Monday, August 2, 2010

A Small Taste of Wedding Photography

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of attending my sister-in-law's wedding. In Minnesota. During this last July 30th weekend. Yes, it was hot and humid. No... I was not carried off by the state's un-official state bird, the mosquito.

Photograph of Anna just before her wedding.
Shot with available light from large nearby window. (50mm @ f/2.8)

I did, however, bring my camera gear with me. In my previous post, I indicated I had gotten the LowePro 160 AW camera bag and listed all the gear I've shoved into it. Well, I was toting this bag of gear around in the heat. I was also wearing a buttoned up long sleeve shirt, tie, jacket, and dress pants. It was VERY VERY hot and humid. I found myself constantly looking for a towel. :)

I also had the extremely fortunate chance to talk to the official wedding photographer, Angeli of BellaGala. Angeli was extremely friendly, open in sharing her experiences, and patiently answered my questions about  equipment and wedding photography. It was really enlightening to watch her work, to see where her eyes lead her, throughout the events, and to ask myself the why(s), where(s), and how(s) of what Angeli was doing during her work.

Watching her work and feeling my own response with my own camera brought something into sharp relief: there is no substitute for working under someone who knows what they are doing.

As the day progressed, I found myself taking mental notes of how she reacted to and anticipated the behaviour of the wedding party, and moved/acted accordingly to catch a decisive moment with her camera. She was always courteous, never intrusive, and extremely respective of the emotions and events of the day.

One answer she gave stuck in my mind. I had asked her if she had the trinity of wedding lenses: 50/1.(2/4/7/8), 17-50/2.8 or 24-70/2.8, and 70-200/2.8? She noted that she had the mid and long, but opted not to carry the 50/1.x. The reason being was that she found she didn't use it enough to justify it. I was still thinking about this later, when in editing my own photographs from the wedding, I realized that I had only brought out the 50/1.x once, and none of the shots from it were really all that great; not really close enough, and not really wide enough. In fact, I found I used the 70-200/2.8 the most. It really is a lens that lets you get close visually, but not invade space physically.

I've got another wedding I'll be attending later in August. I'm hoping to produce some nice photographs there as well.

However, I only needed one wedding to learn why it is that some photographers choose wedding photography. It's an exciting way of shooting, where the situations are constantly in motion and no two shots are the same, even if you use the same techniques over and over again. It's a kind of photography that does not favor the machine gun spray-and-pray method of photography, but encourages the photographer to watch, think, and anticipate the shot and take action.

If I ever got out of IT as my primary career, I can honestly see myself looking to wedding photography as a viable career for me that I would truly love and enjoy.


    1. Wing-
      I stumbled across your blog by accident...what a NICE post!! You wrote such kind things! I remember this day so clearly, and it was fun having you to chat about photography with. I hope that your sis-in-law and bro-in-law are doing so well! They are quite a special couple!

      I noticed you post a bit about equipment...please keep the reviews coming! I will certainly be reading up after realizing what a tech genius you are.

      Maybe we'll end up at another hot and humid MN wedding again one of these days! :) Best wishes to you!

      -Angeli :)

    2. Thanks Angeli! It was _very_ hot and humid in MN!! I got a nice variation in Reno, where it was hot and arid. ~lol~

      Love following the BellaGalla Facebook updates. So many inspirational wedding and engagement photo sessions!

      Funny you should mention about equipment, as I had a light stand failure the other day. So, can definitely expect another blog post about that... ^_-

      Looks like 2011 has been busy for you! I hope the trend continues! ^_^

    3. Btw, updated the link to your Bella Gala blog!