grab your favorite drink and snack, there's lots of info here for you!
your wedding day is unique to you. no two weddings in the 7 years that i have been photographing them have ever been the same, or even close. your love, your friends and family, the special moments you share, and all of the details that have had to come together on that day at that very moment to create your best day ever. you want everyone to be in the moment and feeling the love you two share that will radiate throughout the day. in the past couple of years the wedding world has changed and social media has been a wonderful, yet hindering experience. i only put the following out there to maybe help you remember the day as it should be instead of wishing you had done differently.
a few thoughts:
film film film film and digital hybrid: first and foremost the dynamic range of film is unparalleled. digital doesn’t come near film in capturing details in highlights and low lights all at the same time. Most brides wear a white dress and most grooms opt for something darker – more often than not a classic tuxedo. This is considered a high contrast situation (much like photographing in a combination/mixed lighting – bright sunlight and a shady area). When photographing with film, I am able to retain detail in both the dress and the tux, in both the bright sunlight and the shady area. I keep both digital and film cameras on me during the wedding day and based on the lighting situation I choose which camera I am going to use. When the sun goes down I am limited in options when shooting with film – that’s when digital becomes king (or queen). With digital, I have the ability to shoot in very dark, very tungsten situations. I can only push the film so far. If I’m going to shoot film at night, it will be mostly black and white film. Look at the 3 sets of images below. How does the image on the left make you feel compared to the image on the right.. The depth and texture, the richness of the colors, the softness of the skin, the nuances of the light peeping through the trees, the film images seemingly pop out at you… I could go on and on.
consider having an unplugged ceremony (or maybe even entire wedding…): a what!? an unplugged simply means that your guests put their phones in their pockets or purses and enjoy the moment. I have zero problem or ego with your guests taking photos and sharing them with you. I think it’s great that your guests are just as excited as you are to be there and looking for fun moments to capture. However, you have hired (hopefully me) a photographer with your hard earned money to capture your sweet moments. I am often battling guests jumping into the aisle as you are walking down to greet your ever after, your first kiss has a photo bomb by so and so trying to get THE shot, your sweet first dance is interrupted because someone thinks it’s the perfect moment to have you pose for a photo. I have even had to suggest to bridesmaids to put their phones down and help the bride into her dress instead of taking AND posting instagram photos (before her other half has even seen her yet). Yes, these things actually happen, and more. Everyone’s face during a ceremony is concealed by a phone of some type, making an awesome candid moment a great advertisement for some technology company. Your guests are there, but are they REALLY there?
pinterest: you have hired me for my eye, my vision, the way i capture light and feeling and movement. i have been told many times by couples that they can feel themselves in my images and it warms their hearts to know i will create art pieces just like those for them. i love to create new portraits, to catch fleeting in between moments, to capture that look that says damn, baby, i love you. this cannot happen if you create a pinboard of other photographer’s images and say can you do x,y,z. yes they are pretty, and yes they are great, but man, do they feel so hindering to the creative process and honestly a little disheartening as none of them are my images. i see the world how i see it, for me to have to try and also remember how someone else sees the world often creates this blockage to the process and my method and i create maybe a second rate version of the highly curated version you are seeing on pinterest. there are so many factors that go into every. single. image. – lighting, composition, energy, feeling and so much more. i am more than happy to have a look at your gallery and to try something out of my box, but when i look at the images that have been pulled and look at the images that i share in my portfolio and they are COMPLETELY different, i have only to HOPE that you will like the gallery i will create for you. you should LOVE your images and you should feel that they represent you. each photograph that i take is a marriage of you two and me. we work together. you show me what you want me to see and i promise to you i will deliver the image you are looking for. but you have to trust me. 100%.
