I’ve assisted on weddings before when I was dating a sort-of-professional photographer and I like the opportunities they give when it comes to pretty settings, dressed up people and interesting locations. Recently I had the opportunity to attend a wedding in Hawaii as a guest and I, of course, brought my camera along for the ride. I know enough about etiquette so that I wasn’t anywhere near any of the shots the paid photographer was composing, and honestly, that was fine by me since that’s the least fun part of shooting weddings (to me.) Those painful, awkward posed photos of moms and cousins and great aunts and the wedding party and the bride and groom and ring bearers… forget it.
The buffet tables present (for me) good opportunities to shoot what I think of as “post card photographs” – neatly presented dessert dishes and fruit spreads that are pretty to look at but sort of force you to get creative so it’s not just a picture of “the buffet.” At any rate, it makes me feel a little bit better about the rest of my crappy shots.
What I like to shoot the most is the reception. The reception is where it’s at – I feel like the opportunity for classic event shots of people (not just “wedding photos”) are ripe at receptions. Everyone’s cutting loose and relaxed but still dressed up – it’s a good combination.
Because the photographer wasn’t present at the reception, it provided me with a chance to figure out positioning, anticipation for shooting events and people in groups. Before I was always just told where to go and what light to hold but I didn’t really have a context for it or reasons why. Being the date of the childhood friend of the groom, it was great to not know anyone, I was definitely grateful for the freedom and pressure-less atmosphere to play with settings.
These were shot with a Nikon D3S alternating between a Nikkor 28 – 300 lens and a Nikkor 10.5mm fish eye.