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It might not always be about photography.

Keepin' It Real

January 27, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

Keepin' It Real  

   Scroll through the images on any wedding or wedding-photography page and you’re sure to see images that will take your breath away. They take my breath away and I’ve photographed hundreds of weddings.

     These images of the bride and groom are often in dishy locations where neither the ceremony or the reception took place: the water’s edge with a reflected cityscape; the Brooklyn bridge; a desert; an alley; teetering on a ledge in some deep and rugged canyon.

    The poses are equally wowing. A deep-dip kiss. Bride and groom making a heart with their hands and looking through it. Maybe a grim-faced couple standing 3 feet apart, holding hands, and looking away from each other. (I’m still trying to figure that last one out.)

     Does anybody really do that stuff? Don’t get me wrong. I love looking at these images. I’ve shot plenty of them myself and we definitely have a few downstairs in the gallery. But what I’m here to tell you today is... there’s so much more.

     Wedding’s are about people. The bride and groom. The families coming together and celebrating this most joyous of occasions. Yes, the pandemic has affected that, but in all cases those closest to the couple are there. They wouldn’t be anywhere else because they want to share this day. Along with these people come the feelings, emotions, and the moments. The real feelings, the true emotions, and the genuine moments.

     Accessing these wonderful experiences is really very easy. For the bride and groom, just enjoy your wedding day and your people. In terms of photography, just remember that the pictures should be about the day. The day is not about the pictures.

     In 50 years as you leaf through your wedding album, it could be difficult to to explain to your grandchildren why you got married on a dried up lake-bed with nobody in attendance. Trust me on this. What’s going to give your wedding images lasting value is their ability to bring the authentic experience and moments to those who see them. People will want to see who their grandmother really was; where she and their grandfather got married. They’ll want to see their uncle in a white dinner-jacket and bow-tie making a toast. They’ll want to look at the people and get an idea of the true emotions on that day.

     Numerous times I’ve spoken at length with couples about all the epic magazine-worthy images we'll get and we do and it’s fun and grand, and our promotional material has tons of those images. Take a look. There are also times when we talk about the epic images, but after the ceremony the couple says “You know, I think we’d really just like to go to the reception.”

     And that’s A-OK with me because it’s really about being with your people on this beautiful day.


Pictures at the Memorial

January 16, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

 

At the GRC with BWP

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The George Rogers Clark National Historical Park is a little more than a block away from our studio. It’s a part of our every day life. We see its flag being raised when we come to work, and we see the sun set behind its magnificent rotunda when we go home.

It’s also an integral part of the city of Vincennes. Our city identifies with nothing more strongly than they do with this historical monument to George Rogers Clark and those events in the winter of 1779. The monument’s rotunda, I understand, is the largest in the National Park Service outside of those in Washington D.C.. It’s stately, magnificent and beautiful. Its architecture is timeless and its grounds are lush and inviting.

For these reasons it’s no surprise that our clients frequently ask to be photographed there. Why not? It’s engaging to say the least. The rangers and staff are terrific and, if you can follow a few simple rules and courtesies, it’s a wonderful resource. I’d bet that more families have been photographed at our memorial than any other place in Vincennes or surrounding counties. That being the case, we really don’t mind if someone wants to go over there. It’s breathtaking and it’s a block away.

Thousands of pictures put the family, bridal party, senior or expectant mother on the front lawn, with the memorial looming in the background. No question, that’s a great way to go. Since it’s right outside our front door though, we think it’s a rush, as well as a duty to ourselves and our clients to bring something different to the table when it comes to images using the memorial.

The park has been a part of my life since I moved to Vincennes more than 30 years ago. For me, a variety of memories abound. It never ceases to amaze me that whenever I visit I see something different. Its Greek Revival architecture with “all that granite” and sprinklings of Art Deco (it was built between 1931 and 1933) always offer something unique from a photographic standpoint. Countless details can be used for posing or as a background so that making every image unique is effortless and a pleasure in any weather.

