this, my friends, was a wedding. why? because it had everything you need for an awesome wedding:
what’s better than a nice wedding at oceancliff in newport on a beautiful day? taking your whole wedding onto a boat after the reception for a sunset cruise. that’s what robin and joe did for their wedding in early september. they had an outdoor ceremony in front of the water and the newport bridge (senator pell bridge to be technical about it).
cocktail hour followed and was also outdoors. during that time we did the family photos and the bridal party. the sun was tough since photo time ended up being a few minutes past twelve. the reception followed right after and i was glad to see the room had an entire wall of windows. the place was naturally lit and had a hardwood floor that gave a good reflection.
robin, joe and i headed over to fort adams when the reception wound down to take some pictures of just the two of them. i didn’t know if we were going to be able to actually go in the fort. i remember years ago it was open just like a regular park and you could go in whenever you wanted (from dawn to dusk). i guess things have changed. the entrance/exit was fenced off and a tour group was leaving just as we arrived. i ran up to the tour guide and asked him if we could get in for a little bit to take some pictures. when realized i was accompanied by a bride and groom, he obliged and walked us into the fort area. it’s amazing what people will let you do when you have a wedding dress on (or are with someone in a wedding dress, in my case).
we got some wicked cool pictures in the grungy and dark bunkers. it was nearly pitch black inside so i set up my two flashes as remote strobes and shot away. i had to work fast because we had really limited time. the tour guide was standing there waiting for us as i shot. i did what i could and then we basically got kicked out.
from there we headed over to the boat launch a couple miles away where the guests were already waiting. i took some shots of the boat and everybody on it and then got in my car as it left the pier with the new bride and groom.
this post is long overdue. i’ve been slacking in these summer (and now fall) months, whether it be shooting and editing or just hanging out with my wife and son. anywho, back at the end of may i shot a wedding for robyn and dori. they had it at the botanical gardens at roger williams park zoo in providence. the ceremony and the reception were both there.
robyn and dori actually live in chicago but they had their wedding in rhode island because it was more central for family and friends. the distance that people traveled to be a part of their wedding was incredible. robyn had family that flew in from england (forgive me if i remembered the country wrong, it was definitely from overseas). they both had a bunch of friends that flew down from chicago, and there were guests from other various locations that made their way to providence.
i actually met with robyn’s parents in lieu of robyn and dori because they were out in chicago. they were great people and i later realized that all of their family was awesome. you could tell that everybody at the wedding really wanted to be there to see the marriage take place.
they had the coolest seating cards i’ve ever seen at a wedding – including a faux periodic table of the elements that listed the guests instead of elements and arranged and color coded them based on their relation and location origin. i’m kind of a nerd so i was definitely into the idea.
we took shots around the botanical gardens after the ceremony and dori was kind enough to give robyn a piggy back ride when we changed locations. everything went really well and people danced until the last possible minute. enjoy the photos and best of luck when you head back to chicago.
well this was a heck of a wedding for two reasons. one reason is that is was a heck of a wedding. the second is that my wife‘s water broke twenty minutes before the wedding was over.
ok here’s the deal. christine and johnny had their huge wedding at crystal lake on october 30th (yes this is another catch-up blog post). we were due to have our first child on october 27th, smack dab in the middle of a wedding i had on the 23rd and christine and johnny’s on the 30th. when i found out we were due on the 27th, i alerted the brides of both weddings and told them they were free to find another photographer if they wanted. their other choice was to take their chances on having me do it and if i couldn’t then i would have a backup photographer provided for them. they both kindly chose to have me still do it.
i took my buddy and fellow photographer john to the wedding. the plan was for him to second shoot a little bit and basically be there in case i had to leave. everything was going well – i took the getting ready shots at the renaissance hotel in providence, made it over to praise tabernacle church in cranston for the ceremony, rode over to roger williams park for family shots at the temple to music, and then to downtown providence for some cool bridal party shots out on the street.
i was real glad we got to take the trip into providence. i think the bridal party thought i was kind of crazy when i had them taking pictures in dirty providence parking garages and in front of scuzzy night club buildings. oh well.
we headed over to crystal lake for the reception where the party was already in full gear. i love the high energy from a big wedding, it feels like there’s so much stuff happening. christine and johnny expressed their relief that we made it this far into the night and i hadn’t got ‘the call’ yet. i felt relieved too; to get to the final stage of the wedding was huge.
people got on the dance floor about twenty-two seconds after salad was served. i’ve never seen anything like it. people went back to eat the next course and went right back to the dance floor. it continued like that through the whole meal. by the time dessert came i don’t think hardly anyone cared because they were all out on the floor dancing.
it was about 10:30 when i got a call from tara. she said she felt a little weird and she wasn’t sure if her water broke. hmmm. i asked her if she wanted me to leave. she said no because she didn’t think it had happened. i was about thirty minutes from home while at crystal lake. i told john what was up and went back to the wedding and tried my best to concentrate on it. 10:40 rolled around and i got another call from tara. ok this was for real. come home. i ran back in the wedding, grabbed my stuff, told christine and johnny i had to take off, let john know i had to go, and ran to my car not having any idea what was about unfold in the next few days… but that’s for another blog post. for now, take a look at some more photos from the very last wedding i ever shot as a non-dad.
