Two Weddings in Two Days
Coventry Wedding Photographer
I had a busy yet very enjoyable weekend. Saturday I travelled south for Claire and Chris’s wedding at Bartholomew Barn, Sussex. The old barn is a beautiful wedding venue especially if you want a rustic look or vintage style wedding. Claire is my cousin but I was the only official photographer on the day. Sometimes family weddings can be more stressful so I had mixed emotions beforehand. I was excited and eager to get started (like every wedding!) and at the same time a little anxious at my extended family seeing me in action! For a wedding I have to act out of character to get the most from the couple and wedding guests. My natural style is unobtrusive candid documentary style wedding photography but for group photos I need to be more assertive and vocal to get the best images. The last time I had done a family wedding I was new to wedding photography so really struggled and it took a lot out of me. This time though I didn’t really notice or even remember that people were looking at me and just got on with the job as I would for any wedding. I think once you get in the zone you are so focused you forget what is around you. As I now work with people for much of my photography I find it easy to direct poses, whether models or a bride and groom.
Sunday’s wedding was closer to home in Coventry and I was shooting as a freelance photographer for an Asian wedding photography / videography team. I was the main photographer but had the benefit of a second shooter covering different angles. I was shooting for them so shot per their directions to get the photos they wanted for their clients. I can of course still get creative and put my twist on things but it meant we always had everything covered working as a team. Sunday was a Sikh pre-Wedding ceremony yet it lasted 12 hours and followed a similar theme to the standard wedding day (on the whole) hence the blog post title. We started at the house for family photos, then onto the Sikh temple and then spent the rest of the day at the Marriott Forest of Arden Hotel and Country Club wedding venue, Coventry. There was no expense spared and it was crazy to think that the actual wedding is still to come!
Two Weddings in Two Days, Two Camera Systems and Two Photography Styles
Here is a quick summary of gear used each day
Saturday – Leica Wedding Photography (Manual focus wedding photography)
One camera used – Leica M9
Voigtlander Nokton 35mm f1.2 ASPH ii – 75%
Leica Noctilux 50mm f1.0 (1981) – 12%
Leica Summilux ASPH 50mm f1.4 – 7%
Leica Summicron 90mm f2 (1973) – 5%
Zeiss Biogon 21mm f2.8 – 1%
Sunday – Nikon Wedding Photography
One camera used – Nikon D800
Nikkor 35-70/f2.8D AF – 40%
Nikkor 50mmf1.4D AF – 30%
Nikkor 200mm f2 AI-s – 30%
Saturday was my first wedding to date where I only used one Leica camera all day. For previous Leica weddings I used the Nikon D800 either side by side the Leica or for certain purposes such as longer focal lengths or very low light. One of my best weddings was when I got split up from my camera bag so I used the Leica M9 and a 35mm lens for nearly the entire day. With that in mind I used a similar setup yet changed lenses at certain points of the day depending on need. I used the Summilux ASPH for group photos where I had space to do so, I used the 90mm for the wedding speeches, 21mm for a few wide shots including first dance photos to show the wedding guests and then the Leica Noctilux f1 when available light levels fell and also for some creative detail shots. I was happy with my setup and I will use this for future white weddings.
Sunday. I had planned to use the Leica on the Sunday also but I woke up with a very sore hand after wielding the heavy Leica Noctilux on the M9 for almost 14hrs on Saturday. I always favour the Leica vs. Nikon but sometimes it is just easier to use DSLR for wedding photography. The high ISO capacity and autofocus lens make life so much easier in dark venues. Also when shooting as a freelance photographer as part of a team the larger 36mp RAW files are better for editing and match closer to other DSLR images. (Leica images have that certain Leica look which people often describe as more grainy or film like). Sikh weddings often have very large numbers of guests compared to English weddings so the rooms tend to be much bigger to cater for everyone, whether at the Sikh temple or at the wedding venue. I find the 200mm f2 lens perfect for this environment where I cannot always get as close as I would like to with my subjects. The 200mm focal length is a big contrast to the 35mm lens I normally use for white weddings! Using a Leica camera for much of my photography, I sometimes forget quite how amazing the big heavy Nikkor 200mm f2 lens is. It is really easy to shoot with at f2 and gives stunningly sharp subjects yet super creamy bokeh. That said, habits die hard and once we were at the hotel I changed to a 50mm f1.4 and got closer to my subjects as I would with the Leica. When I think how expensive Leica lenses are the Nikkor 50f1.4D offers staggering beautiful images at such an affordable price. I was using it for both macro detail shots and portraits.
The Leica cameras really suit my style for my own wedding clients and especially for smaller white weddings. That said, the Nikkor D800 DSLR still proved itself as a fantastic go to camera for Indian weddings and for use as a wedding freelance photographer when shooting for others. I actually really enjoyed the ease of using the D800 again, so much so that I might get another lens for it! I want a small compact Nikkor 28mm to match my 50mm prime. I have larger 24f1.4, 35f1.4G, 85f1.4D for sale if anyone want them.
MatthewOsbornePhotography – Coventry Wedding Photographer