I photographed Brittany and Tim’s wedding at The Boojum Tree in Phoenix, Arizona. The wedding was packed full of beautiful ideas, tender moments and wonderful people.
My favorite photographs from the wedding
This first photo was one of my favorite details in the wedding. Later, during the ceremony, the bride and groom will braid and tie the three cords, signifying their partnership with Christ in their union. I thought it was beautifully done.
The dress (Tara Keely by Lazaro from Destiny’s Bridal) was absolutely beautiful. The bride had the sleeves added by Destiny’s and as you will see later, it was the perfect thing to do, and so well done.
The entire wedding party was wearing little homages to Star Wars and it all starts with the bride’s R2D2 heels.
The grooms cufflinks quoted the interchange between Han Solo and Princess Leah just before the empire puts Han into carbon freezing.
“I love you.”
I love photos through reflections in glass and of course the moment was a perfect one.
The bride and groom choose a “First Look”
The first look is always a tender moment. It is such a wonderful way for the bride and groom to see each other for the first time. The traditional “don’t see the bride before the ceremony” is a fine way to do things as well, but I think that there is far more tenderness in the first look.
Tim and Brittany took a little walk into the green house at the Boojum Tree for a little one on one time.
With me shooting from a distance.
Brittany made her own flowers out of cloth and buttons. They were quite impressive and I am told, they took a very long time to make. But they will also last a lot longer!
There are the Star Wars Storm Trooper socks. And who can argue with the fashionable and COMFORTABLE shoes. That is a bride who truly cares about her bride’s maids.
The groomsmen were all a bunch of nuts and very happy with their hosiery as well.
It’s all about the flowers and the dress. Brittany couldn’t have found a better dress.
The wedding portrait session
Our portrait session consisted the couple of myself and my assistant (with a Profoto B1 off camera light). We spent about twenty minutes making their official portraits, but the moments between them are the absolute best.
The Boojum Tree is full of perfect backdrops and locations. Everywhere you turn is another opportunity for a great photograph. It is a full 360 degree visual feast, which is great because that means you will always be able to find the perfect lighting condition. Some great open shade and the addition of one light is all it took.
Oh, and of course the beautiful couple.
I absolutely love this portrait of Brittany. She shows off the dress perfectly.
Tim is great in front of the camera, it was such a great experience photographing him. Many times, the groom is not all that excited about portraits and photos, but Tim loves the camera and it loves him.
While we were take the couple’s portraits, I spun around to find a number of the bride’s maids watching from the gazebo. I asked the rest to join them to get this shot.
Seriously cute kids were all over this wedding, all of them dressed to the nines.
I loved the flower girls’ dresses. Full of texture!
A tender wedding full of powerful moments to photograph
This is one of my favorite shots from the day. During the ceremony, the bride and groom will be reading love notes to one another, so the bride holds hers in her hands. The “kiss me” detail on her nail is perfect.
This was another great detail. All down the isle were these texture rich collages with scriptures. I thought it was meaningful and beautiful.
Here comes the ring. Notice the ear piece in the protective detail.
The bride’s father lead her to the beginning of the isle and turned to her to read a special note to her before taking her the rest of the way down the isle to her groom. I loved this idea, it was a very tender moment between a father and daughter.
When the bride and groom read their love notes to each other, it was just to each other, no mics. They were not speaking for the benefit of the crowd. They were speaking only to one another.
That is the kind of tenderness and intimacy that makes a wedding great.
The braiding and tying of the three cords was a great idea, but I especially liked the images I was able to capture during the process.
Both the bride and groom are so expressive. It just makes it fun to photograph them. I could wait patiently, knowing that at one point they would both give me beautiful expressions that were full of life.
How often do you see the Groom pick up his bride and carry her down the isle after the ceremony? So perfect!
The tables were set in the green house, but the Tim and Brittany were the first to see the room.
During the cocktail hour, we shot all the family portraits and a few others, like this cute little shot of the flower girls and the bride.
It wasn’t visible to the crowd at the wedding, but the little boy in the wagon was carrying the safe to transport the rings.
Another one of my absolute favorites. That veil was made for her and not by a dress shop. Her mother-in-law made that veil. So delicate.
