Master Class
What Does A Wedding Photographer Do On A European Vacation? Take Wedding Photos Of Course! Page 2

Couple And Group Portraits
From the church everyone drove a short distance to the home of one of the relatives where refreshments were served in the back yard. That gave me my first opportunity to practice a little of my French, which I hadn't spoken in years. I found that the groom spoke fluent English. That certainly made communication much easier for me.

Once there, I decided to see what I could accomplish in the way of creating portraits similar to the way I do it back home. Having just toured England and Ireland the two weeks before the wedding I heard from a number of the photographers why it was impossible to create my type of portraits at a European wedding. I was determined to at least give it a try. What I found out, of course, was that there was no problem at all.

I remembered that many of the photographers had told me about the huge hats that the brides were wearing, making it impossible to bring heads together. I also found that to be no problem at all. For this close-up of the bride and groom I simply sat the groom on the arm of a lawn chair and brought the bride over to him, her hat going behind him.

Once I saw that the bride and groom were happily cooperating with me, I started creating portraits with their parents, too. I posed the bride's parents looking at her, as I always did at home. After this first picture (when I found that I could easily communicate with everyone) I corrected the picture by turning the bride's body more toward the camera. I wanted to avoid photographing directly into her bare shoulder. Unfortunately, she closed her eyes for that picture, so I'm using the first exposure of this setup.

I then went ahead to photograph the bride with each of her parents, as well as portraits of them individually and together. Everyone was posed in the shade with open light to my left being the main light.

Infrared, Too
To add a little variety to the photographs I made a few infrared pictures of the bride and the bride and groom together. They, of course, flipped out when viewing the images on the back of my camera. I remembered back in the '70s when I first introduced color photography to the European wedding industry. Now, here we were 30 years later reintroducing black and white in the form of my Canon EOS 60D converted to do infrared pictures (www.irdigital.net).

And Adieu!
When I began walking back to our car I looked at the front of the building where the civil ceremony had taken place. What a great place for a final group picture, I thought. Could it be arranged? Why not? No harm in trying.

Everyone loved posing for us and loved waving "goodbye" to us. Ordinarily, I would have cropped this picture, too, to a long, horizontal panoramic spread, but the building, itself, was just too good to leave out!

It was a fantastic day for all of us. In particular, I loved the experience because it gave me a chance to practice my French. It was kinda difficult to narrow down all my images to just these few, but our editors just won't allow me to publish an entire wedding album in the magazine. At least, I had the fun of sharing some of them with you here.

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