Monsoon Wedding


Last month I had the privilege of photographing Matt and Carly Frey’s big day. Other than the certainty that it will be hot, the Tucson weather in early July is unpredictable. As it happened on July 8, the weather ranged from sweltering before the ceremony (when the formal photographs were taken) to downpours, lightning, and wind as the monsoon storms rolled through during and after the (fortunately indoor) ceremony. In the post-ceremony photograph above, Matt and Carly were at the center of a veil swirling in the wind. Others in the sequence were also fun:

Since the bride was running late before the ceremony, I had some time to work with the rings. The church had some free-standing purple strip lights scattered around the base of the walls for a decorative effect. I commandeered one—along with a piano bench with a black glossy cushion—and was able to arrange this still life:

Purple Promises. Nikon D850 with Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8G at 1/20 sec, f/11, ISO 1600.

The purple strip light was shining on the wall a few feet behind the rings and the low viewing angle let the purple reflect off the glossy black bench cushion. The combination of purple, black, copper, and silver works really well together. I think this image would make a great wedding album cover.

I used the same purple strip light—this time standing on end and shining sideways—to add some interesting lighting to this image:

Touch of Smile. Nikon D850 with Nikon 85mm f/1.8G at 1/500 sec, f/2.0, ISO 250.

Here Carly was softly lit by massive floor-to-ceiling windows to the left of the frame. My only wish here is for a little more light on her face to make her eyes more visible, but I love the pose. Perhaps a white reflector held just out of the frame to the right would have been perfect. As it is, I like how the touch of moodiness and hint of a smile work together in the image. It has a very romantic feel to it.

Carly. Nikon D850 with Nikon 85mm f/1.8G at 1/1000 sec, f/2.0, ISO 250.

This image has a much lighter feel to it. I really like the warm, creamy color palette and the soft light.

From the ceremony itself, this image of Matt watching Carly read her vows is one of my favorites:

Vows. Nikon D850 with Nikon 85mm f/1.8G at 1/180 sec, f/4.0, ISO 3200.

The following image from after the ceremony makes me smile—the beginning of Carly’s life-long struggle to keep her husband looking sharp:

There! Nikon D850 with Nikon 28mm f/1.8G at 1/45 sec, f/3.3, ISO 3200.

And we’ll finish up with a few kissing photos:

Kissing in the Rain. Nikon D850 with Nikon 85mm f/1.8G at 1/350 sec, f/4.8, ISO 3200.

Kissing out of the Rain. Nikon D850 with Nikon 8-15mm f/3.5-4.5E Fisheye at 15mm, 1/350 sec, f/4.8, ISO 3200.

A quick note about equipment. I was very happy with my Nikon D850 when shooting this event; I took it up to ISO 3200 without any fear and it really delivered. The workhorse lenses for this event were the 85mm f/1.8G and the 28mm f/1.8G; if I had a fast zoom I am sure that I would have used it, but these covered the bases very well for me. I also used an SB-910 Speedlight flash for the ceremony itself. I learned some lessons from all of this for next time, but I think this post is long enough.

Congratulations, Matt and Carly!