I view these activities as prime times for capturing expression rather than action, so I use an 80mm lens. If my "seat" on the floor gets lost behind rows of feet, I grab a guest's chair and stand above the chaos. If I'm shooting from above, I place my flash at a 45-degree angle and use a LumiQuest to bounce the light over the subject. Without a bounce flash, the lower third of these shoot-from-above shots would look vignetted.
My job is nearly complete when guests begin nibbling on wedding cake. Packing up my gear, I realize that every one of my media cards and each roll of film holds parts of one family's new beginning, captured for eternity.
Casey Bradley Gent opened Snowshoe Studios (www.snowshoestudios.com) in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in 1994, at age 21. Specializing in wedding and portrait photography, she has photographed more than 400 weddings, traveling to Honolulu, Yosemite, and Key West. Her high-profile portrait clientele includes Jack Hanna, John Elway, John Lynch, Jake Plummer, Tom Landry, and Bill Clinton. In October, she will lead a two-day seminar on creating wedding images with personality, capturing the moment unobtrusively, and marketing and branding your studio online. Contact Gent for details.