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

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Subject: [Leica] Re: I shot the wedding.....Long
From: leicachris at (Christopher Williams)
Date: Mon Apr 10 07:34:11 2006
References: <>


Yes, the father of the groom just has to smile and say hello at the
rehearsal- you have no real job, drink up and keep to yourself how much this
is costing the father of the bride :)

That's great you were able to get some candids getting ready. I find it very
hard sometimes with getting ready shots of the groom/groomsmen because they
tend to be the least interested in a stranger taking photos of them. Most of
the time I'm lucky if I manage a good 10 minutes getting photos. Hey, were
guys, we like to drink - not take photos. :) If relatives are there taking
photos, they could care less. And if the guys are told to get ready 45
minutes before the photographer arrives, that means about 5 minutes for
official photos since at least one groomsmen has gone missing due to either
a lack of beer or food in the room. Or one case of one groomsmen just got
out of jail 3 hrs ago - true story.

I'm one those wedding photographers that encourage guests photos. Many times
family/guests are just too intimidated by my "big" cameras/lenses to take
any photos while I'm shooting. Many ask permission first as if they are
doing something wrong. The more guests taking photos, the more candids I can
get. And the couple notices that. If a guest gets in the way, it's just an
"accidental" bump and they move(they're drunk anyway).

Hope you captured some great moments.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Frank Filippone"
Subject: [Leica] I shot the wedding.....Long

> About a year ago I posed my dilemma:  My son was to be married, and I
> wanted to shoot the ( very traditional) wedding ( as a spectator).  My
> did not like the idea and told me so.  The assembled LUG had many
> 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
> wanted.  ( do you have any idea what role the father of the groom really
> 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
> 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
> 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
> knocked.
> I took my camera to the dinner that evening and took candids.  A few
> did as well.  Not a big deal.  No one cared that the groom's father had a
> camera.
> 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
> so no worries. It would be covered.
> As time went on, I decided to shoot the groomsmen, and especially my son,
> 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
> 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
> and I were escorted to the ceremony.  Son is as cool as a cucumber.
> pro is doing his thing.  The "I do's" got done.  Recessional was played,
> 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
> 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
> 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
> rewarding was taking pictures when I could, from where I wanted... during
> the rehearsal.  I was allowed really free access to locations that even
> pro was not allowed during the ceremony.  It was intimate.  It was
> 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
> 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,
> 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
> 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.
> are wonderful adults ( the word kids seems out of place....) with a full
> life ahead of them.  Wish them luck.
> Frank Filippone

In reply to: Message from red735i at (Frank Filippone) ([Leica] I shot the wedding.....Long)