Wednesday, November 2, 2016

The Wedding of Jessie McIntyre and Kenneth Ford October 1, 2016

Let me live, there's a buffet.
You will not prevail!     

Did they say Pirates?    

     Sitting in Starbucks at the photo consult with Miss McIntyre and Mr. Ford, they mentioned a pirate invasion and I held my breath. True to form, on that October 1st night, there was swashbuckling at the reception hall. The pirates actually interrupted the welcome speech and held up the bride's father at muzzel point. Perilous times were at hand!
     The scoundrels had to be fended off by the groom for the brides honor. A sword fight ensued and it was glorious. Most weddings are traditional because tradition is methodical and tradition is familiar. If you sway a little bit from the normal the wheels will fall off right? Not on this day.

     Kenn and Jessie wanted details to show their style from a wedding dress with skull and cross bones to a weapons exchange at the altar.  They weren't afraid to do something out of the ordinary to make the wedding day memorable.   It actually was really special.
     There seems to be a lack of creativity in the wedding industry these days.  I mean there is a massive break from tradition in many cases but what groom would present his bride with a longsword and the groom receiving a battle axe? Most weddings are in a word "safe". The Meadows event was not for the faint of heart yet it fit perfectly for the Fords.

    I'm all for tradition, but still, the day should have fingerprints. The personality of the couple and who they are need to be expressed. The ceremony at the Hinkle Gazebo in Eden Park was where the bride played as a little girl. Tradition would say, "Get married at the church." Caution asks,"What if it rains?" The answer: create new tradition and throw caution to the wind.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Samantha Beany and Stephen Hart Wedding

October 8, 2016

Ceremony: Seasongood Pavilion
Reception: Freedom Center

There are times in a photographers life where it gets personal. Meg Ryan as Kathleen Kelly said it best in You've Got Mail, "Whatever else anything is, it ought to begin by being personal."   Well making images is personal to us.  We see this as an experience,  a journey from the day we start talking about your wedding to the moment the shutter on the camera is pressed.

And also, there are times in a photographers life where we are privileged. And I felt very privileged to be a part of Samantha and Stephen's wedding day. These two have something special between them.  Call it love or mutual respect or appreciation for each others quirkiness but I sensed it the whole time we were with them.

Then there are times when we get emotional. With many of the people who let us photograph their wedding, it gets emotional. We feel it.  I believe to produce great images that spark sentiment you have to feel it behind the camera. Samantha was beautiful and witnessing a mom place the vail in her hair from her wheelchair pulled every heartstring.

And lastly, there are times we get playful.  Stephen and the groomsmen broke out nerf guns. It was a guy thing.  We suggest grooms get creative with the time they spend together. The girls take a longer time to prepare but the guys seem to have time to fill.  Fill it with Fun!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Everything Important I learned from a bridesmaid

So who gets your attention on the big day? Do you listen to that still small voice in your head, your spider-sense or (heaven forbid) a guest who wasn't even on the guest list? I've been in the wedding photo business a long time. 15 years have gone by in the toss of a garter. There are lots of voices to listen to that inspire creativity and confidence. But what about when it's crunch time? As a lead image creater I find myself in some very sticky situations at times on the day of the event. I think it's smart to listen to a very genuine voice - the voice of the bridesmaids!
I would even venture to say that every good thing I've learned about photographing on the big day has been inspired by the advice of a bridesmaid. She wants the best from you so her friend will look beautiful, and the images will be gorgeous. Here are some things this group has taught me:

1. Pay attention to small detail.  

At an early Spring ceremony, I was shooting a wedding ring shot in a rush, which is a cardinal sin. Image makers should slow down to get the best shot. The picture became a beautiful ring shot, well done with bokah blur and tack sharp. As the proud papa, I showed it to one of the bridesmaids who said, "Did you notice the inscription on the inside of his wedding band?"  No I missed that.....  She said, "The words were very important to the bride." I reshot the image and was thankful for the heads-up.

2.  Don't mess with the dress.

These ladies have been around the dress in several settings. They are infatuated with it, in a good way. They see the gown way more than the photographer. At one wedding we were trying to decide where to shoot the dress in a tough location, the maid of honor had a window setting cleaned and ready in advance. It worked for us! Once, there was a blue tag sown inside the dress and I wasn't aware. Yep you guessed it, maid of honor drew our attention to the tag which was so important. Bridesmaids are there when the bride slips into the dress for the first time. The dress is the most important item next to the groom. I think it deserves special attention.

3.  Laughter breaks down barriers.
People images are authentic only if the tension is relieved in the face.  The bride at one hot summer wedding was really nervous and uptight. We had a hard time getting a relaxed expression from her. What to do? I asked the bridesmaids if any of them knew of any funny stories about the bride. Tell them! They began to talk about stories from their childhood experiences with the bride. Which brought belly laughs and genuine expressions. Saved the day!

My motto - listen to the girls.  Some egos are too big. Some professionals feel like they have to know it all to be a professional. I disagree. I think you have to befriend the people who are closest to the bride and that know her best.  That's the key to success.  Bridesmaids are the voices of reason in chaos. They know the bride better than anyone and they will spot details that could be missed.  At many weddings they are crucial. And if I befriend the girl in the purple satin dress, I may get to photograph her becoming a bride in the very near future.