Archive: August 2010  |  View all recent posts
August 19, 2010  -  Weddings

jen + nick

Blogging drives me nuts. For some reason, I have this weird sense of guilt and obligation to show photos from all parts of the day from each wedding we shoot. When sometimes, like this day, I just wanted to post photos from Jen + Nick's couples' session, because well I loved the whole day, I am just so in love with the photos from that session. So, I tried to convince myself this would be the post where I break out of this mold I've built on the blog and just show you what I wanted to. After all, selections from the whole day are in the slideshow, so if you want to see the whole day, you certainly can. So, why not use the blog just to show my favorites - even if they are all from getting ready or the portrait session or just from dancing?

But then I sat down to select, and I just couldn't do it. I totally felt guilty. I don't even know why - it's my blog, I should do what I want, but then I started over thinking things, like a mad man (or, well, a girl), and started thinking, what if Jen + Nick think I don't love their photos (which I totally do), and I'm only proud of their couple's session? What if they think I didn't like their wedding (which I totally did!) which is why their post is different from the rest of them?

So, that's where I'm at. I want to change how I do this blog, but I don't know how to begin. So, my past + future couples, would you be weirded out or start questioning why if your post was different then the rest? I feel like once I change how I post, then it's fine, but I also don't want to hurt anyone's feelings by having theirs be the first different one. Am I being a totally psycho here? Oy. Anyway...

So, Jen + Nick! We got to shoot their amazing day, Saturday, out in Orchard Park. We got to the house, and when I saw Jen's dress, I think I actually squealed. I loved it. So, of course, I asked where she found it - turns out she saw it on a national wedding blog, saw in the comments the type of dress it was, then tried like heck to find someone in town to carry the line (no one did), or who could order it for her (no one would), so she ended up ordering it from somewhere crazy, like Indiana (not that Indiana's crazy - just far for a wedding dress!) and having it shipped here. A lot of work for a dress, but when it's the perfect one... and it was. She looked stunning in it...
She also has an etsy fetish - which I totally get. What an addicting little corner of the internet. I can spend a lot of money there, but how can you not when people do such amazingly awesome, unique wedding details? Seriously, adorable.
So good! That dress is easily the prettiest dress I've ever seen on a bride. But to your blogging point, yeah - I'm right there with ya. Wedding photography blogs are so effing ubiquitous now. We shoot, we process, we post, we gush. Hey - we're often husband and wife teams - how original :P. And for good reason - our couples pick us and we pick them because we LIKE them and we really get into the idea of them being together forever and how we can be a tiny part of that during the wedding process. And we do work our asses off - this is the most demanding job I've ever had, and that's really saying something. But it does sometimes feel that we're all just waiting for the next thing to be told how to blog, or what to blog or how to process. There is nothing I have seen quite so lemming-like as the national wedding photography community after being part of it the past four years.

But those of you who swing by when we have a new post (and maybe or maybe not even read the crap we say), we really do appreciate it. We'll keep on thinking of how we can change the site to make it more interesting and more valuable to everybody. The bottom line is we want to make what we post work for our clients, first and foremost, but we also want to make sure we're working to keep things true to our general vision of the quality we want to be producing.

Anyway, back to your regularly-scheduled wedding photography post :).
I loved this - one of my favorites from the day...
Nice, really awesome stuff, hon. These are some of the best getting-ready photos I've ever seen!
Jen's folks had a beautiful home with lots of natural light coming in - it really makes a difference to get ready in a space with nice window light coming in and not with the curtains drawn and solely lit with an overhead, yellow light fixture. I had a blast shooting in this light!
Wedding tiiiiiime.
Thank you, guest flash!
So, we headed to this little naturey-trail area, and it was a bit overcast, so I mistakingly thought it would be a reasonable temperature. It wasn't. I think, and this is a ballpark, it may have been about 15,000 degrees outside. These two, in full-formal attire, still managed to kill their shoot. I cannot begin to thank them for being up for their photos, when clearly, all any sane person wanted to do was sit in some AC with a cup of ice.
Jen wanted her photos - and Jen GOT her photos. We picked a place off of Google Maps, checked it out, and it turned out that it worked perfectly. We got the tall grass, we got the light - we got really sweaty, too...but it was all worth it.
We let them hop in the limo for maybe 15 seconds before we got to this little spot - I couldn't help it - I loved this fence. Gorgeous, guys!
And then, the field of purple flowers. Sigh. This, while sweating like mad and turning purple, may have been the happiest I've ever been on a wedding day. We saw this field and knew we had to go here, and Jen + Nick were amazing. Nick, in these photos, is currently miserable. See, this field also had an immense amount of bees swarming in it, and Nick had just recently been stung for the first time since childhood, and really wasn't all that stoked about being near the bees, but Jen's one thing she wanted in her wedding photos was tall grassy/fieldy photos. And Nick, being an awesome new husband, totally dealt with the incredible heat, but also the possibility of getting stung to make her happy. Go Nick!
So, here's the thing. We've been with a few brides on their wedding days, and most are pretty paranoid about getting their dress dirty. To the point where I won't suggest them sitting or laying down, because I won't be the person who gets pollen or mud or a grass stain on the most expensive article of clothing they'll ever purchase. I would feel awful and guilty and miserable if I caused some sort of problem with the dress. Of course, only standing limits the different feels of the wedding photos, but that's something that just is on a wedding day. So, when Jen was like, so, I really just want to lay in this field, I about kissed her. For real - that was the greatest thing anyone has ever said to me, because of course I was dying to have her lay in the field, but I was totally nervous her dress would get a spot on it, then I'd be the idiot who ruined her dress. So, yay Jen for being the awesome-est ever! I love everything about this.
So the reception was at the Orchard Park Country Club, which is a great place to have your wedding reception if you're out there looking. Colleen has always been really amazing to work with for us and we've heard nothing but good things from all of our clients who use the OPCC.

