2009 overview – my favorite wedding images

best images of 2009 – Neil van Niekerk – New Jersey wedding photographer

2009 was another crazy-busy year for me. As regular readers of the Tangents blog will know, the majority of my work is as a New Jersey wedding photographer. This also includes the various photo sessions, as well as the wedding albums that had to be designed. Adding to my crazy schedule were the 17 photography workshops that I presented across the USA; and 4 sold-out workshops in the UK and Ireland! Regulars here will also know that another major event was my book on flash photography that was released in August ’09.

But, most of my work though centers around the weddings that I photograph. This year again I was fortunate in meeting and working with wonderful brides and groom and their families. As a wrap-up of the year – and also to show off a bit – here is a slideshow of some of my favorite wedding images of 2009.

Click on the controls for the slideshow to start. (There is music accompanying the slideshow.)


25 Comments, Add Your Own

  1. 1Gregory says


    Not to sound corny on Christmas day, but I want to Thank You for sharing your wisdom on flash photography, including the Black Foamie Thing. I’ve been truly Blessed by your website,Planet Neil and my photography has improved, as well as others photographers from around the world. It was great meeting with you at the Photo Expo in NYC this year. I look forward to taking one of your photo workshop in 2010 and reading your second book on ‘Off Camera Flash”.

  2. 3 says


    Even from watching your slideshow I’ve learned a lot.
    Thank you for being as you are.
    And thank you for your book.
    Neil. Will you have any presentations at Unique Photo in New Jersey in 2010? I hope you will.

    Happy New Year to you and your family.

  3. 4 says

    Thank you for the lovely comments, everyone.

    Gennadi, I’m actually busy arranging with Unique Photo about presenting a seminar there sometime in March ’10. It will be a 6hr long seminar on wedding photography, covering a number of related topics. (It will be on a Saturday.) We’ll announce the exact details during next week.

    I’ll also announce the details then about the flash photography workshops for 2010.

    Neil vN

  4. 5 says

    Thank you, Neil.
    Looking forward to meet you at Unique Photo and learn more.
    I am switching myself in Sponge Mode to absorbed as much as possible from you.

  5. 6David says

    A truly awesome collection Neil! (Although I’m not quite sure why you like the second photo! ;D I’m kidding of course)

    Thank you very much for sharing those fantastically captured precious moments from 2009.

    I do hope that you, your wife and family have had an extra special Christmas.
    Best wishes for 2010.

  6. 7 says

    Ha! : )

    I chose the 2nd image because I thought it alternates the mood of the opening image.

    But I am also slightly biased in my choice there – and not necessarily that it has pretty girls – but because of the mention in this previous post on that shoot. With my flash not firing because I was shooting too fast, I end up with an image that is 2 stops under-exposed at 1600 ISO .. and it is still usable! You know, I can just kiss my Nikon D3 at times.

    Neil vN

  7. 8David says

    Ooo! :-O I’d watch out for that camera kissing/lovin, once that starts there’s simply no going back, not even sure therapy would help. :D

  8. 9 says

    I too have learned a lot from your site, and thank you for sharing.
    The slide show was fantastic to watch.
    I’m looking forward to your site in 2010.

  9. 10 says

    Neil, sincere thanks for all the knowledge that you have shared with us through your site. I really hope to meet you in person some time soon on one of your Irish or UK courses. Best wishes for 2010

  10. 11Jeroen van Meggelen says


    Compliments on the slide show, great inspiration!
    Past months I have read every singel post on PlanetNeil. I use your flash technique all the time with great succes. I am still in the learning curve but my photography really took off.
    Thanks for sharing. You have a gift to teach about advanced stuff like flash photography and make it acceseble and easy to understand. Many thanks!!
    Also, a I want to thank my fellow readers of Planet Neil. I learned a lot from the questions asked (and the answers!)
    Neil, a workshop in the Netherlands? (kidding, well….)
    Best wishes and a blessed 2010 to all. Jeroen

  11. 12Nathalie says

    Thanks for sharing those pics, amazing as usual !! Your book just changed my vision of working, thanks a lot for that too. I hope to meet you one day for a workshop in Amsterdam or in the neighborhood. Merry Christmas and all the best for 2010 !

  12. 13 says

    Jeroen and Nathalie .. thanks! And a workshop in the Netherlands? I’d be keen on that. Should I get the workshops to the UK / Ireland off the ground this year, it’s but a short flip over to the Netherlands. I’d love to visit again.

    Neil vN

  13. 15 says

    Thanks for your lessons, Neil.

    I’m russian, so it means that you’re read not only by englishspeaking people. (excuse my bad english))

    May i ask 1 off-topic question?
    What’s the music playing during this flash slideshow (it’s also very beautiful)

  14. 16 says

    Hi there Anton .. I actually regularly check the origin of visits to my site, so I’ve seen a number of visitors from Russia. : ) Good to know that the website is reaching out so far.

    The music is a royalty-free track that I bought from Triple Scoop Music specifically for use on this slideshow.

    Neil vN

  15. 17Gene Lobb says

    Thank you for sharing your work and your wisdom. These are just marvelous! Plan on viewing them at least 20 more times. Best wishes for the season and may 2010 be even better ( if that is possible ).

  16. 18MIKE says

    not bad, you might have a future in this photography thing!! great stuff as always and thanks for all the info and inspiration!

  17. 19Jeffrey Steel says

    Great slideshow Neil.
    Makes me want to give up AND try harder at the same time.
    I often wonder what the proof set looks like that a client gets from you.
    Although I know you really can’t post it here, but still curious.

  18. 20Sinuhe says

    Thanks for the great blog – love the tech tips – and the way you let your subjects shine – you really have a knack for taking portraits – your love for people shows.
    Alles van die beste en ‘n voorpoedige Nuwe Jaar

  19. 22 says

    Dwayne .. it was a problem. I had used a previous version of the slideshow software by accident. That version had a blank opening screen, so the page would’ve been white until you clicked the control. But it appears correctly now.

    For slideshows on the website, I use ShowIt Web. For slideshows as an .exe file to play on my PC, I use PicturesToExe.

    Neil vN

  20. 23 says


    Thanks for all the wonderful insight on use of flash and photography in general. Between all the tips and explanation on your website and your book, I have learned how to much better understand and manage on camera ETTL and off camera manual flash. Best of luck in 2010!

  21. 24Albert says

    Hi Neil, Awesome photo shots… Especially photo no.6. How did you got that situation from couples?, and the editing with gray black and white are fantastic…. All the best keep going deeply…

  22. 25Neil vN says

    I use a longer lens, and stand back and allow the couple to interact with each other. This way they start to chat and good around and hug – and then you get to photograph what is really important here – the relationship between them.

    A confident relaxed demeanor on the photographer’s side is of course a huge boost to the success of a photo session.

    Neil vN

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