Sunday, October 21, 2012

Day Of

True Love
Shelby & Jon
Highland Park Presbyterian Church

Was asked to shoot a wedding party after the wedding ceremony. In most places the assignment is not difficult but at this venue, photographers are not allowed to setup their camera gear in advance of the shoot. Had it not been for my good friend Carl Nastoupil, I wouldn't have been able to have completed the assignment in the allotted time. Had to set up off camera flashes, portable batter packs and stands all within minutes after the wedding ceremony. 

True Love
In Black & White
It's very stressful and few know what the photographer has in mind. You have to create on the fly and pray that everything works just right. Of course nothing ever works just right. Equipment fails, flashes wont fire, assistants don't show up, people move, and blink, and little kids wander off before the final shots are taken. You control very little other than your patience. All the time, you are thinking, composing, and praying for an outcome that meets both your and your client's expectations. The clock ticks, it doesn't wait for you.

If there are re-do's you must get it done now. There are no second chances and no room for error. You are the professional, you must get it done. No excuses, you have to deliver a product that will be archived a life time. This is it. Get it done and don't look back.

Did you get it? Oh, you have a couple other suggestions? Not a problem. "It's your day. I am here to serve you to make your day a memorable one for you and your groom and all of your family and the wedding party too." We laugh in between the frames and flash fires. "Oops we missed it. Who blinked? Let's try again."

"Can you shoot a shot of our hands placed on the Bible? It means something to us." Our vows are sacred you know. Yes, I understand let's compose this quickly. I have something in mind. My assistant follows me intuitively and sets up the lights. "Let's try several different angles. We are almost done."

"Oh...the entrance of the bride and groom do you think we can get that right? The church didn't want flash entering into the scene during the ceremony. Do you have any ideas?" 

"Yes, let's recreate the scene." My assistant follows me on cue. Flash in hand, we set up the shot we rehearsed prior to the wedding. The exposures weren't coming out exactly right. The lighting was now different. I make last minute adjustments and fire my shots. This will have to work now.

Time does not wait. I look down at my iPhone and note that its time to end our session. The church clears and the sexton busily cleans up. We still work, disassembling camera gear and stands, taking inventory of equipment, and wiping all the sweat off of our brows. Lots of work. Lots of satisfaction.

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