The first dance between a man and wife is a very touching moment indeed to document. It is a time of intense intimacy played out in a public setting, which always evokes a lot of emotion between the newlyweds. It is at times like these that the style of the photographer comes to the forefront and dictates a lot about how the bride and groom (and their guests) will remember their wedding day. Some photographers choose to get very close to the bride and groom with on-camera flash going off every few seconds even going so far as to stop the dance to have the bride and groom stop to look down the lens with a cheesy grin - I have seen this happen multiple times. Others, like myself, choose to give the couple space and work with their natural movement and interaction to get the sort of pictures that convey the real emotion of the moment.
This photograph was taken last November at a wedding at the Brier Creek Country Club here in Raleigh, North Carolina. In order to keep the integrity of the moment by using a longer lens with off-camera flash triggered from my camera. The effect is that the couple are isolated by the lens compression of the long lens at a wide aperture, with the off-camera flash providing directional lighting and what the great Cliff Mautner refers to as "texture, dimension and mood". Cliff is a world-renowned wedding photographer consistently ranked in the top 10 worldwide. I attended his three-day workshop in July last year and learnt a lot from the man himself. His whole approach to wedding photography is an inspiration to me. Thanks Cliff!
Canon EOS 5D Mark II with EF 70-200 F/2.8 L IS II USM @ 110mm, 1/60 sec @ f/2.8, ISO 800
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