10 Rules for Photographing on Location

The Wedding Couple and the Location

Valentina and Rpin were married at the Grand Canyon with just a few very close friends and family members late this spring. I have noticed something about most (if not all) couples who get married at the Grand Canyon, and that is that they are all very fun, casual and full of adventure. I get along with them all very well. But Rpin and Valentina took fun to a new level. I had not met them before the wedding day, but we spoke on the phone and exchanged emails, and I got the sense that they would be enjoyable people to work with. What’s more, they both work in Hollywood, so they understand the value of the photograph.

Early on in our discussions, Rpin explained how important the photos were to he and Valentina.  He basically told me that they wanted a photoshoot with a wedding on the side. That is a loose paraphrase, but close enough to the intent of his statement.  Knowing where he stood on the importance of the photograph, I knew that we had to get the portrait sessions absolutely perfect. For most photographers and couples, that means timing their wedding so that they get done with plenty of time to catch the perfect light at sunset. They push quickly through family photos and scramble to get into position for the sunset and grab a few shots before, during and just after the sun drops on the horizon, until the light is gone.  Then it is on to the dinner and dancing. But we all went above and beyond, and planned both a sunrise and a sunset portrait session.

Valentina would wake up by 3:30 am to be ready for a 5:15 am call time to be in position for a sunrise shot. In the darkness of the morning, with the bride wrapped in a warm coat, we would find our way off the beaten path, to the canyon’s edge, set up our lights and compose the image and be ready to nail the shot at precisely 6:30 am.  If that sounds like a lot of work for a few photographs, “you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.”

Here are a few tips that will significantly increase the chances of nailing any photo session you may be planning.  These tips were critical to getting the perfect shots on both our sunrise and sunset sessions on Rpin and Valentina’s wedding day.

10 Rules for Photographing on Location

You have to know where you are shooting and what it will be like the date and the hour of the shoot.  One week prior to the wedding, I headed up to the Grand Canyon to do a little location scouting. I hit the canyon exactly one week before the wedding, before sunrise so I could see where the sun would rise and how it would effect the canyon in the early morning hours. Both fortunately and unfortunately, the canyon was covered in fog. Which was great for personal landscape photography, but not great for judging the canyon at sunrise on a typical sunny day. 

The grand canyon under fog.

But with the help of my favorite location scouting tool on my iPhone, Sun Seeker, I was able to see exactly where and when the sun would rise and set.

iPhone Sun Seeker application screen shot

With a good understanding of light, I was able to extrapolate its effect on the canyon, and I even got a few glimmers of sun peaking through the fog on occasion. But I was not just looking for light… finding the right location, on the edge of a mile deep hole is pretty important. I can’t just ask the groom to step over to the side, or move the light or the camera to the other side of the couple if there’s a branch in my way, or if the sun is in their eyes. By scouting the location ahead of time, I can pre-judge the composition, the lighting and the logistics, so my clients aren’t waiting for me to get my act together.  So we will start our list of location photography rules with the following:

  • Rule 1: Always scout your location before you shoot, even if it is a few hours before on the day of the shoot.
  • Rule 2: Always know where your sun will be at the time you will be shooting.
  • Rule 3: Don’t fall off cliffs while you are photographing, it can be very bad for business.

Remember the Timing is Everything

Knowing where and when the sun will rise in the frame was absolutely critical. I didn’t want to compose a shot and find the sun rising behind their backs, nor did I want to have the sun rising off camera left. Location scouting gave us the exact time and location of the sunrise, however, knowing all that does no good without efficient management of the crew and the talent (in this case, myself, my assistant and the couple). Judging hair and makeup time for the subject, travel time, set up time, and leaving a bit of fudge room for delays is critical to being on time. Sunrise lasts for mere minutes. In our case, we planned a 5:15 am departure from the hotel, knowing that we would never get out by 5:15. With an extra 20 minutes built into the schedule, when we got away from the hotel at 5:30, we were 5 minutes ahead of schedule.

  • Rule 4: Always build in extra time to hedge against unforeseen delays.

Reliable equipment and confidence in technique is also key to your success.  There is nothing worse than loosing a time sensitive photo because you ran out of card space, or a battery died.  You can’t simply blame the flash radio trigger for not working “this one time” and expect your client to understand… Fumbling with your equipment at the moment the sun rose was not an option, but by following some basic rules, we avoided the embarrassment and travesty of missing the shot.

  • Rule 5: Exchange all batteries in the cameras, flashes and triggers for brand new, fully charged batteries, no matter how full they already are.
  • Rule 6: Insert and format blank cards into the camera(s) before any critical, time sensitive shoot.
  • Rule 7: Only use reliable gear that is tired and tested and works 100% of the time.  (no hit and miss equipment)
  • Rule 8: Know your equipment inside and out and use a practiced technique on this critical, time sensitive shot (never try a “new” technique when shooting the shot that only happens once, you will fail in a big way).

With a few test exposures out of the way, my watch set, my camera locked down on a tripod and my flashes ready to add the fill light on the couple, we waited and watched for the sun to rise. We began shooting with seconds to spare knowing we would ease the couple into their role as the sun rose above the horizon. As the sun rose, we photographed like our lives depended on it, and kept shooting until the sun had lifted well beyond the horizon.  Not only is timing the right moment critical, but so is continuing to shoot through and beyond the entire extended moment.  Stopping to look at your handiwork is absolutely foolish. In our case, the sunset happened for a few short minutes,  and then the effect was gone. Too many people are not comfortable enough with their equipment and exposures and spend time double checking or sometimes admiring their images or worse, fussing with their equipment, which gets in the way of actually capturing the perfect moment.  So I will add one more rule to the list.

  • Rule 9: Test your exposures and technique before the shot, so you can shoot through the critical moments and never spend your time looking at your camera.

Bride and groom on the edge of the grand canyon at sunrise.

Location scouting is one of the most important things I do in my job as a photographer. I never fumble around with my clients preset. I already know where I will be shooting, where the sun will be and what to expect out of the light before I even get to the job.  Knowing your location, your equipment and your technique all have one net effect, which is to give your clients confidence in you as a photographer.  When they have confidence in you, they will have more fun and get more excited about what you are creating together as a team.  That alone will elevate the images you are making.

  • Rule 10: Following rules 1-9 will free you from the distractions of the photo shoot itself, freeing your attention to lavish it on your clients for an experience they will never forget.  (i.e.. have a lot of fun!)

At the end of the day, luck favors the prepared.  This is my way of being prepared when I go on location for commercial, lifestyle, portrait and wedding photography shoots. You may already have some of these rules in practice, and others may just seem like common sense, and you may have more to add to the list.  Take my list and add it to yours.  Tell us about your favorite tools or methods for location scouting.  You can reach me at jaredplatt.com.

Wedding Photography by Jared Platt

Wedding location: The Grand Canyon, Arizona

Slideshow Music by Hive Riot, Courtesy of Triple Scoop Music

Tim and Brittany’s Wedding at the Boojum Tree in Phoenix, Arizona

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.

00006-wedding-photography-boojum-tree-phoenix-arizona

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.

Wedding dress Tara Keely by Lazaro

The entire wedding party was wearing little homages to Star Wars and it all starts with the bride’s R2D2 heels.

00036-wedding-photography-boojum-tree-phoenix-arizona

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 know.”

00052-wedding-photography-boojum-tree-phoenix-arizona

00058-wedding-photography-boojum-tree-phoenix-arizona-l

00076-wedding-photography-boojum-tree-phoenix-arizona

I love photos through reflections in glass and of course the moment was a perfect one.

00082-wedding-photography-boojum-tree-phoenix-arizona

Getting ready in Wedding dress Tara Keely by Lazaro

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.

00100-wedding-photography-boojum-tree-phoenix-arizona

Tim and Brittany took a little walk into the green house at the Boojum Tree for a little one on one time.

00113-wedding-photography-boojum-tree-phoenix-arizona-l

With me shooting from a distance.

00116-wedding-photography-boojum-tree-phoenix-arizona

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!

00126-wedding-photography-boojum-tree-phoenix-arizona-l

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.

00143-wedding-photography-boojum-tree-phoenix-arizona-l

The groomsmen were all a bunch of nuts and very happy with their hosiery as well.

00211-wedding-photography-boojum-tree-phoenix-arizona

It’s all about the flowers and the dress. Brittany couldn’t have found a better dress.

00228-wedding-photography-boojum-tree-phoenix-arizona-l

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.

00240-wedding-photography-boojum-tree-phoenix-arizona

00243-wedding-photography-boojum-tree-phoenix-arizona-l

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.

00253-wedding-photography-boojum-tree-phoenix-arizona-l

Oh, and of course the beautiful couple.

00258-wedding-photography-boojum-tree-phoenix-arizona-l

I absolutely love this portrait of Brittany. She shows off the dress perfectly.

The bride wearing a Tara Keely wedding dress by Lazaro with added lace sleeves.

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.

00277-wedding-photography-boojum-tree-phoenix-arizona-l

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.

00281-wedding-photography-boojum-tree-phoenix-arizona

Seriously cute kids were all over this wedding, all of them dressed to the nines.

