I've done only two weddings, both as a non-pro. I will NEVER NEVER NEVER do it again.
The first was at the "request" of the Scottish bachelor whose apartment was next door to mine, back in the mid-'60s. Didn't know enough to ask pertinent questions or say "No way." The event turned out to be in a small house with wall-to-wall people, couldn't even get close to the couple for photos (b/w). Had to hold Hasselblad w/ flash bracket up high at arm's length and hope for the best - it was a disaster. Divorce also happened not long after (not related to my effort).
The second was just a bit later in the late-60's. A very long story, so I'll just outline it in bullet form:
- Boss asked me if I'd "get some photos" at a wedding - just as a friend.
- I said OK, but only if I could do available light work in black and white, w/o flash in the church, and you'd have to pay the cost of my film/chemicals/paper etc. (really dumb!). Thinking my work would only be supplemental to the pro photographer, as a friend.
- Then the other shoe dropped. The event is to take place in a remote town in central Oregon (I'm in Seattle area), but no problem "you can ride along with us for the whole weekend."
- I pack up my two Leica M3's, lots of Tri-X, and lots of lenses.
- We arrive at an old farm house on a sheep ranch in the middle of nowhere.
- The wife of the house uses it as a "half way house" to take in young single women who need help; the bride-to-be is one of those women; she's marrying a 21-year-old Marine who will be in his dress blues and she in her wedding gown at the church.
- Friday night rehearsal at the church, very dark, lots of good photos.
- Saturday morning at the house: Wife of house asks if I'd do a portrait of the bride in her gown ... house is very old / dark interior / no lighting available ... find a place with north window light / take full length mirror off wall to use for fill lighting ... fine picture, except bride has big zit in middle of forehead from nerves.
- Off to the church for the wedding ... ask boss when the pro will arrive ... "pro? what pro?" OMG!!!
- Take lotsa pictures. Altar shots from back of church in center of main isle / long lens / 1/8-sec shutter on tripod.
- Man at end of pew next to me scowls every time shutter speaks ... buzzzzzzz-click. His problem / not mine.
- Next, group pictures near altar, lotsa light, OK.
- Wife of house asks for bride portrait print to give to her local newspaper for the announcement; told her I need to work on it some.
- Back at home, develop film and print the best 175 4x5 proofs on Focomat Ic (a godsend) to mail to wife of house for her selections, withhold bride portrait with zit.
- Back at work, talking to Norwegian co-worker about zit problem, he has a friend who does retouching professionally but would need a 4x5 negative to retouch the zit.
- Made 8x10 print of 35mm negative ... take print to my friend to copy with his Linhof and make a negative for retoucher.
- Retoucher does her thing - nice work.
- Take retouched neg back to Linhof friend to get 8x10 print to send to wife of house ... mailed it to her.
- She sends back a copy of the newspaper announcement (bravo, looks great), along with a LONG list of requested prints to send to her friends around the world.
- Work Saturdays and Sundays in the darkroom for six months making all her prints. She's very happy now, and goes to Japan to visit friends, contracts a disease that is fatal and dies soon after.
- Then I'm told that the Marine was running laps at Camp Pendleton (CA) with a 70-pound full pack to keep in shape prior to his discharge ... has heart attack and dies on the spot.
- Couple years later, boss tries to fix me up with the bride! Can you guess my response?
NOW, do you see where I'm coming from with wedding photography?
Last edited by silveror0; 03-31-2013 at 01:46 PM. Click to view previous post history.