wedding details scottsdale omni montelucia resort by jared platt

The Importance of Photographing Wedding Details

When I am working as a wedding photographer, I make it a priority to capture good images of the wedding details. Those details matter. While every wedding has the obligatory images of the ceremony and reception, the wedding details are what truly make an event unique. They tell the story of the wedding itself. I’d like to share the details from Jessica and Jon’s Scottsdale wedding. Jessica and Jon were married at the Omni Montelucia Paradise Valley Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The Importance of Photographing Wedding Details

Brides spend so much time and money on the wedding details. Details that are often overlooked. Without capturing these thoughtful, personal touches as a part of their wedding photography, these small touches can be lost and forgotten. Without including these images in the collection, there is no way to fully describe the wedding. With Jessica and Jon’s wedding, there are so many stories in the details. The Montelucia Resort and Spa provided a beautiful backdrop to capture these images.

I created these images to tell the story and preserve the details that made Jessica and Jon’s wedding unique. Instead of just taking a picture of the items, I’ve built vignettes to capture the essence of these details. The graceful delicate lines of the chain to Jessica’s cross contrasted beautifully with Jon’s handsome watch. Nestled into Jessica’s bouquet was a tiny cameo with a picture of her father, so he could be there in spirit. Flowers wilt, cakes get cut up and eaten, but the memories are preserved in these images.

Photographing a couple’s wedding details can also be an artistic way to show the passage of time during the event. The wax running low on the candles and the bride’s gorgeous shoes sitting abandoned on her chair tell stories. These details capture the emotion of the moment, preserving not just a picture of the details themselves but the feelings they evoke.

Some of these details are the work of Michelle Scarzone, owner and event planner of Simply Refined Events. Her artistic touch and keen eye helped to realize the vision Jessica and Jon had for their wedding.

Please enjoy these images of the wedding details from Jessica and Jon’s Omni Montelucia Resort and Spa wedding. And, make sure to check back. I will be sharing more images from this event in a future post.

 

 

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Bride and groom kiss - Wedding Photography in Phoenix Arizona at the Wrigley Mansion

Sara & Jay: A Wedding at the Wrigley Mansion in Phoenix, Arizona

Sara and Jay’s Wedding at The Wrigley Mansion in Phoenix, Arizona from Jared Platt on Vimeo.

Sara and Jay’s were married at The Wrigley Mansion in Phoenix, Arizona.  The mansion is an old, eclectic building with hallways and doors that lead you around in circles.  Each room is a unique place to shoot.  Which meant we had a number of choices for photographing the dress.  But this room ended up winning.  I loved the portraits hanging on either side and the texture of the translucent drapes.  Generally, I dislike the plastic hangers that come with the dress, but in this case, I was happy with the hanger because the white helped to set it apart from the wood valance.  I would like to know though, why it is that a bride can spend thousands of dollars on a dress and the dress shop only gives her a lame plastic hanger?  That is ridiculous.  They know the dress will be photographed before it goes on, and yet, they give her a white plastic hanger that, in most cases, takes away from the photograph.  I carry a hanger around with me to make up for this oversight, but in this case, the plastic hanger worked in the photo, so I didn’t use my wooden one.

Wedding Photography in Phoenix Arizona at the Wrigley Mansion

We were on our way up the stair case (where I am shooting from) and I saw this little archway and the light coming down the staircase.  So we had to use it because the light was perfect.

Grooms Portrait at a Wedding Photography in Phoenix Arizona at the Wrigley Mansion

The bride’s room at the Wrigley Mansion is full of soft feminine colors.  The paintings, wall papers and drapes are perfect for a slightly desaturated photograph.  I love the layers in this photograph.  Sara looks fantastic in it, the veil is coming into the shot, the painting is framing Sara nicely, the left side of the frame, though vacant, is held together by a bride’s maid’s shoulder and hair.  I just enjoy looking at this one.