The battle at the cake table was intense!
Tim and Brittany are too fun!
Tim was a bartender at one time, so I thought this shot would be an appropriate image.
With minutes to the end, the bride sneaks away to pack up her things for the get away!
So much energy, expression and love. It is always my pleasure to be a part of every wedding I photograph. Brittany and Tim, your wedding was an absolute joy as are you both.
I wish you both the best of everything as you head off into the unknown!
Photography by Jared Platt
Wedding location: The Boojum Tree, Phoenix, Arizona
Slideshow music by Hive Riot, courtesy of triple scoop music
Using custom camera settings can mean the difference between getting the shot at just the right moment, or missing it entirely. One important distinction between a skilled photographer and a person taking snapshots is the ability to rapidly adjust to changing lighting conditions. Pros also develop a second-nature ability to properly adjust their camera. Being prepared to shoot in all sorts of lighting conditions takes planning and practice. One of the ways to ensure that you are ready to shoot when the action is happening is to make use of custom camera settings.
Weddings are especially challenging because of all of the different environments you shoot in. Take for example a church. Inside the church, you may or may not be allowed to use a flash. The stage might be brightly lit where the audience is only dimly lit. There may be windows or not. Certain events happen very quickly and depending on which direction you are facing to get the action, you might need a different exposure mode ie shutter, or aperture priority or manual; you might need flash compensation, or a different iso. Making all of these changes in the heat of shooting, every time you turn around is distracting and time consuming. the distraction might be enough to cause you to miss the first kiss or the bride and groom coming down the aisle.
Custom Camera Settings Prevent Errors
Imagine you are shooting a wedding in a church. One great use of custom camera settings in this scenario is to come to the church early and scout your shots. Turned toward the podium, set your camera to the settings that work best for that environment. Using your camera’s menu, set that as custom setting one. On my camera, a Canon 5D Mark III I choose that custom setting using the c1 position on the top left dial. Now, turn back toward where the audience will be seated and set your camera exposure settings for that direction — set this as custom setting two. For setting three you may choose to set your camera for when the bride and groom exit the church with the dark church entrance behind them.
Custom Camera Settings Include Pretty Much Every Setting in your Camera
You can set pretty much anything you want including file size, raw or jpeg, focus mode, drive and silent or high-speed shutter mode. Make sure everything is exactly the way you want it when you set your custom setting. Especially the manual, aperture or shutter speed priority modes. These three modes are really the only thing you can’t change within the custom setting after it has been created. Once you have created a custom setting in one of these modes it remains in that mode. That is a manual custom setting an aperture priority custom setting, or a shutter priority custom setting. Once you switch to a custom setting, however, you can change anything else that you want to, like focus point or exposure compensation. The custom setting acts as a starting point and you can adjust for environmental conditions from there.
As with any camera technique practice brings mastery. Spend time creating custom settings and working with them. You will find that you are better prepared to capture those rapidly changing situations. I like to be ready and never miss a shot so custom settings are an important part of my professional tool bag.
Jennifer and Brad were married in the Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Phoenix, Arizona and their reception was held at the Paradise Valley Country Club in Paradise Valley, Arizona. There were a lot of bride’s maids and groomsmen and all of them were lively and fun. The wedding was great fun. Here are a few of my favorite images from the day.
One of the bride’s maids was taking little Polaroid shots during the day. I thought they were cool, so I made my own, but the bride’s maid can pretend she took this Polaroid too. I won’t tell anyone.
This shot was taken by my second shooter, Ray who was following the groom and groom’s men around during the day. I love the composition on this shot.
I love mirrors, moms and that connection of sweet pride. That has got to be one of the most grand moments in a mother’s life.
Everyone learned how to tie a real bow tie. A skill all men should have. Loose the fake bow ties, always go real!
Jennifer, the bride, looked like a million bucks. The dress was perfect, her hair was done just right… what a beautiful sight for Brad at their first look before the wedding.
I don’t recall what was so funny, but not everyone was amused, which is why love the shot so much.
While you are in a long wedding ceremony, or church even, smart phones with data packages have made anything entertaining. There were a lot of football fans at this wedding. In fact, I recall announcements on scores being issued at the reception.
