The premise of this post was to discuss shooting (and editing, and delivering, etc) my first wedding! BUT – this week turned out to be one of my busiest and most stressful weeks in a while, both with school, and photography. I had two exams, a presentation, coaching, and I was trying to fit in several workouts, studying, and get enough sleep to not die. So I thought I’d throw in a whole bunch of other shots from the past eight days, and write about what was going on. Enjoy!

So, several months ago, I was contacted by a friend/coworker of my father’s, and asked about shooting his wedding. I tentatively said yes, and over the ensuing period of time, we touched base via email, text, and phone a couple times, and finally, the day arrived, I showed up, and thought the wedding shoot actually went pretty well!

Long story short, I enjoyed it. Wedding photography has so many different and varied aspects, that pull from a variety of places and thought processes, that I immediately could see why so many photographers are so enamored with it. (It also helps that it is probably the most lucrative of all the photographic pursuits and businesses). During the ceremony, things might not be moving at a full-ahead sprint like in sports, but there is only take, so you still have to make sure your focus is tack sharp and you capture the scene. Another big thing that I thought about was flash: while yes, of course you could shoot anything without flash, but there is such an indescribable feeling that a properly-implemented flash can add in to images, that from what I understand, most reputable and truly professional wedding photographers will use it. But unlike in sports and photojournalism, wedding photographers are also expected to be highly creative and inventive, and not just shoot the typically bright, white, wedding portrait.

As with most times when I pull out my camera for a photo shoot, I was slightly unsure of where to start and what to shoot, so I started out with with some detail shots, and pushed them to black and white in Adobe Lightroom.

21948965584_134d74bea9_k 22384883069_2153b9c77f_k 21948968154_55e82666fc_k

The wedding itself was a fairly small, backyard deal, which was a great, lower-pressure introduction to wedding photography for me. The ceremony took less than ten minutes, and was a beautiful, heart-felt ordeal. These three shots are a great example of how things happen quickly during a wedding ceremony, and you don’t want to miss it! The first one is right after the groom put the wedding ring on her finger, and she briefly raised up her hand, and I was able to catch the new ring. The kiss, is, well, the kiss, and doesn’t happen twice. Walking down the aisle is a test of focus abilities, although, as primarily a sports photographer, I didn’t have too much of a problem here.

21949008374_f5918dc752_k 22582962771_4121d3505a_k 22383793260_687dd7dcbc_k

Here are just a few examples of some more creative shots – like I said, unlike sports photography, wedding photography pulls from quite a few different areas, and creativity is almost a prerequisite.


And then, of course, you’re expected to both shoot, and edit all the portraits that the family wants. While shooting the portraits, I had the unexpected and rather bumming experience of my 80-200 f/2.8 locking up on me, so I had to set it aside and shoot everything with the 35mm f/1.8. Luckily though, I was able to fiddle with it later, and I brought it back to life. But what else was I to do? I couldn’t hold up the wedding and play with it during the portraits, so I tried to play it as cooly and professionally as possible and just role with it. I also think it’s important to note that normally I don’t edit too heavily. I tweak exposure, contrast, saturation, sharpness, crop, etc. But I do know that it is pretty much expected to smooth faces, and edit blemishes in wedding photos, so I went through the portraits and ceremony shots, and smoothed most of the women’s faces, and removed any obvious blemishes from everyone’s faces.

22558215612_bff2c6253b_k 22545834176_f3ae68f429_k

Portraits, details, AND creativity? A situation that I’m not too familiar with, but I think I made the most of it.

22583042151_794c3f205c_k 22383872730_bdc9e75710_k

More detail shots…


After the groom changed clothes…with their cake!


Landscape…well, more like BIG picture shots.


Candid portraits of the family…


Detail food shots…


Here is one that I was really proud of…they had a picture frame that was strung up between the trees, and was wrapped in lights. Everyone who was there was just taking pictures in it with their phones, but I had the idea to separate the subjects from the frame, and zoom in to 200mm and f/2.8 to get the frame to blow out and have a “fairy lights” effect. I was VERY pleased with the result.


This was the only shot I missed. The couple had said they weren’t going to feed each other, but eventually the bridesmaids convinced them to do it; I got the groom feeding the bride, but I thought they were done, and so I turned away and missed her feeding him, and had to ask them to do it one more time…but oh well, that was the only thing I missed. The rest of the evening I was SPOT. ON.


These last two were thrown in here just to demonstrate the importance of flash…

21950746373_01c1f6bcf5_k 22558130172_76fec9f09a_k

Then, Monday, here’s a photo that I didn’t take, but shows you how goofy I can be…I was stuck at home coaching because I couldn’t travel with the team due to a school presentation during the meet/travel time.


From Monday through Thursday, my week was relatively photo-free (except for editing the wedding photos).


