If you follow me on facebook or twitter, you'll know that my trek to New Jersey over the weekend did not go according to plan. My destination was an hour and a half away, but on this particular Saturday, it took me four hours. It was a comedy of errors that I had no solution for other than to sit out. The Belmont Stakes, Mets vs. Yankees and Devils games were all going on last Saturday, and if that wasn't enough, the entire upper level of the George Washington Bridge was closed for construction.
Anyone that knows me, knows I am a stickler for being early; I credit my parents for that. One of the infamous stories my friends still like to tell is when my father called them "Late People." I was getting a ride to marching band practice, but when my friends didn't show up when practice was supposed to have started, my father drove me himself. "They're late people and we don't associate with late people," he told me.
Thankfully, the photographer I was assisting was very calm and understanding about my predicament. As luck would have it, the start of the wedding was pushed back a half hour because guests were stuck in the same traffic I was. I pulled up with two minutes to spare; the wedding party already lining up to start the procession. Another lesson I learned early on is to always have a camera assembled and ready to shoot. I ripped my camera from my bag and jumped right in.
I mentioned in an earlier post that second shooting wedding photography is a very different creature. You're looking for the details and reactions as opposed to the main shots. You take those too, from a different angle and perspective than the main photographer, but you definitely get to be more risky and creative. It was a very bizarre experience for me to be thrust right into a wedding with a photographer I've never worked with before, but it was a lot of fun. I was able to try out a few new techniques and get creative, and I don't always have that opportunity at my own jobs.
Below are my favorite shots from the day.
The venue had a balcony, which I took advantage of. It ended up being the perfect position for the bouquet tosses. I love the excitement captured in these two shots.
What I learned from this shoot was to remain calm. Sometimes, even when you double your travel time, you'll end up being late. Stressing out isn't going to help anyone, it isn't going to get you there any faster. Had I not been used to this kind of pressure, I probably would've cracked. Instead, I used the adrenaline to my advantage. I shot from the moment my feet hit the ground until the desserts were served and I think I gave the main photographer a solid 600 additional pictures.
But I'm definitely going to think twice before the next out of state wedding I work!