Saturday, February 5, 2011

An amazing couple of days with Denis Reggie and Joe Buissink (2 of the world's best wedding photographers)

For the last 3 days, I was lucky enough to spend quality time with two of the best wedding photographers in the world. Denis Reggie and Joe Buissink have shot weddings for people like Jennifer Lopez, Christina Aguilera, Mariah Carey, JFK Jr, Arnold Schwartzeneger, James Taylor, The Trump family, and the list goes on. These guys are the best of the best and learning from them was amazing. The goal of my week was to take my photography to the next level. And so, off to Los Angeles I flew...

I flew into LA on Monday evening, and right before we landed, I saw this pretty sunset with just the hint of islands in the foreground and got this shot through the airplane window.

The next morning, the instruction began with Denis talking about his photojournalistic shooting style.

Denis showed us how to use lighting to creative a more dimensional image. Even though I have been shooting for many years, I learned some unique features of my camera that I did not know even existed. Some of them are in the documentation of the camera and some are not.

And then it was Joe's turn to both educate and inspire us with his images and shooting style. I shot this image of him as he was talking about some of his images. As you would expect, he was talking about the technical aspects of each shot, but more importantly, he was talking about the emotions that were captured in those moments.

It reinforced my belief that the key to good photography is capturing those precious moments that are not posed....they are reality.

Here is a fun shot of my friends Joe and Denis goofing around at the hotel. This is what happens when you take a guy from Atlanta and a guy from LA and throw them together for 4 days. :)

We finished our second day of instruction and had an hour before the group dinner, and instead of relaxing for a little bit, I immediately grabbed my camera and went out looking for some shots of the nearby harbor.

And then, after dinner, a couple of us (myself and my new friends, Gina and Corey) decided to go out shooting some more.  So...we hopped in a car and headed for the Santa Monica pier.

On the last day of the workshop we spent a little less time in the meeting room and more time shooting images. We had a model for a couple of hours, and practiced shooting images both inside and out. I converted this image to black and white, but can't decide which I like here are both versions.

The key to the inside shooting is to bounce the flash off of the walls (as Denis calls "foofing") to create directional light. You will notice that the far side of her face is lit more than the right side which falls into shadows. This creates a much more natural and beautiful image than flat lighting from a straight flash (diffused or not).

I love this shot of Joe teaching his shooting style. He is explaining how important it is to see and capture those key moments of the day. It might be a very quick but poignant moment, or a time when the subject does not know that they are being photographed and they have that perfect expression. "There is that perfect moment - you have to get it!"

I shot this image from high above the model. I climbed up some nearby steps and as the small group was shooting images of her, I yelled down to her and grabbed this image just as she looked up at me.

As I mentioned earlier, my goal for this week was to take my photography to the next level. I was hoping to learn at least 3 new shooting techniques with the camera and hoping to learn more about their shooting styles. After spending 3 days with them, I came away with so much more. Yes, I did learn some new shooting techniques, but I also came away with a new appreciation for photojournalistic shooting, new ideas for my web site and new ideas to help me be a better business person.   Overall, the workshop with Denis and Joe was amazing and I look forward to using some of these new techniques in the weeks to come.


Chelsea Patricia said...

I attended a workshop with Jerry Ghionis, and felt the same way afterwards. Like, I appreciate the skil and talent that it takes, and also, I absolutely KNOW that my photography has improved!

By the way, I like the composition of the shot with the boats and the building's reflection ALOT! :)

Glessner Photography said...

Hi Jeff. I recently watched your lecture sponsored by B&H photo and it was great! Thanks for sharing your expertise.