The Seneca @ York Independent Digital Photography Program is a two-year diploma course that prepares students for a freelance career and provides them with the necessary skill set to work in a multidisciplinary studio. Photo Life is proud to partner with Seneca students to document their journey through the school curriculum. This week Sarah Sabo shares her experience of learning to do a wedding photo shoot.
Class: Wedding & Event Photography
Assignment: Wedding Shoot
Student: Sarah Sabo
Professor: Marc Crabtree
Assignment guidelines: Participate in a 90-minute on location “wedding shoot” with the goal of capturing professional-quality images to be used in the creation of a wedding album.
Background: This was one of the major assignments in this course and our main opportunity to sample what shooting a wedding might be like. During this assignment we were able to experience working with models, shooting on location, as well as explore the layout and design process that goes into the creation of a professional album.
Process: Going into this assignment I was definitely nervous as I did not have much experience shooting models whom I had never met or had any prior communication with—in some ways it was like going in blind. One of the things that helped me was to make sure to prepare beforehand by researching different styles of wedding photography and poses. This research helped me to determine what kind of pictures I wanted to walk away with, and having this goal helped me to stay focused throughout the shoot. We shot this assignment in mid-July at the beaches in Toronto, and we lucked out with beautiful summer weather.
One of the main challenges I faced with this assignment was that I was shooting with a group of five other photographers and only had a short amount of time to capture the images I wanted. All the photographers were trying to take their own photographs, and it became really important to work together, take turns, and take advantage of all the time we had. When I got one of my shots I would step aside, and while another photographer was shooting, I would make sure to take that time and capture the details (the shoes, bouquet, location). In the end these details allowed me to create a more diverse album that encompassed the entire “wedding” experience.
Conclusion: The main lesson I took away from this assignment was that having good people skills as well as the ability to think on your feet are not just assets but essential parts of being a successful photographer. Also going in prepared allowed me to feel less anxious during the actual shoot, which made building a good rapport with the models that much easier, and also made the entire experience a lot more fun!