Stay positive and improvise

In one of my recent wedding day shoots, the schedule was delayed and we had to cut short the outdoor shooting from ninety minutes to little over thirty minutes. The gloomy weather and an imminent downpour didn’t do us any favour either. The most important lesson I have learnt as a photographer is that things don’t always go according to plan and you have to stay calm and react as positively as possible. The shoot still had to go on and I was expected to deliver photographs; I could either choose to complain about all the setbacks or improvise with everyone’s cooperation to do the best that we can under the circumstances.

For this assignment, I used the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II and M.Zuiko PRO lenses.

Instead of shooting at multiple locations, I decided to stick to one location – at the Old Court House in Kuching (coincidentally my hometown too). Traveling from one spot to another would have wasted some precious time. While the Old Court House was not my first choice given how it is overused by Kuching photographers and the risk of appearing stereotypical, as described by MT’s visual economics and scarcity article (here), the decision was made due to the undesirable weather as the venue had sheltered photography space in the event of rain. The predominantly white walls and pillars all around the location helped reflect and distribute available light evenly and exactly as I needed for portrait shooting. Since we were on the clock, I had no time for an additional lighting setup and the colonial architectural look was suitable for the kilts-wearing Scotsmen.

I got everyone together and completed most of the large group shots first, before shooting the bride and groom portraits. I started with everyone, then the groomsmen, bridesmaids, and finally I spent some time with the newly-wed husband and wife while the groomsmen and bridesmaids all went to a nearby bar for some cold beer! Most of them were not from Malaysia and the humid weather was quite unbearable given their outfits for the day. Since almost everyone had a beer in hand, I asked for two more beers for the couple and continued shooting them while everyone was happily drinking. The groom was from Scotland and I was told that drinking is in their genes!

As a wedding photographer, the right attitude and staying positive will set you apart. You will be following the couple around for the whole day and pleasant manners and an amiable personality can make the entire experience less stressful and more memorable.

This was a tremendously fun shoot. You do not get Scotsmen wearing kilts often in Kuching and I was glad to have the chance to shoot this wedding!

The Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II is available from B&H


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Images and content copyright Robin Wong 2018 onwards. All rights reserved


  1. Robin Wong says:

    Thanks! The light was soft due to the gloomy weather, thank goodness the old buildings had white walls everywhere, reflecting light all around. These are just simple portrait shots, nothing that challenging at all. The difficulty was not the shooting technique but communicating with a large group of people and get the best out of the situation.

  2. Wow, those are lovely, and the light was soft. However, I do not believe you used an Olympus for this shoot. The “experts” and “photographers” at DPreview have assured us that no professional work is possibly without full frame. And they know it all, don’t they?

  3. Delightful!

  4. Very well done Robin.

  5. Lovely set, Robin!

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