00307-wedding-photography-boojum-tree-phoenix-arizona

00343-wedding-photography-boojum-tree-phoenix-arizona-l

I loved the flower girls’ dresses. Full of texture!

00379-wedding-photography-boojum-tree-phoenix-arizona-l

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.

00389-wedding-photography-boojum-tree-phoenix-arizona

This was another great detail. All down the isle were these texture rich collages with scriptures. I thought it was meaningful and beautiful.

00393-wedding-photography-boojum-tree-phoenix-arizona-l

00407-wedding-photography-boojum-tree-phoenix-arizona-l

Here comes the ring. Notice the ear piece in the protective detail.

00431-wedding-photography-boojum-tree-phoenix-arizona-l

00435-wedding-photography-boojum-tree-phoenix-arizona

00444-wedding-photography-boojum-tree-phoenix-arizona

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.

00458-wedding-photography-boojum-tree-phoenix-arizona-l

00463-wedding-photography-boojum-tree-phoenix-arizona

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.

00498-wedding-photography-boojum-tree-phoenix-arizona-l

00501-wedding-photography-boojum-tree-phoenix-arizona-l

That is the kind of tenderness and intimacy that makes a wedding great.

00514-wedding-photography-boojum-tree-phoenix-arizona-l

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.

00519-wedding-photography-boojum-tree-phoenix-arizona-l

00522-wedding-photography-boojum-tree-phoenix-arizona-l

00528-wedding-photography-boojum-tree-phoenix-arizona-l

00535-wedding-photography-boojum-tree-phoenix-arizona-l

00538-wedding-photography-boojum-tree-phoenix-arizona

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.

00564-wedding-photography-boojum-tree-phoenix-arizona-l

00568-wedding-photography-boojum-tree-phoenix-arizona

00573-wedding-photography-boojum-tree-phoenix-arizona

How often do you see the Groom pick up his bride and carry her down the isle after the ceremony? So perfect!

00575-wedding-photography-boojum-tree-phoenix-arizona-l

00579-wedding-photography-boojum-tree-phoenix-arizona-l

The tables were set in the green house, but the Tim and Brittany were the first to see the room.

00591-wedding-photography-boojum-tree-phoenix-arizona-l

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.

00663-wedding-photography-boojum-tree-phoenix-arizona-l

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.

00678-wedding-photography-boojum-tree-phoenix-arizona-l

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.

00682-wedding-photography-boojum-tree-phoenix-arizona

00740-wedding-photography-boojum-tree-phoenix-arizona-l

00743-wedding-photography-boojum-tree-phoenix-arizona

The battle at the cake table was intense!

00768-wedding-photography-boojum-tree-phoenix-arizona-l

Tim and Brittany are too fun!

00780-wedding-photography-boojum-tree-phoenix-arizona

00782-wedding-photography-boojum-tree-phoenix-arizona

Tim was a bartender at one time, so I thought this shot would be an appropriate image.

00815-wedding-photography-boojum-tree-phoenix-arizona

With minutes to the end, the bride sneaks away to pack up her things for the get away!

00864-wedding-photography-boojum-tree-phoenix-arizona-l

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.

00872-wedding-photography-boojum-tree-phoenix-arizona-l

I wish you both the best of everything as you head off into the unknown!

00876-wedding-photography-boojum-tree-phoenix-arizona-l

Photography by Jared Platt

Wedding location: The Boojum Tree, Phoenix, Arizona

Slideshow music by Hive Riot, courtesy of triple scoop music

Brad and Jennifer’s Wedding in Phoenix, Arizona

 

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.

 

Photography from a wedding in phoenix, arizona by arizona wedding photographer Jared Platt. (1)

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.

Photography from a wedding in phoenix, arizona by arizona wedding photographer Jared Platt. (2)

Photography from a wedding in phoenix, arizona by arizona wedding photographer Jared Platt. (3)

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.

Photography from a wedding in phoenix, arizona by arizona wedding photographer Jared Platt. (4)

Everyone learned how to tie a real bow tie.  A skill all men should have.  Loose the fake bow ties, always go real!

Photography from a wedding in phoenix, arizona by arizona wedding photographer Jared Platt. (5)

Photography from a wedding in phoenix, arizona by arizona wedding photographer Jared Platt. (6)

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.

Photography from a wedding in phoenix, arizona by arizona wedding photographer Jared Platt. (7)

Photography from a wedding in phoenix, arizona by arizona wedding photographer Jared Platt. (8)

Photography from a wedding in phoenix, arizona by arizona wedding photographer Jared Platt. (9)

Photography from a wedding in phoenix, arizona by arizona wedding photographer Jared Platt. (10)

Photography from a wedding in phoenix, arizona by arizona wedding photographer Jared Platt. (12)

I don’t recall what was so funny, but not everyone was amused, which is why love the shot so much.

Photography from a wedding in phoenix, arizona by arizona wedding photographer Jared Platt. (13)

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.

Photography from a wedding in phoenix, arizona by arizona wedding photographer Jared Platt. (11)

The is one of my favorite shots from a recessional in a long time.

Photography from a wedding in phoenix, arizona by arizona wedding photographer Jared Platt. (14)

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.

Photography from a wedding in phoenix, arizona by arizona wedding photographer Jared Platt. (15)

Jennifer makes the dress look great!

Photography from a wedding in phoenix, arizona by arizona wedding photographer Jared Platt. (16)

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.

Photography from a wedding in phoenix, arizona by arizona wedding photographer Jared Platt. (17)

The other side of the toast!

Photography from a wedding in phoenix, arizona by arizona wedding photographer Jared Platt. (18)

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.

Photography from a wedding in phoenix, arizona by arizona wedding photographer Jared Platt. (19)

Photography from a wedding in phoenix, arizona by arizona wedding photographer Jared Platt. (20)

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.

Photography from a wedding in phoenix, arizona by arizona wedding photographer Jared Platt. (21)

Photography from a wedding in phoenix, arizona by arizona wedding photographer Jared Platt. (22)

Photography from a wedding in phoenix, arizona by arizona wedding photographer Jared Platt. (23)

Photography from a wedding in phoenix, arizona by arizona wedding photographer Jared Platt. (24)

Photography from a wedding in phoenix, arizona by arizona wedding photographer Jared Platt. (25)

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

William and Erica

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…

Wedding photography by Jared Platt of wedding in Missouri (19)

Now, I don’t care who you are, this next one has to make you smile.

Wedding photography by Jared Platt of wedding in Missouri (18)

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.

Wedding photography by Jared Platt of wedding in Missouri (17)

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.

Wedding photography by Jared Platt of wedding in Missouri (16)

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.

Wedding photography by Jared Platt of wedding in Missouri (15)

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.

Wedding photography by Jared Platt of wedding in Missouri (14)

This is the Bride’s parents back yard (and music studio).  I never wanted to leave…

Wedding photography by Jared Platt of wedding in Missouri (13)

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.

Wedding photography by Jared Platt of wedding in Missouri (12)

Wedding photography by Jared Platt of wedding in Missouri (11)

So soft and beautiful.

Wedding photography by Jared Platt of wedding in Missouri (10)

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.

Wedding photography by Jared Platt of wedding in Missouri (9)

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.

Wedding photography by Jared Platt of wedding in Missouri (8)

Who doesn’t love candles?

Wedding photography by Jared Platt of wedding in Missouri (7)

Wedding photography by Jared Platt of wedding in Missouri (6)

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.

Wedding photography by Jared Platt of wedding in Missouri (5)

Wedding photography by Jared Platt of wedding in Missouri (4)

When you have a car like this, you have to use it well.  Man it was cold out though…  SO COLD!!!!

Wedding photography by Jared Platt of wedding in Missouri (3)

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.

Wedding photography by Jared Platt of wedding in Missouri (2)

Wedding photography by Jared Platt of wedding in Missouri (1)

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 & Ali: Married at the Paradise Valley Country Club

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.

Wedding photography in Scottsdale Arizona at the Paradise Valley Country Club by Jared Platt, Platt Photography. (1)

 

 

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.

 

Wedding photography in Scottsdale Arizona at the Paradise Valley Country Club by Jared Platt, Platt Photography. (2)

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.

Wedding photography in Scottsdale Arizona at the Paradise Valley Country Club by Jared Platt, Platt Photography. (3)

Time for some shots with the parents.  This one caught me.  I love the way Ali’s father is looking at her.

Wedding photography in Scottsdale Arizona at the Paradise Valley Country Club by Jared Platt, Platt Photography. (4)

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.

Wedding photography in Scottsdale Arizona at the Paradise Valley Country Club by Jared Platt, Platt Photography. (5)

Wedding photography in Scottsdale Arizona at the Paradise Valley Country Club by Jared Platt, Platt Photography. (6)

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.

Wedding photography in Scottsdale Arizona at the Paradise Valley Country Club by Jared Platt, Platt Photography. (7)

Two ring bearers.  Both looked great in their little tuxes.

Wedding photography in Scottsdale Arizona at the Paradise Valley Country Club by Jared Platt, Platt Photography. (8)

I caught the flower girl taking a look at herself in the mirror.  So big… and yet, still so small (short).

