A little over a year ago, my cousin asked if I'd be willing to photograph her wedding. It'd been more than 15 years since I'd seen my cousin or her family, but thanks to the power of social media (i.e. Facebook) we'd been able to keep in touch and watch each other's family grow. So, I thought shooting her wedding would not only be a fun experience, but it would give me even more of reason to travel to the east coast to see them.
Before shooting her wedding, I'd never had the opportunity to photograph a wedding, so I turned to the internet to do some research. Finding not only a ton of tips from some spectacular wedding photographers, but some great inspiration as well, I began to digest as much of it as I could. From posing to shot lists to things to make sure were in my camera bag, the amount of information was honestly overwhelming. The one thing I was sure of, was that no matter how good the information or the its source, it all came down to me (the photographer) and the wedding I was shooting. Lighting, location, the shot list, the schedule, etc. - they were all specific to the wedding, which meant I had figure out what I thought was best for my situation. Still the research and preparation was important because it gave me tons of great info to use to make those decisions.
Since I was travelling by plane, I decided on the following gear:
- Cameras: Canon 7D and Canon 5D Mark III
- Lenses: 50mm f1.4, 100mm f2.8 Macro, 70-200mm f2.8, and my 17-55mm f2.8
- Flashes: 3 x Lumopro LP180 speedlights, and one Canon 430 EXII
- Flash Modifiers: 2 x white shoot through umbrellas, 1 x 36 inch octobox, and my large Rouge Flash Bender
- Wireless Flash Triggers
- Two light stands
Of course, of the gear I took I maybe used half of it. But it was definitely better to be prepared, and I'm glad I had options available to me. Although for the next wedding I'll definitely be adding some additional gear to my bag.
The church was small and quaint, but had beautiful light coming through the windows in the afternoon; which was both a blessing and a curse. The light in some spots was super strong while in others the light caused gross shadows to form, but dealing with the lighting was a challenge that I had prepared myself for.
From my perspective as the photographer, the wedding was relatively straight forward to shoot and a definite learning experience. My cousin and her now husband, were super laid back, and knowing the bride's family, made this a perfect first wedding to shoot.
I know I learned a lot from the experience, and I'm very appreciative of my cousin giving me the opportunity. I think the wedding photos turned out awesome, and I know her and her family love them as well.
Here are a few of my favorite shots from my cousin's wedding day.
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