Articles, Blog

Wedding Photography Behind The Scenes | Watch Me Shoot a Wedding!!

January 10, 2020

hey and welcome back to my channel! if
you’re new here.. I’m Joy I help photographers like you grow
profitable and thriving photography businesses through videos here on my
youtube channel every single week and also over in my private Facebook group
called photo boss. I’ll link it down below. if you’re not a part of it,
definitely join and I’ll leave you guys the link. so, in today’s video I’m going
to be showing you behind the scenes of me working at a wedding. which I’ve had a
few people ask for! you’ll be able to see more insight into my
settings my lenses my posing and direction and just really how it
actually looks for me to be working on a real wedding day and then the images
that come of it. so if you like this kind of video and
you want to see more leave me a comment down below and let me know which part of
the wedding day you want to see behind the scenes from so if you need more help
with family formals let me know if you need more help with reception and
off-camera flash let me know. I want to hear from you guys so that I can make
videos that really truly help you here on YouTube. so this was the first time we
brought this GoPro to a wedding, so in the beginning we were just playing
around with it and trying to see what it was capable of and I was here
photographing the ceremony set up this was going to be outside on the water
gorgeous gorgeous view at the Chesapeake Bay and at this point in the day we had
already done the details stationary rings dress that kind of thing so after
the ceremony set up I moved into this little foyer area where I was just
getting the cards the seating chart cards I wanted to get this picture here
of where the guests would be putting their cards and some of the images of my
couple from their engagement session so just getting these details at this point
I’m still working around some of the employees that are still setting up but
I wanted to make sure that I got these cards before the guests came in and
moved them so a lot of times by the time we get to the reception space it’s
altered it doesn’t look the same and it’s really hard to get published when
we don’t have these details so I was lucky enough to get those so now we’re
just getting some pictures of our bride with her bridesmaids seeing her for the
first time hanging out in the getting ready room and getting some of those
action photos and as you can tell it was a little bit dark
we had some mixed lighting but there was a window coming in and shedding light on
the bride’s face and here I’m trying to tell the bride where exactly I want her
and her mom to stand because even though her dress was a quick zip up kind of
dress I wanted to get some pictures of her and her mom just having a moment
before the wedding where you have the buttoning up of the dress maybe putting
on the veil and that kind of thing so we invited the mom to come over and stand
with the bride and as you can see here I’m still going to be popping a little
bit of a flash because there is natural light but I want to fill in those
shadows especially on my bride’s face since she’s facing away from the light I
continue to use the flash throughout the getting ready period in here just
because I like the way that the images were coming out and the harsh shadows
just weren’t working for me when I turned the flash off now we were gonna set up the dad for a
first look just with the dad the bride and groom were not gonna do a
first look and I had to be really careful where I positioned him and the
bride because we had the groom and my second shooter taking pictures just on
the other side of this like trellis and so if we went down by the water or if we
were in that area he would have been able to see us so I had to very
carefully position them in this area and this was a little bit tricky but we made
it work so immediately following this
father-daughter first look I had the entire girls side of the bridal party
come out to this trellis area because at this point we hadn’t done any of those
bridal party portraits because again they weren’t doing a first look so I
went ahead I did a quick gathering before the ceremony and I got some
details of the bride as well of her bouquet just her standing there some
really classic portraits and I got a good portrait of this entire group of
bridesmaids here which ended up being the only natural light portraits we had
of them just because of the rest of the way that the day went so as everybody
was going inside getting her tucked away and making sure that the groom didn’t
see her I was using this time to really get those Frodo Trent photojournalistic
shots that fill in the album when I had stopped over at the bar got a crank
drink of water before the ceremony and my assistant who had the camera all day
she went up to the balcony so that we could get this angle for you guys so
that you could really see what’s going on where I’m standing and how this
ceremony thing works so for a ceremony where I’m outside I have a lot more
leeway as to exactly where I can stand but when it’s in a church and when it’s
a little bit more confined I am still in this very similar position I’m gonna be
standing at the front a little off to the side so because I was working with a
videographer I also needed to make sure that I wasn’t gonna be in front of his
shot and to double-check where everybody was coming in so at this point you see
me talking to the priest he was instructing and letting me know who was
coming down the aisle off the side and who was
coming down in the middle I also wanted to make sure that he didn’t have any
rules against us standing at the front I always want to be very respectful of
whatever ceremonies are being held and whoever’s in charge there which is not
me so at this point we you can see the groom and all of his groomsmen are
filing in and I’m gonna be able to get that shot really beautifully here from
the front ow we’re going to get all the bridesmaid
shots coming down the aisle I’m still standing in the same place and I’m able
to still let them stand by but it’s starting to get a little bit more
crowded there at the front and I know that as soon as the bride comes in I’m
going to have to move but I want to be able to get the shot of the groom’s
reaction that’s my main thing is to get a nice wide classic horizontal shot of
the bride but also to get his reaction now at the same time my second shooter
is going to be getting the vantage point from the back so you can’t see her but
