Photographing a Wedding

A little over a month ago I had the opportunity to be the second shooter for a wedding that my friend, Tara, was photographing. Tara is a wonderful photographer and it was such a privilege to work beside her and learn from her throughout the day. I think one of the things I loved the most about the experience was just getting to watch Tara at work. She was amazing, not only at taking quality photos but also at building a relationship with the couple and their friends and family and making everyone feel at ease. It was a beautiful thing.

I’d never officially photographed a wedding before, but it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. So it was so fun to get to do it with such a dear friend and experienced photographer.

As this was my first wedding there was definitely a learning curve. It started with the fact that I (gratefully) used one of Tara’s cameras and her lenses (as hers are a good step above what I have). This meant a bit of adjusting for me at first – just figuring out the new camera. Of course the fact that I hadn’t really picked up any camera at all in about 6 months didn’t help. But, by the end of the day I was feeling much more relaxed and like I’d finally gotten a bit of a handle on things.

Here are a few things I learned in the process of the day:

  1. Photographing a wedding requires a lot of fast thinking. Everything moves pretty quickly on a wedding day and it’s easy to see a shot and then miss it a second later. That was frustrating at times, but it was good for me too, because it forced me to think on my feet and figure things out quickly. In some was there’s no better way to learn camera settings than to be thrown into a wedding and have to change settings quickly with changing light as to not miss a shot. I felt like my skills at the end of the day were way different than at the beginning of the day.
  2. Photographing a wedding is exhausting! It might be that I did it while 6 months pregnant, but I think even not pregnant it is a super long day and as a photographer you spend most of it on your feet. It’s easy to forget to drink water, or eat, or just take a break in the midst of trying to get the next shot.
  3. I also realized that I don’t think I would ever want to do what Tara does as the main photographer. To me, at least at this stage, it seemed like a lot of work and pressure. But, I LOVED being a second shooter! Tara gives her second shooters lots of freedom, so really most of the day I got to play and find shots and just enjoy taking pictures. It was really fun. Is it possible to be a Professional second shooter? Haha. I think that could be pretty fun.

Ok, so here’s a very small, quick sampling of the photos I took at the wedding. Hope you enjoy.

Rejoicing in the journey –
Bethany Stedman

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A Quick Peek Into A Family Tradition

This past weekend my sister-in-law got married and that meant there was lots of
family in town for the wedding. It was fun to catch up with so many people from bryan’s extended family on both his mom and dads side.
One of the events from the weekend was a very traditional Armenian BBQ with Bryan’s mom’s family – which meant lamb kabobs, along with LOTS of other food, and of course lots of vodka. It also meant Bryan’s grandpa and great uncle telling stories, papa quoting Limericks in German and plenty of funny and meaningful advice for the bride and groom. It was an experience to say the least.
I didn’t take many pictures during wedding week, but this was one event that
I’m glad I got a chance to pull my camera out for, even if I didn’t get that many pictures.
Heres a little peek into this family tradition…
Here’s Thaddeus having fun with his great uncle Geoff:
Here’s Blake and Papa working on the kabobs
Here’s the guys grilling and generally enjoying life
And the boys scolding the girls and saying that it was a boys only time
Thaddeus wanted to get in on the drinking action with the boys – here he is blowing bubbles in his milk
Here’s the beautiful bride – this pictures my favorite
Papa gave a great toast filled with funny stories and great advice
And we’ll end with the adorable couple listening to the toast
Fun times were definitely had by all.
Rejoicing in the journey –
Bethany Stedman

If you like this post please consider buying me a cup of tea (Suggested: $3 a cup)

Weekends Are For Crotcheting

Weekends are for recycling (or upcycling) old material and clothing into a fun new crotchet rag rug.

It’s far from being done yet, but I got a good start on it.

What have you worked on this weekend??

Rejoicing in the journey-
Bethany Stedman

If you like this post please consider buying me a cup of tea (Suggested: $3 a cup)

How I’d Like to Celebrate Halloween in the Future

I’ve written about it before, but I have to say again…I love Halloween. I have always loved the autumn and any autumn themed experience. I’ve always loved dressing up. And of course I have a massive sweet tooth, so I was always a big fan of any holiday that included lots of candy. But, there was something more too. Something about Halloween felt mysterious and magical and I loved that. I think most of us long for something of the “other”, something mystical and un-understandable. Sure Halloween has become basically just another hallmark holiday filled with mass produced, sugar filled junk, but every once in a while something of the mystical has broken through all that and whispered to me around Halloween time, when the leaves change and the air chills.

This Halloween we had an opportunity to celebrate All Hallows’ Eve a little differently and I loved it. It felt more real, not at all commercialized and more in-tune with the familiar familial magic of fall. So, what did we do? Well, our friends who own some property in Zelivka, right in the middle of a national park in Prague, invited us to hang out there with them for a little outdoor cook out. We each brought some fresh veggies that we threw in a big pot over an open fire. I made some homemade bread and pumpkin pie to share. My husband brought a bottle of homemade nettle champagne (which he made with nettles he picked out on the property). Our friends brought sausage to roast and pumpkins for the kids to carve. We laid out some blankets and talked, took walks around the property, ate our yummy fall inspired food, and carved pumpkins. The kids played hid-and-go-seek and ghost in the graveyard. The weather was clear and crisp, with just enough sunshine peaking through the clouds to leave long shadows through the trees.

Carving Pumpkins with kids

Something about just being out in nature and hanging out with friends around a fire felt so right. It got me thinking about the type of Halloween traditions I want my kid to grow up with. I want my child to grow up celebrating Halloween because personally I love it, but I want them to grow up celebrating something more real that the commercialized holiday the candy industry has put together. I also want them to grow up celebrating it in a deeper way than the church “fall festivals” that are so common in the states – something about those fall festivals always felt somehow fake and contrived to me.

Here’s what I’d like future Stedman Halloweens to be about:

  • Spending Time Outside in nature – somewhere where the trees are changing color
  • Spending time with family and friends and any other wandering souls that happen to be needing a friendly welcome
  • Making our own autumn feast together and cooking it outside over an open fire
  • Drinking homemade beverages such as nettle beer or homemade apple cider
  • Having a bonfire and roasting homemade marshmallows
  • Carving pumpkins and lighting Jack O’ Lanterns
  • Telling stories about saints and martyrs from the past (picking one Bible character, apostle, saint, or historical church figure and telling their story and talking about them with the kids…?? Maybe??)
  • Doing some autumn inspired activities – like bobbing for apples, hay rides, nature walks in the woods, etc.
  • Having a short time of prayer – praying a liturgy like this one or just praying together informally and thanking God for the people who have gone before us and the example they have set

Dressing up and going “trick or treating” could be included if we wanted it to be on any given year, but wouldn’t have to be. With all the other activities I don’t think any of us would miss it. And I can get my dress-up longings filled all year long now that I have kids to play with me {smile}.

Did you have a good Halloween this year? What would your ideal Halloween look like?

Rejoicing in the journey –
Bethany Stedman

If you like this post please consider buying me a cup of tea (Suggested: $3 a cup)