the ballpit kings (heather and keith’s wedding)

as i drove up to indian pond country club out in kingston, ma i noticed houses bigger than my entire neighborhood. how do you keep up with a house that big? me and my wife live in a small cape and i feel like i always have a project to do in the house. i can only imagine if my house was twenty times that size.

anyways, this post is not about giant houses, but about keith and heather’s wedding. it was a windy day that they were calling for tons of rain on. the rain held off for most of the time, but eventually grey clouds covered the sky and things started getting wet. the original plan was for the ceremony to be held outside on a deck type of an area but the weather caused it to be moved inside. there was a nice room indoors with big giant windows and was nicely setup. sometimes venues have a ‘backup plan’ to the outdoor ceremony and it looks like just that – a backup plan. this area looked like the ceremony was planned to be there the entire time.

the reception was right down the hall in another room with a huge window wall. it looked very nice in real life but caused a bit of a headache for the exposure metering on the camera when using flash. i know no one cares about that, but i figured i’d mention it because i had to constantly think about it and be aware of it all night long. if anyone’s interested, the camera sends out a couple undetectable pulses of light right before the picture is taken and reads back the luminousity information in order to figure out how bright to fire the flash. when it sees itself in the glass reflection it inaccurately fires the flash at a really low power.

anywho, woe is me, i know.

as i was eating with the dj’s we started talking about bands we used to play in during high school after finding out we all play instruments. turns out one of the dj’s actually saw my band in high school (the ballpit kings) play at a party. mind you that we were from cranston and the dj was from massachusetts. in high school that’s pretty much worldwide fame. it was cool eating and talking with those guys.

i took some pictures in the elevator and the people that worked at the venue kind of looked at me like i was an alien. i thought the lighting was cool. i had to improvise because the weather was nasty outside, super windy and cold. the bridal party was cool enough to grant me a few minutes outside anyway. i really appreciated that.

everything worked out despite the weather and derailed photo plans. all the best to heather and keith, thanks for letting me be a part of your day…

i quit photography

i quit.

well, not entirely, but blueflash is going to get a change in direction for 2011. i’ve decided that for 2011 (and the rest of the foreseeable future, as if any of the future is foreseeable) i’m only going to sign up for a maximum of four weddings per year (maybe five if the fifth one is a destination wedding to hawaii or something). this may sound a bit like a ‘for a limited time only’ sale to prospective brides, but there’s better reasons than that. for the interested parties, here they are in no particular order:

1) my wife and i had our first kid on november 1st. i’m definitely going to want to spend tons of time hanging out with him and by the time the end of next summer rolls around he’ll be old enough to roll around too. i don’t want to get older and have my son grow up and then realize i spent more time shooting and editing weddings than hanging out with him, as much as i love doing weddings.

2) i want blueflash to get more into the fashion/modeling side of photography. i really love deliberate photoshoots where you have a little bit of a plan, enough time dedicated to accomplish that plan, and then you end up with a few awesome shots. don’t get me wrong, weddings are great, but it’s different when you focus on five shots from the day rather than two-hundred and fifty. it’s just a different animal, that’s all. plug – check out the bluefashion portfolio. it’s going to take more effort to get into this segment than just waiting around and hoping some magazine wants me to shoot their cover for them.

3) earlier this year i launched the bluecube. i didn’t really give it the advertising time or effort that it deserved because i was so focused on signing, shooting and editing weddings. i’ve got a handful of weddings that it’s scheduled to be at but i know that this thing’s got tons of potential. people have a ton of fun in it and it really makes whatever event that it’s at a lot better. once this thing catches on i really feel like it’ll spread like crazy. if i have a wedding scheduled every weekend then i can’t be out there setting up the bluecube. there’s only one of me last i checked.

4) time. i don’t think many people realize how much time (good) photographers put into weddings. there’s tons of emailing back and forth initially, then there’s meetings with the clients, sometimes an engagement session, the actual wedding day (with getting ready, driving, and shooting time it usually ends up being a twelve hour day), then the work starts! dump the shots to the computer, sort through well over a thousand photos, individually edit about two-hundred and fifty of them, assemble a facebook album, write up a blog post on the day, design a custom cd, burn it, print it, mail it, upload the album to the site, and then update the portfolio with the new shots. you can easily spend thirty hours after a wedding is over doing all that stuff. multiply that by a bunch of weddings and you’re talking a lot of time. i’m not complaining – it’s an awesome thing to shoot someone’s wedding, i’m just explaining where the ‘time’ reason comes from.

