So I’ve finally bought my own DSLR, which is weird because I use DSLR’s at work all the time, most of which are pretty fancy but that’s beside the point. I’ve started off with a low end DSLR (Nikon D3200 bundled with a 18-55mm VR Lens and added the DX Nikkor 35mm Prime Lens), I could have bought the latest model or a higher spec but it’s quite easy to get carried away and my budget of about £500 soon evaporated once I included some of the extras like a bag and memory cards.

Nikon d3200

I wanted to make sure I really spent time understanding the fundamentals as I’ve kind of bumbled along with tips and hints previously. Having a camera of my own means I’m free to test things out and be as adventurous as I want to be in my own time. The other reason I bought the camera was because it coincided with the wedding of my friends Rick and Elika. I thought this might be a great opportunity to try and put some of my basic knowledge into practice and capture some of the moments of the build up and the big day.

I soon found in advance of the wedding that the kit lens wasn’t quite going to cut it for some of the shots I’d hoped for, I didn’t want to be that guy that becomes some sort of paparazzi type that gets too close to people whilst taking shots and there’s the awkward glance to camera once they notice you (Oh hay, let me show you make blue steel!). That said, the lense proved it could still deliver at the Wedding breakfast. Being in a smaller space meant I wouldn’t struggle too much getting a more zoomed in shot from a discreet distance. Gradually the guests got used to me ninja-ing around snapping away and the natural light pouring in from all sides of the terrace helped me get some really clean shots.

Here are a few photographs from the day, luckily I didn’t have to tinker with exposure and contrast much in Lightroom/Photoshop. I mostly used the camera in Aperture mode to try and get a sense of depth in the photos, I also left both the White Balance and ISO on auto but thinking back there were times where I should have adjusted these to be honest.

I’m pretty happy with the results, the venue and my beautiful friends helped lots. The final thing I realised was that there was some reservation at the start to capture and frame the shots I wanted, as it meant positioning myself in odd places around the venue, hats off to the guys who do this professionally as you certainly need a level of confidence to get over the fact you look a bit weird and possibly a bit intrusive at times. That said I did get comfortable as time passed and found that a quick introduction around the room and a heads up helps lots, plus it’s a great way of making some new friends.