A good friend wanted me to shoot his wedding. I don't do weddings, but I knew exactly what we could do:
I don't shoot weddings.
I've only done three things matrimonially related with photography over the years. I was once a second shooter for a friend that is a wedding photographer who's sister was the Bride. He wanted to be able to enjoy the reception so Sara and I dressed up and became the 2nd and 3rd hands. The second time was during a photographer meet-up where my friend Jennifer wore a wedding dress and posed for the meet-up group. But that wasn't really a wedding, but since it was a wedding dress I grouped it in here. The third time I've done anything related to wedding photography was a few weekends ago. My friend Todd, whom I've known since grade school was getting married. His lovely bride-to-be contacted me saying she wanted me to do their wedding. But I don't do weddings. No offense to those that are wedding photographers who love it - you are a special breed and can manage stress and volume unlike any other photographer out there. Me, personally, I just can't get into it. It doesn't have anything to do with stereotype or stigma - its just that weddings aren't my thing.
So Brigitte contacted me and she wanted me to do her wedding. But I just don't to them. So we talked a little about other options.
The first idea Brigitte had was she wanted something that they could display at the reception itself. She wanted a really nice portrait of herself and Todd that people could see as they arrived at the reception. She also wanted the image so that guests could sign the mat that surrounded the photograph. This way, after the reception, they could take the matted print, slide it in a frame, and it would be all ready to hang, and it would have signatures and messages from all the wedding guests who came. Awesome idea.
No problem, I can totally do that.
When it came to the wedding, I explained that I just don't do weddings. It would have also been hard for me as I was to be a guest of the wedding as well, and being a guest and a wedding photographer simply wouldn't mix.
So we came up with the idea of me taking Bride/Groom portraits. I would treat this as a location portrait client looking for some compelling portraits of themselves, who just happened to be wearing their wedding attire. For me, it was a more fashion-editorial style rather than a more journalistic approach. Brigitte had the perfect locations, and the morning of the wedding we got everything ready and started.
The first location was right next to where the reception was to be held, and right out the door of the cabin that Sara and I stayed at for the wedding. A gorgeous, gorgeous location up in Pittsburgh NH just as the trees were all starting to turn colors. There was a small boat ramp going into the lake that the cottage was on. This would be our first location. The water, the mountains behind them - perfect. What we didn't anticapate was the fantastic clouds that started to move in as I was getting things set up:
This location rocked as the clouds were moving all over the place, and fast. Some of these images have a very interesting look to them and can have multiple meanings: the Bride/Groom on one side of the frame, with blue skies and white clouds almost pushing the dark clouds away, off frame, as if marriage was helping them defeat the storm. On the other hand, the viewer could perhaps seem a more pessimistic tone; the dark clouds entering the frame from camera right, moving left, towards the newly married couple, as if to indicate the storm ahead they the must face together. Regardless of how you view it, I think some of these images are stimply striking. This is what planning and letting nature take its course can do when combined.
For our second location, we drove up to the top of a mountain where the actual ceremony was to be held later that afternoon. A gorgeous open area at the top where the two would be married gave us practically a 360 degree view of the mountain ranges and Canada off in the distance. Talk about a gorgeous day and amazing location!
I wanted to elevate Brigitte and Todd a little bit, so we grabbed a picnic table that happened to be up there, moved it into position and had them stand on it. This eliminated the rocky ground they were standing on.
This was such a gorgeous shoot.
I want to congratulate Brigitte and Todd on their marriage. You both had a kickass wedding; it was lovely, warm, friendly, but still low-key. I think it is probably the best wedding I've ever attended. I think the images look fantastic. I think Brigitte will really love them when they get back from their honeymoon in Colorado.
To see a few more examples of these images, CLICK HERE
I really enjoyed this shoot because I got to create images as I normally would in my style. I think they look wonderful, and I'm glad that Brigitte asked me to help create memorable photographs of her and Todd on their special day.