Shuna's Wedding. / by Luke Cheng

Last month I was hired to photograph Shuna and Harold's wedding out in the Bay Area. I get an opportunity to go out to the Bay to do shoots every once in a while, and I jump at the chance every single time. The wedding took place at a beautiful vineyard on a warm and sunny day. I shot with both Sony and Canon systems. No a9 on this wedding as it took place before the release of that camera body. This wedding was shot with a Canon 5d mark ii, 7d mark ii, and the Sony a7rii.

When I arrived the bride and her party were beginning to get ready. The location had a room just for them very close to the area of the ceremony. It was quite convenient! I enjoy taking photos of the bride and her bridal party getting ready as it is awesome to see how careful and detailed the make up artists are in preparing everyone for the day. There are a lot of shots to focus on during this time. I usually try to get both closer and wider shots of the activity as well as a lot of the detail such as the make-up used and the application of make-up on the bride and bridesmaids.

Also during this time are the wedding gown photos. Also taken are photos of the rings, shoes, flowers, and other special items involved in the wedding. It's always a fun challenge to try and figure out where and how to take these photos. I usually get a full shot of the wedding dress hung up in a beautiful location, and I did, but my favorite photo of the wedding dress from this weekend was the photo above focusing on the ribbon. The image reminds me of a present that you might receive at Christmas or on your birthday. Today, like those days, is a very special one.

Here comes the bride! Shuna was walked down the aisle with her parents by her side. What a proud and happy moment for her! I always love seeing the facial expressions in the photographs. They capture so much. I can see the joy in Shuna's face, she's beaming! Mom and dad are happy, but I also think there's a bit of sadness seeing their daughter get married off and into the care of another.

As with all ceremonies, each couple has their own unique inclusions. In Shuna's ceremony, one of the groomsmen stepped out and sang a special song for her and Harold. I was actually really impressed by his voice - I'm sure he slays at karaoke! 

'The couple has chosen rings...' is a very common phrase I hear at wedding ceremonies. And in fact the rings are very, very important as they symbolize the union between the two. Here the pastor is letting the congregation know that the particular rings he is holding up are to be for Shuna and Harold as a symbol of their love and commitment. This photo is one of my favorites as the sky is completely blown out behind the pastor. It has a high key look to it that works especially well in black and white.

The kiss! That first kiss has to be captured... it just has to be! This is the one moment where the photographer has to get it right. The photo has to be in focus and captured at just the right moment because it won't happen again. For Shuna and Harold's wedding ceremony kiss, I was close to them so I was able to get photos that were more intimate.

Shuna and Harold had quite the  bridal party - there were 13 of them in total. Shuna had told me there was an uneven mix between the groomsmen and bridesmaids before hand, but it was still a challenge to think of how to arrange everyone. With 8 bridesmaids and just 5 groomsmen, a lot of thought had to go into the poses. I liked how this group shot turned out. With two women on the ends and one groomsmen in the middle, the photo came out pretty balanced.

And of course we had to do a few fun shots with the bridal party. Here they are making a big deal out of the newlyweds kissing. The bridal party was a lot of fun to work with, and I enjoyed the unique challenge of fitting everybody into the frame. Thankfully, wide angle lenses are there to save the day. 

Here's a great moment during the father-daughter dance. What a treat for dad to get to dance with his daughter on her wedding night in front of all the guests! His expression really tells it all, and I love the people in the background watching the dance. This photo had to be in black and white as I think those tones give this photo a classic look... for a classic moment.

I'll finish off this blog post with an action photo taken during the bouquet toss. I really like this photo as it freezes the lady who got the flowers right as she is about to grab them. Shots like this require good timing and good lighting. I had to rely of my Canon camera system to get this shot as I don't have the flash set-up yet for Sony. In the end, I was very happy with the images produced.

I've sent off Shuna and Harold's wedding package. I hope they enjoy it and I'm looking forward to some more weddings coming up soon!