The main reason for my holiday back to Kuching was to attend, and shoot an old friend's beautiful wedding day. I was tasked to shoot the Groom's side of things in early morning, while another photographer friend, Kenn Wai covered the Bride's side. The challenging part of this assignment was waking up at ungodly 3am in the morning (why does all Chinese weddings have to be commence impossibly early???), and the wedding assignment lasted the whole day till dinner reception, which ended rather late into the evening.
I was hesitating between Sony or Olympus system, and I would have brought BOTH if I was doing an assignment in Kuala Lumpur. The fact that I needed to travel home (about 2 hours flight away) to Kuching, meant I shifted priorities to travel light. I chose Olympus in the end, not that I have anything against the Sony, but I felt that Olympus would deliver the results that I seek (beautiful skin tone, reliability, better handling, etc). I brought the Olympus DSLR E-5 as the main body, with my old, but still alive E-520 as a back-up, and all the primary Zuiko Digital lenses that I do down: 11-22mm F2.8-3.5, 50mm F2 macro and 25mm F2.8 macro. I found myself using the super wide angle 11-22mm most of the time, followed by the 50mm F2 macro lens.
I shall be previewing a few images from the shoot in this blog entry. Bear in mind these are just initial edits, which would differ from my final delivery.
Another difficulty during this assignment worth mentioning was me having to work with a crew of videographers. I have nothing against them, but the crew consisted of 5 people shooting with their video-cams and DSLRs, and whether I like it or not they have populated all the most auspicious shooting positions. And I could not get in front of them. A lot of my shots could have been better if I was standing exactly where I wanted to stand, and where you shoot from can create a whole world of difference in getting that better shot.
Come to think of it I was not entirely sure why I ended up doing wedding photography and how I got involved in the first place. I thoroughly enjoy shooting wedding, I really do, but somehow it happened rather unexpectedly, and coincidentally I needed that extra income boost (though not as much as I would like) to supplement my underpaid engineering salary. It has been more than 2 years now since I did wedding photography more seriously, and I somehow still do feel out of place whenever I shoot weddings. Certainly I know my standards have not been on par with local professionals (photographs speak for themselves) and I was not actually doing anything much to push myself to reach up to that higher bar of excellence. Do not get me wrong, I do get very happy clients, and through words of mouth and strong recommendations I do get wedding assignment coming in from time to time. I guess I have to decide whether I should be pursuing this more seriously, because if I do, I should put in more effort to improve my own shooting skills and also business networking abilities.
Then again, the thought that every Tom, Dick and Harry can buy a cheap DSLR with a kit lens and a third party flash, and start shooting weddings (for very low pricing point, or worse, for free) killed the thought of venturing into wedding photography full time. The wedding industry in Malaysia is not exactly a very beautiful sight to behold. I do not think getting involved too far into it is a good idea either.
I shall leave the heavy thinking for another day. One step at a time, and with every single shooting session I have done, I know in my heart I did my best. For this particular wedding, it has a special place in my heart, because it was partly done as a gift for dear friend, Shoo Herng.
To Shoo Herng and Yen Ju, I wish you both happiness and blessings, always! Congratulations, and stay cheerful!