Whew. I have a new-found respect for people who do wedding photography for a living. I can honestly tell you that I worked so hard on this that I sweated through and completely ruined a brand new tie! And that was just on the shoot. It has been almost a week since the wedding, and I still have a whole reception’s worth of photos to sort through. In an effort to share the process with you in a timely manner (and before I forget), I wanted to write up this post about a few of my favorite shots from this special event and how I created them.

I definitely felt most creative in the pre-wedding shots, as I could set my own pace and really experiment. The couple only walks that isle once, so you really can’t get to nutty with your shot, but the wedding rings can be futzed with endlessly if you have access to them.

I had a few ideas for the rings. I started with a classic shot of the rings on the spine of the Bible with a small flashlight from behind creating a heart shadow.

While I liked how this looked, I started looking for something different. I took a look at the heel of one of the bride’s wedding shoes and thought that it looked like an elongated ring holder when it was sitting upside down.

Then I noticed a very cool Kershaw pocket knife that the bride had with her make-up (yeah, you don’t wanna mess with Crystal). Being a knife collector, I really wanted to include it in a shot. On went the two wedding bands. I think she really dug this shot.

I tried really hard to think of an original way to shoot the wedding dress. There really wasn’t a whole lot of options in the hotel room where the bride was getting ready, but then it hit me to put a wireless flash behind the dress and make it appear as it is glowing. Add in a little vintage B&W editing and this is what I came up with:

I really like this close-up shot of the Maid of Honor hugging the bride right before we packed up and left for the ceremony. It is as authentic a moment as you can capture.

One of my favorite shots of the day came as the bride was waiting to get in the limo. The sun was getting low in the sky and a beam of warm side-light hit her on the hand as she was holding her belly. The fall-off of light around the dress framed it perfectly and I quickly grabbed this shot. It’s these kinds of shots that only come when you have your eyes wide open for them.

This shot of the kiss is also one of my favorites because of the sheer joy in Crystal’s face just a split second before the groom plants one on her.

The group shots were an utter stress-fest. I knew it was going to be, but let me explain a little of my pain. The sun was setting, and it was going down quickly. After every shot I had to adjust my settings to get a decent exposure. At the same time, people in each group are looking at other people around me with cameras instead of me and I’m barking out orders from atop a small ladder. I had a single umbrella that I had to reposition each time a person was added or removed from a shot. Up and down, while constantly adjusting my exposure, and little time to review what I was doing – I was shooting and praying the whole time. Luckily I grabbed my favorite shot of the wedding, which is this magical moment with the bride and the flower girls. I just love this shot for so many reasons.

Here is a classic shot of the newlyweds:

I learned a hell of a lot on this shoot, and I know that if I ever do this again, I need to invest in a fast portrait zoom. Thank goodness for my 35mm f/1.8, because it saved my butt during the portraits.

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