The is one of my favorite shots from a recessional in a long time.
The from door on the church was perfect for a photograph and the sun was on its way down, so we had a perfect moment of light (for about 2 minutes), then it was gone. If you are the tech type, this was taken with a slow shutter speed to burn in a darkening sky. The couple is in complete ambient darkness and lit by a Profoto B1 off camera flash with a soft box.
Jennifer makes the dress look great!
One of my favorite parts of the day is the reception and particularly the toasts. Most of the time, a toast looks best in black and white.
The other side of the toast!
The bride loved the doors at the Paradise Valley country club. So we set up a shot at the main entrance. It was pretty dark out there, but two Profoto B1 lights did the trick. One was lighting them and the other was filling in a general bounce to give us detail in the shadows.
This next series was a lot of fun. They had a cigar box for anyone who wanted to have one. So all the guys gathered on the back patio of the country club, and we shot away.
I have to thank Megan, from M.C. Weddings and Events for all of her work on this wedding. Having a coordinator on a wedding changes everything.
Wedding Photography: Jared Platt, Platt Photography
Wedding Videography: Serendipity
Wedding Location: Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Phoenix, Arizona
Wedding Reception Location: Paradise Valley Country Club, Paradise Valley, Arizona
Here are a few of my favorite images from William and Erica’s wedding. It was a large wedding, but it felt small. The people were all so nice that it just felt like I was amongst family. That is a good indication that things are going to be wonderful.
I enjoyed working on these images, as much as I enjoyed shooting them…
Now, I don’t care who you are, this next one has to make you smile.
Erica is such an adorable person and beautiful women. She was working on some very important curls, so while she was using this plastic, portable hair drier, I had to get a picture.
These curls are apparently well over 24 hours of work, so when you see Erica’s hair in her dress, don’t think that kind of coolness comes without some skill and planning. And she pulled it off wonderfully. I find myself getting a little giddy when I see something as cool as her hair was on the wedding day. Not because I love hair, but because I love to see something unique and beautiful and super cool come into place.
So as erica was brushing out her hair, her maid of honor said. “you look like a black and white photograph.” So I immediately took a black and white. This photograph and many others are in black and white because of that statement. It changed the course of the photos of the wedding. I like that interactive nature of weddings. Letting the circumstances sway the images means that the images become something much more real and meaningful. Thanks to a cute little statement on the wedding day, I saw the entire wedding day through a deferent lens.
First off, I think William’s last name is awesome. Secondly, I can’t begin to say how grateful I am to those who are and have been a part of our armed forces. Thirdly, I love the composition of this image. So, I love this image. There is a companion image that shows the groom and the best man in this same pose and it is a very casual and supportive gesture, but I much prefer this image because it is so metaphorical.
This is the Bride’s parents back yard (and music studio). I never wanted to leave…
I spent a long time looking at the getting ready photos after selecting them considering what they should become. I am generally very good at choosing a style and direction for a photograph and just making it happen, but this set made me stop and think for a long time. The bride’s love of books (a theme that would show up in the reception hall) was on full display here. The warmth of the wood, the room, the light in the window, her hair and the presence of her grandmother (who I wanted to take home with me), all pushed me to this warm treatment with a push back into the past. I will be playing with these same images on my workshop on creativeLIVE.com in a week (March 24-26, 2014) and if you join me there, you can see the original shots. I can’t imagine them with any other treatment.
So soft and beautiful.
The portrait session became a total of five or ten minutes tops. There were a few delays on getting the dress right because a sewing kit had already left for the church. And we had to leave soon, so it was a quick run out into the snow for a few photos. And while I love the color in the image here and it makes a nice portrait, I fell in love with the black and white for my favorite shot in the series.
This black and white got my attention for a long time. I really had a lot of fun with it. Including turning on that light and creating a little extra glow from the light onto her hair, etc. I am so pleased with this one. William (the groom) should be printing this one for his office for sure.
Who doesn’t love candles?
