I woke up at 6:30AM, got dressed in 15 minutes. Random thought about how wedding photographers are the first ones dressed up for the day. Coffee. Final weather check. No rain. NO RAIN! A few days before they were announcing 100% chance rain. I guess my streak still continues.
I arrive at Chantal’s place, she’s getting her make-up done (by my cousin Han!). The flower girl is sitting quietly beside her, mesmerized by the make-up process. Big windows, tons of soft natural light in the room, everything is calm. Fast forward a few minutes, the chaotic nature of weddings starts kicking in gradually. Chantal is late for her appointment at the hair salon and rushes out of the house, flower girl grabs an eye liner and draws all over her face, and suddenly I’m in this room holding a dress in each hand with Britney Spears’ Baby One More Time blasting from the radio.
About 2 hours later, we’re back at the house, ready for the Vietnamese ceremony. The groom arrives at the house with gifts and is welcomed by the bride’s family. And by family I mean Vietnamese family, so that’s 5000 people waiting at the door for him.
The ceremony starts with the father of the bride lighting up incense sticks and mistakenly starting the ceremony with: “Today is the wedding day of Benoit and Tina.” (That’s his other daughter’s name.) I love the shot of his reaction after he realized his mistake.
We went to Fort Chambly, a beautiful national historic site. The sun was out blazing with no clouds to diffuse the harsh light, so I had to find pockets of shade like these pictures. Or angle my subjects to be side lit, between myself and the sun.
If I do use the hard light, I usually try to zoom out slightly and grab more of an environmental portrait with more context and less focus on the faces, kinda like this.
Fast forward a few hours, I’m setting up my lights in the reception room in Hotel Mortagne. The DJ and a waiter tell me that my lights are in their way in a very rude way (p.s. it wasn’t REALLY in their way. I just get a lot that people talking down on me, maybe I look too young or something). My reply is always a polite reply said in the nicest way possible to make them realize they were being super rude. Then they feel bad. Hehe.
Okay anyway, it was a fun wedding reception, they had everyone on the dance floor at all times, the first dance was really cool, and it’s the first time I see a piñata at a wedding so some points there.
Congrats again to Chantal and Benoit!