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Digital Wedding Photographer's Planner 1st Edition

41 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0470570937
ISBN-10: 0470570938
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Editorial Reviews Review

A full-color reference to planning for and executing a successful wedding day shoot

Wedding photography has become a major industry, and the number of photographers getting into this field is rapidly increasing—making it even more competitive. Written by top wedding photographer, Kenny Kim, this full-color reference walks you through all the major (and minor) steps involved in planning and organizing a successful wedding day shoot.

You'll get unique advice on everything from your initial meeting with the engaged couple to the final presentation of the commemorative book. Packed with checklists, schedules, etiquette tips, and much more, this book is an essential wedding photography resource for every wedding photographer.

  • Provides detailed coverage of all the major and minor steps in preparing for a successful wedding day shoot
  • Explores preparation for every detail of taking unique and memorable wedding day photos
  • Spans the initial meeting with the couple all the way to presenting them with their photo album
  • Reassures you of your preparation, using checklists, schedules, etiquette tips, answers to questions, and more

From rings and vows to dancing and "wows", this resource will help you prepare to capture every moment of a couple's special day.

Tips for Engagement Photo Sessions
Amazon-exclusive content from author Kenny Kim

Along with what I have already mentioned in the book, I want to go more in depth about engagement session. This is not just a time where you take nice photos with your couple for an hour or two. There is more than meets the eye if you execute these elements:

Communicate by Example

During a photoshoot, I see so many photographers (including myself) talking to our clients using “photography lingo”. Because we as photographers constantly talk about it, I think we easily make the assumption that others (including our clients) understand the same terms. Often times they might be just too nice to ask what we exactly mean. Or they just brush it off as it is no big deal. But a good way to communicate to your clients during a shoot is to show by example. Rather than shouting out “hold out that arm!” show them which arm and how to do it. Ask them to mirror your movement and let them know that you would not make them do things that you would not do yourself.

When I did my engagement session in Italy with Italian models, I had the difficulty of overcoming the language barrier. It was frustrating not being able to explain to them in words what I wanted them to do. So I had to resort to communicating by example. Using eye contact and body language, I was able to get them to do the things I want them to do. You are also educating your clients by showing examples of what you want them to do. As the shoot goes on, you will have to coach them less and less as they start to feel more comfortable. In almost all my engagement sessions, towards the middle or end of the session, I let them come up with their own poses and just make minor adjustments as they do.

Communicate Using the Right Words
Make sure that your words are clear so that anyone can understand it. During a photo shoot with my recent clients Dan & Joanne, I kept asking Dan to “Squeeze!” What I really wanted Dan to do was the embrace Joanne tightly because usually that lets out a laughter and/or a fun reaction from the girl. Every time I said “squeeze,” Dan just smiled at Joanne resulting in some fun moments captured. But half way into our shoot, when I yelled “Squeeze” again he stopped, looked at me and said: “Kenny, what do you mean by squeeze?” We both laughed as I realized that I did not communicate with him properly. Once I explained to him my reasoning, he understood the concept and did it without even me saying it to him through out the rest of the session!

Be Bold and Creative
Do not let small road blocks get in the way of capturing the right moment. When you get stuck in a situation, you can always find an alternate solution. Sometimes that means doing something daring or out of the ordinary. And it may not always work, but your clients will appreciate the effort you made to get a certain shot. When you get excited about your photography, your clients will too and will even risk a bit of embarrassment to get the shot that you/they want. So next time you shoot, try to push yourself more to do something different. Here is an example:

Shaun attended University of Chicago and really liked the Rockefeller Chapel on campus. He requested I take a few photos inside. So we walked over there only to discover that there was some kind of a service/meeting going on inside. The sanctuary was packed with people. Shaun and Joy were little disappointed but I did not want them to feel that way on their engagement session. I am a firm believer that when “life gives you lemons, you make lemonade out of it.” So I looked around for a bit trying to see if I can think of an alternate solution. Bing! (That’s the sound of light bulb turning on inside my head). Then, I asked Shaun and Joy if they don’t mind being little bit adventurous. I think they liked the idea of that. I had found a small pathway between the church wall and the pews. I knew we could not communicate verbally since there was a service going on. So I asked them to go over to a specific spot and come up with their own pose (I’ve instructed them on several poses during the shoot up to this point so I knew they would deliver). To give you an idea of what the setting was actually like, I took the next photo to show the risk that my clients was willing to take to get the shot above:

At first they were a bit nervous about standing there posing and kept looking over to the congregation. I thought I placed them at just at the last row of where people were sitting to be inconspicuous. After I had taken the shot, I walked over to them only to realize what was going on. Where they were standing was not actually the last row! There were several more rows of people right next to them and they were all staring at them smiling while they posed! I can only imagine how nerve wracking it was for Shaun & Joy! But I’m so proud of my clients – they stuck with it, ignored the congregation and posed as I asked them to. As a result we came up with a great photo and a fun story to share for lifetime.

