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.


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.


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.