The candles were all over the place. Like a gift from the bride and her family to me. This one is another one of my favorite images. But it required a little extra editing because there was a little something in the background, a groom, that was crowding up the image. So, sometimes, I do use photoshop… but not often. And I will show you the original on creativeLIVE.com in a week, then it will be in the archives forever, never to be seen again.
When you have a car like this, you have to use it well. Man it was cold out though… SO COLD!!!!
Erica was a trooper though. She was brave enough to take off her warm furry cape. And here I was with coats and hats and scarves (no gloves) and I was still freezing! I think it was about 10 degrees outside when we took this photo… I will say it was fun, because taking photos is fun, but the cold was not as fun.
Thank you William and Erica for trusting me with your wedding day. It was such a pleasure. God bless you both and your marriage.
Photography by Jared Platt, Platt Photography
Slideshow music courtesy of Triple Scoop Music
Location: Independence Missouri
Slideshow Powered by Animoto
Post-Production with Shoot Dot Edit
Ted and Ali were married at the Paradise Valley Country Club in Paradise Valley, Arizona. Paradise Valley is a little community nestled between Phoenix and Scottsdale just north of Camelback Mountain. The wedding was a blast. Ted and Ali are a lot of fun, and so are their groomsmen and bridesmaids. Here are my favorite images from the wedding.
I love black and white. I loved this door, but I wasn’t fond of the colors in the room, but knowing an image will be in black and white, opens up a lot of possibilities for you as a photographer, regardless of the color schemes in a room.
The locker room for the ladies was a bit of a challenge, since I am not a lady. So I had my associate photographer and assistant (both ladies) spend most of their time in the locker room, but occasionally I got in there for the important moments and some good shots.
Time for some shots with the parents. This one caught me. I love the way Ali’s father is looking at her.
And both of these photographs of Ali are so beautiful. The light is perfect, she looks fantastic in her wedding dress, the flowers (by Table Tops, Etc.) look great.
I love the signs hanging from the chairs. Everything about the wedding, from the tables, to the flowers, to the chairs, the ribbon, the colors. All of it looked great. And of course all of that is thanks to the coordination efforts of Rachel at Outstanding Occasions. Nothing replaces a great wedding designer and planner.
Two ring bearers. Both looked great in their little tuxes.
I caught the flower girl taking a look at herself in the mirror. So big… and yet, still so small (short).
The youngest flower girl was so excited to be a part of the wedding and she was also very aware of the camera, or me… maybe she just liked me. But I think she was playing it up for the camera.
I think the purpose of ring bearers and flower girls is to give us all some comic relief from all the emotions. They are always so unpredictable and ofter very funny. Always cute! They make my day, every time I shoot a wedding.
Camelback Mountain makes a beautiful backdrop for a wedding. I don’t necessarily enjoy golfers finishing their round during the wedding, but they were respectful enough and there was no shouting, cursing or hootin’ and hollerin’ about a long put during the ceremony, so I suppose it worked out well.
Anytime I have a strong backlight, like the sun, if I can throw it behind a tree, it softens and scatters it just enough to allow a completely natural lighting shot. No flash, no reflector, just the right exposure.
While, starting earlier in the day for a wedding makes the portraiture more challenging, it certainly makes for far better reception photographs, like the father’s toast. I love this shot.
As the sun went down, the outdoor reception was lit by a grid work of twinkle lights, which give off a beautifully soft glow. One can even get a shot without a flash if you have the right camera with a clean high ISO.
When your daughter gets up for a toast, I am sure it is hard to keep it together.
This has to be the best image of the day. I know that we typically think of the cool portraits and the artsy images as the best images, but in this case, I can not get over this image. Ali was dancing with her dad, when half way through the song, Ted took his daughter on the dance floor for a dance. This is the first time I have been able to see both the Groom and the Bride dancing at the same time in a Father-Daughter dance. It was a precious as anything could be. I had to maneuver a great deal to get this shot to happen. Ali and her dad had to be in the right spot, in the right portion of the turn of their dance, the same is true for Ted and his daughter. Then I had to be in the right spot to keep them all close enough to fit in one frame. Then I had to have Ali’s dad in focus… I was stressed out about getting this shot, because I knew at the time how important is would be.
When I look at images like this from a wedding and think about my little daughter, I can’t emphasize this photograph enough. This is about as perfect a moment as I have ever captured.
