“Do you shoot weddings?” My very quick response was a resounding, “no!!” My iPhone had already announced who was calling and knowing that, the question that came was not one I was not expecting. After Bernie told me all that had transpired for his upcoming wedding, I said of course I’d shoot his wedding. Flying to CA from MT and shooting a wedding during COVID wasn’t at the top of mind. Not screwing up royally, that was what had me sweating bullets! I had put myself through college shooting weddings, stopping the day I graduated and I’ve not shot one since. That’s nearly a forty-year drought. What was I thinkin when I said yes to Bernie? Yikes!
A week prior to the wedding, I pulled out all my gear I thought I would want and need. I decided the Z6 / 105f1.4 would be my prime and Z7 / Z24-70f2.8 second setup. That turned out working brilliantly. I had an SB-5000 connected to both (via the WR-R10), camera in Aperture Priority and flash in manual mode. For the formals, the Profoto B10 shooting through the Octa was my go-to. With confidence in my gear, off Sharon & I flew to the wedding. It was 107 degrees for the rehearsal dinner, 107! I was literally sweating bullets as I went through in my mind all I wanted to shoot to cover the wedding. My options where I could shoot the formals was scaring me too death! I had four options, all out in the bright sun for the background, an old building with coke machines, a parking lot, the tents for the ceremony, or a cement slab beside a pond which would put me shooting into the sun shooting at 4PM! That means they would all be backlit. Egads!
On the morning of the wedding, I know I was pacing more than the groom. How was I going to make the formal portraits work? I had told them the night before that I would want some time around 8PM that day to shoot the formals. That would put a real bent in their schedule but those photos are really important. So what’s with the photo above with the plane? Bernie is a long time friend, we’ve flown A LOT together and have had many adventures. He’s the only one I know who would have a P-51D Mustang airshow at his wedding reception (cause he did!). He is also one of few whose home is next to the hangar where a gorgeous Waco could be taxied over to the lawn for a background. Bernie had come up with all of that, I just positioned it on the lawn. Bernie & Abbey had one idea for the Waco, I saw an opportunity to take really unique formal portraits where I would easily control the light and it would be uniquely Bernie & Abbey. So before the ceremony, before we even drove to the venue, I took control and made it happen. Shot with the Z7 / Z24-70f2.8 with a single SB-5000 on a pole (held perfectly by my assistant, Sharon :-), the portraits were made. Phew
I know I overcompensated by shooting 7500 images, but I had that wedding covered! It all turned out well and it was really a lot of fun! And next time the phone rings and that question is asked, I’m going to stick with my answer, NO!