Tuesday, January 19, 2010

2010 Bride's Choice Award Winner!

Hi Folks! Great news! I just found out I won the 2010 Bride's Choice Award from Wedding Wire. It's based soley on bride's input and their rave reviews, so thank you all my wonderful brides AND grooms for putting my name out there!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

White House Wedding Chapel Wedding Photography - Katie & Shane

I met Shane standing in 11 degree weather waiting for the White House Wedding Chapel in Warren, Michigan to open their doors to the couple. The White House Wedding Chapel runs a very tight schedule and they will NOT let you in their doors even 30 seconds early, so you’ve got a half hour to get the bride and groom in the doors separately along with all the floors. It’s not that it isn’t a very nice place to hold a small wedding service, it’s just the folks that run it, Lavdas, are running it like a business transaction. Getting a bride in the door without seeing her husband to be, getting dressed and ready to walk down the aisle in less than half an hour is a pretty tall order! They also have brides make their grand entrances from on top of the staircase which is a challenge for me since there are exit signs and emergency spot lights right at the top of the stairs as well. Traditional brides and bridesmaids wearing full length gowns have real troubles negotiating stairs, so if you’re planning a wedding here, don’t worry too much about buying into their whole grand entrance thing. More than half your guests won’t be able to see you walking along the balcony because they are underneath it and have an obstructed view.
Now back to Shane and Katie. Anybody who hugs me when they first meet me gets a thumbs up... even if he was perhaps just seeking body warmth after standing outside checking the doors of the White House Wedding Chapel to see if they were open yet! Katie’s mom, dad and sister did just about all of the wedding planning since Katie and Shane live out of state. Katie sobbed happy tears through just about all of the wedding ceremony and we got free entertainment from the little ring bearer dudes who played pretty much non stop throughout the whole service. With sun streaming in through the windows, it went along perfectly with the warmth we were feeling from the atmosphere the couple created.
Afterwards we piled into the limo, which I believe is part of the White House Wedding Chapel package, and headed downtown. What to do on a freezing Michigan wedding day when you’ve got three hours to kill? Well, Katie’s uncle used to work at the Belle Isle Conservatory, so we went there. Turns out it was tolerably warm, nicely decorated, not crowded and it’s free. This Detroit based wedding photographer hadn’t been here and didn’t know this little jewel was out there available to my winter wedding couples who are looking for a nice place to shoot where they won’t freeze to death. So, if you’re looking for a nice Detroit place to shoot wedding photos, go out to Belle Isle. Sure beats freezing to death! And that’s what Katie wanted to do next. Not wanting to subject all her family (who were her wedding party) or the kids to Michigan’s 15 degree below zero temperatures, she did, however, want photos of herself outside. We’re talking about a woman in a strapless wedding gown in Arctic temperatures. So we made a very brief stop at Comerica Park (the tiger has a coat on... no such luck for the bride!) where I tried out my walking together shot with a super busy Comerica Park background. Then we went back to Belle Isle as the sun set for another attempt of the motion picture with Detroit in the background. We were at each of these locations for literally two minutes. No time for redos, or “try this”, or “maybe if we”... these were quickie pit stops and for what we put into them, I’m pretty darn happy! My favorite shot was from inside the limo as we drove over the Belle Isle Bridge you can see Detroit’s skyline out the frosted window of the limo.
We got to the reception where DJ Sean McDonnell from All Night Entertainment kept things moving. He is such a nice, gracious man and he gives his couples wonderful service and experiences. He’s attentive and thorough and very easy to work with. Katie cried through most of her dance with her dad, which was very sweet to capture. I think you can see from all the photos what wonderful parents Shane and Katie will be. They’re expecting their first child in 5 months and I thought it was neat to see how much they enjoyed surrounding themselves with their nieces and nephews all nice long. For more photos from this White House Wedding Chapel wedding, please check out my other blog at www.themichiganweddingphotographer.com.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Henry Ford Museum Wedding Photos - Mark and Rebecca

Here's a cool optical illusion... are they walking up or down? How Escher is this?

I was welcomed at the Dearborn Hotel door with a hug and oohs and aahs from Rebecca’s wedding party admiring my dress. There is something magical about seeing a group of women all plopped around the hotel room, eating, chatting, fixing and fussing... all while the groom is sitting in wait next door. This wedding was very deja vu for me. The couple the previous weekend had very similar names (Rebecca and Marty), they were getting ready in rooms I’d shot at a month ago and they’d wanted to get married at a location I ended up shooting at over Thanksgiving weekend. So I love how while lots of similarities were there, all the dynamics were different from all the weddings I mentioned. The only similarity is that we once again went outdoors for our group shots and formals. We’re talking about the middle of December in Michigan. Taking winter wedding photos when it’s officially cold is not exactly a picnic. I always try to play it by what the bride wants/can stand! Once Rebecca called uncle, we went in, warmed up and stepped back out for a few shots. We had plenty of time to not only get wedding photos at the Dearborn Inn and use all their quaint, cottage backgrounds, but then had lots of time to head to the Henry Ford Museum for wedding photos before the ceremony began. This is definitely a case where having Rebecca and Mark see each other before hand meant they shared their special moment (with me, of course!) and we were able to take full advantage of their being able to see each other before hand. Did that diminish the emotion of the wedding? Not at all! In fact, this one was a three hanky affair! The ceremony took place in a location they hadn’t quite agreed to.... in front of the Lego castle exhibit. I tried to minimize it as much as possible since Mark thought he should have only have to have giant Lego signs in his wedding photos if Lego duly compensated him! My extra portable light came in handy once again. It’s absolutely essential when shooting large, pretty, poorly lit venues. It was needed for Detroit Institute of Art wedding photos a couple of weeks ago and it was needed again at the Henry Ford Museum as the natural light faded to darkness. By the way, Henry Ford Museum weddings have the best food hands down of any venue I’ve ever worked at. I’ve only shot here a few times, and while I always eat well (gone are the days of rubber chicken and over boiled corn), this place that ostensibly served corn dogs by day, serves the best banquet food by night. Every single guest mentioned the food and stuffed themselves silly as a consequence. So thanks for the extra pounds I gained a few days before x-mas, Rebecca and Mark! If you’d like to see more wedding photos from Mark and Rebecca’s Henry Ford Museum wedding photo album, please check out my other blog at www.themichiganweddingphotographer.blogspot.com.