That’s a lot of twinkle lights and the chandeliers are a great touch.
The odd little blue puff in the bottom corner of the photo is cotton candy. Yes, cotton candy. I love it.
In spite of being outside with nowhere to bounce a flash to get great light, we made the light happen by putting up a series of Canon 600RT Speedlites that I controlled from my camera. This kept plenty of light on the subjects but from multiple angles so there is a lot of volume in the shots.
Ali brought this white frame along to the wedding and asked if we could do something with it. So we set up a little photo booth situation at the after party. People had fun doing ridiculous things in in, on and around the frame.
Wedding photography by Jared Platt, Platt Photography.
Ali, Ted and I met at the Phoenix Botanical Gardens for an engagement portrait session a few days ago. The weather has not turned too hot yet, but the sun was still fairly high in the sky (it wasn’t yet sweet light time) and Ted remarked on that as we were shooting. “I thought the sun would be too high and we’d have to wait for it to drop a bit.” And he’d be correct were it not for the great tree cover in the gardens. There are so many places to hide from the sun and use it for a back light that we were able to get a lot of great shots and still get them off to enjoy the rest of the their evening (which included a baseball game for Ted). Portraits do not have to be difficult, painful or even long.
These are a few of my favorite images from the shoot. There were a lot of them, but I’ll post my favorites here and I will let them speak for themselves.
It’s like the sunset lasted for an hour and a half. Everything was simply gold.
Engagement portrait photography by Jared Platt, Platt Photography
Location: Phoenix Botanical Gardens, Phoenix, Arizona
Cameron & Ashley were married at St. Francis Catholic Church in Phoenix, Arizona. Their reception was held at the Arizona Biltmore Resort. From start to finish, we had a great time. I knew it would be a enjoyable day after shooting Cameron and Ashley’s engagement portraits in San Diego. They are a very casual and fun couple, which always helps to make a wedding day go well. I don’t think I saw Ashley stressed throughout the day. Even when the limo had a flat and was late to take her to the wedding, they both seemed to be enjoying themselves and relaxing. I was impressed.
While the girls were finishing up getting ready, we took photos of Cameron and the guys. It didn’t take us very long. In fact, when I let the guys go, they were a bit startled… “That’s it?” One of them said.
Yep, that’s it.
They were all very happy to be released to relax and probebly grab a drink. But that’s how we roll. Weddings are not about photography sessions. As important as wedding photography is to the wedding, that is not what the day is about. A wedding is about family, friends, love and commitment. The photographer’s job is to capture moments and help the couple remember and recall the emotions, events and people who attended without getting in the way. So that is how my team and I operate.
The Biltmore is a great place for portraits because everywhere you go, there is an opportunity for open shade, no matter what time of day it is. So I just hunt for open shade and settle the group in that area to take the portraits.
This portrait was taken inside the Biltmore lobby as we walked to the limousine. We had a few minutes so I used the window light and got this shot. I have to take my hat off to Ramon Bacaui (hair) and the makeup artist from M.A.C.. I see a lot of makeup and hair, and Ashley’s crew was truly great. Thanks to all of them, Ashley looked like a million bucks. It also helps that she’s a natural at posing for the camera.
Now she’s hiding behind a wall to make sure Cameron doesn’t see her.
The St. Francis church is a bit tricky to photograph because there are a lot of rules that restrict the photographer’s movement. So this is about as close as you get. So the photo team spends a lot of time shooting and reshooting the same basic shots at different times during the ceremony. Our shots go from full length shots to wide architectural shots, no closeups. The church is a very beautiful one, so any shot is a nice one, but you don’t get to capture mom or dad looking on as their daughter gets married, because we are not allowed to get into a position for the shot. With those restrictions in mind, we got some great shots. You’ll see a number of them in the slideshow.
I love this shot.
This one is another favorite. The flashes are set up for the family portraits on the alter of the church, but they do a great job as backlight and sidelight for a portrait looking back into the church pews. There is not one forward light on this at all. Two backlights and a sidelight. All the forward light comes from reflected light off the marble alters of the church.
