Friday, January 4, 2008

Civil Ceremonies

This was such a good example of a civil wedding and what you should do, that I didn't. This ceremony I believed was clocked at less than 4 minutes from the time the Mayor (I believe that is who it was) first spoke until they were walking back down the isle. I knew I was in trouble right when he said, "Well, lets do this... Eamonn, do you..." I thought, well, I won't say what I thought, I just quickly tried to get from one side to other as quickly as possible.

I usually find the person that is going to do the ceremony, ask him how long he plans on taking, ask him to slow it down in order to get more than 10 shots total. If the person knows at least the bride or groom, there is usually some advice, etc. But I have found if they don't, it goes quite quick. I prefer at least 10 minutes. Again, I couldn't have been more grateful that I had Tracee with me and she got some of the family during the ceremony and some from the front while they were walking up the isle. I have had my husband with me on several civil ceremonies, and it is great to have the other angle and someone else's height advantage!

Ask when the rehearsal is. Sometimes it is the night before at a dinner and they are a little harder to go to, ( I have done them before, my husband catered the dinner for one and I was really glad I was there for that because it was a little different) but if you get the chance, it really is helpful to see what will be happening, so there are no surprises for you as the photographer. Most of the time, mine have been approx. 30 minutes before the actual ceremony. This gives me the chance to talk with the people in the line. Show them where you would like them to slow down, smile, walk a bit slower etc. Getting them to pause in the same area helps if it is inside and a flash is being used. The range is the same and the lighting is even for everyone.

Talk with the Father. Make him aware of the moment he is giving his daughter away, pause, take a moment. This is an important photo for the daughter and the father. Make sure you are watching for this. It lasts just a moment and I have missed it when somebody stood up, I was at the wrong angle, or it was so quick I didn't react fast enough. If you are using a flash for inside or back lit, make sure your flash is charged. Don't try to take 3-4 shots of the back of them walking down the isle, take one and make sure you are ready for the important shot between father and daughter.

Just a thought.

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