I Shot My Own Wedding
Updated: Mar 16, 2021
I shot my own wedding, and all you got was this stupid blog post.
My wife Jen and I disagreed about when the pandemic would recede. It was March, and we were both working at home. I was more optimistic, she more pessimistic. We had already been engaged for 2 months and were hoping to get married during 2020. We found a venue and a great photographer. We were in agreement that the all-clear wouldn't be forthcoming, so we pulled the trigger and set a wedding date in late July.
The pandemic lingered and then worsened. We thought it was getting better. We were wrong. I thought it was getting better again. Wrong again.
By June, we decided to postpone our celebration until 2021. But we still wanted to get married even if we couldn't host our celebration. After checking with our county clerk, we snatched up a slot for virtual wedding overseen by our local county clerk. The affair would be hosted on Microsoft Teams. Our families would watch a livestream of the ceremony and share a toast with us over Zoom. But who would bake our cake? And who would take our pictures? My wife likes to bake, and I like to take pictures, so it made sense to DIY these pieces of the wedding.
Before the ceremony, I took a few pictures of our rings and the cake. Easy! As far as the photography was concerned, I was more anxious about making nice pictures of us after the ceremony. Those images were always going to be glorified selfies, but my wife and I had to live with whatever I was able to eke out.
The civil ceremony itself went off without any issues. In fact, the ceremony itself was nicer than I thought. The clerk was kind, and it was great to have our families so close to the action. After the ceremony (recorded for posterity, of course), we popped some champagne and sliced the cake. Because there wasn't the commotion that comes with a big party, we were able to focus on our family, which was tremendous.
The cake was fantastic, and after an hour or so of toasts, we said farewell to our family. My attention (such as it was after a few glasses of champagne) turned to our self-portraits. The set-up was fairly simple. Our desks abut the living room windows, which look to the south. Our wedding took place in the late afternoon, when that wall gets warm, but fairly diffuse light. We happened to have a few clouds in the sky that day, so the light was fairly gentle and easy to work with. The blank white wall behind my wife's desk served as a nice, if plain, background.
I plopped my Fuji X-T3 on my tripod and did a few test shots with Jen. After getting the exposure right, I joined Jen and triggered the camera by using the Fuji app on my phone. The app was a bit difficult--for example, the connection between the camera and phone would break when we'd go into the playback mode on the phone. After reviewing the pictures, we'd have to reestablish the connection. It was frustrating to be slowed down like that. It should be seamless to go back and forth between shooting and reviewing. Plus, it was somewhat difficult to adjust exposure settings on the fly from the phone. This issue was mitigated somewhat by the fact that I've used the camera a lot and wasn't trying to do anything unusual.
To be fair, the app largely worked for our purposes. We got a number of shots as the autofocus was reliable, and it was easy to tell the camera to use a two second self-timer. And the Fuji always makes nice pictures. I would also note that it was very easy to offload the images from the camera to my phone, which we could then share with our relatives.
The next morning, I did some light edits to our favorite pictures--mostly a case of a little dodging and burning. We sent a few off for printing by Printique because it was recommended by DPReview. I should add that working with printique was painless because it was easy to upload photos and pick printing options.
Overall, I'm happy with how the pictures turned out. It would not have been possible without a willing partner, a well-controlled environment, and some luck with the light.
In the spirit of internet reviews, I give the Fuji X-T3 five stars, the Fuji app 2.3 thumbs down, and the wedding seven flying unicorns.
A few selects from the day below: