The first look is a wonderful opportunity to photograph a sweet and quiet moment between the bride and groom before the celebration with family and friends begins. Occasionally, the bridal party sneaks a peek, and those moments are equally as fun to capture, although I tend to prefer a more secluded environment for my clients. Always feel free to personalize the first look too, like these lovebirds below sharing a glass of wine. Cheers!
I had the pleasure of photographing Anthony and Wayne's beautiful wedding last year at the Clift Hotel in San Francisco. It was one of the most intimate and loving celebrations I had ever witnessed. In celebration of their anniversary, we all reunited again and took photos at the Sutro Bath Ruins and Sutro Park. It's a lovely reminder to keep honoring the bond you have with the people you love.
My sensitivity goes into overdrive and my awareness gets heightened when I shoot a wedding because it’s my job to depict the day in the most honest and beautiful way possible. I love this image. I love the flower girl’s curious expression, the warmth of the church environment and I love the composition of the shot. Most of all I appreciate that everyone in this photo appears to be fully aware that they have been invited to witness a marriage. We all were collectively adoring a moment and waiting patiently for the next. There's no sharing of selfies to the world to let it know where we are and what we're doing. No "this just happened" captions nor "that time that" a cute flower girl walked down the aisle hashtags. Visually this photo would have been less impactful had anyone pointed their camera phone in my direction to seize the moment for themselves. Ceremonies deserve reverence not self-centeredness. It's rare to find and harder to visually depict when everyone around us is trying to stay connected and relevant. I’m not suggesting that wedding guests never take a photo with their cameras. I understand the appeal and the importance of capturing moments and life as it happens. What I am recommending is a kind reminder to all guests to unplug, especially during the ceremony. There are many ways to effectively communicate this request to your guests. I find the best way is through some kind of sign (make it pretty but bold) and another reminder in the wedding program that is handed out prior to the ceremony. Trust that your ceremony will be beautifully documented by the photographer you have hired for the day. Most likely, your guests will feel the same way and respect the request to unplug for the short duration of a once in a lifetime moment.
A sentimental connection from the past to celebrate the future. This is the cork from a bottle of wine that Wayne and Anthony purchased on one of their first dates, 15 years ago. They celebrated their relationship by opening this bottle of wine on their wedding day. As a wine enthusiast and a sensitive person, I have to admit that I got a little choked up during that moment. After smelling the cork (I know that is super snobby and outdated but I couldn't taste the wine on the job), I figured it would make a great backdrop for a ring shot.
I once worked with a photographer who barely ever shot anything in color unless the job required it of him (lucky man.) When I inquired about his black and white preference over color imagery, he passionately responded, "If the image you are shooting is about the color, then shoot it in color."
I obviously can't apply that theory to the way I shoot weddings because I would really narrow my clientele and probably not eat for weeks. I also love color, whether it's muted or vibrant. But, I will say that certain situations and lighting scenarios that occur while I'm chasing down,capturing moments and details at a wedding look far more striking in black and white than they would in color. Here are some of my favorite images that just needed to be black and white.