I got my start shooting weddings via a request from some acquaintances from the church I attended in Seattle. A couple was getting married and they needed a photographer. I shot photos and apparently posted enough of a quality that they appreciated, to the point that they asked me to shoot their wedding. I'd never shot a wedding before and in all honesty, I rarely ever attended weddings. If I ever did, it was because I was working as a DJ, but not typically to attend as a guest.
I accepted their offer and made it through the event, saved mostly by the beauty of the locale, the fun loving nature of the couple, and the help of some friends who had seen enough wedding photos on pinterest to help me guide me through. From there, I shot a few more small weddings, accepting whatever pay I was offered, knowing that experience was what I needed more than anything. Well, that and teaching.
One of the hardest things about Wedding Photography isn't the shooting. It's the incredibly long days. For example, the wedding that I assisted on today clocked in at over 13 hours and I left before the event was over. My mentor for the day was a photographer from NYC, in town to shoot the wedding of some friends and he needed a second shooter. A few weeks ago, he chose me from an online posting and we discussed all the details for the wedding itself.
I've learned a lot about shooting weddings over the last few years and each one I shoot, I'm gaining a new respect and admiration for the art form and all the hard work that goes into it. Today was a Vietnamese and Chinese wedding, held in a Catholic church. It was easily one of the most unique that I've had a chance to be a part of, from the ceremony itself (Catholic) to the restrictions that the venue places on photographers (Can't shoot from in front of any row of pews), to the cultural intricacies of the wedding itself (gowns, tea ceremony, food, and gifts). The entire wedding was ripe with Asian culture and influence and it was an incredibly cool learning experience to be a part of it.
For this shot, I grabbed Raymond, a cousin of the bride, visiting Seattle from LA. We'd chatted earlier in the day about photography and I saw this entryway with interesting light and figured he'd be a good subject to throw into that spot. As a fellow photographer himself, it isn't often we find ourselves in front of the camera, so Raymond, thanks for letting me find the right light. Until we meet again.
Shot on my Nikon D800 with a Sigma Art Series 50mm 1.4. Handheld at 1/60th of a second, ISO 2000, f/2.