Behind the Scenes of a Celebrity Wedding Photographer with Corbin Gurkin - D'ARCY BENINCOSA

Behind the Scenes of a Celebrity Wedding Photographer with Corbin Gurkin

by D'Arcy Benincosa

Behind the Scenes of a Celebrity Wedding Photographer with Corbin Gurkin and D'Arcy Benincosa on the Play It Brave Podcast

Do you want to know what made Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner and music heartthrob Joe Jonas say “you’re hired” to Corbin Gurkin, photographer extraordinaire?

I certainly did! That’s why I brought her on the Play It Brave podcast this week!

Corbin is a photographer of more than 20 years and has photographed weddings in California’s wine country, the striking beaches of Thailand, country estates in Ireland, and the hillside villages of Tuscany. Her work is regularly featured in Martha Stewart Weddings, Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue and Town & Country, and she’s captured PDN’s Top Knots Wedding Photography grand prize award. Corbin’s celebrity clients include Sophie Turner & Joe Jonas, Allen Leech & Jessica Herman, Ashley Tisdale & Christopher French, and many others she can’t tell us about. 

Corbin was able to build her reputation by not only exceeding the expectations of her clients with outstanding work, but she often submitted her images for publication. After being featured in publications like Martha Stewart Weddings, Once Wed, and Elle Decor early in her career, she became widely trusted by high end wedding planners and couples. This just goes to show that putting off submitting your work could mean putting off your goal of reaching the luxury clients of your dreams! (Grab my Perfect Publication Submission Copy Templates here to get a leg up and impress the editors of your dream publications! 😘 )

If you want to learn more about what it takes to land your first celebrity wedding, hit play!

Corbin’s Tips for Getting Your Images Published:

  • Take an establishing portrait of the couple. This might not be the most artistic shot, but publications (more importantly, couples) want to see a full shot of the bride and groom and their attire, with a hint of the setting in the background.
  • Take the time to perfect and photograph the editorial details. This includes the signature drink, escort cards, welcome gift, invitation suite, a close up tabletop details.
  • Skip the shot of the dress hanging up or the shoes, unless they somehow add to the story.
  • By quieting the editorial images with simple backdrops, you’ll allow the real moments of the wedding (first dance, cake cutting, ceremony, etc.) to be detailed and the whole story will be balanced without feeling overwhelming.
  • Curate the first 10-15 photos that tell the story of the wedding so the editor can get a sense of the wedding day within the first 30 seconds.

One way to not only go above and beyond for your clients (hello, referrals!), but to also get those editorial-worthy detail shots is by showing up extra early to perfect and photograph those details. Corbin is known for her gorgeous flat lays, and giving herself that extra time is her ultimate secret. She also shared some of her flat lay styling tips for good measure.

Corbin’s Flat Lay Styling Formula:

  • Shoot flat lays on a tripod to allow yourself the ability to check the shot and recompose as needed.
  • Work in shapes and keep in mind the way the eye moves
  • Keep the backgrounds simple.

While having the same gear as an award-winning photographer isn’t going to be the magic key to the pearly gates of the celebrity wedding scene, if you’re wondering what fancy setup Corbin and her team use, you’ll be shocked to find out it’s anything but fancy. This just goes to show that the key is to really put in the time and practice, make a great impression, and submit your images with confidence. 

A Peek at Corbin’s Gear & Setup:

  • Film Camera: Pentax 645, meters in
  • Lens: Pentax 105mm
  • Corbin shoots at f4 most of the time with a focus on the sharpness of her images
  • Digital Camera: Sony

Check It Out!

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A few of my favorite business tools:

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