she’s actually kind of underneath this balcony that you’re looking down from so
here’s where things get exciting everybody’s standing up our bride and
her father have come down and you can see I turn and I get his reaction so
they’re coming in she can look at him from underneath this balcony and she’ll
start to come down the aisle I’ve instructed my second photographer to go
ahead and follow the bride and her father make sure that you’re getting
that angle of them from behind so I also have a few shots of them that are nice
and wide everybody looking at them as she comes down the aisle so at this
point I am going to slowly step back and I’m gonna stay at the front for just a
couple more moments I know that there’s gonna be this important hug passing off
handing over the bride and I know that I want to get some closer more intimate
shots of that as well so I stay in the front I get some images of the
bridesmaids fluffing the dress and I make sure that I get some tighter
portraits because I’m probably not going to be this close to the couple for the
rest of the ceremony unless I’m in the very center aisle so once I feel like
I’ve gotten some good shots of them up close I know I have a second where I can
switch my lenses and start getting those setting shots from the back of the
ceremony site so I want to make sure that I get a nice wide horizontal I want
to get a vertical of just them standing at the front holding cans and getting
ready to say their vows together so that’s really what I’m going for right
here I also know that I want to get some extremely tight shots wherever I can of
the ring exchange and anybody who is in the ceremony sharing versus speaking
saying a blessing over the couple that kind of thing if anybody’s in the
ceremony they’re important to the couples so I make sure that I get a
portrait of them as well by the time the vows are happening I’m pretty much going
to be hanging out here at the back and making sure that I get the kiss my
second photographer is going to get that side vantage point one photograph that I
absolutely love to get is the bride and groom kissing as they’re exiting their
ceremony so I always just give them this signal to stop really quickly and kiss
because this is a gorgeous gorgeous photograph and it’s one that I think
most of my couples end up putting in their album so it’s a really good one so
at this point in the day we’re losing light pretty quickly I ended up doing
pretty much all of the family formals and then stopped paused and you can see
the families hanging around some people are enjoying cocktail our parents are
there but I decided that the bride and groom portraits were more important at
this time of day since we had such limited light so I decided to take
matters into my own hands pose them there on the water make sure
that her dress was fluffed and I got some really classic portraits of them
kissing in front of the water I did a little bit of natural light portraits as
well as flash portraits because just the way that the lighting was coming in and
the way that the scene behind them was so lit made it so that to properly
expose for the background they were gonna be pretty dark so I went back and
forth on flash use so I wanted to grab a couple of portraits of the bride alone
with this gorgeous light so I went ahead and grabbed her bouquet added
that back in and it decided to coach her just a little bit I wanted to make sure
that we got some with her veil and that was really important to her to have her
veil in those classic portraits and really here I’m just telling her that
she needs to stand put those shoulders back and just smile at me so right here
we got a mix of some wider shots some tighter shots and we had to be sure to
make sure that we didn’t get any of those peoples heads on the beach because
there were people down on the beach so I had to kind of play around with my
vantage point and at the same time here my assistants getting some behind the
scenes for Instagram and my second shooter is getting some scene setting
shots of the guys on the beach you can see her off to the left actually
instructing them so we’re working at the same time because as you can see that
we’re about to lose the light here so it’s really a team effort and this is a
crunch time there’s gonna be times during the wedding day where we’re
really standing around we’re waiting for that ceremony to start and we might not
be doing a whole lot for 20 minutes but then there’s this time of day where we
have 20 minutes to get the majority of the portraits done so you never know how
quickly you’re gonna have to work and so that’s why it’s really important to have
some really basic classic poses in your arsenal just like I’m doing here with
the bride right now as you can see my second photographer right now is hopping
in she’s getting a totally different angle different vantage point kind of
getting up on her tippy toes and using a different lens which is great so now
when we’re moving down to the beach this is where I really wanted to get my bride
and groom portraits but just as I saw the bride moving down to the beach I
decided that I wanted to get some of her just sitting here I had this vision
where you could see her little sneakers sticking out from underneath her dress
so I stopped her for just a moment here and got this portrait of her sitting on
the steps with her sparkly sneakers and the light of her venue in the background
which is really really fun so as you move throughout the wedding day even if
you do have a plan you might have this photograph in your mind
and you have to stop everything and just make it happen and that’s what we did
here so now we have our bride and groom we’re on the beach it’s pretty much dusk
that golden sunlight is completely gone I really want to be able to showcase
that bouquet but not have it take up so much space between them so as you can
see here I had her throw it kind of over his shoulder and I think it was a nice
combination of something a little bit different but not taking up too much
space between them so if you liked today’s video and you
like watching me work at real paid events and just seeing where I stand
where I’m working how I’m working you’re gonna love this video on your screen
right now this is a posing video that has real behind the scenes footage of me
working with real-life couples not models and I think you’re really going
to enjoy it so check it out click the video on your screen right now and I
will see you over there


