Having been a family friend of Amy’s for over 20 years, my determination level could not have been any higher. I was so geeked up for this wedding, I sat in my house the morning of just tapping my foot, anxious to get going.
My excitement was well founded. Amy was every bit the excited, enthusiastic bride and Ben the funny, easy going groom. It’s a real pleasure to do well for people you want to do well for, and this was no exception. The wedding itself was huge with over 300 guests and as such I called in multiple excellent photographers to help out, namely Michelle from Minerva Photography, Erica from So You by Erica Sue, and Alex Bartole.
Throughout the day I was locked in to finding bigger, better, more beautiful ways to show the wedding for the joy filled day it was, and I didn’t disappoint myself. Enjoy!
This wedding was great. I, along with the always superhuman Randy Borges, started out with the couple at the beautiful Biltmore, and that’s always a treat; it’s also a treat to work with a couple as just flat out fun as Jackie and Ben. And their family. And all of their friends. They were welcoming, funny and ready to have an awesome time, and that’s what I’m all about.
The reception really lived up to my expectations for pure celebration factor and the party was non-stop. And, to my glee, the Big Five Club is a truly excellent place to take reception photos – tell me these aren’t beautiful. There was so much action, I was in a complete zone catching it all, and it just kept giving. Congratulations to the couple!
I like a couple who gets engagement photos before getting engaged. I’ve always been a fan of betting on the come, and this is a classic example. Hey, we’re probably going to get engaged soon, let’s be efficient and get the photos done early!
I’m glad they did because they’re really a great looking couple. Yulan in particular is more or less an ideal photo subject; as you can see, she’s gorgeous. These two live in Connecticut but are Chinese citizens who were down here in Miami for a little vacation enroute to Key West and decided a little photo session with me was a fun holiday activity. Of course, they were right, and got these beautiful photos to boot!
Rachel and Sergio are a couple that just exude fun. The bride in particular is super ebullient and her energy is unmistakable when she comes into a room. It was one of those weddings where I spent the first 45 minutes or so just hanging out with the bride as I shot the details (everyone else was downstairs) and I absolutely love when that happens. It gives me a chance to really figure out how a girl is feeling, what tone I should set for the day and (in this instance) get to hang out with a just awesome person.
Who is marrying an equally awesome person in Sergio, who has no less humor, but it’s a dryer, quieter humor. I’m a fan of both! Their beautiful ceremony was followed by an equally beautiful reception where, as I hoped, the guests tore it up. Thanks to the couple for having me along for this very entertaining wedding, I had a great time!
Becca is one of those brides who really follows the blog, who could tell m e little facts about prior sessions and couples, even ones in the distant past. When I’m confronted with this particular challenge, it’s an honor, but tricky.
Tricky because if a person has such a strong working knowledge of my past work – including what I’ve done previously at that very location – I run the risk of looking totally uncreative if I deliver a similar result to what I’ve already done. So with this session my goal was to find a away to approach the location differently (while still catching to necessary elements of the spot), and I think we succeeded. One aspect of the shoot I know was a success was in the “develop a relationship with the couple” portion of the day, they really won my heart and I am going to give them everything I have on the wedding day. A couple this lovely deserves it.
. . . and a big church ceremony at the Trinity Episcopal Cathedral. This was a different wedding in many respects – not least of which was the awesome site of two brides up on the altar. I worked the wedding all by myself so I had the strange experience of arriving at Sara’s house, shooting a getting ready, and then hustling over to the hotel for Marie’s. Two brides! It was tremendous.
The ceremony was beautiful and the party was so much fun, but the energy reached its apex when Sebastian the Ibis burst in and whupped the crowd (and our lovely couple) into a U frenzy. That is one fun bird.
I was so happy when Marie and Sara hired me, and the wedding was exactly what I thought it would be – a celebration of two wonderful people’s love. You know I’m down for that anytime!
Peachy hired me just around 2 months prior to the wedding; sometimes I meet couples who, for no real reason, just haven’t gotten a photographer yet and I turn out to be the guy. When this happens, a lot of times I go into a wedding feeling like the bride and groom don’t fully understand or expect the level of photographic service I’m going to bring to their wedding, so a short, relatively random booking are often my favorite weddings because I know the pictures are unlike any the people in attendance have ever seen.
The street goes both ways, though. I go into a short booking not having done an engagement session and having a very short amount of time to get to know the couple and what will make them most comfortable throughout the day. I was stunned to find that Peachy and Tal need no such warming up and they were sweethearts from jump street. They both listened to everything I said or suggested and generally made my life easy, pleasant and productive during their wedding.
The venue also has these crazy DJ lights that are just non-stop; I’m talking bright, defined beams of yellow, pink, purple lights in the shapes of stars and whatever else flying around the dance floor all night – with a smoke machine to boot. I figured out around halfway through that I could freeze these beams for dramatic effect, and as you can see, the effect was dramatic!
It’s not uncommon these days to work weddings where, going in, I know there won’t be an opportunity for outdoor, natural light portraits. That’s always a consideration because there is no easier photo to take than a lightly posed, outdoor natural light photo and given twenty minutes or so I can produce a nice variety of great shots.
But when you have a wedding that starts relatively close to sunset (as we did here), or a bride who refuses to set foot outside because of wind or heat (not the case here) or a failure to include time for it by the wedding planner, or any other reason that keeps us indoors, well, I as the photographer better be prepared to produce photos that are beautiful and wedding day worthy in any location under any conditions.
When exploring the dark side of photography, there’s no one better than Randy Borges Photography to have as a second photographer, and we did what we do, lighting up the night and shooting this beautiful wedding in the way that it deserved.
April contacted me waaaayyyyyyyy in advance of her elopement which I found a little curious, but she didn’t want to compromise on photography. She and Chad made the decision to come down to Miami Beach for a romantic elopement and photo session and I was tickled, I mean it’s so rare to have more then 20 minutes with a couple in their wedding gear and it’s unheard of to be able to bounce around from location to location without the invariable concerns about hair, makeup, guests seeing me OMG THE HORROR! etc.
But April had no such concerns, even though she was wearing the same dress at their reception back home in Tennessee; no matter how stupid my idea, she heartily agreed, and more often than not my ideas were awesome after all! It[s wonderful to be part of a wedding day no matter if its huge or small, but the few times I’ve been able to share in an elopement have been very special. It’s really something to be literally the only witness to the moment when two people tie themselves together for life. It’s an honor, actually. Thank you April!
I put an immense amount of pressure on myself to perform at maximum capacity every time I go out to shoot – even a casual reader of my blog knows that – so when I have a wedding where it would be easy to dial it down to 70% and still come through, I’m extra proud.
Kim and Dave’s wedding was everything you’d want: loving, fun and a true celebration. The problem was that it rained, and once the rain starts coming down, your typical country club wedding loses a lot of the original appeal of the venue (namely, anything outdoors). When you’re limited to “the clubhouse” as it’s invariably called, you’ll usually find a small maze of long, wood paneled hallways that don’t lend any interest whatsoever to photos and the Ballenisles is no different.
The one place where it does stand out from the crowd is in the great space Kim used for her ceremony because it had a ton of volume, it was ultra white and it also had huge windows allowing rain muted light to gush in. All positives for photography for sure. I also had a major positive shooting the wedding with me in the person of Jill Erwich, so together we set out to find ways to make the wedding photograph as awesome as it felt in person.
Did we succeed? Well, with a couple who is interested in having a great time and getting beautiful photos, being stuck inside is no deterrent whatsoever. Besides, Kim and I came up with the concept of a first look on a trolley, and that’s definitely an A+! Enjoy – we did!