(Nikon D300, 1600ISO, 10.5mm F2.8DX fisheye. 1/60th@F2.8)

2009 has been quite the year, and any of you that know me very well knows exactly what I’m referring too. It’s been super busy, I seem like I’m running around like crazy but to me it doesn’t seem like I have gotten anywhere. In fact I’ve been all over covering all sorts of crazy things here and there. Weddings usually account of quite a bit of the traveling that I do, on top of Roller Derby. Weddings can be extra stressful, and yet the images produced can contain so much emotion that I’m not sure how some people can turn down the opportunity to photograph what amounts to such a photographic period of time. Not that I’m saying I shoot tons and tons of weddings because that isn’t the case. Not that I’m saying I’m the most awesomest awesome wedding photographer that ever existed, because that’s definitely not the case. As I said, that day can be incredibly stressful for a photographer too, but when you find a couple that is truly in love the day will just fly by.

(Nikon D3, 250ISO, Nikon 28-70mmF2.8@62mm. 1/320@F7.1)

Locations can be tough to light, crowds can be tough to please but in the end what really matters is the love that the bride and groom share. As the photographer you’re in charge of capturing those memories, and in my opinion your job is to make the capturing the memories fun, as opposed to just another job.

(Nikon D700, 800ISO, Nikon 70-200mmF2.8VR@180mm. 1/60@F2.8)

That’s Kenny and Sara there at their wedding in Elkhart Indiana last July. Great couple, lot of fun. They had great spirits as the day started our pretty doom and gloom:

(Nikon D700, 200ISO, Nikon 18-35mmF3.4-4.5@18mm. 1/200th@F9. Single SB-900 set to iTTL +2 to camera left fired by SU-800 Speedlight Commander.)

Really though things worked out for them because as they got married the clouds parted, the mosquitos vanished, swine flu was no longer worried about, and as it turns out the grass truely was greener on the other side……

(Nikon D700, 200ISO, 18-35mmF3.4-F4.5@18mm. 1/200th@F13. Single SB-800 fired to camera left at iTTL +/-0 fired by on camera SU-800 Commander Unit)

Who’d a thunk that those two shots were an hour apart on the same day? Some couples don’t get luck like that. I shot a wedding in Bloomington last year that was outdoors in the rain, and who baby was that fun. Left a set of reflectors on IU’s campus. I hope that some photo student found them, some family had a picnic on them, or may one wild student used them as a set of ginormous frisbee’s. This too was a great couple though, who knew exactly what they wanted, and were absolutely beautifully happy.

(Nikon D3, 280ISO, Nikon 70-200mmF2.8VR@200mm. 1/500@F4.5)

Really though there is a lot more to shooting weddings than just photos of the bride and groom. A lot of the time I recommend a second photographer to shoot weddings as opposed to just one person doing it all. It helps the photographer out, as well as the second person can get photos of the kids picking their noses outside, or playing in all the cute places that they aren’t allowed to go in, because most of the rest of us don’t fit. (otherwise it would be just fine as we’d probably all go play there too…) Not to mention it affords more time for doing shots correctly, and giving things the time they deserve. Details, details. Sometimes the details are the most important.

(Nikon D300, 200ISO, Nikon 60mm F2.8Macro Nano, 1/100th@F9. Single Nikon SB800 Speedlight to camera right set to iTTL. Single Nikon Sb-800 Speedlight to camera left set to Commander iTTL -1 on a SC-28 off camera cable)

Not only that but weddings can allow your inner stalker to come out. You don’t need to get in someones face, sometimes a shot from further back can make just as much of an impression on someone. (That and she was tired of me occupying her bathroom with her of which I don’t blame her one bit. It’s her bathroom, and just like a small animal I’m easily distracted by things I don’t understand; like makeup.)

(Nikon D3, 2000ISO, Nikon 28-70mmF2.8, 1/100th@F3.2)

The wedding above was a halloween wedding last year actually. I had a spider-man costum on under my suit, and i was going to rip open the $8 shirt that I bought and change into spiderman during the reception. Only problem was that I was the only person who did dress up……That made things awkward when someone noticed that I had a costume on under my suit. Yup. Good times. Really though the reception is what people look forward to out of weddings, and no matter what people say I still maintain that the reception is the hardest part of a wedding to shoot. During the ceremony nobody really moves, you can wander around to a lot of different angles and you’re still ok. The reception is like trying to shoot a super happy group of people who have no care in the world except that they are now celebrating in the dark. It’s like that, only exactly like that. If you’re in the right spot though, you really can make and see some neat photo opportunities.

(Nikon D3, 400ISO, Nikon 28-70mmF2.8@52mm, 1/30@F2.8)

(Nikon D2x, 400ISO, Nikon 18-35mmF3.5-F4.5@18mm, 1 Second@F7.1. Flash set to fire on TTL Rear Sync)

(Nikon D3, 200ISO, Nikon 28-70mmF2.8@28mm, 1/2sec@F10. On Camera Flash set to iTTL rear sync)

(Nikon D3, 2000ISO, Nikon 28-70mmF2.8@28mm. 1/400th@F2.8)

Weddings really can be one of the more fun things to shoot if you let them. I’m done shooting weddings for 2009, Kenny and Sara were my last one this year and yes that season ended a bit early for me. Not all of the photos in this post were taken this year either, but they are some of my favorites from weddings over the last two years or so. Derby season is about to begin though, and by that I mean literally. I’m updating this blog waiting for my ride to the first bout of the year for the Naptown Tornado Sirens. Not that I haven’t been hard at work trying to get the 2010 NRG Calendar shot this year, but shooting the act of derby is significantly different than shooting calendar. Definitely be sure to check back here though as I’m almost certain I’ll update more soon….