If you have read any of my more recent posts than you already know I got overwhelmed with the amount of photos I had to deal with starting around the middle of 2013 and after turning the images around and sending them off to my clients I missed the ever important step up adding them here to my blog. How else is anyone, other than my clients of course, going to see these beautiful images (outside of if they choose to share them on their personal social media accounts, which I of course love to see and very much support)?
This session may be one of the top reasons for that. Photographing a wedding is an experience unlike anything I have ever taken on. I can’t tell you how many times I had friends and clients ask if I did any wedding photography. The answer was always no. To me, wedding photography is the pinnacle of confidence in yourself, your abilities, and the quality of your work as a professional photographer. I just didn’t feel like I was there in my photography career. With a family photo session, a newborn photo session, a maternity photo session, corporate head shots, etc, you always have the “bail out” of re-shooting the session if the images are not to your satisfaction. Of course that isn’t ideal, but the possibility exists. With a wedding you don’t have that. You get one chance to capture what many view as of of the most important days of their lives.
When an old friend contacted me to let me know she was engaged and to ask if I photographed weddings I gave her my standard answer. “I am flattered you thought of me (and I always am flattered when anyone considers using me for their photography needs) but I don’t have any wedding experience and I think I would do you justice.” And with that I referred her to my very good friend Shane of Shane Bliss Photography.
What happened next was very cool. Not only did Shane “book the gig,” he asked me to shoot the wedding with him as a co-shooter (one small, but generous step up from a “second shooter”). Of course he appreciated the referral but bringing me on to photograph with him was not necessary and certainly not expected. The confidence he showed in me and my photography abilities to join him on a job as big as a wedding meant more than I can even articulate. And more importantly, the client (and my old friend), Kera, seemed excited about the arrangement.
Per usual, when I am working with an old friend I love to pull out a “throwback” photo of the two of us together. Boy do I ever have one for Kera and I. It is the oldest “throwback” photo I have put up to date. Check us out in 1989 on our youth soccer team, the “Pumas”:
I’m the little blonde one in the back with the pigtails. But the real star of this photo is our bride, Kera. She is right below the “1989” with the fantastic mane of hair. And just for added human interest, our mother-of-the-bride, Dottie, is the woman holding the banner. What fun it was to dig that photo up. If shooting my first wedding wasn’t enough excitement, having good reason to share this photo with the world really put the cherry on top.
The wedding took place on September 7, 2013 (yes, we have already addressed in a few different entries how behind this blog is) at the Inn Der Bach, a rustic and charismatic location up in my hometown of Big Bear Lake. When Shane and I arrived we were excited at all the unique things we had to work with at this very cool outdoor venue. But we were a little concerned with one major thing. It was raining. Legit raining. Did I mention it was an outdoor venue? And to top it all off, did I mention it was rustic? Rustic in this case is code word for dirt, lots of dirt. Dirt + rain = mud. Oh dear. We went inside where Kera and her ladies were getting ready and, as usual, she had a giant smile on her face and, ever the optimist, was sure it would clear up and things would work out fine.
Shane and I went to work photographing Kera and her girls getting ready and when the rain let up for a short moment we went on to shoot some detail shots with her dress, shoes, rings, etc. We checked on her groom, Brian, who was in equally good spirits. We continued getting all the pre-ceremony shots, the rain getting lighter and lighter as we worked, and just as the guests got seated and it came time to bring the bride and her ladies outside, the clouds clear. I’m pretty sure it is an old saying that rain on your wedding day is good luck. I am pretty sure I saw the beginning of that marital luck for Brian + Kera in action.
What an incredible experience it was to work with Shane, who mentored and guided me along in this first and overwhelming experience of professionally shooting my first wedding. And what an extra bonus it was to do so in my hometown, amongst more old friends and familiar faces than I could count, for such a wonderful and beautiful bride as my old friend and former teammate Kera. And by the way, did I mention Kera has the most incredible and striking eyes? I am pretty sure she got voted “Best Eyes” in her senior yearbook and it is well earned. Photographers love that sort of thing. It makes our job easier.
Without further adieu, enjoy just a small sample of some the images from Mr. & Mrs. Peters’ big day.
Please also take a moment and visit Shane Bliss Photography’s blog entry for Brian + Kera’s wedding which has been up since October, 2013. He was much more on top of it.