Let’s take a very short break from pets to look at some wedding photos, shall we?

      I shot my first wedding on Sunday. It was lovely, intimate, and low-key affair. Low-key being the key word, because I wouldn’t have agreed to shoot this wedding otherwise. The couple asked me after seeing some of my pet photography, and my first reaction was UH OH, gotta go. But before I could make a break for it, they quickly explained, “It’s going to be casual! Very casual! No sweat!” And I was sweating it, believe me. Like I’ve said before, my photography skillset does not include posing. However, after this weekend, I think it’s something I’d really like to hone. It is not an easy thing to direct people, have them pose yet look natural, and make them feel at ease all at the same time. The result is you kind of have to talk while you shoot. I can walk while I chew. But I can’t talk while I shoot.

      I tried.

      Not bad for a slightly posed shot, right? Everyone looks so dashing!

      And sharp too! This was also the first time I used my Speedlight SB-600 flash in any significant capacity.

      The venue was held in a mansion-turned-club with ornately carved ceilings and rich wood-paneled walls. There was some natural light, but not enough for me to be confident that I wasn’t going to end up with more blurry shots than not. So rather than take that risk, I decided to use the flash.  And I used it almost exclusively, which was scary and unprecedented. I was so outside my comfort zone that I was really surprised – and relieved – when some of my first test shots with the flash yielded very pleasant results.

      I kept the flash exposure compensation at -7, head at a 45-90 degree angle so the flash bounced off the low white ceilings. So despite the size of the rooms, I was able to get even, non-harsh looking lighting, and everyone’s skin looked smooth and creamy.

      Here is my lovely assistant fetching the reinforcements. Yes I drank on the job. I downed that first martini in 3 gulps.

      The DJ and MC’s playlist.

      Heels, looking on.

      This is one of my favorites. I made a creative call and deliberately went for a grainy look in order to heighten the romance.

      OK the truth was, the flash didn’t fire. It was towards the end of the night and the batteries died. So while they kissed I stood in front of them cursing. How’s that for romance? But nevertheless I like this capture so much that I decided it was worth salvaging and presenting, even if it is technically imperfect.

      But this my favorite shot of the whole evening.

      I asked them to sit in middle of the small sea of chairs. Someone behind me shouted, “KISS!!!” The bride brought it all home when her light hand fluttered to his face. A+. Go Team!

      Thanks to H. and T. for having faith in me to photograph their special day, and for allowing me free reign!

      So what did I learn after shooting my first wedding?
      1. It is a full body workout. I am kind of ashamed to say that I woke up the next morning and couldn’t move. Did I shoot a wedding or did a Mack truck run me over? Hard to tell.
      2. The external flash is my friend. I’s not skerred of you no more!
      3. It is definitely possible to shoot all day with just one lens, if it is an excellent one. The 17-55mm f/2.8 continues to prove its worthiness and versatility. And I totally didn’t need that stinkin’ telephoto lens.
      4. After insisting that I take a strictly “photojournalistic” approach to photography, I’m starting to see the merit and creativity involved in posed shots. I’d like to do more weddings if only to hone this skill.

      But I’d love to do it only as a second shooter (Boston wedding photogs – call me!). Pets are still my #1.


      Wow, that last shot of them sitting in the middle of all those chairs is definitely a keeper! Great job at your first wedding gig! :)

      you did a wonderful job! i love all the pictures, even the grainy ones. but i love your self portrait the most!

      Lovely lovely LOVELY pictures! The one with the shoes and the bride barefoot in the background? Fabulous. I also loved how well you shot the dining room – showing the ceiling as well as the tables.

      Yarn, pets, weddings – you’re good!

      I think they are beautiful. I knew you’d do a great job. I’m totally jealous that you weren’t around to hire to do my wedding. :)

      I’m glad you were able to step out of your comfort zone with a lot of success! These shots came out great! I bet the bride and groom will love them. Using flash scares me, so I’m doubly impressed that you used it almost exclusively the whole evening!

      You rocked it! Love, love, love that kiss shot… it’s perfect.

      Very interesting! What I like about your cat (and other pet) photos is how you bring out their personalities, their character, if you want to call it that. Funny that it almost seems more difficult with people. Nice use sparing use of colour in the photos too.

      Not that I take another look, the photo of the man bearing drinks is my favourite! They do look thirst-quenching and colourful, but I like the texture of the liquids along with other textures.

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