The Intractable Autodidact

You are your own best teacher

I Did Something Very Odd at a Wedding

A Shallow Depth of Field Can Yield a Dreamy Effect

I photographed it. Last December. This is not at all in my character. One reason I love photography is it lets me focus (pun intended) on a subject and get into deep thought about it. How can I change how the image will be recorded? I can change the lens, play with technical aspects of the photos like exposure and depth of field, alter composition, and experiment with artificial and natural lighting. But with people, I don’t like telling them what to do. Even if they’re listening and willing, they rarely pose (or don’t pose) how I intend — which is my shortcoming, not theirs.

Corralling dozens of people who are maybe nervous, hot, tipsy or uncomfortable into my vision of a decent photo sounded both intimidating and appealing to me. But it was a rush: a combination power trip/covert operation. Besides, my good friend Raquel asked, even insisted, that I be her wedding photographer. I was honored. I also know that she knows I’ll pretty much do what she asks.

I learned many things that night:

1. Take a lot of extra batteries for your hotshoe flash. I went through two sets of four in a night. When you notice the recycle time between flashes increase, change the batteries. It doesn’t pay to get a few extra flashes out of them only to miss important shots.

An Unplanned Shot that Would’ve Been Impossible without Flash

2. Girls like shoes and girls like pictures of shoes.

Oh My God! Shoes!

3. Bring Your GPS. I’ve lived in Miami 17 years and I got lost between the ceremony and reception. I hate getting lost.

4. Expect bad lighting at the ceremony if it’s held indoors. The church was lovely, but had an awful combination of low natural light, candles, incandescent, etc.

5. Do not be afraid to politely ask people to move out of the way. Your clients are paying you to record a hopefully once-in-a-lifetime event, not the backs of peoples’ heads (you know who you are!).

6. Bring lenses you’d otherwise not. I brought a 100-300mm zoom and was able to get some shots without being too much of an interruption.

Shot from Across the Church

A telephoto also lets you get shots without the posed reaction ya get when sticking a camera in someone’s face:

In Love

I was lucky. This was my first “official” wedding gig. I’m used to bugs, plants, landscapes, and animals. I don’t know how to pose people and prefer the unposed shots. But some shots need posing. Our bride Raquel is a former Miss Jamaica, so knows how to pose like a pro. Since all the attention’s on the bride, many people say the groom just needs to show up. Though I was fortunate again in that the groom (Wade!) is, like myself, pretty easygoing and patient.

A Posed Shot in Between all the Handshaking and Hugging

A Posed Outdoor Night Shot

7. Get the cake before it’s decimated.

It Might Be Cliche, But Don’t Forget the Cake!

I still like candid shots the best:

Too Late, Sucker!

8. No matter the lighting situation, there are always pros and cons. Take advantage of them both. When the reception got relaxed and the lights went down, it was a good time to experiment with long exposures. I zoomed while the shutter was open, and used 2nd curtain flash (where the flash fires right before the shutter closes. It normally fires immediately after the shutter opens) for this ultra disco effect.

The Formalities Are Over — Let’s Have Fun.

9. I worked my butt off! Sure there were no mosquitoes, direct sun, dust or dirt, but wedding photography is exhausting; not to mention the post processing of 325 RAW photos.

Where are Our Photos Already?

A special thank you to Wade and Raquel for trusting me on such an incredible day!

The End

More Shoes — The Bride’s Off Dancing

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9 comments on “I Did Something Very Odd at a Wedding

  1. Being En Pointe
    April 20, 2012

    A beautiful couple, and awesome pics!! Congrats.

    • kentiki
      April 20, 2012

      Did Raqs tell you to say that ; )

  2. Ariel
    April 21, 2012

    Wow Ken, this made me cry! Seriously! Beautiful pictures like this are best captured by an artist with a beautiful soul! Great job!

    • kentiki
      April 21, 2012

      Wow thank you! And I love your crazy cat lady stuff too. You sound hot. heehee.

  3. JR Ledesma
    April 23, 2012

    Wait a minute….. that’s Ariel in the comments…… Great job Ken….. Love the picture with the rose. Great for a wedding rookie…. you gotta go FT with it.

  4. Malou
    May 6, 2012

    You did a good job transitioning from macro photography to taking wedding pictures. ;-)

  5. Neeraj Bhushan
    July 10, 2012

    thanks for sharing. very intimate.

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