The past two weeks have been sad for me. I’d gotten so used to having a shoot every weekend, that when I hit a free spell, I just didn’t know what to do with myself!
Of course, I have been QUITE behind on blogging my shoots, so I should have been spending more time on that in my free time. But I’ve also taken a few really exciting steps as far as my business marketing goes, and that’s taken quite a bit of my time and focus. To avoid too many side-stories, I’ll just save those for another post and stick to the wedding stuff in this one 🙂 I will say though… I do carry on a bit in this one, so if you just wanna see pretty photos instead of reading about my learning experience to achieve them, you might want to skip to the paragraph starting with “Blah Blah Blah” 😀
I originally had a different wedding scheduled for this day, so this post could have turned out very different. However, the bride texted me 11 days before the event and said they were pushing it back to May. This of course stressed me out, because I’d been relying on that bit of cash to help pay the bills (and since it was only my second wedding AND a favor for a friend, I didn’t demand my usual non-refundable deposit to hold the date… bad decision. While I love my friends, I do have a whole other rant about going into business with them, mostly pertaining to treating them the way you would any other client, for your own sake and for their sake. I’ll probably get around to expressing my feelings on that someday).
Anyway, my dad had agreed to shoot Dave and Autumn’s wedding on this particular day too. However, when he’d found out about my first-scheduled wedding, he panicked a bit because he was hoping to have my help. I was also a bit panicky, because I was hoping for HIS help on mine!! This shows how communication really makes life easier 🙂 Anyway, of course my wedding fell through, and when I told him he was extremely relieved (you should see his expressive “relieved” face, complete with elaborate arm motion. It’s pretty adorable:)
So, I got to help dad with Dave and Autumn’s wedding. Originally, he was just going to pay me to do the edits (he’s wonderful at editing. but he seems to think I’m better than him. I’d disagree. We’re different and I have a bit more of a set style probably because I’ve had more practice, but he’s got a wonderful eye and I’ve always loved his edits).. but instead, I got a low-pressure opportunity to shoot an indoor wedding… which has honestly been my biggest fear until I was thrown into the situation.
I’m going to rant on this for a few minutes. I’m not even kidding when I say it was one of my biggest fears as far as photography goes. I’m sure anyone who’s pressed a button on a camera realizes the difference in indoor and outdoor photos… even on a simple point-and-shoot set to automatic mode, indoor photos just DO NOT look as beautiful as outdoor photos. Much of this has to do with the fact that natural light will cast more of a flattering tone than crazy tungsten lighting which is what causes that yucky yellowy glow in photos taken in a home, or the weird bluish cast of flourescents you’ve probably seen if you’ve taken photos in a gymnasium or office building. Also, most people have probably noticed the amount of light indoors being significantly less than outdoors (even if you don’t notice it as much with your eye, you certainly will in your camera), which will usually push the point-and-shooter to pop on that flash. This is usually the visual equivalent of nails on a chalkboard to me. Red eye. Ghostly looking faces. Unflattering tones, unrealistic foreground vs background, weird halos cast on walls. The list goes on. UCK. Even when shooting indoors (or should I say, especially indoors, there is an outdoor exception to this), I usually avoid using my on-camera flash at all costs. It’s just yucky. As most dslr users do, I prefer to rely on my camera settings to compensate for the light rather than flash. This opens up problems and hurdles of it’s own, but if you know basically what you’re doing, it’s much easier to side-step those problems than the problems associated with flash.
Now, when I first started photography, my grasping for knowledge did touch a bit on external flash, but since I just frankly prefer outdoor shooting and usually schedule my shoots to run through the evening “golden hour”, I’d never really honed that skill (you better believe I’ve been doing research on flash ever since this day though). Dave and Autumn’s wedding gave me that perfect opportunity. We have the big Canon 600ex-rt and one of the dinky little speedlights (I honestly don’t know what model because I haven’t used it as much as the big guy), and it did wonders in lighting up the dark auditorium. Of course, we had the lighting guy adjust the lights a bit and also open the curtain to let the sun through the stained glass, trading the gross tungsten lights for a little more natural light. The ceiling was too high for me to bounce the flash off of the ceiling and the curtains to the overflow were open too, leaving me with no wall to bounce off of, so we used a little bounce card, and it pretty much did the job. I still have quite a bit of learning to do on manipulating light from flash, but this was a great learning experience, and I DEFINITELY think we could have done worse!
Blah Blah Blah. On to the interesting stuff- the wedding, and getting to know the happy couple. Now, I’ve known the groom’s family all of my life. I mean ALL of it- We have an awesomely 80’s photo of one-week-old, potato-shaped Yours Truly, being held by Dave’s mom, his sister Megan, and Dave, all sitting on my parents’ wonderfully retro couch. Darlene (the mother of the groom) was one of my mom’s best friends while I was growing up- I remember going to her little hair salon and spinning myself sick on her salon chairs as mom was having her hair done. She pierced my ears (twice! Once in kindergarten, and my 2nd set in 8th grade), and sometimes we got to go next door to Darlene’s mom’s house and jump on the trampoline. We went to the yearly 4th of July parade in their town and generally had cookouts with TONS of people (either before or after, I really forget). I always looked up to Megan and LOVED going shopping with her at the beginning of the school year, and when I was going through a junior high phase of jealousy of my friends who had a brother, I adopted Dave as my brother. I also have memories of their little brother Devon sitting on my shoulders, drooling on my head as a baby 🙂
Over the years, I’ve seen less and less of this wonderful family, but I was so happy to be a part of the wedding. It brought back a lot of childhood memories!
I also got to attend Megan’s wedding.. I think it was between my freshman and sophmore year of high school.. or however old I was ten years ago. She now has a beautiful little family of her own now with two ADORABLE daughters, Mallory and Macy. You’ll see those little dolls in the photos- they’re the flower girls. I’m excited to see Dave start a little family now too! I sadly don’t know the bride very well, but she is an absolute beauty with a lively personality, and seems to be the perfect match for Dave. Ohh, the love you can see when they look at each other!
I just loved the decor they used. I’ve been to MANY weddings in that auditorium throughout my life, and I truly believe theirs was the most beautiful one I’ve seen there. I loved Autumn’s choice in the sort of “french countryside” theme.. soft, romantic, vintage. I just had to get shots of each of the little details they added. Also, I ABSOLUTELY LOVE their way of keeping Dave from seeing her before the ceremony, but still allowing some much-needed together time for sweet-talking and prayer. You’ll see that unique little trick in the photos 🙂
So finally, here they are! The brand new Mr. and Mrs! Aren’t they just a beautiful couple??