Coming back home has been an adjustment. I’ve gone from shooting hundreds of photos every day in beautiful locations back to the usual routine. There’s so much that I miss about Italy. The food. The landscape. The architecture. The food. After all that, I wasn’t sure how I’d do switching gears back into weddings.
Once I started shooting though, I felt right at home. This one was a small affair with a relaxed couple at my favorite San Diego location, Rancho Valencia. The bride didn’t want any getting ready photos so I had a drink with Tom, the groom, at the bar and shot some portraits.
My wife doesn’t like this photo. I think there’s something unique and a little dramatic to it. What do you think?
The officiant was also the groom’s stepfather.
Mindy, the bride, was running late due to hair issues. I went over to her hotel suite to check on things. She was in her bra so she asked me not to come in. I told her, “It’s okay, I’m gay.” She was okay with that so in I went.
Later, the catering manager, a friend of mine, let me know that she asked her, “Did you know that John is gay?” She laughed and let her know that I wasn’t serious. Whatever it takes to get the shot! (Not that there’s anything wrong with being gay.)
Shot the wedding with three lenses. I used to bring ten or more with all kinds of gear in the biggest bag that Tamrac makes. Nowadays, I like just keeping it all simple when I can.
In Italy, I really worked the off-camera flash using my little Speedlite. I’m used to using my big power packs with a variety of modifiers so using an itty-bitty flash was a bit of a departure. Still, the practice paid off. I shot this wedding on my own so I corralled a guest and had him hold my light.
The other thing I did in Italy was get to know Lightroom. Love that program. Spent a month perfecting my presets. Lightroom is finicky with presets - they all react differently based on the photo. So I created presets for specific lighting and subject matter. Works great; haven’t opened Photoshop in weeks.
With no one to hold the flash, I stuck it on a table. You can see it on the right.
It’s been awhile since I’ve shot a wedding. This one helped me to remember how much fun they can be.