Get Creative
In my book, I briefly talked about how I like to stay inspired through magazines and watching movies. It’s a great way to relax and get creative at the same time. For example, I always found this movie poster to be fun & creative. So, using this concept, I came up with my own signature shot called “Double take”. This effect can be achieved simply by having one subject still while the other walks behind them. I as a photographer also stand still and taking multiple shots of the same scene. Then I take these images and select the ones that I think will work and bring them into Adobe Photoshop where I place them on multiple layers and then blend them together using layer-masking and brush away the areas that I do not need. The point of this lesson is not to teach you to do the same thing that I do but to come up with your own creative ideas for your shoot. You have so many things around you that will inspire you – so take a moment, pause from your work and enjoy life. Let your inspiration come to you naturally as you engage in other things in life.

Photos from Author Kenny Kim

Get close!
It is important to capture the dynamics of the couple. Capturing their emotion that comes out only when they are close together is very important. To achieve this, I use a zoom lens and take a few steps back to give them some space. I use the zoom to close in on them then wait for the right moment. I shoot everything in color first but like to convert some of them to B&W. Removing all the colors allows you to focus in on the subject more and not get distracted by variety of colors.

Shot specification: Canon Mark 1d IV / F5.6 1/250sec. ISO 400 /WB: Cloud / Canon L 70-200mm f2.8 lens zoomed to 170mm.

Keep the Camera Rolling!
It is important to capture the posed shots. But don’t just stop. Keep your camera up and ready to fire even after you are finished with your posed photo. Sometimes the unexpected things like this can happen or often times Couple’s true emotion comes out after they are done being posed. In many of my shoots, I purposely pose my couple just so that I capture their reaction right afterwards. Those are the genuine moments that show who they really are as a couple.

Shot specification: Canon Mark 1d III / F4.0 1/250sec. ISO 100 /WB: Daylight / Canon L 24-70mm f2.8 lens zoomed to 70mm.

See the Bigger Picture
Sometimes you need to step back and see the entire picture. While the bridesmaids were spending the last minute before the ceremony in prayer, I took a few shots of that then quietly removed myself so that the bride can share the intimate moment together one last time with her closest friends. It was not until I stepped back and was getting ready to exit the room when I saw this moment. It is important to focus on the details but you need to be aware of your surroundings to see the big picture. Try this at your next wedding: shoot with both eyes open – one looking through your viewfinder and the other eye looking around. You’ll be surprised at so many moments that go unnoticed.

Shot specification: Canon Mark 1d III / F2.8 1/200sec. ISO 1000 /WB: Fluorescent / Canon L 16-35mm f2.8 lens zoomed to 28mm.

From the Back Cover

Planning makes perfect

The bride and groom will plan every detail of their special day. You should, too. With this guide, you'll discover new ways to build relationships with your clients, every detail you should know about the wedding location, how to manage difficult family situations, and perfect photo opportunities you might otherwise miss. In the highly competitive arena of wedding photography, these techniques can give you the edge.

  • Valuable checklists for every step from your first client meeting to delivering the album

  • The engagement photos—a chance to learn and build relationships

  • Tips for handling awkward situations

  • How to manage the "must-have" shots

  • Your post-shoot digital workflow—what to watch for

  • Networking opportunities to promote your photography business

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (April 26, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470570938
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470570937
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #998,469 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kenny Kim has always been fascinated by the visual arts, especially the connection between art and photography. Combined with his love of travel and culture, he has become one of the most respected and sought after destination and wedding photographers of his industry.

Since 2006, Kenny Kim Photography has quickly grown into a nationally recognized studio and Kenny's work, which spans the globe in over 200 weddings and destination events, has been featured in the most respected photography periodicals.

Destination Weddings & Honeymoon, The Knot, Chicago Social Bride, Shutterbug, The RangeFinder Magazine and various online publications including Grace Ormonde Wedding Style, Junebug Weddings, Style Me Pretty & more.

* Kodak's Approved Speakers and Mentors for 2011 - 2013
* Top 20 A-List Destination Photographer by Destinations Weddings &
Honeymoon Magazine in 2011
* Platinum list member in highly acclaimed Grace Ormonde Wedding Style Magazine 2008-2010
* Voted by the Knot as the Chicago's Best of Wedding Photography in 2010-13
* He is also an active speaker & member of the WPPI, and was the recipient of the 2010 WPPI Award of Excellence -16x20 International Print Competition.

