This photograph under the Manhattan Beach Pier was captured very early in my career. This particular wedding and reception ended quite early in the afternoon and the bride and groom portraits occurred afterwards. The ceremony was at Verandas, and so when we left the venue it was only natural that we would head down to the beach. After we finished all of the portraits for the day, the bride asked if she could go out into the water. I naturally said yes and this was the result.
One of the things that made this wedding so memorable for me was that the guests on the bride side spoke mostly Chinese while the guests on the groom side spoke mostly French. When I was directing the family portraits after the wedding ceremony, I was forced to do so with a pretty severe language barrier. But I found I had no difficulties at all due to the way that I posed people for these groupings. In most cases, I find it effective to simply ask my subjects to mirror whatever I am doing, and so I stand a certain way, and show my subjects how to hold their head, hands, and feet by doing it first myself. At that wedding I learned the importance of visual communication and it has stuck with me ever since. Since then, I photographed dozens of weddings where the family members spoke no English and in every occasion my clients have commented at how easily I was able to work with everyone — even those family members who were not English-speaking. Manhattan Beach Pier is located in Manhattan Beach, California. Website: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manhattan_Beach_Pier.