Back in late January, I posted about Preparing for my First Wedding Shoot, and finally it’s time to follow it up with the actual results from the wedding!
The wedding was in early February but a combination of very busy weeks and weekends meant it took longer than I’d hoped to finally get through and process the (literally) hundreds and hundreds of photos that I took at the wedding.
But they were fnally finished a few weeks ago and now it’s time to talk about what I learned and to present a selection of my favourite photos from the day.
Please continue reading to see more images and read more stories from the day.
It was a hot Saturday, very hot. In fact in Victoria it became known as Black Saturday – but of course we were oblivious to that at the time. It was a midday wedding, meaning the shots out in the open had harsh shadows so the ceremony and most of the formal shots were taken in the shade of the huge fig tree or under the block structures around the edge of the harbour.
Being my first wedding shoot, I was a little nervous, but having my friend Humayun there to shoot with me, as well as actually knowing the bride and groom and some of the guests made me feel more comfortable.
The ceremony was originally going to take place on the high part of Cope’s Lookout but with the hot midday Sun it was moved to underneath the fig tree. This presented its own challenges with the shadowy foreground and very bright background. A flash was required, but I didn’t have an external speedlite flash, so Humayun and I were sharing his – the inbuilt flash on the Canon 20D just wasn’t bright enough most times.
I also stopped down the aperture to help with the exposure but there was quite a bit of dust on my chip which showed up on the long focal ratio shots. That required extra cleaning up in Photoshop which I would’ve preferred not to have had to do.
I was using H’s 17-40mm lens which was good for some of the wider images showing the lovely background scene on the harbour, but most times I was longing for some extra focal length to get in tight on the couple and separate them from the background.
But that’s ok, as Humayun was using the 24-105mm and 200mm lenses, so our shots will compliment each other and give Tanya and Marvin the best of both worlds.
After the ceremony and group shots with all the guests, we moved onto the formal shots while the guests relaxed around the upper level under the shade of the tree.
Not having really done portrait work before it was quite unusual to have to direct the composition and the poses. Eg: Face this way, look this way, sit here, stand there. Having mostly done landscape work where you play a much more passive role in the scene, it was quite a learning curve and I had to force myself to do it sometimes.
I had prepared a list of shots and poses that I wanted to take and had run through it with Tanya and Marvin, but as the day progressed I had forgotten to refer to it and didn’t realise until after. In hindsight there’s some poses that I wished I’d remembered to do and was frustrated at myself for forgetting!
The sandstone wall and under the fig tree presented us some beautiful backdrops for some of the formal shots and it was one of the only areas that we didn’t have to deal with the harsh sunlight casting shadows under the eyes and making the skin glow. It’s no surprise that most of my favourites are from that area.
I was using H’s 24-105mm lens for the formal work and the extra focal length and zoom range gave me much more choice and many more options of how to capture the scene. It’s a beautiful lens and is now on my “want to buy” list!
After the formal shots, we mingled with the guests while nibblies and drinks were consumed and everyone started to relax. We were able to get some candid shots of the guests and the bride and groom interacting with them. I took some shots with H’s 200mm f/2.8 lens and wow is it sharp! Of course at 200mm you’re a little restricted with distance, having to be quite a way away at times but at wide open aperture it throws the background out of focus beautifully. It’s also another lens on my list now 🙂
All in all I captured about 600+ shots! I was using burst mode pretty much the entire day so that I didn’t miss anything but it also meant I had a lot of duplicates of near duplicates which took more time to sort and sift through, rank and process.
I ended up with about 300 processed images, roughly 100 each from each of the three phases of the wedding (ceremony, formal, after party). Probably far too many but I found it very difficult to cull the shots because I was worried that what I liked might not necessarily be what Tanya and Marvin liked!
All photos were taken with my Canon 20D, using a selection of Humayun’s brilliant Canon L series lenses. The 17-40mm f/4L was used during the ceremony shots, the 24-105mm f/4L IS USM was used during the formal shots and some of the after shots, and the 200mm f/2.8L II USM was used for a few of the after shots.
Tanya and Marvin were a great bride and groom, and I must thank them firstly for the opportunity to capture their special day, and secondly for being so very patient with me while waiting for the processed photos!
Thanks also to Humayun for helping out and taking some of the pressure off, and also for allowing me to borrow his beautiful lenses.
Will I do wedding photography again? I don’t know. It was a fantastic experience – I learned heaps and I’m really happy to have been given the opportunity. But it’s unlikely that I’ll seek it out at this stage – I just don’t have the time or the gear (or the money to purchase the gear!) to do it very well. However if I was approached and asked again, it’s probably something I’d seriously consider.
Thanks for looking, your comments are most welcome!