Archive: April 2012 | View all recent posts
April 27, 2012 - Weddings
After the Spring lay-off, we've plunged back into wedding season head on and, man, it's been awesome. This year feels so much different than past years. We're coming into our sixth season as full-timers and we have officially photographed our 350th wedding. When I figured that out, I thought maybe it should give me pause. But really it only reminded me how completely insane our first couple of years were when we shot close to 60 weddings each year. It was crazy and we burned ourselves out pretty hard on some triple-wedding weekends. We didn't really have a plan then for how to succeed at doing this stuff and we didn't know how to find the kind of couple whom we could really connect with. We just would get lucky sometimes and some of those couples whom we shot back then would refer other amazing couples and the ball just kept rolling. And we figured if we worked like crazy, eventually we would figure it all out. We're still pretty darned far from figuring it all out, but we do consistently get the kind of clients now who make this SUPER easy to do.
My obvious segue is to Katie and Shaun, who have been everything we could hope for. A day that was about connecting friends and family and everyone having an unbelievably good time. Plus they're cuter than anything and fun to shoot.
No doubt - Katie + Shaun surrounded themselves with an amazing group. They're family and friends really just had fun and enjoyed the day. At one point, I said to Katie that it was such a shame her friends weren't having any fun, because they were truly just laughing and smiling and joking the ENTIRE day.
When we leave weddings, we clearly have that day on the brain, and Rich and I often drive home talking about what went well for the day, how we might help couples in the future avoid certain issues (timelines, etc.), but when we came out of Katie + Shaun's reception, all we could talk about was how right they got it. They had a nice, relaxed timeline, incredibly low stress, and they had fun. And when the day is rushed, stressful and therefore less fun - well, that's just not what one of the best days of your life should be like. And I'm so happy when we get a couple like Katie + Shaun who have a good time - and I think it could've been all blizzardy on them and their day still would've been just as amazing.
We got some rain, but Buffalo brides are too tough to care about such things.
Kindof an off-hand thing to mention (like that ever stops us on a blog post), but I was really struck by something the monsignor said during his homily. He was talking about how marriage is about losing. He framed it negatively for effect, but his point was that it's never really a 50-50 compromise when you're in a relationship. Each issue you face as a couple and everything that you do together is really a race to see who can out-do the other in, well, I guess you would say service. That idea appeals to me not because I think you should be a push-over in a relationship, but because I think to get things really right you always need to focus on the needs of your partner. I think when our marriage is at its best is when we're doing that.
For instance, today I was at the co-op and I focused on your need for Lake Effect Salted Caramel Ice Cream. Because I'm awesome.
Tee hee - you are awesome! The ONLY negative to having kids is having to wait three hours after your husband mentions Salty Caramel being in the freezer before you can actually consume it :) Thank you - that's exactly what I needed today!
A lot of the time, we find ourselves traveling somewhere a half-hour away for portraits on a wedding day, and we often comment along the drive that there were a hundred places we could've shot on the way. And sometimes we drive far away because a location means something to a couple (which is cool), but sometimes it doesn't. And when that happens, we always want to go back and convince the couple to shoot closer and give our couple more wedding day time and less traveling time. And what I loved so ridiculously much about K+S's planning was that they picked a spot maybe three minutes away from the church for photos, and it was perfect. Their colors worked so well with the gray + brick + cobblestone of the area, and it gave us more time for portraits, no time-related stress, time to hit up another spot on the way to the reception and got them there with time to relax instead of having them run right into an on-going cocktail hour.
Also, Rich is right - you guys couldn't be more adorable!
And it was, above all, FUN. Absolutely no one wants their wedding day to grind to a halt to go make lame photos. We want the portrait time to be this fun and memorable thing while it's going on. Frankly, we have a really good time doing this. It's almost absurd how good this is to do and how good I feel when I go back through a wedding day and edit the photos. Alyssa, how good is that sly smile of Katie's in the that one photo where she's resting back on Shaun??
I know, right? She killed those! Anyway, we've been jabbering on forever, and K+S probably would be pretty happy if we stopped writing so much and just let them see their darn photos already :) So, I'm gonna wrap things up and just say thank you, guys. Thank you a million times over for letting us hang out with you and your fabulous wedding. We had such a good time, and we're so happy you had us along! Thank you, again, for being so awesome!
April 27, 2012 - Engagements
One thing Buffalo has going for it is what I feel is an absolutely awesome social community. We're supposed to be the "City of Good Neighbors" (don't believe me? ASK GOOGLE - THEY KNOW STUFF) and I've found that people who choose to live here do seem to have a little more camaraderie than denizens of other cities do. Maybe it's suffering through winter together, or disappointing sports franchises, or maybe still it's the collectively shared chip we shoulder when someone wants to put our fair city down, but I think we do a good job here of being friendly and mostly human to one another.
Now we have facebook and twitter linked to our waking hours via our phones and desktops, and I can't imagine not knowing that I was going to hear from Christina a few times a day in my feed. I think even though most of us share merely prosaic parts of our day (super guilty of that, myself), we're still sharing it and that's what makes us neighbors and makes us friends and ultimately makes us really give a shit about one another.
I figure it's been at least four years we've known Christina after meeting her in the early days of twitter, and through all those things we share I think it's safe to say she knows us and our family pretty damned well, and we got to know about her relationship and all about Chuck through bits and pieces and conversations. 140 characters may make twitter seem like an awfully trite medium, but it grows on you and one day you get to share someone's relationship for a couple hours making some pretty cool and intimate frames in some places that are super special to them.
Not being all a-Twitter, this was my first time talking to Christina + Chuck, and they are just a spectacular couple. They are big animal lovers and foster dogs, but the one animal they have that is "theirs" is their cat, Mac, so he got to come for the shoot. He's maybe the coolest cat ever. He just hangs out and follows you around. Christina was telling us one time she was at a party and Chuck took him home. A few minutes later, she turns around, and there Mac is - he'd come back to the party to keep her company :) He's cool - and officially our first feline member of a portrait shoot!
They met at their church where Christina also works, so we hung out there for a bit of our shoot, and it's amazing - Chuck has this bank of architecture knowledge, and it was absolutely fascinating to hear him talk about the church and surrounding buildings.
I've been hearing about "Chuckipedia" for a long time, now. And in person, it's pretty amazing. I mean, Chuck loves Buffalo and that love has clearly manifested in an insatiable drive to learn about the city's architecture and physical heritage. First Presbyterian (we learned) is the oldest congregation in the city and though the building isn't as old as the group of people who have worshipped under its name since the early 1800s, it was pretty amazing to see inside and shoot on the roof, etc.
Thank you guys so much for having us over to place that means a great deal to you and your lives together. Connecting like that on a portrait shoot is really cool for us, and we appreciate it more than you guys could know. One of my favorite shots is the one right above this, second from the bottom on the right. Chuck had just said right there how Christina doesn't even know how her smile affects a room she's in. It's hard to convey how hard we work to get into a couple like that and how appreciative we are when a couple feels something right there in front of the camera. It's that spark and it's often really, really hard to let go and maybe forget the camera is there for a moment (which is a huge part of our job) - but when we can photograph a couple who can let go and just be together. Well, damn, it makes this stuff really work and it makes me unbelievably happy.