One big lesson I learned: Don't overlook the details.
Read more after the jump!
On the wedding day, the inevitable happened. Things ran late. This meant my girlfriend and I arrived to the hotel for Bride prep about an hour early. Instead of sitting idle and allowing our nerves to rip us apart we got busy shooting what details we could. The groom was nice enough to leave us with the rings and the bride prep room. Just enough for us to go to town and experiment with some expensive toys!
The above was shot over the Bible, which every hotel room nightstand is nice enough to supply idle photographers with. My girlfriend held a speedlite triggered with a Radiopopper JrX set held at about 45 degrees down toward the rings.
The ample time left to shoot details left me with a very strong lesson. Do not overlook the details and give them a rushed shot. Remember to be creative- just as creative as you would be with a model. Just because your subject doesn't move, does not mean the shot will be easy. Sometimes adding an element of drama or uniqueness to an element that is shot at every wedding can be just as difficult as dealing with a model.
All of the images below (as well as the first image above) were lit with a rented Alien Bees AB800 into a large softbox, also triggered with Radiopoppers. The Alien Bee and large softbox provided a huge light source and very, very soft flattering light.
Lastly, look around you. There are always props that you can use that will up your photography. Play! If you want to see more about me shooting my first wedding, follow this blog and watch it all unfold!