I'm pleased to announce that I actually won a WPPI award for this photograph! It's always great when you win a photography award. What is even more amazing about this photo is the fact that it was taken with candle light mixed with the slightest amount of bounce flash. As a wedding photographer who is based in South Florida I shoot more jewish weddings than any other type of wedding ceremony. While I happen to be Jewish, I'm not a photographer who only shoots Jewish weddings. I actually shoot all kinds of weddings from Catholic to Indian to Mixed Religion ceremonies.
For this shot a really wanted the natural candle light to be the main light source, However, candle light by itself is difficult to control. In a situation like a wedding ceremony I decided that I would have to mix some soft bounce strobe light with the candle light.
In my many years of photographing Jewish wedding I find the Jewish Orthodox Weddings to be the most fun. Mostly because there is so much going on. In these wedding there is a lots of different events that are routed in long held beliefs and symbolism. I find this to be incredibly interesting and fun to photograph.
Below are a few the to Jewish Orthodox Traditions I find the most interesting.
Before the ceremony starts, the groom is led to the bride by the wedding guest for the Bedeken where he greets his bride and puts her veil over her face. This signifies that he loves her for her inner beauty, It also is a tradition taken from a Jewish Bible story where Jacob was tricked into marrying the sister of the bride. Now the groom and the rabbi place the veil over the bride face. Actually the idea is that the rabbi witnesses the veiling and it's up to the rabbi to make sure she is the one at the ceremony. As a photographer I find that following this tradition results in a beautiful meaningful moment which I'm always happy to photograph.
Circling the Groom
In a Jewish Orthodox wedding the bride circles the groom seven times once she meets him at the end of the aisle. There are many different reasons why this tradition takes place. If you ask several different rabbis about this you will usually get several different answers. Whatever the meaning, it his another of my favorite photos to capture. I always try to shoot a few frame of this using natural light. Think about it, the bride's face is draped with a veil, she is often lit with some sort of spot lighting which creates the most amazing lighting conditions. I just love photographing this special moment.
Breaking of the Glass
When the wedding ceremony reaches its end, the groom steps (or should I say stomps) on a glass which has been placed inside a fabric bag. (Sometimes it's not a glass, the glass is replaced with a lightbulb for safety reasons.) As with man other traditions, breaking the glass has multiple meanings. I have heard the breaking of the glass represents the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. I have also hears that it conveys that there is still suffering in the world and this acknowledges that fact. I must have heard about 5 different meanings of why a glass is broken at the end of the ceremony.
These are just 3 Orthodox wedding traditions that I love to photograph. Keep in mind there are other traditions associated with other religions that I also enjoy photographing. For example Indian weddings are loaded with unique, fun, and interesting events and traditions as well. I do have to admit I find the Jewish Orthodox Wedding to most fun to shoot. Maybe that is because I myself am jewish.
If you are planning a Jewish wedding or a Jewish Orthodox wedding any place in South Florida feel free to vide me a call. I would love to talk with you. My number is (561) 737-5561.
In addition here is a link to a Jewish Orthodox wedding I photographed.
Location: 4441 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33140. .