Monday, June 29, 2009

Second shooter for Scott Jarvie

Last weekend I was able to be a second shooter with Scott Jarvie. Jarvie was gracious enough to let me follow him on a wedding shoot.

My intention was to sponge all the info I could out of Scott about wedding photography. Actually there wasn't much sponging as Jarvie was giving me tips at a near constant barrage. First off I want to thank Scott for being Scott. You really need to get to know the man to understand why I say that. There are a few people in this world that you want to be around because the exude fun and Scott is one of them. You can't help smile if you are around the guy for very long.

First thing I learned from Scott. Be the wedding couples friend. Sounds simple but I could see the respect and love that Adam and Jessica had for Jarvie. They thought they had the best wedding photographer in the continental US and probably the world (I think they were close to right on this one).

Scott with the soon to be wed couple

Another thing Scott explained to me was how important it is to be in control. You want people to think (even in moments where you yourself are confused) that you know what you are doing, that you will take care of them. You can't be timid, tell people what they should do and why.

In the words of Scott, "Talk the the bride before hand tell her where we should do the group photo (the location you found that has best light and is best for a group). Don't tell her there are other options, just tell her it is the place that will work for the large group photo. Once you are done talking to the bride, tell the group that the bride wants the group photo (everyone) done at the location you picked." Because the bride wants the photo done at the location there is less grumbling and things move more quickly.

One of the million little golden tid-bits that Scott shared!

Another lesson learned: You're going to need that wide lens. Wide lenses tend to make people look well wide, but sometimes it is all you can do. Also if you try to go long instead of wide, you may end up with photos of the back of the groups head as everyone crowds around the bride and groom with their own cameras.

This one was big for me, I love to shoot long and shallow. Had to go wide...

Get to know (quickly) key players. If mom makes a lot of the decisions make sure that you get on her good side to help you with crowd control. If the bride is the decision maker then learn to work with her so you can make her day her's.

So you might ask why no actual how to take picture tips?

Well here is the tip: Don't try to learn photography at a wedding. I now this seems obvious but Scott pointed out that some people ask to shoot with him at a wedding because they want to learn to shoot better. There are so many places where it is easier to learn. Shoot at birthday parties, family events, your own home. Experiment and learn every nook and cranie of your camera and how it works. I wanted to learn business aspects of photography from Scott. A wedding is not the place to learn new techniques, but is the place to put into practice all the techniques you have learned!

OK now for a few pics from the wedding:

I guess I was feeling like a black and white day...

I loved the expression on this bored little kid ;)

OK a few color images:


David Terry said...

Awesome post. Thanks for sharing! :)

Corey Luke said...

Nice job Nate! And cool pics too!

Jarvie said...

I agree, great insights ;)

May I add my new favorite catch phrase... "Pick your battles"

You can always do something bigger and better, but remember you're on a time limit and you also want to make people happy. So pick which battles (pictures) you'll take, don't try to do everything.

Becky said...

My husband and I own a DJ company and he works in much the same way. He is very personable with the bride and groom and makes their happiness his priority. As he works the reception, he gives the photographer and videographer warnings and nudges - he always makes sure they're ready and available for the next photo-op. This way they know exactly where to be when the bridal party gets introduced and their not in the bathroom when the cake is being cut...

EngineeringNerd said...

I really enjoyed these tips! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Nice post Nate! Thanks for sharing the tips. I've always thought that Scott's enthusiasm must be a key differentiator of his business and of great benefit in building rapport with the couple.

Anonymous said...

Great post, thanks for the tips Nate! I've always thought that Scott's infectious enthusiasm would be a key to building rapport with the couple.

Nathan Marx said...

Pick your battles, I remember that one!

Becky, you say it exactly. People skill is so important in the wedding field!

Thanks for the comments all!

Dustin said...

Thanks for the post. I got the chance to go shoot some stuff with Scott also and it was great to see how he worked.