Wedding photography in Scottsdale Arizona at the Paradise Valley Country Club by Jared Platt, Platt Photography. (9)

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.

Wedding photography in Scottsdale Arizona at the Paradise Valley Country Club by Jared Platt, Platt Photography. (10)

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.

Wedding photography in Scottsdale Arizona at the Paradise Valley Country Club by Jared Platt, Platt Photography. (11)

Wedding photography in Scottsdale Arizona at the Paradise Valley Country Club by Jared Platt, Platt Photography. (12)

Wedding photography in Scottsdale Arizona at the Paradise Valley Country Club by Jared Platt, Platt Photography. (13)

Wedding photography in Scottsdale Arizona at the Paradise Valley Country Club by Jared Platt, Platt Photography. (14)

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.

Wedding photography in Scottsdale Arizona at the Paradise Valley Country Club by Jared Platt, Platt Photography. (15)

Wedding photography in Scottsdale Arizona at the Paradise Valley Country Club by Jared Platt, Platt Photography. (16)

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.

Wedding photography in Scottsdale Arizona at the Paradise Valley Country Club by Jared Platt, Platt Photography. (17)

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.

Wedding photography in Scottsdale Arizona at the Paradise Valley Country Club by Jared Platt, Platt Photography. (18)

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.

Wedding photography in Scottsdale Arizona at the Paradise Valley Country Club by Jared Platt, Platt Photography. (19)

When your daughter gets up for a toast, I am sure it is hard to keep it together.

Wedding photography in Scottsdale Arizona at the Paradise Valley Country Club by Jared Platt, Platt Photography. (20)

Wedding photography in Scottsdale Arizona at the Paradise Valley Country Club by Jared Platt, Platt Photography. (21)

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.

Wedding photography in Scottsdale Arizona at the Paradise Valley Country Club by Jared Platt, Platt Photography. (22)

That’s a lot of twinkle lights and the chandeliers are a great touch.

Wedding photography in Scottsdale Arizona at the Paradise Valley Country Club by Jared Platt, Platt Photography. (23)

Wedding photography in Scottsdale Arizona at the Paradise Valley Country Club by Jared Platt, Platt Photography. (24)

The odd little blue puff in the bottom corner of the photo is cotton candy.  Yes, cotton candy.  I love it.

Wedding photography in Scottsdale Arizona at the Paradise Valley Country Club by Jared Platt, Platt Photography. (25)

Wedding photography in Scottsdale Arizona at the Paradise Valley Country Club by Jared Platt, Platt Photography. (26)

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.

Wedding photography in Scottsdale Arizona at the Paradise Valley Country Club by Jared Platt, Platt Photography. (27)

Wedding photography in Scottsdale Arizona at the Paradise Valley Country Club by Jared Platt, Platt Photography. (28)

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 in Scottsdale Arizona at the Paradise Valley Country Club by Jared Platt, Platt Photography. (29)

Wedding photography in Scottsdale Arizona at the Paradise Valley Country Club by Jared Platt, Platt Photography. (30)

Wedding photography by Jared Platt, Platt Photography.

Wedding Planning and Coordination by Outstanding Occasions.

Flowers by Table Tops Etc.

Location: Paradise Valley Country Club, Paradise Valley, Arizona

Ted and Ali’s Engagement Portraits at The Botanical Gardens

Engagement portrait by Jared Platt in Phoenix, Arizona

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.

Engagement portrait by Jared Platt in Phoenix, Arizona

Engagement portrait by Jared Platt in Phoenix, Arizona

Engagement portrait by Jared Platt in Phoenix, Arizona

Engagement portrait by Jared Platt in Phoenix, Arizona

Engagement portrait by Jared Platt in Phoenix, Arizona

It’s like the sunset lasted for an hour and a half.  Everything was simply gold.

Engagement portrait by Jared Platt in Phoenix, Arizona

Engagement portrait photography by Jared Platt, Platt Photography

Location: Phoenix Botanical Gardens, Phoenix, Arizona

Cameron & Ashley’s Wedding in 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.

A wedding at the Arizona Biltmore and St. Francis Catholic Church in Phoenix Arizona (1)

A wedding at the Arizona Biltmore and St. Francis Catholic Church in Phoenix Arizona (2)

A wedding at the Arizona Biltmore and St. Francis Catholic Church in Phoenix Arizona (3)

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.

A wedding at the Arizona Biltmore and St. Francis Catholic Church in Phoenix Arizona (6)

Now she’s hiding behind a wall to make sure Cameron doesn’t see her.

A wedding at the Arizona Biltmore and St. Francis Catholic Church in Phoenix Arizona (7)

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.

A wedding at the Arizona Biltmore and St. Francis Catholic Church in Phoenix Arizona (8)

I love this shot.

A wedding at the Arizona Biltmore and St. Francis Catholic Church in Phoenix Arizona (9)

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.

A wedding at the Arizona Biltmore and St. Francis Catholic Church in Phoenix Arizona (10)

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.

A wedding at the Arizona Biltmore and St. Francis Catholic Church in Phoenix Arizona (11)

I just like the simplicity of the design and colors in this shot.

A wedding at the Arizona Biltmore and St. Francis Catholic Church in Phoenix Arizona (12)

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.

A wedding at the Arizona Biltmore and St. Francis Catholic Church in Phoenix Arizona (13)

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.

A wedding at the Arizona Biltmore and St. Francis Catholic Church in Phoenix Arizona (14)

Ashely, you look amazing.  Cameron, you have a lot of great photos to choose from!

A wedding at the Arizona Biltmore and St. Francis Catholic Church in Phoenix Arizona (15)

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.

A wedding at the Arizona Biltmore and St. Francis Catholic Church in Phoenix Arizona (16)

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…

A wedding at the Arizona Biltmore and St. Francis Catholic Church in Phoenix Arizona (17)

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.

A wedding at the Arizona Biltmore and St. Francis Catholic Church in Phoenix Arizona (18)

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.

A wedding at the Arizona Biltmore and St. Francis Catholic Church in Phoenix Arizona (19)

A wedding at the Arizona Biltmore and St. Francis Catholic Church in Phoenix Arizona (20)

A wedding at the Arizona Biltmore and St. Francis Catholic Church in Phoenix Arizona (21)

I love the emotion in this way Cameron is holding his bride.

A wedding at the Arizona Biltmore and St. Francis Catholic Church in Phoenix Arizona (22)

I love sweet moment like this one as well.

A wedding at the Arizona Biltmore and St. Francis Catholic Church in Phoenix Arizona (23)

Nice cake topper.  But Cameron is not allowed to dip kiss Ashley anymore… he almost dropped her.

A wedding at the Arizona Biltmore and St. Francis Catholic Church in Phoenix Arizona (24)

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!

A wedding at the Arizona Biltmore and St. Francis Catholic Church in Phoenix Arizona (25)

Thank you Ashley and Cameron for trusting me with your wedding photography.  It was an honor.

Wedding Photography by Jared Platt, Platt Photography

Slideshow Music by Jonny Blu, Courtesy of Triple Scoop Music.

Wedding Location: St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church

Reception Location: The Arizona Biltmore

Flowers by Designs by Jeremiah

The Band: Groove Merchants

Makeup by M.A.C.

Hair by Ramon Bacaui

Post Processing by Shoot Dot Edit

Ilyas & Sheena: A Beautiful Wedding in Scottsdale, Arizona

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…

Hindu wedding in scottsdale arizona by Jared Platt (1)

Hindu wedding in scottsdale arizona by Jared Platt (2)

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.

Hindu wedding in scottsdale arizona by Jared Platt (3)

Hindu wedding in scottsdale arizona by Jared Platt (4)

Hindu wedding in scottsdale arizona by Jared Platt (5)

Hindu wedding in scottsdale arizona by Jared Platt (6)

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.

Hindu wedding in scottsdale arizona by Jared Platt (7)

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.

Hindu wedding in scottsdale arizona by Jared Platt (8)

I love all the rituals.  There are so many opportunities for beautiful and meaningful photographs.

Hindu wedding in scottsdale arizona by Jared Platt (9)

The yellow rice is fantastic.  I love these shots.

Hindu wedding in scottsdale arizona by Jared Platt (10)

Hindu wedding in scottsdale arizona by Jared Platt (11)

The runner was fantastic.  I love the printed logo, it was designed by Idieh Design.  The programs, the place cards, everything was perfect.

Hindu wedding in scottsdale arizona by Jared Platt (12)

Hindu wedding in scottsdale arizona by Jared Platt (13)

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.

Hindu wedding in scottsdale arizona by Jared Platt (14)

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.

Hindu wedding in scottsdale arizona by Jared Platt (15)

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.

Hindu wedding in scottsdale arizona by Jared Platt (16)

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.

Hindu wedding in scottsdale arizona by Jared Platt (17)

Hindu wedding in scottsdale arizona by Jared Platt (18)

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…

Hindu wedding in scottsdale arizona by Jared Platt (19)

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.

Hindu wedding in scottsdale arizona by Jared Platt (20)

Sheena and Ilyas made their grand entrance through the fog.

