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The bride and groom for this wedding deliberately got ready in neighbouring rooms in a hotel. They wanted to deliberately tease each other with the fact that they were so close to each other and yet still so far away and couldn’t actually see other. I positioned myself in the middle of the hallway with the doors to both rooms open and waited for that decisive moment. As the bride’s dress was being adjusted by one of the bridesmaids and another bridesmaid was getting ready in the bathroom, the groom and his best man were having a conversation and were silhouetted by the window. This image appears to be a composite but was actually created in just one capture.
Camera: Canon EOS 5D
Lens: EF 17-40 f/4L USM
Focal Length: 27mm
Shutter Speed: 1/100
Light Source: Ambient
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PUBLISHER’S NOTE: I am very proud to announce that AIPP 2011 Australian Wedding Photographer of the Year and one of the top wedding photographers in the world – Jerry Ghionis is joining Photofocus as a regular contributor. Visit our ABOUT page to learn more about Jerry’s amazing photographic career.
Jerry will provide some of his award-winning images, tell us how he made them and share a brief summary of what the scene was like when he made the photo.
Camera: Canon EOS 5D MKII
Lens: 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
Focal Length: 120mm
Shutter Speed: 1/80
Light Source: Off Camera Flash – 580 EXII
Flash Trigger: Pocket Wizard Mini TT1
Flash Receiver: Pocket Wizard Flex TT5
This was one of the last images I took on the wedding day at about 12:30am. It was pouring rain outside, but I convinced my couple that if they went outside for one last image it would be worth it. I had my assistant stand behind them about six feet away with an off camera flash as the only light source. It created a beautiful effect in camera. It’s important that you never have your couple kissing or touching their faces together with a back lit image like this since the light needs to filter between them so light bounces off each other.
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Listen. Do you want to know a secret? If you want to make better photographs bring a reflector.
This is just one of the messages of master wedding photographer Jerry Ghionis.
I listened to Jerry give a talk last night at Skip’s Summer School in Vegas, and while his program was packed full of valuable information, one of the best messages he shared was how he turns mundane places and situations into pure, absolute magic. In fact he’s known for this. I often describe Jerry like this. Anyone can make a stunning photograph at the Taj Mahal. But Jerry can make stunning photographs in the boiler room or the bathroom at the Taj Mahal. And many times all it takes is his super human ability to SEE potential in a location and a reflector.
Jerry talked about capturing the natural moments but not stopping there. He creates the “natural” moments by directing his subjects into the best light, with the best poses and he works damn hard to do it.
He gave numerous examples of finding great backdrops throughout his native Australia and then going back to these places with wedding couples and setting up shots that sell.
He often achieves magic – and I am not exaggerating when I say he does much of it with simple reflectors.
In addition to the basic reflectors you can buy at a camera store like Adorama, Jerry will use anything as a reflector. He’ll often find a wall that is soaked in sunlight and then stand in front of that wall and shoot opposite it with the bride and groom. He once asked his assistant to use her FACE as a reflector. I kid you not! He took his flash off camera. He sat his wedding couple in the back of a Rolls Royce. He had his assistant sit in the front seat, close her eyes, point the flash directly at her face, point her face at the couple, and the result was some of the prettiest light I’ve ever seen.
Jerry will use a reflective painting from inside a house outside of the house. He’ll use mirrors as reflectors. He’ll use people’s bright clothing as a reflector. It is shocking to find out that in many cases his “secret” is nothing more than carrying a reflector.
So now, you have to ask yourself. How many times have you left that reflector you bought out in the car? I’m guilty. But never again.
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Photofocus Episode 68
Host: Scott Bourne (www.scottbourne.com or www.twitter.com/scottbourne) and special guest Jerry Ghionis (http://www.jerryghionis.com/ or www.twitter.com/jerryghionis). Jerry is on tour with Sandy Puc and you can learn more about their workshop at http://www.sandypuctours.com/. Enter the promo code ‘JER11′ to save $20 on the workshop fee.
Welcome to Episode Number 68 of Photofocus with Scott Bourne and special guest Jerry Ghionis. Photofocus is the show devoted to your questions about anything photography related including gear, technique, locations, etc. Your questions will shape the direction of this show so be sure to send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will try to answer as many as we can but we get a lot of questions so we’ll try to take a collection of questions that represent a particular topic and present them together.
This week we kick things off with a listener looking for tips on how to photograph people to make them appear slimmer:
Question One – Tips for Slimming People in Photographs
Can you talk about some of the techniques you use when photographing larger people to make them look slimmer? Is this something you do in camera or in post? Nicole Gibson from New York, New York
Jerry: I try to do as much as I can in camera. I actually don’t use Photoshop much myself so I try to work things out in camera. For plus sized people, your veil will best your best friend. Shoulders have to go back and you have to separate the arm from pressing up against the body. Also shooting from a taller angle and shooting down helps. If you use a wide angle lens and shoot down, you create an illusion where the body seems to disappear. Continue Reading