Jaclyn and Michael’s wedding was held in the Roman Catholic Church of the Holy Spirit, Greenlane, Penang. It was a smaller wedding but loads of fun as everyone knew each other. Jaclyn had a beautiful dress as you can see in her portraits. The other nice touch was on her shoes in the very first photo below. Very cute 🙂
The portraits were mostly conducted at the very crowded Batu Ferringhi Beach. (Some claim it is where “First Contact” originally happened 🙂 ). Lots of congratulations were given to Michael and Jaclyn but it was a bit of a challenge to find anywhere without capturing a myriad of sun worshippers enjoying the beach in the background. We had to get creative with the sky and the lighting. People who follow me know we have been using radio activated strobes for close to 15 years now. That experience came in useful for the portraits!
Dinner was held at the Park Royal hotel as was the tea ceremony which punctuated the banquet through out the evening. I have other tea ceremony photos on the site so for the sake of space am not posting any here today.
Finally I would like to point out how unobtrusive we are at weddings. Have a look at the church ceremony photos below. I mention this specifically as at two weddings we did last month the grooms mum and best man both thanked us that we were not in the way or obtrusive. I have become increasingly aware that this is a problem with a fair number of younger and less experienced photographers. Anyway, we believe the day is about you so we try our best to be the fly on the wall.
Michael and Jaclyn’s entrance. Quick note: The purple and green tinges are from the increasingly popular LED lights that are being put into many hotels.
These make colour correcting skin tones a bit of a chore and why we use external radio controlled strobe lighting.
Just back yesterday from covering a church wedding in Pekanbaru, Sumatra, Indonesia. Saw lots of friends from City Harvest Church in Subang Jaya as most of the friends in attendance know the bride and groom from their student days studying in Sunway/Taylors colleges. Pastor Kevin from City Harvest Subang was in attendance and made mention that it was the biggest reunion of the Indonesian contingent from City Harvest. All the old leaders and many familiar faces from many years ago when we covered Pastor Kevin’s own wedding.
Geoff and Ellie had flown in from Canada so they could celebrate with Ellie’s parents in the town of Taiping where they held a traditional Chinese Tea ceremony and banquet dinner for the family. Geoff’s folks flew down from Canada to enjoy the ceremonies and they were also joined by his brother and sister in law from Japan. Traditional Chinese weddings include giving of tea by the couple to all of their older relations, and receiving tea from their younger relations. It is a great way of getting to meet the family and understanding the relational links. The bride and groom also receive a lot of gifts, both jewelry and cash. This provides a good “kick start” to married life.
The dinner banquet had the traditional cake cutting, champagne popping and table-by-table yumseng. We rounded out the end of the night with a series of family group photos, one of which is shown below. With family group photos the secret is to work quickly, professionally, and be able to banter with the family to get everyone relaxed. And as always – shoot RAW for best results. We used a total of 6 flashes for these photos. Setting up that many lights quickly requires you to know your gear.
Four days later we all headed to Putrajaya where the legal technicalities of getting married in Malaysia were taken care of. Then we headed off to a nice location for a small private ceremony by the lake. I have to admit I was a bit concerned about this part of the day as it was going to be mid-morning, and the heat could have melted all of us…me included! Fortunately the sky was overcast, and a gentle breeze started which kept temperatures moderate. All in all it was very pleasant.
I know a lot of photographers like to see how we shoot a wedding. I have attended a few weddings where you see more of the photographer and video crew than the wedding couple!!!! There were 2 of us covering each of these days. Take note of where we were shooting from. One of us (my shooting buddy for +10 years)Â is way off doing long shots, while I am up “close”. I like to use the professional 70-200 f2.8 lenses for their versatility and reach as well as their quick focusing and sharpness. Do note where I am shooting from. It does mean I have to move around fairly rapidly (walking not running) but ensures I never block the family. Why stop the enjoyment of someone who flew thousands of miles so they could witness the wedding?
After the ceremony we did a quick series of family groups and some portraits before the weather closed in and it started to rain.
The Flemington Hotel in Taiping
Wedding Portraits were in the beautiful Taiping Lake Gardens
Geoff and Ellie looked splendid
We believe photography should be fun. The right word at the right time.
