A few weeks ago, I was traveling down the 57 freeway on my way to the So Cal Photog Shootout. I was so excited to be reunited with many of my photographer friends and to have fun shooting some gorgeous models. As I was making my way to the event, my cell phone rang. Of course I didn't hear it because Keith Urban was keeping me company. I glanced down at my cell phone and noticed that I did indeed miss a call and the screen said, Christopher Becker. WHAT? Why in the world would [b]ecker be calling me? I had his number programmed in my phone from last summer when we first met and hadn't used it since. I listened to the voice mail and seriously, I almost slammed on the brakes because I could not believe what I had just heard. [b]ecker invited me to come be a third shooter with him at a wedding in Orange County on Saturday. I was shaking and sweating, because I knew that this would be one of those once in a lifetime opportunities to spend the day with [b]ecker, ask him every question under the sun and learn as much as I can, without my brain exploding. I immediately called David and told him that we had to change our plans because [b]ecker just invited me to come shoot a wedding with him. I love my husband so much and appreciate that he supports my dreams, aspirations and understands that I really wanted to do this.
I called [b]ecker back and of course he harassed me for not having my phone number on my website and he had to search high and low for it. He finally found it in my Boutique. Since that phone call, my number is now listed on the Connect page. "You want your clients to get a hold of you", were his exact words! Anyways, he let me know the details of the day and the name of the other photographer who would be joining us. Katie Keller of Katie Keller Photography. I told [b]ecker what lenses and bodies (camera bodies) I had and then he said, GREAT! Yay! I was going to be shooting a wedding with someone who I have admired since the beginning of stepping into this business and now I get to spend an entire day with him. Lucky me!!
Me and [b]!
Saturday morning came and of course, I did not sleep the night before because I was NERVOUS! Not really sure why I was nervous because I had met [b]ecker before. But it isn't very often you get the opportunity to shoot a wedding with one of the top wedding photographers in Orange County. I arrived to his home in Mission Viejo with my gear in tow, we synced all of our cameras and we were off to the brides house. [b]ecker did such an amazing job in sharing with Katie and I that he really wanted us to enjoy the day, get some great images and have fun. No pressure whatsoever. Seriously. By the time we arrived at the brides home to take the getting ready shots, the butterflies in my stomach were gone and I was having a great time. I was watching [b]ecker as he would interact with the bride and her friends and family. He is so great with people, no wonder! No wonder everyone loves this guy! And, [b]ecker really just goes with the flow of each portion of the day, until we start to run a little behind. But the reality is that the bride and groom are getting married no matter what, so really? It didn't matter. I finally learned how [b]ecker poses his brides for his classic [b]ecker pose aka relaxed portraits and have used it since. Love it!
After the getting ready shots were done, we zipped, and I mean zipped over to the church. One thing you want to do if you are shooting at different venues for a wedding, get there before everyone else so you can get a lay of the land and find some good spots for more pictures. We did have a chance to stop off at 7-Eleven for a Slurpee, so that was GREAT! Just what Aline needed. Her three photographers with bright red tongues. We didn't care, it was so stinkin' hot, even in Orange County.
The ceremony was beautiful and the three of us worked well as a team. [b]ecker really focuses on getting specific shots and he must have made that mental list from the moment he walked into the church. When you are a second or third shooter, it is important that you listen to what the head photographer wants and needs from you. If he says, get the groom, you get the groom and don't question anything, which is what I did.
One great looking team!
Again, we zipped over to The Lab for some more portraits and after that, we made it to the reception. [b]ecker had the addresses of all of the locations we needed to go to into his navigation device so it made life easy, until the limo driver had a mind of his own. Thank goodness [b] is from the OC, he knew all of the back roads.
The reception was part of more learning experiences and I was still so happy to be a part of this amazing day. I admitted to [b]ecker that I really don't like to use my flash. I thought he was going to fire me on the spot and kick me to the curb for admitting that. Nope. He said, since you have the 5dMarkII, why don't you focus on getting some great B&W shots at a high ISO and take that 50mm to 1.2. And it was so much fun doing that! Shooting in monochrome is amazing! Work smarter, not harder! Why would you want to waste more of your valuable time in processing the images to B&W when your camera can do it for you. Ahhh! Thank you [b] for teaching me!
Lastly, the most amazing part of the entire experience of working with [b]ecker is to watch him interact with his clients. They are paying him a lot of money to document their special day, so he is always on top of his game. Towards the end of the reception, [b]ecker loaded some of the images from the day onto his laptop so the bride and groom could get a sneak peek before they left on their honeymoon. Below you can see just how awesome it is for the bride and groom to see the images and to have [b]ecker by their side. Nothing short of amazing!
*So, in case you haven't heard of this amazing community called the [b]school, then you aren't part of the most awesome group of photographers who are sharing their knowledge with each other, and sharing opportunities. The [b]school is [b]ecker's school! And Katie and I got this awesome opportunity because we are members!
***To [b]ecker, thank you so much for giving me this opportunity to shoot a wedding with you. Everything I learned from you that day, I have already implemented into my shooting and business. You are one of the greatest teachers in our industry and I so grateful for all you have taught me and so many others. Shooting with you was like shooting with an old friend and it was SO MUCH FUN! I can't wait to do it again. All the blessings to you! Tira J.