Wedding Shoot; Some basic lessons for us…

Well… Carlene and I had the pleasure of capturing wedding moments as they happened this past Saturday evening.  The marriage took place at the bride’s parents’ home and was filled with much excitement and energy.  We truly enjoyed the experience. 

I feel that we (Carlene & I) had prepared quite well.  We had:

  • asked for direction from the bride and parents (it’s THEIR wedding)
  • on hand backup equipment (camera body, batteries, memory cards, etc)
  • been instructed to and “walked thru” areas where events were to take place

Some other lessons and questions that will stay with us are: 

  1. Use the flash, use the strobe.  Even tho we had generous window light the flash overcame all the harsh shadows from the late afternoon sunlight, especially that coming in between the window shutter blinds.
  2. Diffuse the flash, make it soft and bounce it from the white ceiling
  3. Synchronize the two camera clocks to within 10 seconds so to save time with post-processing, big time.
  4. Two photographers shooting adds immeasureably to the final results.  The second perspective to the same happening can be special.
  5. Get people images “close up” frequently.  Many of those we captured Saturday evening are without fail the favorites.
  6. Be fairly assertive with “getting the shot”.  Ask for permission and “get into position”.  It’s the only chance you’ll have and the result may be special. 
  7. Look for and record “the little things” such as:  bride and groom’s clasped hands, the wedding rings in the small bowl waiting, cultural symbols important, special gazes, family/friend greetings & wishes, etc, etc. 

I shot the actual wedding using manual mood and settings of 1/60th (seems slow — but with image stabilizer all photos are sharp) of a second, f-stop of 5.6, and ISO of 400, since the room lighting stayed very constant.  When we moved downstairs to the dim-lit dance floor I had to adjust some, mostly to a faster shutter speed so to catch the action.  It’s amazing to me how forgiving and how effective the light diffuser on my strobe is.  It was my first time using it and with the close-in scenario of this evening I think it’s ESSENTIAL. 

A question that arose, and it’s a big one for me, is to find the lens that works best for this occasion where each of the 300 captures I made this evening are “quite up close”.  I used my favorite lens, the Canon 17-85mm, and gave me a wonderful range of composition but… is “a bear” for skewed perspective and cost me much post-processing time correcting that.  Seems to me… you give something to get something here and I have to find a middle ground. 

The wedding took place in language (Farsi)  Carlene and I don’t know and with happenings we don’t understand but it was one of the most exciting and interesting times we’ve ever had.  We thank Mehdi, Nahid, Ali and Nona for allowing us this sharing privilege. 

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