Hindu wedding in scottsdale arizona by Jared Platt (21)

We put up a couple additional flashes in the back of the room to accentuate the fog and the crystal trees.

Hindu wedding in scottsdale arizona by Jared Platt (22)

Hindu wedding in scottsdale arizona by Jared Platt (23)

Dr. Prakash, Sheena’s father designed and built the cake stand for the wedding.  It’s quite beautiful.

Hindu wedding in scottsdale arizona by Jared Platt (24)

Hindu wedding in scottsdale arizona by Jared Platt (25)

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.

Hindu wedding in scottsdale arizona by Jared Platt (26)

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

Wedding Planning and Design by Outstanding Occasions

Location JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

Floral Design by Avant Garde

Stationary Design by Idieh Design

Officiant: Scott Morgan

Hair: Revive

Makeup: Amanda Osadchuk

Slideshow Music by Kevin Burdick, Courtesy of Triple Scoop Music

Heidi & Michael’s Wedding at the Grand Canyon, Shoshone Point

Heidi and Michael were married in the Grand Canyon on Shoshone Point.  It was a very small wedding.  Heidi and her son and Michael and his father and the officiant and myself.  That’s it!  I love a super small wedding in a beautiful place away from the city.  Don’t get me wrong, a big, orchestrated wedding is great, but small is just as good.

It was a fantastic day.  I enjoyed being there, as always.  We had great weather and got some great shots.  Here are a few of my favorite images from the wedding.

For those who have not walked out onto Shoshone Point, I have included this photo to give you a bit of perspective for the rest of the images. The wedding happened out on the tip of this point, just past the monolithic stone.  It is a bit of a drop.  Shoshone Point, is the spot from which to view the Grand Canyon.  It is the canyon, the way it was found!  No guard rails, no hotels, just rock and sky.

The bride, Heidi, and her son, the ring bearer, walked together down the path that runs down the crest of the point to meet Michael, who was waiting at the edge of the cliff, where Heidi and Michael would be married.  You can see Michael in this shot between the trees past and to the right of the monolithic rock at the end of the path.

As Heidi and Michael began the ceremony, Heidi’s son stood back a way and watched the moment.  I hope that his photo makes it into his scrap book for him to remember the day.  I think it tells the story quite well.

He also tried his hand, during the ceremony at being a photographer.  I imagine he has some great shots in his head of the wedding.

Toward the end of the short ceremony, they performed a sand ceremony with various sands from various places, one was sand from the beach and one was earth from the canyon itself.  I forget where exactly the other soil came from, but the three made for a nice mixture of soils in the heart shaped glass vase.

I don’t often include photos of me in a post, but this was an interesting shoot.  As I was all alone on this wedding, with no assistant, I needed additional angles, so I put a wide shot on a tripod and attached a Pocket Wizard (radio trigger) to the camera and attached its corresponding radio transmitter to my flash hot shoe on my main camera.  Whenever I wanted a shot from my wide camera, I simply turned on the transmitter on my camera and took a shot.  The wide camera on the tripod then fired a shot at the same time I tripped the shutter on my main camera.  I was glad to have the extra angle on the wedding.  It’s a very good method for collecting more angles.

Oh, and if you’re wondering, yes, that is a camera hanging off my belt.  I use a Spider Holster to hang my second camera off my belt, it saves my back and makes maneuvering at a wedding much easier.  I ca’t do a wedding without the Spider Holster.

I love this shot.  Michael looks like he is just lightly hopping around up there.  To me, it feels the same as a shot of one of those fearless steel workers building the Empire State building.

Heidi and Michael didn’t just come to the Grand Canyon and get married.  They hiked from the North rim to the South rim over a period of three days and got married the same day!  The reached the top of the South rim around 1 PM and were married at approximately 6:30 PM.  That’s what I call an extreme wedding.

The sunset was wonderful that day.

The bridal bouquet was beautifully done.  More important though, was the handkerchief, which was a significant heirloom.

This was a great idea!  Since there was no one to throw the bouquet to, the bride threw her bouquet into the canyon, and the groom and the ring bearer threw their corsages.  It was interesting then to learn (later, when I spoke with a park ranger) that the native americans used to use Shoshone Point as a burial grounds to throw their loved one’s ashes into the wind.

I love the embrace between the bride and groom here with the canyon so full of light and shadow in the background.  This is one of my favorite portraits from the day.

After the ceremony and the portraits, I ran ahead to get a few shots of Heidi and Michael leaving the point.  I think this is one of those epic wedding shots that few people have because few people are married in a place that is so magnificent.

One last photo from the point of the actual sunset over the Grand Canyon.  I think as I shoot more and more at the canyon, I am beginning to understand it a little more and anticipate it’s moments.  It is a tricky and illusive subject to photograph.  It is not easy to capture its moments.  They are no different than the fleeting expressions on a child’s face, or the lightning fast collisions in a football game.  And as you spend more time around studying the subject, you learn to anticipate.  For so many years (in my youth), the canyon alluded me.  And while I can’t say I connect with it as well as some of the great landscape photographers both present and past, I am glad to say, I have gotten to know this wonder a little better over the past few years.  But I have come to know the canyon as a cathedral, a church, not as a canyon, or a scientific wonder.  I am sure that has some effect on the way I photograph it.

The bride’s son left this little note for his mother on a rock on the point.

Thank you, Heidi and Michael, for trusting me with your wedding.  It was a pleasure to be there, as you begin a new chapter in your lives.  I hope you love the images as much as I do…

Wedding Photography by Jared Platt, Platt Photography

Slideshow music by Daniel Ho, courtesy of Triple Scoop Music

Wedding Location: Shoshone Point at the Grand Canyon, Arizona

All That Matters: Tyler and Allie’s Wedding in Phoenix, AZ

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.

Photograph of a wedding in phoenix arizona (17)

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.

Photograph of a wedding in phoenix arizona (16)

Photograph of a wedding in phoenix arizona (15)

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.

Photograph of a wedding in phoenix arizona (14)

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.

Photograph of a wedding in phoenix arizona (13)

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.

Photograph of a wedding in phoenix arizona (12)

This is one of my ultimate favorites from the day.

Photograph of a wedding in phoenix arizona (11)

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.

Photograph of a wedding in phoenix arizona (10)

Photograph of a wedding in phoenix arizona (6)

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.

Photograph of a wedding in phoenix arizona (9)

And this.

Photograph of a wedding in phoenix arizona (8)

Photograph of a wedding in phoenix arizona (7)

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.

Photograph of a wedding in phoenix arizona (5)

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.

Photograph of a wedding in phoenix arizona (4)

Photograph of a wedding in phoenix arizona (3)

Allie, you are a beautiful bride.

Photograph of a wedding in phoenix arizona (2)

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.

Photograph of a wedding in phoenix arizona (1)

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

Simple and Fun: Ian and Megan’s Wedding in Phoenix, Arizona

Ian and Megan were married at The Farm in Phoenix, Arizona.  The wedding and reception all occurred outdoors on one of the last pleasant days before the heat started picking up here in Phoenix.  It was a beautiful day and the wedding was perfectly simple and full of fun.  Here are a few of my favorite images from the wedding.

Both the flower girl and the ring bearer were as cute as they come, so there were so many great shots of them.  But this is a blog about the wedding, so I will try to keep the shots of the kids to a minimum.  The flower girl was always ready to pose for me.

The guys were all in casual wedding attire.  The whole thing was done with a kind of quaker style, which was so very cool.  I loved everything about it.

The bouquet was made from fabric and buttons and together with the texture of her dress and the 20’s style veil, the bride was absolutely perfect.

The Farm is a great location for this kind of a wedding (any kind really) but this wedding really fit in.  I told Ian and Megan that they couldn’t have chosen a more prefect place in Phoenix to match their wedding style.

This is also where I mention again how important post processing style is to a wedding.  The way we treat an image after it is captured changes the way it reads, which should be very much in keeping with the feel of the wedding itself.  And the image treatment on this wedding is a perfect example of how effective that can be.

This is the way group photos were meant to be.  Are there a few where everyone is looking at the camera?  Yes, but this is the one that should be used in the album or printed for the wall.  Too many people and too may photographers see it as an either or situation.  Either it is a portrait or it is documentary.  If it is done well, it is both.

Here’s the ring bearer.  You’ll love every shot of him.

There were more beards at this wedding that I have ever seen in one place.  I have never been to a beard convention, so I don’t have much to compare this to, but there were a lot of beards.  I enjoyed taking portraits of everyone sporting their cool facial hair.

So, when you are shooting family portraits at a quaker style wedding.  You should shoot them in the right way.  There’s no question, this was the right way to treat the family portraits.

Not posed.  These little kids were gold mines all day long!

They look good together.  And I love her shoes.

Seriously.  Can you be any cooler than to have hula-hoops at your wedding cocktail hour?

Well, you can!  Instead of doing a first dance, you could perform a first song together!  That was pretty cool!

Sparklers are always fun too!

