Saturday, May 1, 2010

Todays Shoot - Chris and Alisha (wedding)

I dont often shoot weddings, for a variety of reasons. none of which im going to go into, but I LOVE shooting weddings for my friends, and rock n roll type weddings (band peoples, tattooed peoples etc.)

So my friend Chris who you may know as the singer from the now defunct (PLEASE REUNITE!) upstate ny hardcore band Recon, gave me a ring about shooting his wedding around the Glens Falls/Lake George area. Of course I was all about it.

I rolled up friday night because it was a bit of a drive - and I knew driving up there at 6am and shooting til late would have been a bad idea.

I had Nick (photo a gogo) assisting and second shooting the wedding, so we rolled up and stayed at the same hotel the bride and groom were going to be getting ready at, so we could just wake up - get dressed and start shooting.

We ordered some pizza from a place called irish pizza... BAD IDEA! felt that in the morning REAL bad.

Anyway - we woke up, got dressed - and for those curious - this is what i look like in a suit and tie.

I started off shooting the bride as she was getting her hair done - doing prep candids
I was shooting at ISO400 with the 24-70 the entire prep time - I was shooting at a 30th at F5.6-8.0 with the 580 ex2 flash with the 80/20 mod. and for natural shots i was at 2.8 at a 60th-30th

As she was getting her hair done both of her little girls made appearances - autumn and scarlet - autumn was NOT stoked on being photographed - so youll see alot of angry photos of her - but scarlet - the younger one was stoked on photos.

Autumn was sneeking through a door and ran away when i looked so I caught a photo of her - she was super bummed haha

I went to the next floor where Chris was getting ready - and did some prep shots of him and his groomsmen, then took some cheesy posed shots of him fixing himself up in the mirror - dudes didnt know how to put on cuff links or how to do up handkerchiefs so i helped em out with that a little but i suck at folding so haha oh well

I went back downstairs as Alisha was getting her makeup done, then waited for her to change into her wedding dress before doing some posed shots

We then went down to the location of the wedding which was on the beach area of a beautiful resort called echo lake. I started taking some candids of the groomsmen hanging out - again with the 24-70 - but my settings were jumping all over the place - from 2.8-8.0 from a 250th - 2000th - so im not going to go photo by photo with settings - try to guess!

Next the limo pulled up and it was almost game time - we did a posed shot of the bride getting out of the limo via her brother - these i shot at 6.7 at a 250th - because i wanted to get more in focus and not have a really strong depth of field

I shot the actual ceremony which was very fast, something like 5-10 minutes at the most - with the 70-200 because i really wanted the ability to get in close for the ring exchanges and the kiss - i shot from the middle of the isle while i had nick go behind the brides maids to get another point of view on it. For these shots I was mostly around 5.6 at a 1000th - but jumped up a bit when the sun came out stronger and down when the clouds came out for a second

Then it was time for the portrait session, i used two umbrellas split at the setting between 75 and 100% - so like... 85%? maybe? - I had a beauty dish boomed up a little above pointed directly at the center for a full-fill - that guy was at 50% which should blend just a stop below the umbrellas - i shot these at iso100 at f14 - at a 200th to blend in the background - these all came out about a stop darker then i had hoped - the sun was BLAZING so i assumed it would use the sand as a giant reflector - but apparently it wasnt as strong as i had hoped - no worries - easy fix in post. (yes i bumped up the brightness in these shots so you could see what i was going for)

After the group portraits, I did the first portraits of the newly married chris and alisha! we first shot where there were married - for this i used two umbrellas - but turned them down to about 60% - i had them set in front of them and turned in - and used the same F14 at 200th to blend in the lighting

we then jumped up to the deck overlooking the lake and after a couple shots BOOM - my battery exploded - it started working later in the day but im going to have a serious phone call with those dynalite dudes - for real - they need to sponsor me - i cant afford to keep buying these batteries! ugh! - but anyway - I shot these at F10 at a 200th - and mid shoot the battery REALLY started to fight me so about 1/3rd of the shots only have one light firing (yeah time to buy even MORE jackrabbit 2 batts @ 399 EACH! UGH!). anyway - i really liked the country look here - its very open - beautiful - and no - there is not really cell phone reception haha

After that set we went to the reception - I was in a race against the limo to get there first - luckily the limo was filling up w/gas as i passed him and had at least a 5 minute head start.... yep he caught up and beat me there - hahaha.

Before going inside i got a pretty awesome photo of their daughter autumn (the one who dislikes me quite a bit haha) - see! no evil eye in this one!

When inside i was shooting with the 24-70 - and always at 400 - but i would shoot natural light at 2.8 at a 60th-45th - and at a 5.6-6.7 at a 30th with the flash (soaking in some of the lighting they had there

We went outside of the amleg for another shoot - First shooting Chris' entire tattoo shop - for this I knew i was low on batteries and didnt want to drain using three lights so i popped two umbrellas up REAL high - pointed them down at about 45 degrees toward the center to make sure everyone caught lighting - and shot this at iso100 at F10 at a 20th - to blend in the fading light behind them (at this point it was around 7pm so the sun was not hanging out anymore)

I finished up with a last set of shots by the hudson with chris and alisha - I shot these F10 at a 160th but wanted the bride and groom to have some fun - with all the serious shots - i figured they deserved a little break :)

We then went back inside for the traditional garter, bouquet throws, the dollar dances, and then... the best part... the cake cutting...

ive shot some fun cake cuttings - some very by the book - feed each other - cute ones - some haha i got it in your face a little - were cool - ones.... but this one... takes the cake (see what i did there?)

the cake was against the wall so getting a good angle on this was kind of rough - i basically just went right next to the bride as they cut very traditionally - everyone was lined up taking photos of them - and then out of nowhere - i see him wind up - and i start shooting - the cake hits her face - and with out even taking a step back she throws cake back at him - grabs whipped cream and started unloading on him - i was dodging all sorts of sugary frostings while still getting these photos - and it was unrelenting... BEST. CAKE. CUTTING. EVER. - I shot at a 15th to really get the movement which TOTALLY magnifies the awesomeness of this cake fight - i shot at 5.6 so there wasnt a strong depth of field - and oh man... SO AMAZING!

After the best cake cutting of all time, ever. I took some more dancing photos, candids, portraits of the bride and groom with family members. and I even tried to get more photos of autumn but she was NOT having any of that - never seen a 3 year old straight up - huff, puff, and run away from me like that since my last serious relationship - damn! haha.

I finished up some more photos - and after I shot around 1,500 photos - i figured I sort of captured everything I could have and then some... I normally dont even shoot anywhere NEAR as many photos as I did at that wedding, but i got way into it!

I then began the trek back home to western mass, very tired, but very excited with the photos. I am so SO SO pumped for Chris and Alisha, they have so much love for each other, for their kids, and so many people who love them! the most time ive spent in person hanging out with them was at the wedding - and they even made me (the photog!) feel like family. just all around good people who glow, and in turn make everyone around them glow. Probably one of the strongest couples ive ever witnessed. I guess once in a while the universe gets SOMETHING right and put together two people who really and truely belong together - that is exactly what chris and alisha are. the perfect couple, and now, the perfect family.

I get really into things sometimes, and seeing something that strong makes me hope that one day I will be able to have something as amazing as they do. totally an inspiration as to what to aim for.

anyway - thats the sap for now! - CONGRATS CHRIS AND ALISHA!


  1. Love the pics especially the one of Alisha's back. Great shot! I love offbeat weddings/photos.