karolina was one of my first bookings, one of the early signers that put their faith in me from seeing a very limited portfolio. i’m very grateful to these few brides who were willing to give me a chance as i was starting out. without them i would never have been able to prove myself as a wedding photographer. it’s hard to build a wedding portfolio without wedding pictures, but it’s also hard to get wedding jobs without having a wedding portfolio.
karolina and bobby got married at bittersweet farms in westport, ma. it was a wedding on the smaller end of the scale, roughly sixty guests or so. the room at bittersweet was the perfect size for the wedding. what an awesome venue. natural wood frame and ceiling and a room off of a balcony tucked away on the second floor of the building. i had never shot there so i wasn’t sure what to expect. it ended up being one of my favorite wedding venues.
the day/night went really well, starting off at one of the bridesmaid’s apartments to photograph the girls getting ready. they were laid back and cool, so it was a good start to the wedding. the ceremony was outdoors in a big field with a gazebo. the bridal party walked a good ways across the field to get to their positions which i thought was pretty cool.
darkness came quick after the ceremony ended. i felt like i was racing the sun to get the photos. eventually i gave up and gave in. if it was going to be dark, so be it. i pulled out my off-camera flashes and did some group shots in front of a barn with the remote flashes. we then stumbled upon a little flood light that we used for some cool dramatic lighting for shots of karolina.
i want to make sure to point out that the absolute best i’ve ever been treated as a vendor by the venue was at bittersweet. most wedding venues have a habit of treating the vendors (i.e. the dj, photographer, videographer, etc…) as second, third, and sometimes fourth class citizens. the staff at bittersweet was awesome! i made sure to tell them before i took off what i thought of it all.
i was excited to shoot this wedding because karolina and bobby were one of those couples who were really into the photographs right from the beginning. it’s nice to shoot for a couple knowing that the photos are very important to them. all the best to karolina and bobby, thanks so much for having me!
the harkness in connecticut was outrageously awesome. basically it’s a big giant mansion with land that extends to the water, crazy gardens, stone columns for an outdoor overhang, and a grand feeling interior.
erica and jimmy got married in st. mary’s, star of the sea – a huge church with giantly high ceilings. it was so massive feeling. i tried my best to capture the feel of the place using my widest lens and getting as far back as i could. i’d say i did it about eighty percent justice, but you really have to see the place to get the full effect.
erica’s dress was super cool (and huge, which was part of its coolness). let’s just say she almost had an issue fitting in the elevator. she actually had two wedding dresses, the second which she changed into after dinner and before all the dancing. i know some brides have a party dress that they change into for dancing, but this was a full blown wedding dress, just smaller than the first one.
i don’t like using the word elegant but that’s what everything was at this wedding. great makeup was done by a very talented sara faella who i’d love to get together with to do a shoot in the future. sara are you reading?
the sky was grey all day and night and light rain was falling for most of the evening. the bridal party was an awesome and fun group of people and they were willing to go out in the rain to take pictures. i love when i can joke around with the bridal party and have some fun, and these guys were perfect for that. usually bright blue skies are ideal, but in this case i think the dreary grey gave the outdoor photos a crazy dramatic feel that worked perfectly with the elegance (there’s that word again) of the wedding. in retrospect i’m actually glad the weather was what it was.
ok so picture this: everything’s nice nice like i’ve been talking about. we’re outside taking some of the last bridal party shots and we end up in one of the gardens. i wanted to get the shot right from the center but there happened to be a little pool for a fountain in the way. the fountain was off but there was a few inches of water in the basin. the sidewalls were angled down and made of little rocks. i purposefully wear black sneakers (i call them my ‘dress sneakers’) to weddings because it’s not unusual for me to climb something or get into some weird place where it’d be impossible with dress shoes. so here i am straddling this little basin with water in it, having full confidence in the tread of my dress sneaker on the slippery and wet rocks, snapping away pictures. i get the shots and go to step out of the danger zone and my foot slides down the wall and next thing i know i’m falling to the ground on the horizontal. one of my few brain neurons fired off and told my arm holding the camera to put it high in the air. a split second later i was swimming in the fountain pool. awesome. real professional. mud on my white shirt (which i sported the rest of the night), mud on my lens and camera, soaking wet dress sneakers, wet pants, complete loss of dignity. to everyone there i will forever be known as ‘the photographer who fell in the fountain water’. hey, at least i give it my all.
i would have to say that out of all bridal parties to do that in front of, i think i picked the best one. it was very kind of them to still take me semi-seriously for the remainder of the night.
i had a great time and loved the wedding. i had a bruise on the bone right near my knee for weeks afterwards, but i knew photography was a dangerous profession when i got into it. erica and jimmy – the best to you both. thanks so much…