I put this last image in here to make a quick comment about this band.  “What Laura Says,” is the name of the band.   They have to be one of the tightest bands I have heard in a very long time.  Every song, original or covered, was fantastic and the covered songs had their own unique spin on them.  If you have a chance, go see What Laura Says, buy their music on iTunes or hire them to play at your wedding.  I stayed an extra hour past our official end time, just to hear their music.

Wedding Photography by Jared Platt, Platt Photography

Slideshow Music by Mindy Gledhill, Courtesy of Triple Scoop Music

Location: The Farm, Phoenix, Arizona

Band: What Laura Says

Shayna & Beto’s Wedding in Scottsdale, Arizona

Shayna and Beto were married at Troon Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona.  It was a  beautiful day for a wedding.  Here are a few of my absolute favorite images from the wedding day.

Shayna did a great job with the dress hanger.  Rarely do I see a bride pay attention to the dress hanger.  It is usually an ugly plastic hanger.  I have never understood dress shops who sell these fantastic dresses for thousands and thousands of dollars, knowing they will be photographed and yet they deliver them on an ugly white plastic hanger.  Well, I have to hand it to Shayna for seeing that issue.  For those brides out there who are peeking in on this wedding and making notes about your own wedding.  Bring along a pretty hanger that says something about you.

So, we took the dress out of the closet and hung it up on this large painting in the bridal dressing room and I was composing the shot when one of the young ushers walked through the shot.  I have two shots that are essentially the same of this dress, one with and one without.  I can hardly look at the one without the boy in it.  He completes the picture.  I suppose it is because this boy took my controlled shot and added a bit of reality to it.  Sometimes I am tempted to stray from reality and control it all, but the chaos always pulls me back where I belong.

Wedding photography in Scottsdale, Arizona by Jared Platt (16)

I think the florist was a bit nervous when she saw me with the flowers out in the sun before the wedding.  She even made a little comment about the flowers being prone to wilting in the heat.  But, I’ll bet she’ll love this image of her beautiful flower arrangements.  And I am happy to report the photo only took a few minutes and the flowers were perfect throughout the day.

Wedding photography in Scottsdale, Arizona by Jared Platt (15)

This next series is one of my favorite getting ready sets I have taken.  A lot goes into the shot of putting on the dress.  Providing a nice backdrop for the effort is a major part of that.  But also, there is just a lot of fortune that goes into getting the shot as well.  I think all things conspired together for an opportune shot.  And then I have to say that the muted color treatment on the shot really finished it off well.

Wedding photography in Scottsdale, Arizona by Jared Platt (14)

Wedding photography in Scottsdale, Arizona by Jared Platt (13)

This moment made everyone laugh.  There is a whole series from this set, but these are the two crowning moments.  The littlest flower girl got cold feet and was not even going to go down the isle, much less, throw the flower petals.  So the older flower girl went back to get her and was trying to show her how to throw the petals, which upset her, I think she intended to keep them all for herself.  When the older flower girl realized this, she thoughtfully moved on with her duties and the little one stood in the isle and silently pouted over the loss of her flowers.  It was the cutest moment.

Wedding photography in Scottsdale, Arizona by Jared Platt (12)

Wedding photography in Scottsdale, Arizona by Jared Platt (11)

Wedding photography in Scottsdale, Arizona by Jared Platt (10)

Wedding photography in Scottsdale, Arizona by Jared Platt (9)

Wedding photography in Scottsdale, Arizona by Jared Platt (8)

I was taken by the canopy of branches in the background, so I asked Shayna to pose for me as the guests and wedding party chatted.  Often times the un-planned portraits and scenes that catch my attention at the moment are the very best.

Wedding photography in Scottsdale, Arizona by Jared Platt (6)

I simply love this image of the bride.  I love the contemplative look, I love the way the hair is blowing.  The veil being set against the dark on the left of the frame is wonderful.  I love this shot.

Wedding photography in Scottsdale, Arizona by Jared Platt (5)

I looked at this image in color and thought it looked fine, but when I took it to black and white and started aging it, I felt as though it became what it was meant to be.

Wedding photography in Scottsdale, Arizona by Jared Platt (4)

This shot was taken as the sun dropped over the horizon.  There is no better time of day.  I love the reflection on the water, the movement of the dress as she walks.  I am very pleased with this image.  As dress images go, it is a great description of the dress.

Wedding photography in Scottsdale, Arizona by Jared Platt (3)

These two little girls were constantly providing opportunities for great photographs.  Here they are waiting to dance with the bride during a dollar dance.   Everyone was dancing with her, and they wanted their chance, but I don’t think they knew how to approach it.  Where to they get the money, how do they get her away from all those other people.  I think they were sufficiently mesmerized with the bride and equally unsure of how to proceed, so they stood on the sidelines for quite a long time, until the maid of honor saw them and gave them some money and explained how to get a dance with the bride.  Even now, thinking about it and about my little girl, I get a little emotional.  You can just see the wonder in their hearts.  The older is thinking thoughts of being a bride someday and the younger is simply awe struck by a princess.  There is an entire thesis in their expressions.

Wedding photography in Scottsdale, Arizona by Jared Platt (2)

The joy of sparklers.  You can’t help but be happy.  It was a great wedding and party, people were having a lot of fun.  I was glad to have been there.  Thanks Shayna and Beto for trusting me with your wedding day.  Congratulations.

Wedding photography in Scottsdale, Arizona by Jared Platt (1)

Wedding Photography by Jared Platt, Platt Photography

Slideshow Music by Justin Hewitt, courtesy of Triple Scoop Music

Wedding Location: Troon Golf Club, Scottsdale, Arizona

A Wedding on Top of the Mountain: Dan and Krissy’s Wedding on Camelback Mountain in Scottsdale, Arizona

We were at Camelback Mountain in Scottsdale, Arizona at sunrise.  The weather was perfect, a little chilly, but perfect for a serious hike.  It’s a good thing, because that’s what we were in for.  Krissy and Dan planned their wedding on the top of that mountain.  Well, not on the tip top, but pretty high up there.  My associate, Eric Greenhaulgh and I spent a good 15 minutes deciding what gear needed to come and what gear could stay down below.  Any photographer knows exactly what I’m talking about.  Equipment is heavy, so you don’t want to take something you are not going to use, but you would hate to be at the top of a mountain and need something that is in your car at the bottom of the mountain.

A Wedding on the top of camelback mountain in scottsdale arizona. (20)

First, we made sure not to duplicate anything.  We did not bring any duplicate lenses.  Between the two of us though, we had a full compliment of lenses.  A Canon 16-35, 28-70, 70-200 and a 50.  I carried my 1D Mark IV, he had his 1D Mark III.  We had one small hand held post with a Canon 580 EX flash and a set of Pocket Wizard TT1 and TT5 radio slaves.  It is important to have your hands free, when hiking up a mountain and shooting others who are hiking up with you, so we couldn’t take reflectors and such with us and not self standing light poles, etc.  Everything strapped nicely onto our one backpack (which we alternated carrying up and down) and we had only the gear that was necessary in the backpack, although Eric was a little over zealous about what he was willing to carry up the mountain.  My backpack was a small one and I was still able to fit a bottle of water in mine.  I had to convince Eric not to take everything he owned up the mountain.  The truth is, I didn’t want to have to take my turn at carrying it.  Maybe I am lazy, but I prefer to call it “smart.”

Opportunities for challenging wedding photography are wonderful.  I enjoy them because they force me and my crew to work and think differently about the job and how to accomplish it.  We still need to get great images, but we have to think differently and sometimes find ways to capture them with less.  Granted, I have done entire weddings with far less gear than we had here, but it was a very bright, sunny day, so we definitely needed some kind of lighting solution to match the sun and shadow sides of faces.  Also, because of the wide variety of opportunities for a great shot up there, and the limited options for the photographer to stand (we were on a mountain with cliffs and cactus etc.), I needed a good compliment of lenses to be able to capture the images on my terms.

A Native American flutist meat us at the top of the mountain.  As we neared the ledge, where he was playing, Dan (for whom this was a surprise) thought it was just great luck that on the day he was getting married, a Native American flutist was up on top his the mountain playing his flute.  Krissy had lots of little surprises like this throughout the day.

A Wedding on the top of camelback mountain in scottsdale arizona. (19)

It was a good hike to get to the wedding location, but is was indeed, a beautiful morning.

A Wedding on the top of camelback mountain in scottsdale arizona. (18)

Getting ready occurred at the top of the mountain.  The guys took on side of the hill and the girls took the other side.  I did appreciate that the groomsmen all work black hiking shirts and shorts.  Those were their tuxes.  That was cool.  The only two that dressed UP for the wedding were the bride and groom.  Otherwise, dress code was very casual.

A Wedding on the top of camelback mountain in scottsdale arizona. (17)

Here is the bride’s room.  And quite frankly, I think it was one of the most beautiful and well decorated bridal rooms I have ever seen.  Most of the time, the bride is getting ready in a hotel room, or a sitting room.  Which, even if decorated nicely, can’t match the grander of the top of a mountain.  They just needed a sheet to sheild Krissy from the onlooking hikers and photographers.  Oh, wait, I was one of those, but I had a press pass.

