October 11, 2010

favorite image from the weekend – the moment after the kiss

I’m normally in the center aisle when I work as a solo photographer at a wedding.  But with the wedding on Saturday, I knew I could trust my 2nd shooter to nail the photographs I needed.  This allowed me the opportunity to move around, looking for other angles. I was hoping that Lori-Ann would hug her husband, George, in the first seconds after The First Kiss. I was hoping to get her expression in that hug. She did hug him, but with her face over his other shoulder.  I had a 50% chance of guessing that right! So I didn’t quite get the image I anticipated …

… but in those moments right after the first kiss (and hug), she leaned back and just threw her head back, looking up .. over-come with emotion.  And I knew I had a compelling image, showing all the emotion and joy.

Timing is essential.  And just as essential, is the ability to resist the urge to compulsively check the camera’s preview.  There could be something happening while you, as the photographer, is scrutinizing that LCD screen.


mage details

1/125 @ f2.8 @ 2000 ISO … (no flash)
Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 AF-S VR II  /  Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II


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{ 10 comments. } Add a Comment

1 forkboy1965 October 12, 2010 at 11:02 am

Besides being a wonderful photograph, she’s a hottie!


2 Eric Muetterties October 13, 2010 at 12:05 am

Wonderful image. I love reading your blogs. Great work!


3 Bogdan October 13, 2010 at 10:14 pm

Great picture Neil.
As for the shiny coloured thing on the back of my cameras… well… I treat shooting weddings and especially the ceremonies simply thinking I’m shooting film. I’ve sometimes misjudge the exposure when the things happen quickly but I’ve never missed a shot.

Just my two cents.




4 mark October 18, 2010 at 8:57 pm

Neil, I have a question that you probably have covered many times.

I was shooting a wedding this weekend in slightly over cast outdoor conditions. I had a problem, I had to underexpose by 1.5 stops to keep from blowing the wedding dress. How do you help or fix this? PP only.

There was nothing else I thought I could do. To properly expose for the skin and scene would end up BLOWING the dress, what to do?????? Please email me or send me a link to your coverage of this?


5 Neil vN October 18, 2010 at 10:53 pm

Mark, send me a raw file. I’d like to see what is happening there. Under-exposing your skin tones by 1.5 stops doesn’t feel like a good idea.

Neil vN


6 Tim October 19, 2010 at 9:20 am

That was shot at ISO 2000?!! I shoot with both 5d mkII and the D3X but anything shot over around ISO 500 looks un-usable to me noise-wise. Any ideas why this might be? Neil what makes your images shot at high ISO’s look so good, is it lens choice or post production?



7 Neil vN October 19, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Tim .. yup, 2000 ISO. That’s what the available light levels had fallen to with this early evening ceremony outdoors. I wanted to retain the look and feel of the moment and not blitz the bride with flash here.

Do you perhaps under-expose your images? For then noise will rear its ugly head quickly.

Another thing to keep in mind is the final use of an image. While you might see noise at 100% view, you are unlikely to print those 24 megapixels at their full native resolution. By the time you’re printing an image like this in an album, it’s been re-sized such that the noise is imperceptible.

Finally, my philosophy is that while I can do something about digital noise in post, I can’t fix camera shale or softness due to subject movement.

Neil vN


8 mark October 19, 2010 at 8:53 pm


email and images sent


9 Neil vN October 31, 2010 at 11:06 pm

If anyone is curious in the follow-up to Mark’s question … it was thoroughly answered in this post on metering for the bride and her dress.

Neil vN


10 Galen Herrington July 5, 2011 at 5:05 pm

Great shot, love the emotion


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