The Wedding Party
by Shawna Black

Years ago, one of my friend's sisters got married. A young couple, cheap parents and low budget wedding ceremony and reception were on the horizon. At this time, I was fully immersed in photography, taking college classes and filling just about every waking moment that I wasn't at work either taking pictures, developing pictures or in class.

Guess whom the poor, young couple asked to take pictures of there wedding? Yep, you guessed it: me. It was one of the most nerve-racking experiences of my life. What if my camera malfunctions? What if the flash doesn't work? Can I reload film fast enough? What if I'm not paying attention when the roll is almost to the end and I miss one of the most important moments?

It was not an experience that I ever wanted to repeat and swore I'd never agree to photograph someone's wedding. Everyone is an art director and I had plenty that day. Too many. It was awful. Never again would I subject myself to such torture.

Fast-forward 20 years. My niece, Danielle, announces her engagement. You've seen Danielle in my previous articles, the one about Robin and her ghost. Robin's cousin in one of those shots is Danielle. Of course, Danielle remembers that I can take a fairly decent picture and guess what? Here I am agreeing to photograph her wedding! I agree, reluctantly.

This time, though, I have the Canon Rebel xti 10 megapixel digital SLR!

The experience was nerve-racking due to the fact that you are responsible for capturing images of the most important day of two peoples lives to date. I insisted on going to the rehearsal, because truth be told, I had no flipping idea how to photograph a wedding. All in all, it turned out very well. The only thing I'll do differently next time (Danielle's sisters, all three of them, want me to photograph their weddings next year) is that when I do the group shots, no one else with a camera will be allowed within a mile. I have some great shots of the entire wedding party with all of them looking in different directions. Live and learn.

Here are some shots from the wedding of the happy couple, Matt and Danielle! My favorite, of course, is the one I snapped right after the ceremony was over and they walked away from the guests and out of site, and immediately lit a cigarette.







The only thing I'll do differently next time ... is that when I do the group shots, no one else with a camera will be allowed within a mile.

Ha! While I was not the official photographer by any means, (so I didn't feel guilty); I was very distressed by the pictures I took at my friend Isabel's wedding. It was indoors, and half my pictures were just awful from other camera's flashing interfering with my flash!


the smoke one is pretty awesome.

They have that "thank god. it is over " look.


Love the smoke picture. So candid.


I've shot weddings also and understand the pressure. The best is when you have two photographers -- one to get all the "ceremony stuff" and one to get all the candids. I'm a better candid photographer than I am a "ceremony stuff" photographer.


Turtle - they were very happy it was all over. That's exactly what the smoke picture is about!


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