The Bride getting ready at a Wedding Photography in Phoenix Arizona at the Wrigley Mansion

This is one of those doorways in the Wrigley Mansion that leads through a series of rooms and hallways that make you feel like you are in a game of Clue.  And, it was a perfect spot for a portrait.  It is not often that you find this much wall without it being interrupted by frames, drapes, light switches, etc.  So I used every inch of vacant wall.  Just to the right and left are elements that would spoil the shot.  It is all about the Bride.  No other distractions are allowed.

Bride Portrait at a Wedding Photography in Phoenix Arizona at the Wrigley Mansion

Bride and Groom at a Wedding Photography in Phoenix Arizona at the Wrigley Mansion

This little ring bearer was quite a show.  Here he comes down the long stairway, which serves as the beginning of the isle at the Wrigley Mansion.  But he caught sight of the cameras and all the people watching him.

Flower girl and ring bearer at a Wedding Photography in Phoenix Arizona at the Wrigley Mansion

So he literally walked the rest of the distance, down the stairs and down the isle with the ring pillow in front of his face to avoid the paparazzi.

Flower girl and ring bearer, Wedding Photography in Phoenix Arizona at the Wrigley Mansion

The entire way!  He was not interested in the publicity!  Everyone was laughing.  You couldn’t have planned that kind of entertainment.  I think that is why we have little children walk down the isle at weddings, in hopes that we get some comic entertainment.

Woman laughing - Wedding Photography in Phoenix Arizona at the Wrigley Mansion

Wedding Photography in Phoenix Arizona at the Wrigley Mansion

Because the mansion is on a mountain, there few flat spots.  Lots of stairs and hills.  But there are also a lot of trees, and because it is on it’s own knoll, you can find great shade somewhere at any point of the day.  I am always photographing, regardless of what is going on.  Whenever the bride and groom are walking, I am snapping a shot here and there and always looking for little moments like this one.  A small glance, a smile, something.  I was happy to find this one.

Bride and Groom walking - Wedding Photography in Phoenix Arizona at the Wrigley Mansion

I am particularly fond of this shot.  My wife saw it and said, “fantastic lines!”  Yep!  That’s what I was thinking when I was shooting this series.  This is one of those images that has to be seen at the camera.  It doesn’t appear from the contact sheet as a happy accident.  You have to see the lines and square up to them, otherwise they just fall apart in the frame and while you may get an ok shot out of it, you won’t get those “fantastic lines.”  The frame dictates the effectiveness of the lines.

The Mansion - Wedding Photography in Phoenix Arizona at the Wrigley Mansion

The Wrigley Mansion’s entry way is full of visuals.  It is a rotunda with a staircase or a balcony completely surrounding the room.  You could shoot this room again and again and get something different every time.

Inside the mansion - Wedding Photography in Phoenix Arizona at the Wrigley Mansion

I loved the graphic quality of this image with half of the frame in complete white and the other half in an textured white with a few darker elements and lines.  And then, of course, the main event, the kiss, happens in the corner of the frame making it more dramatic and full of energy as it battles with the convergence of the bottom and right hand edges.

Bride and groom kiss - Wedding Photography in Phoenix Arizona at the Wrigley Mansion

Photography by Jared Platt, Platt Photography

Wedding Venue: The Wrigley Mansion, Phoenix, Arizona

Groomsmen at a Wedding at Troon North in Scottsdale Arizona

Lindsay & Travyn: A Wedding at Troon North, Scottsdale, Arizona

Lindsay & Travyn’s Wedding: Troon North, Scottsdale, Arizona from Jared Platt on Vimeo.

Lindsay and Travyn were married at Troon North Country Club in Scottsdale, Arizona. We were there to capture them getting ready, the ceremony and a little bit of the reception.

Lindsay’s father got a sneak peak just before the bride and groom would see each other for the first time.  His pride at this moment must have been overflowing.  Two years ago, I may have still captured this image, but would not have fully understood it.  Now with a little girl of my own, I get it… I really get it.

