Category Archives: documentary/photojournalism

Photo of the Day: Reflections on a Ceremony

2010-02-20 16-12-23.jpg

This week, while I am in California to visit family, teach a bit, shoot some portraits and document an awesome Malibu wedding, I’ll be using the Photos of the Day to tease the next wedding I’m processing, the union of Viviana and Henry.

Keep in mind that I say the following as a go-to photographer for just about every major Catholic organization in New York City, from hospitals to charities to the diocese to Fordham University (where this ceremony took place): Catholic ceremonies can be hard to shoot. The churches are large and dark, but most importantly the ceremony is focused on a beautiful and deeply spiritual interchange between the priest and the couple, which means for about 45 minutes their back is to the congregation, and to me.

This is fine with me. Weddings, after all, aren’t about me … and ceremonies doubly so. But even more than that, there’s nothing I love better than a challenge. I don’t even think about darkness anymore with good hand-holding technique and the Nikon D3s. But I still like to try to find new angles and variety, so here I rested a wide-angle lens above an unused piano for a unique view of the ceremony.


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Photo of the Day: “You SAID ‘Swing Your Partner…'”

One of the questions I got on formspring was “How do you get people to do such crazy things at your weddings?”

I don’t.

I don’t think my clients are much crazier than average (well, some of them are, and they know it). For example, this shot was taken at a wedding that had very little dancing at all. Capturing moments comes in three parts. 1) Learning human behavior enough to anticipate them. 2) Learning your equipment enough to take well-exposed (and hopefully well-composed) shots without thinking first, and 3) learning to be unobtrusive enough that people won’t become shy around you. Even though most of the guests were just enjoying great conversation, I knew these guys were going to get crazy, and they did.


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