You know that old saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”? That was certainly the case for this shoot that I did for the folks at Life at Lourdes. My friend called me with just a shade more than 24 hours notice to ask if I would come and shoot a very special wedding ceremony that was happening for 5 couples. This time, instead of doing my regular videography gig, I was asked to shoot stills.
My response: “Did you say FIVE couples?!?” Life at Lourdes is an elder care facility in South Jersey (Pennsauken, NJ to be exact) and 5 couples had arranged to renew their vows in a group wedding ceremony. How could I say no?
When I explained that I had been focusing more on videos than stills, I was assured that they weren’t looking for perfection. That made me feel better since this was really the first photography assignment I had undertaken with my new workhorse Lumix GH2 camera. At 16 megapixels, and with the option of many fine lenses, the camera is more than capable, but I would have preferred to have prepared more for this special wedding day. Oh well, Carpe Diem!
When I got to the location, the wedding hall ended up being a long rectangular room with windows all along one side. They had set up two rows of chairs. One row was butted up against the windows, then there was a center aisle, another row, and another aisle. The room didn’t allow for much flexibility because the wedding ceremony was being held at one end and literally the entrances to the kitchen facilities were at the other end. This was going to be a challenge, shooting into the bright windows, which were going to be over exposed and my subjects would likely be under exposed.
I ended up just doing the best with the situation I found myself in and I got some good shots. Was I happy with all of them? No. But the people were so happy with the experience on their new wedding day and were so much fun to work with that I had a great time and ended up providing them with some great snapshots to preserve their wedding memories.
It was fun to see what the camera could do with just a couple of lenses and no bounce flash. For those who might be curious, I used three lumix lenses on this project: the 14-140mm, the 20mm, and the 7-14mm. If anything this was a learning experience and my first lesson was that I might want to get some additional equipment if I were to do this kind of job again. More on that in another post.
The main thing is that everyone had a blast, myself included. The local news even showed up and did a piece on the ceremony, and sure enough, there I was in the background behind the camera. It turned out to be a great day, a great opportunity and some great exposure for me. Check out all the shots (good and bad) below as well as the local news story.
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