My first all-film Leica wedding at Belle Mer in Newport, RI

As a creative photographer I’m always looking for ways to keep my work fresh and my skills honed. I like to mix things up. With that intention I tried something I’ve been meaning to do for a long, long time- shoot a wedding only on film with a Leica and 2 Voigtlander lenses. Why? I’ll tell you in a bit. First, the images. Thanks to Joe Prezioso for allowing me to tag along to one of his weddings and experiment!

Ring bearer at wedding in Belle Mer

The groomsmen were relaxing before the ceremony.

Groomsmen waiting for the ceremony

Bridesmaid puts on her shoes

The bride gets help putting on her shoes by her bridesmaids

Bride helps a bridesmaid with her jewelry

A bridesmaid looks at the bride

A bridesmaid puts on her earrings

A bridesmaid and mother of the bride look through windows at the ceremony area

Rhonda gets a preview of the reading her friend will give during the ceremony.

Ceremony reading

Joe and his assistant take some bridal portraits. Note the odd bowl-shaped flare. This happened a few times with the Voigtlander when shooting against the sun.

Bridal portrait

Rhonda and Matt did a first look before the ceremony.

First look between the bride and groom

Flower girls before the ceremony

Kid's Converse sneaker on a chair

Matt is anticipating the ceremony.

Groom and his mother before the wedding ceremony

Bride walks down the aisle


Bride gets emotional during the vows

Groom kisses the bride

Groom and his mom look on

Bridal portrait by the sea

Detail shot of flowers


Flower girl sitting on a chair

Chucking shells into the sea.

Kids throwing shells into the sea

First dance

Mother and son dance

Ring bearer laughs with his dad

This may be one of my favorite pictures I’ve ever taken at a wedding.

Groomsman walking by guests at the reception at night

To those that don’t know, shooting with a Leica M6 is a completely different experience than a standard DSLR. It’s small, the shutter is barely audible and it’s manual focus. It allowed me to get closer and yet be unobtrusive, and as a photojournalist that is of utmost importance to me.

I hated loading film into the camera. I had rented it for a week and hoped that I could get used to it by the time of the wedding, but this was the one thing with which I was still struggling. Focusing during the reception was really difficult, and I missed digital for its high iso capabilities at night. I like shooting with available light.

Even with the limitations I loved shooting with this camera. My photo heroes include Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Frank, and it is in that spirit that I captured that final black and white image above. Its mystery is something I feel I never would have caught with my dslr.

In the end I’m quite happy with my digital gear and will stick with that for now, but shooting film with a rangefinder has its special allure. I do offer film camera coverage for those couples that want something a little different, and besides my 4×5 a Leica may make its way into that coverage too!

*All images shot with a Leica M6, Kodak Portra 400 and 160 film as well as Ilford Delta 3200 developed and scanned by Richard Photo Lab, and Voigtlander 35mm f1.4 and 75mm f1.8 lenses.

One Response to “My first all-film Leica wedding at Belle Mer in Newport, RI”

  1. Alex says:

    LOVE the last image Johnny! Awesome set all together as well!

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