Archive for October, 2010

Adam & Kate’s Wedding

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

Going to a wedding as a guest who owns a fancy camera is always a bit of a dilemma.  They’re such great occasions and always hold some amazing photo opportunities, but there’s certainly something to be said for just relaxing, enjoying yourself and letting the hired pro’s do their thing while you enjoy yet another glass of champagne.

A rose in the venue's garden

I’d spoken to my friend Robert about the whole thing and had firmly decided that since this was a wedding between two good friends of mine and that I was likely to know a lot of people there (and thus have less need to slink away from awkward conversations to take photos) that I would leave my camera behind and just have fun.

Then, on the eve of the wedding day at about 11:00pm I received a cute little text from the bride requesting that I “bring my fancy camera along tomorrow”.  I’ve never attempted it, but I suspect not giving a bride exactly what she wants on her wedding day would be bad for your health so I wasn’t about to start now.  The camera bag was packed and ready to go.

Cutting the cake

I’ll be honest when I say that wedding photographers scare me a little bit.  They have the ability to deal with large crowds of (often drunken) strangers without batting an eye.  They’ve also been known to be less than friendly to guests who turn up at the wedding with fancy SLR cameras and get in their way.

Fortunately, I was told by the bride that the hired photographers were only staying for the ceremonies and would be gone by the reception/dinner which made it easy to stay out of everyone’s way and to get some shots that wouldn’t overlap with what the pros were doing.

In the end I got some photos that I’m happy with, hopefully ones that Kate & Adam can enjoy, and I managed to drink more than my limit of delicious bubbly.  Wins all around I think!

Also, if I didn’t have my camera with me that night I never would have been able to take this couple’s photo.  He had a tonne of character, and quite possibly the greatest eyebrows ever.

The most awesome couple of the evening (save the bride and groom of course!)

As always, there are a few more photos in the gallery.

Trash The Dress

Sunday, October 10th, 2010

I was out shooting with my good friend Rob and a few others this past weekend in Grays.  Ordinarily our shoots involve buildings, scenery or light painting but today was a bit different.  One of our fellow POTN members had set up a day of shooting with a few lovely models (are there any other kind?) for a Trash the Dress practice shoot.

One of the first few shots of Natasha.  Just getting things rolling.

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept and don’t like following links in blogs, it generally involves a wedding dress or equally elegant gown and a setting you wouldn’t normally wear such an outfit in.  In today’s case, we had the sunny Amy and Natasha modeling a couple of eBay wedding dresses out on some estates and a beach in Essex.

Swinging on the rope gym.

The day started off slow as we (the photographers) were all more or less new to this type of shoot and we were tripping ourselves up trying to get different light synching methods to all work together.  In the end, we stuck to my trusty pocket wizard Plus II’s and just shot everything in manual.  After that, it was just a question of trying to figure out where and how to pose the models, which for me is the trickiest part of a shoot like this.  Fortunately, both of the girls had done this before and didn’t need a whole lot of direction.

Amy in the playground.
Setup shot by Rob Bridgens

The main event of the day was to end up down at the beach to shoot a bit of a paint fight in front of the wreck of an old lightship called The Gull.  Rob and I snuck in a few more final shots in the dwindling light while everyone else waited patiently.

Amy in front of the shipwreck at Grays.

The paint fight itself was a bit chaotic; 6 photographers and a videographer all vying for a better vantage point while simultaneously avoiding paint splatter is not conducive to an organized shoot.  It was fun (for the girls especially), but there were lessons to be learned for the next attempt.

A final shot before it got too dark.

In the end, I think everyone walked away with some decent shots and picked up a few new skills or ideas which was what the entire process was about.

Thanks again to Steve for organizing it all.  Also thanks to Razvan for taking the videos of us shooting all day (and for holding light stands as well!).  The first video of our daytime shooting is available here and the second video which covers the paint fight is here.

There are a few more photos in the gallery.  It was hard to pick my favourites to post in the blog this time, so check out the rest!