On Saturday I was in attendance at my niece Storm's wedding to Luca, which was held at a lovely riverside lawn venue in the Natal Midlands. The weather was perfect, the bride was beautiful and everything went off without a hitch.
I wasn't the photographer for this gig. Everyone in my family knows that I am not a wedding photographer, but I will take casual photos if they ask me. The thing with me and weddings is that I actually find the whole process too stilted and contrived, especially modern wedding photography, so while I am happy to take photos on the day, just don't ask me to engineer these Vogue styled fashion photographs. I don't have that in my repertoire and have no plans of doing so. Snapshots and reportage of the event? No problem. I'm so used to doing that at conferences that it comes quite naturally to me.
So, Olympus have kindly loaned me a bunch of equipment to use on my first bush workshop which is happening this coming weekend (24-26 April). Included in this bunch of gear is the EM-5 Mk II and the new 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO. I was asked by my sister-in-law if I could do a video of Storm coming down the terrace on her horse because they didn't have anybody to do an official video. I said, sure, no problem. I can do that. I also volunteered to film the ceremony by putting the EM-5 on a tripod. I used the 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO as the lens on that body and with a couple of other EM-1 bodies did some stills while the video was taking care of itself.
On the one E-M1 I had the new 40-150/2.8 PRO. This is a really, really, really terrific lens for wedding photography. It's got the great image quality, the reach, proximity focus, you name it. I took quite a few shots with it and can't find fault with this lens in any way. The only thing I could possibly nit-pick about is that the out of focus areas are not as smooth as I would like. But that is not to say that they are bad, they're not. I have used telezooms from Nikon and Canon with similar bokeh, so I guess it's just inherent to a complicated lens design. The best thing about this lens is that it's lightweight and yet it offers so much versatility. You can take off the hood and the tripod mount and it looks not much bigger than a Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8, yet it gives you an equivalent 80-300mm f/2.8 zoom range. And it can focus at under 1 meter. Ridiculously amazing lens that is indispensable to any photographer shooting with micro four thirds.
I have to state that this was probably the worst possible lighting for an outdoor wedding. It was bright and sunny and it took place at 11am, plus most of the time I had the sun behind the subject. Our sun is slowly moving northwards as we press on into winter here in South Africa, but it's still quite intense, so when people are facing towards it they are going to be squinting. Ideally I should have used some fill flash, but because I was not the official photographer I just did my own thing and hoped for the best. Judging by the number of likes I got on Facebook from friends and relatives I think I did OK. Will I consider doing wedding photography as a business? I don't think so, but if I owned this kind of gear I certainly wouldn't have any problems doing it.
Here are a few shots from the day. Click to view larger version.
The beautiful bride!
Tearful father of the bride.
Exchanging of the rings (I should have been a bit more centre-on for this shot but I wanted to get Storm's facial expression).
Signing the register.
The best men (Luca's brothers - that bow tie in the beard was a hoot!).
My son playing the guitar for the hymn they sung.
The all important kiss! They did this only after signing the register, which I found a little odd.
Returning from the "official"photoshoot.
Celebrating with cousins!
My sons getting in on the celebrating! OK, this last one was with the 12-40/2.8 PRO which is just as good as the bigger brother. A perfect combo for the wedding photographer.
Edited by DDFZ