Such a perfect moment in the back of the limousine. I love it. This is the kind of shot I would want printed for my wall if I were the groom.
I just like the simplicity of the design and colors in this shot.
We had a good time after the wedding taking portraits. The Biltmore has an attendant following us around with drinks and fruit and cheese, etc… which was much needed. Ashley was famished. So we took a little extra time on the front lawn for a drink and a snack before we finished the portrait session. I do love the casual nature of this portrait, so much so, that I made it the cover on the slideshow.
Do I have to even say that I love this shot? I love the Biltmore architecture, the bride looks great, the tree has all sorts of great texture on it. I just love it.
Ashely, you look amazing. Cameron, you have a lot of great photos to choose from!
Everyone goes to the roof of the Biltmore to shoot. We did as well, but some of the best shots are upstairs, inside, near the windows. This was all window light, no additional lighting.
This shot makes me think we are up on the empire states building in New York City. I love the shot, the stone, the lights in the background…
This was another window lit shot. The light from the window is the blue soft light from the twilight sky and the light from the interior lights is warm and soft because it comes from a lot of lights throughout the lobby of the hotel. The ISO was high, so it has a natural grain to it, which was enhanced by NIK Silver Effects Pro 2. I knew it was going to be a great shot as I was taking it. Sometimes, you just know.
Ashley’s sister makes the blog post because she is an extremely memorable character. She is the kind of person that owns any room she happens to occupy. Her toast was completely entertaining. I partially liked the look on the Bride’s face in this shot though. I don’t recall what exactly was being said, but I think the sisters may be ganging up on the groom.
I love the emotion in this way Cameron is holding his bride.
I love sweet moment like this one as well.
Nice cake topper. But Cameron is not allowed to dip kiss Ashley anymore… he almost dropped her.
And finally, I have to say that the band, The Groove Merchants, was fantastic. They kept that party going all night long. I have to think that Ashley and Cameron’s friends would probably party late no matter what, but the energy in that room was clearly five notches higher because of the band. I enjoyed every single song!
Thank you Ashley and Cameron for trusting me with your wedding photography. It was an honor.
Slideshow Music by Jonny Blu, Courtesy of Triple Scoop Music.
Makeup by M.A.C.
Sheena and Ilyas were married at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona. They live in New York, but Sheena’s family is here, so the wedding was on a beautiful day in Scottsdale, Arizona. Sheena and Ilyas were both raised in Hindu homes, but have been living western lives so, both cultures were very important to them, so the wedding included both culture’s wedding rites, which made for fantastic photographic opportunities. It was like I was shooting two weddings on on day. My team and I had a great time. And thanks to the efforts of the many wedding professionals (led by none other than Jennifer Thinnes from Outstanding Occasions) that put the wedding together, we had a beautiful backdrop for some fantastic images. Here are some of my favorites.
And let me say, if you are planning your wedding how important it is to have a wedding planner on the team for both the pre-wedding planning and for the day of the wedding. The girls at Outstanding Occasions come up with such great ideas and do such an amazing job executing the wedding plans, they are worth their weight in gold. And having them there to keep everything moving smoothly is absolutely indispensable. After a wedding like this, I have to put a little plug in for wedding designers, planner and coordinators. If you look at this wedding and think, “that’s amazing, I want a wedding like that and photos like that…”, then you need great professionals, with experience and creativity. They make weddings better in every respect.
So, on to the photos. Enjoy…
I absolutely love the henna hand painting in the Hindu culture. In Sheena’s hand paintings (by Darvina), you can see her and Ilyas in the paintings.
Even though the couple saw each other before the wedding, the tradition is to place a veil between the couple at the beginning of the ceremony and then there is a reveal, where they see each other for the “first time.” It was tricky getting my position correct on this shot to be able to show them both and not be in the way of all the guests, but as I reached the correct vantage point, Ilyas glanced at me with the greatest expression on his face. I love this shot.
Oh, and have I mentioned the colors! I am the kind of photographer who puts a lot of black and white into my weddings and portraits, but almost every photograph in this wedding so full of color that I couldn’t help but show them all in color.
I love all the rituals. There are so many opportunities for beautiful and meaningful photographs.
