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As most of you know I was away this weekend photographing a friend's wedding, and as photographic experiences go it was simultaneously the most fun and the most stressful time I've had in a long while. I've come back with 376 RAW images, totalling just about 3GB, and I'm pretty much happy with the way they turned out. I've also had the chance to go through them with the bride and groom, and they both liked them ... which was a huge relief ;-)

Anyway, my admiration for those who do this sort of work has increased tremendously, it isn't easy, particularly if you shoot for any length of time. I started at around 12.30pm at the bride's house and shot pretty much continuously until 9pm, and I expected to be a bit stressed by the end of it, but I hadn't expected to be quite so physically worn out – my right arm, wrist and fingers were all aching. A quick wander around shooting shots for chromasia is not quite the same as eight and a half hours shooting, to say the least.

As for this shot: it was taken at the bride's house about an hour before the ceremony and is of one of the bridesmaids getting ready. Had I not known the bride and groom I think my experience might well have been quite different, but being introduced to everyone as a friend meant that everyone I photographed seemed quite at ease with my presence. Maybe it would have been that way anyway, but I managed to get quite a few shots that have the same relaxed intimacy as this one.

So, to conclude, thanks to my friends for allowing me to chronicle their day, and thanks to everyone who agreed that I could use their photograph on chromasia.

capture date
focal length
shutter speed
shooting mode
exposure bias
metering mode
image quality
white balance
1.32pm on 16.10.04/04
Canon 20D
EF 70-200 f/4L USM
131mm (210mm equiv.)
shutter priority
3x2 + people [portraiture] + weddings
comment by m at 09:37 PM (GMT) on 17 October, 2004

She'll be pleased :)

comment by sharon at 09:40 PM (GMT) on 17 October, 2004

A beautiful shot of a beautiful woman by a very talented photographer.

comment by Jessyel Ty Gonzalez at 11:10 PM (GMT) on 17 October, 2004

I would recommend checking out JR Geoffrion's wedding site (he's from PixelaDay) at http://www.jrgeoffrion.com/ . There's a lot of fellow photobloggers who do weddings on the site. Overall, nice image. There's a soft glow that really adds to the image as a whole.

comment by myla at 11:27 PM (GMT) on 17 October, 2004

I've been looking forward to your portraiture with the 20D (as you know) -- this is absolutely beautiful work, she looks like she's from a Leighton painting.

comment by GallinAzul at 12:59 AM (GMT) on 18 October, 2004

We want to see more pictures of the wedding !!!

This is a beautiful shot btw.

comment by James at 01:40 AM (GMT) on 18 October, 2004

If the rest of the shots are this good, I can see why the bride and groom liked them! When you said you were shooting a wedding I was expecting the usual 'stand over there, say cheese' routine but it looks like you've captured something really personal here and brought your own style to the occasion.

comment by Ali at 02:28 AM (GMT) on 18 October, 2004

Maybe you can make a separate photo series about the wedding.

comment by P at 05:47 AM (GMT) on 18 October, 2004

i know what you mean by wedding photography being one of the most stressful of situations -- and more so when it's the wedding of friends. this past May i traveled to the Dominican Republic and photographed the wedding of some dear friends. over a six hour period i filled three memory chips but the images that came out of it were worth every minute. i too came away from the experience with a greater respect for those who do it for a living.

comment by roderick at 06:44 AM (GMT) on 18 October, 2004

This is a great photo. The lighting is soft, and combined with the beauty of your subject and the fact that you're shooting a wedding - this photo is one of the best I've seen on your site.

comment by Andy (SensorChip) at 10:08 AM (GMT) on 18 October, 2004

I did a friends wedding a little while ago and I'm totally with you. I thought 40 people would be fairly easy to handle, but trying to get those 40 people in one place to have their picture taken, when really, all they want to be doing is sipping their bucks fizz and having a natter (not easy).

Also, those at ease, natural shots that everyone wants, it seems people think they are easier than the 'stand over there and grin' ones. I think we all know they're not and you have captured something very special in this photograph.

I know I'm not alone when I cry..."MORE, MORE, MORE!!!".

comment by djlight at 10:37 AM (GMT) on 18 October, 2004

I think your art is something drop from the sky 'cos ur shots are all a mix of creativity, of a "photocamera head", of a man that live for photos and that send all emotions feel in the same time when he shot the photo.

Very very compliment from an italian fallen in love with your photos.
I'll be very happy if u will pass to see my phblog at http://www.djlight.net/phblog (check in the top for full archive).

Matteo, Italy

comment by miles at 12:53 PM (GMT) on 18 October, 2004

glad you had a good time, can't wait to see more of the results!

comment by pierre at 03:48 PM (GMT) on 18 October, 2004

Now please reassure me Dave.
Don't tell me ALL the wedding's shots are reflection shots :o)
(Very nice photo)

comment by Rioux at 09:22 PM (GMT) on 18 October, 2004

I love your photos, and the creative way you view the world, but I especially love the portraits and pictures of people that you do. I am very excited to see more images from the wedding. Keep up the good work!

comment by djn1 at 10:31 PM (GMT) on 18 October, 2004

Thanks everyone. I did want to write more this evening but I've totally run out of time :-/

comment by Tom B at 08:03 PM (GMT) on 19 October, 2004

David. Wow, there is so much about this photo that is wonderful. I very much look forward to you posting more people shots from the wedding. If this is any indication of what the Bride and Groom will have as memories, they will be very pleased. Thanks for posting.

comment by Tyrone Sholaces at 12:16 PM (GMT) on 10 March, 2005

I dont even know what to say about this photo I am speechless. Something about it very Surreal@

comment by John at 07:28 PM (GMT) on 31 July, 2006

I wouldn't have thought to use a telephoto lens in such a situation.