Rusty Pelican Sunset & Twilight Wedding with Mary & Jason

Rusty Pelican in Tampa waterfront view of Tampa Bay provides the background for the wedding couple

You really never know where you might find a wedding photography job.  Back in February I was still considering other work to supplement the photography business.  I was at some nursing college in Tampa to interview for an English teaching position there.  One of the other two applicants was Mary.  During the mind numbingly boring 2-hour class we were "requested" to sit in on we got to talking and it turned out she was engaged and did need a wedding photographer.  From that very chance encounter, it ended in me photographing her wedding to Jason at the Rusty Pelican along Tampa Bay.  Oh, and though we were told we were the only candidates for the jobs, no one was ever contacted again!

Inside the lobby of the Westin Hotel in Tampa was this very cool waterfall background that presented a challenge to photograph well.

I started photographing their wedding from their apartment near downtown Tampa.  Mary was getting ready there as well as the bridesmaids.  Then I was off to the Westin Hotel to meet Jason and the groomsmen.  The lobby of the Westin was really cool looking and I was excited to have a very modern looking glass waterfall to use as a background.  

Nikon D300 Tamron 17-50mm @ f/4 ISO 800 1/40th Strobist: Nikon SB-800 to left & Nikon SB-600 to right

I have to admit it took me quite a few tries to finally get the exposure correct so that the colors in the waterfall could be seen and that the groomsmen were all adequately lit up.  To get the above image, I had to use a settings combo that I never had before.  I had to have very steady hands while using 1/40th of a second shutter speed.  I told the groomsmen to likewise hold there poses as statuesque as possible.  In the end I was very pleased with the results and gained a lot of new experience from shooting in such a unique location.  

 At the Rusty Pelican, father of the bride walks her down the aisle to give her awayThe weather cooperated perfectly for Jason and Mary's outdoor wedding ceremony at the Rusty Pelican.  It was not even that hot.  The sky had just enough clouds to make an interesting backdrop for the ceremony and later the formal portraits.

Nikon D300 Tamron 17-50mm @ f/5.6 ISO 200 1/80th Strobist: SB-800 to left and SB-600 to rightThere were two other weddings earlier at the Rusty Pelican.  We were fortunate to be last because that meant I was already well setup for getting the best sunset and twilight backgrounds for my photographs.  Two other photographers had to scurry for lesser spots.  

Making a group portrait like this at twilight would not be possible without a 2-strobe setupOver the course of this year I added a second strobe to my strobist setup for sunset and twilight portraits.  This allows me to properly light a wide group of people like the nine adults in a row above.  This is one rare, highly specialized skill that is available to clients who choose Jason Collin Photography.

A Wedding Kiss at Twilight from the Rusty PelicanOn their shot list, Mary and Jason wanted a photograph of them under the Rusty Pelican sign.  Time was running short, as often tends to happen with wedding photography, so as we were walking in to the reception, I had them stand under the sign while I quickly setup my 2-strobe technique with my camera bags being hurriedly tossed aside (closed though!) and was able to get several different shots of them while placating the Rusty Pelican staff person urging them to get inside to their guests.  

For me, that was the last tough, time pressured shot of the night.  From there it was off to the free flowing shooting environment of the wedding reception.  Mary and Jason's wedding was a great technical challenge that allowed for me to produce some of my most creative shots of the year.