Picture-Perfect Lighting Techniques for Wedding Photographers, with Jerry Ghionis

Beautiful light is all around us and Jerry Ghionis is a master at finding the best light for making wedding photos look downright magical.

Beautiful light is all around us and Jerry Ghionis is a master at finding the best light for making wedding photos look downright magical. Jerry believes that location means nothing without beautiful light, whether it is found out of doors, standing next to a window, or from artificial sources. Join Jerry on an action-packed, non-stop series of wedding shoots that range from indoor window light to candle-lit romantic tables to the nighttime lights of the city, as he shares an endless supply of professional tips and tricks on everything from posing your subjects to getting proper exposure in every form of light you can find.

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Course Lessons:

Lesson 1: It's All About the Quality of the Light (Duration 10:02)

Jerry jumps right into the class by starting on location with a male model (as if shooting a groom on his wedding day) and shares his thoughts on light, posing, and exposure.

Lesson 2: Shooting the Groom (Duration 06:56)

Continuing the shoot, Jerry varies the poses and techniques for shooting a groom getting dressed on his wedding day.

Lesson 3: Working with a Couple in Window Light (Duration 13:52)

After a few more classic groom poses Jerry brings in the bride-to-be for a couples shoot.

Lesson 4: Shooting the Bride (Duration 04:49)

Taking advantage of the awesome window light on hand, Jerry works through a series of poses with the bride.

Lesson 5: New Bride and Location (Duration 07:28)

A change in location and model brings new opportunities for learning how to work with the light.

Lesson 6: Seated Poses for the Groom (Duration 05:09)

Incorporating furniture into the shoot can open up new posing opportunities to work within the available light.

Lesson 7: Using Reflective Light (Duration 04:57)

Using the light reflecting off of a surface provides a soft beautiful light on the face with lovely hair light coming from behind. This lesson is shown in black and white to help focus on the tonality of the reflective light.

Lesson 8: Guided by the Light (Duration 04:31)

Always choose where you shoot based on the light, not the location.

Lesson 9: Creating Directional Light in Open Shade (Duration 04:55)

Creating subtle shadows on the face will add depth, mood, and dimension to the photos. This lesson is shown in black and white to help focus on the quality of the light.

Lesson 10: Creating Dynamic Shots in Unique Locations (Duration 04:34)

When being guided by the light you can create amazing poses and compositions in all sorts of locations as long as the light is there.

Lesson 11: Candles and Fairy Lights (Duration 08:11)

Available daylight is wonderful and versatile, but you can have a lot of fun with other light sources too.

Lesson 12: Video Light and On-Camera Speedlight (Duration 07:20)

Of course the other most common source of light will be your own speedlights or the light from an LED video light.

Lesson 13: Lamp Light (Duration 07:59)

Sometimes a wedding location will present a variety of opportunities for shooting with regular tungsten lamps, and maybe even a few mirrors. Have fun!

Lesson 14: Working with a Street Light (Duration 04:30)

Staying alert to the available light sources around you can lead to incredibly creative opportunities that would have otherwise been missed. Do mind the traffic.

Lesson 15: Making Magic (Duration 04:45)

The light from ordinary store signs and Christmas lights can make for magical night time shots with your couples.

Meet Your Instructor: Jerry Ghionis

Widely regarded as one of the top five best wedding photographers in the world. Jerry Ghionis is based in both Melbourne, Australia and Beverly Hills, California. He travels frequently on…

99 Comments

  1. Jerry is an inspiration. I watched his first course and loved it. This new one is even better. So much great insight in portraiture photography, answering my many questions.

  2. Absolutely amazing!!! I have followed Jerry Ghionis' work for years, and he is simply an amazing photographer and artist. He is truly inspirational. It's almost uncanny, how he can see a beautiful image in an ordinary scene, where most of us, if presented with the same scene, would simply glance the other way. Also, thanks to Kelby Training for putting together such an incredible tutorial. Absolutely priceless...

  3. Wow!! totally the most informative and inspiring tutorial yet. thank-you Gerry for sharing your fabulous talent and Kelby training for bringing us this course.

  4. Hands down the best wedding tutorial video I've seen! He really knows what people want to learn and explains it very well. Looking forward to more of his videos!

  5. Just simply amazing! Jerry leads you into a pathway of environmental light hunting. The use of side lighting and blend it with little flash as well as video light is so brilliant. This video needs to be watched a couple of times to digest what he taught in this course!

