The Big Day

I am one day away from my first wedding shoot. Saturday is the day. The anxiety dreams have begun in which I’ve already filled my memory cards, have forgotten my tripod and am alarmed when the wedding ceremony begins in the swimming pool.

But in reality, I think I’m ready. I rented a lovely 85mm prime lens and have been practicing with that and with my flash. I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I simply don’t have time to master everything I would like to master in terms of technical skills before the wedding date. So I’m turning my thoughts toward the things I do well.

Test shot with the 85mm rental lens

Again, I’m grateful that I have been learning and applying editing techniques in Photoshop. I would certainly prefer to take photos correctly the first time around, but I’m glad I have such a powerful editing tool to help in case I don’t capture exactly what I’m after.

Here’s what I’m taking:

  • Nikon D5000. It doesn’t have a full-frame sensor, but it’s what I’ve got. I’m comfortable with its controls.
  • 24-70mm f/2.8 lens. This lens allows me some versatility and range, but it is heavy, so I’ll need to use it in bright conditions with fast shutter speeds or with something to stabilize it.
  • 85mm f/1.4. This is the rental lens and probably what I’ll use during the ceremony and for the posed shots. It’s really great for portraits, does well in low light and gives lovely Bokeh or blurred/out of focus areas to the image. The closer focal range will allow me to be further away from the ceremony and still get some nice, close shots.
  • 35mm f/1.8. I’m taking this because I have it, so mostly it will be a backup lens, but it is a really sweet little lens that I use a lot for food photography. It is also great in low light, so it might come in handy for things like shots of the wedding cake or other food shots.
  • 18-55mm f/3.5 and 50-200mm f/4-5.6. These are my kit lenses. I’m taking them as backup and hope not to need them, but they’re there if I do.
  • Two flashes: one manual and one with TTL metering capabilities
  • A whole bunch of AA batteries
  • A whole bunch of memory cards
  • Tripod
  • Stepstool
  • White foam core for bouncing light if necessary
  • Two camera batteries and charger
  • An “assistant.” Basically, my lovely spouse is going to follow me around, hold stuff, and keep an eye out for sweet moments I might be missing if I’m focused on something else.
  • A list I found online of “not to miss” wedding shots

A lot of what I’m packing I might end up not using, but I don’t want to be caught without something I need, and I absolutely don’t want any dead batteries or lack of memory storage.

another 85mm test shot

All that’s left at this point is to pack up the car and get there, then do what I do: take pictures. I’m excited. I’m nervous. I’m thrilled. A big day for the bride and groom. A big day for me too. It will be beautiful, I’m sure.

Here I go!

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