Sunday, August 1, 2010

My First Wedding: A Review

It's been a month since I shot my first wedding. I meant to write this post right afterward, but I obviously did not.

A dear friend was getting married and asked another of our friends to do her photos. I heard about it and told her I would be willing to take some too, since I would be doing it anyway! The bride was aware that wedding photography was not my thing, but was happy to let me shoot if I so desired.

So, I happily went about looking at wedding photos and techniques.

The day of the wedding, I bought another memory card for my camera, just in case. The main card I use is a 4GB SDHC, and I bought an 8GB SD card. I had several other cards, as well, but wanted one more for that extra space. Should have bought one that was SDHC...because the camera wrote much slower to it (shooting in RAW).

The wedding took place at the bride's home, and it was a fun, and informal affair. Knowing the house well was a distinct advantage in getting shots, for sure.

The original photographer was late in getting to the wedding. So the getting ready shots fell to me. Unfortunately, it was pouring rain outside, and the dark bedroom where the bride and her matron of honor got ready was a bit unfortunate.

I mainly shot with my 50mm lens, which made for beautiful shots, but was obnoxious in the cramped bedroom.

Once the ceremony started, I realized the fatal mistake in my "flawless" (ha) planning. I did not bring my telephoto lens. I have no idea why it never occurred to me that it would have been incredibly useful. The shots I took of the ceremony did not turn out well, because I was not comfortable getting up close with only a 50mm lens. The only reason I can think of for not bringing the lens was because its wide open aperture only went to f4. No excuse. I should have brought it. Thankfully, the other photographer was well prepared and got some great ceremony shots.

Because it was an outside wedding, and it was raining, there was a big white tent the ceremony was shut under. Unfortunately, the chairs for the guests were facing south, so the lighting was awful. Shooting straight into brightness does not work well. I discovered a few days before the wedding that my camera does not do center weighted average for exposing, which would have made it so much better. *sigh*

Due to the rain, the reception was entirely inside, so the lighting was atrocious there too! The reception was planned to be outside, and there was a change last minute. BUT, by being overcast (it eventually stopped raining) and not sunny, the lighting for the portraits was nice and even. I loved not having to deal with harsh shadows, as you can see below.

I was really happy to have my nifty fifty for the bride and groom formals later!

All in all, I learned a lot. Definitely learned that I never want to do it again! Though, time may tell. I did have a good time, but I will admit that I felt like I missed out on some of the festivities, as I was "working".

Moral? Leave the shooting to the pros, but also bring the telephoto lens!