Wedding Photoshoot

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When my very close friend, Charlotte, asked me last month if I can take pictures of her sister’s wedding I was very excited as I’ve never tried doing this before. Although they have hired an official photographer for the wedding they wanted me to take pictures still so these can be compiled and shown as a slideshow during the wedding reception. Well, they know I love taking pictures.

Shooting pictures in a wedding is certainly not easy. My first experience at it last Saturday was disastrous! The wedding was held in Redemptorist Church. The wedding mass started at around 9am. I arrived at the Church around 815 am as I did not want to be late and miss the wedding procession.

As soon as I entered the Church and saw the bridesmaids, groomsmen and some of the Major sponsors of the wedding I became quite nervous. I was hesistant to open my backpack and get my camera to start taking pictures. I only got a cheap Canon Powershot A400 camera which is a point and shoot camera with 3.2 Megapixels of resolution. Certainly not a DLSR or a high end camera with great features. I told myself that if only I had a nicer camera I would not be ashamed to display it.

I tried searching for my friend in the Church and when I saw her I was a bit relieved. I took out my camera and tried doing some test shots with her and her little cousins just to get a feel of it. Then little by little I started taking pictures of the people around while waiting for the bridal procession to start.

The June Bride
The June Bride
Photo by wantet

I positioned myself in the middle aisle of the Church so I can take pictures of the bridal entourage. It was then I realized that it was not easy to shoot as you do not have enough time to compose. Some walk down aisle pretty fast that before I could find a good angle to shoot they have already walked past by me. Although I have set my camera to continuous mode shooting it was loading really slow. I had to wait until it could finish processing before I can take another shot. As a result I was not able to take a shot of everybody in the entourage. Aside from this, lighting was a major problem for me as well. As I checked the histogram of the pictures I took they were a bit dark.

During the mass I felt awkward taking pictures or going near the altar to take pictures of the bride and groom as I did not want to catch any attention. For most part I just tried taking sidelight pictures. Right after the ceremonial mass ended then came the traditional wedding pictorials. It was a good thing that the official Photographer they took, Alex Atillo, was someone I knew from Flickr. I stood beside him so I can take advantage of the strobe lighting. I was able to take a few decent shots that time.

We then went straight to City Sports Club for the reception. Since the venue was really dark I took out my tripod from my backpack to avoid getting blurry pictures as my hands are not that steady. It was then I realized that it was useless as I left the screws at home. I could not mount the camera on the tripod as I forgot the screws. I could only sigh in disbelief and disgust that I left it behind.

I became worried. Charlotte’s mom asked me to take pictures of their guests in the “hall of fame” poster. I took their pictures but I was not happy with the results. The pictures were a bit blurry if not really blurred. I tried not minding it and just kept shooting.

After the reception was officially over Charlotte’s mom and aunts asked me to take some family pictures as Alex already left. It was some sort of a reunion for their family as some of them are no longer living here in Cebu. I was not confident taking their pictures as there was not enough lights inside the venue and my tripod was useless but I went on and just tried to hope my pictures were going come out fine.

The Maids of Honor
The Maids of Honor
Photo by wantet

I went home eager to see the results of my photos only to get disappointed with the results after I transferred it to my PC. A number of my pictures were out focus, blurry and too dark. I was really disappointed with myself. I felt that I let my friend down. I was the only one who was able to take picture of their family after the reception so those pictures were very important to them.

There were some pictures that came out okay but I don’t how to break it to my friend that the family pictures I took after the reception are no good at all. It made me depressed thinking about that night.

Wedding pictures are hard to take because it’s unpredictable. There’s not much time to set up and compose. You just have to keep on shooting. One of the lessons I learned after this shoot was that to check your gear and equipment to ensure you have not left anything behind. It is also important to check if all the camera settings are correct. I forgot to change the White Balance Setting in my camera from Fluorescent to AWB and paid highly for it as the colors really came out bad. Argghhh!!! My bad!!

I’m not sure if I’ll shoot wedding pictures again but if ever I do I should learn from my mistakes if I want to improve. It also helps to have the right camera and equipment.

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