The Wedding Photographer

There is something intriguing about taking pictures of a photographer. This sweet lady was holstering a little 35mm camera during the ceremony while I was using the big guns (Nikon D700 with a Nikkor 80-400mm lens). At one point I was right next to her and she leaned over and whispered “I’ll take one of each” – that is, a print of each photo I was taking.

You might think I would be intimidating with my fancy-schmancy camera gear, but truth is I was saying “excuse me” and trying to stay out of her way.

This photo was taken during the reception while she was taking pictures with the disposable cameras that the wedding couple dispersed on the tables. Now that’s what I call a wedding photographer!

The Wedding Photographer by Derek Olson

Camera / lens info : Nikon D700 with Nikkor 24mm f/2.8

Asheville, NC wedding

Children in Wedding Photos – Ceremony at Biltmore Estate

Children are always a trip to photograph, whether it’s photojournalistic or portraiture.

Here is a photo I snapped off just before a wedding ceremony at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC. There are several locations on the Biltmore Estate grounds where weddings take place; this particular wedding was at the Deerpark.

When photographing children I usually get the camera at their eye level. This isn’t always the case, it just depends which lens I’m using and what look or mood I’m going for in the photo. Here it was all about the kids expressions so I felt it was necessary to get on their level. The lighting is all natural, as the flash would have ruined the ambiance of the space. Also firing a flash would have blown my cover if I had needed to retake the shot.

Photojournalistic photo at a Biltmore Estate wedding

Photojournalistic photo at a Biltmore Estate wedding

Camera / lens info : Nikon D700 with Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 lens (1600 ISO)

2009 National Gingerbread House Competition

The 2009 National Gingerbread House Competition at the Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa in Asheville, North Carolina. It was great to be involved with this competition for the second year in a row.

Close-up of 1st place winner in adult category

Close-up of 1st place winner in adult category

Sunset at High Hampton Inn Wedding in Cashiers, NC

This photo is from a wedding in October at High Hampton Inn in Cashiers, North Carolina. The whole day, up to this point, it was overcast and threatening to rain. Thankfully it never rained and the cloudy atmosphere was quite pleasant and provided a nice diffused light for photos of the ceremony. Right after the ceremony the sky surprised us and turned an amazing hue of pink, red, and orange; I took several different portraits of April and Jeff during this surreal sunset. This shot is my favorite of the bunch.


Relationship Between Personal Photography and Wedding Photography

Every few posts on my blog I’ll step away from wedding photography and post some fine-art photography that I’ve taken. I learned to excel in photography through my personal work and this has been a huge benefit for me in my wedding photography experiences. Yes, the two worlds can co-exist. After all, capturing a wedding implements many aspects of photography: portraiture, landscapes, photojournalism, and even macro. The knowledge and understanding I gain of photography through personal work and weddings is reciprocal.

Here is a photo I took last month of Soco Falls in Cherokee, North Carolina. For the camera geeks: this is 4 separate exposures stitched together in Photoshop. The camera was on a tripod and for each exposure I moved the camera to cover a “section” of the scene. I was fairly close to the waterfall and I wanted this shot to look really wide to pull the viewer in.


Soco Falls in Cherokee, North Carolina

Soco Falls in Cherokee, North Carolina

Camera/lens info : Nikon D700 with Nikkor 24mm f/2.8

Photo from Biltmore Estate Wedding in Asheville, NC

Setting the scene with a wide shot is an important part of wedding photography. Each shot tells the story of the wedding and if I didn’t have that wide shot to establish the surroundings then all those great close-up moments would lack context. That isn’t to say a close-up photo needs to be side by side with a wide shot to make sense, but for the wedding couple’s book or photo slideshow, it’s essential.

Here is a wide shot I took at a Biltmore Estate wedding last year. The Biltmore Estate is a popular tourist destination here in Asheville, NC and is a fairy-tale setting for weddings. It’s also a photographer’s paradise!

Biltmore Estate Wedding - Asheville photographer

Camera/lens info: Nikon D300 with Nikkor 18-200mm VR lens (I’ve parted with both… to upgrade)

Asheville wedding photographer

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