One of my favorite wedding reception events is the bride and groom's first dance. I love it when I cruise around the circle of wedding guests looking for that perfect intimate moment with awesome lighting. It's really easy to take a simple flash picture of the bride and groom sharing a special moment together. However, shooting the same moment using natural light, or back lighting is more challenging. How about shooting through an out of focus crowd of wedding guests while keeping the newly married couple in sharp focus? That's a challenge! It's a challenge I live for. Whenever I shoot a first dance I take the easy safety shot. The sharp, well lit, easy safe shot that says, Here is the bride and groom at their first dance. Nice, Clean, Sharp and safe. Once I got that, then I let my creative juices flow. I'll look for the back light, then shot using only the back light. This is tough because in order to let enough light into the lens you need a wide lens opening. A wide lens opening means your focus point drops to nothing. If your focus is off, even a tiny bit, you are out of focus. Low light also means you need to be super steady. Because you have to use a slow shutter speed any movement will create motion blur. I have the Jeff Kolodny special technique for keeping the camera steady. I turn sideways to my shot, place the camera on my shoulder, speed my legs apart but in an angle, (This is the same stance used in Karate - Sanchin dachi fighting stance). Then I turn my head and look through the camera's eye-piece, which is sitting on my shoulder. I know it sound like a lot of thought goes into shooting this steady but it works. I can shoot one full F-Stop slower and still maintain focus. I've had other photographers see me do this and say to me, that's a great idea, you are using your shoulder was a steady pod. All I can say is this works.
This wedding reception took place in the hotels Ocean Ballroom which is one of my favorite wedding reception rooms. I'm always stoked when I have a wedding at the Harbor Beach Marriott because I know I'm going to have an opportunity to get some amazing and unique pictures. There are so many great photographic places to take pictures at this South Florida venue. The hotel features one of the best beaches in Broward County. I say best, because not only is it wide, its also clean with no debris to photoshop out later. In addition the hotel is placed in a great spot that blocks the harsh sun creating a giant soft lighting scene which is perfect for beauty photography. If you want sun for a sunset or just backlighting then venture to the pool which is always bathed in awesome natural sunlight. (Ok - if it's cloudy there is not going to be harsh sun.)
South Florida is home to many of the most picturesque wedding venues in the world, however if you are planning a South Florida wedding, specifically Broward County than you need to visit the Harbor Beach Marriott of you want the best wedding photos. Sure there are many other great wedding venues in Fort Lauderdale, but not a single hotel on Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard has a private beach like the Harbor Beach Marriott. Just check out the links from the Marriott below!
I'm sure that after you have checked out these links you will decide to visit this awesome Broward County, Fort Lauderdale wedding venue. While you are at it, give me a call regarding your wedding photography. I would love to hear from you,
Jeff (561) 737-5561
Location: 3030 Holiday Dr, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316.