How to do wedding photography with an artistic style Jeroen Vandeweghe talks about his experience with Leica

One of the most beautiful things in life is falling in love and getting married. It is our job as a photographer to capture the beauty of those moments by way of engagement and/or wedding photos. Still, on those special days, all we have is the light, the couple, the moment and our cameras. We do not choose the circumstances, nor the background for making attractive images. Nor are the people we shoot professional models; they are mostly ordinary looking people with ordinary lives.

When working with the available light, I am often confronted with a lack of light within rooms, even when they seem well-lit by natural or artificial light. Unfortunately, I am not eager to use a flash and destroy the joy of the moment, flashing the present light away, and claim all attention. As a matter of fact, I try hard to be invisible so that the couple and their guests are not aware of my presence and their movements and expressions are natural and relaxed. In preparation, I also like to get to know everybody first so I can anticipate a special smile, spontaneous eye contact, a look of surprise or genuine emotion. That is what makes me able to get the images I like most.

Several years ago, I started using Leica equipment. It assists me to make an excellent composition and to frame, focus and press the shutter button at the right moment. This works very well combining the Leica MM (ccd) and M (typ 240) with the Noctilux 0.95 and Summilux 35mm.

At first I was not a big fan of using the EVF on the M. Though last year, as I noticed some difficulties using two magnifying loops upon the viewfinder, I switched to using the electronic viewfinder on the M, which is now working out fine. Now that I am using the SL and EVF, my camera is a perfect tool which helps me with focusing and framing, speeding up my work, and shooting the better moments without missing the best of them. Actually, what I like best about my Leica equipment is that I have the impression it is telling me bit by bit how it likes to be played with.

I love photographing with the SL + Noctilux or Summilux 35mm because of the speed and clear viewfinder, knowing I can perfectly see what I shoot before I finally do. That way I can make the frame, light and sharpness of the image even more perfect. Technically, the colours of the SL and M go perfectly together, while the combination of the SL+Noctilux and a M+ Summilux 35mm or Elmarit M 28mm on a MM (ccd) gets me razor-sharp results.

During wedding ceremonies and family get-togethers, I change to the SL and Elmarit 24-90 AFs, while during the reception, I prefer to use a Summicron M 90mm. During those moments, the focus peaking on the SL is my greatest help in chasing spontaneous faces. Because of the manual focus and speed of 11f/S of the SL in High ISO’s there is no flash needed.

The few flash moments of the wedding day I preserve for the evening party with lots of harsh artificial light. For the party pictures an Elinchrom pro-head quadra helps me out fine before I finish my day by grabbing a beer of my own, venturing a few steps on the dance floor, and finally heading home to my wife and kids.

To know more about Jeroen’s work, please visit their official website and follow him on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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  • Thank you Leica for making these fantastic piece of art to make special days unforgettable moments to remember as we see and experience them. Loved writing the article…

  • Okay it´s a differnt type of style to mine. But nice to see how the SL works for weddingphotography. Would love to try the SL comparing to my Leica Q or MP (240) or both – I use my Q 80% and the MP 20%. Could be interessting how this rates will change –

  • Nice write up but those vignettes are extreme!
    I personally feel Leica should bring out an evf M. Then we can let the rangefinder die a death it should have had years ago….

    • Sorry, I don’t agree. Let people enjoy their traditional rangefinder M cameras. There’s room for both.

    • I already find it such a pity that Leica M10 didn’t continue CCD. Imagine having further developed CCD! I came from Canon 5D mark II, hated its colors; went to Fujifilm X-Pro2, hated the smudging that sometimes appeared (special on dark skin); and finally fell in love with the Leica M-E. I used the M10 for a wedding, recently, and am impressed though. But… if Leica would stop OVF, it would mean the end of Leica M and I would quit Leica, as simple as that!

      Leica should never stop their M formula. No delay what so ever in the OVF; manual focus in an awesome way.

  • I just loved the way you have captured all of the moments here. Sometimes the memory gets faded away but the moments remain alive through such photos.

  • I like the style so much. But my bad luck, I can’t take because my wedding has already been done.

  • Hey Leica, you did a really fantastic job, your pictures are so nice. I know how precious pictures are! When it comes to your wedding photography. Everyone wants some good and nice picture of their wedding. Memories are our pictures. loved the article.

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