  • Reply Joy Michelle Photography January 1, 2020 at 6:58 pm

    What part of the wedding day would you like to see next?!

  • Reply Sara Olp. January 1, 2020 at 11:44 pm

    Would love to see more of working with the full bridal partys photos, especially with rowdy groomsmen, lol.

  • Reply Tony Pullen January 2, 2020 at 12:33 am

    Dark ceremonies are always an issue .. In the UK we’re not allowed flash at the ceremony.. High ISO means noise

  • Reply Christina M. Cooper Photography January 2, 2020 at 1:30 am

    Great video! I would love to see more on how to take group shots. How to get everyone in focus… what lens is best. I struggle with that.

  • Reply Debbie Tr January 2, 2020 at 1:42 am

    I am loving this video! Please upload more like this! 🙂 would love to see a BTS video for the reception too!

  • Reply Emily Grace January 2, 2020 at 2:05 am

    Joy – a video of your FULL wedding day would be amazing – start to finish, getting ready to wedding couple exit. I LOVE the ones that kind of start us out in the car on the way to the first location, set us up as though we are the second shooter and you are filling us in on everything before the day starts. THOSE are the videos I watch the most, and they are the ones I learn from best. Watching and listening to you in the actual moment is HUGE, and it helps me the best. When you also then, go back and do voice overs to explain, that helps a lot as well. When you talk through your thought process on what you do and why you do it, that's what really helps us learn what works best. One of the things that I struggle with the most is just knowing how to pose them – in every situation, at every part of the day.

  • Reply Megan Moro January 2, 2020 at 2:37 am

    Family portraits!!! Thank you for your videos❤️

  • Reply Sherri Gilliam January 2, 2020 at 2:41 am

    this was so helpful!!!! what was your iso at dusk dark AND what was your 2nd camera on your holder? Thank you!

  • Reply B.D. MacMahon January 2, 2020 at 3:14 am

    Well done. Video of you shooting the reception would be grand and informative to see. Thanks.

  • Reply Singh. H January 2, 2020 at 3:32 am

    Very beautiful photos and bts video really enjoyed, how do u like 58mm 1.4 ..? Can u plz make a review on it. Thanks 😊.

  • Reply Stacey Jordan January 2, 2020 at 4:14 am

    Loved seeing this!!!!!!!! More of these! Any behind the scenes help us!

  • Reply SHANNEA FLANAGAN January 2, 2020 at 5:01 am

    I just really don't think I want straight hair on my wedding day

  • Reply Simoné Venter January 2, 2020 at 6:52 am

    Loved this! Show us the reception too! That is the part I struggle with most!!!

  • Reply Amanda Daniels January 2, 2020 at 12:08 pm

    Love this video. Super helpful. Would love to see more!! I struggle with reception & lighting at the reception. Would love to see you work the reception lighting.

  • Reply Angela Taylor January 2, 2020 at 2:06 pm

    I’d love to see the lower light reception. Thanks 😊

  • Reply B.D. MacMahon January 2, 2020 at 2:18 pm

    I like fill-flash and I see that you use manual. Perhaps you could do a video on this subject as well. thanks.

  • Reply Lindsey Ford January 2, 2020 at 3:21 pm

    Love this video . I would like to see more of your iso settings and how that changes through out being inside outside etc . I feel like my shots come out grainy when I go over 500-600 iso.

  • Reply Lindsey Ford January 2, 2020 at 3:21 pm

    Love this video . I would like to see more of your iso settings and how that changes through out being inside outside etc . I feel like my shots come out grainy when I go over 500-600 iso.

  • Reply Tynaya January 2, 2020 at 5:28 pm

    yes more videos like this! ceremony!

