands that will hold you when cheer or grief fills your mind. (photographers whispering) These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes. Already? (laughing) Tears of sorrow, and tears of joy. These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children. These are the hands that will help you to hold your family as one. These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it, and lastly, these are the hands that, even when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours. Still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch. (photographers whispering) That in mind, time to exchange vows. The couple has chosen to repeat their vows after me. (photographers whispering) Because as we can see, there's no way that Sam would've gotten through it if she wrote her own and had to deliver them. Go away. So Taylor, please repeat after me. I'll try. (guests laughing) I, Taylor, take you Samantha, to be my beloved wife. I, Taylor, take you Samantha, to be my beloved wife. To have and to hold you. To have and to hold you. To honor and to treasure you. To honor and to treasure you. To be at your side in sorrow and in joy. To be at your side in sorrow and in joy. And to love and cherish you always. And to love and cherish you always. I promise you this from my heart. I promise you this from my heart. Through all the days of my life. Through all the days of my life. Get some Taylor shots? Yeah, please. I, Samantha, take you, Taylor, to be my beloved husband. I, Samantha, take you, Taylor, to be my beloved husband. To have and to hold you. To have and to hold you. To honor and to treasure you. To honor and to treasure you. To be at your side in sorrow and in joy. To be at your side in sorrow and in joy. And to love and cherish you always. And to love and cherish you always. I promise you this with my heart. Clearly I promise you this with my heart. (guests laughing) For all the days of my life. For all the days of my life. (Samantha giggling) May I have the rings please? Have you even seen the rings? (laughing) I have not. (guests laughing) First time. (camera clicking) Okay, repeat after me, and then place the ring on Sam's finger. Which one? (guests laughing) With this ring, I thee wed. With this ring, I thee wed. (camera clicking) All right, Sam. Repeat after me, and place the ring on Taylor's finger. With this ring, I thee wed. With this ring, I thee wed. Samantha and Taylor, throughout this ceremony, you have vowed in our presence to be loving and loyal to one another. It is my pleasure to pronounce you husband and wife. You may now kiss the bride. (guests applauding) Oh, my veil! (guests laughing) Veil down. Guys, just hold onto it. It's coming off at the reception anyways. Keep it. Mr. and Mrs. Sinclair. (guests cheering) Tammy? Tammy, can you get them? (guests cheering) (camera clicking) Heck yes, heck yes. (camera clicking) So where we are is at the end of the ceremony. Just a couple things I kind of wanna bring up to speed is the fact that you saw that we had about a minute and a half to shoot all of the details, and that is not a stretch of my exaggeration, it is literally what we had. But I felt like I was able to approach it with confidence in retrospect. In the moment, I felt like, oh my god, oh my god, I think I'm gonna die right now. But I think in retrospect, what I can say is I know how I shoot it. I get a wide vertical, I get a tight vertical, I get a wide horizontal, I get a tight horizontal. I shoot it halfway down the aisle, and I shoot it up towards the front of the aisle. I was able to get the individual details up at the altar, and I was able to get programs along the way. That was all I was able to do, but thankfully, that was all that was there for us to shoot. So in that respect, boom, we got it done, we nailed what we knew we should nail. Was it uncomfortable asking people to move? Absolutely. Did it make me feel like everybody was staring at me and I hate that kind of feeling? Absolutely. But I took what I had, and I had to make it work, because I had no other option. And there wasn't anybody behind me being like, hey, you should be doing this, or hey, you should be doing that. It was like hey, what time is it? Oh my god, guests are being seated right now. And as we were running out, guests were actually being seated. Another thing that was kind of presented was outside of it being extraordinarily bright, and having really harsh shadows, we had, I think there's a total of six different video teams here today. Some for press, some for The Knot, some for Cake Wars, a show on cable. There was a lot going on. So instead of me trying to crop everything out of the background, I simply let it be, because this is the wedding. It is an absolutely tech intensive, video intensive, and lifestyle intensive wedding. So I'm not gonna be concerned with all of the other elements that were going on in the background. Lastly, I did understand that there were gonna be harsh shadows across the bride's and groom's face, but I did the best I could, and I made sure that I had at least a few frames where the bride was looking out, so that she was illuminated. The groom was looking out so that he was illuminated. And they weren't falling in each other's shadows. I also made sure that I got an aisle shot down the center, with the sun on their faces, both illuminated the same way so I can meter for it. I got the sky, I got the hills, I got the vineyards, and then I got their guests in the photo. As far as that is concerned, as long as I have these kind of key elements, them looking at each other, an overall view, a tight view, exchanging of the rings, and a kiss, which we all got, I will feel okay with it. Will the entire gallery look exactly how I want it to be? Probably not. But will I get enough to curate the story, both from an editorial perspective, both from the slideshow, and both from a blog perspective, which turns into marketing? The answer is yes. So for that, I hold my solace. Do I think I could do better job? Yeah, I do, but I was doing the best I could, given with what I was given. And with that, I'll say I'm doing okay.

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!!!

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