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Wedding photography

Started: 2021-10-25 22:00:31

Submitted: 2021-10-25 22:36:44

Visibility: World-readable

Playing amateur wedding photographer at Willy and Vero's wedding

Immediately after Willy and Vero's wedding I reclaimed my DSLR from Calvin and started taking portrait pictures of the couple and their families, fulfilling my role as guest photographer.

Willy and Vero after the wedding
Willy and Vero after the wedding

I summoned the family to join us in the courtyard between the chapel and the adjacent church and led the couple out of the church, taking a few pictures along the way.

Vero and Willy step out of the wedding chapel
Vero and Willy step out of the wedding chapel

Among other things this involved spotting good shots and stopping them until I could set up the semi-candid shot, occasionally with a large piece of engineering in the background. (I assume the belltower is a landmark of PUC and must have appeared in the background of many other wedding photos taken at the college church during the decades, so I'm going to claim that I have some sort of photographic tradition to uphold.)

Vero and Willy with the PUC belltower
Vero and Willy with the PUC belltower

After a few minutes enough family had arrived that I could start forming family groups and snapping pictures, starting with the couple plus Willy's parents.

Mom, Willy, Vero, and Dad
Mom, Willy, Vero, and Dad

Up next was the couple plus Vero's sister Diana and their mother.

Diana, Willy, Vero, Vero's mom
Diana, Willy, Vero, Vero's mom

I am told that Diana has an Instagram following so I suggested staging a selfie shot.

Diana takes a selfie with Vero, Willy, and Vero's mom
Diana takes a selfie with Vero, Willy, and Vero's mom

For the pictures I tried to rotate the backgrounds so everyone wasn't standing in front of exactly the same set of bushes for every photo, but I also had to contend with the bright evening sun. I tried to set up most of the pictures so were in the shadow of the church, avoiding direct sunlight and relying on the bright ambient light. (The light was so much better than inside the church it was amazing.)

I staged myself in some pictures by handing my camera (set up in full-automatic mode, hopefully with reasonable default settings) to a nearby person, which worked fairly well. Here's Willy and Vero with me and my family.

Kiesa, Vero, Willy, Julian, Jaeger, and Calvin
Kiesa, Vero, Willy, Julian, Jaeger, and Calvin

I kept the photos rolling at a good clip, calling out groupings of people to photograph and staging them in approximately the right pose (and relying on the wisdom of the crowd to suggest photo grouping I might have missed). This was the fun part: picking the next group, arranging them in some new location, and snapping off a couple of shots (hoping for good coverage, with everyone's eyes open and no unfortunate grimaces or confused expressions from my children) before moving to the next group. Here's Willy and Vero with Bethany and Josh.

Bethany, Vero, Willy, and Josh
Bethany, Vero, Willy, and Josh

I got a picture of my parents in front of the library on the far side of the courtyard (still avoiding the bright sunlight in the middle, which would have washed out the pictures).

Mom and Dad
Mom and Dad

Along the way Willy set up his own Rolleflex medium-format camera to take some of his own pictures on film.

Willy prepares his Rolleflex camera
Willy prepares his Rolleflex camera

This is the wedding party: bride and groom, plus their attendants (their older siblings).

Diana, Vero, Willy, and Jaeger
Diana, Vero, Willy, and Jaeger

I broke my rule about taking pictures into the sun, with my subjects back-lit, with this shot because the pose was good (and then I had to adjust the picture in post-processing to make it look good).

Vero walks with Diana and her mom
Vero walks with Diana and her mom

Along the way we got a picture of my family, because we don't have very many pictures of our whole family because I'm usually taking the pictures so I don't end up in very many of them.

Calvin, Jaeger, Kiesa, and Julian
Calvin, Jaeger, Kiesa, and Julian

For the big shot of Willy's family of origin plus Vero we stood in front of the fountain in the middle of the courtyard, lit from the side by the late-afternoon sun.

Bethany, Jaeger, Willy, Diana, Mom, and Dad
Bethany, Jaeger, Willy, Diana, Mom, and Dad

I don't actually remember what Vero did to surprise Willy in this picture but their expressions are great.

Willy, surprised by Vero
Willy, surprised by Vero

And finally, while other people took their own pictures (which we eventually collected in a shared Google Photo album), I took a couple of pictures of my own children waiting for the photos to be done so they could get on with the next important part of the day, the dinner at the reception.

Julian
Julian

It is not obvious in this picture, but Calvin is wearing a collar shirt adorned with tiny X-Wing and TIE fighters.

Calvin is amused at the fountain
Calvin is amused at the fountain

I kept the photos moving because I didn't want to delay the reception too much, and also (not insignificantly) I wanted to reclaim my memory of the photos at my own wedding, many years ago, in which we endured three hours of pictures before the wedding. We were done in half an hour, then we headed to the reception next to the chapel.

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