Father admiring the bride at a Wedding at Troon North in Scottsdale Arizona

It was a warm day in Scottsdale, Arizona and the sun was high in the sky, so our group portraits were taken in the dappled light of the paloverde trees.  Troon North has a lot of interesting tree covered ravine which work great for non-golfcourse looking shots.  And shade in Arizona is a very important thing to find.

Groomsmen at a Wedding at Troon North in Scottsdale Arizona

I always love having the wedding party as a backdrop to the bride and groom.  People are often times the best backdrop to any shot.

bride and groom at a Wedding at Troon North in Scottsdale Arizona

Of course, a nice scenic backdrop works too.  I love the huge boulders out at Troon North.  They are all over far north Scottsdale.  The make for some great photographs.  Note: I am always very cautious and walk in front of the bride and groom looking for and listening for snakes!  Rattle snakes.  We didn’t find any snakes during this wedding, but I have almost been bitten four times in one day before (a story for another post), so, it is something to take seriously.

Bride and groom portrait at a Wedding at Troon North in Scottsdale Arizona

I loved this lone tree.  I have shot a lot of weddings at Troon North and never saw this tree in this way before.  It just happen to catch my eye this time and I thought it made for a good dramatic portrait of the groom.

groom portrait at a Wedding at Troon North in Scottsdale Arizona

I loved this moment.  Most of the time, it is a hand shake or a simple handing off the bride, but occasionally something bigger and more emotional occurs and when it does, it is a little treasure.  I was glad to be in the right position to get the moment between Travyn and his Father in Law, but Lindsay being in the shot makes the shot.

father giving the bride away at a Wedding at Troon North in Scottsdale Arizona

I have been shooting weddings at Troon North long enough to see the wedding site change drastically.  It used to occur off the driving range (which had a nice view), but they really did a good job choosing a great backdrop for their current wedding site.  But, you do have to time the wedding just right.  The sun can make things a bit difficult for the photographs and for the guests if it is not timed right.  But if you time it right, it can be perfect.

a Wedding at Troon North in Scottsdale Arizona

After the wedding we took a little ride on the golf cart for some more portraits of just the bride and groom.  Lindsay and Travyn got to watch the sunset from a high vantage point.

bride and groom at sunset at a Wedding at Troon North in Scottsdale Arizona

But after the sunset, we did a few more shots in the boulders.  I love the soft quality of the light after a sunsets, and thanks to modern digital equipment, I can capture images in this limited light without difficulty.

A Wedding at Troon North in Scottsdale Arizona

Photography: Jared Platt, Platt Photography

Slideshow Music: Jared Platt, The Genesis

Location: Troon North Country Club, Scottsdale, Arizona

Being Ready for the Moment: A Montelucia Wedding in Scottsdale, Arizona

Arizona Wedding at the Montelucia in Paradise Valley Candles on Table

This is a quick note about one image I captured last night at Lindsey and Brandon’s wedding last night at the Inter Continental Montelucia in Paradise Valley, Arizona.  It was a beautiful wedding which was designed and styled by Embellish (a fantastic team) with Flowers by Amy’s Floral Design.

BEING READY FOR THE MOMENT

On taking this photograph, I was reminded of the importance of being ready for the shot, which requires an intimate knowledge of photographic principles of light, exposure and of course skill of execution.

This was not a posed shot.  And when photographers today say that, they often mean, “I didn’t tell the bride to stand here and put her finger here and tilt her head just so.”  When I say, it was not a posed shot, I really mean it was not a planned shot.  I was down the hallway taking a snap shot of the bride’s father and a few friends, when her father saw his daughter down the hallway looking at the place card table and remarked upon it.  I spun around and saw this shot.  Had I planned it, I would have asked her to put down the drink in the right hand and then we would have shot a much less natural shot.  But it was this moment that was important.

