The following statement is an exact email from a bride whose wedding I recently photographed. I haven't blogged this wedding yet, however I will be shortly and I'm looking forward to it. In the meantime I felt this testimonial describes my approach to weddings nearly perfectly. To hear this from an outside perspective makes me incredibly happy and satisfied. If you booked me for a wedding in 2015, or are considering it - THIS is what I want to accomplish for you.
It's a bonafide humble brag. And quite honestly, one I'm damn proud of.
Holy. Shit. I've felt a bit speechless since I looked through them, but I'm gonna try....
These are incredible. I seriously cannot comprehend how every single photo is meaningful and beautiful in its own way. Not a single one is without purpose. I'm sure it's easier to click away and deliver wedding after wedding but it is so evident that instead of doing that, you truly capture each wedding individually, and it amazes me to see how you captured ours. You'd think you had known us all for years, the way you put us on film. Going through them has been like reliving the day - this time without nerves or exhaustion, only with the happiness, joy, and love we felt. But I'm actually really grateful that some of the photos show our nerves and exhaustion because we never wanted a glossy representation of our wedding, just the true sense of it in all its strangeness and wonderfulness. I love the photo of Jerrod and Josh practically carrying me up the hill, I love the one of my niece looking grumpy at the end of the reception, I love the one of my maid of honor picking dead bugs out of my veil, and I even love the cake cutting ones where we both have no idea what we're doing, have like 6 chins between us, and forgot to kiss afterward :) And of course I love the epic Aspen grove ones, the ceremony photos, and the ones from the first dance and father/daughter dance which we will cherish forever. You either have crazy intuition about what your clients will like, or you just shoot what you like - either way I feel very lucky.
It felt serendipitous to find you as our photographer - part of the reason why I felt like it was going to work out great. I'll be honest, it was tempting to go a safer route and hire someone with lots of safe photos on their blog. Thank god I resisted that. I am so much happier with what you have given us than I would have been with anything like that. I imagine it's also tempting sometimes for you to take the easier route, but I hope all your clients tell you after they get their gallery that you gave them the truth of their wedding and their love through your art, and that that is a wonderful gift to receive.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Very rarely due I not get to meet a couple prior to their wedding. If I don't it's usually due to them living across the country, or even in a different country. And even in those circumstances I will usually get in a Skype meeting with them - just so we can meet each other on some level. But in the case of Molly & Tim's wedding, I didn't meet either of them in person, or online, before their wedding at Terrain.
So you may be asking yourself, why?
Here's the answer: I'm friends with Tim's sister - Sarah - and she hired me to photograph Molly & Tim. I've photographed Sarah's family a couple times and love them as people - so I assumed her brother would be just as awesome them. My assumption was correct.
Molly & Tim's wedding is one of those weddings where everything works out perfectly. The weather, the people, the locations, the style, and the all around general emotion and atmosphere. It's a wedding where the father of the bride pulled me aside just after his dance with his daughter and said the following to me:
"You're a fucking awesome wedding photographer. I said to my wife in the car on the way over (to the venue from getting ready) that this guy is fucking awesome."
Can anything beat that compliment? Perhaps not. But that sums up the day for me. It was just fucking awesome.
It's becoming a habit now.
Thankfully, this wedding season hasn't been too dramatic on the weather front. Sometimes we have stretches of rainy/stormy weddings that last for weeks. A few years back there was a run of 6 or 7 weekends in a row where there was no trace of the sun for a wedding. But for the most part, this season has been pretty tame. I won't complain about that.
But what this season has brought, as I noted in a previous wedding blog post, was that I've been more involved in the process of making decisions when there's a chance of rain (for an outside ceremony). Dani & Kyle's wedding was no different.
The rain started as I pulled up the house where she was getting ready. The humidity was insane, 90-95%, and it felt disgusting all morning. It was going to rain, we just didn't know when. It had to, the humidity was oppressive - it felt like you stepped into a rainforest. Actually, we were praying for rain so it wasn't so stifling outside. The rain would break the nastiness.
And rain it did. It poured for about 2 hrs - pretty much the entire getting ready time period. Decisions were going to have to be made about the ceremony. Oddly enough, the bride from the first wedding I photographed earlier in the season (Ashley & Jay) where I helped make a decision was a bridesmaid in this wedding. So once again I was called upon for advice.
My vote: Go for it.
The rain slowed down as we stepped out of the house and into the cars. It was lightly drizzling for the 10 minute ride over to the venue. And by the time we parked our cars, it had stopped. The humidity dropped dramatically and the sun even showed itself. But more rain was in the forecast so a decision had to be made about the ceremony. The planner's suggestion was to have it under the pavilion so Dani came to me:
Nope, have it outside. We'll be fine. She completely agreed.
We fit in all the portraits we could, and the ceremony, into that window we had which ended up being a couple hours. It didn't last too long as during Dani's dance with her father a massive storm rolled in and soaked everything. I'll never forget photographing that dance while the rain blew in the sides of the pavilion and people were huddled close in the city; my camera, clothes, and hair wet from the mist. But it worked out. The day was a success. And I still maintained a perfect record.
3 for 3.
When I booked a wedding for the end of September in the Adirondack Mountains - Lake Placid to be specific - I knew it was going to be amazing. Autumn. Changing leaves. Mountains. Brisk weather. That's my happiness. I made a 4 day weekend out of it with my buddy, Aron, with the first night camping in a lean-to several miles outside of town. For months I was looking forward to this trip.
A couple weeks prior to leaving I made a quick little post online about me heading up that way. A colleague of mine, Matt, reached out to me after seeing the post and inquired about a family session in that area. I was immediately excited. I had just booked another family session up that way for Sunday (which will be blogged as well and its incredible) but I had some time Friday available for Matt. Plans quickly came together. He and his awesome wife, Lauren, booked a cabin up in the Jay area and after a few chats it was decided we'd do that shoot starting at the ADK Loj where Aron and I were staying at early Friday morning. The plan ... hike up Mt. Jo.
Mt. Jo is one of the easier, shorter, hikes in the region that yield pretty sick views. At just under 3k feet above sea level it keeps the hike relatively short - even for an amateur hiker - and the start of the hike is at the campground we were staying at. So it made sense. What we didn't prepare for was having 2 children. Small children, haha. Just under year old for their one son and I believe 2 years old for their other son. I'm not sure if Matt and I just blocked that part out and were thinking of photography only but we definitely didn't account for taking it slower with the kids. 45 minutes turned into 1.5hrs pretty easily. Matt and Lauren were troopers - and so were the kids. Nobody never showed any annoyance with it at any point of the hike AND I like to think they were rewarded with some pretty stellar views, and pics, of the experience. We ended the calorie burning fest back at our campsite and let the kids walk in the lake ... what kid wouldn't look forward to that!
So here is our morning in the Adirondack mountains with the leaves changing! I encourage anyone looking to do a family session to get outdoors and into nature.
Also, please don't hesitate to check out Matt & Lauren's website ... they are awesome photographers from my neck of the woods. The More We See.