Wedding photography in Pittsburgh, is always a little bit risky. Especially in March and April. One day you can have rain, the next day sun. The following day snow. Its a beautiful time of year for weddings, but it does carry a bit of risk.
I was sitting at home editing. I was pushing hard because I had to meet up with David Burke to drop off a light stand that I had borrowed. Right as I was preparing to leave, the phone rings and he asks if I want to shoot with him. It just so happens that we had just been talking about shooting as much as possible, while staying focused on a story. This is harder than it sounds. Your wedding day is a fantastic story. Its about families coming together, often meeting for the first time, its about friends becoming husband and wife, dancing, and commitment. With that in mind, how could I say no?
Often times, wedding photography is lots of beautiful portraits, photos of details, and a few moments filled in with snapshots. When you focus on telling a story, you have to find ways of showing the moments, capturing the laughter and tears, while still including the guests. Its harder than it sounds. As a storyteller, I have to be better than snap shots. At the end of the day, a wedding should be able to be told through 50-100 images, and nothing should be left out.
Each day I shoot, its pushing closer to that. Editing becomes harder, as I hold myself to higher standards, and as a documentary wedding photographer, I have to work as hard as possible, because at the end of the day, the portraits are nice, but the story is your true legacy.
Congratulations David and Stacey.
David, thanks for having me along brother.
Ceremony at St Patricks Church in Cannonsburg
Reception: Bella Sera
Video: Keith Parish: Diamond Weddings
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In photography, lighting is the most important aspect of your work. As a Pittsburgh wedding photographer you have to be able to work with lights because the weather here isnt always cooperative. Some days you wake up, the sky is blue, and it looks like its going to be an amazing day. But by the time the reception rolls around, the light is gone, clouds moved in, the wind is blowing, and rain is pouring down. In those situations we still have a duty to our clients to create beautiful work. So we always bring a supply of portable lights and modifiers with us, and they live in our car. If a flash breaks, no problem got a back up. Pocket wizard wont fire, pull out the chord. Both flashes die, or get stolen, we have some work lights that create beautiful light when pushed through an umbrella. While the situation may not be ideal, it is our job to give our clients our best work. I heard recently that we dont get an A for showing up and being friendly. Clients expect us to be professional, polite, and make great memorable images of their day.
As a story centered wedding photographer, that makes the need for lights a little bit less, but during portrait time, and during the reception, we have to make the venue, the people, and the couple look incredible. The images have to be able to bring back memories years down the road. More importantly, they need to tell the story of the day, after everyone that attended has passed away. Wedding photography is about a legacy. It is about documenting a story for the future. Its about Grandma and Grandpa being able to look fondly back on the photos and tell the grand kids about the life they lived together.
Today I shot a few portraits of my wife, just to brush up on my lighting skill. I dont use lights often, I prefer nice beautiful natural light. But sometimes a flash is the only available light that we have.
For more information on Pittsburgh Wedding Photography visit www.DanSpeicherPhoto.com
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Kelly and I loved being in India. The craziness, the noise, the food. It sounds crazy, but that all is part of the experience that made India so incredible for us.
Kelly had the opportunity to learn to cook some excellent recipes from our friend Ammini, and her granddaughter Jennifer. That means that I have gotten to have two incredible Indian Dinners this week, right in our own home.
While we were in India, we didnt have a whole lot of time to travel. Fortunately we did have a few hours to explore some of the sights in Mumbai. I really wish that we had a week to just get used to the city, meet more people, and walk the streets before and during sunrise and sunset.
This is the Gateway of India. What a site. Next time I will get here when the sun is low and the light is soft.
small fishing boats sit anchored in the bay, next charter boats, under the gaze of the Gateway of India. The Gateway looks out over the Arabian Sea
Here is kelly hard at work putting into practice some of the incredible foods she learned how to make while in India. Just last week she made Chole Puri and this week we made some great Chicken Curry. Needless to say, I am a happy husband.
One of the things that I LOVE about traveling, is the chance to meet new people and try great foods.
Tags: Gateway of India India Mumbai Pittsburgh portrait photographer Still Life
I love motion. It helps to bring a sense of place. On a train it gives you the movement. On the ground it can be a way to show the business of life on the streets.
In this seriesI look at moments throughout the trip where as busy as things are, i find some solitude
To see Part 1 of the story click here
For India Part 2 here
and through an iphone here
All these photos were shot with the Nikon D600. The two at night were shot at 6400 ISO. This is a great second camera for me. 24megapixels and full frame make it a great camera, but it doesnt have the autofocus that I am used to, so for now, the D3 is still my go to. For anyone looking to get into a full frame camera on a budget, or looking for video, this is a great camera.
Tags: Chennai Dan Speicher documentary photography India Kerala lifestyle photography Mumbai Nikon D600 non profit photography Non Profits/NGO's photojournalism Pittsburgh Documentary Photographer Pittsburgh Wedding Photographer