Kenny is the author of two books: "Wedding Photographer's Planner" & "Digital Wedding Photography Photo Workshop" - both of which are comprehensive must-reads for any photographer looking to successfully execute a memorable wedding day shoot (Published by Wiley Press and available online & in all bookstores.)

Kenny currently resides in Chicago with his lovely bride, Meena, an accomplished cellist herself who loves to accompany him on his photo adventures around the world.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jgpix on June 27, 2010
Format: Paperback
Before I got this book, I shot a handful of weddings just "flying by the seat of my pants". In this book, Kenny clearly provides the reader the direction needed for a successful wedding. He ventures outside of technical shot specifications, and focuses on the photographers thought process, action plan, and reasoning behind each and every shot. I followed his advice and can attest to his findings myself. At the end of my most recent wedding, my clients were overjoyed with the work I had done... without (as Kenny says) seeing a single image! Planning works! Thanks Kenny!
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Enche Tjin on May 12, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Wedding Photographer's Planner by Kenny Min is mainly a collection of checklist of what to anticipate in typical American wedding. It is quite comprehensive from engagement session, getting ready, ceremony, reception, and after wedding. It also includes some tips about business and further learning.

The book is suited for photographers who like to know what is the wedding photographers and what to expect in the event. For seasoned wedding photographers or if you already shots several weddings, the book gives a little value. The style covered in this wedding is pretty much traditional, meaning that most of the photography is done mostly by directing and less about anticipating extraordinary moments (candid style).

The checklists are helpful for new photographers so they don't miss any important details, but if you have experience in wedding photography, you should already know 80-90% of the stuff in the book.

The book has over 250 pages of content, but unfortunately, it is too heavy on images than on the text. The images are relevant to the page but do not have caption. Also I think the images are not the best of Kenny Kim works. It looks very ordinary.

If you need guidance or information how to start a wedding business, the book provide very good reference, but if you are experienced photographer looking for extraordinary insights that will set you to the next level, you should look for other books.

For more reviews (books, tips and gears), please visit my blog. The address is on my profile page. Thank you for reading.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Harry Grilliot on October 13, 2010
Format: Paperback
This past weekend I shot my first wedding. My days leading up to the event were spent studying various wedding photographers, tips and tricks not to mention several sleepless nights due to feeling a little un-prepared as this was my first wedding. I happend to stop by a local Chapters book store and found Kenny Kims book. I could not leave without it and did not regret my purchase.

Not only was this book chalked full of valuable wedding photographers advice but the "lists" were invaluable to me. Infact I took this book with me to the wedding so I could reference it and make sure not to miss important shots. Kim covers every aspect from meeting with the client for the first time to wrapping up the final product in wedding albums and he even covers branding and networking.

If you are just starting out like I am I would HIGHLY recommend this book. I have spent hours online looking for the "answers" for someone just starting out. If I had to spend my time and invest a little bit of money over again I would just stick with this book alone. Kims information is forthright, easy to read and the book is not filled with "fluff" like other wedding photographers books. I felt prepared and confident as I shot the wedding and the bride and groom were happy with my images. Infact the bride e-mailed me 9 times the day I posted a preview on my blog, excited and thanking me for the images. No doubt Kim's advice was fast at work.

The images in the book are very inspiring as well, Kenny's work is simply beautiful and he will forever be a photographer I will admire and aspire to be like.

Thanks for writing this book Kenny, it has made it's way into my camera bag and is just as valuable to me as my 24-70L 2.8! I won't shoot another wedding without it!

Heather Grilliot
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Karlo Gesner on September 7, 2010
Format: Paperback
Length: 1:44 Mins
Me? I'm Karlo.

[...] <- Wedding & Portrait Photographer's Podcast
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By TracyMoorePhoto on August 19, 2010
Format: Paperback
If you're thinking of getting this book... do yourself a big favor and DO IT. Kenny is a brilliant photographer and wrote a great book that will help you tremendously with your wedding photography business. He goes over EVERYTHING and pumps you up to have an amazing, fun, successful career in wedding photography.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gabriel Mora on December 27, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Once you read it you will be able to comprehend the intricate process a wedding represents. Why this, once in a lifetime (even if the person (s) marry more than once still a unique experience every time) and the great responsibility a wedding photographer has of providing a satisfactory service to his/her clients.
Few times have I come across a book that is so complete and concise. Easy to read, lots of photo examples, plain language plus indispensable, easy to follow "check lists" to successfully accomplish the difficult task of recording, with stills, such of memorable moment as a wedding is.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By mary shannon barton on March 9, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are venturing out to do wedding photography, this book is very well put together! It's simple, and goes through all the important steps and check lists that you need for a wedding. And the price is cheap and well worth every penny!
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