Details, details, details
It was a beautiful April day on the Connecticut shoreline, and I spent it with the talented Justin and Mary Marantz and their team member Julia, as well as three amazing models and a bevy of fantastic U.S. photographers.
It was a workshop called “Walk through a wedding with Justin & Mary,” and it was truly amazing. We met at chez Marantz, admired the gorgeous new paint colors and progress on the renovation of their studio and meeting space. Then we got right down to work, starting with lots of concrete talk and information about all the on-the-fly decisions we make all day long on wedding day. Justin guided us in shaping the light to work to our best advantage, Mary coached us through directing, posing and working with our subject, and that was all just in the “getting ready” part of the day!
Experimenting with exposure. Not perfect, but love her face in this one!
Love the flower details on this dress!
After our lovely bride Kristen and her attendant Alicia were all decked out, we took our black-clad bodies and our rolling bags and headed for the First Congregational Church in Branford, CT, where Justin shared his insight into off-camera lighting in dark churches and Mary taught us the perfect approach for efficient family portraits–no missed cocktail hours here! After lots of hands-on practice with pocket wizards and family portraits, we had a yummy lunch in the sunshine before we headed to our “reception” at the shoreside Guilford Yacht Club for this lovely pink-themed, J. Crew-inspired seaside wedding.
Our bride Kristen (a 2010 Justin & Mary bride) was joined by her handsome fiance Bill and they patiently worked with us as each photographer had shooting time with them. Then we headed inside for our “reception” and lots more practice with off-camera lighting for details, first dance, toast and more—Justin absolutely shone as a a teacher, explaining how to make a good image even better with just a little addition of light in the right places. Mary walked us through how she shoots bride and groom portraits after the ceremony, and her easy, breezy style kept the couple comfortable and natural. An added bonus was a brief review of our directing and posing skills afterwards from both J&M AND from our non-photographer bride & groom models who shared how it felt from their point of view.
And then, there were cupcakes by Sugarbelle. Yum.
We closed out the day with some golden-hour shooting outside on the lawn, then headed back to the studio for download, post-processing and a review of our favorite images.
It was fantastic to see what we’d all been capturing during the day, and view the day through the lens of so many different photographers, including Justin and Mary’s shots. I drove away at about 10 p.m. with all kinds of ideas racing around in my head. (Am totally going to get out the shoot-through umbrella and side-light my dinner table tonight, even just Henry’s glass of spilled milk!)
There are all kinds of workshops out there, and it’s always hard to know in advance if one is worth the price of admission, but I can tell you that it was already worth it at about the one-hour mark. Justin and Mary’s broad and practical knowledge, their sunny personalities, the concrete and practical information they shared, and their availability for one-on-one consults all day long for our individual questions made the day a super, smashing success. And like at any workshop, it is always a bonus to meet and network with other accomplished photographers, and learn a bit from them as well, as I did yesterday. Thanks for a fantastic day, Justin and Mary and Julia, Kristen, Alicia and Bill–and all the participants!