Paige and Stephen

For 2016, I wanted to try my hand at wedding photography, but I wanted it to be in a learning environment.  Enter Paige and Stephen, an adorable couple in need of post-wedding photos. They actually got married on July 9th, but that was the day of my Dirty Dozen race so I was unable to take photos of their wedding ceremony.  So instead, I offered to take post-wedding photos for them in San Francisco.

It was a cold and foggy summer Saturday morning when we met at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco.  The Legion had just opened and I was milling about, looking for a good spot or two when they arrived.

I love this first shot.  And I like starting off with something small like the bouquet, and then I like to slowly work on revealing more by telling a story.

ISO 200   56mm lens    f/1.2   1/2200 sec

Next we moved on to the first look.  We had a lot of fun doing this and Paige stuck her head out and then slowly walked towards Stephen to surprise him!

ISO 200   56mm lens   f/5.6 1/105 sec

Ta-da!!!!

ISO 200   56mm lens    f/1.2   1/2200 sec

And, of course, the piece de resistance.  Paige's dress is just absolutely stunning!  Stephen was just in awe when he saw this on the LCD of my camera.  

ISO 200   56mm lens    f/1.2   1/2200 sec

The brightness of the day was a bit of a struggle.  Even though it was a completely foggy day with filtered sunlight, the stonework of the Legion of Honor is so light-colored that every single surface was acting like a reflector.  Light was bouncing here, there, and everywhere, creating an environment of soft light and very little shadows.  It was a photographer's dream!

The next shot was a simple candid moment.

ISO 200   56mm lens   f/1.2   1/4000 sec

1/4000 sec is the upper limit of the mechanical shutter for my Fuji X-T1, so that tells you just how bright things were at the Legion of Honor.

Next we relocated to Stern Grove.  I actually preferred this location over Stowe Lake in Golden Gate Park, mostly because there's so much texture to play around with here, and it's not as crowded as Stowe Lake on the weekends.

Below was one of those moments where we were in the right place at the right time.  On this small trail in Stern Grove, a shaft of light shot straight down through the trees and I had Paige stand right underneath it.  When she did, her wedding dress began to glow with a powerfully beautiful white light.

ISO 400   56mm lens   f/1.2   1/1600 sec

For the below shot, I asked Paige and Stephen to imagine walking down the aisle together.  Since they had gotten married at the beach the weekend before, there was no traditional aisle for them to walk down, so we had a bit of fun with this.

ISO 400   56mm lens   f/1.2   1/1800 sec

Paige turning around to look at the camera was a sweet impromptu moment.  I didn't know she was going to do it, so I was so glad I was quick enough to capture it.

For the next shot, I wanted to experiment with reflections.  Not having a prime lens that could reach that far, I slapped on one of the kit lenses for the Fuji X-T1, the 18-135mm.  Not as tack sharp as the prime, but it gave me the reach I needed for the following photo.

ISO 3200   93.2mm (on 18-135mm lens)   f/5.6   1/180 sec

A few minutes earlier the waters were wavy, distorting the reflections, but now the waters were still and we were able to achieve the above shot!

Below is my favorite shot of the entire day.

ISO 400   56mm lens   f/1.2   1/2500 sec

The above shot says it all.  To have and to hold.  Paige and Stephen, your best days together are still ahead of you!

Gear used:   Fuji X-T1, 56mm f/1.2 lens, 18-135mm lens