One perfect day – Part III – The wedding day

“The following takes place between 7.00 AM and 22 PM.”


(always wanted to do that)

I. The decision to be a (wedding) photographer
II. Preparations, building up to one perfect day: schedule, shot list & gear.
III. The wedding day
IV. Post processing & the wedding album

III. The wedding day

7.00 AM
I think my wedding day actually started the night before, I had a very restless night yet had no trouble getting out of bed before the alarm clock *psyched*. Loaded the car with all the gear (that I double checked & cleaned the night before) and drove off to pick up Tom² at this house.

8.30 AM
Tom was gonna drop me off at Roosje’s place but since we were way too early we decided to go and check out the party tent. When we saw the mist still hovering over the fields we had our first successful shot of the day.

Roosje & Jelle

Near Mishap #1 : I also reframed this shot because I didn’t like the house on tbe background, turned out to be Jelle’s parental house :p On that note, don’t delete pictures on your camera during that day.

9.00 AM
Once at Roosjes place, (she was still @ the hairdresser) I first took the time scout the location, shoot some details and get a shot of the rings.

Near Mishap #2 : After I took a couple of shots of the rings (Tamron 70-300 mounted tripod) just as I was picking up the rings I noticed that Roosje’s ring actually had stones in them and I had just taken 10 pictures of the back of the rings (right). I made-up for that mistake (left) but it was time for a cup of coffee!

9.30 AM
The make-up artist arrives, she knows her stuff and places the stool next to a big kick ass window making my life easier. I grab all necessary make-up detail shots and sneak inside the house and take some pictures of the dress.

10 AM
The bride gets on her dress helped by her mom. I got a couple of shots but I should have been less timid here, if they want the good shots the couple has to play along with your game plan. We take time to make some extra pictures out on the balcony but the hard sunlight isn’t making my job easy. We also do a rehearsal(backup)-coming-down-the-stairs shot.

Meanwhile at the grooms house things are a bit more relaxed, there is still time for breakfast and Tom² nails down every single shots from the shot list and more!

10.20 AM
I get a call from Tom, Jelle is making his final approach. I head out onto the street snapping pictures from the approaching car. By the time Jelle gets out of that little BMW Isetta, Tom already parked the car and we both take different angles when the groom rings the doorbell. This was one of the “moments” where I felt more comfortable having a second-shooter, but both our shots are spot on. Before we leave there is some time left for some more official/family pictures.

11 AM
This is where the pace picks up, the wedding party leaves for city hall, as soon as they leave the driveway I hop in and Tom² drives us to city hall where I can hop out again.

11.07 AM The couple arrives at city hall
11.10 AM Already everybody is seated
11.23 AM Yes I do , Yes I do, kiss kiss, rings rings

When I was a guest I always thought those ceremonies were way too long. Those 15 minutes were the fastest of my life.

My favorite picture of the day, technically imperfect but it holds all the elements that define what that day was to me.

11.50 AM
They got stalled a bit on the inside and only walked out at 11.50. Me & Tom took opposite sides.

12.30 PM
Time to breathe. We all head back to the party tent for some sandwiches and beverages.
We backup all pictures and sit down for a second, a minute, an hour, and a half. Life is good.

02.00 PM
Back to action, there is a nature reserve at 500m from the party tent, we use 2 cars and I shoot from the back of the trunk, for a moment I feel like Murdock from The-A-Team. The official shoot lasted little under an hour. I mostly used available light because there were nice areas of shade/sunlight. On a couple of occasions Tom held up a 580EXII with a 1/4 CTO gel (sometimes with a shoot trough umbrella).

Roosje & Jelle

To light the interior of the car and the couple I equipped the Flash/CTO combo with an omnibounce, hand held by the couple.

04.00 PM
First guests arrive, for the reception. Before they arrive you should have some detail shots of the room / tables looking crisp. I’m not the official kind of wedding shooter, I didn’t take pictures of everybody arriving but I made sure I had some of those moments on film .. euhm … CF-Card.

06.30 PM
Dinner, walking around taking more pictures and at around 8PM we both remembered to eat something our self. We took place at at table next to some fun elderly people.
The next part is impossible to translate and went like this :

“Gruut gelijk joeng, en drink maar e pintje oek, op één bien kunde nie stoan”

Every now and then a surprise act required our attention.

09.45 PM
Dessert equals yummy shots 😉

10.10 PM
The lights during the opening dance were well .. less than ideal. Fuchsia spots even freak out your RAW files. I converted the opening dance to sepia to hide & recover from the fuchsia lights.
Mixing with flash wasn’t really a good idea either so everything was shot wide open at F1.8 at higher ISO’s. The 40D barely managed the situation, glad to have that 5D now.

Roosje & Jelle

And with that shot our first wedding day came to an end.

I’ve created a page here where I grouped up all related articles for your re-reading pleasure.

13 thoughts on “One perfect day – Part III – The wedding day

  1. Pingback: Best Wedding Photographers » Blog Archive » One perfect day - Part III - The wedding day

  2. Stephanie says:

    Hey Tom,
    ik doe binnenkort ook mijn eerste huwelijken (zij het als co-fotograaf) en ik kom tegen dan zéker nog eens opnieuw naar je blog kijken om nog bij te leren.

  3. Kristof Pattyn says:

    Those days are full of surprises and one needs to be on his toes for the whole day. You handled that pretty well…
    Nice results, I’m happy to hear the 5D helps out at those lowlevel light situations… shot with a 50mm?

  4. gekiekt says:

    Knap werk.
    Interessant om zien dat die 5D de belichting bij de openingsdans aankan. Heel mooie foto.
    Je favoriete beeld is ook mijn favoriet. Wat vond het koppel van die foto?

  5. tomleuntjensphotography says:

    thx all for the response I’ve received on this series of articles.

    @kristof, @steven: this wedding was done with a couple of 400D’s and a 40D. The 40D maxes out on iso 800 to get descent pictures. I got the 5D last Christmas and I will use the 40D/5D combination on my next weddings.

    @steven: I told the couple this was my favorite shot but I think they had 2 much pictures to look at when I gave them the album to follow me in my reasoning.

  6. Pingback: One perfect day - Part IV - The wedding album « Tom Leuntjens Photography

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