Friday, July 11, 2014

Karen and Alex’s Country Wedding at Reece Farms in Farmington CA

One of the greatest compliments a wedding photographer can receive is to have a guest or member of the wedding party call up and ask for your services. The reason is because, especially in the case of the wedding party, they’ve been given a peek behind Oz’s curtain and have seen the truth behind his magic. Even knowing that all you’re doing is handing out heart shaped clocks, diplomas, and medals, they still value what you do and how you come about doing it.

Karen was just such a Dorothy when, just over a year ago, she was a bridesmaid in Camila’s wedding (see more of that wedding here). Since then she’s met her own Tin Man of sorts back in Virginia. When you first meet him he doesn’t seem to have the sensitive side you expect from a Tin Man. He only lets you see that tough exterior of creaking metal born of hunts in the Virginia wilderness. But watch him with his mother for a few minutes and you will see something special, something you can catch with a camera if you’re paying close enough attention.

It’s often hard for a parent to watch a child grow up and build their own life; it’s even harder for single moms with their sons. One thing you could be certain of while watching the way Karen and Alex interact is that Alex’s mom has found the perfect Dorothy to take over the job of keeping her son’s sometimes creaky joints moving.

“And remember, my sentimental friend, that a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others.”  ~The Wizard of Oz

Lacing up bride black and white
How the ladies figure out the backs of these dresses is beyond me. 

Bridal jewelry
Sometimes there is not enough time in the day to get started with the bride before she's gotten her dress on and started accessorizing.
When that happens I find that there is no better model for the details than the bride herself. 

Bridesmaid helps put on the bride's shoes.
Bridesmaids like Camila are indispensable on a wedding day. 

Detail shot of wedding shoes
Such gorgeous details in these wedding shoes. Brides, make note of the heel. That little contraption made it so she could walk
across the grass that is everywhere at Reece Farms.

Detail shot of bride wearing necklace
As I said before, there's no better prop to place details on than the bride herself. 

Dad and brother get first look of the bride.
Karen's dad and brother get a first look of the beautiful bride before she heads out for her first look with the groom.

Bride and groom share a moment during the first look, black and white
A quiet moment under a willow tree before the wedding began. 

Detail shot of country wedding rings.
Now if that wedding ring doesn't say country, I don't know what does.

Quiet moment before the ceremony in black and white shared between the groom and his mom.
Mom shares a moment with her son just before the ceremony gets under way. 

Parents give away their children at the ceremony
Usually it's just the dad that presents his daughter. At this wedding there was a very touching display of family unity when parents
from both sides approached to present their children.

Bridesmaid tatoo
I typically shoot around bridesmaids' tattoos. This was one time where I made sure not to. 

Wedding ceremony at Reece Farms

First dance at Reece Farms in Farmington CA

father and daughter dance with the pond at Reece Farms in the background
Dancing with the man made lake at Reece Farms in the background. 

Bride and groom together on the Reece Farms bridge
Took the bride and groom out right before I left to snap a couple more pictures by the bridge at Reece Farms. 

If you want to check out the fun and more lighthearted side of the wedding, there are more pictures up on our facebook page. Be sure to like our page and add us as friends. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Black and White Wedding Photography at the Del Rio Country Club

Mom helping daughter into wedding gown
Mom helping her daughter into a stunning corset styled
wedding dress.
Another beautiful wedding shot at the Del Rio Country Club in Modesto. If you’re wondering why everything is in black and white, it’s because I was the second shooter for this wedding. About a year ago I started doing all of my second shooting work in black and white. The inspiration came from our own wedding when our photographer’s second shooter delivered all of her shots in black and white. Melody and I LOVED them.

When I’m second shooting I often don’t get to manage situations the way I’d like. I also tend to stay in the background and experiment more with natural light. Because I’m not the main shooter people usually ignore me and this lends itself well to getting the candid shots. All of this lends itself well to black and white photography.

Knowing that I’ll be delivering everything in black and white when all is said and done, I set my camera to shoot in monochrome and switch over in my mind to shoot that way as well. I sometimes do this with my own weddings in situations that I know will call for it because there should be some intent behind black and white photography.

I often get asked by other photographers about my black and whites. “Man, how do you get them like that?” They fiddle with presets, or do batch renderings, and while I could do quite a write up on black and white photography that’s not what this post is about, but the gist of it is you don’t simply flip a switch. You shoot it with black and white in mind, and you convert it in post with the specifics of black and white in mind. I usually look at every lighting situation differently when I tackle the photo in post and make my conversions.

In short, my black and white is unique because I approach each frame as though it were unique.

A word of warning to brides: If you’re looking for your wedding to be shot in black and white, and find a photographer that will give you everything in color and everything in black and white, run for the hills. This photographer isn’t making real black and white images. They’re selecting everything, clicking a button, and exporting a bunch of really muddy, gray toned images. They might have some fantastic examples of black and whites, situations where they got lucky with their preset, but I guarantee you that to do it right, to export and ENTIRE wedding in both color and black and white, you’d have to do double the work and no one does double the work without asking to be paid for it. 
Bride looks to the main photographer for direction
Here our bride is taking directions from the main photographer who is shooting with color in mind, freeing me up to photograph
the angles better suited for black and white photography. 

Black and white shot of bride smiling
A candid moment as the bride laughs at her main photographer's antics. 

black and white shot of bride getting into her gown
Loved the window light streaming in and lighting up our bride while she got into her gown. The hard light really lent itself well
to black and white photos. 

Black and white details of corset style wedding gown
This strapless, corset styled wedding dress was definitely not for the faint of heart, but our bride was simply stunning in it. 

Father's first look of bride in black and white
The first look with dad.
Bride looking out window in black and white
More gorgeous window light lending itself well for some black and white wedding photos.

Ceremony site at Del Rio Country club in Modesto
The Del Rio Country Club in Modesto has an wonderful old oak that they stage their weddings under. 

Check out this gorgeous venue here: