Monday, 24 August 2009

My experience as a wedding photographer

This summer I had the opportunity to photograph two weddings. There is one thing to be said about taking wedding photos - it is exhausting, especially when you are there from when the bride is getting her hair done to the last Auld Lang Syne. However, it is a steep learning curve. Using flash almost constantly is unusual for me and I had to always remember that 1/250s was the fastest flash sync speed (well it isn't really in the D300 but we'll leave that just now) and when the sun kept popping in and out of the clouds, I had to think aperture, NOT speed. At the same time I had to remember about the correct poses and watching out for clothing flaws. For the second wedding I was also using a lens I had never used before (Tamron 18-270mm – Nikon user avoid this lens) and wasn't sure where its 'sweet spot' is. Sharpness seems fine but fuzzy at the edge of some shots and some annoying chromatic aberration, which the dpreview said was very good. I will need to get to know it a bit more.

That said, I think I've got one or two more unusual shots which I hope will post process well. When I finally deliver their wedding photographs, I hope I have given them a decent record of their special day. I learnt a lot those days and I was so grateful for the opportunity to be their photographer. At times I made mistakes or struggled to understand why the exposure wasn't quite correct (lots of whites and blacks in suits/dresses together with sunshine/clouds and using flash); sometimes the lens wasn't as good as I hoped; sometimes it came together and I captured a moment and it didn't matter if the shot wasn't technically perfect. It was a great experience all in all and I don't know why I thought I would instantly be a great wedding photographer when I had never done anything like it before but I suppose I did think I would be good at it. Truth is, there is so much to be in control of - not only the camera and all of the technical stuff, but the poses, the clothes, hair, expressions, making sure all the important people/events were taken, and so on.