5) i really keep wanting to get into video a little bit. at least experimentally, just to see what my limits are in terms of quality output. i don’t really know what i’d shoot a video of quite yet, but i want to try to put something together. that takes time too. does anyone have any time for sale?

6) my wife and i work with the youth group at our church. they have a lot of things going on during weekends in the summer and more often than not i can’t go to them because weddings are primarily on weekends. it’d be nice to have a few more free weekends to do things like that.

well, i hope that i didn’t scare off any future brides from even emailing me if they’re interested in using blueflash. i do love shooting weddings and i’m still going to do it, just a little less than this upcoming year.

any thoughts on anything? ending a blog post with a question is so lame. that’s my thought. here’s a couple pictures i took in newport.

everyone should have a bounce house (melissa and jason’s wedding)

i love how this wedding came out. it was awesome weather, the bridesmaid’s dresses were bright, melissa had color in her dress, the guys had tophats and canes, and everyone had a good personality and big smiles. melissa and jason got married at the united parish house in lunenburg and had the reception at the wachusett country club in west boylston. tunes were provided by modern entertainment, a dj service based out of lowell, ma.

there were a few shots that i really liked, but i think my favorite is this one:

i shot it while the girls were getting ready to have their pictures taken. candids trump posed shots anyday. this is a technical horror of a photograph. the heads are cut off, it’s way overexposed, the rule of thirds seems to not have existed, but i love it.

ok i’ve given myself enough compliments for one blog post. how cool is this little patio area at the hotel that the girls got ready at?

this hotel had a waterpark built in. yeah, a full-blown waterpark. i would’ve been flying down the speed slide in a second if i wasn’t wearing dress clothes and wearing a camera backpack. alas i was, so i continued to do my job, but i can’t say i stopped thinking about the waterslides that were only tens of feet away from me.

melissa and jason had a daytime wedding with an after party planned for anyone interested. they rented a bounce house, which i am very partial to if anyone is familiar with the even known as mattapalooza (promo vid can be seen here). it would’ve been cool to go and take pictures of that, but after being out for ten hours or so and having an hour and half drive ahead of me, i decided to head home. i guess i’m old now, i don’t know.

i’m waiting for the day that i shoot a wedding and they have a bounce house at the actual reception. a big, huge wedding cake bouncy house. i’d probably shoot the wedding for free (don’t quote me on that).

ok i’m way off track, i think this post wins the award for being the most off-topic. thanks guys for letting me shoot your wedding – best of luck with everything!

am i at the right place? (emily and marc’s wedding)

emily and marc recently got married at a church on the uconn campus and had the reception in a permanent tent a little further down the campus. they were both pretty cool places.

i got there a little bit early like i usually do and there was zero people there. i always have a little freakout fest when i get to where i’m supposed to be and there’s nobody there at all. i walked up to the empty church, pushed on the door and gingerly stepped inside while looking around for booby traps and security cameras.

after i took the self-guided tour, i went back outside andcalled my wife to ask her to go in my email and make sure i was in the right place (even though i check about twenty-five times before i leave the house). this is customary procedure for when i arrive to a wedding. i need to realize that i’m early and that early means nobody else is even supposed to be there yet, so it’s normal for no one to be there. anywho, emily’s parents pulled up when i had just gotten through to tara, so i hung up and felt a lot better.

things were pretty smooth from that point out. we took some cool shots around the area after the ceremony and then headed over to the reception in a nice tent that let a lot of natural sunlight in.

everybody at the wedding seemed to enjoy themselves. there was a cool little surprise on the dance floor. take a look:

yeah, that’s a back flip. he just decided to jump in the air in the middle of the floor and flip upside down. i think that was the fastest i ever brought my camera up to my eyeball and took a shot. i’m glad i caught it though. for the record, he landed it perfectly. that was a first for me to see at a wedding.

the cake was made by a friend of emily’s who does it just as a hobby. it was a pretty mean looking cake, especially for someone who just does it on the side. definitely an awesome job, check it out….

thanks marc and emily for letting me be a part of your wedding – best of luck with your new marriage and all the years to come.

dreaming of a blue wedding (kerry and mike)

it’s probably pretty clear i like the color blue, so i was pleasantly surprised when i showed up to kerry and mike’s wedding and saw all sorts of blue stuff everywhere.

the wedding was at  five bridges inn in rehoboth, ma. it was a cool venue that is on a lot of land with a big huge house that the bridal party and family get to use for 24 hours. there’s a giant permanent tent set up where the reception is held and plenty of spots around for photos.