A Wedding on the top of camelback mountain in scottsdale arizona. (16)

Surprise 2: Krissy took all of Dan’s love notes and poems and printed them out on origami style paper and made her own bouquet out of love poems.  I really enjoy an original and personal bridal bouquet.  I love it when brides put more of themselves into their wedding details.  This was a great surprise for Dan.

A Wedding on the top of camelback mountain in scottsdale arizona. (15)

I love a good wedding on a cliff.  Up to now, I have only done cliff weddings at the Grand Canyon, which has some magnificent cliffs.  It was nice to witness a cliff wedding closer to home.

For the photographers out there, you can see that the sun is shining very bright now on the bride and groom.  You can see the crest of light on her dress, and on his face.  But you will also notice that the grooms back is not in complete deep shadow, the bride’s face is lit, as is her dress, etc.  But you can still see the direction of light from the sun.  There is a clear direction of light here.  This is the use of the Pocket Wizard TT1 and TT5 with a Canon 580 EX  Speedlight although now you can use the 600 EX.  We set it on a rock and I just turned on and off my TT1 transmitter when I needed or didn’t need the flash.  This was an indispensable part of capturing this wedding.  Without it, we would have extremely dark shadows or blown out highlights.  The light is set to fill in from the left of the frame at one stop less than the ambient.  If we had set it to equal the ambient light, the flash would have attempted to equal the sunlight and thus eliminate all the volume in the shot.

A Wedding on the top of camelback mountain in scottsdale arizona. (14)

This is the entire wedding watching the ceremony.  I love a small wedding.  I really do!

A Wedding on the top of camelback mountain in scottsdale arizona. (13)

Here are some of my favorite images from the portrait session after the wedding.

A Wedding on the top of camelback mountain in scottsdale arizona. (12)

Yes, Krissy is an amazingly gutsy bride!  If that doesn’t look safe, it is because it is not.  I think Dan was a bit worried about her, but Krissy was game for anything.  I wasn’t worried about Dan, he’s a police officer.  He’s a tough guy.

A Wedding on the top of camelback mountain in scottsdale arizona. (11)

A Wedding on the top of camelback mountain in scottsdale arizona. (10)

Dan is also sorting a boutonniere made of his own love poems.

A Wedding on the top of camelback mountain in scottsdale arizona. (9)

I was working on this image and my wife came in and commented on it.  How tiny is she?

A Wedding on the top of camelback mountain in scottsdale arizona. (8)

I don’t always pre visualize and image at the shot; meaning that I don’t always know exactly what I want to do with an image in post-production before I shoot it, but in this next series of images, I knew what I wanted to do before I even started shooting the photos.  We were stating back down the mountain and the bride and groom were going to be walking by me at any moment.  I knew I wanted this image to be extreme selective focus, I wanted to make it look like it was taken at the end of the 19th century.  So I opened my lens all the way up and made the appropriate exposure adjustments (which can barely be done because at f 1.2, at 100 ISO, you have to expose at 1/8000 of a second).  Anyway, I rattled off a bunch of shots with this concept in mind and I was pleased with the result.  I am always more pleased with the results when I pre-vissualize the end from the beginning.  I suppose it is more satisfying to know I pulled it off, but I also think that if one can see the end from the beginning, it makes every step in the process more valuable to the final result.

A Wedding on the top of camelback mountain in scottsdale arizona. (7)

A Wedding on the top of camelback mountain in scottsdale arizona. (6)

I thought this was just a great comparison/contrast.

A Wedding on the top of camelback mountain in scottsdale arizona. (5)

Down the mountain!  At times, Camelback Mountain is a bit steep.  For a girl in a wedding dress, it seems even steeper.

A Wedding on the top of camelback mountain in scottsdale arizona. (4)

This is one of my favorite series of shots.  We got a few grumbles from a team of repellers that wanted the cliff all to themselves, but if they only knew what we were accomplishing in the two minutes we were imposing ourselves on their rock, I think they would have been much more supportive.  I really like this shot.

A Wedding on the top of camelback mountain in scottsdale arizona. (3)

A Wedding on the top of camelback mountain in scottsdale arizona. (2)

This is my official wedding attire for all super casual hiking to the top of a mountain weddings.  It’s quite frankly the most comfortable wedding attire I own.

A Wedding on the top of camelback mountain in scottsdale arizona. (1)

Krissy and Dan, thanks for letting me be a part of such a wonderful wedding.  It was a pleasure.

Photography by Jared Platt, Platt Photography

Location: Camelback Mountain, Scottsdale, Arizona

Slideshow Music by Daniel Ho, Courtesy of Triple Scoop Music

Jeff & Rebecca: A Family Wedding in Mesa, Arizona

This is a fairly personal post.  I photographed a wedding for a very dear friend of our family.  Our friend Becky and her children joined a new family and promptly flew away to China.

Jeff and Rebecca were married at the LDS Temple in Mesa Arizona.  Their wedding brought two young families together.  The kids on both sides are as sweet as they come.  Rebecca lived with her children in Chandler, Arizona and Jeff traveled with his children all the way from China, where he works and now they all live in China.  We miss Becky and her children very much, but what a great adventure for their family… we hope to see them soon.

I had hoped, with the sheer number of children and people who would be converging on the bride’s home that there would be chaos in the house, which is always fun to photograph, but true to form, Becky and her children were on top of it all, very organized and no chaos whatsoever.  Lots of laughter and happiness though!

daughter of the bride laughing

Although I don’t think it was the only reason for the happiness, there were a pair of Jimmy Choo magic shoes there, which couldn’t hurt.

jimmy choo shoes

Tying ties.

child getting ready for the wedding

Drying hair.

child getting ready for the wedding

Putting on makeup.  It’s all part of getting ready and I see it all the time, but getting ready is all relative to what you are getting ready for.  Not just a wedding, but the merger of two dynamic sets of children, a great adventure, a new culture, a 15 hour plane flight…

I thought this makeup photo was one of the better I have captured.  The framing was perfect as was the light and with Becky’s striking features, I thought it deserved a little film noir look.  I was already shooting at a very high ISO, so the grain was a natural result, there was no reason to fight it.  So I pushed it even further.  All of this was done in Adobe Lightroom 4 without the help of any plugins or external editors.

bride getting ready for the wedding with black and white film noir look

It was interesting.  When I started to photograph the dress on the hanger, Becky just laughed and said, “good luck.  That dress does not look good on the hanger.”  And she was right, the dress looked like nothing on the hanger, but it was perfect when she put it on.  How she decided to try it on is beyond me, but it was perfect.

Wedding portrait at the arizona mesa temple

Introducing Jeff.  All around great guy.  Jeff and his kids traveled all the way from China the day before the wedding, but only after their flight got canceled on them, so they flew from China to LA and then drove to Phoenix.  What a crazy wedding story.  But they made it in time and in the end, I suppose , in the end, those with the best stories win.

Wedding portrait at the arizona mesa temple

I had so much fun photographing the kids during the wedding.  They are all so expressive and good natured.  Case in point…

Candid photo of child at wedding in mesa arizona

Portrait of child at wedding at mesa LDS temple in mesa arizona

Portrait of children at wedding in mesa arizona

Portrait of child at wedding

Portrait of child at wedding

Portrait of child at wedding

Portrait of child at wedding

Portrait of child at wedding

Portrait of child at wedding

Portrait of child at wedding

Portrait of child at wedding

Child at Wedding Reception

And finally, a photograph of the LDS Temple in Mesa.  If you do not know much about the LDS or Mormon culture, Temples are a very important part of the faith.  They are extremely spiritual places where members of the church are married and make covenants with God.  So, when you are married in a temple, that building often symbolizes the commitment you have made to your spouse and your family.  So anytime I photograph an LDS wedding, I try to make a new and interesting photograph of that temple for the couple.  I am pleased with this one.

Arizona LDS Temple Wedding

Photography by Jared Platt, Platt Photography

Slideshow Music by Mindy Gledhill, Courtesy of Triple Scoop Music

Wedding Location: Mesa, Arizona LDS Temple

Nick & Caroline: A Southern Wedding with a Second Line

Nick and Caroline were married at the LDS Temple in Dallas, Texas and their wedding reception was at the Lee Hardware Gallery in Shreveport, Louisiana.  Nick and Caroline are a truly vintage couple.  Many people go for the vintage look, but Nick and Caroline really fit the part.  I think you’ll see what I mean.

Dallas LDS Temple

Dallas Texas LDS Temple

I was struck by the architecture of the Temple, but the hedge in front made the situation perfect for a couple’s portrait.

Bride and groom at the LDS Temple in Dallas Texas

I loved this location, which I found in my pre-wedding scouting, but as Caroline walked around the corner, I had to tell her to freeze.  It was the perfect position for her.  Everything around her framed her quite nicely.

Bride at the LDS Temple in Dallas Texas

Her dress, her hair, the necklace, even the lipstick were all perfect vintage.

Bride at the LDS Temple in Dallas Texas

Bride and groom at the LDS Temple in Dallas Texas

At the wedding reception, instead of a guest book, Nick (a designer by trade) created a sign in map.

