Samantha and Paul, Marriott Waterside Wedding

Now that the holidays are over, wedding season is here. This past weekend, I was second-shooting with MJ, so most of the setup shots are her poses that I was shooting from a second angle. Samantha and Paul had both the ceremony and reception at the Marriott Waterside in Tampa. Things went smoothly thanks to the coordination of Weddings by Georgia.

We had plenty of time for pictures since everything was at one location and the couple saw each other before the ceremony.

The hotel has lots of great lobbies and hallways that make nice backgrounds. The hotel was fairly empty which allowed us to roam freely. Here, I started by underexposing the image slightly and adding a snooted flash on the couple. The orange painting in the upper right gives a good indication of the ambient level of the hotel lights. I used a snooted flash in several of the following shots. See the difference between their faces and her waist? The snoot concentrates the light, allowing me to draw the viewer's eye exactly where I want it.
This lobby faces giant windows and always has very nice light. But I wanted a different look so I used the same principle as above. Underexposing the image adds some drama and mood while a snooted flash lets her "pop" a little bit. You can see the flash starting around her knee. Sometimes a flash can be used for a very dramatic image, but it's always nice to blend it with existing light for a very natural look.

MJ was shooting Samantha from behind so I swung around and got some profile shots. And yes, when you have two Tampa Photo shooters covering your wedding, you may feel like a celebrity!

Then we moved downstairs where we found these monstrous paintings. I was still using a snooted flash aimed at the couple, but for this image I placed a second flash on a table behind the groom to light the painting.

Samantha and Paul weren't very interested in standard formal shots for their groups, so we mixed things up a little bit.

This window was throwing some really cool light into this upstairs lobby so I just had to play around with it. My snooted flash helps Samantha stand out against the bright backlight.

Knocking the exposure way down darkened the room, but still allowed the veil to be blown out from the window light. The effect of the snooted flash is more obvious here since I have lowered the ambient exposure level so much. I noticed that the window light was not covering the full veil with this new pose, but we had already spent enough time on this theme and I didn't want o bother repositioning her farther back.

There were lots of cute kids at the wedding, and as a new father I am sure I am more drawn to them now than ever before. It was tough to edit the images down to a reasonable number, but I managed to choose two (and it just so happens they are of the same kid!). Awww, look at that face!

I just love the closeness and the interaction of the family in this image.

I usually light the cake with my flashes, but the Marriott did a pretty good job with their house lights. While shooting room shots before the ceremony, I was happy to find that the interior lights were fairly close to the ambient light outside. And the color difference between the cool cloudy light outside and the warm incandescent light inside makes for a pleasing separation of foreground and background.

Samantha and Paul had a really great first dance. They came out to the band jamming "Good lovin" and did a choreographed dance. It was really fun to see something a little different.

Congratulations Samantha and Paul! It was a pleasure to document your special day. Good luck and have fun!

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