I stumbled upon a unique opportunity at lunch yesterday as I chowed down at the new Cedar Park Mighty Fine Hamburger restaurant. Across from me were two employees on their lunch break and I could not help but over hear in the discussion that Jessica was going to ask Josh to marry her later that night. Jessica was showing her co-worker the ring she bought to give to Josh. I asked if I might introduce myself - what fate that Jessica was sitting across from a wedding photographer. After a brief into - I found out that after 7:00 PM they would be at Zed’s of Austin for dinner and that Jessica had planned flowers to be brought to the table around dessert and she would then “pop the question”. I asked Jessica if it would be OK to document the event with photos. She was thrilled at the idea and welcomed me to her event.
I arrived about 10 minutes before Jessica and Josh. I had never been to Zed’s but could tell right away that this was a special place. Zed's is a modern, casual restaurant serving American fare with Austin-inspired preparations and ingredients. Set upon three acres that include spacious decks, a pond, a hike and bike trail and indigenous landscaping, Zed's has created an oasis in the city, just minutes from the hustle and bustle of I-35. The hot Austin summer days are just starting to cool off and a live band was just getting set up to entertain the crowd. There was a grass area for many to sit, enjoy music, food and drink - You can even bring your dog to Zed’s as long as they stay in the “grass area” slightly away from the restaurant patio. As the night advanced, I knew I would be pushing the limits of my Canon 7D’s light gathering with the lens a 70-200 mm f 2/8 IS mounted to a mono pod. Yes, Jessica and Josh sat at the darkest part of the patio - nice! As the moment drew near - I positioned myself closer to their table. With the band playing in the distance - I had wanted to “blend in” as a photographer interested in taking photos of the band - then would turn around at the appropriate moment and capture this special night.
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Thursday, September 1, 2011
Beware of “Uncle Bob Syndrome”
You have invested thousands of dollars on your wedding. From the food to the music to the location to the gown, this magic moment will be, must be, perfect. All that’s left to take care of is the photography. Hey, let’s get Uncle Bob to do it! He has a camera….
If the probable outcome of that decision makes you cringe, you understand the horror of what we call Uncle Bob Syndrome. Skimp on your wedding photography and you lose the opportunity to capture that gorgeous investment in a way that would do it justice. And yet people make this mistake all the time. We have several couples each year tell us, “We should have hired you instead.” Ouch.
Uncle Bob Syndrome invites mistakes. For instance, an inexperienced photographer may not recognize when his equipment is wrong for the job. Someone who has managed to shoot decent photos for a normal daytime wedding may find himself completely over their head shooting a dark cathedral with multicolored stained glass and dark-red carpeting bouncing odd colors up into faces. You need a lens that can scoop up huge amounts of light, and the know-how to use it correctly under such circumstances. Otherwise, Uncle Bob has struck again.
Uncle Bob Syndrome can raise its ugly head (no offense, Uncle Bob) even with a professional photographer -- if you haven’t engaged the right professional photographer. Wedding photography has its own special demands and pitfalls, including crowd control. Say you hire a highly regarded scenic photographer for your outdoor wedding. Well, your scenic photographer makes his living shooting non-moving objects, flowers, birds and trees. They don't know how to corral an entire wedding party and work around musicians, caterers, flowers, dogs, cats, you name it.
Don’t let Uncle Bob spoil your wedding memories. Leave the photography to the pros!