Thursday, May 10, 2018

Photographing a wedding by yourself - Part III - The ceremony and portraits directly after the wedding

Today, I continue onto part III of the wedding photography series. The first two blog posts, "Getting Ready" and "The First Look" took us up until the actual wedding ceremony. And now it is time for the big moment when the bride and groom are ready to be married.

I had attended the rehearsal the day before the ceremony, which gave me some real advantages on the big day:

1. I got to know all the people in the wedding party
2. I watched them rehearse and knew how they would be entering the wedding
3. I got a chance to look at the surroundings and determine best shooting locations
4. I was able to get some test shots to gauge available light and potential camera settings

Here is the wedding party about to enter the ceremony. I moved outside to get this shot of them in this shaded location.

During the rehearsal I looked back at the barn doors where the wedding party would be entering, and determined that it was not an ideal shot. The background was so bright that all the photos would be severely backlit. I knew that I could use a flash to avoid a completely silhouetted shot, but it still was not great.

For this reason, I chose to get the shots of the attendants from outside the room. And yes, there is always one character in the group. Love it!

Here is the bride's brother escorting their mother into the ceremony. I liked this location because I had muted sunlight on their left side, and shadow on their right. This created some beautiful side-light on their faces. I did also use a Canon 600 EX-RT flash powered down by -1 stop to add a touch of light to the front of them.

Originally I thought I would have to use a remote flash to light the inside of the building. But the sun was bright enough on the wedding day and provided sufficient light for me to use the Canon 1D X MK II at ISO 2500 without any flash.

I was using the Canon 70-200mm lens at f/2.8 to get most of the photos. And yes, I used that narrow depth of view to capture this woman's phone recording the ceremony. As much as we frown on people using their phones, it is inevitable, and so I used it to my advantage.

During the ceremony, I moved from the back center to both sides, in order to get front-on to the bride and groom.

I made sure to get back to the center before their first kiss..

As they were pronounced husband and wife, I quickly switched the camera from fixed focus mode to IO Servo focus to track them as they exited the wedding. I walked backwards as I shot these photos.

Immediately after the wedding party exited the ceremony, my wife and I went to work corralling everyone for photos.

I started with the bride and groom, moving them over to these beautiful flowers, grabbing that "just married" excitement from the minutes before.

We then added the bridesmaids and groomsmen.

I like to get formal poses and more fun ones as well.

As I was taking the photos, my wife was cueing up the next groups of people, like this shot with both sets of parents.

I was taking a formal picture of the bride and groom with their brothers when they asked me to hold on a second.  The brothers jumped onto their siblings and I shot this. This photo is now their profile photo on Facebook.

Whenever I take photos, I am always keeping my head on a swivel and looking at what is happening around me. I saw this little girl walking through the flowers and had to grab a shot. Precious!

Once we got all the group shots, we took the bride and groom for a walk around the property to get some photos in different locations. I was looking for good settings, but also keeping a close eye on my watch, as I did not want to take them away from the reception for too long.

This was the last portrait I took of Lynda and Cardiff before we all returned to the wedding reception. The total time shooting portraits took 50 minutes. We were slightly ahead of schedule, and that was a good thing!

The next blog will talk about photographing the reception, including the key moments and creative lighting.

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komal sharma said...

superb photography.. best blog for newbie

Sean said...

Interesting! I know that it was difficult to capture your wedding but these guides are impressively helpful. I was hoping to do photograph my kid's upcoming baptism so this is really amazing. Thanks, and I will check out other parts too. Cheers!