Geoff’s family noticed it was slightly warmer in Malaysia than Canada
The famous “Blue Frame”. Nat Geo eat your heart out. Blue is the new Yellow.
Grant giving some photo tips. I used a 5DMk3 and D3 at this shoot
Welcome to dinner!
Ellie and Geoff serve Ellie’s parents tea
Ellie’s mum bedecks her daughter
Ellie strikes gold. What a great smile.
Geoff’s parents entering into the spirit of the traditional Chinese tea ceremony
Geoff and Ellie’s grand walk in to their banquet in the Flemington hotel
Popping the champagne!
Ellie’s family. End of evening group photo.
A few jumps through the hoops at the Putrajaya registration centre and Geoff and Ellie were married.
The private wedding ceremony was held on the end of a pier in Putrajaya near the Maritime centre
I do too!
Personal note: I enjoy weddings…can you tell?
A very happy day for Ellie
Sometimes families travel thousands of miles to view the wedding. Wedding Photo Tip: NEVER block the families view of the ceremony.
Geoff and Ellie wrote their own vows for a personal touch
Ellie was simply stunning
The happy couple
A dramatic skyline…weather was closing in at this stage.
Agnes contacted me from Japan where she has been living for the past 8 years. She was coming back to Malaysia to get her marriage with her fiance Isao registered with the government. As she had been away for so long she was a bit out of touch with the wedding industry so asked me if I could:
Arrange a wedding gown
Arrange a suit for the groom
Arrange a church
Arrange a minister
Arrange a make up and hair stylist
Arrange a bouquet
Arrange a wedding car
Recommend a hotel for easy access to the church
Draw up a timeline and co-ordinate the day – Hey I am a wedding planner!Â BTW I worked in an event management company for 12 years!
That’s a tall order when you contact your wedding photographer a mere 2 1/2 weeks before the date! Even more so when you realise I was in the midst of a heavy shoot schedule with photography for the annual report with one of the big banks in KL as well as heading off to do the Perhentian “Trash the Dress” shoot you will find elsewhere on this web site. Other than the car which they found on line before I could get back to them (Perhentian is a remote place to do business from!) I organized and advised them with everything else. So yes WE CAME THROUGH!
We chose St Barnabas Klang as its a great wedding church and has nice air-conditioning! I also know the minister well so there were no issues. We respect the rules the church puts in place for us. (Photographers: Please remember that in a church you are a guest and you should always respect the location).
This is not the smallest wedding we have shot, its TIED with two others we have done. One in Four Seasons and the other in Assumption. All three had a bride, a groom, and officiant and ….us. In this wedding blessing both myself and the makeup artist were called on to be witnesses 🙂
The ceremony was very moving and significant for both Agnes and Isao.
Afterwards we spent about 30 minutes taking portraits before heading back to the hotel. Job well done.
Ben and Yin’s wedding was both a special day for them and a unique one in Malaysia’s wedding photography industry. Why? Because my friend Mr How brought along his brand new Canon 200-400 F4L, The first and only one in Malaysia. I will share more on this lens at the end of this posting and have tagged several of the images below that show it in use.
Ben is the last of three brothers who have asked us to be their wedding photographers. Each one has been fun and it was like old times being back with the family again. The wedding was a traditional Chinese one. For those not familiar this means the groom and his friends come to the brides home (in this case the Berjaya Times Square hotel) and have to bargain their way in to collect the bride. Once the bargaining is over there is a tea ceremony with the family of the bride, and then another one with the grooms family.
Ben’s family are committed Roman Catholics, so the church wedding mass was held in St Johns Cathedral, in the centre of Kuala Lumpur.
In the evening the wedding banquet was in the Berjaya Times Square hotel. Ben very pleasantly surprised Yin by hopping up on stage and singing her a love song. She was blown away by this as any bride would be by such a pleasant surprise.
Enjoy the photos and for a quick opinion piece on the new Canon 200-400 F4L please skip down to the end of this post.
Yin awaits her groom Ben’s arrival at Berjaya Times Square
The Bride and Groom in their wedding car as they leave Berjaya Times Square for St John’s Cathedral in Kuala Lumpur
The page boys very cute wedding procession sign
The wedding procession in St Johns Cathedral, Kuala Lumpur – sans page boy who decided to opt outÂ Â 🙂
The just released Canon 200-400 F4L allows really long shots down the church aisle.
