Thursday, December 17, 2009

Marty & Becky's Detroit Institue of Art Wedding Photos

I thought you all would enjoy seeing these. I couldn't find any other DIA wedding photography online, and even though I don't think this is something just anybody can do, I thought you'd enjoy seeing some of them. While this would be a great place to go for wedding photos since you can count on it being dry and climate controlled during Michigan's hard winters, Becky was able to secure this spot through her great connections. They are both wonderfully warm people who love life and have surrounded themselves with great, wonderful people. If you'd like to see more photographs from this Detroit Art Institute wedding, please check out my other blog at;

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Julie & Jason's Candlelight Wedding Ceremony

Here are side by side examples of the "lit" ceremony versus available light. No comparison... the available light is much prettier and more like the actual mood of the ceremony. Keep scrolling down to see the limits of this technique though.
You can see from these side by side examples that on the left is available light which, while accurate, would make it impossible to capture any actual great moments that happen during the ceremony.
Dragging the shutter a bit captured movement, but still let me capture crucial moments.

Jason & Julie’s Royal Park Hotel Wedding in Rochester

Okay, so I’m starting to think it really might be me! What is it with beautiful Saturdays in November? We’re talking about the time of year when all couples are pretty much guaranteed crummy, cold, or both. I’ve shot at the Royal Park Hotel before where brides have been getting ready and several times I’ve had couple stop into the hotel’s bar for a drink between their ceremony and the reception, but I’d never done a wedding there. They have several spots where the Royal Park sets up to have weddings. Julie and Jason chose to have theirs in the conservatory. Apparently it had been decorated completely for Christmas, but since this was Thanksgiving weekend and most decidedly NOT a Christmas wedding, they took down all the decorations and had their team of family members de-christmasfy the entire joint. They passed out votive candles to everyone who attended and that’s when it occured to me they were probably planning on this being a candlelight ceremony. These are really tough cookies to light in any room, but when that room is a glass box... it’s just this side of impossible. Thank God for digital! Throughout the ceremony the lights would come up a bit, then go off almost completely, then back up, then down. It was very dramatic and just what they wanted, but a really, really technically difficult shoot! You’ll see available light shots on the blog as well as the ones I added off camera lighting to. You feel about two inches tall when you have no choice but to master blast light into a candlelight service, but what we were seeing was silouettes of a couple who were swaying a bit with nerves and emotion, so long exposures weren’t exactly viable either. I know, I’m getting all technical, but shooting with the absence of light makes photography really difficult, so for all you moonlight and candlelight ceremony lovers out there (and yes, I had a candlelight ceremony too and didn’t give a hoot whether or not we had a single useable image from the actual ceremony... which we didn’t and that’s something that wouldn’t exactly fly with my couples!)... shooting without light is damn near impossible. As fantastic as cameras have gotten in recent years, no camera can touch the color adjustment and the bright versus dark adjustments our eyes make for us. No piece of equipment can touch what our eyes do all the time. With low light photography, you have a choice; grainy photos, blurry photos, master blasted photos or poorly lit photos. None of those are great options, so I try to blend the first three options until I can mimic what I’m seeing in the room as best I can. If you are planning a ceremony or service with really low light, give your photographer a BIG head’s up that this is part of your day so they can do some of the mental gymnastics they’ll need to do in order to pull out some good quality images. Having the wedding ceremony in the dark is one thing, keeping your photographer in the dark is something else altogether! That being said, the entire day was completely fantastic. Both Jason and Julie were a blast and SO much fun to hang out with. I loved both their families. There was very much a “we’re all in this together” feeling coming from both sides. Maybe that’s because Jason’s family who own a greenhouse, The Greenery at Brainers in Wixom, MI, did all the flowers. They completely knocked themselves out with a floral display that would put most Rose Bowl parade floats to shame. They really knocked it out of the ball park. Everybody just really thoroughly enjoyed themselves and to top it all off, we were able to go outside for a good long while to shoot all of Julie and Jason’s photos outside on location, which I never thought we’d be able to do at the end of November! If you’d like to learn about my experience with brides and grooms seeing each other before a wedding, please check out my other blog at