2nd photographer: back in the film days, there was ALWAYS only 1 photographer. Why!? because that person was the person you were hiring for their eye and film was so expensive! Now, it has become common place to hire freelance photographers as second shooters because digital is so cheap and the barrier to entry in the digital marketplace is very low – just about everyone i know has a digital camera (even your guests with smartphones think their photo is wall-worthy)! I have trained myself to work my tail off and am confident in the art that I provide. You are hiring me for my eye and vision and I am constantly on the move to give you a well rounded gallery of images. I work to give you art pieces and not just snapshots. it allows me to give you consistency in the images – i know exactly what i’m capturing and would NEVER rely on a second shooter to give me their images as it would create inconsistency in the final product -no matter how similar our vision is. there are definitely times when i do recommend a second photographer – guest count is greater than 150 and no first look, guest count is greater than 175 in general, & if the timeline is extremely tight. An option I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND instead of a 2nd photographer, is to spend money on an AMAZING video team – their work is invaluable and should complement the photographer’s work. Here is an example of a wedding I photographed and the video that goes along with it: M & C & Elysium Productions movie
did you know: i handle everything. from first inquiry to every single service and product i provide. i would never compromise your wedding photos by outsourcing my work to companies (in the U.S. & not in the U.S.) to cull (image selection), edit, and design your album (there are literally hundreds of companies who cater to wedding photographers for these exact and other services). i have your images printed at the highest quality lab that i have found. the investment you are making is more than just me showing up to your wedding and photographing for x amount of hours. it encompasses every detail from start to finish and beyond. it is the 20 years since i bought my first camera and it is 7 years in this industry, of continuing research and education to give you the most up to date products and services i can provide using the best gear and technology.
investment: that number that defines SO MUCH MORE than just the amount of hours i photograph your wedding. that number that goes beyond the tangible. it’s your wedding day. your beloved family and friends are gathering to celebrate your love, you have labored long hours over details – the perfect venue down to the monogram on the cocktail napkin, you have gone back and forth with seating charts – so and so will love so and so, you have tried many dinner ideas, and sampled umpteen cakes, for the perfect taste of insert your flavor here. your photographer enters the getting ready room filled with 7 bridesmaids and a mom and another mom and possibly a grandma and a few aunts and maybe a dog all getting hair and makeup done by artists, yes even the dog – you get the idea – lots of energy going. my job at this moment is to stay calm, cool, and collected and capture the fleeting moments. the day doesn’t start until you’re ready; you will show up right on time. i go quickly between photos of your pretty details to the in between laughs and looks you all share as the moments come together. the dress goes on, and you have a fabric sewn into your dress that has been passed down from generation to generation, the camera clicks. and just like that you’re ready to see the love of your life at the altar. perhaps a giant smile, or the quiver of the lip and a tear forming, time stands still and speeds in the same moment. you lock eyes and suddenly you feel a rush of energy, your only focus is that moment you grab each others hands as you begin the next chapter of your life. vows are read, little hand squeezes are exchanged, and rings placed upon the finger, your family and friends tearing up and laughing and sharing your love, showering you with cheers and claps as you begin life as mr. and mrs. these little moments; the in betweens are what I’m looking for. i have trained myself to look for these little foundation moments that complement the big moments. this day only happens once. ONCE. I work in the background. The day is not my photoshoot, it’s your wedding – I want you to enjoy all of these little moments with each other and with your family and friends. I cover each portion of your day and place equal importance on all segments; yes I cover the laughs during cocktail hour, I capture the adoration during the speeches, the beautiful food that has been prepared, no moment is too small. My ultimate goal is to give you a well rounded gallery of artful, wall worthy, images. This day only happens once. ONCE.
I love what I do; simply put, loaded with meaning. You have probably looked at x amount of wedding photos until you landed on my page. How do you choose? I can only tell you how I work and how you will FEEL in front of my camera. You already know what beautiful images look like, that’s why you have lingered here.
You value the one-of-a-kind, the limited edition so to speak.
I am documenting fleeting moments in time that you will cherish for years to come.
Let that be your deciding factor.