First Wedding – “An Experience”

It’s been a couple of weeks since I shot my first wedding.  I’ve had quiet a few days to sit back and reflect on the whole experience and I have to say that I enjoyed it a lot.  I won’t lie or make lite of it at all because it was tough.  Knowing that your boss is a customer and that he or she is expecting near perfection in the finished product is a tall order to fill and in the end the only person you have to blame if the results are less than that is yourself.  The fact that my “employeer” was my best friend made the whole thing even more stressful too.  In the end I have to say that I am fairly pleased with the results and I hope the newly-wed couple is also.

I can honestly say that I learned a lot from this but the main thing was that no amount of reading or research can ever truly and fully prepare someone to shoot a wedding alone.  Action is the only thing that can truly teach you.  Experience is the key and you can’t gain that by sitting behind a computer and reading about someone else’s experience.  Sure you can gain a lot of insite, but it’s just not the same.

What are some things that I would do different you might ask?  For starters I think I would certainly communicate with the bride/groom more.  I would find out exactly what look they are looking for even if that look is whatever artistic flair I wan’t to add myself.  Secondly I would scout the area a little better the night before while at the rehearsal dinner.  Thirdly, I would set up a small station where I could take group or family photographs of the attendees as they arrived (if there was time).

One key thing that helped me was that I knew the bride and groom fairly well.  I’ve known the groom for many years and consider him one of my dearest friends.  So knowing his demeanor and attitude sure helped things out and made for a few good laughs during the wedding and reception.  I mean, how many photographers have the garter flipped directly in their direction?  LOL  Classic!

So in the words of Zack Arias, “GOYA” and shoot!  For there is no better way to learn the craft of photography and there is certainly no better way to develop your artistic side then by shooting, except for maybe looking at great photographs.

I will post pictures of the wedding as soon as the couple has their official copy of the images.

more later…


My best friend Pete got married this past weekend and he honored me by asking me to be his wedding photographer.  I knew that I would need a good fast lens for those long shots during the ceremony.  My current 18-135mm kit lens just wouldn’t have done the trick.  So after hearing about on Scott Bourne’s PhotoFocus podcast I visited their website and was amazed.  Their selection of photographic gear is very nice.  You can rent lenses, bodies, memory cards and even some lighting stuff and the best thing is that their rates are great.

Since I shoot with a Nikon D300 I selected the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR.  After tax, tag and title (LOL) I only paid $125 for a one week rental.  That is much cheaper than buying that same lens.

If you are drooling over a certain lens and just can’t justify paying $2000 for it or if you need a special lens for a one-time event then I highly recommend heading over to and giving them a try.  You won’t be disappointed.