Archive: August 2009  |  View all recent posts
August 24, 2009  -  Weddings

laura + craig

We've been really looking forward to Laura and Craig's wedding ever since we got together to do their e-shoot. We had a lot of fun with Laura's vintage concept and knew she was going to pay a lot of attention to the details at her wedding. She totally didn't disappoint! The weather was less than stellar (sideways rain = not so awesome), but it did break right after the ceremony, and we got some gorgeous portraits with rays of sun peaking into things. Totally sweet!
We were over at the Hampton getting ready with Laura, Craig and their families and friends, and regardless of how the photo looks, there were tons of people there for her.
The details? Yeah, KILLER shoes. Here's the thing... I love wedding shoes. Really love them, but I actually hate shoes. I wear flip flops whenever I'm not working, well into the winter. I was either barefoot/in flip flops at our wedding. But I love a really cool, interesting pair of wedding shoes. And these definitely are that!
Guinea fowl feathers? Check!
So, this is one of my favorite shots from the day. Just a simple quiet moment as Laura was putting on her jewelry, but I loved this frame...
And she couldn't stop playing with her ring as she was waiting for Craig to do their first-look, which was adorable!
Meanwhile, Craig was giving a period of instruction on how to tie a real bow tie - none of those have-a-clasp-in-the-back joints, no sir. I remember there being something about "making a sandwich" or something, but the ties looked GOOD. Craig has a really nice sense of style and he even let a little rub off on me - Oh yes, Craig came through with a pair of skinny suspenders as a gift, and while I'm not wearing them right this second - I'll probably have them on again later. They're the sweetness.
The most obvious place for a first look was the hotel lobby (did we mention the sideways rain? f-u summer weather. I'm a broken man about the rain by this point) so we just let it all happen and, well, Craig may look pretty good himself - but I think we can all agree that he's a pretty lucky guy...
I have a hysterical shot of you taking this while propping the elevator door open with your outstretched leg, but we're gonna let that one slide - mostly so you don't whip my ass....nice shot :)
Anyway, we all pretty much assumed all week it was going to downpour, so we also made prior arrangements to shoot in a parking garage (bride's request, we swear!) and we booked out the Ellicott Square Building. The rain was even too crazy for the parking garage (like, you really do have to wait until after the the wedding ceremony to trash the dress) so we decided to do the best we could at the Ellicott building...
Yeah, I love the building - it's absolutely stunning, and I think it matched C + L perfectly - classy and a little funky.
Played around with some funky lighting for a bit...
and then we headed back to the Hampton to pick up the families... we did shoot a couple other frames while we were there. Um, yes. This is in the pool.
Well, you do what can in the rain, because you sure as heck aren't running outside to shoot 30 minutes before the big aisle walk! Let's check the outfit details - does the bow tie match the feather? You know that it does. Attention to detail, ftw...
So, the rain calmed down for a few minutes, so Craig and his boys got to St. Louis in decent weather...
...and got some of the family situated...
...before it down poured again. So, Laura got to make the umbrella entrance! :) It's okay though - look at her smile! I think she was pretty focused on what awesomeness was about to occur.
I'm pretty focused on how awesome your shots in the back of the church look! Laura - you looked amazing.
That was the worst segue ever. But yes, Laura looked fantastic!
The season is so close it's even slipping into the blog....
..and holy crap St. Louis is gorgeous. You really have to see it if you've never been up here.
Yeah, it's definitely one of my favorites to shoot in.
And don't give me crap about my blog-writing if you're not gonna let me respond - now I look all dumb and stuff like 6 photos down. AND then you left me room here - but you've already typed below this, so now we can't banter. Blogging with your spouse is tough, folks.
And before you knew it, Laura and Craig were married and hurried off down the aisle for a side room for a moment together...
Absolutely my favorite of yours. Love, love, love, love this shot. Love it.
It was dry enough to do a couple family portraits on the steps and then bustle (we've been working on the images for this post for about 24 hours. I'm so tired, I have NO idea if I've spelled "bustle" right or just written something that doesn't make any sense at all. Boo words.) Laura up.
As we were heading over to the Statler, the light in the parking lot was so unbelievably gorgeous, we popped off a few shots before they hopped in their car.
If by car, you mean pimpin' 15-passenger van, then yes.
We did take a few more minutes with the awesome couple and the Franks (17 Video Productions did their thing with us again :) ) at the square...see the drop of rain hiding in there? Yep, it started again, so we started to hurry...
If one pair of awesome weddings shoes is good, two pair = AMAZING!!
the light got juuuust right for a minute or two, despite the sprinkling...
Laura switched to this small veil she made herself. I love that.
It was just an awesome look all the way around...
This makes no sense. It's clearly supposed to be up with the Ellicott photos, but, well, here it is... sigh, blogging. (rich - we are really jacked up today....aahh well).
ANYWAY... here we are in the Statler for the reception. Laura and Craig did things a bit differently. They came in and immediately did their dance, but then broke up a lot of the traditional elements of a reception throughout the various courses of dinner, which really worked quite well.
I thought that was a pretty good idea, too - I think wedding receptions can get bogged down in having to do a bunch of things in row and then just having open dancing the rest of the night, but doing the traditional dances while people were still eating was pretty cool. Never seen that before - good call :)
Could we maybe get another visual artist in the frame? I've got Frankie, Alyssa and Frank Sr. is probably just off-camera right....I'd guess the first dances are going to end up being very well covered when we all do our edits :) I've said it before, but man do I love grooms' white shirts acting as reflectors.
Right after their first dance, they invited all the couples for a group slow dance, and this was definitely a dancing crowd!
And then the cake cutting (see how this staggering thing is working? I'm telling you, it makes a ton of sense - no one minded a quick bit of dancing mid-dinner).
And from the cake cutting right into parent dances...
I love, love, love the look of the light streaking like this. Super fun.
Thanks! It's weird - it happens more when I gel a flash, but it's just the good ol' 580ex. I'm glad I spend so much time gelling, etc. and then just b/w convert so much dancing stuff. I'm a b/w addict.
And then it was time for dancing. And they really were a dancing group - they even wheeled granny out for a spin around the dance floor!
Yes, the granny shot is coming - but we decided instead of just whittling down the post (we have to run off and shoot again in about 30 minutes as I'm typing this) we'd just include a ton.
Definitely my favorite reception shot of the evening. (one shot - right out of camera)
trippy mirror shot, for sure...gotta love grandpa - he was getting we go, we'll just stack up the rest of the shots we pulled real quick...
Okay, the middle photo needs some explanation. L + C asked me to grab a snap of their friends, and the BM danced right into the shot. Loved it!
Oh, that IS funny - like, he's getting rushed out of the shot he's completely oblivious to having walked into :). Alright, that wraps it up for us and we have a TON more shoots coming up this week and next to blog. Phew, we're halfway through our summer, though, and we haven't killed each other yet - so that's a good sign! Laura and Craig and family and friends, thanks, so much, for having around all day and for being so much fun to work with and shoot. L + C, have an awesome honeymoon (hope you get to check the photos!) and we'll see you guys soon!