Thursday I got the FSU Newspaper with one of my shots of the British Diving Team, AND the article I wrote…#DoubleThreat


Friday, I got to shoot the FSU Circus’s last Halloween show. They were VERY professional and courteous. I was originally supposed to shoot Thursday Night, but through some communication error between myself and the FSView, or between the FSView and the Circus, or what. But when I showed up to shoot, they didn’t have any photo passes left. It ended up being a good thing as I had a ton of studying and work I needed to do prior to an exam on Friday. The Circus was very kind though, and asked if I could come back the next day at one of their three show times. I was thrilled to come back Friday night, and not only shoot, but watch the circus, which was something that I hadn’t seen in YEARS!

The ringmaster (Beetlejuice?) introduces the circus while looking over some “dead” performers.



22693731071_fa6bde9369_k 22668991112_ffeb78d1de_k 22668993282_b80bad2150_k 22682551055_af0a1280d5_k

I liked this – intentionally slowed down the shutter speed to show motion.

22059786144_b327951378_k 22656505926_28e7018bb9_k

Damn. #muscles

22494583750_b553b69b65_k 22669003822_e77aacb1ab_k 22693752361_d2e671033d_k 22494640070_dc6898f7f0_k

The only issue I had to start, was I forgot to change the metering mode to “spot,” but after that, my ISO calmed down and everything went smoothly. The student performers were INCREDIBLE, and even though the circus show was pretty short (40>), it was very pleasant and fun.

Halloween morning, I had coaching, but we also had a party! Kids brought in decorated swim caps to be judged, and we served pancakes, and just in general, had fun! Lots of thanks to the parents who helped set it up!


22061546073_5cf0a028be_k 22494757200_d431e91f68_k 22693880591_a5bfb3e305_k 22682604885_97631ec95c_k


Calculus is scary……………………




As soon as I got home from coaching, I had the brilliant idea of comparing different kid’s pancakes…

22693785201_a7f31400ca_k 22693774661_525d49a788_k 22693835001_331dc56077_k


22494716720_75d06796bd_k 22682652545_529f967d6a_k 22669117212_108946d353_k 22682681455_20644a40b1_k


I also swung by our downtown market area to see a local animal refuge’s “Owl-O-Ween…”

22656438196_71cc96da14_k 22494507200_44897d1e58_k 22682440995_f12a1fc73a_k 22059674154_549f500291_k

And then…later Saturday, Halloween afternoon, I got the opportunity to shoot high school volleyball for the local paper – one of the sportswriters asked me to come shoot because the other photogs were occupied. It was the first time I had ever shot volleyball, and so the images were not exemplary, but I thought the were reasonable. I was also playing around with some ISO settings and post-processing editing.

22061310153_758a165f11_k 22668912932_2b8909b77d_k 22061313463_fd4442f5ac_k

These shots had some cool symmetry, and I did some creative editing, they ended up being my favorite shots of the day.

22656465896_50cb2d5090_k 22059697754_58608d9c40_k

And finally, the shot that got picked, and it in the paper…



Honestly, shooting the volleyball game made me feel a little unprofessional. I struggled to get the pictures downloaded and edited at the speed the writer wanted. But I did get my shot in the paper, and I know how/where I can improve my editing/upload speed, and I will work on it.

Finally! Last shoot of the week…(eight days…). Soccer! Shooting for the university. Day game, meant a lot of technically superior images, lots of cropping opportunities, but not necessarily a lot of “wow” shots. Out of 70+ images (from 600+) that I kept, here are my personal favorites.

It was Senior Day!!


Lots of parents and families…oopsies I just realized that I chopped off an arm in this edit. Oh well, good thing I have a RAW file to go back and re-edit. I’m almost 100% sure that I didn’t cut it off in the original.


I liked the background in this one…really tight crop – you can see I lost a lot of resolution.

22074584523_b1b58a5be2_k 22669771036_b9b4f658df_k

She didn’t play for some reason…but it’s nice to know that she was comfy.


Perfect timing. Not an inspiring image, but foot TOUCHING the ball. BAM.


Was THRILLED with this shot. The two or three other photographers next to me here were all shooting 200mm+ long glass, or with teleconverters. I had to zoom all the way out to 80mm here, but I got the shot and none of them did!!


Roundhouse kick! Again, another killer crop, lost some resolution, but not too much. One of the most unique images of the day.


Celebration shots are great, especially with emotion! And it’s always best when they face me versus other photographers…
😉 It is another heavy crop – but this one kept pretty good resolution.


And sooooo…final image of the day, and of the post! Artsy-fartsy BW sports image.


Hope y’all enjoyed this! Sorry for any incongruities, spelling errors, nonsensical sentences, etc. I banged this out around some studying, and late in the evening. But really, it’s all about the pictures. They look so much better on the blog than on Facebook, and make so much more sense with some captions in this linear format than smashing them all into one “catching up” album on the infamous “F B.”

Have a great week, and happy November!

Best regards, and I really hope you enjoyed it all!


Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s