An emotional moment for dad as he “gives away” his princess. In reality he gets a brand new son!
The priest blessing the wedding couple in St John’s Cathedral, Kuala Lumpur
Ben and Yin are married!
(Shot with a 24-70 F2.8 at 56mm. Compare with the following photograph)
Wedding recessional photo taken with the Canon 200-400 F4L with 1.4x teleconverter engaged.
Note the compression and background blur compared with the preceding photo.
Photo of the sweet bride with the Canon 200-400 F4L
The very eligible catcher of the bouquet toss outside St Johns Cathedral
Wedding table decor at Berjaya Times Square
The grooms brother anounces the wedding couples entrance
Bride and Groom’s grand entrance to their Wedding Banquet at Berjaya Times Square
Ben surprised Yin with a song
Which delighted her.
Ben’s a natural.
The second walk in showed off Yin’s evening gown.
After the Wedding banquet the wedding photo booth got heavy usage.
Mini review of the Canon 200-400 F4L: My friend and co shooter Mr How of Photowerkz picked up the very first 200-400 into Malaysia. Apparently it caused quite a stir when it appeared in YL Camera. He is primarily a sports photographer and also owns the Canon 400 F2.8L.
So what’s the new Canon 200-400 F4L like. Three words, sharp, versatile, pricey!
This was the lenses first outing on a photo shoot, and the lens gave a very sweet taste. So is this a killer wedding lens?
If being able to take photos completely unobtrusively is your goal this lens is excellent. Coupled with the Canon 5DMk3’s silent mode no one will know they are being photographed, however getting yourself into position with this or any telephoto lens of +200mm takes a lot more thinking as changing angles with these lengths takes a lot of walking to do so. There is also the additional hazard of being so discreet that videographers and family friends with cameras do not know you are there and will block your view. Unfortunately in Malaysia a lot of weekend photographers (and some non-thinking pros) have “educated” the populace that the proshooter needs to be joined at the hip with the couple thereby blocking everyone’s view, so this type of lens can come as a surprise.
As I am an NPS member, Nikon have kindly loaned me the Nikon 200-400 F4G on ocassion and it is a very nice lens to use, however it certainly wasn’t light and required the use of a monopod at all times despite my being a regular gym goer. It also precluded the use of other lenses unless you have an assistant to hand it off to so you can use something shorter. Fortunately with three of us shooting this wedding my friend How could concentrate on using the Canon 200-400 F4L exclusively while my other partner Hock Seng and I could cover the more usual bread and butter photos. As you can see from How’s set up below, a monopod is definitely required to make the most of it. This helps relieve the strain of carrying the lens, and also gives much sharper photos.
The built in 1.4x teleconverter makes the lens even more versatile, enabling it to rack out to become a 280mm-560mm F5.6 lens. The recessional photo shows the lens to be very sharp when it is engaged. The lever’s operation is very smooth and positive.
All of this comes at a price. Shashinki lists the Nikon 200-400 F4G at RM22,000 and the Canon 200-400 F4G at RM34,000. Either lens requires a heavy financial investment, and that means a lot of weddings to recoup ROI.
Compared to the Canon 400 F2.8L: How is looking at selling his unit (let me know if you are interested in buying it) so in his opinion the versatility wins out. The only issue may be that you do lose a full stop of light. This may be an issue with some sports as the difference between a photo at 1/1000th of a second and one 1/500th of a second for freezing motion may be a possible issue.
Compared to Nikons 200-400 F4G: The Nikon is a good performer. I know some people complain about softness but I have never had a client do so. Most clients can’t see the difference between an 85mm 1.8/1.4/1.2 either. That said, as a photographer you probably will notice a difference if you shoot both lenses side by side. The big advantage with the Nikon is that you can buy one AND a D800, monopod and flash for less than the price of the Canon 200-400 F4G.That said, the Canon 200-400 F4G is very sharp throughout its zoom range and trumps the Nikon in this area. I do hope to borrow Nikons 200-400G along with a D800 (I shoot with the much lower resolution D3) so we can do some comparative testing.
Am I going to buy one? That is the RM34,000 question 🙂