Sign in map at wedding reception

And of course, even the microphone fit the vintage theme.  I was very covetous of this mic.  I am a mic enthusiast.

vintage microphone at wedding reception

The reception was held in the Lee’s Hardware Gallery, which is an old building in downtown Shreveport.  The textures on the walls in the interior courtyard were phenomenal.  And yes, that is a wedding cake piñata.  It was fun.

wedding cake piñata wedding reception

The textures and colors in the streets of downtown Shreveport are fantastic for portraits, but you must turn off that auto white balance on your camera!

bride and groom portrait in the streets of Shreveport Louisiana

groom portrait in the streets of Shreveport Louisiana

bride portrait in the streets of Shreveport Louisiana

I love the warm film look on this shot.

bride and groom portrait in the streets of Shreveport Louisiana

This is my favorite image from the day.  As we were taking the bride’s portrait, she turned slightly toward the wall and I saw the possibility of this shot.  With a slight adjustment of her hand and head, I shot several variations on this shot and the result was fantastic.

bride portrait in the streets of Shreveport Louisiana

If you are going to do a vintage wedding, I suggest taking a stroll in a vintage town.  Shreveport is definitely vintage.  I love this Ridgway’s sign.

bride and groom portrait in the streets of Shreveport Louisiana

I also love Nick’s “Ronald Reagan” hairdo.  Of course the back ground is perfect as well.  I shot this at a much higher f-number to make sure I got the groom and the metal door in focus.  I am more often a shallow depth of field kind of guy, but there are times when f8 or higher is called for.  In this case, the greater depth of field give the image a illustrated look, which I thought was very appropriate to the image.

groom portrait in the streets of Shreveport Louisiana

The flowers were fantastic. These flowers are called Billy Balls and apparently they look the same when they are dried. The arrangement were done by Patsy Foster in Shreveport. She did a great job.

flowers wedding bouquet

This was the most touching moment of the day.  The bride had been carrying a handkerchief throughout the entire day.  I had not paid much special attention to it and just assumed it was an old vintage handkerchief: something old.  But Caroline knelt down beside he grandmother and showed her the handkerchief and reminded her that she had given it to her when Caroline was a little girl and that she had kept it to this day for this very purpose.  That is something old and something special.

bride and grandmother

I think this will be the groom’s father’s favorite photo of the day.  It would be mine if this were my son.

groom and father walking

Just a couple of great shots on our way down to the “second line”.

bride and groom portrait in the streets of Shreveport Louisiana

bride portrait in the streets of Shreveport Louisiana

bride and groom portrait in the streets of Shreveport Louisiana

A “second line” is an interesting tradition in Louisiana, kind of a parade.  The entire wedding (all the guests) met at the water’s edge and paraded, complete with music, up to the wedding reception.  It was a hot day, but was a great opportunity for photos!  This was my very first “second line.”  I enjoyed it, but it was a lot of running and sweating.

jazz band trio at the head of a Second Line Parade for the Wedding Reception

Two of the children led the way, carrying a banner for the bride and groom.

bride and groom at the head of the Second Line Parade for the Wedding Reception

At the end of the evening, the games began.  The children got a whack at the wedding cake piñata and so did the bride and groom.

child swinging at the wedding cake piñata at the wedding reception

Most of the guests came from the surrounding states, so the signature map was a bit crowded near the gulf, but there were a few people (like myself) who came from quite a distance to join the wedding.  This is one of the coolest guest signature ideas I have seen in a long time.

sign in map

I think the straws are a good indication of the “fun” level of this wedding.  Caroline and Nick put their wedding together on a small budget, but I think they spent their money very well and made every detail count.  It all added up to a very fun event with a lot of cute details.

wedding rings and straws for sodas

The painting is by Nick Eckel and the lamps were made by Caroline Majors (the bride and groom), I love both.  Nick is a talented designer and illustrator.  If you need a graphic designer, I highly recommend him.  He’s a talented, stand up guy.

Paper chandelier and painting by the groom at wedding reception

I was glad to represent Arizona at Nick and Caroline’s wedding.  It was a pleasure to be a part of it.

sign in map at wedding reception

Wedding Details:

Photography by Jared Platt, Platt Photography

Special thanks to Jessica Brownell for assisting and second shooting.

Slideshow music by J’Nae, Courtesy of Triple Scoop Music

Wedding Location: LDS Temple, Dallas, Texas

Reception Location: Lee’s Hardware Gallery, Shreveport, Louisiana

Heather and Jeremy: A Wedding in Gilbert, Arizona

Heather and Jeremy: A Wedding in Chandler, Arizona from Jared Platt on Vimeo.

Jeremy and Heather were married at Noah’s in Chandler, Arizona.  Noah’s is a small even hall south east of Phoenix.  I have photographed a few weddings there and all of them have been in the heat of the summer, so we spent the entire time inside.  When Heather approached me about the idea of not going outside for portraits and photos, I said, “YES!”  Who wants to go out in 107% temperatures and sweat it out.  Plus, it made for an interesting challenge.  So, I put together a portrait studio and with their retro style wedding dress and tux, I thought the portrait studio should feel a bit retro itself.  I was pleased with the outcome.  I love doing something a little different.

chandler arizona wedding photography

I loved the artwork for the programs for the wedding.  Very cool.  Very personal.

Artwork for wedding program

The chandelier was quite beautifully decorated by AZ Wedding Decor. It is not often that a centered “bullet composition” works, but I like this one.

I love the use of the monogram in both the boutonnieres and the bouquet.

And what bride can resist the cute shoes.  It is all about the shoes.  Of course, I know this more because I am married and my wife loves shoes as well.  I don’t know a woman who doesn’t.  But I am always excited to see what the bride has done with her shoe choice.  It says a lot about her more private side.

But the bouquet says even more about the bride and her public side.  And you have to admit that a fruit and vegetable bouquet is something very unique and different.  I loved it.  This was designed by How Appropriate Floral. It, changed the way I felt about the colors in the wedding.  So, a lot of the decisions I made about how to shoot the images and how to effect them in post came from this one detail.  I shot a lot of wide open f1.2 images for their portraits and details and pulled back the colors to make them more muted and soft.  While what I know of the client before the wedding, helps to dictate the direction of the imagery, it is the visuals I see when I get to the wedding that shape the final imagery and how those images will be seen.  I think that being open to changing direction, based on what is in front of me, helps me to truly describe the event and the people I am photographing.

This of course, has to be my favorite image from the wedding.  I love everything about it.  I love the bouquet.  Heather looks fantastic.The lens and aperture choice makes it soft and dreamlike.  The colors are perfect.  Sometimes you have a vision for a photo and you execute it perfectly, but the subject does’t nail the look, but she nailed it!  Way to be Heather.  Way to be.

And these little kids just made me laugh.  What a funny concept.  They loved their little capes and they were certainly fun to photograph in my studio. They were not “ring bearers” but were announcing the coming of the bride. Yet, another way Heather made her wedding a little different from the typical.

Jeremy’s tux was the one other thing that directed me to the style and feel of the final images.  His tux and his beard put me in the right frame of mind for the style.  We shot very high ISO, wide apertures and fixes lenses to create a grainy old school look to the portraits and photographs.  And when we didn’t shoot high ISO, we added the grain in post.  I think we got a great consistent style across the entire photo collection.  I am very happy with it.

The center pieces on the tables were created by Ethereal Events Decor.  They made for great foreground elements.

The tables were all covered with these big glass jewels, so I couldn’t resist putting the rings in the jewels.  This is always an entertaining few minutes of the evening for me.

Thank you Jeremy and Heather for trusting me with your wedding.

Photography Details:

Photography by Jared Platt, Platt Photography

Wedding Location: Noah’s, Chandler, Arizona

Slideshow Music: The Genesis by Jared Platt

Flowers by How Appropriate Floral

Decorations by AZ Wedding Decor & Ethereal Events Decor

Nick and Shelby: A Wedding in Mesa, Arizona

Nick & Shelby’s Wedding, Mesa Arizona from Jared Platt on Vimeo.

Nick and Shelby were married in the Mesa, Arizona LDS Temple. Some of their portraits are there on the temple grounds. Others are our near Red Mountain and then others are at their home on South Mountain where they had their wedding reception. Here are a few of my favorite images from their wedding.

Mesa, Arizona LDS Temple Wedding Portraits

Mesa, Arizona LDS Temple Wedding Portraits

This is my absolute favorite image from the wedding.  The light coming through the trees is fantastic and the couple looks perfect.  I have another shot with them kissing, but I always prefer the almost kiss to the kiss itself.  There is more anticipation in it.

Mesa, Arizona LDS Temple Wedding Portraits

Arizona Wedding Photography Portraits at Red Mountain

Shelby’s hot rod car.  I love that she brings the hot rod to the relationship.

Arizona Wedding Photography Portraits at Red Mountain

Arizona Wedding Photography Portraits at Red Mountain

I love the tone on this image.  It takes an otherwise, harsh sunny day and softens it up and cools it down quite nicely.

Arizona Wedding Photography Portraits at Red Mountain

Arizona Wedding Photography Portraits at Red Mountain

Arizona Wedding Photography Portraits at Red Mountain

This little flower girl was super cute throughout the entire wedding.  It’s always fun to follow the kids around.

