As a wedding photographer, it is my responsibility to deliver exceptional photos, every event, without fail. Every wedding is a ballet, telling a love story through emotion and the subtleties of light. Carrying a case full of Sigma lenses, such as the extremely versatile 24-105mm f4 Art, along with a few primes like the tack sharp 85mm f1.4 Art and the indispensable 12-24mm f4 Art wide angle lens, I can capture that love story, creating something magical. I recently had the opportunity to document the wedding of the Grammy Award winning couple Kate and Forrest O’Connor, and build a video slideshow featuring their own music.
The wedding took place at the magnificent Belhurst Castle, perched high above the shore of Seneca Lake in the Finger Lakes Region of New York. Weddings by nature involve constantly changing conditions with both lighting and setting. My lens of choice to capture a large portion of the wedding due to it’s versatility and sharpness is the Sigma 24-105mm f4 Art lens. That being said, I have several lenses in my arsenal that I use for specific purposes throughout the day.
I love shooting prime lenses for the detail shots, such as the shoes and jewelry before the ceremony and the decor at the reception. I also use them when I want to isolate a subject from the background with a shallow depth of field and beautifully soft out of focus areas of the image. The Sigma 85mm f1.4 Art lens is outstanding for this type of shot with it’s smooth bokeh and telephoto compression. The 50mm f1.4 Art and the 35mm f1.4 Art are equally as impressive while respectively increasing the field of view.
As much as I like the compression effect a telephoto lens brings, I’m a huge wide angle lens fan. While I do pull out the wide angle primes for the depth of field effects mentioned above, the wide angle I reach for the most is the 12-24mm f4 Art lens for it’s versatility. I love using wide angle on a harsh sunny day, balancing the light with a strong off camera flash. The dramatic look of the wide angle paired with the dramatic strong lighting is an important element of my wedding style. When moving around a lot at a wedding, I love the ability to shift between 12mm’s and 24mm’s to get the framing I want with the flick of a wrist.
Several other lenses help round out my tool kit with the Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 EX OS HSM playing an important role during the ceremony and the Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4 Contemporary mounted to a small crop sensor body fulfilling the role of a small macro lens for close up details of the rings and jewelry and as a second all-around lens capable of low light shooting.
Every wedding is unique, allowing the personalities of the couple to shine. Kate and Forrest’s wedding was just that with their musical talents a big part of their day complete with a mini concert during the reception for their friends and family. It was a truly magical day as seen in this finished slide show of their wedding highlights set to their own song from the O’Connor Family Band.
Creating the Animoto Slide Show
One of my primary ways of advertising is word of mouth. We used to run a slide show of about 75-100 photos at the wedding that we would create during dinner using Lightroom to sort, edit and run the slide show on a laptop set on a cocktail table. The word of mouth generated by having the images available at the reception was fantastic. Once we started using Animoto, the quality of our slide shows was so much better that I began doing them post-wedding for the bride and groom as well as our studio to share on social media. The different template styles available through Animoto make creating the slide shows effortless to match the mood of the wedding. The timing of the slide transitions is automatic with a simple click of the mouse to enable the pace of the transitions to match the number of photos and length of the song. Although Animoto has a huge selection of royalty free music to choose from, I was very fortunate to be able to use one of the O’Connor songs to tie everything together to make a beautiful and personal slide show.