My first wedding shoot, with Silvia and Dave.

In my last post I said that I’d never aspired to photograph weddings. People have never been my favourite photo subject, and weddings come with the inevitable pressure and responsibility of capturing images that couples will look back on for their entire lives. There’s no second chance to get it right.

I’ve known Silvia for many years and had met her fiancĂ© Dave on a few occasions, and was delighted when they got engaged. Not long after, Silvia asked if I’d shoot their wedding. They’d seen lots of my photos before and liked my style, and really wanted a set of photos that their daughter could appreciate in years to come. It was a ‘yes’ from me, although I have to admit to wondering why I’d volunteered several times leading up to their big day.

The wedding was at the Steventon House Hotel in Oxfordshire. The three of us popped there a few weeks before for a drink, a look around, and to chat about what photos they wanted. The photographer in me came out and started to think about where the light and shade would be, where we’d do the formal photos if it rained, and creating a tick-list of their must-have photos.

Being my first wedding shoot I went well prepared with a spare camera body, all my lenses, spare batteries, and lots of kit just in case it was needed. I had no kit issues, and used just three lenses – the Sony 50 mm f/1.8, the Sony 16-35mm f/4.0, and the Sony 24-105mm f/4. I know most wedding photographers rely on a range of prime lenses, but I like zooms to ensure I can always get the image in frame. All the lenses performed well, although the 50mm is very slow to focus at times, even with the amazing Sony eye-auto-focus.

I had my Sony A7iii set up with dual memory cards, writing RAW and JPEG images simultaneously to minimise the risk of any errors. During the meal I took backups to a laptop, and the second I got home I copied all the photos to my main computer, giving me four copies of each photo. Shooting with JPEG meant I could do a couple of quick edits on the day to send to the bride and groom so they had something to share with friends who couldn’t be there.

What I hadn’t appreciated was the time it would take to process the photos. After culling I had over 550 photos to edit, which took me somewhere in the region of 40 hours to do (a little over four minutes per photo). After a few false starts I ended up using presets to do some of the processing, a trick I’ve since learned could take the processing down to under a minute per photo. So a few lessons learned if I ever shoot another wedding, but I’m very happy how the day went, and most importantly Silvia and Dave were delighted with the photos they received.

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