The Invited Guest
Photographing a wedding as a guest unobtrusively with a DSLR is not an easy task. My Nephew Joel and his lovely Bride Joanne had their wedding ceremony aboard a 115 foot luxury yacht, the Yankee Lady, cruising the Toronto Harbour this past weekend. While the Yankee Lady is a large 3 level yacht, there still is not a whole lot of room to wander around willy-nilly with a DSLR and a massive 70-200/2.8 lens and expect to not be thrown overboard by the first guest whose head you whack with it!
I was actually not planning on bringing the Nikon D300s DSLR at all that day but was instead going to take snapshots with my Blackberry. But, leaving home I made the executive decision to bring it along albeit with only a small Nikkor 50mm 1.8 prime lens so as not to take up too much real estate.
I chose the the 50mm 18 Prime Lens for it's small size and the excellent low light capabilities of its wide aperture because over half of the wedding reception would take place after dark and I did not want to be using my speedlight.
Basic Guest with a DSLR rules
Most rules for being a guest with a DSLR are pretty much common sense so this is just a reminder checklist.
I brought my Nikon D300s along with the tiny Nikkor 50mm 1.8 lens only and left everything else at home. No speedlight, no tripod/monopod, no extra lens, no camera bag!
I got most of my family portrait shots out of the way before boarding so that I would not have to push guests out of the way for premium location shots aboard the yacht. Chances are pretty good that family portraits after the wedding reception, complete with with free bar, would not be as good either!
Once the Wedding Ceremony itself begins push even your pop-up flash down so that the sudden bright light of flash photography does not throw the Wedding Party off of their game during their moments of High Stress!
The Number One Rule for taking your own images at any time and at any wedding is to stay out of the way of the Professional Wedding Photographer! I cannot state this more adamantly! He/She is there at great cost to whomever is paying for them to get the absolute best images of the ceremony so he trumps your need to 'Get the Shot'! Remember that the Wedding Party and especially the Bride and Groom's memories are more important than yours. I had a few instances where the Wedding Photographer got in my way and actually stepped on my toe once and I just got out of his way and thought "great, I was actually in the best spot for that shot...Kudos self!"
Do bring an extra memory card and battery along with a designated driver to get you home safely!
My Images from the J&J Wedding Ceremony and Reception.
Images of Toronto Harbour and the Skyline
I forgot to remove my UV Filter from my lens, that explains the crappy reflections in the sky...
The Winner of the My Memories Suite V2 is....
The winner of the My Memories Suite V2 Software package, after much deliberation of the Gary Paakkonen Photography Team (Me and Wifey) and a lot of random throwing of darts at a list of names we have Steve Mattero!
Big hearty congratulations to you Steve and I will get the download link to you shortly. I know you will enjoy the My Memories Suite V2 as much as we do!
For everyone else who did not win I do have a coupon code (STMMMS11437) at the My Memories Website which will give you $10.00USD off of the price of the My Memories Suite V2 Digital Scrapbooking and Photobook software. Along with the $10.00 USD the coupon code also entitles you to $10.00 USD off of the price of anything in their Online Store.
The code is only good in the US and Canada.
And finally, Random Puppy Shot
It's Buddy as a puppy shot with my Minolta Maxxum 450si, B&W Ilford film