The wedding season opened last weekend with an amazing trip to Prangli Isle. We were so lucky Isle to share the day with Ly and Carlos on their special day. Ly is from Prangli Isle, it’s where she grew up and where her large family live, Carlos is from Spain. It was the first time I had been to Prangli, a small Island in the Bay of Finland. To get there we had to catch a ferry from Tallinn. It was a cloudy morning and the sea was a bit rough, but the excitement and spirits were high. We were picked up by Ly and her brothers at the port apon arrival in Prangli. We loaded up the trucks with our gear and then drove across the island through bumpy and winding forest roads. The wedding was held in a small field, between Ly’s family home and the coast of Prangli. It was a real family affair with everybody helping out to build and setup the wedding arch and the tent.
It was not long before out of the forests the trucks returned, this time filled with guests and not much later appeared Ly led down the aisle by her father. It was a great day filled with lots of excitement.
So I have mentioned in a few of my other blog posts that last year I got married, so those perceptive readers might be wondering what was the photography situation like at the wedding? Well as a wedding photographer myself you can be sure this was not a topic taken lightly in the planning for the big day. Many ideas were considered and thought through.
I had thought about many different options - just having a conventional wedding photographer, or different photog’s for different parts of the day (i.e one for ceremony but a different one for the portrait shoot)? I also considered to have a videographer? Should we have Polaroid cameras instead? or encourage the guests to use their phones and to send us the pics? There were many different options available
Early on we decided to loose the videographer - I believe that great photo’s can do a lot more than video can. Video at weddings has changed a lot in recent years. Before wedding video involved somebody bringing their camcorder and tripod and letting it roll on and on for many hours. These video’s are good because the whole day is captured, but they are still extremely boring and nobody every watches it. Today video is a different beast - with video stabilizers and 120fps, we no longer have a recording of the event, but an emotional whirling ‘B-roll’ montage. At first glimpse these video’s seem incredible, like some Hollywood film but after some time you realize there is nothing there - no real memories of the event and what to do with this video? Plus they don’t come cheap > so we decided to keep the money instead for photography. Maybe I also had nightmares of a jeans wearing teenager with his gimbal stabilized Sony knocking somebody over while he turns the wedding vowels into a scene out of a Christopher Nolan film.
So we decided on a traditional wedding photog, (with a twist which i will get to later). we hired Kerli Sosi to be the photographer, Kerli’s work I have been a huge fan of for a few years now - her work has a lot of emphasis on colour and texture. The wedding was in the height of summer with a strong stone, brick and wood theme. Kerli’s work I felt would be the best to capture this and she did an amazing job
…so about that twist…
We also decided to make the wedding photography a group effort. We came up with an idea to buy a load of old film point and shoot cameras and then to hand them out to the guests to use. Each camera we pre-loaded with a film and included a short instructions attached.
The first step was locating some cameras. In Estonia there is a secondhand online market called osta.ee. Here I was able to pick up a lot of great deals and over the period of around 2 months I was able to gather up 27 used film camera’s.
Some cameras I was able to buy for as little as 0.10c while the most expensive I think cost 5euro. Often the camera was cheap but then the postage would cost 2-3 Euro. I took my time and was able to collect a nice pile of them for not too much money. i think on average price was 1euro each. A few were in bad condition and could not be used.
So then for the films…I know there is a local photograph shop which seems to throw some sort of sale every few weeks, they have a habit during those sales of knocking the price down n films, so i waited for them to drop the price and bought 30 rolls - easy.
I was worried about people ‘accidentally’ opening the back of the cameras ’ to check if there is a film loaded’. To stop this I tapped each camera closed. We also included some small instruction note and attached to the camera strap, although the instructions were all in English and did not 100% suit all cameras’s, we still hoped it would help.
well how did it go? Here are some of the highlights….
I was really pleased with the results, the colours and tones are fantastic. Also I liked how the compositions are sometimes a bit off, I think this is caused because of the small viewfinder that comes with the camera - this is often difficult to correctly line up which made some great and alternative compositions. Of course there was a lot of out of focus shots, but for me they just add to the charm. In total we had approx 770 pictures from the 28 rolls of film. around 200 of the pictures did not come out - mostly these are from inside the venue without the flash firing. So approx 550 keepers! More than I could possibly have imagined and hoped for!
So for those that are interested what were the costs?
- Price of the 28 cameras - Approx. €50
- Price of Films - Approx. €65
- Developing and scanning - €131.50
Total - approx €250.
What will we do next? We plan to choose our favorite ones from photo’s from our wedding photographer and our favorites from the film cameras and then print them out into a good old fashioned photo album! Maybe I will blog about it once we have done that.
Last week was really busy, I had 4 different projects to work on - a food shoot, a product shoot and two private events. Processing the pictures took a lot of time and in each case there was a tight deadline. So by the time the weekend came along I was pleased for a little bit of fun -read: big stadium, bmx and skateboarding. It is Simple Session 2018 time.
Simple session is a huge bmx and skateboarding event in Tallinn held at the Saku-Suurhall arena. I had a press pass and it was a great chance to try my new 70-200mm f2.8.
[boring technical details alert] I spent two days there and took over 5000 RAW images. The light was alright, not bright and not dark, due to the obvious high speed of the moving athletes I needed to be at around 1/1000 shutterspeed. I could stop-down to f/2.8 on my 70-200mm which still was not enough so I had to bring the ISO up to around 2000-2500 which on my 7 year old 7D mk1 is pushing the limits of the sensor - so needless to say grain was an issue.
How about the images? Here are some of my favourites
Not sure what was more fun, editing these in Lightroom or the event itself.