Wedding guest with a camera

This post was written in retrospectively in July 2017 about a wedding that happened in August 2013. One of my closest friends from high school was getting married, so I made a big drive from Santa Barbara where I was working up to the Bay Area where we’re from.

This was within a couple of months of me getting my camera and within a week of me getting my macro lens. Whoa. This probably explains my excess of shots of table ornaments and food. 

But the bride and groom permitted me to wander around and experiment with my flashy (actually, flash-less) new camera.

Before this event, I was comfortable sequestering myself as purely a nature photographer. Humans are harder to photograph anyway Bodies move around, brains are attuned to minute differences in posture and expression, and people can be picky! But then the bride and groom started dancing.

And boy could they dance. They zoomed around the dance floor, whirling and twirling and dipping and skipping. As I was trying to take some good photos, I noticed the challenging photographic situation for the first time. They’re moving a lot, which means the focus distance is constantly changing; plus, each has their back to me for half the time. In that backyard shaded by a grove of trees and lit by only the dusky sky, it was dim so I had to push the aperture wide open, which made focusing even more difficult. But holding my ultra light-sensitive setup, I sensed that everyone else would be struggling without flash, so I felt a little responsible.

And it was so much fun! And so rewarding!

Looking back, now I realize that dance really sent me down the path of learning how photograph weddings properly. It was the exhilaration, the feeling of being there for capturing a special moment, and the pride of doing it with a finesse and quality that they can hopefully treasure for the rest of their lives.

It’s been a while since we’ve seen each other (we live so far away, arghh) but hope you’re doing well! And thanks.