  6. Absolutely insane. Brilliant. This is one of the best. I think, no I'm sure I have gotten more from this class than any other on Kelby training. Excellent class. Thanks, and more from Jerry please.

  7. Absolutely first-rate course. Jerry shares years worth of learning and skills. The class is full of clever ideas but the key thing I am taking away is Jerry's attention to detail - the shape of a hand or curve of a cheek that makes the difference between a decent picture and a great one. I know I will have to watch this through a few times before the learning has really sunk in. Jerry makes it all look effortless but there is a great deal to reflect on in this class. I think the key skills - posing, reading light, story-telling - transfer to other forms of people pictures and not just wedding photography.

  8. Wow...I've been watching K-Training for a long time...this is without a doubt one of the finest you have ever done. Jerry's advise is very usable and reliable...thank you for taking the time to create this.

  9. WOW! This has been the BEST YET !!! Lots of great illustrations and excellent descriptions of how-to. After viewing this I plan to sign up for more.

  10. Jerry is a Jenius. Beautiful and inspiring images. He definitely has an eye for making strong images using simple lighting and poses first and background second.

  11. Watched it all the way through three times now and just learn more each time. Definitely one of the best courses that I have ever seen - and I've seen a lot!

  12. Hello, Very interesting course about how to catch natural or artificial lighting with the subject, during the day and at night, and without flash (just one time to make a beautifull effect). The photographer use the light available at the moment and is very inventive. For who wants to make unusual wedding photographies of the couple when you have time with them.

  13. Excellent class, lots of great tips & advice. As I'll be 2nd shooting my 1st wedding soon I'll be bringing these ideas & advice with me. Shooting short side of the face & lean chest towards camera, simple & brilliant. Nice clear instruction, not too rushed, fab. Feel I have a couple more tools in my bag :)

  14. I did not know this photographer until I saw his course. Very good explanations and demonstrations. I learned a lot from his course. Hope to see more from him. Thanks to share your knowledge. A. Robitaille

  15. Your most informative and inspirational course yet. So much information and detail. I suspect I will be watching both of Jerry's courses again in a few days time. (Also nice to hear a familiar accent ;-} ) Congratulations Jerry and Kelby Training.

  16. Absolutely impressive! A remarkably informative tutorial. Jerry is amazing talented at photography; more importantly, at very effectively conveying the hows and whys of that talent. I learned a ton from this tutorial. Well done Jerry and Kelby Training!

  17. Absolutely awesome. First time I see Jerry Ghionis in action. Great demomstration on lighting. One of the best course, thanks Kelby Training for having jerry. jacob saldana

  18. That was fantastic! This is the first course I've watched. I just joined tonight. This alone was worth the monthly fee! I can't wait to view more :)

  19. Agree with everybody here. Simply a great resource to watch and see Gerry pick up ideas from the environment around him. I just subscribed to Kelby Training yesterday and this one course justifies the yearly subscription for me. Fantastic effort from everybody concerned. Thank you.

  20. This was definitely one of my favorites. Jerry was very meticulous with his set up and explanation of every aspect of each shot. I learned a lot about the available light and how to "see" it, as well as how to communicate to the models what it is you need from them. Great one!

  21. What a great course, simple, practical, to the point, wonderful results, great presentation etc. etc. Thanks to Kelby Training for this course and all other wonderful ones that you have presented over the years. Regards Sandi Walpa Victoria Australia.

  22. I don't like to shoot weddings and generally avoid anything to do with them. However, this guy is brilliant and many of the items can be utilized in any portrait or location shoot regardless of the subject matter. I hope you have him make more videos, they are one of the best I've watched here on Kelby.

  23. Great Video, so many tips I need to watch it many times, Good way to learn interaction from Photographer to models. Very good lighting basics with out lots of lighting set up, Thanks Kelby.

  24. Excellent class. Lots of really good tips and technique guidance on how to use lighting, get good camera angles, & communicating posing to your client.

  25. Loved this course. Mr G works his locations and light as well as anyone I've come across. Picked up some terrific technique and posing tips too. I've watched it 3 times already! Owen Lucas Photography

  26. Jerry you are truly a visionary! This is by far the best wedding course I've taken live or online! The way you simplify the composition and explain your thought process is perfect, producing incredible shots with minimal equipment is stellar!

  27. Simply one of the most useful courses I've ever watched. He's busted a lot of ideas I had about certain light sources! Some amazingly powerful but subtle tips. My only negative comment was the greyscale video in two of the videos Perhaps this was deliberate to illustrate the subtleties in the open shadow light but it was incongruous. Nitpicking I know. 5-star course if ever there was one!

