I have known Mei Sze, a friend who has been actively involved with Olympus Malaysia as our emcee for events (product launching) as well as a blogger who writes about her adventures using the Olympus PEN E-PL7. Last year, she was battling with colon cancer (read her stories here and here), and survived, and she has got remarkable and inspiring stories to tell. It has been a great pleasure knowing Mei Sze and when she asked if I would shoot her Registration of Marriage ceremony which happened last weekend, how could I say no?
With Mei Sze's permission, I am sharing some preliminary edits here.
The must-have Rings-shot.
I needed secondary subjects for the rings, hence I looked around and found these flowers. Initially I used only one, but it looked out of place. As I added the second one into the frame, the image looked much better.
Probably the most expensive shoes I have shot and encountered. The bride asked specifically to show the signature red sole, hence the slightly odd composition of the Louboutins. Since the fabric material is sort of translucent, I thought of accentuating that by applying harsh backlight approach. That sort of made the Louboutins glow!
I wanted a photo of the bridesmaids doing what they were doing (preparing and setting up for the ceremony) but at the same time I wanted to capture their happiness in doing so. The main problem: they were scattered around all over the room, so I got them together, lined them up in one line.
A few detail shots of the setting and decor.
Bridesmaids putting up vintage looking photographs, showing memories of Ben & Mei Sze.
Obviously a posed shot, but hey, gotta have some fun after the traditional boring kind of group photos right?
Mei Sze walking in!
Reading vows, and doing my best to capture the spontaneous burst of emotions.
In her own vows, Mei Sze broke down and started to tear up.
I think nothing is more powerful than years of joy!
The big group photo of all the bridesmaids and groomsmen together with the newly weds.
Some notes to share from this ROM shoot:
1) In case you do not know, I do not shoot wedding for a living. I accept wedding jobs occasionally, mostly from people that I know or through blog enquiries, Hey, that extra funding could fund my next lens purchase. Therefore I do not consider myself a good wedding photographer. However, I do enjoy shooting wedding immensely.
2) Olympus OM-D E-M1 was used, and I tucked away the PEN E-P5 as a secondary, back-up body. There were 3 lenses used throughout the shoot: M.Zuiko 25mm F1.8, 12mm F2 and 45mm F1.8. 25mm F1.8 was used the most, 12mm F2 only when I need to shoot large group shots (and any need of wider coverage).
3) For the indoor shots, Bounced Flash was used. FL-50R, controlled manually. Since the lighting did not change, I just fixed the camera and flash settings for simplicity sake.
4) I find complications and difficulties working with videographers. There were 3 people in the video crew, and as much as I do respect them and acknowledge their importance, they just get in the way of most of my shots. Many of my shots could have been so much better if I had better standing positions, which were occupied by the video shooters. I do not hate them but I sure could perform so much better without them. I am sure most wedding photographers feel the same way.
5) For the outdoor shots, I use mostly aperture priority, while indoor with flash, I use full manual setting. If you are to pick up wedding shoots, all these camera controls have got to be at the back of your mind and not the main process to think about during the shoot. Focus was on the subject and capturing moments!
Oh yes, I have a long way to go when it comes to wedding photography. But you know what? I get better and better after each wedding that I shoot.
To Ben & Mei Sze, congratulations to the both of you! Mei Sze, your life story has been truly an inspiration, and I know, you will create even better ones and I am looking forward to seeing more adventures and life-stories from you!