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December 22, 2009  -  Weddings

sandra + tim

I have a hell of a time sleeping most nights. When I'm nervous or can't get something out of my head, I'm a wreck and usually just give up on sleep at some ridiculous hour. The night before Sandra and Tim's wedding, holy crap - not only could I not sleep, but I kept getting these weird thoughts about things going sideways at the wedding (cameras and back-ups breaking down, lenses malfunctioning, cards formatting themselves, etc). I figure it was because this was the last wedding of a great (albeit really, really long) season and I wanted to send off 2009 by doing the best work we've done all year. I needed this wedding to be bad-ass, I just needed it. We drive ourselves to be at our best every week when we go out to shoot, but this one had me nervous the night before, and I just don't get nervous.

Anyway, I wouldn't call it relief that I felt when we started shooting Friday morning, per se, but things felt so comfortable so quickly that I knew very quickly it was going to be a good day. I'm always a little astonished at how warmly families accept us in to their lives for the day. There are a lot of wonderful things to say about shooting weddings - I mean, we're pretty sold already - but it just can't be overstated how amazing it is to photograph the inner workings of a family when they are really happy and gracious and ready to celebrate growing.

Oh - did I mention I might have had some slight trepidation about a 38-member bridal party? Yeah - that turned out to be the best thing possible. Sandra and Tim come from large families and when you make the decision to include your whole family and their families (think a TON of kiddos) it's gives the day a really nice feel - it was a family wedding in every sense, hence me mentioning the above feelings. Sandra and Tim still completely owned their day, and I couldn't imagine that they would have done it any other way or been as happy.
Yeah, it really is amazing. Sandra and Tim have a spectacularly awesome family (and group of friends - you guys rock too!), and I absolutely adored getting to hang out with them over at the Hyatt before the ceremony. We also got to work with the awesome Franks over at 17 Video Production, again, which always makes a day awesome.

One of Sandra's bridesmaid's sisters did the makeup, and looked over at me and asked how Sandra's complexion looked. I was like, are you serious?? She's flawless!! I almost asked if she'd do me! I'd kill for skin that perfect. :)
So, I have a shoe shot later that I absolutely loved, but Rich and I both kind of loved this candid shoe shot, so we're doubling up on the shoes this post (is that any surprise?)... :)
Yeah, this shoe shot is pretty sick. We definitely couldn't not include both...
Thanks! It definitely a little different than what I normally do with shoes, but I loved it. I also loved Sandra's room - massive windows = happy photog!
Er... so three shoe shots, then :) Hell, it's the last wedding of the year - I'm throwing all caution to the wind and going shoe crazy on this post. :)
This, too, is pretty sick.
Thanks! I really was so excited about the gorgeous light in this room. And Sandra was ready so fast, so we had plenty of time to do some family shots and portraits of her being all sorts of super gorgeous before we headed over to St. Louis.
And her ladybug bouquet. :)
So, I was just testing light with this shot (firing randomly to see how the light looks), and it ended up on the blog :)
Meanwhile, I was hanging with the guys and, thank you, for mirrors....
...and getting some last-minute grooming help from some little hands.
And this may be one of my favorite shots from the whole day, lol.
Yeah - it's pretty rad. So, clearly, you'll notice Sandra has a spectacular eye - thank you so much for owning that ridiculously awesome mirror. Rich was so excited about it! Seriously, when I saw him at the ceremony, he was like - I want to live in their house, now. And then I saw the fun he had with the mirror, and totally got it :)
You know you have a LOT of groomsmen when the party stretches into the extra pews at St. Louis I've never actually seen anyone use.
Nice kiss shot, babe!! It's really cool knowing that we can work off each other and take some chances (for instance, Alyssa, you know I'm getting a standard portrait-style shot of the first kiss when this is going on - so we don't have to think too much - just react). That makes a wedding fun.
Yeah, and it was a good day to play - since the light is going away so early, we got some serious stained glass fun going on during the ceremony. Love it!! Heck, I just love St. Louis. What a spectacularly great looking church.
Shooting in sub-freezing temps at Niagara Square - yes, for the win.
We normally do our couple's session while it's light out since we can fire away like crazy without our couples noticing and catch some cool moments going on between them. Since it's Buffalo and pretty much dark constantly in the winter, this session had to be lit, but it ended up being awesome, because we wouldn't have gotten to play with the Christmas lights during the day! Love them!!
So, we get to the reception and immediately saw how the cake topper was custom-painted with s + t in their wedding gear and with their dog. It's a really, really cool piece. And that's not even mentioned how the cake matched the dress...hell of a detail.
Holy crap, Alyssa!
I'm a little in love with these dancing shots - these are some of my favorites from our entire 2009.
Yeah, me too. The b&w one is definitely my favorite dancing shot in a while. :)
Look at you catching some guest flash! You rock.
So, I kind of love this :)
You think?
Oops, this is out of order :( This should be up in the first dance shots, but this is my favorite of yours, babe!
Thanks :) This was definitely a party from the minute they opened the dance floor. You guys had a great group going on - and a great DJ. Jim is a family friend (brother of Alyssa's sister's husband's best friend. Did you follow?), and this was the first time we'd gotten to work with him. Oh - and he sold us our crazy, downtown house when we moved back here to Buffalo.
Oh! This is out of order too :( Should've been up by the bouquet toss. Boo me. But I just realized that earlier I saw this photo and only saw her covering her face, and this time I noticed her other hand. I just want to throw this out there for her - those aren't both Sandra's! She wasn't double fisting at her wedding!!! :)
We'll end with a ring shot - you guys have some seriously nice looking rings! Thank you both for having us with you for your wedding. You really are amazing people with a fantastic family, and it was awesome to be there. Thanks, again - Happy Holidays!

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