Documenting a wedding reception with candid photography

What is the most important part of a wedding for a photographer? What might come to mind is the ceremony, or first kiss, or pictures of the couple after the wedding, even the special dances.  So when I put up a blog post, photography of these things is what I’m usually concentrating on.  But really, what I spend probably half or more of my time at a wedding doing, is just keeping a close eye on the couple and really trying to document the event.  I want to catch the emotions of and the natural expressions of everyone there.  But at the same time, I still want these quick candid pictures to look professional, without making myself become an annoyance.

Documenting a wedding with photography is not as easy as it may seem. I pretty much have to be on alert at all times, ready with my camera for a quick shot.  To take even quick snapshots that look professional, you need a lens with a really shallow depth of field.  This lets in more natural light requiring less flash, as well as isolating the subject and making everything else have a nice blur to it.  However, even with high end cameras, quickly focusing on a moving subject with a really shallow depth of field takes a lot of practice.  I’ve been doing this for hundreds of thousands of shots now and I still miss focus sometimes.  If you have any questions about some of the techniques I use to keep subjects in focus with my Nikon D800 feel free to ask.

So I’m doing something different with the pictures for this post.  These are only from the time the couple was visiting the tables and hugging and talking to the guests and family.  I also stuck a couple of dancing shots in at the end as well.  Let me know in the comments below if you enjoyed these.

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Random things during the busy summer and the wedding documentary gallery

I’ve been meaning to put up a new blog post for a while.  Myrtle Beach is just in it’s busiest time right now, and I’m always backed up with work, which is a good thing but it makes it hard to do extra things like posting to the blog.  It also doesn’t help I got strep throat and now that I’m off my antibiotic it seems to be coming back, and I almost never get sick. So instead of trying to concentrate on one subject I decided to just put up a few random pictures I’ve really liked over the past month.

One new thing you will notice on the website, I’ve put up a new gallery called wedding documentary.  The idea for this is to put up more candid pictures that I might not put in a gallery otherwise.  I always have lots of pictures I really like, but I just don’t think they are suitable to put in as my main examples of my work.  The idea for this gallery is a place for these more raw, less perfect and touched up images.  I’m going to try to stick to pictures that are truly candid and unexpected, or sometimes perhaps a really silly picture even if the client knows I’m taking it that wouldn’t make it into the gallery otherwise.

I’ve also been experimenting with the new Nik Software Color Efex Pro 3 software.  I used the bleach bypass filter for the first image below, it’s a cool effect.  I’ve just got to get used to working this software into some images in my workflow and figuring out what I like.  Below I’m going to put some examples that are in the new wedding documentary gallery, as well as just a few other random shots I liked.  As always if you enjoy some of these pictures please click the like button below.

Groomsmen waiting on the second floor - Ocean Club - Grande Dunes
Bridal party in the sunset - Ocean Club - Grande Dunes

Read post and view pictures Random things during the busy summer and the wedding documentary gallery