You can never underestimate the power of a strong referral. Dan O'Day shot two mutual friends' weddings before getting pointed to another wedding, to take place under the Sydney Harbour Bridge. For the Australian photographer, accepting it was a no-brainer: "It was set to be another amazing Jewish wedding, and Jewish weddings are pretty much my favorite celebrations to cover."
"Just as I suspected, it was foot-to-floor, head-to-ceiling crazy in all the right places," he continues. "It was also a beautifully sincere celebration. There was a lot of love in the room. These two really just wanted to throw down and celebrate their union with their closest. I have rarely seen a couple that was just so in it the whole day. They were really taking it in, and were overwhelmed with emotion so many times throughout the day. It was just insanely genuine."
Jewish weddings can be a little tricky, though, if you aren't paying enough attention. "I find in general you can't really afford to blink at a Jewish wedding—there is always something happening," O'Day says. "It's exhausting and thrilling all at the same time."
With this in mind, trying to be "in five places at one time" was probably O'Day's biggest challenge. "I overcame this by having my good buddy (and epic photographer) Todd Hunter McGaw ride along with me so we could constantly divide and conquer. Initially when he signed up to come along on the day, we thought it would be a good chance for us to shoot together and catch up along the way. I think we literally high-fived each other a couple of times on the fly and maybe crammed in two words the whole day."
Craziness aside, O'Day says it was all worth it: "The fact that they made me feel like I was an old friend made such a difference to morale on such a busy day. You always want to do just a little bit more for them. That definitely helped me rock my rose-colored glasses."
In Dan O'Day's Gear Bag
Camera: Canon 5D Mark III
Lighting: Two speed lights for the dance floor