I left the candid shots I was taking and moved quickly to get close enough for the shot.  As I moved there, I spun the dials on the camera to the correct settings for the best exposure and spun the flash head around into the right direction for a pleasing bounce and set the flash at the correct setting to produce an appropriate amount of fill light.  All of these changes were done while speed walking toward Lindsey.  Once I was in position, I stopped, aimed, focused and shot three frames.  That was it, that was the end of the opportunity.  I got the first two shots off before Lindsay became aware of the camera, but I encouraged her to ignore me (which she did), and I got one more of her looking at something on the table.

It was the first two shots in this moment where she is almost touching the flame of the candle that grab me.  It was late in the evening; she left the party for a moment and was all alone with one of the many beautiful tables, admiring the beauty of the decor and resting from the excitement of the day.  No doubt some happy thought was floating in her head in that half conscious state we all experience when mesmerized by the flicker of candlelight.  And this thought brought a peaceful look to her face (that is not easily fabricated).  That thought is the moment I captured here and that I am now so thrilled to pass on to you.

At the end of such a beautiful day, I am so glad she had an opportunity to step out alone and reflect on how well the event came together and to appreciate the wonderland she created with the help of the professionals at the Montelucia, Embellish and Amy’s Floral Design.  And I am glad to have been there at that moment, and glad for the training and practice that allow me to be ready for that moment because a knowledge of exposure is just second nature.  Don’t misunderstand, it is not about the equipment and the technical stuff, it never is.  It is about the moment.  It’s just that those who know their technical by heart, have more opportunities to capture the moment.

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For those of you interested in camera setting, the camera is at the following settings:

-ISO 800 – good for indoor lighting exposure with minimal grain on the Canon 5D Mark II.
-f5.6 – allows me to have a little extra depth of field to get some focus on the entire table, but still wide enough to allow some additional light in.
-1/15 Second Shutter Speed – This is called dragging the shutter.  I needed the candles to glow nice and brightly.  And since the shutter speed controls the ambient light without regard to the added flash, the best way to get the candlelight at 800 ISO at 5.6 was to drag the shutter at a slower speed.  In normal lighting conditions, this would cause camera shake concerns, but it was so dark in the hallway, that the only thing that was going to be exposed by the slow shutter speed was the candles themselves and a little bit of glow on the bride.  So, I was not to concerned about movement on the part of the bride or the camera.  Of course, when I took the shot, I planted myself firmly on the ground and practiced my snipper breathing.  Of course these settings would not work with a moving subject quite so well.
-Then comes the flash.  Bouncing the flash off the right corner of the ceiling with a slight bit of forward flash then filled in the areas of the scene that needed to be seen, but were obscured by the darkness.  The flash also served to freeze the movement of anything darker than the candlelights.  I had the flash on TTL with a slight flash compensation reducing the power output of the flash by 2/3 a stop.  This kept the flash from overpowering the ambiance in the hallway and the general glow on the brides face, but allowed the dress to light up along with brightening up the face enough to soften the contrast that would have been in the shot without the fill of the flash.

Wedding in the Grand Canyon, Arizona

A Wedding in the Grand Canyon

Wedding in the Grand Canyon, Arizona

It is pretty hard to top getting married at one of the seven natural wonders of the world. It’s like being married at the ocean’s edge, except that there is only one Grand Canyon. It was a perfect day for a wedding at the Grand Canyon. Shashone Point is a great location with almost no tourists and no guard rails. This is the way the canyon was intended to be seen. And what a great backdrop for a wedding.

Arizona Wedding in the Grand Canyon

Thank you, Eric and Alicia for allowing us to be a part of this great wedding. It was a truly one of a kind.

The Bailey / Kintner Wedding – The Grand Canyon, AZ from Jared Platt on Vimeo.

Alicia and Eric were married at the Grand Canyon. The ceremony was held at Shoshone Point, which is one of the most spectacular views in the canyon and is one of the most accessible and yet untouched areas on the canyon’s edge.

