[Photos also posted to Facebook] I already mentioned some of the stress that came with shooting this wedding. To say that I had a lot on my mind is putting it mildly. In addition to my usual nervousness at wanting to do a good job, and my wife’s illness, I also had several of Roger’s points swimming around in my head, vying for attention.
We had three total photographers: Tony, Lisa, and me. Tony spent time with the bride during her preparations at home, while Lisa and I spent time at the church waiting for the groom to arrive.
I spent a fair bit of time attempting to capture Marcus’ interactions with his family and groomsmen, being sure to show enough context (and later straightening my horizons!). I really like the above image because it shows Marcus’ great smile with the bride’s parents and aunt, and also shows the religious context of the event with the Jesus mosaic in the background.
I also got the guys together for some portraits. After doing the stoic look, I pulled in tight with my wide angle, and managed to elicit some natural smiles. Again, Jesus is nicely framed in the background.
When the bride arrived with the bridesmaids, they hung out in their smoked glass limo/bus getting ready. Tony went looking for shots inside the church, so I stepped into the bus to capture some more preparations.
Yeah, I went meta. But I think I can be forgiven–photography (both by hired shooters and everyone else) seems to be as much a part of a wedding as the cake and the garter. So I took a few opportunities to document the photographs people were taking as part of the story of the day.
As the ceremony time approached, I went to my appointed spot, in the right transept. Tony and I were near the front on each side, while Lisa was in the back, shooting up the aisle. I remembered Roger’s admonitions to stay as inconspicuous as possible, and having three shooters meant that I could largely stay put throughout the ceremony. I got a decent shot of the groom approaching the front, and then waited to capture his face as the bride emerged.
Not too much expression, but I figured there would be more interaction as the bride arrived, so I stepped one foot to my right from where the above picture was taken. That placed me just past the front pew, and the priest took notice.
I was so startled that I unintentionally took the picture I was composing, showing him admonishing me for getting too close. And this was one of those lessons learned: Tony had requested a photographer’s policy from the bride, but never got one, and never followed up. I certainly wasn’t going to be in the chancel, but evidently this priest absolutely refuses to let photographers in front of the first pew. Tony was scolded too for making the exact same mistake. For the rest of the ceremony, I stayed put, sitting when directed, standing when appropriate. And because of my location, I got no better pictures than the families. I hope Lisa got better shots.
I like the above image because of three elements: the look on the bride’s face, the flower girl interacting with her mom, and the mother of the groom taking a picture on her phone.
Taking pictures after the ceremony was easier–the priest had disappeared (someone muttered something about ‘assumption’ but I don’t know why)–and we had free reign to capture the crowd, bride, groom, etc.
We then returned to the church to do a few portraits. Tony set them up, and everyone took pictures.
Tony had liked what I’d been able to accomplished by shooting from the side in our previous wedding, so he asked that I try getting additional shots while he was taking the formals. Unfortunately, I think I was occasionally a distraction.
And I took some shots of my own.
The bride’s primary request: NO JUMP SHOTS. Oh well. I really wanted them to jump down the steps, but I didn’t dare ask. After a few more shots in the church, the wedding party loaded into their limo/bus, with me tagging along, and headed to the statehouse for a pictorial photo shoot.
They had a great time relaxing along the way.
I didn’t know what to expect from the pictorial shoot since I hadn’t been with Tony and Bridget as they planned the details, so I was along mostly as an assistant. One of my shots from the statehouse leads the post, and I’ll repeat it here.
They loaded back on the bus, and headed to the reception. This time, however, I wasn’t with them–I figured they’d had enough cameras in their faces for a while. Tony and I joined Lisa at the reception. I took a handful of pictures of people who were gathered, waiting for the wedding party to arrive. Knowing that Tony and Lisa had the rest of the event covered, I departed for the hospital.
It was another great experience, and I enjoyed it as much as my conflicted mind would let me. The biggest lesson learned is that we didn’t have clear directions on what the priest would or would not allow, even given our limited need for movement.