I had a unique photo opportunity last weekend.
The Wife’s cousin got married, and at the reception he and his mom came to me and asked if I could take pictures of the cake cutting, the first dance, and so forth. Turns out the (alleged) pro photographer skipped out on them, saying she didn’t expect the reception to go so late. She returned a few minutes later for the cake cutting, but then was gone again before the dances. I planned on taking pictures anyway, but I wasn’t about to turn down an opportunity to get front and center on the action. (Normally I’ll defer to the pro so the couple gets way they pay for.)
I started with several pictures of the groom and his side of the wedding party smoking their cigars out on the deck over the lake at the reception hall. A short time later the first dances started, and I covered everything from the couple’s first dance through the bouquet and garter tosses and then several shots of the guests relaxing and having a good time.
Near the end of the night I snapped this:
She looked so quiet and lonely, like a school girl flying solo at the homecoming dance, so I snapped a picture. I was very happy with the way my external flash bounced the light off the ceiling. This was actually shot in a fairly dark room, but you’d never know it from this picture or many of the others I shot.
In this next shot, I felt a little more creative:
As we entered the church and the reception hall, someone ran a slideshow of pictures of the bride and groom from various points through their lives. When the dances started, the DJ switched over to more of a standard lightshow setup on the projector. When the couple took to the dance floor for their first dance, I asked the DJ to put the pictures back up on the wall as I thought they’d make a great backdrop to some of the pictures. I didn’t intend to share any of the wedding pictures publicly, but the above is a good example of how some of those pictures turned out.
Lessons learned? Always have the camera outfit ready! If I’d opted to travel light with just the camera body and my prime lens, I wouldn’t have been able to capture the remainder of the evening for them. Fortunately my new camera bag makes carrying my kit a lot easier.
Next I’ll have to invest in another media card or two, though, because I had to do some culling on the single card I brought. I shot several pictures at break day in karate class that same morning and didn’t have time to dump them to the laptop, so the card was already almost half full when I arrived at the wedding. Another 2GB card or maybe a larger one and I should be good to go.