I recently attended a seminar at the Marriott Hotel by Los Angeles International Airport featuring Jerry Ghionis, a well know and award winning Wedding Photographer. I've been taking pictures as a hobbyist for the many years and there are two photographers in which I view as being absolute best in their field. That being Joe McNally and Jerry Ghionis. No disrespect to other such as Scott Kelby, David Ziser, and many other in the professional field. They are all outstanding photographers and would love to attend all of their seminars, but if I had limit amount of money and have to choose who's educational product to buy or seminar to watch, I would have to say Joe McNally and Jerry Ghionis. Both are top dog in what they do. Joe McNally can bend light, twist light, and make it sing Karaoke all at the same time. Jerry Ghionis can take any ordinary location, find vision out of it, and create a prefect storybook.
Yesterday, it was Jerry Ghionis seminar I had the pleasure to attending. I've heard a great deal about him and seen some video on his I.C.E. Society website, but this is the first for me seeing him in person and able to listen to his technique. You could see a lot of his images on his website or through google images (CLICK HERE)
As I was growing up and back in the 35mm films day, I was taught it was all about the location. Drill it in your head, location, location, location. That is what makes a difference between a good picture and a perfect picture. To Jerry, location is only 2nd on his priority list. He is all about the "Light". Where can I find the light? What direction is it coming from? How can I make it use of what I have? Majority of his pictures consist of either natural lighting or one single flash or maybe an LED spot light. Nothing fancy, nothing big, no need to setup 20 strobes at a wedding. Find a single light source, create that sexy shadow line, *pop*..there is your image. So, follow the light people, follow the light!
Jerry Ghionis' recipe
If you could identify the light, you can use the location and background you have there to take a beautiful picture.
Jerry has an interesting technique with getting people to pose and express themselves how he imagine it in his mind. It is sort of the "Jedi" mind trick where he will use his soft voice asking his bride/groom while at the same time, with a motion of his hand, they will mold their body accordingly. It was absolutely amazing. While he wave his palm from right to left, his Jedi words was like "you shall turn" and in your mind you feel like "yes, i shall turn". It was a prefect moment Jedi moment. Like when Obi Wan wave his hand infront of Storm Troopers and command them, while at the same time young Luke was sitting next to him in star struck awwwww. That is exactly how I felt watching Jerry do his Jedi trick on the audience and participants!
Jerry also spend some time talking about his business model, key to success, and some demo using on camera flash. At the end of the day, the wheel was turning, I was full of pimp up energy, and can't wait to try on some of the techniques and lessons passed on by the "Master".