maybe best of all was that kerry and mike decided to have the bluecube at their wedding. it seemed to be a huge hit – every time i looked over i saw people inside it and usually a little bit of a line waiting to get in. people loved it. the photos from it are on the website under the ‘bluecube’ section if you want to check them out.

i don’t know what the chances are that i do two weddings pretty close to each other and both of them have a groom and groomsmen that are big wiffle ball guys, but i would think they’re pretty low. mike and his guys just happened to have a bat and ball in the car, so out it came during the formal shots.

kerry and mike were a cool laid back couple and were surrounded by a lot of great people. they had a lobster dinner at the reception (done by cozy caterers) and a cool little cocktail hour by a pool in the back of the property. there were a lot of shots from their wedding that i really liked how they came out. i thought these two were really photogenic.

since it was hot out and i had to setup the bluecube before the wedding started, i showed up in gym shorts and an old t-shirt. i figured i’d set it up and then change into normal wedding photographer attire, but after arriving i realized that i probably didn’t inspire much confidence in anyone who saw me. i love this shot below of kerry walking down the aisle. i think all aisles should be old red brick. how cool are the blue shoes? i used to have a pair just like them.

i thought the above shot would be great if these guys ever decided to form a band and needed a cd cover. their cake(s) were awesome – they were made by johansson’s bakery and i thought they looked really cool.

an awesome job on makeup was done by blushing brides, so defnitely jump over and check out their facebook page when you get a chance. it was a great wedding and i really enjoyed it, best of luck to kerry and mike – thanks for having me…

marriage at the villa

raquel and tyreak got married at the villa in east bridgewater, ma. it was a cool venue that i’ve never been to before. i liked the room that the reception was in for its high ceilings made from wood beams. the lighting was more interesting than usual, with colored up lighting all along the perimeter of the room.

the ceremony was held outdoors on a perfect cloudless sky in front of a gazebo. i saw the gazebo and was dreading the idea of raquel, tyreak, and the officiant (tyreak’s grandmother) inside the gazebo rather than in front of it. shadows are horrific when people are under a gazebo on a bright sunny day. thankfully they stood in front of it and all was well.

the villa had some cool spots for some formal shots. i think i used some areas that no one else really bothered to use. there was an entrance hall to the building that i stuffed everyone into, in front of a non-descript wall, and a little patio area right outside a preperation room.

the coordinator was very nice and had good intentions, but i felt bad when she kept suggesting the typical spots on the premises for photos and i kept saying no thanks. apparently there was a golf course that is very popular for photos, but i tend to think golf courses are better suited for golf. i mean, golfers don’t call me up asking for studio time so they can practice their putting, so why should i go into their territory to take photos? yeah that’s a stretch, i know.

anyways, i had met raquel and tyreak a while back for an engagement session at roger william’s park and have been looking forward to their wedding for some time now. best of luck in your marriage and thanks for having me at your wedding!

bluecube bustin’ at the seams

kerry and mike got married this past weekend in rehobeth, ma. there’ll be more about the specifics of it in a future blog post. for now i just wanted to share a select few of the shots from the bluecube. they had both the bluecube at their wedding and blueflash shoot their wedding (a highly recommended combo). here’s me and the happy bride and groom:

people seemed to love having the bluecube there, almost every time i looked over at it there was a line of people waiting to get in there! i thought it was awesome. here’s some shots… to see’em all go to the bluecube page by clicking right here

the bluecube invades ed and laura’s wedding

you may remember ed and laura from awhile back when i did their engagement pictures. you might not. it really doesn’t matter either way. the point is, they had the bluecube at their wedding. ed is a good buddy of mine so i was a groomsman in the wedding, not a photographer. it was interesting being on the other side of the camera for the wedding photos. if you see me in the bluecube shots, that’s why. i don’t want you all to think that i would jump in the bluecube at your wedding if you rented it. here’s me and my buddy matt and our new bridesmaid friends.

people seemed to have a really good time taking goofy pictures all day. the bride, laura, brought some colorful props which worked out awesome.

i’ve got to figure out a way to keep the ‘walls’ of the bluecube from getting moved when people enter and exit from the wrong sides.

i love how all the colors pop like crazy. i definitely recommend taking a stroll over to the bluecube gallery page and checking out all the shots. even if you don’t know the people i think they’re still funny to look at.

there’s the bride with some of her bridesmaids (bride in white for those of you not familiar with wedding attire)

proud parents of the groom

listen, go check out the album and go rent the bluecube. that’s all i have to say.

