A few weeks ago my friend Kathryn invited me to shoot a wedding with her. The job was set up through the land developer of Alamanda Estate in Point Cook, just around the corner from where I live. In the past I’ve always said no to shooting weddings, but this time I said “sure”.
I’ve often said no to weddings because they are such a big event, an important day for all concerned and not something one can easily do over should the day go wrong. I had to look up the best wedding guest attire, because I wasn’t sure what to wear. On this occassion though I saw myself as the “second shooter” more of a back-up photographer so felt a little less pressure. Having said that I was still nervous as hell.
Talk about a baptism of fire, the bride a groom are mixed nationalities. The groom Sri Lankin with quite a dark complexion. The bride of Asian descent, quite fair. Throw in a dark suit and ultra-white wedding gown and you have one weirdly metered scene. Where to meter for light in such a set-up was quite hard.
If I’m honest I’ll say I think today was weird at best from a photography point of view. The day is such a buzz with activity and timeframes are so short to get the shot, not to mention that family and friends are flitting here and there trying to get their own shots of the happy couple, all the while getting in your short or taking the couples attention away from you as the photographer.
Kathryn was quite good at reigning them in, keeping them focused and getting the family to move away when really needed.
The challenge of the day was the indoor shooting. The church, St Patrick’s Cathedral is a massive place. Our distance from the bride and groom during the nuptials was distant and very hard to light. We’ve decided that the proceeds from today’s event will go into having a proper wedding photographer show us how it’s done. How to get the best shot we can should any future event come up. I certainly won’t be hunting for wedding opportunities in the future.
The bride and groom, Melissa and Panduka, were amazing folks. Funny as can be and riding high on the emotions of the day. They were gracious in accommodating our every request.
In the end I took around 630 photos in raw format. I’m pretty sure a large percentage of them will hit the cutting room floor. The shot presented here is a roughy, taken directly from the camera. Not my favourite per se, I haven’t even really gone through them all yet. This is just the first one I stopped on. My little graphic tablet is going to be busy today.
Your description of the colours of skin and clothing and the problems of such contrasts is something I would never had considered as being an issue. It was really interesting to read about your thoughts as the “photographer” at the wedding. They are always at wedding but seem to do their job without a fuss. It had never occurred to me that there was so much to consider. Thanks for the inside info and I look forward to showing more awe at photographers in the future.