I sure hope it rains on your wedding day!

Umbrella Clare and I used to joke with our clients (somewhat seriously) that if they hired us, they'd have good weather on their wedding day. And, after over 20 years of photographing weddings, we only really had one that was seriously altered because of rain. Good luck? Maybe. Either way, we would always plan for any kind of weather and began storing fun colored umbrellas in our trunk to bring to every event. Umbrella Soon we found that the umbrellas could be great props even if it didn't rain! We stashed enough for an entire wedding party and did some really fun images with the rainbow of coverings. They are also great sun shades to keep your subjects cool when photographing in full sun, and they can be great diffusion for the sun so your portraits don't endure such harsh lighting. If you use a brightly colored umbrella for diffusion, Umbrella just pay attention to the color cast it may impart and either compensate with your white balance or use it for effect. Having a prop to hold generally makes people more comfortable in front of the camera, so umbrellas tend to loosen up the poses and help our brides relax. You may not want to use them at every wedding, but keeping a few in your car gives you options and keeps you prepared for anything. Let it rain!

Highlights from Alli & Danny's wedding

Here are the photos to go with the time lapse and photo booth images. Alli & Danny were so fun, quirky, and absolutely adorable that it made my job a real treat. We had quite a crew this day. My wife Clare, and I, an intern, and my bud Ben Edwards. He took video using the Nikon D90 which will be used for a "The Wedding: Start to Finish" DVD we'll be putting together soon. It will cover everthing we do at weddings, from the client meeting, to the equipment, day of the shoot, to the post production, and on through the client viewing and sales process. Look for it this summer.

We'll also be integrating the video into a presentation for our client - and I'll share how we merge stills and videos effectively - and efficiently.

Click on the image below to view a flash gallery of "appetizers". We present this to the bride and groom a few days after the event. BTW, the "cigarettes" in the photos by the bookstore are candy cigarettes, not real :-) All part of the fun!

Click the image to see the full gallery

Wedding Photo Booth

At Alli's wedding, they wanted a photo booth to take fun pics of the guests. She agreed to bring some background fabric, and I agreed to do the rest. I gave my friend Jules Bianchi a call, since she's been setting up her "Joy Cam" at weddings - which is her version of a photo booth - to see if she had any tips. Jules always posts fun shots from her Joy Cam on her blog. Jules usually sets her lighting up with an off-camera flash for directional lighting from the side - which creates nice, crisp shadows. This lighting really looks nice, but takes some thought to ensure it looks right on wildy moving subjects and multiple people. She's good at that, but I needed something more mindless :-)

I decided to use my ring-flash for a look that more mimics a traditional photo booth. The ring flash is used for fashion a lot as a beauty light. It creates this really cool soft outlining shadow around the subject that separates them from the background. Because it's used directly around the lens, you don't have to worry about multiple subjects casting shadows on each other. Here's the light I use, it's made by Alien Bees (White Lightning). The images were processed straight from Lightroom, using my *Soft Defaults preset and a little vignette.

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