Oct 2nd was Jenny and Jesse Moss’ wedding at Central Park in NYC. This was my first city wedding and the locations in the park were excellent for photography: the sun was setting, the sky was partly cloudy, sometimes mostly cloudy (see photo below shot by Pam) which turned out a lot of nice photographs because of the compacted dynamic range.
The first part of the wedding, of course, started out at the Bridal Suite, at The Park Central Hotel just South of Central Park itself. The Bridal Suite was actually a hotel room and a lot of bridal gear. This was fine by me and my assistant photographer, Pam (see photo near bottom). She had the Tokina 12-24/F4 on her camera for half the time in the Bridal Suite which allowed her to get some really good shots in such a tight space. The other half of the time she was using a 50/1.8 for some close-up still lifes of bridal accessories (shoes, flowers, etc.). I used my trusty Canon 24-105/F4L IS the whole time which allowed some nice shots at the 24mm end and around 50mm when shooting close-ups of the bride getting ready. It also allowed me to shoot around ISO 200 in a poorly lit room.
We were at the Bridal Suite for only about a half hour as the wedding was under somewhat of a tight schedule because of all the walking involved. The plan was to start at the West Side park entrance and take a bicycle-drawn wagon (one for Pam and I and one for Jenny, her baby and her mother) to the foot of Bow Bridge, where her fiancé, Jesse, would meet her. When we arrived at the West Side entrance, as usual in NYC, there was a flurry of activity bordering on the feeling of chaos. There were bicycle-drawn wagons everywhere, some for hire, others not. No idea why, but I guess like cabdrivers, they’re off-duty sometimes. So we jumped in one and Jenny in another. We had to be about 5 minutes ahead of her in order to shoot Jesse waiting at Bow Bridge for his bride-to-be, but things didn’t go that smoothly. We arrived at the drop off point about 30 seconds after Jenny did and Bow Bridge was nowhere to be found.
After realizing the bridge was not going to be a short distance away, we started walking towards what we though would be the correct location. As it turns out, we were heading in the opposite direction – mind you, this area of Central Park is very confusing. At this point, Pam and I took over and began to find Bow Bridge by asking the workers in the park.
We finally arrived at Bow Bridge, ahead of the bride and met up with Jesse. He then told us that the minister had not yet arrived and he and the rest of the family were waiting and trying to contact her. After about 30 minutes of no successful contact, we decided to go ahead with the photo session as normal, without the actual ceremonial photos. This was a huge disappointment to the bride and groom, but they were still very excited about the occasion; because I have worked with Jenny in the past and she likes my work so much, she did not want to miss the opportunity to get photos while I was there. My assistant, Pam and I quickly came up with an alternative plan and had the family gather at the top of Bow Bridge for the family photos. These came out beautiful and I was very excited to review them as there are so many potential print quality photos to choose from. I’m sure Jesse and Jenny will be very pleased once the proofs are uploaded to company proofing site. I’ve already included two photos on the main page of my website.
After the family photos, we went ahead and had the bride and groom do a “free-play” photo session, where we took shots of opportunity as Jesse and Jenny made their way back to the limousine. We stopped here and there when the scenery and/or lighting presented itself. I don’t mind saying, both myself and Pam pulled off some outstanding photos that will sit very nicely on their wall and in their final album.
Once we arrived at the limo, with the main family members already inside, Jesse, Jenny, Pam and I jumped in for a ride back to the Marriot in Times Square where The View restaurant was holding reservations for them. During the ride, we took some great shots of the bride and groom toasting to champagne and enjoying themselves with their families. When we arrived at the restaurant, Pam and I took some final photos before they ordered their dinner.
As a whole, the entire experience turned out to be nothing short of awesome. The photo-ops, the couple themselves and the weather were all perfect. Pam did an excellent job pulling the wide angle side of the job and I was very pleased with the shots I took using my new 85/1.8 prime and 24-105/F4L. Cheers…