‘i do’, wiffle ball, ice cream bars and zombies

julie and mike got married at the quidnessett country club on a recent friday night. there were some special guests. they were green. they were the zombies from thrill me llc, a group out in connecticut who will teach you the dance to thriller and then come crash your wedding. it was pretty cool when they made their entrance on the unknowing guests after mike and julie had their first dance. the bridal party and some family members including the mother of the bride flooded the dance floor with the zombies and danced to thriller for all of the guests.

that was a first for me. check out the thrill me llc website if you have any events coming up that you need a green friend at. i also dined with them at the vendor table. have you had dinner with zombies? i have.

we got to take formal shots before the ceremony which let us have enough time to get a lot of shots. when i pulled into the parking lot of the place i spotted a wooden bridge out in the distance a bit and decided that’s where i wanted to go for photos. i asked the lady in charge at the country club if we could go down there and she said no. i asked again. she said no. i asked again. she said no. i kindly insinuated that we were going to head down there and take some pictures real quickly. she said no. i hinted once more that we were going to head down and be right back. she finally caved and told us it was at our own risk if we got hit with a golf ball. a quick check of the bridal party told me everyone was willing to take a golf ball to the head. it only stings for a minute. we used the bridge for a good twenty minutes or so and headed back for some shots elsewhere. i thought all was well until i got escorted into the manager’s office and scolded for going down to the bridge. turns out the lady told on me. oh well, we had already gotten the shots so the mission was accomplished. i thanked the nice man for my scolding and went back to the wedding.

mike and his groomsman were apparently big wiffle ball fanatics. how fanatical? umm, one of them brought a bat and ball to the wedding. salad was served and i felt a tap on my shoulder. it was a groomsman asking me to go outside, the wiffle ball game was about to start. i took some pictures of mike taking some swings and then he put the bat down and asked who was next. i threw my camera to a groomsman and grabbed the bat. let’s just say i played a couple wiffle ball games back in my day. so i had another wedding first – playing wiffle ball with the groom and groomsman during dinner.

dessert was an ice cream bar which i thought was a cool idea. the dj’s kept the music going all night long and had some neat laser light things shooting around the dance floor. besides feeling like i kept getting shot in laser tag i thought it looked pretty awesome. g&m music provided the tunes for the night.

these guys had a unique and fun wedding. it was awesome to see how good of friends mike and julie were in addition to now being husband and wife. all the best to you guys with your future, and like everyone else at the wedding said – may you soon have short little kids. thanks for letting me be a part of your wedding…

here’s a video (not taken by me) of the zombie dance

rebecca and randy pull the lever

get it? roger williams casino, getting married, pulling the lever, casinos, slot machines, marriage. ok, it’s a stretch. anywho, as you may have inferred from my poorly constructed play on words, rebecca and randy got married recently at roger williams casino (which is actually not a casino at all, go figure).

so the prompt photographer than i am, i arrived fifteen minutes before i was supposed to be at the casino and no one was there yet. that’s cool, no problem, it’s early still. i hung around and now it was fifteen minutes after i was supposed to be there. still no sign of anyone besides the catering company people. none of them were wearing a white dress so i got a bit nervous. i started feeling like i was at the wrong place even though i neurotically check all the paperwork and email chain seventeen times the night before and the day of a wedding. apparently the limo was a bit late getting to the casino. phew.

everyone arrived and i started taking pictures. all was well. i had the opportunity to take some pictures of the bridal party before the ceremony (a session with the girls and a session with the guys) which was really nice to get some extra time doing that rather than just frantically after the ceremony. we walked around roger williams a bit and used some areas around the casino, although i was competing with quinceañeras and other weddings on the property. i actually had to flex my muscles and kick a group of people off the casino grounds since the wedding was about to start. i’m a nice guy and all, but if you’re in the zone of a wedding for one of my brides all bets are off.

one super cool thing at this wedding was that they had a harpist playing during cocktail hour and for the ceremony. her harp was giant and sounded great. her name is hyunjung choi and you can check out her website here. she’s got a pretty impressive listing of people she’s toured with (andrea bocelli, tony bennett, ray charles, olivia newton-john, art garfunkel, etc…). pretty cool.

another good addition to the night was the joey vellucci band. they played the whole reception and did a great job getting people out dancing and keeping the party lively. i love bands at weddings, sorry all you dj’s out there.

for you flower fanatics, a nice job was done by svk floral design. you can email her at shanyak at yahoo dot com if you like what you see.

we snuck out during sunset to catch some cool shots outside and i’m glad that we did. this shot was not manipulated in photoshop to have a pink sky – that was there in real life.

all the bridal party and family was really nice and i had a good time doing this wedding. all the best to rebecca and randy, enjoy the ride…

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