Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2006/04/10

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Subject: [Leica] I shot the wedding.....Long
From: red735i at (Frank Filippone)
Date: Mon Apr 10 07:09:55 2006

About a year ago I posed my dilemma:  My son was to be married, and I really
wanted to shoot the ( very traditional) wedding ( as a spectator).  My wife
did not like the idea and told me so.  The assembled LUG had many opinions,
mostly that sided with my wife.  Leave the camera at home was the opinion.

It was not in me to pass on what is a once in a lifetime opportunity.  I
fretted a long time, and finally decided to take the camera ( M6 with 3
lenses) and shoot what I wanted, outside the ceremony itself.  I asked no
further permissions.  I was flying by the seat of my pants.

I behaved, mostly.  During the rehearsal, I was pretty much free to do as I
wanted.  ( do you have any idea what role the father of the groom really has
at the rehearsal?  The word minimum is overstated.)  I got some wonderful
opportunity to shoot from over the Minister's shoulder at the B+G from about
3 feet away from their faces.  It was absolutely breathtaking waiting for
the vows to be said, and being able to shoot their faces as they practiced
the words that  would join them forever.

At this event, I was handed a 4 page Excel spreadsheet of the schedule of
the next days' events.  ( Corporate training told to peruse the schedule
with a detail to find missing data, and to pay no attention to the timeline
itself.)  It was obvious that the official pro was not going to the Grooms
rooms until the guys were all dressed and ready for action.  Opportunity

I took my camera to the dinner that evening and took candids.  A few others
did as well.  Not a big deal.  No one cared that the groom's father had a

The BIG DAY!  I realized that using the camera at all during the ceremony
was inappropriate.  But there was a working pro that would handle that part,
so no worries. It would be covered.

As time went on, I decided to shoot the groomsmen, and especially my son, as
they prepared.  I asked my son if this would be OK, and he said sure.  I
dressed fast and went down to their rooms.  The groomsmen were already
dressed.  I took some candids as they milled around ( they were wondering
why they had to get dressed 45 minutes before the official photographer
arrived.)  Suddenly there is a knock on the door and my son arrives.....
dressed, except for the tie.   He could not figure out how to get it on
without help.  The guys worked on him, making his presentable, while I shot
away.  No pro is sight....  The pro showed up on time, and allowed me to
hang out while he shot. I made myself useful by shutting blinds, holding
doors, etc.  I took some candids, but generally, I was an assistant to his
assistant.  More milling around, more candids from me and the pro.

Game time..... camera was put away, and hid behind some screening.  My wife
and I were escorted to the ceremony.  Son is as cool as a cucumber.  Working
pro is doing his thing.  The "I do's" got done.  Recessional was played, we
got out of the room, to a "holding" area.  Back  to get official pictures
taken.  My camera comes out again, as I get the first shots of the new
couple, glowing.  The pro does his job, and we are released to go to the
reception.  I did take pictures at the reception.  But at that point, I was
too excited to do any good work.  I was shot out.

Film is now all in a bag awaiting processing.  I will do this over the next
few days.  But there is a big message here.

What I thought was going to be the real exciting part for photography was
impossible to photograph:  The bride's room and the ceremony itself.  Why?
Probably more my emotional state during the events ( plus getting into the
bride's rooms would have been dangerous to my life!)  What I found much more
rewarding was taking pictures when I could, from where I wanted... during
the rehearsal.  I was allowed really free access to locations that even the
pro was not allowed during the ceremony.  It was intimate.  It was exciting.
No one cared that I had a camera.

I would recommend that any photographer that wants to shoot his own son or
daughter's wedding take the opportunity to shoot the rehearsal.  It is just
plain magical, and you will be the only one there with a camera to record
what is a really special time.

Techie stuff.... M6TTL with 35 ASPH Lux ( mostly) and 50 Lux and 90 ASPH
Cron for some shots.  HP5 and Fuji 800 Press.  I did have and use the SF20
flash when it was just too dark, but that was mainly during the reception,
outside , when light was just too dark otherwise.  I shot wide open, mostly
from the dark side.

Working Pro: Canon Digital SLR with flash and an assistant with a slave
flash.  1 Zoom Lens.  Working pro was very nice to me, and seemed very
competent and willing to do what the B+G asked.  He shot a lot of pictures,
and worked from 3PM till 11PM, plus was present the day before to look at
the venues and plan shots.  I was impressed with his professionalism.

The important stuff... Tom and Heather were married on April 8, 2006.  They
are wonderful adults ( the word kids seems out of place....) with a full
life ahead of them.  Wish them luck.

Frank Filippone

Replies: Reply from leicachris at (Christopher Williams) ([Leica] Re: I shot the wedding.....Long)