green cake

green wedding cake, Canon 300D

Thank you to everyone who voted for my site for Photo Friday’s Challenge on the Mother theme. I am so delighted to have won my first noteworthy photo!

Some of you asked what I learned at my first wedding shoot. So much I don’t know where to begin!

First, I have a great respect for wedding photographers. I think it is the single most challenging scenario for anyone to shoot. You have absolutely no control whatsoever! You are shooting documentary style photos, portraiture and still lifes all with the looming cloud of “This is the most important day of my life so don’t f*ck it up” hanging over your head.

There are hundreds of people to capture who are all doing different things, and if you blink too long you might miss the kiss or the toss, or the funny thing that little cousin Billy did. If you have to go to the bathroom you might miss the best man’s speech or the cutting of the cake, and your roll of film will inevitably run out during that really cool moment when the groomsmen start doing capoeira flips and no handed cartwheels on the dance floor. (This actually happened to me the other night, I swear.)

You have also been shooting for God-only-knows-how-many-hours and you are struggling to be inspired by the flash photography and the gazillionth toast.

All that said, you are at a wedding and what could be better? Witnessing that kind of love, ritual and celebration is such a gift and privilege. There were many moments when I would forget to shoot because I was so moved and spellbound by the look in the bride and groom’s eyes.

My tips? What I learned?

Shooting wedddings isn’t easy. (I was happily the second shooter at the wedding over the weekend.) I look forward to doing more because I am convinced it is the most excellent training any photographer can have. I was discussing this with two friends of mine who are very successful and accomplished professionals. They challenged themselves to shoot weddings years ago simply for the training. One continued to do it and the other didn’t, but both feel like the experience helped them tremendously in their career.

I say, start shooting at weddings you attend as a guest. Get some practice when there is no pressure and then start assisting a professional. You might do this for years before you take on clients of your own. No matter if you ever do it professionally, you will grow and learn as a photographer. You will also get to eat lots of green cake and occasionally ride a scary rollercoaster afterwards.



  1. fern
    Posted August 3, 2004 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    I am always seeing with the mind to shoot a pic, but never seem to get the camera to my eye… always getting caught up in the seeing and losing sight in the recording of the moment….practice…patience…
    PS I hadn’t realized I could vote for your “photo fridays” shots…from now on…..

  2. Michele
    Posted August 3, 2004 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    That’s Awesome Andrea! Can we have a peek of some photos you took in the future?

  3. samantha
    Posted August 3, 2004 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    that’s a great suggestion, to practice at wedding where you are a guest. Plus, you could always give a framed shot or an album to the couple as a gift, which they would most likely love.
    the green cake is awesome!! what an original idea!

  4. Posted August 3, 2004 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    That cake is just beautiful!
    Way to step out of your comfort zone with the wedding photographing. I’m sure the bride and groom will be overjoyed with the results.
    You’re so talented!

  5. jenn
    Posted August 3, 2004 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    what an honor to be not only asked to witness this event, but also be asked to help document it. how wonderful. it’s like gettting to be in on a really great secret. i am in love with this cake! please, please, please post more pics of it. i am right now learning to be a pastry chef and this cake is SO inspiring, as are you. you are making me wish i was as home baking in my kitchen right now!

  6. Julia
    Posted August 3, 2004 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    I love, love, love this photo of the cake!! It is exquisite. Both the cake, and your awesome photo, are truly works of art. I also thoroughly enjoyed your comments and insight about your 1st wedding shoot. Great post! :)

  7. puscha olieslager
    Posted August 4, 2004 at 1:31 am | Permalink

    i would like to say “thankyou” for always inspiring me. i am a (almost) 30 year young, south african, who since i can remember, has always known that i am an artist. to be more accurate, a closet artist. every week, amongst all the corporate madness, i sneak a peek at your website. i am uplifted by your creativity and honesty. hopefully one day, i’ll be brave enough to make MY creativity, a full time professional passion too…

  8. azura
    Posted August 4, 2004 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    Andrea, I cannot say this enough times…. I LOVE your photos! I really do!!!

  9. Posted August 4, 2004 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    congratulations on your award!

  10. Posted August 4, 2004 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    The cake image is so good it looks like it is coming right out at me through the screen. Reminds me of the Swedish Princess Cake.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts about what you learned from the wedding photo experience. I like the idea of not going at it alone! One would like to be in a dozen places at once at a wedding I think !

  11. Posted August 6, 2004 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    The green cake is absolutely the coolest!!!!!! If I ever get married in the future – I think I may also have a green cake. Green is one of my all time favorite colors. The cake looks so good. Your pictures are always gorgeous and so real. So real that the picture of the cake is making my mouth water and my stomach grumbling with excitement just by looking at it!!!