09 April, 2008

Your Best Friend's Wedding.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Canlas

My post, Your Best Friend's Wedding, for Digital Photography School went up today. The post featured the image above from my friend Jonathan, of Jonathan Canlas Photography.


If you're REALLY serious about becoming a professional photographer or just anxious to polish your skills as a serious hobbyist, you should really check out his workshop that will be held this November in Hawaii. DON'T hesitate. Space is limited and it's filling up FAST! This workshop literally changed my life. Read my full review of the workshop here.

Disclaimer: My article this week for DPS is about shooting your first wedding. If I may however vent a bit here where I can say whatever the bananas I want to:

Shooting your best friend's wedding? Ok, if you just don't have the experience necessary to really make his/her special day shine, JUST SAY NO!! Seriously, say it with me "NO." It's that simple. If you need experience and see this as the perfect opportunity, you are just plain selfish and not the kind of person I'd choose for my bff. Vent hereby complete. Amen.

ONE LAST THING: I have been featuring Jonathan on my site quite a bit as of late. This is not a solicitation by him. Not by any stretch of the imagination. The recommendations you find on this blog are NEVER solicited by any third party. This blog is dedicated to providing information purely in the spirit of love, sharing and karma.


Anonymous said...

You crack me up, Nat! Great article, by the way! REALLY. I'm your greatest fan. I'm sure others would say so, but alas, no, I AM!

Anonymous said...

No. I'm her greatest fan! Love, Husband.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...I don't think you should mess with me, Richie. I'm your mother! But, I guess I can give on this one:)

Peter Bryenton said...

Good advice about friend's weddings.

I'm interested to know why you favour shooting weddings in aperture priority.


Peter Bryenton
Blog: http://peterbryenton.typepad.com/lightandshade/
Website: www.brypix.com

{Erica} said...

yes...totally 100% agree! if you want experience say no but then ask if it would be okay to take some pictures of them durinig that day (of course not getting in the way of the hired photographer) and also perhaps see if the couple would be willing to pose for you in their wedding garb on another day.

Natalie. said...

Focus Finder: thanks for allowing me to clarify.

Note the opening sentence of the post: “If you haven’t already mastered lighting and proper exposure, I REALLY, TRULY recommend shooting in Aperture Priority.” I should have been more clear. Thank you for brining this to my attention. I shoot all weddings in a split between MANUAL mode and AP. The ceremony is shot 100% Manual 99% of the time. What I am recommending here is that if you aren’t comfortable shooting in Manual. . . a wedding is NOT the place to give it a go. If you’ve not TOTALLY MASTERED your lighting and proper exposure in manual settings, but still feel confident in your ability to capture the event with flying colors, it is then that I recommend you shoot in AP. AP can produce fantastic images. I am comfortable shooting in Manual and love the freedom it provides, so that’s how I shoot most of the time.

I will maintain this stance to the grave, come hell or high water: a good image is a good image is a good image. I don’t care how it’s shot, automatic, ap, with a disposable camera. . . Do what works for you! And ignore anyone who tells you you’re less of a photog for shooting in AP or auto if that’s where you have the most success. Work toward shooting manually (if you want to), but in the mean time, do what works!

Second clarification: Please refer to the closing paragraph in this article. This article was written to help those who are shooting weddings. NOT to encourage people who are not ready to begin this journey to just give it a go on the fly. It is someone’s wedding. Please respect that and be sure that you have proper experience before you jump right in.

Happy Shooting!

Peter Bryenton said...

Sensible advice, thank you Natalie.
Regards, Peter.

Jessie said...

Great article! I always love reading your stuff. But questions, what if your best friend can't afford wedding photography so you agree to do it because otherwise she's not going to have a photographer... is that OK?

Natalie. said...


Well that's how it generally happens. They can't afford a "real" photographer, so you end up doing it. . . It's tough to say no. It's just that for years and years and years to come they're going to be looking at those pictures. If they don't like them, every time they see them they're going to possibly resent you more and more and more. . . :) It's just a risk you'll have to measure on your own to decide if it's worth it to you.