So, in June I shot a wedding. While I've always avoided weddings as they're not really my thing, this particular opportunity jumped out to me for a few reasons. Obviously, an expenses-covered trip to Tobago is really hard to turn down. Aside from that, though - I've been considering doing destination weddings for a few months now, the opportunity to travel and make compelling images was something I hadn't originally given thought to.
The wedding was really beautiful. I think when you have a good looking couple, a good looking party and a great location (like a Caribbean island), it's pretty hard to screw up. We did have one unexpected issue of an endless deluge of algae from a nearby country that basically rendered the actual beaches where we were useless, but I think we were still able to make the most of the situation.
A few things:
- I really enjoyed shooting the party getting ready for the wedding. They were kind enough to grant me all access, and I got some cool images of the bride and groom in prep mode, the super calm, leisurely (and timely) guys and the frenetic, down to the wire girls. lol. That portion of the process is rife with story telling opportunities, which is what I'm drawn to in general.
- Traveling to Tobago is a crap-shoot. This was my first and only time (come to think of it, I remember the last time I was in Trinidad, it was on the table but there ended up being a reason we couldn't) but sitting in an airport for nearly 12 hours waiting for a standby flight was torturous. And that wasn't even the worst travel experience of the weekend. Not complaining at all, though.
- Shooting a wedding is a long day, physically grueling. I can't describe how hard I slept that night.
- I didn't get to shoot any film. I brought my Pentax 645n, and plenty of film (Tri-X, some expired Fuji 160C, some Portra and some Ektar) but I left the batteries I had just purchased - specifically for this trip - home. Of course, the batteries in the camera died as soon as I tried to autofocus. smh.
Overall, it was good experience. I shot everything on my 7D with a 135mm/2, 50mm/1.2, and a 16-35mm/2.8, which surprisingly got the most work. I ended up not needing the 135 that much, and with the crop factor of the 7D, the 50 was too close for a lot of the shots I wanted. It was a lifesaver in the lowlight situations, though - especially the reception.
Ultimately, I definitely warmed a little more to the idea of weddings in general, and certainly am looking forward to my next destination wedding. I'm trying to decide whether to build out another site specifically for wedding photography services or just to add a page here. I'm leaning toward the latter until I have more portfolio material under my belt.