  • Reply Jen Scott January 2, 2020 at 6:07 pm

    Multiple of these kinds of videos but in different venues with different challenges for the day.

  • Reply Jen Scott January 2, 2020 at 6:08 pm

    Also, if you can't get photos of the details bc staff is still setting up or you have to switch things up, how do you remember and carve out time to go back to things?

  • Reply PFG January 2, 2020 at 6:22 pm

    It was very informative! I was so pleased to see how you were dealing with the lessening of light as the day went on but I couldn't really tell from this if you used any flash on the beach when you were shooting the bride and groom. OR did you go up in ISO at that time. I have shot in that light before and I didn't get such great exposure as you did! The finer details are so helpful for shooting no matter what you are aiming for! Thanks for the fun video!

  • Reply Nicole Glass January 2, 2020 at 8:18 pm

    Love this video!

  • Reply MH Photography January 2, 2020 at 10:35 pm

    So informative and interesting. Loved that you showed using on camera flash for fill inside and out. Beautiful photos. Thank you!

  • Reply Eric Terrill January 3, 2020 at 12:05 am

    I love this! Thank you so much for this!

  • Reply AnneMarie Zarba January 3, 2020 at 12:15 am

    Love Love LOOOVE this! It's great to see you work! I would love to see some BTS of off camera flash for reception. Thank you so much for all that you share with us!

  • Reply sarah dja January 3, 2020 at 12:19 am

    Loved it! Thank you for your work! And also I would love to see the detail shots!

  • Reply Grassart Johanna January 3, 2020 at 1:19 am

    This is such a great and helpful video. thanks Joy!

  • Reply Thaís Souza January 3, 2020 at 1:49 am

    Joy, you’re amazing! Thank you for this video! Super helpful!

  • Reply Cricket Roberson January 3, 2020 at 5:09 am

    Thank you so much for making this video!! I have been searching and searching for something like this on YouTube. I would love to see a whole series of videos with tips of different segments of the wedding. You’re the bomb 🤪

  • Reply marvona January 3, 2020 at 5:53 am


  • Reply lens baad January 3, 2020 at 6:43 am

    Greattt learning Michelle… I am an ardent follower of yours on your other media handles.. 😘I would want you at all your behind the scenes… All that you showcase is huge learning..

  • Reply Susanne Geert January 3, 2020 at 8:12 am

    Definitely over this video!! More like these, please;-) In this video, is it just a flash pointing up in the ceiling? I would definitely like to see much more about using flash in different situations + more detailed about posing instructions💪🏻

  • Reply Samantha Hammonds January 3, 2020 at 8:24 am

    I want to see more of these! Loved the pre ceremony stuff. Would also like to see reception/dance floor stuff as well! ☺️

  • Reply Kayla Johnson Photography January 3, 2020 at 2:00 pm

    Thank you so much for this video! All of your videos are helping me out so much! I was just curious if you have a typed out schedule of the day just for photos? Since I’m just starting out, I’m doing a lot more smaller weddings and some don’t have brides maids or any kind of first look. I will ask for a schedule of the day and they won’t have one because the wedding is so laid back. Do I need to make my own scheduling or have the bride or groom one? And if so, what should that schedule look like?

  • Reply Agustin Tajch January 3, 2020 at 2:04 pm

    This is awesome! 🤗

  • Reply Ferris Films January 3, 2020 at 2:42 pm

    That was so helpful thanks

  • Reply Jessi Trueg January 3, 2020 at 6:29 pm

    Love this! Thank you for this!

  • Reply Linsey Huffaker January 3, 2020 at 6:44 pm

    family formals always feel like a shit show 😭 helppppp

  • Reply Sharon Reifel January 3, 2020 at 9:50 pm

    Thank you for this, so good! I’d love to request Reception+ of camera flash! Please!!

  • Reply Alistair M January 3, 2020 at 11:14 pm

    Excellent coverage of how you take your photos and the reasons and limitations for taking certain shots – very good workflows and ideas. Also, the whole scene is captured very well by you and the team for the video. A must-see video for any budding wedding photographer. Well done and thanks.

  • Reply neavila1 January 4, 2020 at 12:01 am

    Would like to see OCF Reception. Great video, however the subtitles block a lot of the camera settings.

  • Reply frank desjardins January 4, 2020 at 2:07 am

    i still somewhat struggle with lighting with big reception hall would love some ideas thank you!!

