Over the weekend, I spent 2 nights away at Lake Malawi’s Nkopola Resort at the service of Rolf & Natasha, a couple from Blantyre who were married on Saturday the 10th of April. They hired me to shoot their special day.
Each time I do a gig like this, I learn something for the future. Naturally, as the saying goes, if something can go wrong it will go wrong. But it doesn’t mean that those things can’t be overcome.
The first challenge for me was my inability to sleep Friday night. Was it nerves? Too much caffeine? By 6 when I decided to just get up, I was worried that I would bomb it, being too exhausted to think straight let alone shoot decent pics. But I was able to stay energized just enough throughout the day to last until 10PM when the reception, under a beautifully lit tent with the clear night star-filled sky above, moved from slow dancing to raucous, DJ-and-alcohol-fueled entertainment. By then, I was dead to the world.
Lesson learned: get plenty of sleep somehow. Any-how.
Another issue popped up when I was getting out my brand-new tripod Friday night. The clamp which hold a part of the leg open or closed broke completely. It took me until the next morning to jerryrig a solution so that it would be able to operate, though with one leg permanently jammed open. Oh well. At least I had a tripod.
Lesson two: bring a spare tripod and/or monopod (both of which I had at home but forgot in packing). And don’t forget basic tools/duct tape. (I used a leatherman and tie strips to fix the tripod).
Digital cards can be frail. My brand new 16GB card, in use with my brand-new Nikon D90 camera, failed halfway through the ceremony. It was unreadable and I was just sure I had lost pictures from the makeup/getting ready portion of the day as well as half the wedding (including the vows). I did have spare cards on me, but I was kicking myself for not moving over the pics I had already after the makeup (or at least when there was a lull in the getting-ready time). Later that evening, I found that with a bit of cleaning solution and wiping I was able to get the card to read again, though I don’t know if I’ll ever trust it completely again. And I was using a second camera usually equipped with a wide-angle lens so we would have a variety of angles and compositions.
Take spare digital cards and download your pictures as soon as possible.
Congrats to Rolf & Natasha and thanks for a good day. Having a gorgeous wedding party always makes it easier for the photographer, too. I mean how much work does it take to get good pics from people who naturally already look so good?