Wednesday, January 26, 2011

An Accidental Wedding Photographer

Wedding photo with the groom's family at Union
Station, Toronto. That's Kate in the front with the
camera. Nikon D80 with 18-200mm VR.

Last Saturday I headed downtown with my friend SuprPHREAK (but we call him Matt) and other friend Kate from (the other shooter I asked to help out) to meet Mel et al. at Union Station in downtown Toronto. While the wedding shoot didn't go 100% smooth (security told me I couldn't use my light stands), I still had a fun time hanging out with Mel, Shawn, the wedding party, the families etc. and ended up with enough good shots.
Shawn, Mel and Mackenzie.
Nikon D80 with 18-200mm VR. Umbrella camera left and
bare flash behind the subject camera right for rim light.

Mackenzie the Monkey.
Nikon D80 with 18-200mm VR. Umbrella camera left and
bare flash behind the subject camera right for rim light.

I didn't originally plan on attending the ceremony, but since my ride was going, I thought that was a better option than taking the bus home. I don't normally cry at weddings and while this was no exception, the exchanging of the vows was particularly touching and I found a frog in my throat.

(More after the jump)

There was no danger of going home hungry after the reception, rather the danger was the button on my pants that was about to explode. I should've left some penne and risotto to save more room for my veal and chicken! And salad. And dessert. I also experimented with long shutter speeds with camera motion and zoom during the dance which I think added to the mood of the photos.
Who's the man? Shawn's the man!
Nikon D80 with 18-200mm VR. Shutter 0.62 sec., F3.5, SB-800
flash on hotshoe in TTL mode.

In a constant effort to improve I ask myself after every photoshoot, "What could I have done better?" I should've paid closer attention to my shot list as we ran out of time (and steam) and I ended up missing some. Thank goodness for Kate who got them. In fact, I can't wait to see the shots she came up with! I could've also done more creative poses.

The next day, I rifled through my shots and sent a couple samples to Mel as I'm sure she was anxious to see them. I must've done something right because she replied:

"OMG I LOVE them!!!!!

You might want to reconsider doing wedding photos as part of your business! You're a natural!!"

Smart woman, buttering me up like that. But it goes to show that good portrait lighting goes a long way.

And that's how I found myself to be an accidental wedding photographer.

Congratulations to Mel and Shawn and Mackenzie for their new life together!


  1. Yes, it is I..the infamous Mel that keeps pestering James to do shots of my big life experiences. But it's his own fault..he's just so damn good at what he does!!

    James always has interesting poses, great lighting, and the atmosphere is complete with his super friendly disposition.

    It is with my greatest pleasure that I can call James and Margot my friends, and am forever greatful that I stumbled upon them accidentally 5 years ago.

    (p.s. my name's melissa).. :)

  2. Congratulations Mel! You look stunning!