Oonagh & Richard

This is a wedding which I’ve been thinking about all year. December 28th is usually dark and cold, and this year was no exception to say the least. (I felt bad for all of the Australians who were swapping their summer beaches for our dirty snow banks and hope they had some great ski time in after the wedding!) Brix is a picturesque location to be sure, but dimly lit and covered with a black ceiling. After meeting Oonagh and Richard, however, I knew I wanted to shoot it even more than I wanted to keep ducking artificial lighting. This Wedding is certainly my first shot entirely with artificial light! I used hotel lamps, on camera flash, off camera flash, hot lights with and without umbrellas, a massive strobe with a massive umbrella, and the miniscule ambient light from chandeliers on a dimmer which could only be used with the new 5D mark II. Some of the ceremony shots were done at ISO 6400 at F 1.2 at a 25th of a second which I hardly believe myself. Setting up and moving the lights took extra time and limited the ‘flow’ of the portrait shoot somewhat from what I’m used to, but Oonagh and Richard told me they weren’t noticing. The five foot umbrella with the big brand new flash head caught the wind and went crashing down with its tall stand on the street, but fortunately the umbrella was so big and the rig landed in such a way that it was more of a bounce than a crash. I think I’ll cut the shop talk here and comment on the wedding itself between the photos.

This is one of my favourite shots ever. Oonagh’s mum seeing her for the first time in her dress near some lamp light in the Hotel Vancouver.

Getting the chuppah assembled and ready to move down the corridor.

The courtyard at Brix is a beautiful spot for a ceremony.

Oonagh and Richard had a Jewish ceremony which includes the tradition of the bride walking around the groom seven times. I’m surprised by the minimal motion blur considering my shutter speed!

I don’t usually post family formals, but I’m doing so because *this* was the shot I was stressing about all year: Lighting a big group head to toe outside in near total darkness. It’s so easy though! Just a huge light and huge umbrella. Shooting Vancouver summer weddings I’m used to the light lingering till after 10 pm, so I’ve never had to face this situation before now.

As soon as we finished our portrait session the bride and groom re-entered the restaurant and the hora commenced! Talk about high risk.

This isn’t a great photo, but it is the aftermath of Richard’s attempt at body surfing the crowd. Man down!

Peter Fong of Ganache Patisserie made the cake. That man is so cool. This is the moment I had to fully commit to my no sugar deal.

show hide 7 comments

lauren c. – openField. LOVE that b&w tight shot of just their eyes…love it as in, i’d totally hang that in my house!! : )

kristel. seriously, this is so ridiculously good. you’re the best. that shot that lauren mentioned…. ahhhhh, it kills me, it’s so beautiful!!

Jenn Best These are great! I have a late wedding tommorow so thanks for the inspiration – crazy 4:00 darkness 🙁

Jessie Ah, winter in the northern hemisphere…For all your fretting over the lack of natural lighting, Melia, you did a wonderful job. It has some sort of flashing, old Hollywood appeal. And damn, that cake looks delicious. You must have some willpower not to have just had a wee nibble…

Lorena Such amazing shots with the lighting conditions you had to work with!! Your clients were so lucky to have you.

Sarah Oh my – her eyes are simply stunning! Beautiful.

Gina Absolutely LOVE these! Your style is amazing and so unique. Well done!