  28. Jerry, I really hope to see more lessons from you. This is one of the best courses i ever seen, not just on Kelbytraining.com. Inspiring, easy to understand and great lightwork. Keep it up and tnx!

  29. My favorite Wedding course .... real examples of using what is available, making the lighting the key element, giving a priority check-list, tips for posing and slenderizing, tips for taking an average shot and making it over-the-top gorgeous. thank you so much for sharing !!!!!

  30. This class is Very good! I wasn't really that interested to begin with as I don't plan to do a wedding shoot real soon, but this guy is really good with natural light, which is applicable for all sorts of photography. Also his posing tips are very specific, easy to grasp and the resulting images looks stunning. I must say this class was a plesant surprise.

  31. I love the way Jerry Ghionis teaches. His posing and lighting techniques are a joy to watch. I've seen the classes a few times now and have found them very helpful and hope to see more from him in the future.

  32. This is by far the most fantastic course on wedding photography on Kelby Training! It is very informative and Jerry does a great job in delivering important points in a simple to follow manner. Important to note is that now I truly understand WHY I like the portrait images I admired over the years and how to create the conditions for beautiful images. I left the course obsessed with light, feeling more confident and unintimidated by the new information. The only down side is now I feel I have less use for my new light modifiers on location! Thanks Guys!

  33. This is an awesome tutorial! I am so done with tutorials that go after every sliver of shadow and light up the face into a beige monotone canvas (works for fashion; not weddings) . I love dramatic lighting and it was heartening to see a photographer of Jerry's caliber say he loves dramatic light and that every detail in the shadow (unless it is a competition) does not need to be in there. The photos in this tutorial speak volumes for why that is better than over lighting and making the bride look like a geisha. For cryin out loud, the only light source Jerry used was an open window and ambient but I would have no qualms buying every one of the pictures in this tutorial I were the client. Great job!

  34. Absolutely brilliant! Jerry is a genius! The way he 'sees' light and communicates his ideas is totally inspiring. Learned a lot but can see myself watching again and again to pick up and experiment with some of the subtle tips in the course. I'm not even a wedding photographer although I have shot the odd wedding or two but this guy really separates the genius from the ordinary (me!)

  35. The way Jerry sees light is truly amazing and very inspiring! It really gives me a new look on the fact that there are photographic opportunities everywhere. This course is really an eye opener. Fantastic!

  36. This is a course I found very very good. What I like it most is the way he teaches through many real examples: simple and clear explanation and gets to the point. Some of your instructors like to stand there and give us long lecture, they don t know what advantage the video class over the audio - we re watching you. So just do it and we learn from what you are doing.

  37. Without a doubt, this is the best course I've watched at Kelby. This guy is brilliant and I found his style and techniques inspiring and I don't even shoot weddings. I hope you bring him back to do more work. The instructor was funny and that makes it even more entertaining to watch.

  38. Awesome Series. I hope you will get him to do more! He is a natural teacher. Great communicator, explains the why. Love his five step process. This isn't just about lighting, lots of posing. Loved that the lighting was working with what was available.

  39. Jerry is amazing!! I've learned more in a short period of time watching Jerry in real world situations than in weeks of leaning on my own. His courses alone are worth the entire cost of the subscription. Jerry's communication is clear, direct and explains WHY he is making the changes he does. Well done.

  40. Wow! Loved this course! It teaches you to really look around at the the available light and make it work for you. The posing and tips in between add so much to the photographs. Amazing class!

  41. Wow! This was amazing! I love the way Jerry plays with light, his professional way to interact with the persons and the surroundings, and his expressions in the final results. I will be watching this again and again. And shoot, after shoot, and hopefully become a better photographer. Thanks for the inspiration!

  42. Every time I watch this tutorial I am amazed at how easy Jerry makes it look, especially how he directs the subjects. It is awesome! Jerry you are amazing!

  43. Jerry did a phenomenal job in teaching the beauty and availability of light everywhere around us. He displays just how to raise the bar in many photographic situations by using minimal equipment. Excellent teacher, I fully enjoyed this lesson. One of my favorites!

  44. I have watched and rewatched your two videos a dozen times! You are an amazing instructor. I have learned that I must become passionate about "light" when I shoot anyone. Looking forward to learning more from you in the future. Thank you for sharing your talent-you are very much appreciated.

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