Check out the surprise groom's cake!
And we'll wrap up with a few dances...we had so much fun Saturday. A big, big, big thank you to both of you guys, all of your friends and your family. Yes, I have a couple of amazing photos of your groomsman getting his ass powder vacuumed up by your Dad, Nick. You're going to love them - but Alyssa decided we'd back off that since we had so many other photos that, you know, focused on you guys and were really good....so no ass-vacuuming. This time. (EDIT - Alyssa just told me there is, in fact, a classic, ass-vacuuming shot in the slideshow. Now you know you have to watch.)
My favorite here at the end. Have a great day, everybody - thanks to all of ya, and hit the slideshow for more!

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August 13, 2010  -  Weddings

amberle + andy

Alyssa and Murphy are off visiting good friends today while I prep for tomorrow's wedding, so I'm going to me a one-man blogging machine and type some words around these photos we took at Amberle and Andy's wedding last weekend.

I say I'm "solo-blogging" but that's about as big a misnomer as you could imagine. The truth is, Alyssa selects all the blog images, compiles them and then prepares the slideshows, too. I just show up and type a few things here and there, honestly.

I bring this up because since I have a chance to type this one all myself, I also have a chance to say a big ole "Thank You" to my partner and best friend. She makes our whole business run and who is (and has the Dunder Mifflin mug to prove it) the World's Best Boss. I don't think any of our clients or the people we meet when we're out and about photographing weddings and family portraits and engagement stuff really understand how much pressure she puts on herself and how incredibly hard she works to make everyone happy and still somehow maintains her sanity to be an amazing mom and a great wife. It's incredible to watch and she often makes it look so effortless that it's easy to take for granted that she's kindof magic.

So here's to my wife, who taught me how to drive stick, tell a story and find the light, and who has kept me from doing incalculably stupid things an incalculable number of times over the last six years.

And here's to Amberle and Andy, who I sincerely hope continue to make each other incredibly happy the rest of their lives. Congrats, guys - here's some shots from Saturday!
I can't speak to too many of the details of the girls getting prepped, but I did get to hang out at the salon for a while prior to the ceremony at the Botanical Gardens, and Amberle couldn't have had nicer bridesmaids and just the sweetest mom. It was a definite pleasure getting to meet all of you girls,
And, yes, Amberle really is this adorable pretty much all the time.
Over at the Gardens (you know, the Botanical ones) we did a first-look type thing because Amberle wanted to get a lot of her family formal shots out of the way prior to her ceremony - which is always a good idea if you're up for it. Andy is such a playful, fun guy that it really made for a nice moment. I mean, Amberle did assure us she would cry and she came through :)

We try to back way off of these, just because we want to let it happen as naturally as possible when you're so emotional and there are two photographers with long lenses clicking away. A first-look definitely isn't in the cards for everyone, whether it be due to time constraints or tradition, but when it works - man does it work.
Thanks, guys, for letting us share this moment with you.
Okay, now let's just amp that cuteness knob to about 11, shall we? Let's get to the ceremony.
And it was like that - Andy and Amberle had a lot of fun with it and I know it meant a lot to Andy to have one of his professors/mentors from his theology department there to lead the service. I know we mentioned it in their e-shoot post a few posts back, but Andy has been out in Massachusetts getting some advanced degree work done and his next stop in life is to enter the Chaplain Corps of the US Army. When you think about how much their lives are about to change, it's really cool that they waited till this moment to get married even though they've been together for, I think, a good seven years. I'm really excited for these two - have fun with your move, guys!
If Alyssa were here, I would definitely tell her how sick this photograph is - just classic and beautiful :).
I love this photograph of Alyssa's, and I love that you can see the setting sun starting to break over the greenhouse roof. We usually don't get to do a couple's session on the day of a wedding close to sunset - but if you can give us that time, even if it's ten minutes during dinner or whenever, DO IT. The light is just gorgeous and you look amazing in it :).
My favorite :)
Maybe my second favorite?
Anyway, I would be remiss in my blogging duties not to give Amberle and her family and friends props for pulling off a pretty epically-DIY wedding. They did the flowers themselves, the cake themselves - heck, A's mom even made her veil. It was nice to see all the personal details and touches and it should be empowering to a lot of other brides out there to know you can do a lot yourself and make doing a lot of stuff yourself a whole lot of fun. I'll have to let Amberle speak up in the comment section, but I can't imagine she would have changed doing any of the stuff she did or her family did, even with the amount of time/effort involved.
Newlyweds :)
Sisters :)
And then there's this - just Alyssa looking around taking awesome stuff all over the place. I absolutely love this photo and I wish I'd taken it - great one, hon.
And then, we had a whole lot of awesome dancing under the dome and it was completely awesome.
Thanks a lot for having us there, guys and a big thank you to all the friends and family of A + A that we've gotten to meet and know through the whole wedding process. It's been a lot of fun :) Enjoy the slideshow!

Also, you'll notice we've been keeping the wedding posts a touch shorter image-wise, but making the slideshows much longer. After the feedback we got, we think it makes more sense to do it this way. The slideshow is mostly for the bride and groom and their fam/friends and people who just want to see more of a wedding post. This way it keeps the front page of our site faster to load and easier to manage. Thanks!

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