I’m not a wedding photographer, although I have photographed a few weddings in the past as a favor to family and friends. Since I’m always carrying a camera around, I’m occasionally asked to capture someone’s wedding, but it’s not my thing. While I have a lot of photography experience, I have limited experience as a wedding photographer.
I don’t envy those in this genre, because it’s a lot of work. The wedding photographer is often one of the first to arrive at the venue, and one of the last to leave, because every moment—from setup to reception’s end, and especially every instance in-between—is worth recording. There are so many memorable moments throughout the day, and the photographer’s job is to capture as many as possible, including every single of the big ones. Then there’s all the culling and editing. I would estimate that for every hour spent capturing pictures, I’d need two to three hours at the computer to edit the images. If I photographed for 12 hours, that would mean 24 to 36 hours of post-processing. Yikes!
Because Film Simulation Recipes can save you a whole bunch of time, it’s not surprising that I’ve been asked a number of times which ones might be good for wedding photography. Whether you’re a professional, or just doing it as a favor, or as a guest, Recipes are much more efficient, and cutting the culling and editing down to a reasonable time is highly appealing. I haven’t photographed a wedding since I began using Recipes, so it’s been difficult to recommend specific ones. Without personal experience, I’ve only been able to guess which ones might do well.
Last month I was invited to Marisa and Sahand Nayebaziz‘s wedding in Laguna Beach, California. Sahand is an app developer—if you’ve ever used the Fuji X Weekly App, Ricoh Recipes App, or RitchieCam App, you’ve seen his handiwork. His own app is called Details Pro, and if you are familiar with SwiftUI, you’ve probably heard of and maybe even used his app. Anyway, I’ve worked with Sahand for three years now, and he has been a significant part of the Fuji X Weekly story. He shoots with Fujifilm cameras and uses Film Simulation Recipes, so naturally we have developed a friendship. It was a real honor to be invited to Marisa and Sahand’s marriage ceremony.
The wedding was incredibly beautiful! Aside from the breathtaking location and the perfect weather, the event was decorated so well. It was literally like nothing I’d ever seen before. It was like a movie, except it was real!
My wife and I were guests. I brought my Fujifilm X100V—with a 10% CineBloom filter on the front—and did my best to stay out of the way. I wanted to photograph the wedding, but there’s nothing more annoying to the wedding photographer—and perhaps also the bride and groom—than to get in the way by being pushy with the camera. It’s much better to just blend into the crowd. I wasn’t the wedding photographer, and was quite satisfied with that arrangement; however, I still wanted to capture some images. Funny story, the wedding photographer, who was using a couple of Leica models, asked me several questions about my X100V; apparently he’s interested in buying one for his personal photography. Although I tried to blend in, my camera caught his attention, but I think in a good way.
My approach was to focus on things that I thought the wedding photographer might overlook. Of course, I had no idea what the photographer would or wouldn’t capture, but I know how easy it is to miss small things when your attention is on big things. I did my best to photograph those potentially missed pictures, while drawing as little attention to myself as practical. Also, I think the perspective of the guests can be a little different than that of the wedding crew, so I approached it as such.
The Fujifilm X100V is a great camera, but the fixed-focal-length lens is limiting. That’s not always a bad thing, but it did make it challenging in this case because I was sometimes further away than I needed to be to get the shots that I wanted. The digital teleconverter was utilized more often than usual—in a pinch it works well, but I avoid it when I can.
I had two Film Simulation Recipes in mind for the wedding, but I wasn’t sure until I got there if they would be good choices. It was a daylight outdoor wedding, and for those pictures I used my Kodak Portra 400 v2 Recipe, which is a favorite of both Sahand and myself, so it made a lot of sense to try it. That Recipe worked excellent, and I couldn’t be happier with the results. For the indoor reception pictures, I used the Fujicolor NPS 160 Pulled, which is soft and versatile—perfect for the situation.
Kodak Portra 400 v2 is a Film Simulation Recipe that I’m now happy to recommend for outdoor daylight wedding photography. Some others to consider are Kodak Portra 400, Reggie’s Portra, Timeless Negative, Reala Ace, Fujicolor Reala 100, Fujicolor Superia 100, Fujicolor C200, Fujicolor Pro 400H, and Fujicolor Natura 1600. I’m sure many others could work, too. Of course, which one you should choose will depend on the exact light condition and the aesthetic you desire. Fujicolor NPS 160 Pulled is a Recipe that I’m happy to recommend for indoor wedding photography. Fujicolor Super HG v2, Eterna v2, Reggie’s Portra, Reala Ace, and Timeless Negative are some others to consider. You might notice that a few Recipes are in both categories, and that’s because they’re more versatile. In fact, Fujicolor NPS 160 Pulled could also be a good option for sunny daylight situations. Kodak Tri-X 400 would be my top choice for black-and-white.
I just picked two Recipes, but if I was the photographer (and not a guest), I would have seven options ready to go in my C1-C7. I would select two for sunny outdoors, two for indoor, two for versatility, and one B&W. Something like Kodak Portra 400 v2 and Fujicolor Superia 100 for outdoors, Fujicolor NPS 160 Pulled and Fujicolor Super HG v2 for indoors, Reggie’s Portra and Reala Ace for versatility, and Kodak Tri-X 400 for monochrome. Then, I’d test each one at the venue, and decide at that point which ones I want to use—perhaps just three or maybe four of them—and stick with those few, unless the light changed and an adjustment was needed.
The photographs in this article are about 1/3 of the total that I gave to the bride and groom. Because I used Film Simulation Recipes and didn’t edit (aside from some cropping), the culling and post-processing took minutes, and not hours and hours. These were bonus pictures for them, hopefully complimenting the wonderful photographs that the actual wedding photographer captured. Marisa and Sahand seemed to like them. If you are considering using Film Simulation Recipes at an upcoming wedding, I hope that this article provides you with some direction. If you’ve used Recipes at a wedding, let me know in the comments which ones you used and how they worked out.
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