Behind the Cake

I know, wedding photography is all fun and games, right? Well, I admit that I really do love it, but it’s absolutely not a game. These are really important photos of moments that can’t be repeated, so there is a lot of stress involved. But more than that, it’s a LOT of work! Of course, I probably obsess about the details more than a lot of photographers, so I give myself more work than I otherwise would.

Here’s an example from Cory and Derrick’s wedding a couple months ago. The reception was at  a very nice banquet hall, but when I arrived before the wedding I saw the cake was just sitting in front of a wall, somewhat unceremoniously.

Pretty boring photo of an otherwise nice cake. One could take the shot and move on, recording it just as it was. But it’s not very artistic, is it? In fact, I’d wager that half the guests with pocket cameras have a photo that looks about the same. As a professional, it’s my job to give the couple something special.

Let’s dress this up a bit. I had about five minutes before the bride arrived to make it look, well… good. I looked around and found some beautiful (and surprisingly lightweight) flower arrangements on either side of the head table. See them in the photo? Score! But I still hated that striped wall with a chair rail running right through the picture. Oh yeah, and the cardboard under the cake itself wasn’t so great either.

I grabbed an extra white table cloth from the caterer (thank you for your patience, by the way), and set up two light stands to hang it on. You can just see them in the photo below while Carol holds the table cloth, ready to set it up. We also borrowed some green lace from… somewhere, I don’t know. (I’m starting to bring some of that kind of thing with me these days)

So, here we see the setup from a distance. Not much to look at when you stand back but, what a difference to the final cake photo!

So, there you have it. A little peek into what goes into a typical wedding a dozen times over during the course of the day. I’d rather put in a little extra effort and give my couples something special than the same photos they could get from Cousin Jamie and his cell phone camera.


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