Photographer Taylor Jackson shares an intimate behind-the-scenes video with wedding photographer Sam Hurd where he breaks down everything from his personal morning routines to on-site best practices for nailing every shot.
In the nearly 43-minute-long video, Hurd discusses every step of the creative process involved when working with his clients, which includes everything from his morning stretching routines, how he finds interesting places around the clients’ homes and venue locations, how he determines the best light, and even how to wrangle the wedding party and guests to avoid stress, tension, and keep everything flowing happily and naturally throughout the day.
Hurd says it is important to scout each location to find pockets of shade with a decent background (if possible) at every location. If things are too busy, photographers can always blow out the background with bokeh using a shallow prime like the 50mm f/1.2, giving them a little more freedom to work with for creative shots.
“The key thing is getting the light in the right direction. If the sun is really directly overhead, you might get lucky with a cloud here or there, but it’s best to find a shaded area if possible so you have more control of the variables,” he says.
Hurd also suggests mentioning to the clients (well in advance of the wedding) to be sure to set aside some time within an hour of sunset to do some photos and ensure there is enough time to get all of the group and solo images the couples require.
Hurd explains that once the sun goes down and the speedlights come out, he tries to shoot his weddings by bouncing his light as opposed to directly flashing the subjects. In the right venue (like under a tent), this can turn a tiny light into a gigantic softbox ensuring photographers get an even and well-lit image. Outdoors, shooters may have to find something like a wall or even a tree (which could add a color cast) but even in these settings, the images will come out looking a lot more natural and interesting.
Image credits: Sam Hurd