Beach Weddings with Matt Staver

Guest Post and photographs by Matt Staver. All images copyright 2011, Matt Staver.

Matt Staver is one of the nicest, most talented young photographers I know. He is fearless whether photographing sporting events, big time politicos and captains of industry, and yes weddings. Visit some of Matt’s other posts on previous Faces Fridays to see a uniquely Matt-esque photojouralistic, yet inherently artistic, approach to photographic weddings. Recently, Matt had a chance to photograph a friend’s wedding on a beach in Mexico and here’s what happened in his own words.

An island wedding in Cozumel, Mexico with the ceremony to occur on the water at sunset sounds perfect.  This is a photographer’s dream assignment – a photogenic young couple, beautiful backdrop, amazing atmosphere and creative flexibility.  Making these photographs, however, required thoughtful logistical planning, cooperation and some luck.

(Photo at left) Canon EOS 5D with 24mm f1/4 lens and an exposure of 1/8000 sec at f/1.4 and ISO 100. I used a wide aperture to force the striking physical environment to become secondary—focusing on what is truly important in these photographs, the couple sharing beautiful moments together.  The dramatic ocean and sand are still evident, and along with the lighting, composition and gesture of the couple aggregate into an almost ethereal, magical visual moment captured in each photograph.

With the ceremony at sunset and the beach on the other side of the island we couldn’t photograph Jessica and Anders together after their wedding and make it to the sand.  They wanted photographs of both of them together on the beach, yet they still wanted to have that moment where Anders saw Jessica for the first time in her wedding dress.  This was no easy task in a location without cell phones or even trees along the beach for cover. But, the creative use of a rental van, rental car, camp and beach towels, and a few family members with reliable watches allowed Anders and Jessica to have that significant moment there on the beach, before the ceremony.  The important result of creating that moment for them is two-fold.  It allowed me to photograph them on the beach together and have more than a few minutes to make the pictures happen.  It also set the mood and tone for the portrait session that I could never recreate.Photo at above right was taken with my Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III 85mm f/1.2 with an exposure of 1/8000 sec at f.2.5 and ISO 100.

Author: Joe Farace

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