Wednesday, November 27, 2013

10,000+ weddings and still going..

I'm a wedding photographer.... not your run of the mill, weekend wedding with 100s of guests, maid of honors, best men etc!! No way... I'm one of those photographer adrenaline junkies who shoot the hardest weddings known to mankind!! The ONE HOUR WEDDING!!!

What is a "one hour wedding"? Hmm i guess its a wedding that lasts for one hour? Not really, but its like the couple books a 1pm wedding. the will arrive at 12:15 or so and we start shooting. the actual wedding starts at 1pm (if we are on time). Ceremony finishes at about 1:20, then we shoot formals  and rest of the inside shots. Them from 1:30 till 2pm we have to finish the rest of the outside shots and send the couple on their way..

How did I get started shooting them?
Long ago my friend needed help with his night job at a photo lab. Since I didn't do anything at nights and the pay was good, I went for it.What we printed was group shots of Japanese tourist at the Pali lookout (hundreds of them every day!!) and we also printed up wedding pictures from Japanese weddings.
All the pictures had to be done that night since they had to deliver them that same night. Back then all the group shots were shot with 6x7 film (medium format) and most of the weddings were shot 6x6 (Hasselblads most popular camera). We had to develop the film, then print them up so the photographers could make their albums to deliver same day and the group shots had to be put in the folders and delivered to the tour groups.
After a few months of doing this, I was asked if I wanted to shoot the weddings since it was getting busier. I was like wow, thats scary but I'll go for it. Sounds like fun too!!
I got a nice shiny new Hasselblad 500cm with 220 back, 80mm lens and metz 45 flash. I was taught how to use the camera, what shots to get and errr I was shoved into shooting a wedding!!

Back then you had to be a 100% perfect professional photographer to do them!! We were shooting a 20 page album with one roll of 220 film! Thats 24 shots to get 20 for the album!! We had to shoot formal couple shots 2x and group shot 2x so you could make 2 mistakes and thats it!! No closed eyes, no guest looking away, no bad exposures, no camera failures, NO mistakes!!!  Thats how you learn to really pay attention to everything. Did that way for years and years until one day, one of our photographers shot a wedding and i swear he had like 17 closed eye shots out of the 24 !! So, from then on we shot a 220 roll and a 120 roll making it 36 shots!! I felt like "its cant get any easier then this!!"

Then the gods of photography decided that 35 mm was better then medium format!! I hated the change. The Nikon I shot with was just too small and light!! I felt like I was holding a feather lol. I used an F5 with 24-105mm lens. I still used my Metz flash since I was used to manual flash. Using autofocus was strange!! Just aim and wow, your picture is in focus!!  But, no matter what they said, I still felt the big negatives just had better color, focus was way sharper and you just looked more professional holding that big old camera!! Oh well......

Move ahead a few years and oh oh, now they thing that digital is better then 35mm!!! Again I don't believe it!! I thought digital is totally ripping off the customers since the output totally sucked. Not sharp, no contrast, color was horrible.. not one thing good about it except you didnt have to develop the film anymore.. Only way to "fix" the pictures was now we had to become professional photo editors! Photoshopping all night long trying to make those ugly digital images look like they were supposed to....

Okay, thats getting a bit long so I'll end here and I'll in the future try tell you what happens on my daily grind shooting my 10,000 ++++ weddings!! Oh, about that, A few years ago I was doing taxes and I had out my old schedule books and just for fun, I wanted to see how many weddings I shot over the years. Adding them up I came out to over 10,000 weddings. Thats a lot of couples.. Always wonder how many are still married, have kids, liked my pictures etc.....

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