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August 23, 2009  -  Engagements

mary beth + travis

Last week we finally got to shoot a brand, brand new place for us - the Erie County Fair. We scoped it out early in the week with Murphy (because we would have felt pretty awful going to the fair before taking the boy), so we had some ideas of what we wanted to try and pull off when we met up with Mary Beth and Travis. First of all, the fair is a trip and a half. In the few minutes we hung by the gate waiting to meet up, we saw a demolition derby get ready to start, a marching band with really uncomfortable-looking reindeer and a pig race...all within about 100 feet of each other. It definitely takes a pretty bold couple to want to shoot at the fair with us, but we wanted to start things off without a thousand people staring at MB and Travis so we ducked into a little, shaded area (did I mention it was about a million degrees?) with some flowers...
It was something we've been wanting to do - but I did want to make certain we gave MB + T photos that had less of a fair feel.
I loved this wall with their outfits, but the minute we started shooting here it turned into this crazy wind tunnel, so we only stuck around for a couple shots (really, the weather was so weird that day - sweltering, crazy winds and then, finally, normal!)
I was thinking of seeing how far into this post we could get before people realized where we were - and I think this shot might have been some indication. I just liked how the light fell, but apparently I had Mary Beth and Travis posing right outside the MOO-ternity ward. I know this because (well, there was a giant sign I somehow missed!) I peeked into one of the buildings and there was this cow standing there with some red nasty coming out of her (and what follows is the weirdest conversation I've ever had on an eshoot).

