It has been about more than two months since my previous wedding assignment, but the gaps in between have been filled with the Olympus PEN E-P3 and the 45mm F1.8 review works, which have taken quite a huge chunk of my time. You guys have no idea the amount of time I have spent on replying comments, emails and answering all the questions posted to me. As tiring as the review activities have been, it was very fulfilling at the same time, and I even had the chance to present in front of an audience of my reviews on the Olympus E-P3 during a Malaysian Olympus user gathering not too long ago. The response I gathered from the audience have been encouragingly positive, and I have made many new friends.
A break from my usual photography assignment has allowed me to focus on other things such as the previous mentioned review works, and of course, my own shutter therapy and the never-ending journey of self discovery. Nonetheless, the dry season for Chinese wedding is over, and starting from September onwards, I am very sure the local Malaysian photographers will have numerous inquiries and calls coming in. The break of silence happened today, this very morning, and this break is one of the first of a series of assignment to come. I was the official photographer for an ex-colleague and friend of mine, Pieh Hung, who had her wedding today. Boy, was I excited, and glad to finally get the camera to work again !!
For a typical Chinese wedding, it is a norm for the photographer to be at the bride's house at ungodly hour in the morning, way before sunrise, when the make-up session starts. I was at the bride's place before 6am, and was shooting through the entire day, travelling from Kuala Lumpur (Bride's) to Seremban (Groom's) and ending the session in the late afternoon, about 5pm. This particular wedding arrangement was rather unusual, instead of having wedding dinner, the couple decided to hold a luncheon. In a way, this is convenient for most people, because an entire day's event can be settled before sunset, and everyone has the night of rest. However, for photographers, this is a nightmare, because the luncheon starts immediately right after the morning session (includes all the brother-sister wars, tea ceremony, etc) with no pause in between. If it was a dinner, at least there was some room to breathe in between. Imagine, being on your feet, running around, with your gear shooting from morning 5am to 5pm, non-stop literally. Wedding photography is indeed physically and mentally challenging, not for the faint-hearted (pun intended).
For this assignment, I kept my gear set-up simple. I shot with a single body, the Olympus E-5, with two primarily lenses which I switch around often: the Zuiko 11-22mm F2.8-3.5 and the 50mm F2 macro lens. I occasionally would use other lenses such as the fisheye, if I saw the need or desire to. I am comfortable changing lenses, and have no problem doing it often. I also used the external flash in many situations, but careful enough to recognize the beautiful natural light and not to destroy it. I rarely shoot with two bodies (I did keep the E-520 in the bag as a backup, just in case), mainly because I prioritize the flexibility of movement. Having another camera body flying around me would be difficult to control, especially when I needed to run from one spot to another, braving traffic of impossibly slow moving uncles and aunties blocking at all possible turns and corners. Oh not to forget those devil born kids that are always floating around directionlessly waiting to crash on you at every single opportunity. Children should be banned from Chinese weddings, they create more trouble necessary, they break things, they cry and they just block every single path of the photographers !!
For more photographs from this weddding series, kindly visit my PORTFOLIO Page here (click).
I admit, I am NOT a professional wedding photographer, truthfully speaking my skills and talents are far from what can be claimed as one. Nonetheless, I have the interest to explore this world of wedding photography. Seeing the happiness of the couple is something that truly moves me, and being able to capture that is a gift, really. I particularly love to see the joy of the bride on the day that probably they appear to be their most beautiful self, both externally, as well as the overflowing happiness from within, spilling out in all directions.
I am probably one of the few photographers out there (remaining ones) who shoot weddings with Olympus gear. Any of you shoot wedding with your Olympus gear? Do tell your side of experience.