My First Take at Wedding Photography…

The Bridge Marks the Ceremony Spot. Polly Nance. 2012.

One day in june, I was sitting in the waiting room at the vet with my dog Ash. To my left, there was a woman with her three year old son. After about 30 minutes or so, the little boy began talking to me. As it turned out, this woman is a photographer! I told her I was a photographer just starting out and asked her how one should go about finding a job as an assistant. (Side note: normally I am shy and socially awkward… I usually keep to myself in waiting rooms. I blame (and thank) this serendipitous encounter on the kid. Who knows if I would have talked to this woman had her child not been there?) Her reply? It was something along the lines of, “I have a wedding in July. Would you like to come and be a second camera?” SERIOUSLY?!

Ok. So. As you can imagine… I was absolutely stoked! I have been into photography for about a year now, teaching myself, but it was time to move on and learn from a professional. I can only teach myself so much. Anyways, I was so excited and anxious that I practiced non-stop pretty much up until the day of the wedding. I even bought a used Canon flash. The flash, however, turned out to be my biggest challenge of the whole event. Good thing I didn’t really need it the first half of the wedding!

This woman, by the way, has a name… KRISTEN WADE. She’s been photographing weddings and babies, etc. for about three years or so now. She looked at my portfolio (this blog and my facebook page… I probably need to make a real website lol) and decided to trust me with the groom and groomsmen shots. I was actually kind of freaking out about this, but I felt fairly confident that I could do it.

The ceremony took place on a bridge, where the groom had proposed. The reception was next door at JCT Kitchen and Bar in Atlanta, Georgia. This spot was gorgeous because the bridge had a perfect view of the Atlanta skyline and railroad tracks ran beneath it. Occasionally, a train would pass by. JCT Kitchen has an incredibly hip vibe to it. Downstairs, there is a restaurant with an outdoor courtyard/zen garden (with PEACE rocks!) Upstairs, is a separate bar (but still a part of JCT) and where we were at. This wedding was the perfect wedding to start my career with. It was a second marriage wedding, so I knew it was most likely going to be a small, intimate event. EXCEPT, that it was blazing hot.

Kristen had warned me that the groom might not be into the photographs. I knew that it would be hot, he would be in a suit, it would be his second marriage and that he would want to get back into the AC as soon as possible. Therefore, I had already picked out a shady spot on a bench prior to the groom’s arrival. When he got there, he told me he did not want to be dragged around in the hot sun for an hour. LOL! I told him I completely understood and that I didn’t want to stand in the heat for that long either. I knew I had to be quick. I literally shot one of the groom and groomsmen and a couple more of the groom by himself. He was thrilled when I told him I was done. The reason I didn’t linger and obsess over these images was because I knew that, if these images didn’t turn out great, there would be one more opportunity after the ceremony. However, I think they turned out fabulously for my first groom/groomsmen portrait shot EVER. Phew.

The ceremony was probably the sweetest ceremony I’ve ever witnessed. A good friend married the two on the bridge with the bride and groom in the center. (FYI, it is a small world out there, folks. The bride’s son went to the same high school as me. He was a year younger but dated one of my friends. Pretty crazy!) Their children surrounded them and linked arms with each other. I almost got choked up watching! My duty for this part was to use my zoom lens and get shots from far away, while Kristen (the main shooter) photographed up-close on the bridge. The only problem with this was they turned the opposite way we thought they would be facing. In other words, I didn’t have a clear view of anything or anyone. I managed to get one shot, but Kristen’s turned out so much better. Which, by the way, is why I believe one should always have a second shooter with them at a wedding; too much can go wrong and too many moments can be easily missed. It’s quite stressful, actually; until, the group portraits are over.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Wedding = permission to people watch and document the event freely. I didn’t do an absolute perfect job, but it was okay because I was not the main shooter. Together, Kristen and I managed to snap some amazing photographs that told the entire story of that special day. Hopefully, we will have more opportunities to photograph weddings in the near future. Kristen is SO fun to work with. I did and still can learn a lot from her and I’m excited for what is to come… what is to come on this journey to become a “professional” photographer.

Please let me know how you think I did… I obviously couldn’t post all my shots here (plus, some of the main moments are missing because they were shot by Kristen, but they can be found on her WEBSITE (NOTE: I’m not sure if you can see them yet because, as of now, they are only on her client’s page and you have to have the password). But, still check out her work because I think her photographs are absolutely gorgeous. And filled with emotion. I will gladly accept criticism… the negative and positive, but please make it constructive so I can learn!

JCT Kitchen… Wedding Location. Polly Nance. 2012.

Groom and Groomsmen. Polly Nance. 2012.

The Groom! Polly Nance. 2012.

Walking Back to Escape the Atlanta Heat. Polly Nance. 2012.

Walking Down the Aisle Action. Polly Nance. 2012.

Intimate Ceremony on the Bridge; Directly Over the Railroad Tracks. Polly Nance. 2012.

The Happy Groom Smiling at His New Wife. Polly Nance. 2012.

Wedding Party and Family Group Shot. Polly Nance. 2012.

YEAH!!!!!!!!! Too Bad Some Folks Got Covered Up. Polly Nance. 2012.

Abstract Shot of the Bride. Polly Nance. 2012.

I Accidentally Overexposed the Groom and Groomsmen Shot. Polly Nance. 2012.

The Bride and Groom. Polly Nance. 2012.

Detail Shot of the Bride Fixing the Groom’s Boutonniere. Polly Nance. 2012.

The Bride and Her Boys After the Ceremony. Polly Nance. 2012.

The Happily Married Couple in Black and White. Polly Nance. 2012.

Kissing His New Wife Moment. Polly Nance. 2012.

Married and In Love. Polly Nance. 2012.

Walking to the Reception. Polly Nance. 2012.

Bride and Groom Through a Window Plus Reflection Shot. Polly Nance. 2012.

The Reception Setting. Polly Nance. 2012.

Alternate View of the Setting. Polly Nance. 2012.

Yums. Polly Nance. 2012.

Reflecting the Reception Scene. Polly Nance. 2012.

Upstairs at JCT Kitchen Bar. Polly Nance. 2012.

Beautiful Flower Arrangement. Polly Nance. 2012.

The Mother of the Groom Reading a Poem to the Bride and Groom (That She Wrote). Polly Nance. 2012.

The Bride and Groom’s First Dance as Husband and Wife (And My First Time Using a Flash). Polly Nance. 2012.

Some Guests Waving to the Dance Floor. Polly Nance. 2012.

The Dance Floor. Polly Nance. 2012.

The Awesome Jump Finale and Exit Shot. Polly Nance. 2012.

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PEACE, LOVE until my next bloggy-blog post, dear fellow blog readin’ friends! 🙂