Wedded Bliss/Photog Miss

This past Saturday evening, I watched my childhood friend Emily get married to her hubby-to-be, Jonathan.  She was stunning and her hair was GORGEOUS!  With Mom as my date, we soon realized that we knew absolutely nobody except for Emily’s family.  Some friend I am.  But we had excellent company at our dinner table (we ended up swapping stories about Emily growing up with her neighbors) and couldn’t have been happier for her.

Now when I go to weddings, I take my kahuna; it’s a great opportunity to learn more about light and how to shoot in dark, candlelit rooms.  But there are occasions when I arrive and get too overwhelmed/embarrassed/hungry to take pictures.  And I don’t want to get in the paid photographers way.  Lame, I know, but that’s how I [sometimes] roll.  At this particular event, Emily already had several friends sporting their cameras and I decided to just hang out with Mom.  Until I heard that Emily and her father, Steve, had taken lessons for their dance.  The kahuna wanted to come out and play.

Father/Daughter Dance

Looking at Emily, you’d never know that she was wearing green Converse Allstars under her dress after she’d given her groom and step-son down the road for wearing the same shoes that day.

Father/Daughter Dance

Seeing the smile on Steve’s face, you’d never guess how irritated he was that his daughter named her little yappy dog “Steven the Third” after him.

Father/Daughter Dance

You also wouldn’t know that she once got her fist stuck in her mouth and had to leave class to go to the nurse’s station. Nope.  Never would have guessed that.

Father/Daughter Dance

It was a beautiful waltz and you could see how happy Emily’s father is.  So sweet.  I love weddings.  And wedding cake.  But on to business…

These are not good photographs.  There’s about 20 reasons why they suck but I’ll name the three that stand out in my mind:

1. I wanted to use my 50mm but it proved to have too much zoom and I couldn’t step back due to tight quarters around the dance floor.  So my friend is cut off at the waist; you can’t see the beautiful skirt of her wedding dress.

2. You can’t see her face – if this was Steve’s wedding it’d be cool.  But it wasn’t.  For some reason beyond my being I couldn’t get the dang camera to focus when Emily looked my direction.  I have pictures of her face – but you can’t tell it’s her because it’s so frickin blurry.

3. I’m blaming it all on the accessory flash and the fact that I have zero ideas how to use it.  It was a big attempt to use the flash and this attempt can be classified as FAIL.  I believe full heartedly that the flash is the most difficult thing to learn on the camera.  My DAd was explaining the flash to me before the wedding but none of it sunk in and it doesn’t help that I don’t know how to operate the functions and modes.  Will be adding this to the “what I need to learn next” list.  Stupid accessory flash.  I’m grounding it for bad behavior.

It was just a FAIL.  The whole thing: FAIL.  So why am I even sharing this with you, internet?  Because so often, people who are teaching themselves photography become frustrated with not getting everything perfect.  It doesn’t work that way.  You have to take several pictures of the same thing to get one outstanding one.  You have to practice and learn your equipment before you go to once-in-a-lifetime events.  Practice makes perfect, right?  So while I’m still completely pissed at myself for not getting at least one good picture that evening, there is a lesson to be learned: read the accessory flash manual, you moron.

To learn more about Brooke and see her recent work, visit her new site at brookemurphyphoto.com. Follow Brooke on Facebook or Twitter.

September 22, 2009 - 11:31 am

joseph - Is this the Emily that got her fist stuck in her mouth?

September 22, 2009 - 11:39 am

shutterboo - She’s the Emily that lived in Minnesota and visited each summer. She moved back to Louisville 7/8 years ago. Yes, she got her fist stuck in her mouth. Because she “was bored.” haha

September 22, 2009 - 2:05 pm

katie - boo, i don’t know what you are talking about. these photos are beautiful. i actually think it’s sweet to have photos of the dad. and trust me, your friend will appreciate them as well. And no kidding, if only I’d read at least one manual, I wouldn’t have to question what ISO meant!

September 23, 2009 - 8:25 am

Courtney Cawley - I love these…a lot of paid photographers use the 50mm for these close up shots that you hate. Not that what I think matters but I thought they turned out really nice. I think most of us tend to be our own worst critics. I’m working on the whole flash thing too. I feel like it looks cool to other people but it doesn’t take long for them to realize I have absolutely no clue how to use it. :)

October 22, 2009 - 10:05 am

Did I Mention I Went To A Wedding? « shutterboo - […] try to learn how to use the blasted thing at Susie’s wedding since I was so pissed about my failure at Emily’s wedding.  But I did want to stay out the professional photographer’s way – who, by the way, is […]

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