This wedding, from my perspective, was amazing. I'm pretty sure Callie and Nathan probably had a good day (possibly maybe), but that is their own story to tell. My story involves me taking a lot of deep breaths and realizing that all the issues I came across were not really issues, but opportunities (as much as that sounds like a cutesy inspirational graphic you'd find on Pinterest).
Problem: I may have had a small panic attack when confronted with this lighting at the beginning of the ceremony.
Really? There's a tree right in front of the bride filtering the setting sun? Of course there is.
Non-Problem: It's an unusual situation, which means the pressure's on and it's time to shine. These pictures all in all came out even better than I hoped they would. Then the sun soon set, and the majority of the ceremony was evenly lit by the clear, darkening sky.
There was no aisle to shoot down, since it was at a slant and the tree up front blocked my view.
Non-Problem: Well, so what? There's some interesting foreground activity and a sense of depth. I like it. It probably also helped that I don't mind getting nature in my hair.
Problem: Since the sun, as previously mentioned, set during the ceremony (which was awesome) we didn't have a whole lot of light for after-ceremony portraits (not as awesome). Autofocusing was hard, manual focusing was hard, MY LIFE IS A STRUGGLE
Non-Problem: Some pretty awesome silhouette shots happened. Also walking through a field in the dark with a fun group of people was an excellent experience.
Problem: The band was playing outside where I had nothing to bounce flash off of. I was really nervous about how this lighting setup was going to work.
Non-Problem: Luckily I was familiar with the venue and knew I would need to prepare for this issue. I bought a nice diffuser for my on-camera flash unit and some other things and made sure I knew my stuff when it came to the off-camera flash setup.
Problem: I very badly wanted to get a shot of this group of people standing under the stars. Oh man, it was going to be the most epic thing ever and I was so excited about it. So I put way too much pressure on myself to deliver a very specific image I had in my mind. However.... due to things and stuff (lack of tripod, flash transmitter mysteriously malfunctioning, and being in a place that's dark for Maryland but still Maryland), I was unable to produce that image.
Non-Problem: I still produced something pretty awesome. Like, I'm satisfied. I can't wait for the next time I get to try this. Also, it could have been cloudy, so I feel lucky there.
Why share this in a blog post? I don't really know. Wedding photographers seem to have license to write whatever they want on their blogs. We try to be relatable, open books, so that you feel comfortable hiring us and having us spending a lot of time with you on a really big important day.
I do know that it feels important to share how amazing this wedding was to me. Callie and Nathan are just... a preposterously good couple and I couldn't be happier for them. For me, somehow, I feel like I've turned a corner in my career. I loved being outside, the rustic atmosphere, being surrounded by good people, the beautiful, simple, natural details, and through the obstacles, I turned out photos that I am proud of.
I felt more clearly than ever like I was doing exactly what I was supposed to be doing.