Wedding Photography: Searching for the Light By Cliff Mautner

1 hr 20 min
Difficulty Difficulty Difficulty

In a perfect world, wedding photographers would have an unlimited amount of time to capture the perfect wedding photo with the perfect light for their clients. In reality, the time is fleeting and the light is whatever’s available – but, if you ask your client for a little of their time up front, you have a unique opportunity. Join renowned wedding photographer Cliff Mautner on location as he shares his personal tips and tricks in some offbeat places he discovered over the years for its light. This class will teach you to do the one thing that will make you the wedding photographer of recognition in your own location – be the person who takes as many different pictures as possible in the fastest time possible, in the most interesting places possible, that are beautifully lit and different from what everyone else does. Warning: This class contains no gazebos or rose gardens!

Video transcripts available with a subscription.

Cliff goes on a light hunt through the streets of Philadelphia, looking for interesting light while giving you some insights on how he instinctively chooses his locations.
In a narrow street near the Wanamaker Building, Cliff finds some brilliant light in an interesting location while showing you how he interacts with his clients.
Using Philly's City Hall as his softbox, Cliff creates beautifully lit shots by simply changing his own angle.
While leaving City Hall, the light Cliff sees presents an opportunity for him to create a silhouette on a busy city street.
Cliff shows you how thinking outside the norm will produce shots that your clients, and their families will absolutely love.
Cliff continues his light hunt, while sharing more insights on the creative thought process that keeps his vision fresh.
Cliff illustrates the fast-paced thinking/searching he performs on shoots with clients by seeing light, driving to it, and creating his shot once he reaches it.
As the light changes quickly, Cliff works to capture as many different shots as possible by shooting directly into the light, trying some different angles, and using a near-by archway to block some light.
Cliff travels to the now-defunct Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia to demonstrate how the texture and mood created by this location's light juxtaposes the subject.
Cliff's final advice will help you put these ideas to use in a way that suits your clients best. Thanks for watching Searching for the Light.
Profile photo of Cliff Mautner

Meet your instructor

Cliff Mautner


Recognized by WPPI as "one of the top photographers and educators in the world," Cliff Mautner's 28-year career in photography includes 15 years and 6000 assignments as a photojournalist with the Philadelphia Inquirer, and work for an eclectic array of commercial clientele ranging from Comcast to Subaru. After launching his wedding photog...

Cliff's Courses


Join the Discussion
  1. Profile photo of Joel Lahey Joel Lahey

    I guess I’ve had this question for a long time and never did ask. At one point Cliff moves the couple into full light, and he says (paraphrasing) “It’s 12:30, I’m shooting at 2.8 in aperture priority, at ISO 400, not the best light, kind of bright and harsh”. To me, the ISO decisions always comes down to a trade off of resolution quality versus ability to use lower amounts of light and still get a usable image. Here’s my question, and I’m being serious: Why would you, NOT shoot at the best quality producing ISO, in this case ISO 50 or 100 unless it’s an issue of ‘not enough light’ which doesn’t seem the case here? With as much light as you have, do you worry about not having enough for a fast no-blur shutter? Or is it an “I set my ISO at a mid range for the entire environment and just play with the other two legs of the triangle – Aperture and Shutter Speed (my guess is this, it’s a speed thing to also modify ISO so set it and forget it)?

  2. Profile photo of Janet Janet

    Great class! Very inspiring. Thank you

  3. Profile photo of John Rigby John Rigby

    This is very inspiring as usual but similar to Shooting Around the Clock there is one problem….. Available sunlight everywhere. I’d love to see your strategy for photographing brides on a miserable grey day. You could call it Welcome To England :)

  4. Profile photo of James James

    There are many wedding photographers whose work I can appreciate. But for me Cliff has the approach nailed. It’s obvious he has the technical side down to a fine art, so he’s able to focus on creativity more, resulting in better images. He’s my No1 source of inspiration…and funnily his Mrs ain’t half bad too….

  5. Profile photo of

    Best intro ever :-)

  6. Profile photo of calmukumoto calmukumoto

    This class is more than wedding photography, it is a great class in the art of photography. Very enjoyable. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  7. Profile photo of MDB MDB

    Brilliant course! Very informative and some great ideas to add to any collection. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  8. Profile photo of JosephD05 JosephD05

    More Cliff Mautner classes please! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  9. Profile photo of lentilbean lentilbean

    This is a really great course! His instruction is simple and yet incredibly helpful. I like how he talks us through the settings and how he executes it.
    The process and constant reminder to expose well and to look at your scene was drilled home. Thanks! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  10. Profile photo of capsix capsix

    Absolutely superb cliff, many thanks to you,Amber and Pete. I use these videos as keynotes for my weddings! i have had so much more fun out of every shoot i do since watching you all, Just one thing though Cliff, as i live in england can you explain what the light source is you are using outside1 Is that a giant flash in the sky?. Hey you guys should come over a make a film about shooting in grey cloud, bet it would still be great!
    —- Yes, please post my feedback

  11. Profile photo of remistonge remistonge

    One of my favorite video on Kelby!! You are the best Cliff !! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  12. Profile photo of easymaths easymaths

    This is very good and learned a lot. Still I don’t like the settings at the highway tunnel. I am in London and I won’t do this mainly for three reasons; Firstly It is full of air pollution and don’t want to ruin the day for the couple, secondly it is really dangerous and thirdly if in London we will end up in a police station. Bad, bad example for the kids with DSLRs. So where next…. Occupy Wall St? —- Yes, please post my feedback

  13. Profile photo of takabcn takabcn

    I really impressed by the way you work. super.
    really impressed! —- No, I’d keep it between us

  14. Profile photo of bhieger bhieger

    Outstanding course.

  15. Profile photo of brooksk74 brooksk74

    I have watched Cliff’s videos before when I first joined Kelby Training and really admired his style. After having been shooting for about 6 more months, I watched this video again and it made much more of an impact. I really appreciate how he talks about what he is seeing and how he is getting to his finished photographs.

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