Israeli-born, New York City-based photographer Shira Weinberger leans toward “artistic photojournalism” and is no stranger to Jewish weddings. But what especially moved me about this one (which I came across via my trusty Google alert) is that the couple—Lily and Pesach—is so genuinely stoked to be getting married.
While it incorporates all the rituals of a traditional Orthodox Jewish wedding (held at the Wilshire Grand Hotel in West Orange, New Jersey), there are so many moments of joy and happiness in this wedding that it brings a tear to my eye for this couple I’ve never met.
“[The bride and groom have] musicians in both their families, and they were surrounded by their family’s music as they walked down the aisle and during the ceremony,” says Weinberger. “This added an extra special spiritual dimension and, combined with the real outpouring of love and emotion from everyone, made me really feel that they were truly each other’s beshert (or soulmate in Judaism).”
“On the positive side, that heightens the emotions when they do indeed see each other for the first time and makes for great moments, but it can be particularly challenging to have sufficient time for the bride and groom photos when the natural light fades and the reception is about to begin,” says the photographer. “It left me ten minutes and put on a lot of pressure to get great shots. Careful wedding planning was especially important.”
Weinberger’s gear bag was loaded with the following: an EOS 5D Mark III, EOS 5D Mark II, four Speedlight 580 EX II flashes, a Speedlight 600 EX-RT flash, a Lowel GL-1 LED Spotlight, a Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L, a Canon EF 85mm f/1.2, a Canon EF 50mm f/1.2, a Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 IS, a Canon 100mm f/2.8 Macro, a Canon 45mm f/2.8 Tilt Shift, a Pocket Wizard, a Litepanel Micro LED video light, a Pro Speed Belt, a Pro Runner X450AW and an Omni Bounce.
I was curious as to why Weinberger chose to keep this wedding in black and white. “Black and white is just so well-suited for highlighting emotional moments,” she says. “There is a timeless quality to the image, and in some sense I want the love to be felt as timeless as well.”