Usually when we talk about iPhones at wedding, we talk about guests shoving their glowing rectangular slabs into the frame. But where some see distraction, Sephi Bergerson saw an opportunity to experiment.
And what an experiment it was.
Bergerson shot – and edited – an entire Indian wedding on an iPhone 6 Plus (stills only, no video). The biggest challenge, he noted, wasn’t so much technical as it was finding a couple who would be game for the experiment. He found that in Ayushi and Abhishek (pictured below) who were married in Udaipur, a city in Western India, over the course of three days in November 2015.
It was, Bergerson writes, one of the largest weddings he’s ever worked.
Bergerson tells us he shot using the iPhone’s native camera app and after shooting about 2,000 images, had only filled up about half the phone’s 128GB worth of memory. The images were backed up on the fly to Dropbox and iCloud, he says.
As you’d expect, Bergerson approached this shoot a bit differently. “I was not trying to document everything but rather focus on images that would later translate to the artistic vision that I had for the post processing,” he writes.
Given the iPhone’s small sensor and limited exposure controls, Bergerson had better luck during the day then when the lights went down, at least for moving subjects. To help freeze motion on the dance floor, where motion blur was a constant irritant, Bergerson used a hand-held LED to add more light.
That said, for still images in low light, he writes that the “pictures actually came out better than the ones shot on [my] DSLR. The built-in HDR in the new iPhone is nothing less than incredible.”
As for post-processing, Bergerson would start in Snapseed to correct contrast, color and highlights. Sometimes he’d apply a vintage filter in Snapseed and then jump to Mextures to add “scratches and grit.” If he needed some facial retouching, he’d do it in FaceTune.
If the image was destined for Instagram, he’d sometimes add a filter there too.
Bergerson is in the process of making fine art prints from the work and tells us he’s had no issue making large prints from his iPhone images. (That’s no surprise, you can make a billboard from an iPhone image.)
So is iPhone wedding photography the future? Bergerson doesn’t think so.
“I love using the iPhone but, despite all it’s advantages, I don’t think it will take over and replace the ‘regular’ cameras,” he writes. “What the iPhone represents is a completely new breed of camera.”
Bergerson is now using his iPhone for a long-term photo book project documenting Kenya.
You can check out more stills from Bergerson’s iPhone wedding shoot, plus some behind the scenes video, below.