  • Reply Amanda Brynn January 4, 2020 at 2:11 pm

    Love this. Want more

  • Reply Kelly Turner January 4, 2020 at 5:21 pm

    Was this in Va? I heard you say on the Chesapeake Bay. I’d love to know where at!
    It looks similar to St. Margaret’s location but that is on the Rappahannock River. A friend of mine got married there a few years ago and it was gorgeous!

  • Reply Yuriy K January 4, 2020 at 6:48 pm

    Thank you!

  • Reply Yuriy K January 4, 2020 at 7:12 pm

    Joy, please, please, please tell me your white setting balance in 3:01.
    It looks like you have about 2400-3000 Kelvin on the left side and about 6000-5000 Kelvin from the right side (widow). Please, open your little secret what “white balance setting have you set on camera in this shut. Thank you.

  • Reply Claudia Reyes-Fernandez January 4, 2020 at 8:13 pm

    I love your videos would love to see a whole wedding done by you. These are very helpful.

  • Reply Photo-Me-Ike January 4, 2020 at 8:24 pm

    Great job! You covered the event very well

  • Reply Jabrehia Green January 5, 2020 at 1:48 am

    Thank you so much for this! I recently got rid of my wedding packages because I felt like I didn’t know what I was doing. When I tell you, I always get those “feel in the album” shots and those necessary photos of the bride and groom alone. 👏🏽 I’ve been doubting myself but THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

  • Reply Владимир Албу January 5, 2020 at 4:43 pm

    OMG, very Bad, you shoot like a newbie

  • Reply dharta adynatas January 5, 2020 at 5:09 pm

    thanks for uploding this.
    i can see clearly what happening during the day,.

  • Reply Photography by Liam Anderson January 6, 2020 at 10:14 am

    my gosh your really goods! i love these videos. more please.

  • Reply Robnyc 718 January 6, 2020 at 12:16 pm

    Thank you thank you thank you !

  • Reply Ishijah1 January 6, 2020 at 8:06 pm

    The fish eye look is very distracting

  • Reply Yuriy K January 6, 2020 at 9:29 pm

    Joy, please tell me your answer?

  • Reply Jane Howie January 7, 2020 at 4:19 am

    Hi Joy I really enjoy your tutorials about photographing wedding days. Can you give some tips on how to get a couple comfortable during the shoot as usually the brides and grooms are awkward about posing and being photographed. Any tips on this area would be wonderful! Cheeers

  • Reply Calli Crawford January 7, 2020 at 4:49 am

    First off, thank you so much for taking the time and energy to make this, I know wedding days can be stressful enough as is! Would definitely like to see how you direct large groups for formal shots.

  • Reply Courtney Simpson January 7, 2020 at 5:33 pm

    I love how detailed this video was. I felt like I waa there with you. Not too many wedding photographer go in to the amount of details you did. It was amazing.

  • Reply Image-I-Nation Photography January 7, 2020 at 6:58 pm

    Outdoor weddings are fab in night weather and gorgeous light

  • Reply Tiffany Gafford January 8, 2020 at 5:50 am

    I love love love this 😍😍😍😍😍😍

  • Reply Alaina Eaton January 8, 2020 at 11:26 pm

    OMG THANK YOU for this video. Where did you get your leather cross strap? Can you link that? 😍

  • Reply Alaina Eaton January 9, 2020 at 4:05 am

    This may be a silly question, but when shooting those portraits in front of the lake and the sun is setting directly in front of you, does it hurt your eyes? Do you ever wear sunglasses?

  • Reply Erin Tingle January 9, 2020 at 4:35 am

    I love your video! Very informative and helpful to see your perspective as you shoot a live wedding.
    I had a question about your brown dual camera strap, what brand is it? I really like it and would like to try that set up, for a future wedding job.
    Thank you, Erin

  • Reply Anthony Dennis January 9, 2020 at 5:29 pm

    Been a wedding photographer for over 40 years. I would never stand up in the front of the church like you did. You attract attention to yourself during the entire ceremony and the folks in church are constantly forced to see you there which detracts hugely from the couple.

  • Reply Joe Werkheiser January 9, 2020 at 9:34 pm

    Challenging lighting situations

  • Reply Dale Martin January 9, 2020 at 9:50 pm

    I noticed you used a fairly wide of 3.5 on the large group photo and wondered if that was only possible to get them all in focus at such a wide aperture because they were all on the same focal plane?
    If they weren't in front and behind would you have closed down your aperture more or?

  • Reply Samantha Arias January 10, 2020 at 12:31 am

    This was super helpful! Thank you for all your help! What was your ISO set to during the bride and groom photos and the ceremony?

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