reflections on amateur wedding photography

I took the photos for my third wedding yesterday. Lots of planning and trying to predict the unpredictable, and lots of anxiety about what could go wrong or just not be good enough quality. Well, it is all over now. I have looked through the photos, and I am pleasantly surprised! Here are some thoughts on what went well, and what could be improved.

  • Despite concerns about the equipment, the Kx and Sigma 18-125 performed very well. Most of the images are clear enough, so the plan for a new Nikon is back on hold (for a couple of weeks at least).
  • The dynamic range of the Sony based Kx sensor is a true asset, I was able to pull some seriously underexposed images, this was the one factor that was most important in rescue.
  • Using a tripod or monopod in the church helped avoid shake (an my hands were shaking before we started, luckily they did settle when we got going).
  • The little Olympus EPL1 was a boon, not too intrusive, it really came into it’s own for the bride preparing. The highlight clipping indication is really not accurate though, so probably best ignored or turned off. Should have used it more, but juggling two cameras is too challenging.

Next time

  • Have a clearer idea of the ‘killer’ couple photo. This time we were pretty limited by location, and you don’t want to be too pushy and drag the couple off through the fields. Next time, I will have reconnoitred a location that is wedding veil/train/shoe accessible and know how adventurous the couple are.
  • The Sigma TTL flash on the Kx is a bit of a mixed blessing, adjustments for use interfered with the return down the aisle shots, so KISS.
  • To overcome some of the darkness in the church, I did use the f2.8 100mm macro a couple of times, but really there is not enough time to be swapping about. Next time consider a second body for the ‘specialist’ lenses (ie UWA, fisheye or 100mm prime) or use the m4/3 more . Alternatively, should I consider a Tamron 17-50 f2.8 as the indoor workhorse? The reach is a little limiting though, the 125mm of the Sigma was very handy (more would have been even better at times), but f5.6 is a bit sluggish.
  • Everything moves very fast. Everything needs to be to hand and ready to use and don’t get separated from your equipment. I left my bag in the church and ended up outside doing the groups without my ‘fluffy bunny’ or the wide lens to do the group photo.
  • Similar to above, if you are going to wear a suit, remember to take the jacket out of the car!

Lots of stress, lots of work and it certainly makes you consider a trip to the local camera emporium, but when you see some of the results it is fantastic and I am very pleased overall!