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.
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.
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.
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.
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.