With photography, taking the shortest moment to think “outside the box” typically brings great rewards. The George Rogers Clark National Historical Park is no exception. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Staff photo by Tom Bartholomew
Susan Salmond gets help from Matt, 7, and Allison, 8, Hermes in carrying her veil and the train of her dress by Maggie Sottero from Gates Bride's World in Vincennes.

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These People

January 23, 2019  •  Leave a Comment

 

This blog post will feature no fancy limos, no pretty wedding cakes, no lovely dresses, sparkly shoes or first kisses. This blog post will be short on verbiage but will feature what may be most important on your wedding day. The people. Your family, your friends, these people who’ve gathered with you to celebrate this greatest of days.

 

People are really what this day this day is all about. You, your fiance’ your families, your friends. People who would literally stand in the rain (As you can see, I’ve seen it) to be with you on your wedding day.

 

These people who love you.

 

Take a peek and thanks for stopping by...

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The Kids are Alright

May 17, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Children at Weddings.

Should they be in the ceremony?

Should they be invited?

Should people even bring children to weddings?

Children, some say, are meant to be seen and not heard.

 

Google what’s right and you’ll find as many answers as there are children with some getting angrily passionate about their view.

 

Here’s our take.

 

Having been to hundreds of weddings, maybe only a small handful have had very few or no children in attendance. I’m guessing in larger cities or if a wedding is held at…The Four Seasons or Belmond Hotel Caruso, invitations may more frequently have some verbiage suggesting the event is for grown-ups and children might be more comfortable at home.

 

Here in southern Indiana though weddings typically have children in attendance and as part of the ceremony. We’re A-OK with that, because we’re laid back and easy going (or because we don’t have a stick up our ass.) Also because weddings are a celebration of people coming together; families and friends as a couple begins their new life. To some extent children help illustrate this.

 

Children may be among the guests or they may be a part of the ceremony. Frequently, and deeply moving, a child may be at the altar at their mother or father gets married.

 

So, while not everyone may agree with us, we have a hard time imagining a wedding without children. Quite simply, they add so much. But we’re not the only ones who feel this way. To see more images of children at weddings Google “Royal Wedding...”

 

or look at the slideshow we’ve included in this post.

 


Off the Hanger; Capturing the Beauty in the Dress

January 19, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Photographing the back of the dress is in some ways easier as flowers a frequently held toward the front.

I love photographing a bride in her dress. Definitely one of my favorite parts of the day so here are a few observations. Lights inside churches rarely help, but they were just the thing to accent the draping and pick-ups on Megan's gown.

Sometimes traditional poses aren't the best poses. Trisha keeps her dress of the ground at Lasata Wines and it looks great It’s important to get what we call a “dress on the hanger” picture as a fun little detail shot, but it’s always looks SO much better on the bride.

I love it when brides show me pictures of Kirsten gathered up her dress off the floor and that doesn't work in every situation. Obviously it worked for her. We still managed to keep the unique layered effect in place using a large light source. their dresses in the weeks before their wedding. The Beautiful portraits shot in church basements are just about as rare as they come, but we got one with Eryka, The light coming down the staircase was perfect for her and perfect for her dress. anticipation of lighting the dress to best show off the draping, beadwork or embroidery, etc. is great.

You don’t light all brides in their dresses the same way. The draping and style; whether it’s natural, asymmetrical, princess etc. will all want to be lighted differently to be shown to their fullest effect. Don't believe me? Look at the work of Dutch and Flemish painters in the 16th and 17th centuries. When we see the dress we pretty much know what’s going to need to happen, but we work with it, cajole the bride a bit, find the right light and the right pose and when it happens it's impossible not to see it and inside you’re just like “Yes!”

We took Shelby and her Vera Wang gown to a painting studio for a bridal portrait before her wedding day. We originally chose the studio because the shutters in the ceiling I thought would illuminate the back and train of her dress nicely. We also added a light from the right side for her face. That the bouquet matched the colors of the paintings in the background was just good luck.

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