Alyssa: Ack! That cow is having a baby. Like, right now it's coming out!! Ack!!!
Travis: No, actually, Alyssa, that's just the afterbirth. She's already had the baby.

Really odd conversation, but he was right! I was so grossed out by her butt-end, I didn't notice her licking her baby (and the audience watching... what can you say, it's a county fair!). Shooting with us is always a classy experience. What can I say?
Hey - we do shoot engagement photos so we can get to know our couples better, and we quickly learned that Travis has plenty of farm experience, to include being around for several calves being born! But back to photos - come on, how easy is our job when our bride-to-be looks like this, even with gail-force winds whipping through the agriculture buildings. On a positive note, it probably did make the place smell a little better.
We ducked into this tent for the shade and decided to light a couple portraits in here. We're always trying to get faster with off-camera shots, so thank you MB + T for your patience on this!
I think I'm starting to get to a point where I can look at the ambient light and guess what the manual power setting is going to be on a remote speedlight. I didn't think I'd ever make it, and maybe it's just dumb luck, but getting to know the lighting equipment like that has been one of my goals for a long time. When something becomes like, muscle-memory reflexive, rather than intellectually reactive, I think you can apply the gear to a given situation much more intuitively with better results. As a photographer you're constantly using all this really amazing gear and I've often felt lost trying to balance technical knowledge with plain old making a compelling image. I had a friend once tell me he thought a well-known photographer was, "all tech," and that really stuck with me. Trying to make sure you're balanced and that the choices that get made to make the image are what's appropriate and necessary to convey what you wanted is the end goal for me.
And here I was thinking we just put a pretty couple next to a pretty flowered fountain... :)
That's kindof my point - you work a lot more instinctively and empathetically than I do and it's one of the things I really admire about your style.
My favorite of yours, Rich. Love, love, love it!
Thanks - and, not to put too fine a point on it (say I'm the only bee in your bonnet? sorry. I loved Flood.) But you set up shots like this, and then I work around it. End result? Cool, graphic shot. Oh, and while you're busy being a badass, would you mind holding this for me?
Yeah, that was a little heavy :) But I had to so the three of you could go play! (And you're only complimenting my set ups because you spent last night taunting me that you're up on the whose-photos-get-printed-out-and-displayed-at-receptions count).
At last night's reception I was 3-3 on displayed prints - HOWEVER, let's not ever count who gets more images on the blog, because I would definitely not fair so well :). Anyway, I rode right in front of Mary Beth and Travis and just sortof held the camera in the air aimed at where I thought they should be behind me and let it rip at an appropriate enough f-stop that my focus wouldn't be critically bad. I would love to have tried it a few times, maybe with another lens like the TS-E, but it costs FOUR DOLLARS to ride rides at the fair. That's just nuts. It kindof makes me want to go run off with the fair, too, because while the carney's didn't look especially prosperous, they must be pulling in major bank at four bucks a head on a 5 minute ride.
And this shot has a very special shout-out from MB + T to Boogie, Tre, Nana, Duthay, Wydell and Rue. Just because they keeps it real.
Seriously Erie County Fair. You're charging me to $5 park, $10 admission, $8 a gyro, $6 a lemonade AND $4 a ride? Brutal.

But it was worth it because we did get some seriously killer shots - this one is tied for my favorite from the day.
I am loving that! (I have to point out that we really don't see much of each others' work until we're posting a shoot - it's a lot fun to see what each other was thinking/doing since we don't talk too much about the shooting itself while we're doing it). And we obviously had to do one more prohibitively expensive ride, because there was no way we could pass up shooting on a Ferris wheel, right?
My other tied-for favorite!!
I'm getting nauseous just looking at that ride.
As the light faded away and we were all a little worn down, we snagged some midway-ish shots...I'm pretty jealous of the old man eating ice cream you grabbed in your version of the same shot :)
And a slightly more "PJ" version. Anyway, thanks, guys, for hanging out with us. You were spectacular, and the wedding is going to be amazing. I'm already excited!!
Oh, and here we ever have one of those completely, utterly brain-dead moments? Well here's my massive one for the day - Alyssa's dog was laying around - in Murphy's wading pool - at some point and I accidentally put this random shot in the queue to upload to the blog. Screw it, I'm not deleting it. Here's our mutt G-love in all her "specialness." Thanks again, Mary Beth and Travis!

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