Wedding with Attitude and an Abundance of Style

[slideshow]

Today’s post features a slide show from a 3-part series, appearing on this site over the next few days, on wedding photography. Successful wedding photography is all about preserving (I don’t like the word capturing) the emotions of the day for posterity.

Today’s images illustrate one of the most important days in the life of the couple. Michele Davis and Richard Gray are young, vibrant and highly creative professionals who work, individually and as a team, in the film industry: Michele works primarily as a writer and Richard as a director, writer and producer.

There wedding was held in Mildura, a town in far northwest Victoria, with which they’ve had a long relationship. The reception was held at the Grand Hotel, where many of the day’s photographs were made. Known for its sunshine, Mildura provided us with a fairly bleak day for the wedding, which provided numerous challenges. As a result many of the photographs were made indoors, under extremely low levels of illumination. It’s just so important to have a backup plan.

The reception was brilliantly designed to evoke the look and feel of numerous scenes from the 1975 motion picture film Barry Lyndon, directed by Stanley Kubrick and a great film by which to study light. Lit almost entirely by candlelight, the scene was wondrous to behold, but extremely difficult to photograph. Almost all images during the day were made, hand-held, at very slow shutter speeds. I used a Canon 50mm f1.2 lens throughout the day. To further minimise subject and/or camera movement a little flash (strobe) was added. Too much flash would have overpowered the warm incandescent and candlelight in most of the locations. So careful balancing of the flash with the existing light was required. The same was true for the church where the light, passing through the stain glass windows and reflecting off the warm colored pews, sometimes needed to be augmented with a little flash so as to be able to produce a sharp result and still evoke the location’s mood.

Despite the stresses leading up to the day the bride and groom were up for a little fun and we had a great time photographing in the Grand Hotel’s sports bar. I can’t over emphasise how much of a privilege it is to be commissioned for the trusted role of wedding photographer. To be able to complete the role successfully its essential to gain an understanding of the bride and groom’s personalities and the look and feel of the coverage they want.

To be a great wedding photographer you need to be generally interested in the people with whom you’re working. A creative approach will certainly separate you from the pack, but it’s also important to make all the images that you’re expected to make on the day. With this in mind tomorrow’s post will feature a list of the essential shots I recommend you do your best to record on the day.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography
Glenn Guy