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July 30, 2010 - Engagements
amberle + andy
So, here we are - and if you haven't checked recently or your RSS 'sploded when we posted like 6 shoots in three days, we had a really good week. Good because our clients are completely, undeniably kick-ass and good because we feel we've hit a nice groove as the summer wedding season heads into our final 15 or so weddings.
When we started shooting weddings full-time, about four years ago while getting ready to transition back to civilian life, we took every job we possibly could. I had a couple people tell me they thought a wedding photographer should shoot 50+ weddings a year in their first few years. Ironically, now that I think about it, that advice came from people who definitely were no longer shooting weddings (a web design guy) and another couple folks who were "old heads" in our industry who were big on advice giving, small on actually working anymore.
Anyway, we're grinders and always have been. We once figured out we completed about 200 total shoots in our first year. That's not a great idea if you want to preserve your sanity, but it will get you to your ten thousand hours a little faster, and coming from a pure (to a rigid fault) photojournalism background, we probably needed it. It's hard for me to give advice because I only know what's worked for us and we're not everybody, that's for sure. We hope to calm that down over the next couple of years and take about 30 weddings total for next year try to do more family photography work, as well.
So, meet Amberle and Andy, a couple we've been waiting to shoot for a LONG time (their wedding is actually coming up this summer, but Andy's been out of town getting his theological learn on). Andy told us as we showed up that he's going to realize his dream of becoming a US Army chaplain! So he's been busy getting ripped and getting ready to tackle one of the hardest job in the military...and Amberle? She's adorable and fun and hilarious and when you get these two together, they're perfect. We enjoyed this shoot immensely.
Yeah - we'd each shot our first frame when we looked at each other and were like, we're going to love this shoot. They were both immediately comfortable in front of the camera (possibly a theater background/possibly because she has a photographer as a best friend), and they had a blast. They were comfortable being affectionate, they were comfortable joking around, and as photographers, we couldn't ask for more. I hadn't even realized we'd been shooting for so long when we found ourselves watching the sunset. It was definitely the perfect way to cap off our crazy week (and crazy month!).
Also, babe, that photo above might be my favorite you've ever shot. Just sayin.
I told you I was loving that new perspective! (just FYI, I got a new piece of glass and while a lens is just a lens until you do something with it - getting new gear can certainly force you to look at things a different way - quite literally). Amberle is freaking adorable. Just freaking adorable.
Oh, look! An important bridge :)
Hah! (inside joke) - but I think it is pretty important :P.
These two have had WAY too long a long-distance relationship, but they're officially done with that (well, at least until the military thing). The wedding is in two weeks, and then they'll get to be together, finally. At the end of the shoot, Rich went to me, did you hear that? I asked what, and he said, she just said to him, "I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with you." Too cute!
I always get jealous of people who shoot in California where it's sunny and beachy and carefree all the time. For a city that has more sunny days than Atlanta (supposedly), I find myself being encouraged, way too often, to tell brides that rainy and overcast is better for photos, but the truth is, while I love the skies you only get when it's about to downpour, man do I love the feel of some sun. For me, this is what I want to see when I look back on photos of my life. Warm, happy and loving. Of course, both photoshoots we've ever had done of our family were completely overcast/downpouring, so we're still working on getting those photos for ourselves :)
I think it's less about light and location and more about getting the people you're shooting comfortable, personally. I like shooting in all light - I think we're thinking about it because we got a bunch of shoots in a row where the light was fun to play with. Overcast isn't bad - you can put people ANYWHERE if it's overcast and I think that's what people are referring to. If you're not all that experienced or you have a less-than-stellar image capturing device, the shade is about all you can do. Cell phone cameras and basic point-n-shoots have taught us all that.
We don't generate our own light too much when we're out shooting like this. Trying to set up a lit shot, for us, is usually a classic recipe for losing connection with a couple and that's the worst thing possible. We don't work with models and I don't really ever want to - I love real people who are really into one another and it makes me feel good that we're getting to give people something they're going to always want to look at and remember that particular time in their life.
Blah, blah, blah, all light is good. Say what you will, I prefer sun.
(Have you noticed how much easier it is to write the blog not at 11:30 at night when we're passing out on the couch?)
Yeah, I feel like we should go have more in-depth discussions about Independence Day or whatever we were watching at 11:30 last night. I'm surprised we're functional at all after another 6-hour night (thanks, Murph!)
I don't know if watching mid-90s action flicks is functional, but whatever :)
Seriously, these two are gorgeous. And PS - Amberle, your dimples are AMAZING.
Also, I want your hair.
I like this one the best :)
Anyway, after working our faces off the past week, we're going to try and recharge and refresh our family life today before another long wedding day tomorrow. Hope everybody has a great Friday/Weekend and we'll see you all back (hopefully? have we burned you guys out??) same blog, same blog place, who knows what time on Monday when we blog the fabulous wedding we have to shoot tomorrow.