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