Another Azerbaijani Wedding

Baku Travel Blog

 › entry 57 of 119 › view all entries
A friend of mine got married and once again I was asked to photograph the proceedings.  I think that I am slowly becoming a popular wedding photographer because I work cheap.  On the other hand, I have fun meeting people and just trying to get some decent shots, so it is really not like I am working.  While I personally prefer film as there is nothing like the grain, shooting 55 rolls of the film can get expensive, so I shot with my digital SLR.  I would love to go to a medium format film camera, but that might have to wait. 

I was driven to the groom's home and eventually I was in a convoy of several cars going to the bride's home.  The car I was in got seperated from the rest of the group as the driver was extremely conservative to Azeri driver's standards.
  Eventually, we made it to the bride's home.  Trying to fight the family for some decent angles of the festivities proved to painstaking as some of those older ladies really know how to jocky for position.  I am surprised that the Azerbaijani national women's basketball team is not that good, because judging b the way the women were able to bounce me out of their way would have made Shaq proud. 

Eventually we left the home and made it to Heydar Aliev Park.  The late Heydar Aliev was the founding father of modern Azerbaijan and practically everything is named after him or his son who is the current president.   The park was interesting.  It was getting dark and I wanted to kick myself for not bring my tripod to get some longer exposures .
  The flash metering for the camera I was using is less than ideal and some of my photos which could have been better were not.  Nevertheless, I can correct most using iPhoto or Photoshop.  As we were leaving, the park turned on there water fountain show, while not on the level of Bellagio's water show in Vegas, it was still good enough for a few decent shots.

From there, we went to the wedding party.  There are many wedding halls throughout Azerbaijan as weddings are THE big party for most Azeris.  In addition to shooting the bride and groom, I also shot everything else that was going on.   While it is not possible to capture everything, i tried to capture as much as I could.  One of the people who interested me as a photographer was the bride's grandmother.  While the aesthetics of youth is interesting, the lines of elderly people's faces tell more stories.  Maybe it is merely me dealing with my own feelings of a fleeting youth, but older people are interesting.  The other people who interested in were some of the women in attendence (geesh, I am still single so I can admit to looking and not have anyone mad at me.).  If you like dark eyed, dark hair, olive-skin women, the women of Azerbaijan are incredibly beautiful.  I am still surprised that I have not broken my neck here as I do turn to look at the women here a lot and very quickly too.  Then again, I had to maintain some level of professionalism while shooting wedding.

After shooting for almost 6 hours solid and taking over 500 shots, my right eye felt as though it was ready to pop out of my head.  I called it a night.  A professional photographer once told me that if you get one good picture from a roll of film then it was a good roll of film.  Of my 500 photos, there were 30 that I would label as good and about 300 that were OK, the rest were crap in my opinion.  I add some graphics to a few and called it good.
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Baku
photo by: RJawad