My sphincter was clenching like a crazy thing

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NIKON D70 - 1/60 sec, f7.1 at 62mm

I've just survived my first wedding photography assignment.

The last wedding I photographed, as commissioned by the wife (which means it doesnt count), was a complete fricken disaster. Admittedly the utterly boring predicatable nature of the wedding made things bad, but my complete ineptitudeness didn't help much either.

Today though I spent 3 hours studying and preparing before the shoot. I looked at thousands of wedding photos on Flickr hoping to get some tips. I reread hundreds of posts on Strobist for off camera flash. I went to the supermarket (shudder) to buy batteries. And I subjected Gabba and Sarah to 30 minutes of test shots to make sure I had some hope of getting at least one photo with a useful exposure. Part way through this studying I called Rik to ask about the "official wedding photographer" only to find there wasn't one and I was it. OH SHIT!

So we arrive at the location for a 4:00pm start. Already the sun was very low with nasty deep shadows and bright spots causing issues with lost highlights.

Some guy was then giving the thumbs up sign to the celebrant that the bride had arrived, but it just occured to me at that point that I didn't know what the hell she looked like. Come to think of it, I didn't know which of the guys walking around in suits was the groom either. Brilliant, I was the wedding photographer and I didn't know what the hell my targets looked like.

One end of me was grinning at the absurdness of it all and the other end, (my sphincter), was clenching like a crazy thing ;-)

So anyway, after 100 photos, some posing and way too much smiling, it was basically dark and I had a card full of photos.

On the way home, after the pressure to perform had worn off, I thought of all the things I should have done but didn't. Dammit!

On looking at the photos, I'm pleased that at least 10% of them are mostly good enough. Not a bad hit rate at all. I'd love to go back and reshoot it now that I've learned a thing or 20.

John and Viki, thanks for letting me take some photos, I know what you look like now! It was a beautiful ceremony. I hope you like the photos.

The Photo

Half the photos I used the speedlight on the camera and half I got brave and took it off. I'm glad I did as those photos with the light off the camera look so much better. While this one isn't necessarily the best, it's the first I processed.

My thanks also to Rik for being my (semi) intelligent light stand.

Map of the photo location
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Posted: Sunday, 8 July, 2007 19:25

Captured: 2007:07:08 16:44:09

Add your own comment

  • You're a brave man Dave. I refuse to do weddings based solely on the pressure and stress. Nice shot. One thing I would recommend is the purchase of a multi-sided/covered diffuser/reflector. Place said diffuser between flash and subject or have as a reflector on the other side to bounce and back-fill the subject to balance the light. I just shot our whole office for the new website and without the reflector it would have turned very poo-shaped. BTW, I'm not sure how pleased the bride and groom will be when they find themselves ranking high on Google images for the "sphincter" searches.
    seriocomic - Sunday, 8 July, 2007 21:42
  • Love your work. Thanks for an enjoyable afternoon. The Light Stand
    Rik - Sunday, 8 July, 2007 23:01
  • Just trying to figure out what the 'crazy thing' is that you refer your sphincter to be like. If buttholes could talk aye...
    Daniel - Monday, 9 July, 2007 8:59
  • still waiting on MY WEDDING PHOTOS, THANKS DAVE. (dave took photos at my wedding, but it wasn't official by any means.) (love your work)
    mike - Monday, 9 July, 2007 10:06
  • Super stuff that! (And the previous Lightning shot too). I think the mojo may have returned.
    The real BC - Monday, 9 July, 2007 14:07
  • Brave man,but you did it and well done too. Lovely photo for the bride and groom to look back on.
    Nova - Friday, 13 July, 2007 2:23

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