Photography by: Jared Platt
Wedding Designer: Kim Duncan
Location: The Grand Canyon
Music: Celtic Blessing by Lianna Klassen – Triple Scoop Music

www.triplescoopmusic.com

Great Clients Make Great Photos: A Wedding in Chandler, AZ

Because of the service I sell and the way I sell it, my clients and I always get to know each other before we ever start a business relationship.  We get to pick each other.  My clients pick me and I pick them.  Which means, I really enjoy all of my clients.  This wedding was no exception.  In fact, Hugh and Meghan are extra great clients because they are super casual and fun and Hugh is a very talented designer.  He designed all of the printed materials for his wedding, you will see them in the images at the serving tables, etc.  It is always liberating to have a client who is artistically inclined because they are always encouraging of you as a photographer to take certain risks and push the envelope.  And they never want anything traditional, which I appreciate.

The Inspirador has a nice room for the bride.  Many places don’t have much in the way of a bride’s room, but I was very pleased with the brides room here.  Every angle in the room was a nice angle with well thought out decor.  That’s always helpful to have the bride dressing in someplace other than a bathroom.  Although, here is an interesting note: beautiful and expensive dresses always come with an ugly plastic hanger.  You would think that it would come with a nice hanger, something delicate and pretty, but it comes with an ugly one.  And the Bride rarely thinks to bring a hanger for the dress, so I have to either find one on location (at a resort hotel, there is always a nice wood hanger, which isn’t delicate, but it doesn’t distract from the photo) or, I always have an extra one with me, just in case.  Anyway, if you are a photographer, you should always carry an extra hanger for the dress and if you are a bride, consider buying a hanger that is unique to you to hang the dress on when it is being photographed.
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I love this kind of veil.  They are so beautiful.  I think it is because of the way it divides the eyes from the cheek bone.  It helps to define the face and subdivide it.  Plus the texture and pattern is extremely beautiful on its own.

 Platt-Photography-Arizona-Wedding-4

As I mentioned, Hugh designed all of the printed material for the wedding and it was very good work.  I saw a lot of people really paying attention to the printed designs.  When you put that much effort into the design of your wedding, people really to pay attention.

 Platt-Photography-Arizona-Wedding-7

We shot a lot of the portraits before the wedding, but we also shot a few after the ceremony, but of course, it was dark.  So we needed to light it.  This front gate at the Inspirador is quite beautiful, so we shot there with one off camera flash.  Setting up large flash equipment for each shot is just not feasible because we need to move around a bit, so we simply use a Canon 550 EX with a set of Pocket Wizards.  My assistant is standing off camera by about 30 degrees.  That’s the entire lighting set up.  Nothing fancy, but it certainly makes for a dramatic photo.

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The ring shot is an opportunity for me to take a break from the wedding and all the distractions and just design something interesting.  When I worked in a commercial studio, I shot a lot of jewelry with lots of equipment, now I am challenged to do some interesting shots of the rings without all of the equipment.  In this case I am using candles for light, napkins for bouncing light and place cards to block the light in certain areas.  Of course then I do a little more burring and dodging in Lightroom (the computer) and we have a ring shot.  By the way, the rings are lying on the wedding program designed by Hugh.

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Ah, the luck of the Irish: there was a definite Irish theme to the wedding.  The wedding was a few days after St. Patrick’s Day and Hugh is Irish.  It was fun.  Lots of green.  And Meghan even had a little porcelain horseshoe on her flowers.  The problem with a horseshoe on your flowers is that you MUST always keep the flowers upright, so the luck won’t spill out of the horseshoe.  I like having the bride hold her flowers down, I like setting the flowers in different places (not always upright), so this became a challenge throughout the day.  But I always like a challenge.

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Good luck to you both Meghan and Hugh.  It was an absolute pleasure to be with you on your wedding day.