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    How I Shot My First Wedding Using Only Fstoppers “Free Wedding Tutorial” (And How You Can Too)

How I Shot My First Wedding Using Only Fstoppers “Free Wedding Tutorial” (And How You Can Too)

When my best friend Zach told me he was getting married, the first thing I told him was “Forget about hiring a photographer, my mom and I will take care of it.” Because I shoot video for a living, I’ve made my career using continuous and natural light to illuminate my subjects, so off-camera flash had been a mystery to me for a long time.

But if I was going to shoot this wedding and get the type of dramatic shots I’d always admired on Fstoppers, it was time for me to F-step my game up and learn how to light a wedding using tools that were less cumbersome than the big kinos and fresnels I’m used to.

Zach and Becca weren’t interested in taking the time to contrive “classic” shots of the two of them with multiple off-camera flashes on their big day though. They were passionate about spending time setting up the wedding with their families, so all they asked was that I capture their friends and loved ones enjoying the celebration they had worked so hard to make beautiful together.

Step 1: The Venue

The #bluthwedding was completely outdoors on a large piece of property in Clovis, CA so it seemed like we’d be using natural light to shoot the ceremony and kicking the strobes into high gear for the reception because bounce flash was not an option. The first place I turned to begin my education in this type of challenging lighting environment was Fstopper’s Free Wedding Tutorial: How To Light Wedding Reception Venues which addressed this situation perfectly.

Lee and Patrick go through 3 different lighting setups for receptions: Bounce Flash + Kicker, Studio Lights, and Multiple Lights. The first two require walls. I [...]

By |June 10th, 2014|blog|Comments Off on How I Shot My First Wedding Using Only Fstoppers “Free Wedding Tutorial” (And How You Can Too)|

The Eastern Front

Almost immediately after I left California to study and work in film in Paris, Josh founded Empty Duck Digital. I was thrilled because I knew it was something he had wanted to do, and we had an understanding that this would be something we would work together on in the future. The two of us have always complemented each other both on and off the lacrosse field (you guys have figured out that Josh plays lacrosse by now right?), and it was such a natural thing that this would be our next adventure. There was just one problem: we were now geographically 9,656,064 kilometers apart from each other (that’s 6,000 miles – sorry folks, I’ve gone metric). This, coupled with the fact that I was beginning a rigorous course of study in a foreign country where I didn’t know a soul and didn’t speak the language, made our collaboration somewhat difficult.

We’ve consulted one another on various projects since I left, but largely our efforts were individualized for the time being. It seemed best to just wait until I return from halfway around the world. As the days went by, however, we both grew restless of waiting. We had to do something about this, but we couldn’t seem to find an angle to make this work from so far away. And then it clicked. What needed to happen was to create a second branch, to expand the company independently, to open up an eastern front. And thus I am happy to announce that Empty Duck Digital – Paris will be exploring the domains of documentary and short filmmaking. Keep your eyes peeled for what is already coming your way…

By |October 9th, 2013|blog|9,950 Comments|

SCI-FIT

SCI-FIT

We were extremely fortunate to have Brett Sims from Alkali Productions with us again on this promo shoot. During pre-production I discussed with SCI-FIT’s principals what a struggle the rehabilitation process is for their clients, all of whom suffer from severe spinal cord injuries. I know Brett has the pleasant demeanor and all the technical tools to make these folks feel super comfortable in front of the cameras when I ask them to open up about the single most traumatic experience of their lives. The right set of Kinoflos can make two strangers sitting on apple boxes less awkward to open up to.

I have to be honest though, I often leave sets or locations just feeling tired. We tend to shoot between 8 and 15 hours at a time and the K-Pod is heavy and awkward with the Cineslider on it (which reminds me, I gotta order the wheels for that thing). This was one of the few shoots I left after 9 hours feeling refreshed and energized. I was so grateful for how SCI-FIT’s clients made our interview space their confessional.

I spent the hour afterward in the car thinking about how effortless it seemed for some of SCI-FIT’s clients to speak about injuries that were in some cases horrifically induced with such composure and candor. For most people it takes a lot of emotional courage to speak openly on camera about things close to the heart, and it doesn’t always happen without a certain amount of prodding from the producers. SCI-FIT’s clients had this type of moxy in spades. It was clear they’ve each turned crisis into complete determination, and in doing so have established a very cogent and explicable understanding of their [...]

By |September 30th, 2013|blog|10,206 Comments|