The yellow rice is fantastic. I love these shots.
The runner was fantastic. I love the printed logo, it was designed by Idieh Design. The programs, the place cards, everything was perfect.
I heard it in a the maid of honor’s toast, that Sheena’s laugh is infectious, but really it’s more than that. it is her natural cheerful nature. She is constantly full of happiness. I like photographing her very much because that joy shines through.
This is one of my favorite images from the day. The bride is kneeling before her parents (her’s and his). There is a reverence for family in the Hindu culture and therefore in the wedding rites that is not common enough in America. And as much as I like a non-traditional wedding that breaks the mold, there is something very special about tradition and lasting culture. It says a lot when a young couple continues the heritage of their parents.
The JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort stands on the north edge of Scottsdale, Arizona and it’s back yard are the desert mountains. It makes for a very beautiful location for a wedding.
An absolute home run for Avant Garde who designed the Mandap. You will see more shots of it throughout the this blog post. They really did a fantastic job designing and building it. But I have seen their work before and I expect no less than the best from them.
I will let you in on a little secret. Although the bride and groom planned to see each other before the wedding, things were running a little behind with getting ready, so we didn’t have much time for portraits before the wedding, and since the wedding had both a traditional Hindu ceremony and a western style ceremony, it ran a bit long. And after the wedding, the couple needed to change from their wedding attire into their reception attire. So… that means the sun went down and there was no time for portraits after the wedding with the help of the sun.
No problem. That’s why I always come prepared. Boy scout. As I saw the time slipping away from us, I shifted gears and assigned assistants to get to the vehicle and grab the heavy gear (big flashes). After the wedding, as the couple was changing, we created a very large studio set outside on the lawn of the Marriott. I’d say it turned out extremely well. Wouldn’t you?
While we were shooting, I couldn’t see a thing, so Ryan, my assistant would run up to Sheena with his iPhone and hold it near her face so I could focus on the iPhone. Then he had to run out of frame. Lots of running…
With no more light outside, we moved into the hotel (which has a lot of great interior locations). Sheena turned model on us and we got some great shots of her. This is my absolute favorite.
Sheena and Ilyas made their grand entrance through the fog.
We put up a couple additional flashes in the back of the room to accentuate the fog and the crystal trees.
Dr. Prakash, Sheena’s father designed and built the cake stand for the wedding. It’s quite beautiful.
Event design, floral design, lighting design… compositional design. Put it all together. This was simply a beautiful wedding for the greatest couple. And there are so many people to thank for making it so perfect.
Thank you Sheena and Ilyas for trusting us with your wedding. And thank you to everyone who worked so hard to make their wedding such an incredible experience.
Wedding Photography by Jared Platt, Platt Photography
Officiant: Scott Morgan
Slideshow Music by Kevin Burdick, Courtesy of Triple Scoop Music
I am writing this post conscious of the fact that my wife will read and re-read it and will scold me if I do not do present this one exactly right. You see, Allie, the bride, was my wife’s high school student a number of years ago. Allie was one of those 17 year old girls with 30 years of wisdom. She is one of the most impressive young women we have ever had the pleasure of knowing. So when she told us of the news, that she and Tyler were getting married, we were thrilled. We would have been at the wedding anyway, so when Allie asked if I could photograph it… well, how could I not. Allie is the type of person that gives so much to everyone, personally and professionally, that everyone around her can’t help but want to give back.
Allie’s wedding, though would be an interesting one. It was planned for a Monday evening in Pine, AZ (a tiny little town) where the beautiful forests of Northern Arizona would have been the backdrop. We all had our little hotels and bed & breakfasts staked out and were ready to head up the hill, when I got a text from Allie’s good friend and wedding coordinator. Everything was on hold, as Allie had been rushed to the hospital back in Phoenix for an appendectomy. She and Tyler had arrived in Pine, but she began to feel a pain in her side and decided to head to the emergency room in Payson (a slightly bigger small town in Northern, Arizona). Allie is tough, so when she decides to go to the emergency room, something is wrong. They then sent her back to Phoenix to have her appendix taken out.
