Hey, this photo is © Frances Morency Photography
Teaching Journalistic Photography

Journalistic Photography Mentoring

October 27, 2016 ,

Ok so here’s where I want to start. Im at the Four Seasons Yorkville with by bride and groom and 2 bridesmaids and 1 groomsmen. They have asked me to come by before their ceremony to capture some bridal party and bride groom portraits at the hotel. I only have about an hour so will be sticking close to the hotel. I know that I need to get as many variations of images from 1 location so this is where a journalistic style photographer is essential. I’ve asked them go outside and I would follow them and all they need to do here is just hold hands. My cameras are always ready and I’m always shooting. I know there’s a window coming up and as soon as they pass it I grab this shot. 24-70mm at f.5.6 iso 12800 Nikon D750


Then as I turn the corner I grab this shot because I saw the steel panel architectural detail. Now, I know the lighting is not ideal but it’s still a good image and this is with available light using my 24-70mm at f5.6 iso 8000 Nikon D750


The doors open and we walk outside and immediately grab a shot because it’s showing how their day is playing out and it’s telling the story. I have cameras in my hands so why wouldn’t I keep shooting right? So here, I see the dreaded valet parking lot and I wonder what I’m going to do, but I also see the great light.



THIS IMAGE IS RAW and straight out of the camera so that I can show you where I am and what I’m working with. Right outside the front entrance of the hotel in the main driveway are these white pillars and a mirrored wall and I knew that was going to be my spot. From here, I just put them together and give them a little direction to see how they are together. Moving and interacting with each other is a huge factor in how I photograph my couples, but I also will direct when needed.


Here is what’s behind the white pillars…this mirrored wall and you can see the pillars reflected there and the parking lot behind them. This is what I have to work with in the time frame that I have and I need to make beautiful photos for this couple in this timeframe.


This is where I start by just putting them together and right away I can see that they are going to be great. All I have to do at this point is direct a few different head turns just to get a good variety in images. Since I’ve already established that this is going to be my only option and this is the spot I’m working with …… I will be walking around them and getting as much variety as possible.


I grab close ups, full lengths and have them just tweak their looks slightly by asking them to look away, look left, look right, look down, look at each other and always look straight at me for a face forward portrait too. I also do this with them individually, but asking my groom to look in one direction and having my bride give me the different looks and moving a little more.






Then I move! and they keep doing their thing and changing their looks from looking at me to away to down to side to side. Make sense? A lot of times you will get a lot of different reactions here too. Bursts of laughter because they think they look weird or the groom loving on his bride spontaneously. I want to make a note here that I haven’t moved them…..I moved! Now, I’m circling them and I’m shooting against the white pillar still but into that mirrored wall I showed you above. I need to compress the background here and have shallow depth of field so I’m using my 70-200mm 2.8 at 4.5 iso 1000 Nikon D4 and focus is on my brides eyes.



Then I add in the bridal party and I’m still in a parking lot, but I have to make it work so I photograph them in a number of casual poses and then I move to give them a completely different look.


THIS IMAGE IS RAW and straight out of camera. You can see what I’m working with ……. reflections of underground parking entrance, construction cones, white contrasty pillars I don’t want in this shot. so I’m using my 70-200mm 2.8 at f4.5 so that I can compress the background with my subjects and my coming in closer I can isolate my bridal party for shots like the one below.


Now, I’m shooting into the mirrored wall and as long as I stay directly in front of them I won’t be reflected in the photos.


I also photograph my bridal parties walking and depending on the space I ask them to either walk towards me, away from me or across me and in this case I knew I wanted to shoot from below and grab the ceiling as my background rather than the parking lot behind them. Nikon D750 24-70mm f2.8 at f5.6 auto iso



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