The mercury was hovering around 8 degrees below zero on Saturday as I drove to meet Christa at the hair salon in Seuzach. Knowing that we would be shooting outdoors at the Zurich Flughafen (airport) by mid-morning, I was a little concerned that my bride and groom may turn hypothermic on me if I couldn’t work fast enough on the tarmac. After grabbing a few preparation shots at the salon we headed off to Kloten and met our airport police escorts who would usher us to a shooting location.
As avid travellers and aviation enthusiasts, Christa and Martin managed to work some connections at the Zurich airport to get a front row view of a favorite airplane, the Airbus 380, on their wedding day. Our security hosts were glad to escort us to the observation/photo deck where many other photographers were snapping away, but the angle was no good. We were told on our drive in that it would be impossible to access the tarmac. But I wanted to shoot straight into the belly of the beast. Big things are best dramatized from lower angles, and a $400 million dollar superjumbo jet is no exception.
If working as a newspaper photojournalist taught me one thing well, it was the invaluable skill of “sweet talkin’.” Of course it always helps if you’ve got a pretty bride standing behind you as you unload your barrage of “pretty-pleases.”
Down to the tarmac we went.
We were given access to one patch of concrete and grass about as big as the key of a basketball court, but it came with one spectacular background. Singapore Air’s Airbus A380 was at the gate, no telling when it could pull away for it’s flight. Time to get busy.
On an overcast day like it was, I like to punch things up with a bit of off-camera lighting. I put my new Pocket Wizard MiniTT (for Nikon!) and an SB-900 on my camera and mounted a FlexTT5 and a second SB-900 atop a compact light stand. That was about all I had time for and the Pocket Wizards allowed me to move around without worrying about loosing line-of-sight on the strobes’ slave eye. Range was a non-issue and the strobes fired every time I pulled the trigger. Thank you Pocket Wizard! It was worth the wait.
After the airport we were off to the ceremony in Lufingen (ZH) and then the celebration in Wildhaus (SG). The atmosphere of the evening was super, and after enjoying a great party we woke up to blue skies above Toggenburg. Postcard Switzerland. Gotta love it.