Last weekend I was privileged support Stancliffe Studios shooting the wedding of Sarah Batty and Stuart Allan. The wedding was a fairy tale church white wedding featuring a beautiful bride, handsome groom, 7 ushers and 7 bridesmaids. With good light for the day, horse and carriage for the newly wedded couple, london red bus for the guests and a live band there were many photo opportunities.
Now, having finished the day and passed on the basic edits to Stancliffe Studios, I hear that the images of the day were well received. However it's time to reflect on the days shooting and consider some of the lessons I've learnt.
Lesson 1. A little gadget knowledge can really help to break the ice. My job first work was to work with the ushers and the groom to capture preparation shots. When I was able to offer some tips on how they could get the best from their iPhone cameras I'm sure it elevated my status as the official photographer! Of course, this probably won't hold as much weight with the bride and her bridesmaids.
Lesson 2. Just because it's a bright sunny day, don't be lured into thinking that there's no need for flash. I noticed that a few images were suffering a little from deep shadows in the eyes created by midday sun overhead. I little fill flash would have made life a lot easier in post processing. It doesn't need to be anything too clever but perhaps running the flash as one or two stops under exposed for the scene would just subtly fill those shadows and lift the features of the subject. Of course there is an additional benifit to be gained because there will be a good catch light in the eyes.
Lesson 3. Quiet shooting techniques for the church would have been a big help when the vicar at St. John's Baptist Church in Doe Lea was very restrictive about what we were allowed to shoot and we were also relegated to the back of the church. Obviously he had his reasons however it puts the photographer on a difficult situation with the couple who are paying for their services. The possible solution for this might be a quiet mirrorless camera that would allow some shooting from the hip. Possibly just running a video of the ceremony would offer the potential of grabbing a frame. They won't make high quality images for a canvas but they will allow a few images of sufficient quality for the album.
I like to try and improve myself at each shoot and taking away these lessons will provide food for thought when preparing for the next. I love the way there's always something new to learn in photography and I'm sure it will continue to be that way in the future.