Arizona Wedding Photography Documentary Photos

Bridal wedding Flowers

This was a cute idea.  The kids all drew posters for the bride and groom and then shared them with the couple at the end of the night.

Wedding reception

The boys on the roof were tasked with trowing bird seed or something like that down on the couple as they left, but they completely missed.  The best laid plans…  But I did enjoy the motion in this shot.

Leaving the reception

Photography by Jared Platt, Platt Photography
Wedding Location: Mesa, Arizona LDS Temple
Slideshow Music: Kevin Burdick, Courtesy of Triple Scoop Music

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

Manuel and Samirah: A Grand Canyon Wedding

Manuel and Samirah’s Wedding at the Grand Canyon from Jared Platt on Vimeo.

Manuel and Samirah were married at the Grand Canyon in front of a small group of family and friends. The small intimate wedding was full of beautiful ceremony and the location was as beautiful as it could be.

Here is a slideshow of images with my thoughts on the wedding, if you’re interested in what I was thinking about the wedding.

Photography Notes: A Wedding at the Grand Canyon from Jared Platt on Vimeo.

No chapel, no cathedral, no resort can match the awe inspiring combination of 17 million years of erosion and unpredictable in-climate weather. The view was breathtaking and the light was ever changing and fantastic. Of course we had to bare some cold weather. But, I’ll take the cold weather in exchange for the storm clouds and perfect light any day.

The Grand Canyon from Shoshone Point

Just a note from the guests, left on a rock on Shoshone Point at the Grand Canyon. “Kiss the Bride”. And he did.

A Wedding at the Grand Canyon on Shoshone Point

This has got to be the coolest way to make a bouquet. These are dried flowers made into a bouquet. They certainly fit in with the natural surroundings. And as a bonus, they were light and never started drooping.

Dried flower bouquet from A Wedding at the Grand Canyon on Shoshone Point

Here comes the bride.

A Wedding at the Grand Canyon on Shoshone Point

This is the longest isle. Samirah was escorted by her father in spirit by the soft beating of a drum. It was probably the most touching procession I have ever experienced.

A Wedding at the Grand Canyon on Shoshone Point

To get a shot like this, you sometimes have to lean a little too far over the edge of a cliff. I was not completely comfortable with my proximity to the edge of the cliff, but we have to push the edge to get the perfect shot.

A Wedding at the Grand Canyon on Shoshone Point

There were many tender moments in the wedding, but this one was difficult for me to shoot. This was a washing of the feet ceremony. This is something Christ did for his apostles before he was crucified. It was an act of complete humility. John the Baptist had told Christ that he was not worthy to lace the savior’s sandals, and yet, years the savior kneeled before his 12 apostles and tenderly washed dust and soil from their feet, to show his love and his purpose to serve them (John 13:5). It was truly the Condescension of God. So when Manuel washed his bride’s feet and she in turn washed his, I was struck by the complete sacred nature of the act. Of course, I am being paid to photograph this, but I felt like an intruder at this moment. It was truly the most religious act I have every photographed at a wedding.

A Wedding at the Grand Canyon on Shoshone Point

Did I mention it was cold! It was May, but it was only 43 degrees out there on that pointe. And yet, Samirah bore the cold to get these great shots.

Bride portrait from A Wedding at the Grand Canyon on Shoshone Point

After the sun had dropped below the horizon, we went to a burned out section of the forest and got a few more portraits. The quality of light that exists after the sun sets is the best light, hands down.

Portrait from A Wedding at the Grand Canyon on Shoshone Point

Both Samirah and Manuel are pilots, so this was an appropriate setting for their wedding dinner. The entire wedding was a small group, so they all fit around this large table. The candles were a nice touch, but to avoid explosions, it was not possible to light the candles. Airplanes are full of fuel, even some of these old planes.

Wedding reception in airplane hanger at the Grand Canyon Air Museum

Portrait at the Wedding reception in airplane hanger at the Grand Canyon Air Museum

And finally, the rings! I wanted to use something that was unique to the wedding to photograph the rings. I think I nailed this one. It says so much about them, about how they came together (they met in a flight school situation) and I even though the dials, words and arrows made a great point. So I am very proud of this shot.

Rings in the cockpit of a plane at the Wedding reception in airplane hanger at the Grand Canyon Air Museum

Photography: Jared Platt, Platt Photography
Slideshow Music Courtesy of Triple Scoop Music
Location: Shoshone Point, The Grand Canyon

Shelby and Nick’s Engagement Portraits in Phoenix, Arizona

Nick and Shelby’s Engagement Portraits in the Phoenix Arizona Desert from Jared Platt on Vimeo.

We started this engagement portrait shoot at Shelby’s parents home in Phoenix, Arizona and ended it in the desert as sunset.  Shelby’s parents home is in the shadow of the mountain about two and a half hours before the sun sets, so there is a lot of great open shade around the home, which makes for fantastic images.  The color and texture of the stones is quite nice to work with as well.  And of course, Shelby and Nick are a good looking and cool couple, so it was a pretty nice afternoon.

The night after the engagement shoot, I posted one of the images from the shoot on my Facebook Page.  The shot is below.  Shelby just happen to have a card board cutout of Jacob, from the Twilight Movie series in her trunk.  I remember trying to watch one of those movies on a 14 hour flight home from a wedding in Hong Kong and it was so bad, so poorly acted, that I shut the movie off and did nothing for two hours rather than watch that movie.  It was a lot of fun and the shot makes me laugh, every time I look at it.

We had a lot of laughs while we were making the shot.  And if there is one thing that is extremely important at an engagement portrait session, it is having a lot of good laughs.  It certainly makes my job more entertaining, and the by-product is that the photos look better too.

So, here is the first photo I posted, the night of the engagement shoot.

Engagement Portrait in Phoenix Arizona in the Desert with a cut-out of Jacob from the Twilight Movies

There were so many great shots from the afternoon.  I have posted a few of my very favorite shots below.

Engagement Portrait in Phoenix Arizona against Brick wall

This was one of the earlier shots in the day.  The huge windows behind them make for some fantastic back light and the stair case made for a great angular element to hold the top of the photo together.  For those of you interested in the lighting on this shot, there is a shoot through translucent umbrella above, forward of and to the right of the Nick.  This light is giving the couple some volume by side lighting them, but we are not too dramatic, because it is at a 45 degree angle on them and it is a shoot through umbrella which softens the light a bit because the direction of the light is less defined.  The light was simply a 580EXII Canon Flash attached to a Radio Popper.  My camera is also sporting a 580EX flash with a Radio Popper transmitter and the flash is pounding up into the ceiling to give a little fill light throughout the room.  And then, of course, the window lights are providing shape of the stare case, and a little hair light for the couple.The shutter speed is at 125th of a second and the ISO is at 400.  This allows me to get a good blast from the ambient light outside and the aperture is at 2.8, which gives me that soft look in the background.  I am shooting on a fixed 85mm lens.  The 85mm 1.8 is not a very expensive lens, but it takes a beautiful image.  I love that little lens.

Engagement Portrait in Phoenix Arizona in Home Easy Chair

I love the reflection in the pool and the blue set against the yellow blooms of the desert trees.

Engagement Portrait in Phoenix Arizona by the Pool

Of all the images at the house, this has to be my favorite.  The stone and the tree are fantastic and the tree frames the couple very nicely in the bottom left corner of the photo.  You have to love the color in this one.

Engagement Portrait in Phoenix Arizona against Brick wall under a blooming tree

Engagement Portrait in Phoenix Arizona the Bride

I just love the expressions on this one.  Oh, and the composition.

Engagement Portrait in Phoenix Arizona against Brick wall

Just behind their home, on the side of the mountain is an outcropping of rocks that was quite difficult to photograph.  Once we got them up to the rocks, I had to take position on the top of a wall to get the right angle on the shot, but how can you not love this one.  I was so happy with the image composition and then, Shelby put he elbow up on Nick’s shoulder and that made the photo!  I told her to keep that pose and “never stop!”  I think those were my actual words.  Way to go with this one Shelby.  Way to go.

Engagement Portrait in Phoenix Arizona in the desert mountains

Engagement Portrait in Phoenix Arizona in the Desert

I enjoy the quality of the light after the sun has gone down for about 15 minutes or so.  There really isn’t a better light.  I used to capture this kind of light on film, but I had to use a tripod, I was often shooting a 4×5 camera (those old accordion looking cameras with the dark cloths over the photographer’s head) and the exposures were 30 seconds and of landscapes.  I am so happy with digital cameras today.  6400 ISO?  No problem.  I could enjoy shooting an entire photo shoot AFTER sunset!  It really is the best light ever.

Engagement Portrait in Phoenix Arizona in the Desert

Sweet light.  Sweet kiss.  Sweet shot.

Engagement Portrait in Phoenix Arizona a Final Kiss

Photography by Jared Platt, Platt Photography
Shoot: Engagement Portrait Session
Location: Phoenix, Arizona, South Mountain
Slideshow Music: Mindy Gledhill, courtesy of Triple Scoop Music