Having her appendix out, meant that she needed to keep it simple. So, Allie spent a lot of time sitting down and relaxing, which is what I think brides should do more of anyway. But with the sitting came this shot, which is one of my favorite images from the day. The room where she got ready was her friend’s scrapbooking and craft room. It was perfect for the shot. For those of you interested in the techniques used to get the photo, it is not as simple as it may seem. There is no window to the right as you might assume. I have created the window light by bouncing a Canon 600 EX RT Speedlite off of a a wall. The exposure was set for the ambient light in the room, which gives her the warm glow and generally lights the room. Then the large light source (the bounced light coming from a wall) on the right gives her the three volume that makes the shot so successful. Also, keep in mind that the blue and taupe walls are complimented by the mixture of light between the warm incandescent light in the room and the cool blue light of the flash. I almost always set the ambient exposure first and use flashes to augment the light that already exists because in most cases, the light we see around us is close to perfect as it is. It can sometimes just use a little help.
I can only imagine the roller coaster ride Allie went through. And I understand there were times when she talked about postponing the wedding until she got better, but it was reported to me that Tyler said “by the end of this week, I will be your husband.” I’m paraphrasing, of course. We all waited to see how she would do after surgery and she set the date for a simple backyard ceremony on Wednesday with a small reception for friends and family on Saturday.
Tyler is a good man, I love this shot of him looking out into the back yard, where the ceremony will take place. This is another one of those ambient first, and add a little fill flash bounced off the dealing above and to the right to fill in the shadows just a little bit.
This is one of my ultimate favorites from the day.
As is this one. I purposefully added additional film grain to these images. I thought they felt very classic, so they deserved classic grain to them. Besides, I love film grain.
This is one of the most precious moments during the day. I can’t get enough of the relationships between a father and a bride. I hope, when my daughter is married, someone finds a moment or twenty like this for me.
One thing I enjoy about an extremely small wedding is the closeness of the ceremony. Everyone sits or stands very close to each other to witness the marriage. And that includes me. I get a lot closer shots during extremely small weddings, and it has been said many times, “if your images are boring, you’re not close enough.” It’s nice to be in close to the action and small intimate weddings like this one, allow for that to happen in a very non-intrusive way.
I loved the bride’s bouquet. It was simple and had a very wild flower feel to it, with a few accents of roses. It was well done. I especially loved the broach on the stem wrap.
Allie, you are a beautiful bride.
Like almost every little girl, I am sure Allie dreamed of her wedding and had it all planned out (she’s a planning kind of girl), but plans change, sometimes at a moment’s notice. The wonderful thing about marriage is that no matter what circumstance does to our plans, whether it is rain, or mixups with a vendor or a trip to the ER for an appendectomy, the most important part of a wedding is the commitment, the I Do! And Allie and Tyler said “I Do.” And now they have the rest of their lives… and no doubt, they have a great wedding story to tell.
The reception on Friday was every bit the party and a party always seems to come with a feathered headdress.
I loved this moment between Allie’s mother and father. Some of these moments happen so fast that I have to take the moment I am given. I wanted so much to be about 8 feet to the left, but I saw the moment happening and had to take the shot while it was there. I then moved to the better spot, but it was gone by the time I got into position for the “perfect” shot. This is what we call stalking the moment. When we see a moment developing, we take a series of shots and try to improve upon the moments as they build by getting into an even better position, or waiting for the moment to make its crescendo. Sometimes, the moment falls apart before we get the “decisive moment” we are after, but we still have a pretty good one. So the lesson is: when you see something that may be great, start shooting now, and stalk that moment, because if you wait for the vantage point to be perfectly aligned to the moment before you shoot or for the moment to become great, you may miss the very good shots.
This was a brilliant gift for everyone. Take home a stack of yummy recipe cards for the cookies at the wedding, which I understand were made by Allie… and they were yummy.
I can’t cook, nor can I bake, but I can eat cookies. Which reminds me, I should have my sister make some cookies…
It was a wonderful wedding to witness. Allie and Tyler, thank you for trusting me with your wedding day.
Wedding Photography by Jared Platt, Platt Photography
Slideshow music by Cherie Call, Courtesy of Cherie Call
Location: Phoenix, Arizona