I think my subject title says it all in terms of my attitude about shooting weddings. For those of you who do this, either full-time, part-time, or sometimes, my hat's off to you. I was toast the day after shooting the wedding. Freakin' wore me out!
It was a G-Job. For those of you not acquainted with that term, the "G" stands for gratis and the photography was our gift, that is, a wedding gift from my daughter, son-in-law, their kids, and myself, to the bride and groom. My daughter was in the wedding party as were her children. (Three-year-old grand-daughter was dressed as a faerie. She was the flower-girl. My 5-yr-old grandson was the ring bearer. I'm now calling him Frodo.)
The bride and my daughter have been steadfast friends since pre-school--they're both in their mid-20s now--and my loving daughter "volunteered" me to shoot the wedding.
It was a rather unique wedding. It was held at the Colony Theater in Burbank, Ca. The Colony is a well-known theatrical venue. It's a two or three hundred seat "equity" playhouse. (Meaning it operates as a signatory company to Actors Equity, the stage actors union.)
The groom is an aspiring writer/director and the bride works as a special effects MUA. The groom wrote and directed a 30-minute play, with a cast of about a dozen actors, as part of the ceremony. The play recounted their first meeting, through their courtship, and ending with his proposal. It was very well done, humorous, and the crowd of about 100 or so guests loved it! Then, the actual wedding ceremony took place on the stage. Reception was later on, at another location.
For the play and ceremony, I used two cameras, my 5D and my 20D. On the 5D was my 17-40 f/4 L and on the 20D I had my Tamron 28-75 f/2.8. I shot the play and the ceremony using available stage lighting. My 5D was set at ISO 1000 and my 20D at ISO 800. Afterward, we shot some cast photos and I used a Canon speedlite on my 5D, ETTL, with the ISO set at 200.
I had my 13 yr old son assisting me, mostly schlepping gear. Gave him $20 for the day which he has already spent on iPod apps. I've tried, in the past, to get him interested in photography... but to no avail. By the end of the evening, however, he was running around with my 5D shooting people at the reception. (By that time, I was asking people to stick a fork in me cuz I was done!)
My son has a pretty good eye! I gave him some tips on framing and composition and he quickly incorporated those tips into his shooting style. Who knows? Maybe he'll get into photography a bit? Would rather see him doing that then spending so much time on his iPod, PSP, PlayStation, X-Box, GameCube, and all that stuff.
Other than chimping while shooting, I haven't yet looked at a single frame I shot. (It's now 3 days since the event.) I was stressing out over shooting this for two weeks or more. On the day of the wedding, I was beyond stressed, perspiring like like a pig. (Do pigs sweat?) Anyway, how you wedding shooters deal with the stress, I have no clue. I mean, it ain't like you can mess up and say, "Let's reshoot." Plus, other than the formal portrait stuff, you have so little control over what's going on. And then there's all those "can't miss" moments which, I think (and hope) I covered. BTW, I shot the formal portraits with my Zeus pack-n-heads. That was the easy part of the day... leastwise, for me it was.
I'm not a control freak but, when I'm in my normal shooting element, I usually have control over nearly everything. Not so with weddings! Again, my hat's off to you wedding shooters. JimmyD won't be vying for available wedding work or competing with any of you in the foreseeable future... unless, maybe, when pigs--sweating or not--grow wings and start flying.
The pretty girl at the top isn't the bride in her wedding gown. It's Cytherea, from a few years ago.